Monday, February 20, 2017

Plain and Precious

And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them.
—1 Nephi 13:40

Nephi’s epic vision of world history—at least the part he could share—culminates in a story about a book that figures prominently in the events of our day. Nephi knew the events would happen because he saw them. He wrote his vision because he cared about us. So as we watch Nephi’s visionary events take place, we would be wise to study and heed his perspective.

The story of the book begins in 1 Nephi 13:20 with the Gentiles bringing the book to America. We are informed that when the book was written by the Jews, it contained all the following items (see 1 Nephi 13 for verse references):

  • the plain and most precious truths of the gospel (v. 26, 28, 29, 32) 
  • the covenants of the Lord which he hath made unto the House of Israel (v. 23) 
  • the prophecies of the holy prophets (v. 23)
  • the fulness of the gospel of the Lord (v. 24)
  • the witness of the twelve apostles (v. 24) 
  • the truth of God (v. 25)

This book was transmitted in its purity from the twelve apostles of the Lamb to the Gentiles, where the Great and Abominable (GA) church was formed to oppose the truth. The first order of GA business was, therefore, to corrupt the record by taking away “many parts which are plain and most precious, and also many covenants of the Lord.” (v. 26)
And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men. (1 Nephi 13:27)
And that’s how the GA formula works: If you control information, you control thought. If you control thought, you control behavior. If you control behavior, you enslave humanity, and by this means, you gain the desires of your heart.

The Devil himself, we are informed, founded the Great and Abominable church to accomplish these purposes. He employed ready minions, willing to do his bidding in exchange for temporary satisfaction of their lust and greed.

For, said the angel to Nephi, “the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church.” (v. 8) These are the goods with which the devil pays his servants for their service, because he can offer them nothing better. His servants eagerly accept such currency.

Establishing and maintaining power over men is all too easy when you follow the GA formula. Remember, it all starts by controlling the information. If people don’t know what to worship or how to worship, they will never receive what God offers. (D&C 93:19)

I find it most curious that AFTER the plain and precious parts were stripped from the book, the record then calls it “the Book of the Lamb of God.” (v. 28) That name doesn’t appear until the GA church has perpetrated their mischief upon the record. Why is that?

Here’s my theory:

Only the Lamb

If you start with a book that contains the apostles’ full testimony of Christ and His gospel, then strip out information about His being, His path, His covenants, His mission, and the plain and precious parts of His gospel, all you have left is Him, “the Lamb.” You thus create a book that handily satisfies mankind’s need to worship something, by giving them a God to worship—a sacrificial Lamb. But by withholding truths about how to worship, how to follow His path, where that path leads, what His covenants are, and the fulness of His teachings, you ensure almost nobody will actually receive the salvation He offers.

And so we have the Bible—and 40,000 Christian denominations who all accept it and worship the Lamb, and who all believe they’ve found the way to salvation, yet who all disagree on gospel fundamentals and the way to salvation. The Book of the Lamb lends comfort and assurance to every false path by concealing the true one, while still being “true.” It is Satan’s masterpiece.
Because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God—because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them. (1 Nephi 13:29)
In fact, even though one may claim to be “of Christ” or other prophets, the result will still be a Telestial inheritance because of missing knowledge:
These are they who say they are some of one and some of another—some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, and some of Enoch; But received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant...These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God. (D&C 76:101-102, 106)
And how is it possible to be a follower of Christ or one of the prophets, yet still be cast down to hell? Well, frankly, it’s because of that list of lacking things: The gospel, the testimony of Jesus, the prophets and the everlasting covenant. In other words, the VERY things originally contained in the book, before the GA church stripped them out.

Wouldn’t you love to have the missing knowledge? What would you give for access to that plain and precious information?

Well, it turns out you’re in luck, because God, who knows the end from the beginning, anticipated this situation and planned steps to correct it well before it happened. Nephi informs us God ultimately won’t allow blindness to remain:
Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness, which thou beholdest they are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen…I will be merciful unto the Gentiles in that day, insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power, much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious, saith the Lamb. (1 Nephi 13:32, 34)
The Lord promised to return plain and precious truths that were lost. How will He do it? Well, it’s a two-step process—and it’s one we really ought to understand, because it’s happening now.

Step One: The Nephite Time Capsule
For, behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb. And in them shall be written my gospel, saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation. (1 Nephi 13:35-36)

The Lord promised that the Nephites would preserve a record of plain and precious gospel teachings, “hid up” like a time capsule, to come forth in the latter days. And so, The Book of Mormon, though intentionally limited (3 Nephi 26:8-11) restored “many” plain and precious truths and “much of [the] gospel” to us. (v. 34)

Step Two: Other Books

Mormon informed us that step two of the Lord’s plan depends on how we respond to the time capsule information from step one:
And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them. (3 Nephi 26:9)
Assuming some Gentiles actually believe what’s written in The Book of Mormon, the Lord will implement step two, which involves other books coming forth to establish and restore the apostles’ original testimonies that were previously stripped from the Book of the Lamb:
And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true. 
And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them…
And they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; wherefore they both shall be established in one; for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth. (1 Nephi 13:39-41)
Since We Know...

With the Lord’s plan spelled out in plainness before us, it’s incumbent upon us, if we desire truth, to first do all we can to believe and obey The Book of Mormon. It was given by a merciful God to help us find the path to salvation, and to open the gateway to “greater things.” Though most of the world, and even the LDS church, oppose and dismiss what The Book of Mormon teaches, there are some few who do take it seriously and value its message.

This leads to what we should expect next: new books to come forth, establishing the testimonies of the apostles and restoring the plain and precious parts of the gospel and the Lord’s covenants.

One such record has recently come forth. The Testimony of St. John has been revealed and published to begin the fulfillment of the prophecy we’ve discussed above. I believe this record is also a partial fulfillment of the promise contained in section 93 of the Doctrine and Covenants:
And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed…And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John. (D&C 93:6, 18)
To claim the new record fulfills ancient and modern prophecy is bold—and I should add that I’m the one making this assertion. Denver Snuffer, who revealed the record, has thus far made no statement that I know of, regarding this record fulfilling prophecy. But it’s clear to me that it does, and that the restoration of truth to the Book of the Lamb has begun.

The Good Part

I’ll talk more about the Testimony of St. John in a moment. But first, I have to tell you the good part of this story.
And that great pit, which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell—yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God (1 Nephi 14:3)
Nephi asserts that the restoration of the plain and precious truths will result in the pit being filled by those who digged it. I take that as a metaphor for their plan backfiring and bringing about the exact opposite result they had anticipated.

And backfire, it has.

Now that the fulness of John’s testimony has been restored, what happens when it is compared side by side with the old GA version of John from the Bible? Well, obviously, the restored Testimony has more in it than the Bible version. It has things the Bible version lacks.

What sorts of things?

Well, the missing things, of course. The plain and precious parts of the gospel. The covenants of the Lord. The stuff the GA church intentionally removed! It’s there in the Testimony of St. John.

So, in other words, by removing what the Lord would later restore, the GA church bequeathed to you and me a checklist of the very items they wanted suppressed. The Devil couldn’t have done more to highlight exactly what he doesn’t want you to know, and therefore what you MUST know to ascend to dwell with Christ. A simple comparison gives you the list. Talk about a plan backfiring!

The list is before us, and available to anyone who wants to compare the restored Testimony of St. John with the GA version of John from the Bible.

Know what’s even better? That comparison work has already been done for you as well. I currently know of several, different, side-by-side comparisons of the two books, making it simple to compare and highlight the missing information for yourself. At this point it’s so easy a child can do it.

You can download the various comparisons, audio versions and other resources at this link:

Once again, the Lord has shown that His wisdom is greater than the cunning of the Devil, and that it’s impossible to successfully fight against God.

The Best Part

And now for the best part of all concerning the restoration of John’s testimony. Recall my assertion that this record fulfills the following prophecy:
And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John. (D&C 93:18)
Well, the payoff is in the very next verse:
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 93:19)
The point of restoring what was lost is to provide correct information—plain and precious information—about what to worship, how to worship, and ultimately, how to come unto the Father and receive the fulness of what He offers, which is always received by covenant.

That word “worship” is laden with all sorts of baggage, based on false traditions and unbelief. The Lord has clearly informed us in the above revelation that the purpose of restoring John’s record is to restore the correct understanding of worship, which can be summarized as following the same path as the one you worship.

In Closing

I’ve read the restored Testimony of St. John, and found incredible light and truth there. In fact, this is a whole new level of clarity and purity. I do not make the following statement without careful consideration, but having spent most of my life studying, searching and teaching the Book of Mormon, I can state that the light in John’s record is even brighter and more clear than that of the Book of Mormon—and that’s about the most over-the-top thing I can imagine saying about it.

If you haven’t yet read John’s restored record, I highly recommend doing so. Better yet, spend the time to compare it with the Bible version so you can see the differences. That’s where you’ll find the parts of the gospel you and I have been missing; these are some of the “greater things” Mormon wished he could reveal; these are the “first principles of the gospel about which so much hath been said.” (TPJS 348) These are the very things Satan and his minions attempted to keep from you. It’s worth the small effort to find them out.

In the name of Father Ahman I testify to you, He who hearkens to my testimony, and trusts him who sent me, there is no end to his potential progression. His progress will not cease, for I demonstrate the pathway of eternal lives. 
—The Testimony of St. John, p. 8