Saturday, September 26, 2015

Born of Water

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
—2 Nephi 31:13

As Christ's voice sounds again on earth, many have come to believe the Doctrine of Christ (3 Nephi 11:32-40) and are seeking authorized baptism. Unfortunately, too many of these people are isolated throughout the world, away from other believers, and unable to receive this important ordinance, simply because they don't know of an authorized officiator.
There's now a website designed to help the situation:

The idea resulted from a situation where an isolated brother in Europe contacted me and asked if I knew anyone in Europe who could baptize him. It turned out that a friend of mine, who has power to baptize, had been in the very country where this man resides, just a week prior. Had these two men known about each other, the baptism could have been arranged, but the opportunity passed simply because it was not known. The purpose of the site is to make connections like this in the future. 

Everything is confidential and private, while still allowing these important introductions to take place. 

If you desire baptism, but lack an authorized officiator, I hope you'll post your request there.

A Note to Priesthood Holders

If you have authority from Christ to baptize, and have been properly sustained in one of the fellowships, I hope you'll make yourself available to others who desperately need what you can offer. Service like this, born of love, is the very essence of priesthood.

We want people be able to trust that their information will only be seen by baptizers who have been verified, so there is a verification step required when you apply. Please don't let this deter you from signing up and offering baptism to others. The idea is that you can help not only those in your particular area, but also those in other areas, if you happen to travel, as in the Europe example I gave.

I know for a fact there are many people around the world waiting and praying for someone to baptize them. Some have contacted me. Let's do all we can to help them.

Request Baptism

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Reclaim the Restoration

I did not write the following, but I was asked to share it. This document comes from This seems like a worthy effort, worth sharing, and I pray that it will encourage all to come unto Christ.

Reclaim the Restoration

TODAY a monumental choice faces every Latter Day Saint. At the heart of this decision is whether to stand with Jesus Christ and His Gospel, as taught in scripture, or to capitulate to the corruption of a lost and deceived world (Revelation 12:9).

IF YOU ARE CONCERNED about how the LDS Church is responding to a host of doctrinal, social, moral, financial, and political issues, and if you are willing to seek out and live a true fullness of the gospel (D&C 20:9), then please know the light of the original Restoration remains available through prophecy, scripture, revelation, and the tutoring of the Holy Spirit (Moroni 10:5).

A CAREFUL REVIEW of doctrine and the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, reveals that many human errors have occurred during the past 185 years of church history. This spiritual tragedy highlights the essential need for every Latter Day Saint to now differentiate between eternal truth and religious tradition (D&C 93:39).

THE BOOK OF MORMON specifically warns that when a culture becomes prideful, wealthy, and dependent on the arm of flesh (2 Nephi 4:34), that the fall of that particular people will soon follow (Ether 2: 8-12). Scripture also confirms that in the last days the word of God will be “transfigured” (Mormon 8:33), and that the once “Holy church of God” will become polluted. (Mormon 8:38). Sadly, today is also the day when the tares again “choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness of apostasy” (D&C 86:1-3). Those honest enough to apply scripture to themselves, the Mormon culture, and the world at large, understand that we as a Gentile people are in the process of rejecting the fullness of the Gospel (D&C 45:28-30).

REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE WORLD, and the world of religion chooses, let it be said: The hand of the Lord remains outstretched still! (Isaiah 5:25) At this time every Latter Day Saint is invited to re-learn and re-claim all that has been lost, abandoned, and distorted, since the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith (D&C 43:10). In response to these deficits, a growing Remnant now shouts HOLY! HOLY! HOLY! is our God! For He is the Great Messiah! The Master of the storm, and the sure Rock in whom we will trust! He is THE CHRIST, who even at this very moment beckons unto all, “Come Unto Me” that you might receive the same truths, powers, ordinances, and priesthood, once offered to the early Saints. Thus, today is the day of choice: God or man, Truth or tradition, Zion or Babylon?

UNDER THE HAND OF GOD a great and marvelous work is now spreading across the land. This movement involves a broken and flawed “few” (2 Nephi 28:14), who are actively committed to Preserving the Restoration, that Jesus Christ and His angels may yet ”gather the elect” (D&C 33:6), and establish a literal Zion upon the earth (Moses 7:60-62).

FOREMOST IN THIS SPIRITUAL CRUSADE is an unyielding commitment to the Holy One of Israel and the process of receiving salvation in Him. There is no church to join, and no leader to follow. This “strange act” (D&C 101:94-95), is not the “apostasy” some imagine it to be. For in reality, the truth is never apostasy, and all that God commands is law (3 Nephi 15:9, Romans 10:4).

LET IT BE KNOWN that except for our impending destruction, “the times of the Gentiles” is fulfilled (D&C 45:26-30). The opportunity for us to repent and receive a true fullness will soon be forfeited. What follows will include mass destruction and great sorrow (Matthew 24:6-35). This prophesied cleansing will begin upon the Lord’s house, first among those who profess to know His name, but have not known Him (D&C 112:23-26). Thus, every Latter Day Saint who seeks Zion upon the earth (D&C 45:68), and Celestial Glory in the eternities to come (D&C 133:12, D&C 76:50-70), is now required to repent by differentiating between eternal truth and the false philosophies of men mingled with scripture (2 Nephi 28:9-32).

THE LORD’S INVITATION is specifically to you. For even now, in this very moment, if you will listen to His voice, He will speak directly to your soul. Listen to your Savior. Listen to your soul. Fear not, and go forward into the work of reclaiming the light of the Restoration. For now is the day of your salvation, and if you will follow Him, He will lead you into the fullness of Eternal Glory (D&C 76:70). Come…come my friend, and through His grace, enter ye this day into the rest of the Lord (Matthew 11:28, Moroni 7:3).

Learn more at

Thursday, September 17, 2015

This is a Test. This is Only a Test.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
—John 10:27

Are you old enough to remember the Emergency Broadcast System? My childhood and teenage years were punctuated by occasional announcements interrupting TV or radio programming as follows:

This is a test. This station is conducting a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test.”

Following this announcement would come a horrible shrieking alert noise repeated a few times, then a concluding announcement:

This has been a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. The broadcasters of your area in voluntary cooperation with federal, state and local authorities have developed this system to keep you informed in the event of an emergency.”

If this had been an actual emergency, the Attention Signal you just heard would have been followed by official information, news, or instructions.

And that was that. With the system adequately tested, normal programming would resume and we kids were left to watch cartoons and wonder what the heck that was all about.

It was only later that I learned the Emergency Broadcast System was a product of the Cold War—originally developed to provide the President of the United States a means to rapidly communicate with the entire country in case of nuclear attack. 

Just like other civil defense drills of the time, occasional proving seemed the best way to ensure preparedness in the event of an actual emergency.

Proving them Now Herewith

We’re told in Abraham’s record that each of us came here to be proven as well:
And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell; 
And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; (Abraham 3:24-25)
The object of the test is the same for all of us: to see if we will “do all things whatsoever the Lord [our] God shall command [us].”

Therefore, no matter what may be the appearance here; regardless of the justifications, distractions, or falsehoods promoted in this fallen world, the only test we face, and the only thing that matters, is whether we will do what God commands. If we will, He will lead us to redemption. If not, He cannot save us.

Of course it goes without saying that every one of us fails the test. Every one of us falls short. We all desperately need forgiveness and grace; we need changed hearts and changed natures. We need rebirth. And the Doctrine of Christ provides just that. Each of us can walk in newness of life through the cleansing effects of baptism and the Holy Ghost.

So, though we all fail at first, the point is to keep repenting, keep changing, keep receiving grace for grace until we arrive at the point where we will, in fact, do all things the Lord commands. This is why we came here.

And it must be possible to arrive at that point, or else this earth and all associated with it is just a farce and a waste. We can, in fact, become able to keep all of God’s commandments, even in this lone and dreary world. So let’s look at the pattern for how we can arrive at that point.

In the Beginning

When Adam and Eve found themselves fallen and shut out of God’s presence in the lone and dreary world, just like us, the following ensued:
And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence. 
And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord. (Moses 5:4-5)
Consider what happened:
  1. They called upon the name of the Lord.
  2. They heard the voice of the Lord, giving them commandments.
  3. They obeyed the commandments. 
Did you catch that process? They sought, heard, and obeyed the Lord’s voice. It’s worth noting that this obedience attracted the visitation of angels who brought them further light and knowledge (see v. 6).

Seeking, hearing, and obeying the Lord’s voice is the very heart of the test we came here to face. No matter our circumstances, capacities, blessings or challenges, this is the test. In fact, this is the ONLY test.

As we learn in the temple endowment, obedience to light and truth brings angelic visitors with more light and truth, who prepare us to be presented at the veil and admitted into the Lord’s presence. This is the point of this life, and it’s designed to happen here and now—not sometime in the future; not after death.

With this in mind, let’s talk about each of the steps Adam and Eve took to begin the journey to victory. If we can follow their example, we can find our way back into God’s presence and redemption, just as they did. We must consider ourselves as if we are each, respectively, Adam and Eve.


First and foremost, we must seek the Lord’s voice, just as our first parents did. Satan knows this, so he pollutes this world with millions of voices shouting in chorus, all vying strenuously for our attention. Distraction is his most effective tool. The information age inundates and overwhelmes our sensitivity and ability to process or even take in all that is offered to distract us. The flow of information is brash and relentless. It dulls the senses and destroys discernment. 

But the Lord’s voice, in contrast, is still and small. He does not demand our attention, but rather waits patiently for us to seek Him out. How do we seek the Lord’s voice? Where can we hear it?

First, we must seek the Lord’s voice in scripture. The very reason He has given us these books is to provide a reliable place to hear his voice. Those who knew Him recorded His words and their experiences to guide us to the same outcome they enjoyed. They left us a roadmap back to His presence.

If we leave those scriptures unexamined, justifying that we’re too busy, too smart, too powerful, too learned, or too ignorant to search them, we will NEVER hear the Lord’s voice. Therefore, because it matters, I’ll put it bluntly: If you aren’t searching the scriptures regularly, you aren’t interested in hearing the Lord’s voice. Whatever excuse you’re making is, in actuality, more important to you than knowing the Lord.

By “searching,” I don’t mean merely reading the scriptures to check off a box or satisfy a requirement. The scriptures open more and more deeply, the more carefully they are searched. Simple reading will never yield saving knowledge. The scriptures ought to not only inform us, but also cause us to question more deeply, and ultimately take those questions to the Lord, who can enlighten our understanding by His spirit. In other words, the scriptures are a Urim and Thummim, designed to elicit revelation, and the most powerful among them is the Book of Mormon.

Sadly, indifference to the Lord’s voice is the common state of most of humanity, and even of many Latter-day Saints. It doesn’t help that much of what we tell each other about the scriptures and our position as God’s favorites simply isn’t true. The search is solitary. Do not trust any man to tell you what the scriptures say. Search them for yourself. Ask God until He teaches you. He WILL teach you. I know this by experience.


Hearing the Lord’s voice in scripture ultimately leads to hearing the Lord’s voice in actuality. This happens in several ways. Here is one of them:
What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same. (D&C 1:38)
Therefore, hearing the Lord’s voice through his servants is vitally important. The most important question then, is who is the Lord’s servant? Obviously, as the verse states, it must be one who speaks the words the Lord has spoken.

Note that the Lord did NOT say that holding a certain office, title, or position makes a man His servant. Nor, has the Lord ever promised ANYWHERE in scripture that a man holding a certain position cannot possibly lead you astray. Therefore, if you trust your salvation to a man merely because of his title or position, you have already failed the only test. 

Did you get that? I’ll say it again. If you trust a man merely because of his position or title, you worship positions and titles, NOT the Lord. This is idolatry and will damn you. Do not make this mistake.

Well, if you can’t trust a man because of position or title, who can you trust? This brings us right back to the first item. You MUST be familiar with scripture. The words of scripture are the gauge by which you can evaluate all other words. (The Lord is no fool, you see. He set this up so anyone can figure it out, if they care to.)

Part of what you learn in scripture is that the Lord follows patterns. In His pattern, he calls men to speak for him and gives them His message. Such men are almost always obscure, unknown, unimportant, shunned, hated and persecuted for teaching the Lord’s word. They cry in the wilderness and few heed their message. Therefore, if you trust popular, rich, influential, powerful, celebrated men merely because they hold title or position or keys, you have fallen into idolatry.

The message is the proof of the messenger. Nothing else is. Not title, not position, not “keys” not hierarchy, not line of authority. Either a messenger has spoken with the Lord and bears a message from Him, or else he is a false messenger. There is no other option. If he does not have the words of Christ, his message will damn you if you heed it.

And thus, we arrive at the crux of the matter: 

Said the Savior:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28)
The Lord’s sheep hear his voice. No matter who speaks it, no matter where it is found, if you are the Lord’s sheep, you will seek and hear His voice. If you reject His voice because it doesn’t fit a certain set of requirements taught to you by a pious and self-righteous, false tradition, you are not the Lord’s sheep. If you refuse to hear the Lord’s voice—no matter the earthly source—you are not His sheep.
Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd. 
And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the devil is your shepherd, and ye are of his fold; and now, who can deny this? Behold, I say unto you, whosoever denieth this is a liar and a child of the devil. (Alma 5:38-39)
Crying in the Wilderness

When the Lord sent Lehi to preach in Jerusalem, there were no sheep to hear His voice. Lehi’s family were the only ones willing to listen. The "religious" sought his life. 

When the Lord sent Abinadi to preach to Noah’s people, the Lord had only one sheep in King Noah’s court. The rest refused to hear the Lord’s voice; and despite the fact that they held position, priesthood, keys, and authority, they murdered the Lord's messenger. Only Alma listened. What debt of gratitude do you owe to Alma?

When the Lord sent Samuel to scale the wall, attempted murder was the result. Some few sheep heard the Lord’s voice, but the majority rejected him, and thus rejected the Lord. To receive the Lord you MUST receive the servants He sends:
For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him. (D&C 84:36-38)
If you reject those sent by the Lord—even if they are lone voices crying in the wilderness—you reject Him. 
He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (John 12:48)
If you worship keys, titles and positions, valuing them above the Lord’s voice, you may be absolutely assured you would have been one who rejected Joseph Smith in his day, rejected John the Baptist in his day, or shouted “crucify him!” when the usurping carpenter from Galilee was finally caught and tried for His crimes.

Why? Because the test is always the same, in every generation.

There is only one test. It has always been this way, and it will always be this way. You either hear and heed the Lord’s voice or you don’t. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter what other voice you trust, or why you trust it. You will be damned.

But if you do seek and hear the Lord’s voice—in scripture, through His servants, and by His Spirit—you will reach the point that you hear His voice in actuality. He WILL speak to you, even as a man speaks to another. (Ether 12:39

And yet, the Lord laments, very few will ever seek or hear His voice.
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:14 )
Few, indeed, will find it. Isn’t it interesting that the VERY NEXT VERSE warns us against false prophets in wool suits?
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
What could be more literally "sheep's clothing" than wool suits?

When Moroni met with Joseph Smith in his bedroom on September 23, 1823, one of the scriptures the angel quoted was from the book of Acts, quoting Moses:
For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. (Acts 3:22-23)
He said that that prophet was Christ; but the day had not yet come when “they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,” but soon would come. (JSH 40)

Did you catch that? That day, soon to come in Joseph’s time, is now upon us. The final sorting is happening even now. If you will not hear the Lord’s voice, through whomever He chooses to send, only that cutting off remains.


You cannot ever receive and obey commandments from the Lord if you will not hear his voice.
I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you.
For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart? (Mosiah 5:12-13)
If you refuse to hear His voice, and therefore never receive and obey commandments from the Lord, you can never “do all things, whatsoever the Lord your God shall command you.” And thus you fail the only test you came here to face, and continue to fail until you decide to seek and heed the Lord’s voice. There is no other way.

This is the test. This is the ONLY test.

And unlike the tests of the broadcast system, this IS an actual emergency. 
Wherefore the voice of the Lord is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear: 
Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh; 
And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth. 
And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people; 
For I am no respecter of persons, and will that all men shall know that the day speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion. (D&C 1:11-14, 35)
War is upon us. And because this IS an actual emergency, the above alert is indeed followed by instructions: 
Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments; 
And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets— 
The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh— 
But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world; (D&C 1:17-20)

The Lord wants us all to know His voice, and to know Him.

Though the Lord spoke to, and through, Joseph, we have increasingly ignored, forgotten, altered and embellished Joseph's words in the years since his death. The organization born of Joseph's legacy today bears little resemblance to the religion Joseph Smith taught and practiced.

Therefore, as has so often happened before, the Lord has again called, spoken to, and authorized a servant to speak His words as a final warning. The Lord's call is to return to the restored gospel and the truths sent into the world through Joseph Smith. We must first remember the restoration before it can move forward to completion.

Joseph's restoration is in grave danger. If we don't remember and preserve it now, it will be permanently lost.

The Lord's voice is sounding again. Will you hear Him? Will you remember? Will you repent?

This is the test. This is the ONLY test. What will it prove about you?

PS: General Conference is coming soon. You will face the test again as great men in great suits speak great words to you. If you intend to listen, please listen carefully for the Lord's voice. Ask Him if He owns the words they speak. Ask to hear His voice in a way you can recognize. Then listen. 

By the way, how the words make you feel is the wrong test entirely. Whoever taught you that was deceiving you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

This Tree Profiteth Me Nothing

Here's an excellent essay from Robert Sonntag, originally posted elsewhere. I thought it was too good not to share here:

The 2,000-year-old seed that grew this date palm was found at Masada. This kind of tree was a staple of the diets and economies up and down the Jordan river valley for thousands of years. It went extinct shortly after the Romans' brutal conquest of Judea and scattering of the Jews.

The DNA inside of the cells of the seed was written thousands of years ago by a healthy tree. It stayed protected in the ground while the world changed and the species went extinct. It waited while empire after empire rose and fell. It waited through wars and famine. Some curious people dug it up and decided to experiment with it by planting it. It sprouted a tree that produces the pollen needed to grow fruit.

The DNA isn't the fruit, or even the tree. It is just a code telling the plant how to assemble raw material to make a tree, just information recorded in molecular form. The DNA can only construct a fruitful tree if it is carefully preserved and accurately interpreted. Even small aberrations can be disastrous.

So many things could have gone wrong in this process.

The seed could have been exposed to the elements - to frost, heat wind, or pests. Either the DNA or the enzymes and ribosomes that decode the DNA could have been damaged in a thousand different ways.

Aside from simply destroying the seed, that damage could have caused the seed to grow a plant that was sterile, deformed, cancerous, and prone to pests.

When people write, they imprint their thoughts and narratives in symbols on paper, wood, metal, stone, or animal hides. The symbols aren't the thoughts, just the instructions for how to think them. If you can read the symbols, you can get an echo of the thoughts of the writer, and experience their narrative by proxy. Even if the record stays hidden in a cave for thousands of years, the thoughts and narratives can come to life as long as soon as they are properly interpreted. You can feel the sorrow of Achilles for Patroclus, laugh at Diogenes telling Alexander to take two steps right, and your jaw can drop in horror at the descriptions of the Mongol horde.

If you misinterpret the words, syntax, or grammar, you won't have access to the thoughts (even if they were produced yesterday). Your understanding of the narrative will be flawed. Projecting a faulty preexisting assumption onto the text can warp your view and cause you to willfully misunderstand.

The scriptures are the DNA of God's religion. They contain the thoughts and narratives of people who knew God and had access to the light and truth of God's personal instruction. "Whenever Salvation has been administered it has been by Testimony" (Joseph Smith, 1839). The writers recorded their testimony, the things they saw and heard, and scattered that testimony like seeds. Some went into the ground, and some were passed around exposed to the elements.

When Abraham, raised in a degenerate religion, studied the carefully preserved records of the fathers (Abr. 1:31), it led him here:
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)
From the records of the fathers, Abraham knew there was a God; that the fathers knew this God, who blessed the fathers; that these blessings included instructions, great knowledge, fatherhood, peace, eternal life, and the ability to administer these blessings to others. The records taught him not only that these blessings existed, but how to seek them. They taught him well enough that, by following the path they laid out, he became a rightful heir to the blessings of the fathers.

Lecture on Faith 2 comments on this process:
Let us here observe, that after any portion of the human family are made acquainted with the important fact that there is a God who has created and does uphold all things, the extent of their knowledge, respecting his character and glory, will depend upon their diligence and faithfulness in seeking after him, until like Enoch, the brother of Jared, and Moses, they shall obtain faith in God, and power with him to behold him face to face. 
We have now clearly set forth how it is, and how it was, that God became an object of faith for rational beings; and also, upon what foundation the testimony was based, which excited the enquiry and diligent search of the ancient saints, to seek after and obtain a knowledge of the glory of God: and we have seen that it was human testimony, and human testimony only, that excited this enquiry, in the first instance in their minds—it was the credence they gave to the testimony of their fathers—this testimony having aroused their minds to enquire after the knowledge of God, the enquiry frequently terminated, indeed, always terminated, when rightly pursued, in the most glorious discoveries, and eternal certainty. (Lecture 2:55-56)
This is the situation we are in now, which is one reason why Abraham is such an important figure. We were not raised in Zion. We were not brought up being properly instructed in how to seek God by people who knew him. The good instruction we did receive was often mixed with false traditions, the corrupted DNA code mixed in with the pure, that cause us to stumble (2 Nephi 28:14). In addition, we were not given the proper enzymes and ribosomes to decode the scriptures and construct Zion; we read them through a heavy filter, forcing them to match our ideas rather than the other way around. Our ribosomes misinterpret words like "redeemed", "rest of the Lord", "ordinances", "priesthood", "gentiles", "power of godliness", and "zion". The improperly decoded DNA is reproduced, labeled "continuing revelation," and forcefully injected into new cells.

Joseph Smith constantly fought against the ribosomes and enzymes of the Latter-day Saints. They insisted on continuing to use what they brought with them, while he begged them to accept what he was offering. The Lord himself got involved quite early, condemning the members for neglecting to use the correct DNA as they grew the Church.
And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. 
And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. 
And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written— 
Using the correct DNA, the Book of Mormon and the other scriptures God went through so much trouble to bring forth, will yield fruit:
That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. (D&C 84:54-58)
The condemnation remains in force because the fruit remains absent.

The tree that has sprouted from the impure DNA and malfunctioning ribosomes is a quite a sight: a flourishing growth of branches, leaves, and burls. It is excellent at reproducing itself by spreading roots and suckers. It has a massive bureaucracy dedicated to spreading branches and leaves, carefully pruning and propping. The fruit (the whole reason for the tree in the first place) has proved elusive since Joseph's death.

As a result, we've begun using our magic markers to label leaves and branches "fruit," and claiming that the tree is fruitful above all other trees (this happens routinely in General conference, and Elder Oaks did a fine job of it in Boise in June). Buildings are not fruit. Members being decent people are not fruit. When we finally produce fruit meet for the Father's kingdom, we will find the kingdom open to our view and we will be promised an inheritance there. Until then, we should put away our magic markers.

In spite of this silliness, we, like Abraham, have access to the pure DNA, the pure testimony of those who knew God. It's even easier for us than for Abraham, with scripture so widely published and accessible. Joseph Smith's scriptures and teachings—carefully recorded by his contemporaries—also provide us with the ribosomes and enzymes needed to understand them, since much of that material is simply commenting on and interpreting scripture.

How will Zion come? It will happen when some people finally "embrace the truth [not the traditions masquerading as truth], and look upward, then shall Zion look downward, and all the heavens shall shake with gladness, and the earth shall tremble with joy;"(JST Gen 9:22). This is remarkably similar to the promise given to those who receive and accept Joseph Smith's teachings:
...the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory. (D&C 21:6)
The truth is waiting to be embraced. First we need to study it enough to understand it, and enough to disentangle the good DNA from the bad that has been mixed in.