by Jan Harrington
Instructions for building the Kirtland Temple were given by revelation through Joseph Smith, Jr., June 1, 1833. The Lord said He intended to prepare His apostles to prune His vineyard for the last time from the Kirtland Temple, and from there He would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh.
The building of this Temple was to be by three church members who were appointed, and ordained unto this power. Jesus said He would then show these three how it was to be built.
"Now here is wisdom and the mind of the Lord: let the house be built, not after the manner of the world, for I give not unto you, that ye shall live after the manner of the world; therefore let it be built after the manner which I shall show unto three of you, whom ye shall appoint and ordain unto this power." (D.C. 92)
And then we have the temple build in Independence, MO. An Oriental architect was hired to design the building. He was instructed to depart from the RLDS background and reach into the world for his design. It is related that he had a dream in which he saw this edifice. Dreams come from three sources: God, man, and Satan.
Joseph Smith, III saw the Temple of Eternal Peace. The temple does not qualify in any way to fit the description of the temple that the prophet saw in his vision. In the vision some attempted to enter the building, but were not allowed in; therefore one can conclude that the building was on earth, for the unclean would not be in heavenly courts at all. And we are led to believe from scripture that there is no temple in heaven, for all of heaven is God's residence. Temples are sacred places on earth for man to meet his God.
The following revelation was received through Joseph Smith, Jr. at Kirtland, Ohio, 1832. Six elders who had returned from eastern missions were rejoicing over their ministry. The Spirit spoke to them of the building of the temple, priesthood, and of the gathering of the Saints...
"to stand upon Mount Zion, [Independence being the center of that gathering] which shall be the city New Jerusalem... [Who is to build the new Jerusalem? since it was prophesied that the Gentiles would reject the fullness of the gospel?] ...which city shall be built, beginning at the Temple Lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jr., and others, with whom the Lord was well pleased.
Verily, this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the Saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation; for verily, this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it,1 which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house...for the sons of Moses and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation upon the consecrated spot, as I have appointed . . . .
God's counsel does not change:
"And further the Spirit saith unto you, that 'with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day,' therefore, the law given to the church in section forty-two, over the meaning of some parts of which there has been so much controversy, is as if it were given today; and the bishop and his counselors, and the high council, and the bishop and his council, and the storehouse and the temple and the salvation of My people, are the same to Me now that they they were in that day when I gave the revelation.." (D.C.122)
Pattern given for construction of the Temple in Independence:
It was to be the same as the Kirtland Temple
"Revelation given through Joseph Smith, Jr., prophet and seer to the church, August 2, 1833, at Kirtland, Ohio. Ten days before this message was received, the cornerstones of Kirtland Temple had been laid. While progress was being made in Kirtland, the Saints in Independence were being persecuted and were suffering the attacks by the mobs and had signed an agreement (July 23, 1833) to leave by April 1, 1834. The Saints in Kirtland were concerned about the welfare of the church in Independence (Zion). The School of Elders was presided over by Elder Parley P. Pratt. The temple in Independence was never built because of the continuing persecutions and the unfaithfulness of the Saints."
The dates are interesting: July 23 the Saints in Independence signed an agreement to get out in 6 months, and on the same day the cornerstones of the Kirtland Temple were laid. Ten days later the revelation came to build the temple quickly in Independence. Did God make a mistake?
"Verily I say unto you, that it is My will that an house should be built unto Me in the land of Zion, like unto the pattern which I have given you; yea, let it be built speedily by the tithing of My people: behold, this is the tithing and the sacrifice which I, the Lord, require at their hands, that there may be an house built unto Me for the salvation of Zion; for a place of thanksgiving, for all Saints, and for a place of instruction for all those who are called to the work of the ministry, in all their several callings, and offices; that they may be perfected in the understanding of their ministry; in theory; in principle and in doctrine; in all things pertaining to the kingdom of God on the earth, the keys of which kingdom have been conferred upon you.
And inasmuch as My people build an house unto Me, in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it; yea, and My presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it, shall see God; but if it be defiled I will not come into it, and My glory shall not be there, for I will not come into unholy temples." (D.C. 94:3-4)
The revelation warned that judgments were coming on the wicked but Zion would escape if she observed to do all things God commended her; however, if she didn't, God would "visit her according to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, with vengeance, with devouring fire; and the warning said Zion was to sin no more, for only this once would this warning be read in the ears of this people. That warning was in 1833. We have sinned again according to Prophet Joseph Smith III, because of our pride. Is destruction the lot of those in leadership in the RLDS Church at present? Must they must be removed? (This article was written decades ago. We see the divisions in the church today in 2011.)
Vision at the Temple Lot
In the 1970s when serious talk about building the temple began, Elder Bill Oliver was deeply concerned about it because of the obvious straying from the church's fundamental foundation by the leadership. Much prayer for the church ascended, and one night Bill told me that an angel came into his bedroom and told him to get dressed. When Bill questioned, he was told he was being taken someplace.
Bill, being a personal friend of mine, told me this testimony himself, and I have no reason to doubt it. Anyone who knew him, knew he was a man of great personal integrity. I will repeat this testimony as accurately as memory permits me.
Bill was taken to the Temple Lot and stood beside the angel facing east across the parking lot. He looked around and saw that the Stone Church was in place, but there had been a change in landscaping. Lexington Street was gone, and the Hedrekite Church had been removed. On the South stood the Auditorium. Looking East again toward the parking lot, the angel said that was the place where the temple would be erected.
The angel held a round disk in his hands about three feet in diameter. It was a curious thing, for around the edge were tabs which had names on them. The angel pressed one tab and an opening appeared from the center out in a pie-shaped wedge. On it was written instructions for that particular subject, i.e. one tab, Bill was given to understand, had the instructions for the building of the temple in complete detail. Another would be something like the School of the Prophets information, etc. Each opening would close and another could be opened. He wasn't allowed to touch it, but could see the writing there.
Bill asked the angel why he was being shown these things, and the angel replied that in answer to Bill's prayers, he was to know that "No man, nor set of men on earth, have the plans for the Temple in Zion." Bill said those plans are in heaven and with complete details for the building, use and ordinances etc. Bill would accept no man's ideas of what the temple is, and how it's to be used.
In the light of the apostasy of the church today, and with the description of the temple given to Prophet Joseph Smith, III, the temple now standing (in the right place), will have to be removed sometime much like the Dome of the Rock in Israel, which is standing over the holy spot for the new temple in Jerusalem.
Vision of the Temple to be built in Independence, MO
Many years before the now-standing-temple in Independence was erected, this testimony was given to Morrie Mills. His testimonial booklet was printed in 1977.
"I have been concerned in regards to the building of the Temple. I know that Jesus must hasten His coming. I have been asking, 'Lord, will the Temple be built'? The answer came, 'My people will build My temple.' Then I was shown in vision. I was standing on the grounds of the Temple. The landscaping was beautiful to look upon. Then I was taken into the lower part. A man in uniform was talking to a group of people. I then was taken by the Spirit to the main floor and as I gazed upon its beauty, as well as to the great volume of the Spirit which descended upon me, I noticed a light on the rostrum and as it came toward me, it grew brighter until its brightness was of the noon day sun. I saw the twelve apostles, dressed in white robes, whiter than the driven show. Their faces glowed with happiness, at last the promise of our Lord was fulfilled to come and purge the earth. They stood before me.
I then noticed a beautiful woman dressed in a pure white robe coming from the center of The Twelve. She came to the edge of the rostrum, stood before me, and I heard the voice of our God speak in a loud tone. 'Behold, the bridegroom of the church, The Lord Jesus Christ.'
The vision then ended. I bore testimony of these visions in the Stone Church during the last world conference. My testimony was verified by a brother under the power of the Spirit." (In Times Like These, by Morrie Mills, pg. 101-102)
Vision of the Gold Plates
by Elmer Kaler, Sr. Testimony given on August 19, 1977. Brother Kaler, now deceased, was an elder and pastor of Drexel, Mo. Branch RLDS Church. He was given a vision in which he saw the sons of Levi--the Aaronic priesthood--functioning in their office, giving an acceptable offering. They stood in the Auditorium behind a table on which was displayed the treasures of the church--the gold plates, the sword of Laban, and the breastplate.
"This is a testimony of a spiritual dream or vision I received quite some long time ago concerning an experience which I believe will come to pass some day when the saints of the Lord Jesus, are ready to be recipient of the greater blessings long promised, lo, these many years.
I seemed to be in a large building similar to the Auditorium. I'm not quite sure as to whether it was actually the Auditorium that we have today, but that was the impression I had. It seemed that a call had gone out from the Prophet, seer, and revelator of the church that the saints were to be permitted to see certain long never revealed over the years; to be able to go by and view certain very valuable things that were shown to Joseph Smith Jr., the prophet, and others in the early beginning of the church. It seemed to be that this call that had come, the saints were to be permitted to view these objects respectively: the gold plates of the Book of Mormon, the sword of Laban, the breastplate, and the Urim and Thummim that was used in the translation of the Book of Mormon. There were no other items that I could see. The Directors that were used by the Jaredites were not in evidence.
There was a long table on the rostrum which was covered with a white linen of exquisite weave and beautiful fringe that was marvelous. It seemed to be so white and pure that it shone of itself. Resting upon it was the gold plates as were delivered to Joseph Smith, Jr. They were not large in size. It was a binder type with two [3?] rings that went through and the leaves had the appearance of gold. I could see certain inscriptions thereon, hieroglyphics, but not in too much detail. The greatest detail I saw was the Urim and Thummim which seemed to be two large size stones set in spectacles. The breastplate had many designs on it but the details weren't made very clear to me; neither was the details of the sword of Laban. But it was authentic, and as I witnessed this scene on this beautiful linen cloth on this table where they were laid, the long table, in the back of it were the Aaronic priesthood whose identity was not revealed to me. No identity was revealed to me, nor the prophet, seer, and revelator who the call had come through, nor any of the individuals who passed by the front of the table. There were both men, women, children, boys and girls of various ages who came through from what I could determine an easterly direction into the building and upon this rostrum, to pass along the table to view these sacred instruments so richly concerned with the early history of the church in its restoration beginnings. They came by slowly, close to the table which had no railing on the front, and seemed to have plenty of time to gaze upon those plates, instruments, and other things that were on the table. They were not allowed to touch any of them, nor even to touch the table. They seemed to be fully aware of that fact that they weren't allowed to do this, and they slowly passed by the table. Many of them were in tears, at least most of them were. The children, as they stood in front, were enthralled as they gazed at these marvelous exhibitions of the angelic powers that revealed them to men of ancient days long before the generations of the Latter Day gospel came forth. The relics of history so wonderfully connected with the restored gospel were in full view, revealed to those who were passing by.
There seemed to be an area of quiet, peaceful air, yet overall there seemed to be a great period of rejoicing. In the background I could hear music of choirs singing familiar hymns that are known to the Restoration. Some I remembered were: The Spirit of God like a Fire is Burning, and The Old, Old, Path, and some I could recall, especially were those hymns we haven't heard too much--one that was sung in the early history of the church--A Thousand Years Children of Zion, So Long Foretold, and many others. The hymns I heard sang were the ones that we open the General Conference with, and glorious songs. There was also played as the saints slowly passed by this wonderful scene, a very high type of organ music, seemingly almost heavenly music.
Thus in this marvelous setting I seemed to be standing in the area back where I could see all this, but I was not permitted to come up very close. The closest I came to it was in the beginning of the vision where I walked up to the table close enough to see the very fine weave of the linen cloth that was on the table and the golden-type fringe. The plates were open with one end thicker than the other, and were plainly visible. The detail on the breastplate were curious carvings, but I couldn't see any other ornamentation of any kind. The sword seemed to be a sword that was seen in museums with beautiful engraved handle on it and seemingly very sharp curved steel, no doubt used in those days many centuries ago.
The whole vision seemed to be one of joy. Those that passed by, even little children, there were tears in their eyes of joy, not sorrow. After a period of time as the line came by, I watched for a while and then the vision closed.
I am sure this will be fulfilled someday because it seemed the message that came at the beginning was when the prophet, seer, and revelator--that [when] the saints had become so prepared, and so in the right condition that the marvelous testimony that was given to the special witnesses of the Book of Mormon times, [could be given, it would be given] ...to verify and see with their own eyes, these marvelous things that were used. They were no doubt a great testimony to those who were permitted to see it. There was no time element at all, no identifications. It was the Aaronic priesthood on the other side of the table--not to watch the people, but as if more of an honor guard in respect to the sacred elements on the table.
This is only one of many dreams that I've had over a lifetime concerning conditions that are coming. I'm sure this one will be a testimony to those who will be permitted to hear this, of the fact that some day these precious angelic restored instruments that were in the beginning of the church (the gold plates of the Book of Mormon, the Urim and Thummim, the breastplate used by the priests, and the sword of Laban) [will be returned] as evidence of the truth of the divinity of how these things did come to pass.
I pray that the saints will live toward the day when these things will be shown. I believe the Lord, God, will permit His people to see these gold plates and these other evidences that were once in the Ark of the Covenant, and used in the time of the ancient of days--the Nephite records and other records that are yet to come forth that we have not been permitted to have. In due time God will permit His people to view these things.
I trust that this testimony will be of value to all those who hear it, that there may come to them some measure of encouragement toward the day when God's people can get in condition when things like these yet unseen and unrevealed parts of the Book of Mormon will be translated, and we'll get a fuller knowledge of the understanding of the workings of the kingdom. We have only a very minute part of the Book of Mormon that's been translated up until this time. God bless all of you. My prayer is that the work of the kingdom shall be first in the hearts of His people toward the end that that they, too, may have the actual vision and seeing with their own eyes, the gold plates and these other instruments that are used, and have been used in the Restoration Movement, is my prayer."
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1. Isaiah 4