The Scepter of Fear
Satan rules by fear. The intention and result of this scepter is ignorance.
Joseph had an independent revelation in the bargin. He only revealed the smallest portion of what he knew1. Joseph was a minister among apostates, those would or could not bear the truth to some degree or another. Did Joseph cast them off? No, for if Joseph cast off these ignorant people to whom would he go, but he would be a lone man in the world with truth all by himself.
Christ came with all truth. Those in the household of his own faith killed him, incidentally which included both the Romans and Jews. Who was the Savior's household of faith? Was it the apostate Jews? Yes, but consider who came to this earth seeking faith and redemption. Everyone who ever came to this earth came because they were of His household of faith. Whether they remember it now or not, that is why they came. If Christ likewise only taught those who agreed with him, he would likewise have been a lone man in the world.
Christ talked about the gentile leadership model where the greatest commanded those who were lower. But he said among you, it should not be so, let he that is greatest of all be the servant of all. Christ came not to be praised and honored, but to teach, to overcome ignorance about salvation. Christ, who before the foundation of the world descended below all things. Was willing to submit to all things the Father saw fit to inflict upon him, for he knew that God does not open up to the proud, arrogant, rich, puffed up. These are they whom he despiseth.2
Knowledge, if we have any, is meant to lift up others. Lehi, in the similitude of the Son of God, when he discovered wos pronounced upon Jerusalem, he did not point the finger of scorn and say "Look at me, I have knowledge, and ye will be cast off!" He did the opposite, he said "Lord, forgive them, they are my people, my kin, my religion." His people had all gone astray, and he preached repentance unto them. Repentatnce meaning, "turn ye to the Lord and learn of Him," but they would not.3
Melchizedek, another one of the noble and great ones, was in the midst of a wicked people. He did not isolate himself and only talk to believers. He labored among the wicked, his kin from Noah, and said "repent, and learn what great things the Lord has in store." He established a kingdom of peace, his people called him the Prince of Peace and sought for and obtained that Zion which had fled.4
When we are afraid, when we stand on a foundation of sand, we do not seek the welfare of others. We cannot bear to be contradicted and when we are, we lash out in pride and anger.
The Lord desires to bestow knowledge up on us, he is no respecter of persons, rank or position, otherwise a impoverished fourteen year old boy could never have proven the promise of James. When we learn to come to him, he begins to unfold the heavens to us and tell us all about it.5 When we are right with Him and consent to obey His commandments, the mysteries of God are unfolded to our view until we know them in full.6 Knowledge is only obtained by sacrifice, and only that sacrifice which the Lord requires, not by lashing our own backs or some other way we believe honors God.
In our Gentile church, much like the military, knowledge is dispensed in a pattern that rewards obedience to men. We obey, we come a little higher, we think we have more knowledge, we have more power, we talk about keys of authority over men and their thoughts and their conscience. We make them afraid to learn, afraid to ask questions, because the questions have all already been answered.7 Without knowing it, we employ the devil's trade to subject men to our will. We say you must believe such and such or you are poison to my flock and must be cast away. If you do not believe like unto us, we cannot endure you.
In our gatherings, let us also seek the welfare of our household of faith. They do not believe just like us, but we should not cast them away. Nephi labored among his wicked brethren until he was commanded to take the the believers and flee. They get to abuse us, we get to endure it, and we should want to endure it, otherwise how can we likewise offer sacrifice in the similitude of the Only Begotten?8 How can we save some few souls? How can we leave them to perish and yet claim the love of God endures in our hearts? I am an apostate from the truth, but I hope a little less so than I was before. If someone had not cared for the flock, how then could I have come to know like Abraham, that there were many blessings in store and greater knowledge to be had?9
1. " It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him." (Alma 12:9)
"Would to God that I had forty days and nights in which to tell you all!" (Joseph Smith, King Follett Discourse, April 1844)
2. "...the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches - yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, He will not open unto them." (2 Nephi 9:41-42)
Perhaps this should be read as those who assume they are rich in blessings.
3. "And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord that he would give unto the Gentiles grace, that they might have charity. And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean." (Ether 12:36-37)
The Lord did not promise the Gentiles grace. Sometimes though out deepest desire is to save our friends, because of laws ordained before the foundation of the world, it cannot be so. This is much like King Benjamin's pronouncement when he said if we do not give because we have not, we are required to say we would give if we had. In other words, even if salvation cannot come to those for whom we desire it, our heart MUST be right, "otherwise ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just for ye covet that which ye have not received." (Mosiah 4:25)
4. "Now this Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem; and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abomination; yea, they had all gone astray; they were full of all manner of wickedness; But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent." (Alma 13:17-18) "And his people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken, separating it from the earth, having reserved it unto the latter days, or the end of the world." (Genesis 14:34, JST)
5. "When we begin to learn this way, we begin to learn the only true God, and what kind of a being we have got to worship. Having a knowledge of God, we begin to know how to approach him, and how to ask so as to receive an answer. When we understand the character of God, and how to come to him, he begins to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to him, he is ready to come to us." (Joseph Smith, King Follett Discourse, TPJS p. 349, April 1844)
"And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John. I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness." (D&C 93:18-19)
"Let us here observe, that three things are necessary, in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation. First, The idea that he actually exists. Secondly, A correct idea of his character, perfections and attributes. Thirdly, An actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing, is according to his will. For without an acquaintance with these three important facts, the faith of every rational being must be imperfect and unproductive; but with this understanding, it can become perfect and fruitful, abounding in righteousness unto the praise and glory of God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, Third Lecture. Emphasis in original)
Have we received any more of the record of John? Have we been faithful? Can we make our faith perfect without understanding what the Lord wanted to communicate to us if we were faithful?
6. "...and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full." (Alma 12:10)
7. "When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan–it is God’s plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy. God works in no other way. To think otherwise, without immediate repentance, may cost one his faith, may destroy his testimony, and leave him a stranger to the kingdom of God." (Improvement Era, in June 1945) To his credit, this statement was later disavowed by President George Albert Smith in a letter to a single individual, it is the prevalent teaching in the church today and exemplified every time the mantra "The guy who we call a prophet can never lead us astray!"
8. "For a man to lay down his all, his character and reputation, his honor and applause, his good name among men, his houses, his lands, his brothers and sisters, his wife and children, and even his own life also, counting all things but filth and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, requires more than mere belief, or supposition that he is doing the will of God, but actual knowledge: realizing, that when these sufferings are ended he will enter into eternal rest; and be a partaker of the glory of God.
"For unless a person does know that he is walking according to the will of God, it would be offering an insult to the dignity of the Creator, were he to say that he would be a partaker of his glory when he should be done with the things of this life. But when he has this knowledge, and most assuredly knows that he is doing the will of God, his confidence can be equally strong that he will be a partaker of the glory of God.
"Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things: it was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things, that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has, for the truth's sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice, because he seeks to do his will, he does know most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice & offering, & that he has not nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life."
9. "And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers." (Abraham 1:2)