Joseph F Smith, Great Grandson of Prophet Joseph Smith Jr., Grandson of Alexander H Smith Presiding Patriarch, calls all who believe in Zion, and especially those who have an interest in the marvelous work coming out of Brazil, to a Solemn Assembly, held in Independence Missouri. (continue)
Roger Gault: Our Heavenly Father, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, we bow our heads in reverence, in love and humility before Your throne of grace. What a marvelous day this is! We have been privileged to participate in an activity that has been the goal, and the hope, and prayer of the Latter Day Saints for days and years that we put behind us. We pray, our Heavenly Father that that which is about to be discussed this night, will be processed through the Holy Spirit, and that we’ll be enlightened, guided, and directed. We pray especially for those who will be preparing themselves to gather into Zion singing the song that was just brought to us. What a wonderful, glorious day that will be! But just now we have to grow in understanding, and commitment toward each other, and in love and fellowship. We have the challenge before us now that You have placed this experience before us to be ready to have the coming of Your Son’s presence with us, and the enlightenment and challenge that will come from that part of the Book of Mormon that is yet to be uncovered and translated for our good, and for our benefit. And so now tonight as we gatherer in this service of fellowship and compassion for one another, we pray for the power and majesty of Your Holy Spirit to be present and rest upon each shoulder; guide us and direct us towards that which is true, and honest, and righteous. May Your Spirit then be our guide, our hope, and our stay, is our prayer in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Pastor of the Zarahemla Branch – Brad Gault (BG)
BG: Scriptures are quite clear when they say that in the mouth of two or three witnesses is truth established. Joseph bore his testimony, this morning, of those things that he saw and held and touched, and the experiences that were had there in Brazil. Brother Bob Moore was there as well too. Tonight I felt very impressed to have that second witness, tonight, to have that opportunity to bear his testimony as well, so I’ve invited Bob to do that. Not to take the hour that Joseph took this morning, but to take a few minutes with us as well and bear his testimony, that there might be a second witness in our hearing tonight. I want us to turn in our hymnal;s first to number 282. We will remain seated and sing this hymn and then Bob, I’d invite you to come up after the singing of this hymn and bear your testimony.
Bob Moore’s (BM) Testimony
BM: As you know, Joseph and I went to Brazil. For those of you that were in this branch I bore testimony of what I knew prior to going; that the branch here might realize what was happening. I didn’t understand the full scope, didn’t even understand the tip of the iceberg, but I knew something special. We knew that an angel had visited them, not once, but over a course of ten years, and instructed them. This group of people were not affiliated with any church (Bob has since conveyed that was his assumption and he was wrong, they were LDS); simply called themselves “Seekers.” They studied; they’d had gone out in fasting and prayer. They were visited by the Three Nephites, and they had had certain direction about what they were doing, and its impact upon the world; how it would transform Central and South America, and eventually come to assist in the building of Zion. All these things we knew beforehand, and I just shared those testimonies as we knew them. [those testimonies were shared in the Branch prayer/testimony meetings largely]
There are a couple of things that I want to share with you that I think are important to be shared. They go in three parts; then I’ll tell you what our mission was.
We went there to baptize people that we knew had already been converted to the Gospel; ordain any if the Lord so directed, and organize a branch. That was the purpose of us going. And we did that. We didn’t organize a branch; we didn’t have enough time. They certainly, if they have not done that, will do that because that’s the direction they received from the angel. So we did that, but when we went there, received a task…several jobs that Joseph and I are to do.
To better explain that, I want to refer to three different things: we were really…we went to school, didn’t we Joseph? The first thing I want to tell you is how the Three Nephites interpret the 12th chapter of Daniel. In the 12th chapter of Daniel there are three time periods. They all have to do with the sealed book, which is a reference to the Book of Mormon. The first period is the times, times, and dividing of time. We’re all familiar with the traditional church’s interpretation of how that ends in 1830. The calculations that the Three Nephites gave them were different, but the result was the same. That time period ends in 1830 with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.
The second time period, 1,290 days, starts at a different point, and it ends on April 6, 2007. That is the beginning of the second invitation. Now we can look around our vicinity and say, “Well, how was that fulfilled?” because we think that the Lord does all of His work here. It was fulfilled in Brazil. The Lord began His work there, the second invitation has been going there for 10 years. We’re now just aware of it.
The 1335, if you’re familiar with the 12th chapter of Daniel, we weren’t told how that was calculated, or what date. That refers to the time that Jesus will read the remainder of the sealed portion in the temple. That was the interpretation of the Three Nephites, that they taught to them [Mauricio & others in Brazil] , and they, in turn, taught to us.
The second thing that I want to tell you is that Moroni also appeared to them. In fact, he’s actually the primary teacher of these people. Moroni told them, and this is very important, “As it was in the days of Amos, there were no people among the leaders of Israel that had a pure heart, and God had to go to Judah to call Amos to be his prophet to those people. In like manner, today there is no leader among Latter Day Israel with a pure heart, and the Lord has gone elsewhere”, and that “elsewhere” is where we were in Brazil. The Lord has not cut us off, in fact, He has opened a way of salvation. But salvation is unexpected, because it didn’t come from us. [for further understanding read Like the Time of Amos written in early 2018 by Bob Moore]
The third thing I want to tell you is the interpretation that Moroni gave to the 2nd chapter of 2 Nephi, which is the prophecy of Joseph of Egypt as recounted by Lehi to his son Joseph. [for further understanding read Joseph of Egypt written in early 2018 by Bob Moore] In that you’ve got Joseph of Egypt, you’ve got Joseph who is Lehi’s son. In addition to that, Moroni said that no part of the Restoration understands that prophecy, or interprets it properly. I want to explain what that interpretation is according to the instruction of Moroni. We didn’t see Moroni. He didn’t talk to us, but he talked to them and they told us what he said.
The first reference is the choice seer (I can’t tell you the verses), but we properly identify that as Joseph Smith, Jr. As you read down, then it starts talking about a seer again. It talks about how he will bring forth scripture, and then have the power to convince the truthfulness to those who already have the scriptures. It’s kind of an anomaly. You wonder how does this apply to Joseph Smith, Jr.? It doesn’t. It refers to Joseph Smith III who brought forth the Inspired Version, additional commandments and also insights on how to save the restoration work from the Latter Day apostasy.
The third Joseph is referenced later on in that chapter. It talks about “a” Moses, and we can assume, because of the Inspired Version and the prophecy there, that that refers to Moses. It does not. It refers to “a” Moses and a spokesman. The second time it mentions the spokesman, it says that spokesman is the fruit of thy loins. Now as I read that, I assume that that’s the fruit of the loins of Joseph of Egypt. But according to Moroni, that’s not true, or that’s not the intent of the meaning. It’s the fruit of the loins of Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Restoration.
It refers to “a” Moses and a spokesman. The second time it mentions the spokesman, it says that spokesman is the fruit of thy loins. Now as I read that, I assume that that’s the fruit of the loins of Joseph of Egypt. But according to Moroni, that’s not true, or that’s not the intent of the meaning. It’s the fruit of the loins of Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Restoration. And specifically it refers to Joseph F. Smith. He is the spokesman to declare glad tidings in the land of Zion, that the time of its redemption and the release of the bondage of the saints is over.
That is the job given to Joseph, and I as his witness, and there will be other witnesses. Our mission is to bear testimony of this promise that the time of bondage is over, and the saints are released; and those who believe that testimony are invited to come together and the Lord will pour out His Spirit to unify them.
When I say come together, I’m not talking about organizing anything. This is not an organization, nor will it be. It’s a coming together of people who are interested in living in righteousness. It’s that simple. [this was Bob’s assumption at the time and as he has acknowledged he has made many assumptions that were incorrect]
Now, as a personal note, there are things that Joseph and I view differently, and we could enumerate them, but there’s no need; they are insignificant. We have laid them down. We are brothers. There’s simply not anything that’s going to separate us. In fact, to be honest with you, Satan has already tempted us, or tempted me that that relationship that we have might be broken. We’re aware of that; I’m aware of that. We simply as latter-day saints need to look at all the things that we believe, and lay down the differences and find a way to worship together, and love each other.
All of us are like roughhewn stones, and when we come to Christ, are baptized, we’re cleansed from sin. The Holy Spirit is placed in us; we’re a temple of God and the Holy Spirit can smooth that stone, and in the language of Paul, fitly frame us together into a spiritual house. And that’s the calling that’s for us; that we can be built into a spiritual house.
And so our job was to return back here to bear testimony of what’s happening in Brazil; those people who believe, to bring them together for unification that God will pour out His Spirit and have a united people, and then we’re to build the temple so that Jesus can come and read the rest of the sealed portion in the temple to His people.
In the meantime, in Brazil, a portion of the sealed portion will be translated and sent here for publication. And when that is published, which I suspect will be in the near future, it will tell us all things to do, to live righteously in Zion, and I assume other things as well, but we have that promise.
We also have the promise that when the times become difficult in this land, a bubble of protection will be placed over Zion, so that those that come here for refuge will be able to live here in peace, and in righteousness, and prepare for the gathering of all those who come. That’s our mission. That’s our testimony.
We were then given signs that we can share with you that are verifications that our mission is divine. And those signs were the privilege of seeing, and handling the interpreters, the sword of Laban, and the Book of Mormon plates. They were shown to us. Mauricio is the individual who will be doing the translating. There are 3 witnesses in Brazil who have all seen Moroni; all been instructed by him; have seen the plates, and have held those objects, like in the first days of the Restoration.
There are to be 8 witnesses, I presume who will not see Moroni, but who will be witnesses to the plates; their authenticity, the sword of Laban, and the interpreters. Joseph and I were privileged to hold them. I held in my hand. Joseph was overcome, sat down in the chair, flipped through the pages, the loose pages, and looked at them (there’s 68 loose pages), and said, “These are the very pages that my great-grandfather read over and over again.”…
I simply want to confirm that everything that Joseph said this morning, is true. This is my testimony: I was there, I heard, I saw, and I touched.
I brought with me copies of a revelation given through Joseph Luff Feb. 19, 1930. At that time the Temple Lot church was in the process of building the temple. They were excavating it. They were planning to do that, and the Lord came and spoke His word to them. And in so doing, He talked about the presumptuous attitude that they have, and we have that attitude today among many parts of the Restoration.
He speaks to that; tells them about the lack of wisdom, and that kind of division. The part that I want to draw your attention to is just a short part…Here’s what I want to read, and this is the goal. “For behold, from both here and there, and from every circle where God’s intervening hand shall smite and awaken to repentance, shall arise a cry to which He will give ear, and His answer will dissolve the obstacles that hinder, and the differences that provoke contention. And from thence forth, those who remain, and give heed to His revealment shall abound in their joy of their sanctified experience, and God shall have a united people.”
Now I realize that the symbols, the signs, as they called them, the plates themselves, the sword of Laban, I realize how that draws our attention. But our focus ought to be on the fact that God is calling us to repent and unite. Some will, some won’t. Those who will, will have the privilege of having Jesus appear in His temple and read the rest of sealed portion to them, and I invite you to embrace that goal and strive towards it.
Opening the service up for Questions and Answers
BG: Thank you, Bob. How many of you have ever played the telephone game where you sit in a circle and somebody whispers something in an ear, and somebody whispers something, and somebody whispers something, and by the time it gets all the way back around, it’s a completely different story.
You are all now second witnesses because you’ve heard a primary witness bear their testimony, both this morning and this evening. It’s important, saints, that the story that now you tell your friends, and as you begin to bear witness of the things that you have heard tonight, that we are on the same page with regards to the story that’s told out there. I see in my corporate experience…a lot of times they have big announcements and there is information that is shared, and it’s amazing how that story changes as it’s told.
So I think one of our goals here tonight ought to be, “What did you hear?” I want to open that to you. We have Joseph and Bob here tonight and I think it would be good for you to say, “This is what we heard” because sometimes maybe when you try and say what you heard, and sometimes maybe you get something not quite right, maybe we all come with our own life’s experiences; we all come with our own preconceived ideas and notions about how things should happen, and how they should roll forth, and I certainly am the same way. So why don’t we just open this up for a little while and have you share a little bit with each other about, “If I were going to tell somebody, this is what I would say,” and again, we have Bob and Joseph here to help with that message and say, “No, that’s not quite what transpired, this is what transpired”, so that we can make sure that what you just heard and shared over an hour this morning [Joseph F. Smith’s sermon] is sewn within the fabric of our own testimonies tonight too. And then after we do a little bit of that, then I think we’ll just open it up for general kind of question and answer… So what did you hear? Wait for the microphone. (Time: 25:35)
Q: Bonner – A clarification of Moroni sharing with them, and then they sharing with Bob and Joseph. That was prior to Bob and Joseph getting there do I believe. Wasn’t it Bob?
BM: It started 10 years ago.
Q: Bonner- They said that Moroni would tell them this, and then they told us “This is what he said.” That was not at this moment in time when they (Bob and Joseph) were there? Correct?
BG: That’s my understanding…(instructing A/V dept)
Q: Bonner- And if that’s true, I just wanted to clarify because Bob said that Moroni would say “this”, and then they shared this with us. It was like that it was happening at that present: that Moroni was in another room when they shared.
BG: That’s not my understanding. Let’s let Bob or (JFS)—this is the kind of example that we want to make sure we get the story right…
Joseph F. Smith (JFS) A: As I understand it, what you’re wondering is the discussion between Moroni and Mauricio and the people. This began April 6, 2007, the first visit when he went up on the mountain and he run into darkness, there appeared the angel Raphael who created light that he (Mauricio) was able to make the top of the mountain, and there he met Moroni. Is that what you’re asking?
Q: Bonner -Well, what I’m saying is that Moroni wasn’t present when you and Bob were there.
JFS: He was not there when we were there.
Q: Bonner- Was there any description of Moroni? Because in church History we have a description of Moroni. Did they ever describe what he looked like?
JFS: I don’t think so. I didn’t remember.
BM: [Quietly said “No”—description of Moroni]. We had a real difficult time communicating. Thankfully Joseph can speak a little Spanish. They didn’t speak English; We didn’t speak Portugal. Mauricio was commanded by Moroni early on to learn English. He refused to do that. Fortunately his oldest daughter who is 14 years old learned English because she watched YouTube videos and Netflix. She was our translator, but when you got into scriptural terminology she wasn’t exposed to that language; we used Google Translate which meant you had to type it out, re-read it, correct it and make sure it was right, and then let us read it, and then we had to respond. The communication was slow, so if this had of been in all the same language, it would have been very easy for us to ask questions like what you’ve asked. But in a time-consuming environment which we were in, there were all sorts of questions that we had. We just didn’t have the time or the means to ask them.
BM: We had no description of Moroni. I can tell you that the information about the roll of Joseph that was taught to them by Moroni occurred in January of 2017.
JFS: Mauricio did experience a vision wherein he saw Moroni in a—like a wheel, a circle like a bubble, and he said it was like a chariot of fire. Bob, do you remember that? He could probably give you a better description of that than I can, cause I can’t remember what all appeared.
BM: One evening when they lived in their old house, they had to move from their old house because the LDS found that he had the plates and broke into the house and ransacked it trying to find it. He needed a more secure place. But when they lived in their old house, Moroni came to visit them, and above the house there was what they termed a “chariot”, and they described it as a wheel within a wheel, two wheels, one perpendicular to the other. I don’t know whether he (Moroni) came that way, but that’s what Joseph is referring to.
Q: Watching the service online…Joseph, you mentioned that you’d been asked to go back down and take 6 witnesses to view the plates. I was wondering if there were any instructions or indication of who or what kind of witnesses those would be—other factions of the Restoration or scholars, or anything like that.
JFS: While we do have the problem, or the chore, the work that was given to us is to bring together the Restoration branches along with the Church of Christ Temple Lot. For this reason I was reaching out to several in the Temple Lot Church and bore my testimony with them to see if there were some of them that might be willing and capable of going down as witnesses because we would like to include some of them from the Temple Lot Church in order to facilitate the work that we are trying to accomplish. But the Lord will give us the names of the people who are to go.
BG: So by revelation.
BG: I’d like to make an editorial comment here, and I don’t mean to call you out here. We use the word, “Factions” too often in our communications. And the word that I think that is better is “fraction.” So can we talk in terms of fractions? We’re all part of the same whole. I think that is a better way to look at the what the Lord is doing among His people.
Q: Could you tell me when did Mauricio receive the plates from Moroni?
JFS: They didn’t give us the actual date, but they have had them from around four or five years.
BG: Continually or intermittently?
JFS: I don’t think they had them all the time. At one time they were told to build a box of stone and to deposit them in it temporarily, or so forth. They described how they built it. I think there were times when it was taken back into the hands of Moroni. I don’t know for sure, but I think so, but they have had their hands on them, and worked with them for the past four or five years.
BM: Mauricio said that he received them in 2011 or 2012. They were in his possession most of that time. Again, these are questions that you would ask in a normal conversation. We didn’t have the opportunity to do that. They did take them [plates] somewhere. They were in his current apartment. One night actually people tried to break in and Moroni actually stood guard outside the window, cause a ball of light (and they live on the second floor) during that night they removed those; they said they knew where they were, and said that they are in the care of Moroni, and that is as much as they wanted to say.
The day that they showed that [objects] to us and we came out of the back bedroom (and the family’s now back in the apartment), Mauricio had wedged a chair underneath the front door knob, so if anybody actually tried to open the door, they could not get in. That let me know that the plates were still in the apartment. The next morning when we got up, that chair was gone from there. So they [plates] are not in the apartment, but they have access to them. They went and got them; they can go get them again, I suppose.
Q: Bonner-The original plates were in a stone box in the beginning, so that box, you might think, would still be available somewhere. I don’t know. Anyway, Bob, you said there was 68 pages that were not sealed, and I was thinking, the Book of Mormon is so many, but I’m thinking that each hieroglyphic thing is a number of words within each character, is what I’m guessing.
BG: Bob said that they were told that each character is a phrase. So that kind of tells you a little bit about the translation process…
Q: Bonner -And also, the sword of Laban, Joseph F. described it somewhat today in his message, but I was wondering if it was very ornate, otherwise, was the handle ornate? Was it jeweled in any way, or was it just like a sword that you might see in that time frame that came out of that era?
BM: The handle I would say is cast brass. That would be my guess, and when it was molted, characters were placed into it like with some sort of brand, fairly deep, a quarter of an inch; there’s three on each side of the hilt. I don’t know what those characters are, I don’t know what they mean. The handle is decorated. The sword is guilded, it’s a two-edged sword. You can tell it’s been in combat. I mean it’s got dents and dings. Going down the side is a gilded part going down the center of those blades, it’s old, it’s ornate. The edge is still sharp; I’d hate to draw my hand fast across it; it would cut it.
Comment: Ed – What I gathered from the testimony of Brother Joe was that the group of people in Brazil had a great deal of love for God, and for each other. It is apparent to me that God has removed His favor from this country to Brazil. And we have much to prepare to be a part of God’s people. We are to love each other as we love ourselves, and we are to love God with all our heart, might, mind and strength, and that translates to me that we need to give everything to the cause. I believe that was part of the reason that the church went under condemnation because they could not apply their great gifts to everybody that was going to be part of them.
Q: Earlier this day when Brother Joe was talking, he seemed to imply that they had received the instructions on how to live righteously. And here we sit, and we thought (at least this is what I comprehend) we thought we were doing pretty good! What is the separation [in] what they understand of living righteously, or what they were told, compared to us? What do we need to do to become truly righteous with the Lord?
JFS: They put in practice the Celestial Law of God. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, and all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.”
We also try to implement that law, but we like to keep one foot in Babylon. We will not totally commit ourselves to the work that is before us. These people have totally committed to each other. If one of them loses a job and falls behind and needs some help, they pitch in and bring him up. They have a love that I cannot, Bob’s got a lot more words than I have, but I cannot come up with enough words to describe the love that they have for each other. It’s something that you have to see and feel. That is because they totally commit to the work of the Lord.
BM: Some of you may be familiar with the phrase in the New Testament that says “Greet each other with a holy kiss.” I will tell you that that does not adequately express how they greet each other. It is a real expression of real love and concern—and the way they embrace, and the care that they have is genuine. So we have a tendency to always look at the outward results. What they have is inward. The outward results just reflect what is already inside.
I’ll give you another example. I made mention of how they taught us what the Three Nephites taught them about the 3 time periods in Daniel 12. The way they introduced that is they asked us our opinion. So we told them that. Joseph kindly referred to me, and I went through it. I have one (theory) that I concocted, that I think is pretty-witty on the 1,290 days. But it was wrong. As I explained all that to them, they asked questions; they were interested in it, and when they said, “This is what we were taught,” they did it in such a way that you never realized that they were contradicting you. There is never an effort to say, “You’re wrong.” There was never an effort to say, “We know more than you do.” They do [know more], but it is always in an uplifting, saving way. That is how they treat each other. The way we treat each other is almost the opposite of how they treat each other.
Q: I’ve got a strange question with you on the sword of Laban. According to 1 Nephi 4, it was made out of not brass, but precious steel. The hilt was gold. According, later on, it was not ornate, and was not carved out after any manner, in fact Nephi made many swords “after this manner.”
I was wondering, what do you guys have—I believe you two gentlemen are telling us the absolute truth; everything that you guys have seen; you would not lie to us. But what evidence do you guys have that those gentlemen down in Brazil did not fraudulently build a set of gold plates, fake sword and a bunch of stuff to try and deceive us and create more separation in the church?
BM: The first thing that we saw was the interpreters. That was at a different time in the evening. After I looked at them (they’re broken, BTW), after I looked at them, Mauricio (who’s really the spokesman—four people have been taught by Moroni); there are 3 witnesses down there that have been taught by Moroni, and seen all these things.
Mauricio did more of the explaining, and frankly they know his place: which is to do the translation. He asked me, “What do you think of that?” (The interpreters), and I can tell you, I looked at that (interpreters). It’s the most curious piece of work I’ve ever seen. There’s no way that was manufactured recently. It’s aged. You can see the groove around the edge. It’s triangular, kind of like an isosceles triangle, beveled on the sides. You can see where the groove has been made for the bow that fits in there. It’s worn. It’s not something—if anybody had done that—put all those little curious characters on the beveled edge, and around the center of that—there’s kind of an eye-shaped forming characters, all that writing on that, very, very tiny. For an artisan to do that is beyond my imagination, for them to actually produce that today, and then make it aged.
The sword is not decorative. I would call it a molten brass just because that is how it appeared to me. I don’t know what it was made out of. And I can tell you that it’s golden down the center, but that’s old. And it’s worn.
The plates, they had a magnet. And it clicks to the rings. The rings are like steel, they’re shiny, there’s no corrosion to them. It does not stick to the plates. The two bands that band that sealed portion, they look different. I can tell you that the plates, where the rings are, appear to be made of a different metal that’s kind of molten into it, as if that was a more rigid metal, maybe not as much gold. I don’t know, you just look different. You can look and see the edges, how they broke off the sides in a straight line and then repressed the ragged part down into it, re-beat it. It’s been beaten, as if somebody put—Joseph, I thought, explained it best—as if somebody put two plates of steel and beat on the steel.
So I’m kind-of empirical in my thinking. When Mauricio said, “What do you think about this?” There’s three possibilities in my mind:
- This is the work of the devil
- This is a fraud and a hoax
- This is of God
To me, that’s the three possibilities. Well, it’s not of the devil because the Holy Spirit filled my soul. I think Joseph can say the same, the whole time we were there, never left.
As far as being a hoax, the skill that it would have taken to produce that, those people don’t have it. Who did that? And how did they pay for it? I think just a rough estimate if somebody were trying to pawn that off as a hoax, they had to invest over a hundred thousand dollars in those artifacts. And that may be a real conservative guess. OK, so let’s say that they had the money, why would they do it, and what are they asking for? They are not asking for anything. They wouldn’t even let us pay for the food that we ate. They don’t want anything. All they’ve ask us to do is to come up here, bear testimony, and those who will unite, the promise from the angel [“Moroni”] is, the Lord will pour out His spirit on them. Now how is that going to divide a Restoration group of people that are already so divided, that everything is an argument?
So to me, it’s very simple. It boils down to whether or not the Holy Spirit rested upon me, and whether I saw those things, and I can testify in both cases that’s true. Joseph can also say what he wants about that.
JFS: When I picked them up in my hands, I have handled many 40-50 lbs. sacks of feed in my lifetime. And this weighed more than 50 pounds, I’m sure. I’d say close to 60 lbs. anyway. That is 60 lbs. of gold. That’s a lot of gold. If you condense that down into dollars and cents, it’s out of my imagination how much money that much gold would produce. I can see no reason why any man would spend that kind of money to do nothing. I agree with Brother Bob, the spirit that was with us was exemplified so many times, especially when we laid our hands upon them to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. That fire that came up inside of them, it was so tremendous that when they bore their testimony in Portuguese, I could not understand a word, but I knew what they were saying, that they were expressing the feelings that they had, the testimony that they had received the gift of the Holy Ghost. This is not a fake. This is not a fake in any way shape or form.
Q: Dave -I’m a member here at Zarahemla and when I was listening to the res- ponse that Bob and Joseph had, I hope you all listened close, because it’s the trap that Satan wants you to fall into. When there’s something spiritual being done, don’t try to justify it in a temporal way. Simply say, “Who does this glorify?” We can all see the message. I don’t care if it’s a number two pencil and a piece of paper. I don’t need nothing else to show me that it was of God. I see the message is there.
Q: Gary -You mentioned that they were called “Seekers” and that they were not a part of a church. Were they ex-LDS?
BM: No, none of them were LDS. They weren’t active in any church. There were four of them. After the first year, because of the instruction that they received, they became aware of the LDS. The LDS is a large church in Brazil. One of them left the group and became a member of the LDS church, and credits those experiences with his conversion experience to the LDS church. He’s now a stake bishop. But none of them were [LDS] and a little later on, they inquired whether they should join the LDS Church, and they were told not to join the LDS Church. [this was an assumption and misunderstanding on the part of Bob. All 4 were LDS at one time] In January of last year they were told to write Joseph [F. Smith]. A voice spoke to them and gave them the email address which is firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m the owner of the site reoranizedchurch.org. I use it for people who are interested in the teachings of the reorganization. I do it for missionary work. There is no mention of Joseph F. Smith in that site. So that was a very strange way. I asked, and they said a voice spoke to them and gave them that address. That’s how they made contact with us. [Bob is mistaken, that site does actually has an Article from Joseph F Smith and an email to contact him]
Q: Marilyn – You probably had your cell phones with you. Were you allowed to take pictures? Or did they ask you not to?
BM: When we went into the room to view the plates, they asked us not to take pictures of the characters on the plates. And we could, in fact, they took pictures of Joseph holding the plates, and Joseph and I holding the plates.
Q: Todd – I’ve got a couple of things I’d like to try and get some clarification on. One thing brothers, I like to get from you that list of the items you said you hefted, the items you said you got to hold on to, to view and lift, whatever you did with them. And then also this group you say is four individuals. Who are these people? Is there a branch or congregation behind them, with them, side in with them, or just the four? The other thing is, I’m unclear, what’s been going on, what’s been happening for ten years? I didn’t get to hear all that stuff this morning.
BG: It is online so you can go see the exact testimony that Joseph bore.
JFS: Give me the question.
BG: The question was, “What were the artifacts that you actually held?”
JFS: OK. The Book of Mormon plates and the plates that are sealed are all on one plat together. They’re not separated. The three rings are like a U-shape. The sealed portion is on the back side of the three rings, while the Book of Mormon portion is on the right. It is open. You can open those pages. I turned those pages. That was the first thing. The second thing was Laban’s sword, which he [Bob] already explained what it looked like. The third thing was the broken pieces of the interpreters.
BG: The second question was, “Was there just the four, or who else is involved down there?” and “Are they part of another group? In other words, another church”…
JFS: OK. One of the things they asked of me in the first email that I read to you this morning, was, what they needed from me was to be baptized and to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and ordination into the priesthood, which I delivered to them. The question was, “Into what church are we being baptized into?” My response was, “I don’t baptize into a “church,” I baptize you into the family of God. When I baptize you, you become a child of God. You can choose what organization you want to join, but I do not baptize into an organization. So they were of no organization down there. It started out with Mauricio searching for answers. And it grew over a period of time to where there is four people who are firmly devoted to the work, and have been instructed through this Moroni.
BG: As I understand it, Joseph, there were fifteen baptisms, three men ordained to the office of elder. And when Joseph and Bob left, there was no branch formed…
BM: There are five distinct families…Of those families you have Mauricio and his family, then you have the three witnesses and their families, and then you have another family (Hudinae and Denisea Sp?). That is the five families of the group at this time that’s baptized. There are others interested, but that’s the core group.
We did not have time in all of the affairs, we didn’t have time to have an actual branch conference or meeting to organize a branch.
Mauricio asked me for instructions on how to do that. I left those instructions, and I assume that’s been done. So they will go through the formal organization process like any other branch is formed.
BG: What was your third question, Todd?
Q: What’s been happening since April 6, 2007 until now?
JFS: Well, every year at the designated time, Mauricio goes up on the mountain with at least two or three people with him; they receive instructions from Moroni: what they’re to study, to learn what they are to do. This continued on until this year when they were given my name.
BG: So they’ve been receiving instructions on an annual basis for ten years. This year they were finally told to contact Joseph.
JFS: One thing I found out for sure, and Brother Bob will agree with me, when we got there on Saturday afternoon, and we met the group, we were fully comfortable with the people there as being brought into a condition where they could be baptized.
Comment: Reed – I’m … and before I say what I’m going to say, I’d like to see a show of hands. How many people hold the priesthood in the room? Every hand that’s raised can trace their ordination back to what happened in New York when Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were ordained under the hands of angels, and within the Restoration fractions, we come down to the priesthood we see in our midst today. The Lord promised us, or perhaps admonished us that He was going to set His hand for the LAST TIME in the Restoration to confer this priesthood. So my interpretation is that anyone baptized and ordained of this holy priesthood of the Restoration traces their ordination back to Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith, Jr., and the Restored priesthood that was given by the hands of angels. And this is the priesthood they [Mauricio and his group] hold, and that is the “Church” they belong to.
Now, I’m somewhat of a “seeker” myself. I personally contacted the Secretary of State of New York, and asked for copies of the documents filed to organize the church April 6, 1830 at Fayette, Seneca County, New York. After diligent search, they said, “We have none.” They never filed the papers. That means that in today’s time in this dispensation, and perhaps this is why they never filed the papers, the original church, April 6, 1830, Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, 6 people. If there were articles, trust indenture, naming the bishop as trustee in trust for the church, filed nunc pro tunc, a Latin phrase for “now and then”, that organization would be the original church.
BG: I’d like to say, let’s keep it to the testimonies.
JFS: I believe there’s a place in the scriptures, and I can’t quote it word for word, where Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together, there will I be also.” Is this not correct?
JFS: And is not Jesus the head of the church? And if He’s there, wouldn’t you say the church would be there?
Q: I’m a chemist. I’m very curious if they have some notion of how thick those pages were. Give me some dimensions. I’d be very interested in that.
BM: I put my hand down onto the table and put a little pressure on the top plate and noted where it marked on the lines of my hands so that when I got home I could measure that, because that was a question that I had. The whole volume, sealed and unsealed, is approximately 4.5 inches thick. I suppose it’s possible to go back and then try to use that and figure out the size. I would say that we’re talking maybe widthwise 6 inches by maybe 8 or 9 inches lengthwise. Joseph, what do you think, about 6X9, or is that a little big?
JFS: When I looked first at it, my first idea was 5X8 inches, and then I thought, “No, it’s bigger than that.” 6X8 is what I finally decided would be pretty close to the size of the pages.
BM: As far as the thickness is concerned, it’s kind of a joke in our family. It has to do with Christmas, and getting a Jones’ Store gift box, getting something in a Jones’ Store gift box. I say that because that’s how I would describe the thickness of the pages. They are about that thick. They are metal, you can tell that. And they are rigid. They don’t bend in any way shape or form. They’ve been hammered in that they are flat, but like any metal, they wave. They don’t lay flat, so that there’s a little gap between each page based on the fact that they’re….unfortunately I know what a millimeter is. I work at a construction and I can tell you what a 1/16th of an inch is without thinking. And it’s [the gold page] by far smaller than a 16th. That’s about as good as I can tell you.
Comment: Dave – When I’ve sat here and listened, I’ve realized how important it is that we know the scriptures, and apply them. And when it says to love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, might, mind and strength, if ever you’ve been in a position where you had to do that (anybody want to raise your hand to that?)—when your life depended on it? If you have, you know what I mean. Now, you take that and the next step says, and to be your brother’s keeper. Now if the people around us looked at us, could they tell by the way you respond to being your brother’s keeper that you are part of Christ’s church? The scriptures say that inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you’ve done it unto me. Would you be guilty enough of any of these acts to be imprisoned for it? How could you tell? Are we any different from the other people out there? We’ve got all this knowledge, but are we out there being our brother’s keeper? You can’t. I’ve tried. You can’t go in the neighborhood and tell them you’ve got something great that they want to hear because they’re indoctrinated the way they are. But if you give them more love than they’ve seen from anybody else, then they start looking at you and wondering. And then they’re starting to get hungry and they’ll listen. I’ve started doing that. I really quit boing to church as much as I used to. I wanted to find out if I could go out there and love my brother enough that he would do this, and they do. And they like it. Yesterday my wife got me some beef jerky. I love it the stuff, but I knew, because the Lord touched my heart, that I had a neighbor that’s an older fellow who doesn’t have any family around, that I needed to share that with him. She thought it was kind of silly because I wanted it so much, but I went over, and you could see the reflection the love the Lord had for that man, and the joy it brought him from such a simple gift. But how many of us in our haste to get things done, leave it undone? If we aren’t willing to take our time and be our brother’s keeper, there’s never going to be a Zion. I don’t care how much you talk about plates or anything, we’ll not be a part of it. There will be [a Zion] but we won’t be there. So I encourage everybody, if there’s one message that you’re going to take from this meeting tonight, is to go out there and experiment by sharing the love of God with your neighbors, and treat them like you’d want to be treated. It’s simple stuff folks, God ain’t made this world complicated, or His gospel. It isn’t [made] for the smart, or the rich people. It’s for the simple guys like me, and I figured it out. I haven’t got it all down pat by any means, but I’ve got a part of that because I started doing it. I had aunts and uncles when I was growing up saying, “You weren’t meant for this time; you were meant for another time, another age.” Hey, we’re all meant for this time. Every one of us wants to be loved. Is there anybody here who don’t want to be loved, just raise your hand. OK, that’s my challenge. Go home and do it.
BG: You know, we’re told to do good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of faith. And that’s where we stub our toe.
Q: Gary – Just to clarify in telling the story correctly, so there were two baptismal services? Correct?
Q: 9 the first day, and 7 the second?
BG: 6 the second.
Q: Gary – How many members are there?
Q: Gary Metzger – Were the second set of baptism both the water and confirmations done by those brethren?
BG: Yes. If I say yes, and I’m wrong, please correct me…
Q: Jared – I’m just wondering if they gave you guys any details about how they got the plates from Moroni, or any specifics—how did that part actually happen?
BG: So how did they get the plates?
BM: I asked Mauricio specifically. I want to explain. I’ll say I asked Mauricio because he was the person doing the typing through Google Translate. Joni who will be the scribe, is the scribe; they’ve already used the stones before they were broken. They haven’t broken the seals on the sealed portion, but at any rate, Joni did a lot of the proofreading and correcting of what was done, and Valdeci and Wagner, the other two witnesses, were involved. But I would ask all four of them, “Is this what the angel [“Moroni”] said?” so that all of them could bear that witnesses. But I did ask Mauricio, “Well, when Moroni gave you the plates, where did they come from? How did this happen? Mauricio (I’ll stand to do this. It’s hard to do with a microphone) but he was standing at the time and he said, “Well, Moroni just put his fingers out in space and parted,” and he said, “There was a cabinet that was behind the space, and in the cabinet there were all sorts of artifacts.” Cabinet may not be the correct word. I think at first he said shelves. And he simply took out from those artifacts those three objects and put them on the ground, and then he closed the window, and the space was there. He did the same about the trench when it came time to create a place to deposit them again. He simply parted the ground. When he did, there was a trench that was lined by stones, and he had them compartmentalized with upright stones and showed them how to cover it.
Q: Bob – I wanted to ask Bob and Joseph, “Are there specific things that this group can assist you with in your mission?”
JFS: Specific things? Prayer and love.
BM: I’d like to comment on that. Most of the discussion is concerning about what they call the signs: what the plates looked like, how are they shaped; are they genuine? That’s the evidence. It’s the evidence for our mission. What the saints can do here is fulfill the purpose of our return. The signs are just evidence that our mission IS. And what God wants is He wants a unified people, and the temple built. So Jesus can come and instruct His people. For almost 200 years He’s [Jesus] been wanting that, and His people have been arguing about all sorts of things that are irrelevant to that task. So we’ve been sent back up here to bear testimony. Some people will believe, some will not believe. Those who believe are called to come together in unity. It’s very simple. And those people who do, God promises to pour out His Spirit and unify them so that they can build the temple. They’ve got to be the holy spiritual house first before they can build physical houses that are holy. And then they’ll be called upon to build the physical house.
Meanwhile, these people down there will translate when Moroni returns the new interpreters to them, and tells them to break the bands; they are establishing a United Order of Enoch, and those two men, Mauricio and Joni, will begin full time to translate the portion of the sealed portion that they are to translate. They will send it up here for us to publish that it might be an ensign to every believer in Jesus on this continent, so that they can gather to Zion, the city of refuge, and complete the establishment of the holy kingdom.
Meanwhile, all these people are going to be coming up through Central America and to bring their treasures and lay them at the feet of Ephraim as it’s prophesied.
This is the big picture. The little picture is just the evidence that what we come up here, the testimony that we’re bringing up here is true. So if you want to ask how do we help them, it’s time to simply come together, quit the bickering, the arguing, the infighting, jostling for position, simply come together, become a unified people and let God do His miracle of making us into His Holy House so that we can build the temple like He wants.
BG: And all the Lord’s people said: “Amen” (congregation joined in).
Q: Hezekiah – I was just wondering, a few more questions about the sword that you held in your hand. I was wondering, like when you hold the sword, you normally have the cross guard that would protect from a blade striking down. Was there any sort of protection for the hand, was it small, large, and where were the engravings? Were they on the handle where you would hold it inside the hilt, or were they beneath the handle where the palm would be located? And was it large enough that you could get two hands or one hand on it? And one more question. It says it was extremely fine steel. Did it look Damascus or did it look like just plain steel to you?
BG: Do you know what Damascus is Bob? It is a form of knife making where they take steel, they lay it over and pound it, and they lay it over and pound it, so a Damascus steel would have all kinds of wavy lines in it from where they pounded it together. That’s what Damascus steel is. That’s an early pioneer, this country kind of knife making. Have you ever been to Silver Dollar City and been in a knife shop, you’ve seen Damascus steel knives there. I’ll let one of you answer questions about the details.
BM: When they received the plates they had black sludge on them. They asked, “Where do you think that black sludge came from?” That was the question; they didn’t know. They just asked, and we didn’t know, but I was dumb enough to try to guess.
But they tried to clean the plates. They found that acetone would clean it. It makes the characters easier to read because the characters are not engraved. I could not feel the characters on the page. I would call them etched, but when the sludge is over them it’s much more difficult. So I think that’s why they cleaned it.
They also tried to clean the sword. And when they did, they caused the sword to deteriorate. So Moroni told them to wrap it in plastic, and so it’s wrapped in plastic. They let us tear it (the plastic) because they can rewrap it. And we looked at it.
The hilt, I’m not a swordsman or knife-maker, so what I call the hilt is a cross bar maybe four inches long, and to me, it all looked cast. As I remember, the handle, you could have held it. I’ve got small hands so I could have probably got part of a second hand on that to use it two-handed. I think it’s possible to do that. I have no idea if they did. I’d say the sword in total length isn’t more than three feet in length. The shaft going up into the handle…is now exposed in a few places on that. As far as wavy lines in the steel, I didn’t see any, but that’s been used, I would say it’s been beat on by sharp objects. There’s dings all along that where it looks like a blade’s come down and marked the sword on both sides, but I never saw any layering in the steel itself. It’s sharp, I wouldn’t call it razor sharp, but it’s sharp enough; you wouldn’t want to drag your hand across it. It’s bright in that it’s not rusted.
JFS: The back part of the blade was thicker, probably 5/8th of an inch thick which made the whole sword very heavy.
Q: So you guys mentioned that the purpose for you guys returning was to basically ask the brothers and sisters to unify, and I wanted to find out as you said, bring unity, stop fighting and bickering, so what are you guys saying that needs to be done for this to happen? Do you have any specific ideas?
BG: Joseph preached that sermon 20 years ago at Waldo. In 1996 Joseph, you preached that sermon? You mentioned this morning? Lay down your differences?
JFS: What did you want?
BG: I was offering your sermon from 20 some years ago as an answer to her question, is what I was doing. What do we need to do in order to be a unified people? That was the question there. I’m answering that. I don’t know if there’s any other things other than that, but it was a simple message that Joseph was giving 21 some years ago, lay down our differences and come together. That’s the hard part: to lay down those things that seem to separate us. Saints are good at building walls, but we’re not very good at tearing those walls down. I think it’s time that we tear the walls down…Bob did you want to comment on that?
BM: I do want to comment on that. What we’re looking for is like the three steps to salvation, or the six steps to whatever. This is an act of repentance. That’s what the call is: lay it down. Not a part of it; not the part that you want to lay down; do not have division. Don’t speak ill of anybody. If somebody disagrees with you, you find common ground. All the things that we believe together, you concentrate on that. And we come together with respect, we treat each other with dignity.
I’ll give you an example. I’m a home builder. Years ago we had a difficulty in the branch I attended. It divided people. I was in one of these big box stores and another member started to come down my aisle, saw me, turned right around and walked somewhere else. And that was fine, I don’t take offense at any of that. I just noticed that…I was at the job listening to KLJC at the time. And then in comes my tile cutter who goes to the motorcycle church; he’s got the beard and ear ring and all that, and the first thing he says, because he hears music, “Oh, isn’t it wonderful to work with a brother in Christ!”
Do you see the difference? That’s what we need as a people. We are brothers and sisters of our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us, and so we just lay it down and become brothers and sisters. We don’t have to go somewhere to do something; It is a change of heart in repentance, and we lay it down, and then we come together to build the kingdom of God. And God will give us the instruction that we need, but we have to do the repentance.
Testimony: Kelvin Henson – I just want to share an experience that I had this morning here at church. I guess it started yesterday. I had a buddy of mine—I didn’t know about any of this and yesterday I got a call in the afternoon. My friend was telling me that Joe Smith had gone to Brazil and saw the plates, and he was going to share about it. So I wanted to come and hear. And I really wanted to know if this was true; if this was real. So I started praying about it, and I prayed about it a lot yesterday. I prayed about it this morning before church. I prayed a lot that God would reveal to me if this was real or not. I came to the service and very much enjoyed the service, and as Brother Smith was talking about handling the plates in the room, he talked about how he felt the Spirit, and was overcome. But I specifically wanted to hear him say that the spirit of the Lord confirmed to him that these were the plates of the Book of Mormon. I don’t know if he said that and I missed it…but I didn’t hear it. So that’s what I wanted to hear. Toward the end of the service I really felt compelled that I needed to go and ask Brother Smith, as well as Brother Moore, if the Spirit of the Lord was there and confirmed that these were to plates of the Book of Mormon. So, maybe some of you who were here this morning noticed I kind of came out a little early. I wasn’t trying to cut in front of everybody, but I felt compelled to ask this question, and I was worried that if I stood in line waiting for everybody, I might lose that desire; so I came out and I immediately went to Brother Smith and I was going to ask him if the Spirit of the Lord had confirmed to him that these were the plates of the Book of Mormon. As I began to ask this question, my bosom caught on fire, and it just burned unlike any experience I’ve had in my life. It was so hot I was overcome. I reached up and I grabbed my chest, and it became very difficult to speak. I was trying to get the question out and I couldn’t hardly speak. I apologized for stumbling over my words, but I eventually got the question out and Brother Smith confirmed to me that the Spirit of the Lord was in that room with them with these plates, and with the sword of Laban, and that these were the plates of the Book of Mormon. I went and asked the same question for Brother Moore, and he testified the exact same way. I had that experience, that burning of my bosom, and that’s something I cannot deny, and I’m very grateful to have that experience. Today I was thinking about the service and I was thinking about my experience, and I realized it was all great, but it occurred to me that the main message of today was that we need to come together to be righteous, and I do have a question. I was wondering if there is an idea for a plan, or if there is a plan developing for the saints in the different fractions who so desire to come together to worship and live in righteousness. I was wondering if there’s a plan developing for that to happen, or an idea, or anything like that. Thank you.
BG: I’ll ask Brother Bob or Joseph, to address that. It’s very early in all of this…
BM: I asked Brother Joseph that question this afternoon. I want to reiterate a point: In my understanding he is the chief spokesman, and for that reason I believe that he will bring the answer. I’ll pray for him that the Lord can reveal that. We realize that we’re not creating an organization, nor will we. [Bob’s understanding at the time] But we realize it would be well for believers to associate and worship together. And I mentioned that need to Joseph and he indicated he understood that, and I intend to pray for a direction through him from the Lord for that very purpose.
Q: Chris – I had a question about the Urim and Thummim. I understand that they were broke. Is that correct? And do you have any information on what’s the events leading up to them being broke, and what happened, and why.
BG: I don’t think they called them the Urim and Thummim, they were interpreters.
BM: Yes. On one occasion, and I’ve related this previously here at Zarahemla. On one occasion, when the 3 Nephites (their first appearance to them), they were on the mountain and there’s a difference between the appearance of the angels and the appearance of the 3 Nephites. From what I can gather, Joseph you can correct me, evidently the angels appear as light while the 3 Nephites appear just as ordinary men. The three men were walking up the mountain, and they [Mauricio and friends] didn’t know who they were and they were a little afraid. They did approach them [Nephites]. There was a storm brewing, and as the men arrived, so did the storm, and one of them parted the storm, so that it rained and hailed, and all the fierce storm blew all around them, but upon them, they weren’t touched. The spokesman for the 3 Nephites said, (BTW) they didn’t identify them as the 3 Nephites. Joseph wrote them and told them that’s who they were), but the spokesman said that they did that “by the power of the priesthood of the Son of God”, that if they were faithful they would obtain that priesthood. One of those men at that time who was with them was named Jader. And Jader coveted that priesthood, and he started arguing with Mauricio, saying that Mauricio had power now to ordain him to that priesthood. Mauricio has the unusual quality of doing exactly what he’s told, nothing more, nothing less, and he doesn’t speculate on what the next step is. So his comment is, “We were promised it. We weren’t told to do it, but Jader did not quit. And so he went to the LDS to obtain his priesthood, and Moroni appeared and said that he was excluded from the group. Jader didn’t take that too well, surely an angel wouldn’t exclude him, after all he was better—he’d joined the LDS and got his priesthood. So it had to be of the devil, and he started accusing Mauricio that it was of the devil. Valdeci and Wagner weren’t part of them and all he had to lean on was Joni at that time. [Mauricio] He said that as he was reading the characters on the plates, the first book of Mormon is the book of Lehi. And as he is reading in there, he not only sees the characters, the translation that comes through the interpreters, but he also sees things of the evil one, and he was having a hard time rendering what he was reading different from before, and he began to say, “Yes, these have to be of the devil.” And in a low moment (Joseph said he took a stone; I understood him to take a rod), at one time, he said twice that he hammered them. It could have been with a stone, another time he said he took a rod. At any rate, he [Mauricio] broke them. They are two different stones. They’re made out of two different substances. One is white and it is crystalline. It broke into crystalline parts, rather small but along crystalized lines. The clear one is much harder, and he only broke it in half, broke it in two parts. You can actually lay one part on the other and see what it looks like, but it’s broken. So Moroni recently showed them how to make the stones, and they remade both stones, and gave them back to Moroni who is putting inscriptions on them. And at some future time, actually I expect at this coming year, return it to them. [This was Bob’s best rememberance at the time]
Q: “My name is Jeff Foley. I am from Chillicothe, Missouri. I was a Mormon missionary, Spanish speaking in Texas. I was the mayor of Chillicothe twice. The people from my city attacked Haun’s Mill, and massacred our people. I enjoy what you’re sharing here. “I’ve been recently contacted by representatives from 150 Native American tribes, 75 chiefs, a group of medicine men and grandmothers, who wish, because of their prophecies, not because of our prophecies of the Restoration, but because of their prophecies. When the earth is in turmoil, they believe they are to gather and to become one tribe. They believe that this land in which we are, right here, is to be that land, and they are wanting to gather. And from what I’ve heard tonight, if it is true, if the Lord opens these doors, this could work hand in hand with the things that you’re talking about. So I appreciate it, Thank you.”
Q. /Comment: Reed – I only discovered this story very, very recently and I came here tonight curious, but I now discover I’m leaving as a second witness. I particularly appreciate the testimony that the angel [Moroni] parted the portal and reached in and brought out the artifacts. This to me, shows that this is of divine origin. You went to Brazil. What city and state in Brazil, my question, and the other is “Where will the temple be?”
BM: We’re not going to state the city, and as far as where the temple is going to be, it’s going to be on the spot dedicated and set apart by Joseph Smith, Jr. We know where the cornerstone was buried. It will sit on that spot.
Comment: Marilyn – I just want to say that this group here tonight is only a small portion because if you didn’t hear the sermon today, or hear it from someone, which half of the people we know, don’t know about this, and there are so many people that I know like me, I believed it immediately and I wanted to be here to show that yes, I believe that God has shown us something. And so, if you were to have this meeting in a couple of weeks, this is not a large enough place to meet, just to give the other people credit that they haven’t heard yet. I feel like if you’re close to God, you will KNOW that this is of God.
BG: I will leave that up to Bob and Joseph of how they want to bare their witness and bare their testimony, and I’m sure the Lord will lead them in whatever. But you’re right. This is a pebble that is dropped in the water today. It will begin to (fan out). This is why I stated in the beginning that it’s very important to go out of here tonight and tell what you’ve heard, not what you thought you heard, or that you embellish the story, or that you add your own whatever to it, because this is the hand of the Lord, and I think it’s important that His testimony that is born, is born the same everywhere.
Comment: David B -I’m fortunate enough to be here in the (Zarahemla) branch. I’ve wanted to first say that the power of the Spirit today bore record so strong in my heart as they bore witness. Now I already knew, but the Spirit was here very, very strong, especially as Brother Joseph bore testimony about the plates. The Spirit showed up very early today for me. I was here also in the room whenever Brother Joseph and Brother Bob had a skype session with the people in Brazil. Coming away from that meeting I asked my wife what she thought and she said, ‘You can tell the Lord is doing His work.” I went home and I received a series of dreams and I won’t go into them, but I will paraphrase what came to me. Number one: The endowment and all the hopes of the Restoration is about to happen. In the other series of dreams that came was that I saw myself in the back of a pickup truck. And as it made a circle turn, two women were driving in front, I was in the back. There was a black man standing in the center. He had no shirt on. His hand was out with his thumb out. He was wanting a ride. As I saw that, they went on and I tried to get their attention, “Why didn’t you stop? You need to stop and pick him up.” They drove right up to the front of a church. As they go into the church, I follow them and they’re not there, but there are tons and tons of tables with white tablecloths. Pictures, ornaments on the table, little nametags like I get when I go over to Louise Gregson’s place, with names on them. I circled up to the next staircase and the same thing as far as the eye could see. Next staircase I go on up and it’s the same thing as far as the eye can see. And out of that dream I was given to understand that only those that had applied themselves to help their neighbor, the ones they don’t know, not just their family, but the ones they don’t know are the ones that are going to have the robes of righteousness to be able to live like they want to live in Zion, because the judgment’s coming. And as I understood that, it helped me to comprehend that it’s so, so important to apply the gospel in our daily walk, in our daily life. And I just wanted to bear testimony that from that moment I boldly bore witness on Sunday morning, because it happened on a Saturday night, the dreams came late that Saturday night as I petitioned the Lord, for what was His take on what happened. And He gave me that, and an understanding. So I’ve known from that very moment, that God had set His hand to move, and that it was about to happen, and we’re there. We’re on that day. A historic day took place today. I just wanted to tell you that anybody that wasn’t here this morning, you can still go online and witness what we witnessed. Tonight has been recorded and will be posted. You can go there and search, and pray, and ask for your testimony of the burning of the bosom, and I guarantee that it will be there if you’ve made your preparation.
Comment: Kevin – And if anyone would like the link to today’s recording, we have papers back here….
BG: It’s in a couple of places. You can go to our branch website and click the ustream link and you can go to YouTube and see it there too. Before I came there were already 120 people who had seen the ustream one and that’s pretty high for a broadcast out of our branch in that short of a time.
BM: I’ve heard from a couple of young men whose last name is Gould. I want to know if you are descendants of Leon Gould? You are? And is it not true that when the banks collapsed on the building of the [Independence] temple that he went north until the time the Lord would raise up a pure people. Is that not true? I want to tell you that that time has come. And I want to invite you all to come and become a united people and built that temple.
Q: Bobbi – I attend here. Was there a warning? Bob mentioned a bubble of protection, so something’s coming. Was there a time frame? Was there a voice of warning?
BM: I’d like to comment, in that the judgment has already come, and it’s already been announced. We, as Latter Day Israel* have been found wanting. The Lord has stepped outside of us because He could not work within us. But in His loving-kindness He invites us now to become one and participate in the redemption of Zion. The overflowing scourge is already come upon us because the sealed portion is not here. And it’s not being translated here. And those who have imagined that out of their own abilities and efforts, they could cleanse the work and complete it, have been found wanting. That’s the judgment. And the repentance is to accept the way the Lord has set his hand. Yes, there’s going to be devastations and judgments upon this land, but the call is to us is to repent. We were not worthy, yet God loves us. His son died for us, and He will yet in mercy appear among us. I want to make that point; the spiritual judgment has been pronounced; it has already happened, yet the invitation is still, come and sup of the goodness of the Lord, and accept the way He has set His hand to complete His work.
BG: I just want to take a check. We’ve been two hours now here. It’s been a good evening together tonight. I’ve sensed and felt in my own soul, the presence of the Lord’s Spirit here. Think about the diversity that we already have in this room, and think about the fact that the Lord is blessing us here tonight in that diversity that exists in our midst here tonight. Why can’t that continue, saints? Why can’t it continue? I think that’s a challenge for all of us. Is there anything that is extremely unclear tonight that somebody needs a little clarification on before we perhaps close our evening here together tonight? OK. When we leave here tonight, to take the one tool that will help us build that temple, and to leave here with unconditional love. If it’s any different, we won’t build it.
BG: Thank you. Let’s sing a hymn, “Come O Thou King of Kings.” Brother Joseph, could I prevail upon you to dismiss us with prayer tonight?
JFS: As we come to the close of this 2-hour period, we do so with grateful hearts. We’re grateful for the beautiful day you gave us this day; grateful for the time we have spent together this evening. We pray that as we leave this place that You’ll go with each and every one, protect us from harm, danger and evil. But not only that Lord, we pray that You’ve heard the cry of our hearts, tha cry that says we recognize Lord, that we have fallen short of Your expectations. And that we ask that You hear our plea and strengthen us, and give us the direction that we need to come back to Thy favor.
Father without Thee we are helpless, so we turn our hearts to Thee and pray Lord that You will not close Your ears to our pleas. And as we go forth, that we go forth in love for one another; that we learn to appreciate each other more so than we have in the past, and that we learn to understand our failures and to rise above them.
We ask these blessings in the name of Thy son, Jesus Christ, and pray that you will protect each and every one of us. Until we meet again, we ask in the name of Jesus we ask, Amen.