Joseph F Smith, Great Grandson of Joseph Smith Jr, Grandson of Presiding Patriarch Alexander Smith, Son of Arthur Smith, calls all those: who believe in the Church restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr; who long for Zion; and especially those who have an interest in the events transpiring out of Brazil , to meet in Solemn Assembly, August 18th 2pm-5pm. Venue – the Church of Christ, Holden Branch, Missouri.
In response to the work of the Lord unfolding from Brazil, Grover and Belle branches in Missouri along with the Church of Christ – Bemidji Local in Minnesota, call a Conference, August 19th 2:00pm, to be held at the Church of Christ, Holden Branch in Missouri, to consider the following matters:
1. The upholding of Brother Joseph Fredrick Smith as Prophet, seer and revelator in accordance with: the appointment by a messenger from heaven and designation, anointing and ordination on earth.
2. The adoption of a statement of common ground for the church of Jesus Christ in the last days.
3. The consideration of all incidental items coming forward from the Solemn Assembly and Conference of Consideration.
We ask all branches and saints to attend by representative or en masse and to prayerfully prepare beforehand.
At the conclusion of Conference on Sunday, August 19th we will share a meal together in fellowship. Please bring a dish to share.
The Church of Christ Restored – Holden, Missouri has generously offered their building for the weekend events and they would further invite all to worship together on Sunday, August 19th 11am, as Elder Jeffrey Johnson, Pastor of Grover Branch, breaks the bread of life.
Venue: 553 NW 1511 th Road, Holden MO 64040. The Church of Christ Restored building is located approximately 20 miles/minutes East/South East of Lee’s Summit on Hiway 50 and approximately 20 miles West of Warrensburg. The building can be seen from and is on the North side of -Hiway 50. Google or other map apps should be accurate. For more information contact Brother Jeffrey Johnson from the Sponsoring Branch of Grover – Warrensburg, Missouri (at 660-441-4307 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or send us a message through the contact button at thecauseofzion.org .
From Joseph F Smith:
If ever there was a time for the Saints to gather together and present to the Lord their broken hearts and contrite spirits in solemn assembly, it is now.
In 1832, the entire Church came under condemnation as we read:
“And now I give unto you a commandment to beware concerning yourselves, to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life; for you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God. For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ; and the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit; and everyone that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit, cometh unto God, even the Father; and the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you, which is confirmed upon you for your sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world: and the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under the darkness and under the bondage of sin: and by this you may know they are under the bondage of sin, because they come not unto me; for whoso cometh not unto me is under the bondage of sin; and whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me; and by this you may know the righteous from the wicked, and that the whole world groaneth under sin and darkness even now. And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief hath brought the whole church under condemnation.And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all; and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written, that they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom, otherwise there remaineth a scourge and a judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion; for, shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay. Verily, verily I say unto you, who now have my words, which is my voice, Blessed are ye inasmuch as you receive these things; for I will forgive you of your sins with this commandment, that you remain steadfast in your minds in solemnity, and the spirit of prayer, in bearing testimony to all the world of those things which are communicated unto you.” (D&C 84:54-57 LDS /D&C 83:7-10a RLDS)
For 186 years since, we have wandered in the desert of confusion, contention, and division. During that time the Lord has been comparatively silent, as the Prophet Isaiah foretells:
“For so the Lord said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.” (Isaiah 18:4)
August 27, 1995 I delivered this message from the Lord to the people in Zion:
…There is a hope of the Zion that was prophesied by many prophets of old and prophesied by prophets of latter days. It is the Zion of which the prophet Joel spoke:
“The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain; then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her anymore.” (Joel 3:16-17)
It is the Zion spoken of by the prophet Isaiah:
“And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shinning of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory of Zion shall be a defense. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain”. (Isaiah 4:4-5)
There are two things Zion is going to be: a place of refuge and the dwelling place of the Lord.
“Verily I say unto you, All among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice; yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command, they are all accepted of me” (D&C 94:2f RLDS)
This tells us what is required of us to be accepted of God: a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
“for I, the Lord, will cause them to bring forth as a very fruitful tree which is planted in a goodly land, by a pure stream, that yieldeth much precious fruit. 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,”
Brothers and sisters of the Restoration, I look forward to that instruction.
“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. “ (D & C 94:2f-3d RLDS)
This tells us of the importance of the house that is to built in the land of Zion, the things that are going to be accomplished there. I would love for my ministry, my understanding of the mysteries of God to be perfected. There burns within my heart a desire to see the coming of this Zion. I have waited many years, as many of you have, and it still has shown no sign of coming. I want with all my heart to promote the cause of that Zion, to rekindle the fire in your hearts, the same fire that once heated the zeal of the early saints, to rekindle in you’re the same hope as they had within their hearts, the hope that gave them the courage to face death, to cross frozen rivers, to walk hundreds of miles through snow and cold without ample clothing, to remain steadfast in their faith even though driven to privations almost unbelievable to us today, privations that cost many their lives, brught embarrassment, physical suffering, loss of material goods and property. Yet in the face of all these there still remained the hope of Zion. Ever segment of the Restoration that has not denied that first baptism, that first ordination, whose hearts are pure, who has recognized the restored Kingdom of God, who is seeking His righteousness, needs this hope, needs to be able to see the vision of Zion through the clouds of confusion in which it has been engulfed since the saints were driven from Jackson County in the 1830’s.
Granted the privilege of speaking to you today, I step behind this pulpit with all humility. I am not the most learned minister available. Therefore, I must seek the Lord for any message that I deliver. Oh, that I could stand here today and say that I was worthy of the work to which I have been called, to say that I was worthy of the priesthood I was ordained to in 1953! But, brothers and sisters, I am probably the weakest of the weak. But I am not ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood to stand by and watch the hope of Zion deteriorate into the world of Babylon. That is not my calling. Perhaps the only qualities I have are a faith in God and a faith in His promise that He would do the things He said He would do.
I want to turn in the Old Testament to the book of Micah:
“But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:1-2)
When the prophet, Micah, spoke of the mountain of the Lord, He was not speaking of a mound of earth and stone, but was foretelling the coming of the government of the Lord, the kingdom of God, which was to be restored to the earth in the last days. Can you imagine: the government of God returned to earth in our days? He was speaking of that “Holy Mountain” where God is to dwell, from which His voice is to roar forth to the whole world, the mountain from which is to come the “WORD OF THE LORD”. It was this kingdom of God, known in 1830 as the Church of Christ, that was restored April 6th, 1830. Joseph Smith, and those early saints were charged with the responsibility of laying the foundation of that kingdom. And, brothers and sisters, I believe he laid the foundation.
When we think of Micah’s words, “in the last days”, my thoughts turn to the prophecy found in Daniel:
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12:4)
We do not have any difficulty identifying the period of time we are in, do we: One can fly to Europe in one day, and many do just that every day. Look at our freeways and highways, vehicles coming and going, so many it would be hard to number them. “Many shall run to and fro.” Today some of you are in Independence, while tomorrow you may be in Oregon, Texas, Florida, Minnesota. Who knows?
“Knowledge shall be increased.” Today, with the use of a computer, I can find any word you might want to locate in the Bible in about 5 secomds. One hundred years ago the thought of bathroom facilities inside one’s house was considered ridiculous. Today we send men to the moon and outer space; one hundred years ago they were just learning to build cars. Today we flip a switch and have light; one hundred years ago they lit candles and oil lamps. “Knowledge shall be increased.”
Being in this end time, being in these last days should cause us to consider our situation, consider our responsibilities and set in our minds once and for all the decision whether this is the Kingdom of God. For any who decide that it is not His Kingdom, that it is not the work of His hands, that it is not the beginning of the fulfillment of His purposes and His prophecies delivered by His prophets, you are set free of the responsibilities of His work in this Kingdom. But, to those of you who DO believe that this is the Kingdom of God, that this is His priesthood restored to the earth, that this is the work of His hands and that these are His prophecies wrought by His prophets, I address my message today.
From that day in 1820 when Joseph Smith retired to the woods to pray and ask the Lord which church he was to join and was given the answer that he should join none of them, on down through the following revelations that brought to us the establishment of the Church on April 6th, 1830, the divine light of God began its dawn upon this dispensation of time. I said “the divine light of God” because it was not the light that was conceived by some theologian, or some teachers or educators. It was the divine light of God.
Those of us who have been willing to accept that light have had our eyes opened to many beautiful truths in the Scriptures. Those who have rejected that light still remain in darkness. But now, having this light, the words of Christ ring out to us today:
“Yet a little while is the light with you….”
When I read this I shudder. I recognize how far the Restoration has deteriorated just in my short period of life. I look around and see segments of the Restoration doing away with this and doing away with that, and disappearing, disappearing! It scares me, because the divine light of God, the Kingdom of God, was restored on April 6th, 1830. It would be a shame if we should lose that light. Christ said:
“Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light” (John 12:35-36)
Throughout the Scriptures this period of time known as the last days is spoken of as being an exciting and tremendous time, a time in which the Lord is to destroy the wicked, a time for the bringing forth and the building up of the Kingdom of Christ, the return of Zion. This hope of the return of Zion was voiced many centuries ago. The prophet Isaiah said:
“Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” (Isaiah 52:8)
Note what the prophet said: “They shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion,”
This brings me to the heart of the message I want to deliver to you wonderful people. Of all the segments of the Restoration, very few see eye to eye. Few of you see eye to eye pertaining to the Restoration and the gospel of Christ. But we must come to that point.
I want to read you a part of a revelation given to the Church in September of 1830 as found in Chapter 29 of the Book of Commandments;
“ Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the great I AM, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins, who will gather his people even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, even as many as will hearken to my voice, and humble themselves before me, and call upon me in mighty prayer. Behold, verily, verily I say unto you, that at this time your sins are forgiven you, therefore ye receive these things; but remember to sin no more, lest perils shall come upon you. Verily I say unto you, that ye are chosen out of the world to declare my gospel with the sound of rejoicing, as with the voice of a trump; lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom; and as it is written, Whatsoever ye shall ask in faith, being united in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive; (D&C 28:1-2c RLDS)
In 1830, ’31 and ’32 the Church was blessed with a great abundance of the Spirit of God. He worked with them. He talked with them. Some moved to Jackson County to set up Zion.
I want to read a portion of another revelation. It is a part of our history that perhaps we are not proud of, but it is there nevertheless.
“And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief hath brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all; and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written, “ (D&C 83:8 RLDS)
Their minds had been darkened; their spiritual vision had been lessened. They had to face the trials of their time with less guidance from God than they had had before.
This was given in September of 1832. If you doubt the truth of this revelation, if you question it, let me show you the literal fulfillment of it. Let us read the remainder of that paragraph:
“ that they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom, otherwise there remaineth a scourge and a judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion; for, shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay.” (D&C 83:8C)
What happened to the saints in Jackson County, in the land of Zion in the following year? They were driven ; driven from the land of Zion. “A scourge and a judgment” was poured out upon them. From the day they were driven from Zion, yea even before, there were clouds of confusion arising in their midst, obscuring the path of righteousness, blotting out the vision of Zion, the clouds of disobedience, the clouds of the lack of understanding the word of God, until today we are faced with that blinding wall of confusion which has divided us into various segments of the Kingdom of God. This need not be forever.
There was a definite line of action laid out for the Church by the voice of inspiration. That work, traced to its logical conclusion, inevitably indicates a common object: to prepare a people for the coming of Christ. Unless we misread and totally fail to grasp the reasons that gave birth to the restoration of the Kingdom of God, we know that it was brought into existence, the priesthood restored to the earth again and men validly commissioned to act in the name of Jesus Christ for the return of the Savior. This work, in essence, was laid down, stopped, interrupted when the saints were driven from the land of Zion. It is true that various segments of this broken kingdom have made attempts at the redemption of Zion and the renewing of that work. However, non have had the spiritual direction of the magnitude that was enjoyed by those early saints. Nor have they had the clarity of vision, the determination, the perseverance or the commitment required.
This brings me to my plea to you today. I want to read a prayer that was offered by the prophet Nehemiah as found in the first chapter of Nehemiah. As you remember , the kingdom of Juday had been taken captive and carried away into Babylon.
“The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach; the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,” (Nehemiah 1:1-4)
He sat and wept because his home, the land of Judah was suffering. I have sat and wept because the land of Zion is suffering. I have shaken in my heart with fear because I am afraid that we are going to miss the opportunity that has been provided for us here in these last days. Nehemiah prayed, and this prayer could fit us today.
“… I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments; Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee; both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.” (Nehemiah 1:5-7)
We have not kept the commandments nor the judgments nor the statutes that the Lord gave Joseph.
“Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations; But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.” (Nehemiah 1:7-9)
All that is required of us is to repent, to come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and be willing to abide His word and keep His commandments.
Ezra, set upon a journey with the priests to the land of Jerusalem from Babylon, the same place Nehemiah came from , for Ezra had prepared in his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach in Israel His statutes and judgments. He writes:
“ Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance……So we fasted and besought our God for this; and he was entreated of us.” (Ezra 8:21,23)
I call upon you, members of the Restoration branches, I call upon you who have the hope of Zion in your heart, to begin a fast, not a fast from food but a fast from contending one with another, a fast of seeking peace one with another, a fast of practicing the principles that Christ taught you that you should have – of love for one another. This is the fast I want you to consider.
I want you to think for a moment as to what might occur, what God might do if we could get 900 people, or maybe 1900 people throughout all the segments of the Restoration united in prayer for one special request…..What did he say in the commandment? (D&C 28:2c) If you were united in prayer, He would answer? Do you believe God would answer? I do!
Suppose we took all our differences and put them right up here on a little shelf – I do not ask you to get rid of them – all your pet theories, all your ideas, your concepts and so forth….just put them up here on a shelf. Keep them; you may want to refer to them later. Then, together, united in prayer every night before you went to bed, every morning when you got up , every time you asked the blessing on the food, you made one part of that prayer that God would take away from us the darkenss of our minds, that He would take away the clouds of confusion that we might see clearly the path we have to walk to get back into a condition where God can work with us and create this Zion. What would happen if thousands, or only 900 prayed for this one things? What would happen to all these differences up here on this shelf when God answered? The would be gone!
Brothers and sisters, this idea that was laid upon me is so simple! And I said to myself, “Lord, this is so ridiculous. Anyone can understand this. How can I bring that to a people?” But it is the only way, the only way we can find back to that position where we become in a condition that God can work with us.
I am a carpenter. I use a lot of wood putty, because sometimes I make mistakes. In order to use this wood putty, it must be pliable. I must be able to work with it and to put it into cracks and little holes. When a can of that becomes so hard and so brittle that I can not use it, it is useless. I throw it out. Do you get my point? We must become pliable to the point that God can work with us, can begin to create a people worthy of Zion.
Think of the possibilities. I do not know how you would organize it throughtout your groups to encourage everyone to pray for one thing. We are not in the habit of doing that. But somehow there must be a way that we can coordinate the people to where they would pray for that one thing that we could get an answer. We could know tomorrow, a week from tomorrow, or whenever God answers! We could know what step we needed to take. Then when we sang “We’re Marching to Zion,” it would be with a new spirit!
Christ, in teaching His disciples and His followers, explained that He had to be crucified on the cross, and that they would have to partake of His flesh and blood.
“From that time many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him.” (John 6:66-68)
They did not wait long enough for Him to explain what He meant. They left!
“Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?”
There is a thrill that goes through me when I read the answer of Peter:
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ , the Son of the living God.”
To whom will you go today? If not down this path, to whom will you go? For if this is the kingdom of God, it is here that you will find the path to eternal life! To whom will you go?
There is a prayer I have constantly with me. Maybe you will want to have it constantly with you. It is found in the second verse of a song we sometimes sing – “Abide With Me.”
The last part of the second verse is my prayer: “Change and decay in all around I see, O thou who changest not , abide with me.” Amen.
Joseph F Smith,
August 27th , 1995
Delivered to the gathering of over 1100 saints at the Waldo Branch in Independence Missouri, a stone’s throw from the Temple Lot.
For 23 years Joseph F Smith has shared this same inspirational message to whomever and wherever the Lord has sent him. The message has not changed and it goes out to the entire body of believers of the church restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1830 and that message is: Lay down your differences and come together as ONE, repent and come before the Lord with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, keep the commandments and covenants, obey the words of the Lord, seek to bring forth the cause of Zion, and build the temple in Zion to prepare for the coming of the Christ.
“Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests; howl, ye ministers of the altar; come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God; for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord,” (Joel 1:13-14)
“In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me; for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy; the King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee; thou shalt not see evil any more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not; and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee; and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you; for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.” (Zephaniah 3:16)