On Sacred Ground: Reflections on Joseph Smith; DVD by Truman G. Madsen

On Sacred Ground: Reflections on Joseph Smith; DVD by Truman G. Madsen; available at Provo Utah Library

-when darkness happens, you can rejoice knowing light is about to come. Joseph Smith had such an experience just before his first vision, and when he heard one missionary had such an experience, he rejoiced knowing that soon the work would go forward well in that region.

-At Joseph Smith’s first vision, he first see’s one being come down and touch his forehead, then another descends. The first person says pointing to the other, “This is my beloved Son”.

-Physicists have found that there are planets with one trillion times the brightness of our sun. This goes with what Joseph Smith said that a person must be transformed to endure the presence of God, the radiation from Him, that brightness.

-the angel Moroni has light gathered around him when he leaves Joseph Smith’s room, this suggests that light is an intrinsic part of the personality of resurrected beings, and that they can spread that light.

-there is record of at least 23 subsequent visits of Moroni to Joseph Smith; he was his tutor, a full semester of one on one training.

-John Taylor said that Joseph Smith was as familiar with ancient prophets as we are with one another

-Hyrum Smith said that there were prophets before, but Joseph Smith has the element of all of those prophets. There were things of the prior prophets which had to do with elements of the life of Joseph Smith.

-one revelation says about Emma Smith the wife of Joseph Smith, “whom I have given unto you” which suggests that the Lord made that marriage

-Adam and Eve together understood what they were doing in The Fall; it was to keep procreation going; marriage, contrary to what was the current opinion, was good, and to prepare for heaven, and could continue after death, and is required for the exaltation of a person. Hence the LDS religion is known as a family religion.

-Urim and Thumim means light and truth; anciently it was used in determining the innocence of guilt of someone; also at times Urim meant yes, the Thumim meant no for cases where they were seeking divine guidance. But it did more. There was visual aspects to it. Toward the end of the translation process he didn’t need this tool, since he himself became a sort of a Urim and Thumim, a seer.

-when Martin Harris lost the manuscript, Joseph Smith doesn’t blame Harris, but himself. He asked the Lord too many times and didn’t accept the Lord’s first answer.

-in Hebrew terms, John the baptist means John the immerser

-John the baptist thought of Jesus Christ in ancient terms, anointed one, Messiah. Hence he says in the name of Messiah when he confers the Aaronic Priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry.

-Joseph Smith said that when he was baptized and got the Holy Ghost, he understood the scriptures like he never before could, even though he had visions and divine tutoring before this point.

-there were 160 at least trials against Joseph Smith, these were frivolous.

-twice the Old Testament says in good Hebrew, that Moses communed with God panim v panim, face to face. Then it goes on to say “as one man converses with another”. This is the ultimate blessing of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

-the book of Third Nephi can be called a 5th gospel

-why do we have the angel Moroni on the temples? For he is the messenger spoken of in the book of Revelation who tells of the coming of the Latter-day Kingdom.

-Book of Mormon is called a golden bible, replacing the bible, but that’s the reverse of the truth, for this book is to help establish the bible. It’s not like Jews who say it’s all closed after the Torah, or the Isalm who says it’s all closed after the Quoran, or the Christians who say it’s all closed after the bible. Books have been coming forth, Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Phillip, these have echoes of the authentic teachings of Christ. Scholors say there is just as much reason to trust these as words of Jesus as the other gospels in the bible. So why not look at more potential scriptures like the Book of Mormon?

-Unorganized religion isn’t living; isn’t vital. There must be a people meeting together fulfilling the purposes of God, where the ordinances of the scriptures are performed.

-being baptized is merely being born again; then we must grow up unto Christ, and this requires higher and higher ordinances.

-many saw the Prophet Joseph Smith or parts of the restoration in vision before missionaries arrived to them which helped them know that these were messengers from the Lord

-Joseph Smith learned that the fullness of the Priesthood is only available in the House of the Lord.

-John Taylor in the early Church said that if we understood the restoration of the gospel, how the ancients saw it, we would spend all of our time to promote it. He insisted we don’t comprehend it’s magnitude, nor have we caught the vision.

-without the powers of the higher Priesthood, the powers of Godliness are not manifest unto men says the scripture Joseph Smith brought forth.

-the ancients have looked forward to this time of Joseph Smith and the restoration, they rhapsodized about it and sang about it. Now it’s for us to roll it forth.

-it takes discernment to know which spirits are of God and which are of the devil

-the school of the prophets which Joseph Smith set up was because they could not be saved in ignorance

-there was a formal greeting of brethren which spoke of their love and covenant to uphold each other remembering the New and Everlasting Covenant which they were to say to each other upon meeting one another

-when the Word of Wisdom was revealed, the brethren present took their pipes and threw them into the fire.

-perfect love entails our love to God and recognition of the love to God toward us. Joseph Smith said that until we have this love we are liable to fall. This entails getting our names into the Lamb’s book of life, into his book of remembrance, then it’s impossible for false Christ’s to deceive us.

-those who have not seen God are considered “in the wilderness”

-some of the witnesses had visions where they actually saw Christ on the cross. They could stand with Joseph Smith and say they knew he lives, they know the gospel is true. These are the “Special Witnesses.”

-Elder Neil A Maxwell referred to the Atonement as inter-galactic (this puts the kibosh on much of the Kolob theorem).

-Joseph Smith taught that if you are faithful in the gospel of Jesus Christ, ALL of your losses will be made up to you.

-God cannot force us to heaven, we can resist him forever. It’s not only that he will not, he cannot. This is what Joseph Smith taught. Such would be contrary to the nature of God.

-when we don’t honor the power of Christ, in the eternities, the powers of procreation will be denied us.

-the only time Christ referred to himself as perfect (3 Nephi) was after his Resurrection when he had a body of flesh and bones. This shows such is essential, and reminds us that God the Father has a body of flesh and bones.

-anything you can say about Christ you can potentially say about mankind. This is blasphemous in the traditional Christian theology.

-As the Jews see it, when you kill a person you kill a nation, or when you save a person you save a nation, and they view themselves as accountable to God as a whole, as a people.

-some see salvation as 41% good and 51% bad you go to hell, and vice versa, but not so. You are rewarded according to your deeds, it’s not a line in the sand.

-there was the kirtland temple dedication where the building looked like it was on fire, the Holy Ghost was so strong poured out upon it.

-what’s different with a temple compared to a normal meeting house? God had promised to reveal himself in the temple.

-some people tried to set fire to the temple at one time and it didn’t work. God was protecting it till his time with it was finished.

-at the dedication of the Kirkland temple angels were standing in and on the temple, children and many others could see them

-when Christ comes you’ll shout with your whole being Hosannah’s

-after great blessings will come trial; such Joseph Smith taught after many spoke in tongues etc at the Kirkland temple dedication; indeed persecution came

-they saw Jesus Christ standing on the pulpit of the Kirkland temple; his hair white, his voice as that of the rushing of great waters

-Daniel speaks of the Ancient of Days coming to sit at a great meeting. We proclaim it will be at Jackson County Missouri at the meeting of Adam-ondi-Ahman.

-Adam was told “in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surly die”. Considering that one thousand years is a day to God, indeed, Adam died within our thousand years of the time he ate that fruit. (*No man has ever lived more than 1000 years on this earth, though some have come close.)

-the word Eve Joseph Smith translated as “Lives”, suggesting plurality of her motherhood.

-Joseph Smith was charged with treason, but in courts today, that would have been considered flimsy and not had against him.

-Joseph Smith played sports with the boys he said ‘this will help the boys and the boys will become trusted’ that became true. Joseph Smith said that we should not think that he is unaware of the issues in the church etc. just because he plays sports etc.

-When boys vandalized a fence, the court wanted them in jail for six months. Joseph Smith said no, that would only make them hardened. Let me be responsible, I’ll have them filling in pot holes in the road till they make enough money to pay for the damages. The boys did so, and in their journals they said they became better men for it.

-when newcomers came and they had children, Joseph Smith first greeted the children, almost ignoring the parents, then he would greet the parents.

-Joseph Smith was always the first to jump to his feet when he heard a child crying.

-Joseph Smith said “if a man is not honored in his own home, the only reproach is on him.” he would often help with all the household chores.

-Joseph Smith would have people listen to other preachers and tell them to take all well of what was said well, then Joseph Smith would fill in the blanks from the restored gospel.

-one man couldn’t confound Joseph Smith with his preaching, and went and called for God to send fire down to consume Joseph Smith. Joseph said “your God does not hear you”

-the man on the cross question, Joseph Smith was asked that by a preacher who said that man was not baptized. Joseph laughed and said ‘how do you know he was not baptized? But that is not the point. He went to the world of spirits.’

-Joseph Smith would often come home with guests for dinner with little or no warning.

-Joseph Smith had an incredible recuperative power, as he went through trials he seemed not to age but to get even more exuberant and lively.

-Joseph Smith would never ask what the consequence would be to him, rather what the right thing to do would be. He was a man of principle.

-Joseph Smith could concentrate well even with children playing in the room.

-JS was not hard to get along with or odd, just the opposite.

-JS taught his family that they should pray together 3 times a day

-basically there were always guests in the JS home

-when people heard JS kneel and pray, they observed he did so humble as a little child, recognizing his total dependance on God. He didn’t much change his voice tone, just a humble conversation with the living God

-JS said that if you don’t feel the spirit by the end of your prayer it wasn’t very good, not all the way heard by God, or not to expect it totally to be answered.

-while JS prayed some stood and rubbed their knees then knelt again since it was so long.

-once they had only johnny cake (corn bread) to eat. JS prayed thanks for it, and that they might have something better. There some thing of new food was on their porch. JS said “See Emma? God has answered my prayer!”

-make a list of all the headings Jesus Christ did, they can all be matched in a column along side it by what Joseph Smith did, including raising the dead.

-JS prayed to be like Enoch, that he could prepare a people for the very presence of God.

-JS promised the Saints a new manna and a new name and to be kings and priests unto God if they were faithful. These are temple promises. The white raiment promise is given, such is worn in the temple to foresee that.

-JS taught the Saints that they needed the temple endowment in order to overcome all things. Where is this in the scriptures? JS taught that Peter in the day of Pentacost even after the temple had been defiled, he obtained a house and practice baptism for the dead and ordinances of washing and anointing etc.

-bible scholars today agree that Paul wrote of baptism for the dead because it was practice of the Christian church.

-JS taught the Saints that they could not begin to comprehend how grateful people are for whom we do work for in the temples. He said those people would one day kneel at your feet and express such gratitude to you that it’s hard to comprehend.

-JS taught that our ancestors know our feelings and are often pained by such.

-JS taught that Adam and Eve partook of the fruit somewhat knowingly so they could help the human family come to the world.

-JS taught that to have a body was a step forward in progression rather than being a form of a prison.

-JS taught that family relations will be intensified for the faithful in the next life.

-JS taught the biblical idea that if the wife of a man die, then he marry again (*these marriages being sealed in the temple; recall the scripture saying none have the wife if it’s not sealed), then the man will have several wives in heaven, and that such would be a blessing to the family raising up more posterity. This seems bitter at first but one comes to see it is from the Lord.

-an angel with a drawn sword came to Joseph Smith and told him that he could not move the church forward one more inch without this principle of plural marriage. Like the book of Jacob says, it’s what the Lord uses at times to raise up seed unto Him.

-Eliza Snow was asked how she put up with plural marriage, she said she learned to love the beauty of that principle.

-the women were not able to live the law of plural marriage without getting a witness from the spirit that this principle was true. They learned that it would cause them to have righteous posterity, and other blessings. They would in turn be the army of missionaries that could build up the gospel in the world. This is what they believed.

-if you think plural marriage was for lust, think about it. Polygamy required you to provide for your wives, and to serve them daily in your home. There are easier ways to get lust than that.

-JS changed the bible passage saying love not things on the earth to love not things of the world. This is because the earth itself is a temple, it is created of the Lord.

-JS knew that stage by stage, covenant by covenant, Christ was waiting. He brings blessings for each covenant. For baptism, get fire and the Holy Ghost. For Priesthood, get endowment. For sacrament, get the spirit to always be with you. At temple, get promise that He will give us all He has. You see, being born again comes by ordinances of the kingdom of God. These are found at the temple and all Saints are invited there through their whole life.

-they would meet with the prophet almost daily, it seemed he would not leave them alone. When asked why, JS responded “The Spirit urges me”

-JS conferred all the authority to lead the Church on the heads of the 12 Apostles before he died, having a sense that he was going to die, so that they could carry on the ministry. He did the laying on of hands like the bible says. He said he was going to rest. They didn’t understand what that meant. He told them they have all the authority to lead the Church toward the Celestial Kingdom of God. He said he didn’t expect to live to see the temple finished but sensed he would be killed. He was.

-JS told the Apostles that they must round up their shoulders and bear off the kingdom or they would be damned.

-an audio recording of 1897 of Wilford Woodruf is on the film, John Taylor then being the only person still living who knew JS in person

-JS said to the Apostles, ‘if you have to die, I pity you, but remember, Christ had to die first.’

-JS said always go with the majority of the 12 Apostles and the records of the Church and you will not go astray.

-JS said he could trust Wilard Richards with everything

-JS told people your journals will be sought after as history etc.

-BH Roberts said Journal of Wilford Woodruf is one of the greatest historical treasures we have

-JS wouldn’t sleep until he had written down sermons he gave, this has been a great blessing to us.

-JS said children are what Abraham was promised; Aberaham said I want quality children; the Lord said that his children would be like the stars, meaning that kind of magnitude, that quality, and also many in number.

-when we do ordinances in the temple, it helps families which had been divided by hate come back together; the abused persons can plea to God for the mercy of their abusers, and God will hear their cries and forgive them for the sake of the abused persons. This is how people come together, and merit the sanction of God, and become as the stars, majestic.

-Hyrum Smith said to JS, In the name of Jesus Christ, I will go where you go, and I will die where you die. JS said Amen. JS plead with Hyrum to leave him on the road to Carthage, Hyrum said he could not, for he promised that he would not.

-Wilard Richards offered to be hung in the stead of JS.

-one who saw JS die said that he died with a smile on his face

-it has been said that a true martyr doesn’t seek nor resist martyrdom; JS falls into that category; JS had been told by the Savior, even if they do to you what they have done to me, blessed are ye for ye shall dwell with me in glory.

-JS said that were it not for the love he had for his family and friends, death to him would be as sweet as honey

-BY told JS that he was laying out 20 years worth of things to do; then JS responded “yes, and you are going to do it!”

-when it was near the time of the death of JS, JS said ‘I could do more to build the kingdom on the other side of the veil than I could here’

-JS saw visions of the resurrection so vivid, he saw people come up out of their graves, the grave open, the person sit up, then embrace the person by them exclaiming ‘my mother! my father!’ this is why JS commanded BY to bury him near his family.

-people describing JS often used superlatives when describing JS. For example John Taylor said JS was the most learned man he ever knew despite having traveled continents

-BY called the sermons of JS sweet like honey

-BY wanted to hear all JS had to say even if it was merely his own opinion

-Wilford Woodruf said JS was like a bed of gold hidden from the view of his generation, that people didn’t recognize him for what he was.

-Franklin D Richards said that JS was the most healing in his personal presence; simply to shake his hand or be with him a few minutes as a healing uplifting experience.

-Emiline B Wells wrote that she hardly knew how to live without occasionally hearing the prophet; she said he was like the prophet poet mixed together.

-Emma Smith said the greatest miracle of JS was JS himself

-Basheba Smith said that JS’s blue eyes seemed to penetrate the deepest hearts.

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