The trip to Brazil for the eight witnesses was to end March 5th. Joseph was to stay for an additional week and the rest of us were to return. Independently of each other, three of us made arrangements to stay longer. Later in the day on March 5th, after the other witnesses had departed, we learned that Moroni had said three would stay to witness additional things concerning Joseph.
We learned that Moroni had said that Zion was completely apart and far away from its true purpose, and before God chose a new people he wanted to give the opportunity to the people of Zion to repent, and if they repent, to restructure the church once again. If this doesn’t happen he is going to create a new church and a new people and will bring destruction over Zion. Joseph was told the Lord wanted him to cry repentance to the people of the church in Zion, that they should have a second chance, and then if the people from the church accepted him as a prophet, Joseph would give continuity to the church in Zion and in that way the prophesies concerning the building up of Zion could be fulfilled.
We learned that the Lord had designated through Moroni to Joseph Fredrick Smith the office held by Joseph Smith Jr and his son Joseph Smith III. We learned that Moroni had said, among many other things, that Joseph will be the prophet in Zion, he will accept a first presidency, call apostles, and designate a successor.
It was explained to us that the Lord, in his mercy, to fulfill all righteousness, was allowing a last opportunity to the people of Zion to repent and fulfill their responsibility before he chooses another people. Either the church comes together under the leadership of our brother or somebody else will. That is what Moroni told them. But if the people of Zion did not accept Joseph, he would come to Brazil and the church would be restructured there, still using Joseph, but that devastation would come upon the land of Zion for rejecting the call of the Lord to repent. We learned that there did not need to be a great number at first, but there could be a few, enough to organize, and then the work to again restructure the church would begin.
Later we learned many more of the words of Moroni which told of the work that is coming forth and more of Joseph’s calling and work. We learned that Joseph was chosen because of his love for the Lord and his faithfulness in keeping his commandments. We learned that the message spread by him would result in a remnant. This is contrary to what we had hoped, for we had hope that all the saints in Zion would embrace the good news that more of God’s word was coming forth and inquire diligently of the Lord for a testimony of these things, and receive a manifestation of the Spirit of God to confirm the truth of these things, and join in faith in this effort of preparation. Nevertheless, we rejoice that some have responded in a manner which is pleasing to the Lord. Certainly we all must be willing to hearken unto the voice of the Lord for there are many things of which the people of God have need to repent.
We learned of the coming devastation that was shown to Mauricio through the interpreter stones that will reach the people who reject the opportunity extended to them to repent, but that how also the Lord would protect his church, those who are numbered among his people. We were told the time for Joseph’s calling is now, in conjunction with the coming forth of the word of the Lord from the plates of Mormon. We were told to return to Zion and present this testimony and proposal to the people.
We learned of the prophecies that spoke of Joseph. We learned the scriptural authority for Mauricio to designate Joseph on earth. We heard the testimonies of the four men who heard from Moroni concerning Joseph’s calling and office. We had considerable discussion about procedure and timing and the attitude and expectations of the people of Zion and how to fulfill the requirements of the Lord.
We then met on the evening of March 6th with the church in Brazil. The prophecies, scriptures, and testimonies of the witnesses that had been related to us were spoken to the church so they would know what Moroni said, that Joseph Fredrick Smith should assume the position of prophet, he should call the people from the church to repentance, designate the body of apostles and still look for, in time, a successor coming from the lineage of Joseph Smith Jr that must be just, fulfilling the doctrines of the church and live with the dignity that they teach.
The proposal to accept Joseph as prophet, seer and revelator was presented to the saints, to support him as their teacher and leader. It was also stated that this same proposal will be proposed to the people of Zion. The church in Brazil voted in the affirmative. Bob Moore, Gary Metzger and Mauricio Berger laid hands on Joseph. Bob Moore anointed Joseph. Bob Moore and Gary Metzger offered prayers of anointing. Then Mauricio Berger performed the ordinance to designate and seal on Joseph’s head this office. We had the witness this was accepted by the Lord.
We have learned of the faith that the Lord requires from his people who accept our testimonies concerning the plates, even great faith in his mighty hand. The Lord desires a people of faith who will be part of the work he intends to do among us. Some of that faith requires acts even prior to the coming of the translation. Those who accept our testimony concerning the plates of Mormon are asked to also consider the testimony concerning Joseph’s calling.
On March 31st, 2018, in answer to questions from the congregation assembled at Colbern Road branch at the forum to present our testimonies concerning the plates and this work of God, the saints first learned of this calling and ordination. At a meeting on August 19th, 2018, the proposal was presented to the saints in Zion and after testimonies were heard, was accepted. This indeed was an act of faith by a people willing to hear and consider. We praise God for the faith of these people and pray he may work among them according to their faith as the call for repentance continues to go forth, that the church may continue as the Lord has intended, that Zion may be built up, and his people continue to gather and return to him. Due to the support for Joseph in his calling given by the saints in Zion, a confirming ordinance by the church in Zion is scheduled for September 23rd, 2018.
I have a testimony concerning myself being one of these three witnesses from Zion. One evening in February, a few weeks before we left for Brazil, I was suddenly prompted by the Holy Spirit to request the opportunity to stay longer. This was a strong, clear, distinct prompting that was placed upon me. When I wrote with my request I was delighted to learn my request was granted. Then some circumstances arose that seemed to prevent this from happening. I was heartbroken and brought my request to the Lord, pouring out my heart to him regarding my desires. Then I received a beautiful message of encouragement to trust in the Lord and soon after the way cleared for my arrangements to be made. Staying longer allowed me additional time with the plates to look over every page available for my viewing and see thousands of characters. It was after this considerable time because of my love for the word of God that my heart was full to overflowing at the goodness of the Lord in granting my request to turn those pages that had been in my heart for decades, fulfilling a blessing placed upon me many years ago. This extra time also fulfilled the purpose the Lord had that three of the witnesses from Zion should stay and witness the things that were testified to us by those who were ministered to by an angel of God.
I testify that God’s hand is in this work. By the ministry of angels he is answering the prayers of the saints of many years and generations and fulfilling the promises he has made.
We walk by faith and not by sight. We trust in the word of the Lord by revelation that this calling is from God and has been divinely appointed from heaven. A line of succession that had been broken has now been restored so it may continue until the Lord returns. The calling presented to the saints has been accepted. The designation and ordination accepted in Brazil has now received support from the church in Zion. With the disorder, confusion and chaos that has been around us for many years, we sometimes think we never have been in a situation like this before, but God’s people have never been in a place where God was not present to lead them. The time has come. Come saints and answer the call.
September 4, 2018