DID BIBLICAL PROHETS TEACH ALIKE?

 

This is one of the most important question that must be resolved. If they did teach alike, it is proof that they were of God. Only God has a perfect knowledge of everything from the beginning of this creation to entering eternity after the last resurrection. “9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Isa. 46) Soon, it judgment will fall upon the earth; and it will be too late to understand the answer to this and many other critical points of history and doctrine.

We have been told: “15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2) “20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa. 8)

The following is from an article written by Edward T. Couch in 1906; and restored to digital format by Samuel E. West in 1998.

 

FIRST PRINCIPLES OF THE GOSPEL
ANTIQUITY OF THE GOSPEL
THE ADDED LAW
WHEN THE ADDED LAW ENDED
NO CHANGE AT DEATH OF CHRIST
HARMONY OF DISPENSATIONS
THE RESTORATION
THE SABBATH DAY
THE MARRIAGE LAW
BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD
CONCLUSION

THE EVERLASTING COVENANT

OR

PROPHETS OF GOD TEACH ALIKE

BY

EDWARD  T.  COUCH

 OF THE

 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

 First Edition
BOYNE CITY, CHARLEVOIX CO., MICH.
JULY, 1906 

Error in original pagination retained:  14, 15, 16, 15, 16, 17
Second Edition:  Typeset By Samuel E. West
April, 1998

FIRST PRINCIPLES OF THE GOSPEL

THE Creator has placed men on this earth for a good and wise purpose; but they have broken the laws He gave to govern them.  This is sin, for “Sin is the transgression of the law.”  For the happiness of mankind, it is necessary that they should be forgiven their sins, and become reconciled to God. The Lord has provided a plan of redemption, by the obeying of which this can be accomplished.  “The everlasting covenant,” or “everlasting gospel” or “the gospel of Christ,” is the scriptural name given to the plan of redemption.

The first principle of the gospel of Christ is FAITH.  Faith is the result of evidence.  For instance: we believe other countries exist, besides the one in which we live, because reliable men have seen, and testified of them.  In like manner we can have faith to believe there is a God, because there is so much evidence in the universe of a great Creator. We can also have faith to believe in Christ, for we have the evidence that the scriptures teach that he has come, and also the testimony of some of those that have seen Him, who said, “Truly this [4] is the Son of God!” Faith unto salvation, needs to be in God, and His Son Jesus Christ. if it was centered in any of the many false Christs, it would be of no use.

The second principle of the gospel is REPENTANCE.  We must humble ourselves before God, and repent of what we have done wrong, and become willing to obey the commandments of the Lord.

After men have faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ, and repent of their sins, they should obey the third principle of the gospel–BAPTISM.  The object of baptism is “For the remission of sins.” Saul had repented of his sins, yet he was not free from them until after baptism, for Ananias said to him, “Arise, and be baptized and WASH AWAY THY SINS.”–Acts 22:16.  The remitting of sins by obeying this ordinance is also taught in Acts 2:38 and other places. It is necessary that it should be performed by one that has authority from God to do so, or it would be of no use.

The fourth principle of the gospel of Christ is THE LAYING ON OF HANDS.  This is done to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost on baptized believers.  Philip preached in Samaria.  The people were influenced by the Spirit of God, or they would pay no heed to his unpopular preaching, yet the converts did not receive the Holy Ghost until hands were laid on for that purpose. Acts 8:16-17; 19:6, also 2 Tim. 1:6. The gifts of the Spirit, such as prophecy, tongues, and interpretation of tongues, are manifestations of the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Hands are also laid on in ordination, healing the sick, and blessing infants.  These principles of, the gospel are mentioned by Paul in Heb. 6:1-2.  They are taught by all Latter Day Saints, and [5] published by them in various works.  For this reason, but a limited explanation of them is given here, and as this work is intended more for Latter Day Saints, than others, I will quote from the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Inspired Translation of the Bible, as occasion may require.

We are told to “Grow in grace, and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.” In order to do this, after obeying the first principles of the gospel, it is necessary to learn what you can of the many other commandments God has given, and live faithful to the end, in order to attain to salvation.

ANTIQUITY OF THE GOSPEL

It is not as well known as it ought to be, that the gospel of Christ was given in full particulars in the days of Adam.  It is commonly believed by those that are called Christian people, that there was a great difference in the commandments of God that were given before Christ, from those that were taught by Him, and His apostles after Him. Apparently there is quite a difference between the teachings of the Old and New Testaments. When correctly understood, they harmonize, and teach the same gospel. This means that the laws of God taught in the New Testament, were taught long before that time.  The first principles of the gospel, and many other laws, were taught in the days of Moses; yes, back in the days of Adam. The principle reason this does not appear plain is because there is so much lost scripture.  If full paticulars of the evidences of lost scriptures were given, you could see that the Bible of today is only [6] a mere remnant of the scriptures of apostolic days.

There is a good deal said about the Holy Ghost in the New Testament, but that name for the spirit of God is not used in the Old Testament; but Peter said, “Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”–2 Peter 1:21.

Jesus said, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”–John 3:5. Everybody is willing to admit that righteous men of old were “born of the Spirit.” Well, if they were, they were “born of water” also, for the one birth is as necessary as the other, according to the words of Jesus.

The Saviour came to John the Baptist to be baptized by him. John felt unworthy to baptize so great a person as He was; but Jesus said, “Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.”–Mat-3:15. This shows there was a commandment requiring men to be baptized previous to this, and Jesus had to keep this law, in order to be righteous.

It doe’s not prove that baptism was not taught in Old Testament days, because it is not mentioned in the first half of the Bible that has come down to us.  If it did, then with equal propriety it would be proof that it was never predicted that Jesus would “Rise from the dead the third day,” for this information is not in the Old Testament now.  But some of the prophets that wrote before Christ, and whose writings are lost, predicted this.  Here is what Jesus said about it, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved ‘Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.”–Luke 24:46. These words are not in the Old Testament now, but they were in [7] apostolic days. It is the same with baptism, and many other things.

The sacrament, or Lord’s supper, was not new in Jesus’ time. It was kept up from early in the world’s history.  When Melchizedek met Abraham he “Brought forth bread and wine.” These great men never did this for mere idle pastime.  If they did, then Moses would be as foolish as they, for he wrote it down 500 years after it occurred, so that we might know of it. It was nothing less than the Lord’s supper that these men kept at that time.

Read the third chapter of Hebrews, and the fore part of the fourth, and you will find that St. Paul was telling how rebellious the people were after coming out of Egypt. While explaining this he said, “For unto us was the gospel preached as well as unto them; but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”  It is well known that “the gospel” was preached in the days of Paul. But the apostle makes a specialty of the fact that “the gospel” was preached in Moses’ time, but “unto us” also, By this we learn that “the gospel” was preached at these two different times. Words are used to express ideas.  The word “gospel” certainly means the same in the one case, as it does in the other.  If faith, repentance, baptism, laying on of hands sacrament, sabbath day, and many other laws, were a part of the gospel in the days of Paul, then they were in Moses’ time also.  By reading the New Testament we can find out a part of what was preached then, and by perusing the Old Testament we can learn a part of what was preached then.  Both parts together embrace what Paul called “the gospel” that was taught at these two different times. [8]

The same argument holds good in the case of Abraham.  Paul said, “The scripture forseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before THE GOSPEL unto Abraham.”–Gal. 3:8. This shows “the gospel” was preached to Abraham, and of course he taught it himself.”  Noah was a preacher of righteousness.”  Neither he, nor Abraham could happen upon God’s laws by chance, They were made known to them.  It was just as necessary for men to learn the laws of the gospel of Christ in the days of Adam, in order to be saved, as at any other time.

These explanations will help to show that the gospel taught in apostolic days was preached in the days of Adam, but the Apostle John gives more definite proof:” And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.  And this is love, that we walk after the commandments.  This is the commandment, that AS YE HEARD FROM THE BEGINNING, YE SHOULD WALK IN IT,”–2 John 5 and 6 verses.  The Apostle John taught the same thing in his first epistle.”  Brethren, I write NO NEW COMMANDMENT unto you,, but an old commandment WHICH YE HAD FROM THE BEGINNING.”–1 John 2:7.  The 24th verse of this chapter teaches the same thing.  This same doctrine is also taught in 1 John 3: 11,12.  This is the fourth time these Words are mentioned.  Now the question arises, does the apostle mean from the beginning of Christ’s ministry or from the beginning of the world?  In either case it would make but little difference, as the same laws were taught at each time, With but little exception.

The “beloved, disciple” settled this later question [9] when he said, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.”–1 John 3:8.  The same word “beginning” is used here as in the previous quotations.  If the word “beginning” refers to the days of Adam in this latter quotation, and nobody doubts it, then it is the same time in the world’s history he meant when he said, “I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning.”

The sum of this evidence is this: the commandments taught by St. John were the same as were preached in the beginning of the world, and the laws taught at that time, were the same as he preached in his day.  Now St. John taught the same as the rest of the apostles.  Therefore the laws of the New Testament were taught in the days of Adam, and the laws of God that were preached in the days of Adam were proclaimed by the New Testament writers.

The great modern prophet was aware that the gospel of Christ was given to men in Adam’s day.  The following is a part of what the Lord said to Adam after he had sinned: “If thou wilt turn unto me and hearken unto my voice, and BELIEVE, and REPENT of all thy transgressions, and be BAPTIZED, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men; and YE SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST.”–Gen. 6:53, Inspired Translation.  How nicely these words agree with the first principles of the Gospel as they are taught in the New Testament?  Now read from the same book.  Gen. 5:44, “And thus THE GOSPEL began to [10] be preached from the beginning, being declared by holy angels, sent forth from the presence of God; and by His own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost.  How well this agrees with the epistles of St. John as already shown!

Now turn to Doctrine & Covenants, sec. 49, par. 2, where it says: “Wherefore I say unto you, that I have sent unto you mine EVERLASTING COVENANT, even that which was from the beginning.”  In order to better understand what is meant by “the everlasting covenant,” read D. & C., sec. 108: 11: “And for this cause, that men might be partakers of the glories which were to be revealed, the Lord sent forth the fulness of His gospel, His everlasting covenant.”  From these words it can be seen that “the everlasting covenant,” is only another name for “the fulness of the gospel”–the gospel of Christ.  Now the previous quotation states that “the everlasting covenant,” or gospel of Christ, is the same “as that which was from the beginning” or days of Adam.  And it is so well known that the latter day gospel is the same as the apostolic that proof is unnecessary; therefore the latter day gospel and the apostolic are the same as were taught in the days of Adam.

Not only was the gospel of Christ well understood by the righteous in the beginning of the world, but they had the laws of God written down.  In other words, they had scriptures to read long before Moses was born.  Moses had led the Israelites out of Egypt but a few months before the time when “He took THE BOOK OF THE COVENANT, and read in the audience of all the people; and they said, all that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.”–Ex. 24:7. This “book of the covenant” must have preceded his day, for he did not [11] have time to write it in the short time he was a prophet of God, and leader of the Israelites.

“Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied.”–Jude 14th verse.  This “prophecy” would be scripture.

“And Adam stood up in the midst of the congregation, and not withstanding he was bowed down with age, being full of the Holy Ghost” predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation.  These things were ALL WRITTEN in the book of Enoch, and are to be testified of in due time.”–D. & C. 104:29.  This shows that Enoch wrote down some of Adam’s prophecy; and of course he wrote down his own.

There is no person that can read or write without learning to do so.  No one possesses this knowledge naturally.  They had to learn to read and write in Adam’s day, or they could not do so.   Of course the book of Genesis does not inform us of this fact, but it was done, or they could not write the commandments of God.  The Inspired Translation gives us some light on this point.  “And then began these men, [Adam and his sons] to call upon the name of the Lord; and the Lord blessed them; and A BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE was kept in the which was recorded in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God, To WRITE BY THE SPIRIT OF INSPIRATION, and by them THEIR CHILDREN WERE TAUGHT TO READ AND WRITE, having a language which was pure and undefiled.”–Gen. 6: 5-6.  This shows that “their children were taught to read and write,” and the servants of God “wrote by the Spirit of inspiration,” “in the language of Adam.”  Verse twelve of this chapter says: “Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begat Enos, and prophesied in [12] all his days, and taught his son Enos in the ways of the Lord.  Wherefore Enos prophesied also.”  According to this, Seth and Enos prophesied, and as already shown, they “WROTE, by the Spirit of inspiration.”  This shows that they had written scripture at that time, and therefore well understood the laws of God, or gospel of Christ.

It was because Moses had read these ancient scriptures, which had long preceded his day, and had faith in them, “When he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter–choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”–Heb. 11: 24-25.  He was reproached for believing in Christ, a name very common in all the ancient scriptures, but now unknown in the Old Testament.  “Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt.”–Verse 26.

THE ADDED LAW

It has now been shown that the gospel of apostolic days was given to men in the days of Adam. It has also been shown that the laws of God, or gospel of Christ, were written down from the beginning.  It was this code of laws Abraham lived by in his day.  God gave the land of Canaan to him and his seed, “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept, my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”–Gen. 26:5.

After Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, and before they came to Mount Sinai, the Lord gave them manna to eat, and told them not to gather it on the seventh day; but some of them disobeyed.  Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long refuse ye [13] to keep MY COMMANDMENTS, AND MY LAWS?”–EX. 16:28.  It is no wonder the Lord spoke this way to the people, because they had His laws already given, to them, as already shown.  If they were not given to them until they came to mount Sinai, a few months after this, it would be a very harsh way to address the people, to say the least.

When the Israelites came to mount Sinai, the Lord, by the hand of Moses, reiterated the laws of “the everlasting covenant,” or gospel of Christ.  He also gave directions to keep a feast to celebrate the passing over of the destroying angel. When this is well understood, it will be found that God had before this given a law, requiring that when He does any great thing in behalf of His people, it should be kept in memory, as the importance of the event requires.  No doubt it was according to this law, that in individual cases we often find in reading the Old Testament, that when an angel of God appears to a righteous man, it says: “And he built there an altar, and called upon the name of

the Lord.”

Moses taught the gospel code of laws that all righteous men lived by from the days of Adam, and because the people were very rebellious, the Lord gave in connection with them, what is called “the added law.”  The prophet Ezekiel gives us some light on this point, in chapter 20:11-13.  And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. * * They walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.”  Notice, this code of laws was just and reasonable to live by, “which if a man do, he shall even live in them.”

Now read the 24th verse of this chapter. “Because [14] they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my Sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols.”  This shows the people despised the good laws first given them.  This is why, or the “Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not Live.  From this it can be seen that this last set of laws were hard to live by.

Now it should be remembered that it was this last code of laws that are known to all scripture writers as “The law of Moses.”  The book of Doctrine and Covenants says, “The law of Moses is fulfilled in me”–Christ.  The book of Mormon says the same thing.  “But the law which was given unto Moses, hath an end in me”–Christ, Nephi 7:1.  This “added law”–“the law of Moses,” originated with Moses, and therefore it was called after his name. But the original law,–the everlasting covenant,” did not cease in Christ’s time. All righteous men lived by this law, before, and after Moses’ time.  It was taught by the Savior, and by his apostles after Him.

The Apostle Paul understood this subject the same way. He explains it by saying “Abraham had two sons, the one by a bond maid, the other by a free woman, ** which things are an allegory [or illustration]; for these are the two covenants,” or two different codes of laws, Gal. 4:22-31.  Paul here teaches, that as Ishmael was sent away from Abraham’s house, so was this last code of laws and as Isaac was retained, so was the original law.  How plain this is!

WHEN THE ADDED LAW ENDED

This is an important point that is not understood [15] as well as it ought to be, so it will be well to put in a short chapter on this subject St. Paul was speaking of the “added law”–“the law of Moses,” when he said: “It was added because of transgressions TILL THE SEED SHOULD COME to whom the promise was made.”–Gal- 3:19.  You will notice that this law was “added till the seed [Jesus Christ] should come.”  Well, when did Jesus “come?”  Certainly He “came” BEFORE He died.  If you are a man of God, when did you “come” as a man of God? You came before the time of your death, didn’t you?  Certainly you did.  You came as a man of God, when you began to serve God.  Well, then when did Jesus “come” as a minister and prophet of God?  He “came” when He began His public ministry.  So “the law of Moses” “the added law,” ceased when Christ began His public ministry, and not when He died, erroniously believed by many.  Very true, Paul speaks of  “The handwriting of ordinances” being “Nailed to the cross,” Col. 2-14; but certainly he does not contradict himself in regard to when this law ceased.  No person would argue this.

To illustrate the fact that the law of Moses ceased when Jesus began His public ministry, turn to Matt. 19:39.  Here the Saviour admits that the law of Moses granted divorces for various causes.  Then He said, divorces shall be given for no cause but “adultery.”  This shows that the “added law” was at that time a thing of the past.

The Prophet Joseph agrees with the Apostle Paul on this important point.  He said, “The law of carnal commandments, [the law of Moses], which the Lord in His wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron, among the children of Israel till John,”–D. & C. 83:4.  Read the whole quota- [16] tion and you will see that the “John” spoken of, was John the Baptist.  Now it is well known that he began his ministry a little before Jesus did, and died shortly after the Saviour began His.  So this harmonizes with what has already been shown, that the law of Moses was only kept up, in the land of Canaan, till Jesus “came .”  So the laws Jesus taught belonged to the original gospel.

It is plain to be seen, that the “added law” was kept up on this continent of America for about three and a half years after it ceased in Canaan, for the good reason, that Jesus did not “come” here, until after His death and resurrection in the land of Canaan.

NO CHANGE AT DEATH OF CHRIST

If there is anything taught in the Old or New Testaments, that is contrary to a man’s belief, it is a common thing for him to say, “it was done away with when Christ was crucified.”  Others say, “It was changed after the Saviour was put to death.”  Indeed, so common are these expressions now, that nearly every one uses them.  Very often what one man says, “was done away with” another says it was not.  Then the second man would “do away with” what the first retained, and so on.  Many now say, “Jesus lived by the old law, but as soon as He died, it was done away with.”  Yet many of His teachings are believed in by all Christian people; while other things He taught, the majority of them unite in saying, were discontinued.  For instance: on one occasion the Saviour said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and [15] learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”–Matt. I 1:28-30.  Everybody admits these words are in full force now, as well as when first spoken.  But when He cleansed a leper, and told him to “Go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and OFFER THE GIFT THAT MOSES COMMANDED, for a testimony unto them,” Matthew 8:4, nearly every one says, “this was done away with when Christ died.”  Now the question arises, why should one of the plain teachings of Christ be kept up, and the other “done away with?”

Again: the Saviour taught, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets”–Matt- 7:12.  He also spoke these words: “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee: leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother and then come and offer thy gift,”–Matt. 5:23-24.  When these words were spoken, there was a temple in Jerusalem, and an altar in that temple.  Whatever this law was that is referred to here, it required that if a man had anything against the person making the offering, the one making the offering was to go and be “first reconciled to thy brother,” then he could “come and offer his gift.”  Now this quotation, and the one before it, is from what is called, “Christ’s sermon on the mount,” yet the first is universally upheld today, while the second is equally as well said to be “done away with,” by the most of people.  Why should this be?

On one occasion Jesus “Went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath day.”  While there, He asked the question, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?”–Luke [16] 14:1-3. Everybody that is able to read the Bible is willing to admit that it was the seventh day of the week when this occurred.  Jesus kept the seventh day of the week for the Sabbath; and if He was asked in regard to this subject, He would teach in this manner.  But now the great majority of those that are called Christian people say, “the Sabbath was changed from the last to the first day of the week, as soon as Christ died.”  Others say, “it was done away with entirely when the Saviour was put to death.”  But when that same Saviour, who taught and upheld the seventh day for the Sabbath, spoke these words, “Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” the most of people say and teach that this latter statement is in full force now, but his teachings and example on the other question “was done away with,” or, “changed when He died.”  0 when will men cease to twist the Bible to make it fit their creeds!

One of the last ministerial acts of Jesus, before He was put to death, was to keep the feast of the Passover.  “And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat.”–Luke22:7-15; see also Matt. 26:17-21.  After Jesus and the apostles had eaten of the Passover, He administered the sacrament to them.  Luke 22: 17-20.  This is also recorded in Matt. 26:26-29.  This is the first time in the Bible, as it is found today, where it is plain to be seen that the Lord’s supper was kept, while the Passover is taught here, and in several places in the Old Testament.  Yet all agree that the sacrament must be kept up; and nearly all agree that the Passover was discontinued, as soon as the Saviour was crucified.  Now why should this be? Why should men drop one of [17] Jesus’ acts, and keep up the other?  How can the honest seeker for truth tell which of our Saviour’s teachings and examples are to be kept up after His death, and which were not?  You may ask the ablest doctor of divinity to settle this question for you, and he will tell you of some other learned doctors’ opinion, and conclude by telling you “everything ‘was done away with,’ only what his own church adheres to.”  Then go to another doctor of divinity that belongs to another church, and he will retain some of what the first doctor rejected, and “do away with” everything, only what his church endorses.  Since this is the case, what will an honest man do?  Is there no way to settle this important question, without being “tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine”?  Yes!  thank the Lord, there is.  EVERY LAW THAT JESUS TAUGHT AND UPHELD DURING HIS MINISTRY, was kept up by his true followers in apostolic days.  If anything was to be discontinued He taught in regard to it.  The laws Jesus taught and lived by, belonged to the laws of “the everlasting covenant.”

We will now let the Bible speak for itself, for the truth of this important statement.  Jesus always taught in harmony with the scriptures that preceded His day.  When He found men teaching contrary to the already written word of God, he forbade them.  No less than eight times in the 23rd chapter of Matthew, he pronounced woes upon the Scribes and Pharisees, because they taught contrary to the scriptures, and He didn’t wait till He died to do so either.

One of the last things the resurrected Saviour said to His disciples was, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, *** teaching them TO OBSERVE ALL, THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE [18] COMMANDED YOU.”–Matt. 28:19-20.  Now when did He “command” the disciples what to “teach”?  It was during His ministry this was done.  He didn’t wait till he died to do so, So this quotation shows plainly that all of Jesus’ “teachings” were to be kept up.

The Saviour taught many great truths during His ministry, and finished up one of His sermons by saying, “Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which  buildeth his house upon a rock.”–Matt. 7:24.  These words show that all of the Saviour’s teachings were to be kept up, and a man that does, and teaches in this manner, is called “a wise man.”  But when we take a look at what they call Christianity today, it looks as if there are thousands of “Foolish men, which build their houses upon sand,” for they say, “Christ lived by the old law, and when He died, it was all done away with.”

Our Saviour promised the Holy Ghost to His followers.  “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you ALL THINGS, and bring all things to your remembrance, WHATSOEVER I HAVE SAID UNTO YOU,” John 14:26.  You will notice, it makes no difference whether it was before He was crucified, or after; His followers were required to teach, “whatsoever I have said unto you,” and the Holy Ghost is to “bring all things to your remembrance.”  These words are very plain.  Yet astonishing as it may be, men, out of five hundred different churches, each, with the Bible for their guide, claiming to be guided by the Holy Ghost, teach that “Christ lived by the old law, and when lie died, it was all changed,” or “done away with.”  When men contradict the word of God in this way, is it any won- [19] der that many intelligent men reject religion, and turn to infidelity?

It was Jesus that, spoke these words.  “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.  Jesus always taught in harmony with the scriptures that preceded His day, and here we are informed, “the word that I HAVE SPOKEN,” all of it, will remain in force and by it we shall be “judged in the last day.”  This doesn’t look, as, if “it was all done away with when Christ died.”

Now, dear reader, these four last quotations from the New Testament, should show you plainly, that all of the Saviour’s teachings were to be kept up.  There was no “doing away with” any part of them.  Now since all of Jesus’ teachings are to be kept up, are you not able to see the truth of the statement in the preceding chapter, that the law of Moses–“the added law”–ceased when Christ began His ministry; when He “came?”  Why can’t you see the point?   If the law of Moses was in force during Christ’s ministry, as commonly believed, He, would teach it, and if He taught it, it would be still in force, because all of Jesus’ teachings are to be kept tip, as just shown.

It has now been clearly shown that all the teachings of Jesus Christ are to be kept up; that is, the laws He lived by during His ministry so there was no change in “the everlasting covenant” when Christ was crucified.  But, says one, they offered sacrifices before Christ’s ministry, and I thought they were discontinued by His followers.  All sacrifices in connection with the law of Moses, the “added” law, were discontinued when Jesus BEGAN His ministry.  But there were sacrifices offered [20] in the days of Adam.  If any of them were to be discontinued when Christ was crucified, then it was taught from the days of Adam that they would cease at that time, so it would really be no change in the gospel.  This point will be made clear in due time, when some more of the lost scriptures are restored.

One thing is true, there were memorial sacrifices kept up by the followers of Christ.  Jesus gave instructions to His apostles to keep the feast of the Passover, Matt. 26:17-23–a MEMORIAL sacrifice.  And the last thing He told them, recorded by this apostle, Matt. 28: 19-20, was to go and “teach all nations, * * to observe ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU,” and we have good reason to believe, that the apostles carried out the Saviour’s request, in this case, as well as in all the rest.

Now read Matt. 26:13-25, I. Tran.  This, like the common Bible, in this chapter, gives an account of Jesus sending His disciples to prepare the Passover and eating it with them, and also of partaking of the sacrament with them.  Then Jesus said, “And I give unto you a COMMANDMENT, that YE SHALL OBSERVE TO DO THE THINGS WHICH YE HAVE SEEN ME Do, and bear record of me even unto the end.”–Matt. 26: 25,  I. Tran.  Here is positive proof that the disciples of Christ were “commanded” to keep up the feast of the Passover, just as much as they were “commanded” to keep up the sacrament.  Not only this, but it includes all the teachings of Jesus –“ye shall observe to do the things which ye have seen me do.”

When Jesus kept the feast of the Passover, He did so in the house of a friend, and not with the multitudes then in Jerusalem for the same purpose.  In a similar manner, “When the day of Pentecost [21] was fully come, they, [Christ’s followers,] were all with one accord in one place.”–Acts 2:1.  No doubt, when this is fully understood, it will be found that they gathered there to keep that feast, and while there, the Holy Ghost came upon them.

Here is further evidence that the feast of Pentecost was kept up after Christ.  “For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.”–Acts 20:16.  This shows that Paul was anxious “to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost,” but does not tell why.  But a few years before this, he bid his brethren at Ephesus farewell, and said, “I must by all means KEEP THIS FEAST that cometh in Jerusalem, “–Acts 18:21.  Most likely it was the feast of Pentecost that Paul said, “I must by all means keep.”  Now if you don’t believe there were sacrifices offered in connection with this feast, just read Lev. 23: 15:21.

Now turn to Acts 21:15-27.  There it is mentioned that St. Paul went up to Jerusalem, and talked with James and some other leading men of the church.  It was falsely reported that he taught the believing Jews “To forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.”  In order to convince the Jews that this was a false report, the Apostle James said to Paul, “Do therefore this that we say to thee:  we have four men which have a vow on them; them take, and PURIFY THYSELF WITH THEM, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: * * then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them, entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until [22] that AN OFFERING SHOULD BE OFFERED FOR EVERYONE OF THEM.” It is not hard to see by this quotation, that the “offering” that “should be offered for every one of them,” was the offering of a sacrifice, because St. Paul and “the four men which have a vow on them,” went into the temple “to accomplish the days of purification.”  The law that the leaders of the apostolic church commanded to be kept up on that occasion, resembles the Nazarite law of Num. 6th chapter, more than any other law now found in the Old Testament.

But St. Paul and the “four men” just referred to were not the only persons that kept up this law it is evident that Priscilla did also, for she “Shore his head in Cenchrea, for he had a vow.”–Acts, 18:18.  With all this evidence from the New Testament that memorial sacrifices were kept up by the apostles, it is short sighted of any one to say they were not.

Why, there are some men so fond of saying, “everything was done away with when Christ died,” that they actually teach that the ten commandments were “done away with” at that time.  We will let the Bible speak for itself on this point.  At one time a man who no doubt had already obeyed the first principles of the gospel, and wished to know what further was required of him, came and asked Jesus, “What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”  Jesus answered, “If thou wilt enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS.  He saith unto him, which? Jesus saith, Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not, steal,” etc., repeating the commandments of Ex. 20th, chapter.  See Matt. 19:16-20.  It has just been shown that all Jesus taught during His ministry is still in force, therefore these command- [23] ments were still an important part of the law of God, as it was taught in apostolic days. Bear in mind, the Saviour said, to keep the commandments, “if thou wouldst enter into life.”

At another time the Saviour taught the two great laws; our duty to God, and to our fellowmen.  Then He said, “On these two hang all the law and the prophets.”–Matt. 22: 36-40.  It does not require a great amount of skill to be able to see that the ten commandments are a subdivision of the two great laws quoted in this place, by the Saviour, and “the law and the prophets” are a subdivision of the ten, divided, and subdivided, to meet every emergency of our duty toward God, and to our fellowmen.  If the ten commandments are “done away with,” so are “the law and the prophets”–the whole Bible.

The Apostle Paul was well aware that the ten commandments were in force in his day, for he quoted several of them in Rom. 13:8-11.  The Apostle James also taught them in his epistle, Jas. 2:8-10.

If you will read in the Book of Mormon, large edition, Mosiah 7:83-93, you will find the decalogue recorded there, word for word, with the way it is recorded in Ex. 20th chapter.  This being the case, it is to be hoped that no person who believes in the divine origin of that book, will be numbered among those that teach that the ten commandments “were done away in Christ.”

Let us now, in a limited manner, take a look at the teachings of the apostles, in regard to the subject before us, that there was no change in “the everlasting covenant,” or gospel of Christ, after the Saviour died.  We are informed in Acts 26.14 that Paul said, “I confess unto thee, that after the way which [24] they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, BELIEVING ALL THINGS written in THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS.”  Now Paul was a bold and fearless man in preaching what he believed.  Therefore he taught “all things written in the law and the prophets.”  But right here it should be remembered that in other places he makes the exception of the “added” law

The Apostle John wrote these words: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.”–2 John, verse 9.  There is no prophet that ever lived on the earth, that has as good a right to be acknowledged the author of the doctrine of Christ,” as Christ himself.  So, according to this quotation, a man must be led in his religious belief by the laws Jesus taught and obeyed, or, as the Apostle John says, “he hath not God.”  This text permits of no doing away with any part of Jesus’ teachings.

After the Saviour left the earth, the Apostle Peter was preaching in Jerusalem, and he quoted from Deut. 18:18.  The same words are also recorded in Acts 3:22: “A prophet [Jesus Christ] 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.”  The next verse says: “And it shall come to pass that every soul that will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.”  These verses show conclusively that Peter preached that the teachings of Jesus must be kept up, and desolation is going to come on all, in the end of this world, that teach and act to the contrary It has now been clearly shown that there was no change in the everlasting covenant,” or gospel of Christ, when the Saviour died, so we will begin another chapter.

HARMONY OF DISPENSATIONS

In the second chapter of this work it was shown that the gospel of Christ was given in full particulars, in the days of Adam; and that the commandments of God were written down.  So it is easy to see that righteous men taught the gospel, or “the everlasting covenant,” to their children, and to others also.  Noah and his family were saved from the flood, because they were righteous people.  The Lord saw fit, to cause the descendants of Noah to be scattered in various parts of the earth, and they brought a knowledge of the true gospel with them wherever they went.  This accounts for “Melchisedec, king of Salem,” a righteous king over a good people, who lived in the land that was afterwards called the land of Canaan; while Abraham was brought up to be a man of God, in a distant land. Terah, the father of Abraham, became a wicked man in his older days, see Josh. 24:2, but Abraham still continued to be faithful.  It was because he was righteous. and his father wicked, that God called him from his father’s house, “Unto a land that I will show thee,” and made him the promise: “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”–Gen. 12:1-3.  Abraham went to the land the Lord directed him to, and there he met Melchisedec.  The Lord knew that the descendants of the people over whom Melchisedec was king, would, in the course of time, fall away from the knowledge of the gospel, and go into wickedness.  This is the reason the Lord gave this same land, the land of Canaan, to the descendant of Abraham.

The Lord spoke these words unto him, “I  will establish MY COVENANT between me and thee, and [26] THY SEED AFTER THEE IN THEIR GENERATION FOR AN EVERLASTING COVENANT, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.  And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land Of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”–Gen. 17:7-8.  This shows that God made “a covenant” with Abraham, and that He wanted it to be renewed from time to time “in his seed after him, in their generations.”  But the descendants of the noted patriarch, were not always willing to “covenant”–agree to keep the commandments of God.  For this reason, it was not renewed, “in their generations,” near as often as it should have been.

Abraham was still faithful, and God said to him, by an angel, “I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand upon the sea shore, * * and in thy seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed”–blessed by the gospel he obeyed, Gen. 22: 17:18.

This promise was renewed to Isaac, for the Lord said to him, “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, for unto thee and unto thy seed I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham, thy father, and I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven.”  The reason God made this promise was “Because that ABRAHAM OBEYED MY voice and kept my charge, MY COMMANDMENTS, my statutes, and MY LAWS,”–“Gen. 26:3-5.  This shows that both Abraham, and Isaac were very righteous men, but full particulars of this “covenant”, are not given here.

Now read Psalms 105:8-13, and you will get some more light on the covenant that was made With the great ancestor of the Israelites.”  He, [27] [God] hath remembered his covenant forever, THE WORD, [or laws of God] which HE COMMANDED TO A THOUSAND GENERATIONS, WHICH COVENANT HE MADE WITH ABRAHAM, and His oath unto Isaac; and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel, [in the days of Moses] for an everlasting covenant, saying, unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance, when they were but a few men in number; yea, very few.”  From these words it can be seen that “the word” of God, or gospel of Christ, that all righteous men from the beginning of the world lived by, was from the time of Abraham, “commanded to a thousand generations.” We also learn by this quotation, that “the covenant” God made with Abraham, was renewed to Isaac, and also to Jacob, and “to Israel,” in the days of Moses, and it was called “an everlasting covenant,” and “the land of Canaan” was given to Israel for the same length of time.  But we find that the Israelites were not always permitted to live in that land.  This shows that full particulars of this covenant are not given in all that is quoted so far.

First Chron. 16:15, reads almost word for word with the 105th Psalm, so this is additional evidence that the covenant God made with Abraham, the gospel laws he lived by, and the inheritance, were all to last “for a thousand generations.”  Now, Matt. 1:17 tells us that there were forty-two generations “from Abraham to Christ,” a period of about 2000 years.  So from that time until now, there would not be any more than enough to make up about a hundred generations.  From this it can be seen that the laws Abraham “obeyed” will be in force until the end of this world, and the next; yes, and after that. [28]

We are told in Lev. 26:40-45, that if the Israelites would confess their iniquity unto the Lord) and repent of their sins, “Then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac: and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember: and I will remember the land.” This shows that if the people would repent of their sins, “then God will remember His covenant” with their ancestors.

Now read Dent- 4:25-31, and particularly the two last verses. “When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, [the curses for breaking God’s law], even in the latter days, and shalt be obedient to His voice; for the Lord thy God is a merciful God; He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which He sware unto them.”  Ah!  here is the key by which to understand the conditions of this important covenant.  It is this: “When thou art in tribulation,” the Israelites, and the curses come upon them for breaking the laws of “the everlasting covenant,” and they repent, at any time, “even in the latter days, and shalt be obedient to His voice,” then “the Lord will not forget the covenant of thy fathers which He sware unto them.”  Then what will the Lord do for them?  Restore them to “the lot of their inheritance” the land of Canaan.

By observing closely all the quotations in connection with this covenant, it can be seen that the original covenant was in substance as follows:  God gave the land of Canaan unto Abraham because he obeyed the laws He gave him. His descendants after him were given the same inheritance, on conditions that they would obey the same laws. But if they would not, they would be oppressed by the [29] neighboring nations, carried into captivity, or scattered among all nations. When in this tribulation, if they would then repent, and obey the law God gave for their salvation, He would, at any time, “remember His covenant,” and restore them to “the lot of their inheritance.”  This agreement is to be renewed from time to time, “in thy seed, in their generations.”  The laws and conditions of this covenant were “commanded to a thousand generations.”

The original covenant made with Abraham was written in the pre-Mosaic scriptures, and the people were familiar with its conditions.  This is why Moses did not re-write it, but referred to it.–Deut. 7:8-9.  These scriptures have been lost to us, but the time is coming when they will be restored to the church of Christ.

It has now been shown that the land of Canaan was given to Abraham for an everlasting possession, because he obeyed the laws of God, and that his descendants after him were given the same inheritance, on condition that they would obey the same laws, and that the laws of God were “commanded to a thousand generations.”  After the Israelites were in Egypt a long time, they got careless about keeping the laws of God their progenitors had been so faithful in observing.  This is part of the reason why they got into bondage. in Egypt.  “And the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.”–Ex. 2:2-3.  This shows they repented of their sins and “cried” unto God for deliverance.  Now one of the conditions of the covenant God made with Abraham concerning his seed was this: at any time, “When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee [the [30] curses for breaking the laws of God] * * * if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient to His voice, * * * He will not forsake thee, nor destroy thee, nor forget THE COVENANT OF THY FATHERS which he swore unto them.”–Deut. 4:30.  Well in this case they “repented,” and “turned to the Lord their God.”  Did the Lord do as He agreed, and remember “the covenant of their fathers”?  Yea.  “And God heard their groanings, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.”–Ex. 2.24.  Then what did He do?  He delivered them out of bondage by the hand of Moses.  So, after all, the deliverance of the Israelites out of Egypt, was only carrying out the conditions of the covenant God made with Abraham about five hundred years before this.

When Moses arrived with the people at Sinai, he went up the mount to talk with God.  The Lord said to him, “Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and KEEP MY COVENANT;” the Lord told Moses, He would make of them a great people.  Moses came down and told the people what He said, “And all the people answered together and said, all that the Lord hath spoken we will do,”–Ex. 19:38.  You see the Lord reminded them about “keeping my covenant” that was made long before this.  The people agreed to do this, then a bargain was made.  When the people did this, it was only carrying out the conditions of the “covenant” made with Abraham: “And I will establish my covenant between ME AND THEE and THY SEED AFTER THEM IN THEIR GENERATIONS for AN EVERLASTING COVENANT.”-Gen 17:7

Evidently at another time, shortly after this, Moses and others with him, went up mount Sinai.  He came down and told the people what the Lord [31] required of them.  They answered and said, “All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.”–EX. 24: 1 7.  This was the second time the Israelites agreed to keep the laws of “the everlasting covenant.”  The Lord, by the hand of Moses, explained to the people the laws of “the everlasting covenant,” together with the law to keep the feast of the Passover.  To keep this feast was the only law of much importance that was not given before this.  And because the Israelites were very rebellious, the “law of carnal commandments,” or “the law of Moses,” was afterwards “added” to the original code of laws, to last until Christ CAME.

If you will turn to Deut. 7:8,9, you will see that Moses was well aware of the fact that the gospel code of laws–“the everlasting covenant”–“was commanded to a thousand generations,” from the time of Abraham.  So Moses, a prophet of God, taught the gospel laws that preceded his day.

Moses knew well that the Israelites would not long obey the commandments given them.  He knew that they would be in bondage and captivity many times, and in the latter part of the world’s history they would be scattered among all nations.  So he prophesied, “Even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient to His voice, * * He will not forsake thee, * nor forget the covenant of thy fathers.”–Deut. 4:30-31.  Here we are informed, “even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God,” He will build them up according to the conditions of “the covenant,” which was made in days of old.

The blessings that would follow the Israelites if they kept the commandments of God, and the curses that would follow them if they did not keep [32] them, are recorded in Dent. 28 ch. and Lev. 26 ch.  Now turn to Deut. 30 ch. “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come to pass, the blessing and the curse, * * and thou shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey His voice according to ALL THAT I COMMAND THEE THIS DAY, * * then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.”–Verses I3.  Now if you are acquainted with the past history of the Israelites, you are aware of the fact that the blessings and cursings that have come upon them, has been LITERALLY fulfilled.  Now when Moses, who lived more than 3,000 years ago, foretold the future history of the Israelites, so accurately, and you know it has been fulfilled, and you know there are Israelites, and that they are scattered among all nations, just as that great man of God said they would be, now can you not believe him when he said, when they got willing to “obey the voice of God according to all that I [Moses] commanded thee this day,” then the Lord will “gather them from all nations whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee”?  Certainly you can believe this.  So the Israelites in the latter days are to be gathered to their own land, and built up in righteousness, “as at the first,” Jer. 33: 7, when they are willing to obey what God commanded them by His servant Moses.

Now, dear reader, there is but one gospel for the salvation of Jews, as well as Gentiles.  By it we are to be all “Grafted into the tame olive tree.”  See Rom. 11th chap.  It is no wonder that the Israelites are to be gathered from all nations, and become a great people in their own land, when they [33] repent and “obey all I [Moses] command thee this -day,” for the good reason, he taught the laws of “the everlasting covenant,” which “were commanded to a thousand generations.”

It is known to many, that it will not be long until the scattered Hebrews will again be built up in righteousness, in their own land.  Nearly all the prophets of the Bible have predicted this.  When they are brought to a true understanding of the gospel of Christ, or laws of God, they will covenant to keep them, as they did in the days of Moses.  It was this event Ezekiel had in view, when he prophesied the remarkable event found in Ez. 20:33-38.  A part of this quotation is this: “And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people and there will I plead with YOU FACE TO FACE.  Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God.  And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I WILL BRING YOU INTO THE BOND OF THE COVENANT.”  This prophecy is yet unfulfilled.  When it takes place, God will plead with the people, “face to face, like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt,” or in the days of Moses.  According to this prophecy, the Lord will yet display His power in as marked a degree, as in days of old.  When this is being done, the people will be brought “into the bond of THE COVENANT.”  What “covenant” are the Israelites to be brought into?  “The covenant.”  Then this is a definite “covenant,” one that existed before; that is, the conditions of it.  It is nothing more or less, than the covenant that concerned Abraham and his descendants, which is to be in force “for a thousand generations.”  This shows that Ezek [34] iel endorsed the teachings of Moses, in regard to how the Israelites will become righteous in the latter days.

Moses well knew that in the latter days the people would be “brought into the bond of the covenant,” for he said, “Even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, * * He will not forget THE COVENANT OF THY FATHERS.”- -Deut. 4:30.

Now from the fact that the Israelites, in the latter days, are to be “brought into the bond of the covenant,” the conditions of which existed so long ago, and are going to obey “all I [Moses] command thee this day,” shows that the Mosaic dispensation, and the latter day dispensation, WHEN IT IS ALL RESTORED, are the same.  The latter day gospel is also the same as the apostolic, in fulfillment of the words of Jesus.  “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come,”–Matt. 24:14.  The apostlic gospel is the same as was taught in “the beginning;” this has already been shown in a limited manner.  Therefore the gospel in “the beginning,” the Mosaic, the apostolic, and the latter day dispensation, are all in harmony with each other, and are the same.  So it is easy to see that prophets of God teach alike, because God gives them the same laws to teach.

It has now been shown, from the Bible, that God’s law for the salvation of men is the same all through the world’s history.  We will now, in a limited manner, show you that the Book of Mormon teaches the same thing.  There is a beautiful illustration of the house of Israel given in the Book of Mormon, book of Jacob, 3rd chap.  The house of Israel is here compared to “a tame olive tree.”  Jacob is here quoting from the prophet Zenos, who [35] lived previous to the Babylonish captivity.  This chapter is highly interesting and profitable reading to every lover of truth.  One thing to be learned from it is, they were well skilled in the art of grafting fruit trees, in ancient days.  And as there was little or no lost scripture in Paul’s day, it is likely he had access to the book of Zenos, and from that got to know of “the tame olive tree,” and “the wild olive tree,” which he speaks of in Rom., 11th chap.

This chapter, in the book of Jacob, is too long to be given in full.  The following are the words of it in substance:  The Lord of a vineyard planted “A tame olive tree in his vineyard.  It grew, waxed old, and began to decay.”  “The Lord of the vineyard, and his servant,” dug about it, and it put forth “Young and tender branches” but the top of the tree continued to die.  Then they took “the branches of the wild olive tree, and grafted them in,” and threw away the dead branches of the original tree.  The Lord of the vineyard also took “the young and tender branches” of “the tame olive tree,” and hid them in “the nethermost parts of the vineyard, some in one, and some in another place.”  The Lord of the vineyard, and his servant, “worked diligently” to take good care of “the tame olive tree,” and all its “branches,” and after a while they went to look at “the fruit.”  They found good fruit on “the mother tree,” and on all “the branches,” that were “hid in the nethermost parts of the vineyard,” except one.  A part of the fruit of one branch” was corrupt.  After a long time, “the Lord of the vineyard, and his servant” went again to look at the trees.  They found them all “bearing bad fruit.”  Then “the Lord of the vineyard said to his servant,” we will graft in “the branches” [36] again, into “the mother tree,” and “they shall be one.”  “The Lord of the vineyard, and his servant,” labored diligently, and felt to rejoice, because they got “Good fruit, even LIKE AS IT WAS IN THE BEGINNING, * * and my vineyard will I cause to be burned with fire.”

Now for the explanation. “The vineyard” is the world, and “the tame olive tree” represents the house of Israel, while “the wild olive tree” means the Gentiles.  “The young and tender branches” taken from “the mother tree” means that portions of the house of Israel were planted in other places, besides the land of Canaan.  We are told they were hid in “The nethermost parts of the vineyard, some in one, and some in another place.”  Now “the wild olive tree” was grafted into “the tame olive tree.”  This means that the righteous Gentiles were joined by the gospel, with righteous Israelites, in apostolic days.  See Rom. 11th chap.  We are told in this illustration that “the Lord of the vineyard, and his servant,” grafted in “the young and tender branches,” into “the mother tree,” and “thus will I bring them together again, * * and they shall be one.”  This means that the scattered Israelites, and their descendants, wherever found, are to be grafted into “the mother tree,” and “pruned” by the same gospel, and “they shall be one,” before “the vineyard is to be burned with fire.”–the end of the world.

You will notice all through this illustration, that it was “the Lord of the vineyard, and his servant,” that did all the “pruning.”  This means that it IS THE SAME CODE OF LAWS, the same gospel, by which the Israelites are to become righteous, all through the world’s history.  “The Lord of the vineyard,” after pruning the trees for the last time, [37] rejoiced because he got good fruit, righteous men, like “As IT WAS IN THE BEGINNING.”  We have now found that the Book of Mormon, like the Bible, teaches that God’s laws for the salvation of men, are the same all through the world’s history.  This is a truth in favor of the divine origin of that book, that can never be erased.

Now, it will be well to remark, that the Bible is the foundation scripture–the scripture produced where “the mother tree” grew:  while the Book of Mormon is the “branch” scripture–the scripture produced by one of “the young and tender branches,” that was hid in “the nethermost part of the vineyard.”  Now, as all “the branches” are to be “grafted” into “the mother tree,” so are the “branch” scriptures–the Book of Mormon, and other scriptures that are yet to come, are to be “grafted” into “the mother” scripture–the Bible.  Now don’t forget this.

Let us now take a look at the teachings of the great modern prophet, and you will find that they agree with what has already been shown.  The founder of “The dispensation of the fulness of times,” (Eph. 1:9-10) wrote these words:  “And for this cause, that men might be made partakers of the glories which were to be revealed, the Lord sent forth the fulness of His gospel, HIS EVERLASTING COVENANT,” D. & C. Sec. 108:11.  Now read D. & C. 49: 2, and you will find what “the everlasting covenant” is.  “Wherefore I say unto you that I have sent unto you mine EVERLASTING COVENANT, even that which WAS FROM THE BEGINNING.”  This is plain, “the everlasting covenant,” is the same gospel that “was from the beginning.”  So the gospel that the Lord by the prophet Joseph, has introduced, is a REPRODUC- [38] TION of the same gospel that was had in “the beginning” of the world. And every L. D. Saint knows that it is the same as the apostolic.

It is no wonder that the Lord, by His prophet, taught the laws of “the everlasting covenant,” for long ago they had been “commanded to a thousand generations,” as already shown.  Although men had forgotten this, the Lord had not.

So the prophet Joseph has introduced the gospel of Christ, and we know that it is the gospel of Christ, and that only few are willing to obey it.  Now read Isa. 24:1-6, and see the desolation predicted by him.  The reason this calamity is coming) is because “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof:  because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the EVERLASTING COVENANT.”  So Isaiah knew that “the everlasting covenant” would be in the earth, in the latter days, and but “few men” would obey it, and Joseph, the prophet, tells us that God, by him, has given it.  How nicely the words of prophets of God agree!

In further proof that this dispensation agrees in doctrine with all the former ones, read D. & C. 42: 16.  “Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received which have been given unto thee in my scripture, for a law, to be MY LAW, to GOVERN MY CHURCH.”  This shows that Joseph taught in harmony with the prophets throughout Bible times.  If he had not done so, he would be a false prophet.

Now read some more of his teachings.  “For it is necessary in the ushering in of this dispensation of the fulness of times; which dispensation is now BEGINNING To USHER IN, that a whole, and complete, and perfect union, and WELDING TOGETHER OF DISPENSATIONS, and keys, and powers, and glor- [39] ies should take place, and BE REVEALED FROM THE DAYS OF ADAM EVEN UNTO THE PRESENT TIME.”–D. C. 110: 18.  It is well known that you cannot “weld” iron with wood, or wood with stone.  But two pieces of iron will weld together, because they are the same kind of material.  It is evident that the modern prophet had this fact in his mind, when he spoke of the welding of the dispensations.  He said plainly, “IT IS NECESSARY in this dispensation * * * that a whole, and complete, and perfect union, and WELDING TOGETHER OF DISPENSATIONS,             * * should take place , and BE REVEALED, from the days of Adam.”  Now that all the dispensations, “from the days of Adam,” are to be “welded” into one, it shows plain enough that this dispensation is to agree in doctrine, with all the former ones.  Right here it should be remembered that all parts of this latter day gospel were not restored when the prophet Joseph died.  He said it was just “beginning to usher in,” and that much of it was yet “to be revealed from the days of Adam, unto the present time.”

Further proof is unnecessary to show that this dispensation is to harmonize with all the former ones.  So prophets of God teach alike, because God gives them the same laws to teach in each dispensation.  So according to the laws of God, a man who is a worthy member of the church in one dispensation would be a worthy member of the church in any of the dispensations.  How can it be otherwise?  There is but one code of laws, that righteous men live by who are now in heaven, and but one code of laws, and one true gospel, to guide us here, to that happy place.  So none of us will get there, without living in righteousness, and in harmony with those that are there ahead of us. [40]

Not only do the different dispensations of the gospel, from the days of Adam, unto the present time, harmonize in their laws, but they had the same priesthood in those different times.  The time is coming when this will be more plain than at present. D. & C. sec. 104: 2 tells us, “But there are two divisions, or grand heads–one is the Melchisedek priesthood, and the other is the Aaronic or Levitical priesthood,” with the officers belonging to each.  Read the whole section, for it gives much information on the subject.  This section tells us that there is in the church a first presidency, a quorum of apostles, seventies, elders, and so on.

Christ sent out a quorum of seventies, but only once, or twice, is there mention of seventies in all the old Testament.  But they had that office in all those ancient times.  The office of apostle is not even mentioned in the first half of the Bible; but they had men holding that office in those times.  Read Acts 15: 4, “And when they, (Paul and Barnabas,) were come to Jerusalem, they were received of THE CHURCH.”  Now read Acts 7:38: “This is he that was in THE CHURCH in the wilderness,” speaking of the days of Moses.  Now if “the church” in the first quotation, reminds you that it was composed of common members, priests, elders, seventies, apostles, and a first presidency, and you know it consisted of all these, then why should it not remind you of the same officers in the latter quotation.  The same words, “the church,” are used by the same writer, St. Luke, in the same book, in each case.

But the Inspired Translation throws some light on this point.  “NOW THIS SAME PRIESTHOOD which was in the beginning, shall be in the end of the world also. Now this prophecy Adam spake, as he [41] was moved upon by the Holy Ghost “–Gen. 6:7,8.  Well, what priesthood is “here in the church now?  The same as in apostolic days; the Melchisedek, and the Aaronic, with the officers belonging to each; that is, there is a first presidency, a quorum of apostles, evangelists, seventies, elders, priests and deacons.  Now if you believe the Insp. Trans. of the Bible, then you must believe they had all these officers in the church, in the days of Adam.  Now from the fact that the priesthood of the true church, in the latter days, is the same as in the days of Adam, is it not easy to see that they would teach the same laws?  We have now found, in a limited manner, that the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants, all teach that God’s laws for the salvation of men, are the same throughout the world’s history.  It has already been noticed, that all parts of this latter day dispensation, have not yet been revealed.  But TRUE PROPHETS of God, and TRUE MINISTERS of God, teach in harmony WITH WHAT GOD HAS ALREADY REVEALED, AND WILL YET REVEAL.  So there is no need of any one being led astray, by any one, who “Teaches for doctrines the commandments of men.”

THE RESTORATION

After apostolic days, apostacy set in to an alarming extent, and in the course of time, the church “Went into the wilderness.”  This is a subject already well understood by all Latter Day Saints, so it is not necessary to quote Bible proof here.  The reformation of 400 years ago did a good work in bringing about religious liberty, and but little in discarding the false doctrines that were palmed off upon the people for truth, during the dark ages. [42]

The restoration of the true gospel in these latter days is the fulfillment of Rev. 14:6 :  “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.”  The great modern prophet built up the church in harmony with the apostolic pattern.  It was organized on the 6th day of April, 1830.  Every person knows that it does not require much skill to find fault with the churches that exist, during your time, but to build up a church in harmony with the apostolic, and to teach all truth and no error, requires a great amount of skill.  This the founder of the latter day dispensation has succeeded in doing.  Not because he was smarter than other men, for naturally he was not, but because he was guided in all his ministerial acts by revelation from God.

This true, latter day gospel, like the apostolic, is preached free of charge to the people, and there are a good many who won’t have it, even at that price.

The Apostle Peter evidently knew that there would be a great apostacy from the true faith, and that it would be restored again in the latter days; for he said when speaking of Christ having gone to heaven:  “Whom the heavens must receive until THE TIMES OF THE RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”–Acts 3:2 1.  “The restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began;” means a restoration of what they have “spoken,” or in other words, the lost scriptures.  It also includes a restoration of what they have predicted. [43] The restoration of “The everlasting covenant,” lost scriptures, the gathering of the Israelites to the land of Canaan, memorial sacrifices, the coming of Christ, and all the resurrected saints and translated prophets to live on this earth again, the restoration of this earth to be as it was in the early days of Adam, and the final redemption of man, are among the important events to take place in this, “The dispensation of the fulness of times.”

“The everlasting covenant” has already been restored, but not in all its parts, but the restoration of the lost scriptures has only just begun.  The following are the names of some of the lost books of the Bible:  “The Book of the Covenant,” “The Book of the Wars of the Lord,” “The Book of Jasher,” “The Book of Nathan the Prophet,” “The Book of Gad the Seer,” “The Book of Shemaiah the Prophet,” “The Prophecy of Ahijah,” “The Visions of Iddo the Seer,” “The Book of Jehu,” Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians,” 1 Cor, 5:9, “Paul’s Epistle to the Laodiceans,” Col. 4:16, and the first epistle of Jude, called “The Common Salvation,” Jude 3rd verse, and “The Prophecy of ‘Enoch,” Jude 14th verse.  Besides this, there has been much scripture of which the Bible gives us no account.  We are not informed that Jesus ever wrote any scripture, yet everyone will admit that He was as likely to, as His followers were.  Then think of the great prophets Elijah and Elisha, and also Melchisedek, they, and many others, wrote scripture, and testified of the coming of Christ.  See St. John 10:8, Inspired Translation.

From the book of D. & C. we learn, “The fu1ness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed,” sec. 90: 1.

“And Adam stood up in the midst of the congregation, and * * predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation.  These things were all written in the book of Enoch, and ARE TO BE TESTIFIED OF IN DUE TIME.”–D. & C. 104: 29.

Because there is so much lost scripture, is a part of the reason why there is so much religious confusion at the present time.  But God is going to leave all without excuse in this matter, and restore all the lost scriptures to His people, during the “times of the restitution.”  From the Book of Mormon we learn that the islands of the sea have been peopled by Israelites.  See 1 Nephi 7:4, and 2 Nephi 7: 3.  Now read these words:  “For I [God] command all men, both in the East and in the West, in the North, and in the South, and in the islands of the sea, that they should write the words which I shall speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written shall I judge the world, and it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel. * * And it shall come to pass that My people which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the land of their possessions; and MY WORD ALSO SHALL BE GATHERED IN 0NE.”–2 Nephi 12:8-12.  Do you believe that “the house of Israel shall be gathered home unto the land of their possessions”?  “Yes,” answers every Latter Day Saint. Well, the same prophet that said that, also said, “My word also shall be gathered in one.”  This means that all the lost scriptures are to be restored–“gathered in one.”

It was this same important event that the great [45] modern prophet had in view when he wrote, “This dispensation is now beginning to usher in, and that a whole and complete, and perfect union, and WELDING TOGETHER of dispensations, * * should take place, and BE REVEALED FROM THE DAYS OF ADAM EVEN UNTO THE PRESENT TIME.”–D. & C. 110: 18.  The way the most of this will “be revealed from the days of Adam even unto the present time,” is by restoring the lost scriptures that belong to each dispensation.

The “sealed book,” which has been lost to mankind for many hundred years, and in these latter days has been restored to the church of Christ, in fulfillment of Isa. 29th chapter, and is now called the Book of Mormon, is only the forerunner of all the rest of the lost scriptures.  They will all yet follow during “the times of the restitution of all things.”

Now, dear reader, since God is yet going to “gather in one,” all the lost scriptures, to form one grand code of laws, to govern His people in these latter days, are you not able to see that this dispensation harmonizes with all that preceded it?  Also, are you not able to see that prophets of God will not teach to suit their own notions?  They teach alike, because God gives them the same code of laws to teach.

Memorial sacrifices are one of the many things predicted by the prophet to be restored during “the times of the restitution.”  The time is drawing near when the Israelites will become a great people in the land of Canaan.  Some of the surrounding nations will come to fight against them.  The Lord is going to require those nations to “Go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to KEEP THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES.”–Zech. 14:16.  It is well known that there were sacrifices offered in connection with keeping this feast.  Read to the end of the chapter, and you can see there will be a temple in Jerusalem at that time, and sacrifices offered there.  Do you suppose the nations referred to here will do as the Lord requires of them?  No, of course they won’t.  The false doctrines of “Mystery, Babylon, the great, the mother of harlots,” (Rev. 17:5) has nearly spread over the face of the earth, and she says, “All the old laws were done away with when Christ died.”  So the Lord will smite those people with “the plague” because they don’t obey Him.

Now read Mal. 3:1-4, and you will see the Lord will send “The messenger of the covenant and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver.”  For what purpose?  “That they MAY OFFER UNTO THE LORD AN OFFERING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, AS IN DAYS OF OLD.” These words are so plain that they require no explanation.

Now the prophet Joseph taught in harmony with the prophets of the Bible, on this, and all other subjects, as far as he did teach.  If you don’t believe he pointed out the fact that memorial sacrifices are going to be restored, just read D. & C. 94:2; 107: 12, and 110:24.  The latter quotation is a full endorsement of Mal. 3:1-4.

Jesus said in His day, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,”–Matt. 4:4.  Jesus, and His apostles after him, spoke to that generation, but only few paid heed to the gospel. Desolation came upon the Israelites, as the result.  The church [47] “Went to the wilderness,” and has again been restored in these latter days.  From time to time, in this dispensation, God will speak through His prophets, and we must “live by every word” of it, or sin will be charged against us, and “the restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began,” will continue till the church of Christ on the earth, can endure the presence of Christ and the resurrected saints; then they will come and dwell here with us a thousand years.

THE SABBATH DAY

It is well known to all Bible readers that Jesus taught and kept the seventh day of the week for sabbath.  No one disputes this, but many believe that when He died, it was changed by divine command.  This is not true.  It has already been clearly shown that all of Christ’s teaching must be kept up, in the chapter on “No change in the everlasting covenant when Christ was crucified.”  Therefore His teachings, and example, must be kept up on this subject, as well as all other things which He taught.

Those that advocate the first day of the week for the sabbath of the apostolic church, get their belief from a misunderstanding of the writings of Paul, particularly Col. 2 ch.  When men deliberately interpret the teachings of Paul and make them contradict the plain teachings of Christ in the gospels they had better take a little advice from the Apostle Peter.  Peter said, in speaking of the writings of Paul, “In which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures. [48] (not to their salvation,) but unto their own destruction.”–2 Peter 3: 15, 16.

Not only does the Bible teach that the seventh day of the week is the sabbath, but the Book of Mormon does also.  Read Mosiah 7: 87, large edition, and you will find the fourth commandment recorded exactly as it is in EX. 20: 7-11. Yet many who think they are true L D. Saints, uphold the first day of the week for the sabbath, thereby opposing both the Bible and Book of Mormon, on this subject, yet they claim to believe both of these books.

The great latter day prophet wrote these words, “The elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel which are IN THE BIBLE and THE BOOK OF MORMON,” D. & Covenants 42:5.  “The elders, priests and teachers of THIS CHURCH”–the true faith, do teach in harmony with those two books, on this subject, as well as all others.

Now the question arises, if the seventh day of the week was the sabbath of the apostolic church, why didn’t the prophet Joseph point out this fact?  With equal propriety it might be asked, why didn’t he tell the people to keep the feast of Tabernacles?  The time is coming when this will be done by God’s people, as already shown.  The reason is this:  Joseph taught the people all they were able to receive, and understand.  He did not claim to have introduced all parts of “the everlasting covenant.”  He said himself, shortly before he died, “it was beginning to be ushered in,” D. & C. 110: 18.  The prophet Joseph taught many great truths, links in “the restitution” chain, and there are many more links to be added before “the restitution” chain is complete.

That the seventh day of the week was the sabbath [49] of the apostolic church, is already explained in a work called, “The Sabbath and the Restitution.”  For this reason it is unnecessary to dwell upon it here. This work can be had free of charge from any of our faith.

THE MARRIAGE LAW

The laws that God has given to regulate this important subject are a part of “the everlasting covenanant,” and were given in the days of Adam.  It is believed by many that there were great changes made in these laws in New Testament days, by divine command.  This is not the case.  The law of Moses, which granted divorces for various causes, was annulled (Matt. 19:3:9.)  It is likely the death penalty for adultery also ceased (see St. John 8:3-11.)  There is no definite evidence in the Bible that any further changes were made in apostolic days than these.

The New Testament is very silent on the laws that govern marriage.  It gives no information. in regard to what blood relations a man is forbidden to marry.  To settle this question, you have to refer to the Old Testament.  But some say, the law of the land provides for this.  Very true!  the law of THIS LAND does, and it is well it does.  But there are lands yet upon this earth that have not got a good law on this point.  Besides, when a man goes to preach the gospel of Christ, it is not the law of this land, or any other land, he is required to preach, but the law of God.  There are several things that belong to God’s law on marriage that are not found in the Bible now.  Although it speaks of marriage, yet it does not tell us what it is for.  It gives little, or no information in regard [50] to who are eligible.  In fact, it does not tell us how marriage is performed.  If a marriage ceremony is necessary, the Bible says nothing about it.  And if necessary, who should officiate in that ceremony.  It does not tell us whether it is an officer of the church, or state, that holds the right to perform marriage.  And if an officer of the church, what degree of priesthood should that officer be of?  You may look in that good book, for an answer to these questions, but it will be in vain.  There were scriptures in days of old to answer all these questions.  In time they will all be restored to the church.

It is well known, that for many years there has been a good deal of contention on this subject, and a few other points, between the two largest organized bodies of those who believe in the divine calling of the great modern prophet.  There is not much to be gained by arguing on this subject now, for the time is close at hand when the contention that now exists, will cease to a great extent.  Well, when will that be?  It will be when the words recorded in 2 Nephi, 2nd chapter, have their fulfillment.  About the middle of this chapter it says, “But A SEER Will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins; and not to the bringing forth of my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word which shall have already gone forth among them.  Wherefore THE FRUIT OF THY LOINS SHALL WRITE; and THE FRUIT OF THE LOINS OF JUDAH SHALL WRITE; and that which shall be WRITTEN BY THE FRUIT OF THY LOINS, and also that which shall be WRITTEN BY THE FRUIT OF THE LOINS OF JUDAH, SHALL GROW TO- [51] GETHER, UNTO THE CONFOUNDING OF FALSE DOCTRINES, and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers IN THE LATTER DAYS.”

Every Latter Day Saint knows these words are part of the prophecy of Joseph, who lived in Egypt.  The big majority of those who go by the name of Latter Day Saint, believe that the Bible fulfills the words of this quotation, where it says, “The fruit of the loins of Judah shall write,” but this is not true.  In the first place, there was only a very small part of the Bible written by a descendant of the tribe of Judah.  Paul wrote the most number of books, and he was of Benjamin.  Moses wrote the most number of words and he was of the tribe of Levi.  It was the same with the rest of the Bible writers, some were of one tribe, and some of another,

In the second place, “the choice seer” that God promised to raise up, in the latter days, according to this chapter, was to do a good work in “convincing them, [the people], Of MY WORD which SHALL HAVE ALREADY GONE FORTH AMONG THEM. ” Now what scripture, or “word” of God  had already gone forth among them,” the people, which the choice seer” could, and did preach from, to “convince” them of his divine calling?  It was the Bible, and nothing else, and it was the only “word” of God had among men, previous to that time. Then the Bible was the “word” that was prohesied of, “THAT HAD ALREADY GONE FORTH AMONG THEM.”

Did God raise up “the seer,” promised in this quotation?   “Yes,” says every L. D. Saint, “Joseph Smith was the man.”

Did he “write” the word of God, as this prophe- [52] cy says he was to do?  Yes,” says every L D. Saint.

Has there been any “false doctrines” taught by the followers of Joseph the prophet, and any “contentions” existing between them?  “Yes,” says every L. D. Saint, “we know too well this is true.”

Now, when Joseph, the son of Jacob, who lived about 3550 years ago, has told so accurately of events that have been fulfilled in our own day and to our own certain knowledge, can you not believe the latter part of this prophecy, as well as all the rest of it?  “And that which SHALL BE WRITTEN BY THE FRUIT OF THY LOINS, and also that which SHALL BE WRITTEN BY THE FRUIT OF’ THE LOINS OF JUDAH, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines, and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, * * in the latter days.”

You will notice, “Judah” was not to “write” until after “the seer” “wrote.” The “writings” of the two are to “grow together,” and “confound false doctrine,” and “establish peace” among Latter Day Saints, “in the latter days.”

Well, no doubt, you would like to know how this marriage question will eventually be settled, when “peace” is established, and “false doctrines” are confounded.  It will be settled in this way.  God has sent into the world “THE, EVERLASTING COVENANT, even that which was FROM THE BEGINNING.”–D. & C. 49:2.  So whatever was God’s law on this subject, “from the beginning,” it will be the same then, let that be what it may.

BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD

The object of introducing this chapter is not to [53] prove the truth of this doctrine, for this, has already been done in other works, but to refer to its antiquity, and because it is an important part of  “the everlasting covenant,” or gospel of Christ.

There is plenty of evidence in the Bible to prove that this ordinance was practiced in apostolic days.  But there is no doubt that it was taught and practiced long before that time.  It is known to some, that in the temple at Nauvoo, in the days of Joseph the Seer, there were twelve stone oxen, on which a baptismal font was placed, in which baptism for the dead was to be practiced.  This temple was destroyed before it was finished.  The prophet Joseph was the first man in these latter days to bring to light, on a scriptural foundation, this long lost ordinance.  Now the question arises, why did he commence to build a temple, with this particular characteristic, in which to practice this doctrine?  No other man in these latter days, even thought of such a thing, much less to build a temple, in this manner.  It shows plainly enough he was directed by the Lord to do so.

But Joseph was not the first man of God to build a temple with twelve oxen in it, to support a baptismal font.

The temple built by Solomon had in it “A molten sea,” supported by “Twelve oxen,” 1 Kings 7:23-25; 2 Chron. 4: 2 4.  Without doubt, this “molten sea,” which rested on these “twelve oxen,” was nothing more or less than a baptismal font.  Because this long lost ordinance is not mentioned in the Old Testament, it does not prove it was not practiced in those days.  Baptism for the living is not spoken of in the first half of the Bible, yet it has been shown to have been practiced since the days of Adam.

In D. & C. 107. 10- 1 1,  the great modern prophet [54] tells of the importance of building a temple in which to baptize for the dead.  Then he goes on to say:  “For, for this cause, I [the Lord] commanded Moses that he should build a tabernacle that they should bear it into the wilderness, and to build an house in the land of promise, * * that your anointings and your washings, and your BAPTISMS FOR THE DEAD, and your solemn assemblies, * * and for the beginning of the revelations and foundation of Zion, and for the glory, honor and endowment of all her municiples, are ordained by the ordinance of my HOLY HOUSE, which MY PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS , COMMANDED TO BUILD UNTO MY HOLY NAME,” par, 12.  From this quotation it can, be seen, that baptism for the dead was a part of what the tabernacle built by Moses was used for.  Besides this, it shows that Moses told the people of the necessity to build an house in the land of promise–the land of Canaan–for this purpose.  This “house”, was not built until the days of Solomon, but the people evidently knew of this doctrine, since the days of Moses.  The latter part of this quotation says, “my people are always commanded to build a house unto my holy name.”  Well, there were people of God long before the days of Moses, and according to this, they were required to build a temple of God, for this, as well as other purposes.  The prophet Joseph tells us plainly, that God “Sent unto you mine everlasting covenant, even that which was FROM THE BEGINNING.”–D. & C. 49:2.  Baptism for the dead is a part of this gospel “covenant” now, so it, must have been “from the beginning.”  Well might a man exclaim, truly “the everlasting covenant” is the same all through the worlds history!  When some more of the lost scriptures are restored, this will be more plain. [55]  0, what a glorious gospel this is, it saves both the living and the dead!  But this does not take place until they comply with the conditions.  There are many good honest people that have been deceived by false teachers of religion.  Of course they suffer loss, “For if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”  But God, in His mercy, permits the gospel to be preached to them in the spirit world.  Living relatives must be baptized for these.  Dear reader, if you are not already a member of the church of Christ, don’t delay in becoming one, so you may be saved yourself, and be baptized for your dear departed friends.

But let not wicked men think they can go on sinning against God every day, then die, repent, and come up among the righteous in the first resurrection.  This they cannot do.   Just see what the Apostle Peter says:  “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.”–2 Peter 2:9.  This shows that the wicked are not given the gospel soon after death; they are “reserved to be punished.”  But after they have served out their terms of punishment, “According to their works,” towards the end of the millennial reign, if they will then obey the gospel of Christ, they will be forgiven; hence the necessity of a second resurrection.  They will finally be brought into the lowest grades of salvation.  It was this that Paul had in view when he said, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”–1 Cor. 15:22.

CONCLUSION

Now, in conclusion, dear brethren and sisters of [56] the true faith, let us go on in well doing.  It will not be long until God will raise up another great prophet, “To set in order the house of God.”  This prophet will teach in harmony with the prophets of God that preceded his day, and bring to light some more of the laws of “the everlasting covenant,” and you may expect there will be some, so called, Latter Day Saints, as well as sectarians, who will cry “Delusion!” “False prophet!”

We, of all people, have the most reason to rejoice.  While thousands of honest persons are deceived by all kinds of false doctrines, we have the truth, and nothing but the truth.  A calm peace reigns in our hearts, which the world cannot give, nor take away–it is the spirit that comes from Christ.  We must expect trials; those that have gone before us had the same. We must continue on in this glorious cause:  on, on to victory!  It was Jesus, “The captain of our salvation,” who said, “Hold fast what thou hast till I come, and I will give thee a crown of life.”

EDWARD T. COUCH.