Historical Background

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What is the historical background of the Church of the Firstborn?

The Church of the FirstBorn was the first Church ever to be raised up upon this Earth. It was first organized and established on Earth by God the Father in the days of Adam145  and remained on Earth as a viable organization among men after His passing.146  The Presiding Keys to the Patriarchy of this Ancient Order were passed down from father to son among Adam’s Birthright Heirs in the PATRIARCHAL PRIESTHOOD.

Adam and Godchild

Adam is the primary Creator of this world,147  the first to live upon Earth in the Flesh,148  and the Father and God of all Mankind — hence Adam is God the Father!149  Being the first flesh to live upon this Earth, He is THE FIRSTBORN of this Creation150  and the Church of the FirstBorn is His Church!151  In keeping with this, the Right to stand in the place of Father Adam in His personal absence, to represent him to the world, is referred to as “THE RIGHT OF THE FIRSTBORN”.152  Succinctly stated, Adam is the FirstBorn and those who stand in His shoes, hold the “Right of the FirstBorn” — or, as expressed by the Prophet Joseph Smith, they “stand as God to give laws to the people.”153  This office in the Patriarchy is inherited by Birthright and was passed down among the Father’s descendants, commencing with Seth, who was the express image of his Father’s person and the likeness of His glory.154  From Seth the birthright passed to Enos, to Cainan, to Mahalaleel, to Jared, to Enoch, to Methuselah, to Lamech, to Noah,155  and finally to Shem.156  From Shem (who is spoken of in Scripture as “the Great High Priest Melchizedek”)157  the Keys of the Birthright passed to Abraham,158  who has left us the following statement regarding the descent of the Patriarchy:

I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also . . . to be a father of many nations . . . I became a Rightful Heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers. It was conferred upon me FROM THE FATHERS; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even THE RIGHT OF THE FIRSTBORN, or the [right of the] FIRST MAN, who is Adam, or [the right of the] first father, through the fathers unto me. I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers CONCERNING THE SEED. (Abraham 1:2 – 4; see also Abraham 1:18 –19, 28, 31)

From Abraham the Birthright passed to Isaac,159  to Jacob,160  to Joseph,161 to Ephraim,162  after which the descent was lost. Due to apostasy, in the days of Moses (who was a Levite) the Higher Order and Fullness of the Patriarchal Priesthood163  were taken out of Israel.164  As a nation they were then left under the tutelage of the Aaronic Priesthood, which essentially became a schoolmaster in preparation for the coming of Christ,165  when the Fullness of the Priesthood was again Restored.166  Not for long however, for the Church was soon driven into Apostasy,  and thus, yet another Restoration was required.

The Higher Order and Fullness of the Patriarchal Priesthood, together with the Keys and Birthright to the Patriarchy (i.e. the Right of the FirstBorn), were again restored to Earth on the 3rd of April, 1836, in the Kirtland Temple, when they were conferred upon the Prophet Joseph Smith by Moses, Elias (who in this case was Noah) and Elijah.167  The History of the Church, states that the formal organization of the Church of the FirstBorn commenced six years later, on the 4th of May 1842, which was when the Prophet first inaugurated the Holy Order and performed some of the initiatory Ordinances of the Temple. As is made clear in the record, these Ordinances pertained to the “ORDER OF THE ANCIENT OF DAYS”,168  or the Eternal Family Kingdom of Father Adam. The following explanation of the events of this day is taken from the Prophet’s History:

I spent the day in the upper part of the store [i.e. the Red Brick Store], that is in my private office . . . instructing . . . [certain worthy brethren] in the principles and order OF THE PRIESTHOOD, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood [i.e. the Signs and Tokens of the Aaronic Priesthood], and so on to the Highest Order of the Melchizedek Priesthood [i.e. the 4th Token or that Token having to do with the Higher Order and Fulness of the Patriarchal Priesthood], setting forth THE ORDER PERTAINING TO THE ANCIENT OF DAYS [i.e. the Patriarchal Order of Adam (Abraham 1:25–26), or expressed in other terms, the Kingdom of God which will be established in Power when the Ancient of Days sits, as was Prophetically foretold by the Prophet Daniel] (Dan 7:9–27; D&C 116; 107:53–56; TPJS 39, 122, 157, 167), and all those plans and principles by which any one is enabled to secure THE FULLNESS OF THOSE BLESSINGS which have been prepared for the Church of the FirstBorn; and come up and abide in the presence of the . . . [Gods] in the eternal worlds. In this council was instituted the ANCIENT ORDER of things [i.e. the Order of the Ancient of Days] for the first time in these last days. (History of the Church 5: <4 May 1842> 1– 2; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 237)

The following constitutes yet another record of the same occasion — it was written by Bishop George Miller, who was one of the participants. It will be noticed that the “Patriarchal Priesthood” and its connection to the “House of Israel”169  is more explicitly referred to in this account:

Many of the Apostles and Elders having returned from England, Joseph washed and Anointed as Kings and Priests [un]to God [the Father, (Rev 1:6; TPJS 369 – 373) to Rule] and [Reign] OVER THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, the following named persons, as he said he was commanded of God, viz: James Adams (of Springfield), William Law,170 William Marks, Willard Richards, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Newell K. Whitney, Hyrum Smith, and myself [i.e. George Miller]; and [thereby] Conferred on us Patriarchal Priesthood. This took place on the 5th and 6th [i.e. the 4th and 5th] of May, 1842. (H. W. Mills, “De Tal Palo Tal Astilla,” Annual Publications — Historical Society of Southern California Vol. X: <Los Angeles: McBride Printing Company, 1917> 120 –121)

Holy Order LodgeAs established by the Prophet, the Church of the FirstBorn was an inner Church of the Elect — it was the Celestial Family Kingdom of Joseph Smith and the beginnings of the Restoration of the tribe of Ephraim. It was an organization composed of the Prophet’s Adopted Sons who had received the Higher Laws and Ordinances of the Gospel, as taught and administered in the private meetings of the Holy Order and Council of Fifty — and hence the Fifty Princes171  of the Kingdom.172  The connection here is that the ordinances which were administered in those meetings were the ordinances of the Temple. It is just as the Prophet said:

And the communications I made to this council were of things spiritual, and to be received only by the spiritual minded: and there was nothing made known to these men but what will be made known to all the Saints of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive, and A PROPER PLACE IS PREPARED to communicate them, . . . therefore let the Saints be diligent in building the Temple (HC 5: <4 May 1842> 1– 2; TPJS 237)

The above statement records the day when the Prophet first administered the Endowment Ordinances of the Temple; and yet, as the record states, it is these very same Temple Ordinances which enable a man ‘to secure to himself the blessings of the Church of the FirstBorn’.  It is evident from this that the Ordinances of the Temple are the ordinances of the Church of the FirstBorn. That this is so was affirmed by President Brigham Young on the 26th of August 1860. On this day he stood before the Saints and stated that “the ordinances of the House of God are expressly for the Church of the FirstBorn” (JD  8:154). Three years earlier, President Heber C. Kimball brought this same thought to an even sharper focus when he affirmed that the Church of the FirstBorn was organized on Earth in the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith and that President Young and himself, along with others were present when that was done. In continuing he stated that the officers of this Church were together in one place when they received their Blessings and Endowments and that the Keys of the Church of the FirstBorn were then committed to them. He also stated that as of 1856, this same organization existed in Salt Lake City. Consider the following:

This people here are the people of God. Here, in the Territory of Deseret, is THE KINGDOM OF GOD [i.e the Council of Fifty] and here are all the officers PERTAINING TO THAT KINGDOM [i.e. The Fifty Princes of the Kingdom]; and here is an organization that is organized after the order of God [i.e. the Holy Order of God D&C 77:11], and it is organized after the order of THE CHURCH OF THE FIRST BORN.

Let me explain what the Church of the First born is. It is the first Church that ever was raised up upon this earth; that is [the Church of Adam, or], the first born Church. That is what I mean; and WHEN GOD OUR FATHER [who is Adam] organized that Church, He organized it just as His Father [God] organized the Church [of the FirstBorn] on the earth where He dwelt; and that same order is organized here in the City of Great Salt Lake; and it is that order that Joseph Smith the Prophet of God organized in the beginning in Kirtland, Ohio [i.e, the Keys were restored at this time in the Kirtland Temple D&C 110:11–16]. Brother Brigham Young, myself, and others were present when that was done; and when those OFFICERS [i.e. the Officers of the Church of the FirstBorn] received their endowments [(these Endowments commenced 6 years later in Nauvoo)], they were together in one place [in the upper brick store]. They were organized [into a Family Kingdom, as the Adopted sons of the Prophe Joseph Smith, or the Fifty Princes of the Kingdom], and received their endowments and blessings, and THOSE KEYS [i.e. the Keys of the Church of the FirstBorn] were placed upon them [through the said ordinances and the Last Charge in the month of April 1844], and that KINGDOM [i.e. the Order of the Ancient of Days] will stand forever (Dan 7:22, 27).

Now mark it — that kingdom will never be overthrown; although they may kill, that is, if they can, brother Brigham and me, and brother Daniel H. Wells [i.e. the First Presidency], and they may kill the Apostles [i.e. the Quorum of the Twelve], if they can, and so they may keep on from this time to all eternity and they never can obliterate this work. I know it. They may kill, and destroy, and waste a great many limbs that are upon this Church [i.e. the Church of the FirstBorn]; but let me tell you, they never can kill the tree nor destroy the root from whence we have sprung; for our Father and our God is that root and Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the tree or vine, and we spring out of that vine (Journal of Discourses 5: <2 Aug 1857> 129 –130)

It will be noticed that President Kimball compares the Church of the FirstBorn to a TREE or VINE. The whole idea comes into clear focus when it is realized that Kimball’s intent was to convey the idea of a GENEALOGY TREE, namely the Celestial Family Kingdom of Father Adam or “the Order of the Ancient of Days”, all of which is sealed together through the Ordinances of the Holy Order.173  It will be noticed too, that Kimball connects the Kingdom of God or Council of Fifty to the Church of the FirstBorn, which brings us to the conclusion that the Fifty constitute the Royal Government of the Celestial Family Kingdom of the Father. They had been ordained Kings and Priests and had received a Fulness of the Kingly and Priestly Powers of the Priesthood, that they might “Rule and Reign over the House of Israel”. They were, just as Kimball indicated, the Officers of the Church of the FirstBorn, and for this reason, it was they to whom the Prophet committed the Keys of the Priesthood in the “Last Charge”. That the Keys to the “Kingdom of God” — the “Order of the Ancient of Days”, or the “Church of the FirstBorn” were to be committed to the Fifty is made clear by the Prophet in a Revelation which he received, wherein the formal name of the Council was given by God:

Verily thus saith the Lord, This is the name by which you shall be called — The Kingdom of God and His Laws, with the Keys and power thereof, and judgment in the hands of his servants, Ahman Christ. (UPR 57a) In the Spring of 1844, the Keys of the Church of the FirstBorn were Committed to the Council of the Fifty, in what is commonly referred to as the Prophet’s Last Charge. Benjamin F. Johnson, who was one of the youngest members of the Council, has left us the following account of this occasion:

Benjamin F. Johnson

Benjamin F. Johnson

At one of the last meetings of the Council of Fifty after all had been completed and the Keys of Power committed, and IN THE PRESENCE OF the Quorum of the Twelve and others who were encircled around him, he arose, gave a review of his life and sufferings, and of the testimonies he had borne, and said that the Lord had now accepted his labors and sacrifices, and did not require him longer to carry the responsibilities and burden and [of] bearing off this kingdom, and turning to those around him, including the Twelve, he said, “And in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I NOW PLACE IT UPON YOU, my brethren of this Council. (My Life’s Review 89)

The Prophet’s revelation declares that the Kingdom of God or Council of Fifty would possess “the Keys and Power thereof”. But what do the “Keys and Power” of the Kingdom of God consist of? In a 1903 letter, written in response to queries which originated with the First Presidency, Benjamin F. Johnson defined the Keys which were Committed in the Last Charge in Explicit Terms.

Therein he stated that “the Keys of the Endowments to the last Anointing and Sealing [i.e. the Second Anointing] together with the Keys of Salvation for the dead, with the Eternity of the Marriage Covenant [i.e. the Keys which are required to perform the Marriage Ceremony in the New and Everlasting Covenant] and Power of Endless Lives [i.e. the Sealing Keys of Elijah]” — all these Constituted the Keys and Power that were committed to the Council of Fifty in the Last Charge .174

The Prophet had stated in a meeting with the Fifty, that it was his intention for his unborn son David to be his successor in the Priesthood, and that this son would finish the work which the Prophet left undone. But before his death Joseph received a revelation that his sons through Emma would turn APOSTATE, and consequently it became necessary for him to make other provisions. In lieu of this, the Prophet commissioned his close Friend, adopted Son and brother-in-law, Benjamin F. Johnson, to appoint his Birthright Heir among the sons of one of his sisters.

That Joseph would put this commission and responsibility upon the shoulders of Benjamin Johnson is not surprising. Indeed, by the time of the organization of the Council of Fifty, the Prophet had already married two of Johnson’s sisters. Besides this, there was a third to whom he had proposed and a fourth who would yet be sealed to him. Not only this, but Johnson and the Prophet were business partners. They were so close that Benjamin had been given POWER OF ATTORNEY to sign the Prophet’s name. Johnson became head over the second largest body of Saints in the Church, which was just across the river from Nauvoo, in Macedonia. Whenever the Prophet came over the river, he almost always stayed at Johnson’s home. As President George Albert Smith said, Benjamin F. Johnson was the Prophet’s bosom friend175 — it was as though he were his little brother.

Johnson spoke of the Prophet’s commission to him on several occasions. In a 1903 letter which, as already stated, he wrote in response to queries originating with the First Presidency, after giving an account of the “Last Charge” Johnson made the following statement:

And now my dear brother after 60 years have passed at 85 in age I bear to you and to all the world a solemn testimony of the truth and verity of what I have written above; For although so many years have intervened, they are still in my mind as fresh as when they occurred; no doubt as a part fulfillment of a prediction by the Prophet, relating to “TESTIMONIES I SHOULD BEAR OF HIS TEACHINGS AFTER I HAD BECOME HOARY WITH AGE”. There were dear brother other teachings to that Council of which I am not at full liberty to write; But if I had your ear I would remember that the Prophet once said to me “Benjamin in regard to THOSE THINGS I HAVE TAUGHT YOU PRIVATELY that are not yet for the public, I give you the right, when you are so  led TO COMMIT THEM TO OTHERS for you will not be led wrong in discerning those worthy of your confidence. (UPR 61:32 – 38, 42 – 45)

The above Prophesy speaks of two different occasions wherein the Prophet commissioned Johnson. The first concerns a “Prediction” which the Prophet made in the Council of Fifty, wherein he spoke of certain “Testimonies” concerning “teachings” of the Prophet which Johnson would bear after he “had become hoary with age”. The second concerns a private discussion which Johnson had with the Prophet, wherein he was commissioned with authority to perpetuate the Doctrine and Priesthood of the Kingdom of God to a certain worthy individual, when he was so led by the Spirit of God.

Dayer LeBaron 1940

Dayer LeBaron

In 1896, Johnson blessed his grandson, who was also a grandson of his sister, to be the Prophet Joseph Smith’s birthright heir. In accordance with the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage, this grandson of Benjamin F. Johnson was also a grandson of the Prophet Joseph Smith, to whom his sister had been sealed. Before his death, in fulfillment to the Prophet’s Commission, as the last surviving member of the Original Council of Fifty, and standing at its head, Johnson commissioned this grandson with the Mission and the Authority of the Birthright to the Patriarchy, as head over the Church of the FirstBorn, with the understanding that the work would not commence until after “the Times of the Gentiles had been fulfilled”,176  when according to Prophecy the ushering in of the Day of Israel would begin.

In 1950, shortly before his death, Johnson’s grandson ordained his son to all the Keys of the Patriarchy and commissioned him to go ahead with the work in his stead. To make a long story short, since this time, these Keys have passed down to us by ordination and the laying on of hands. In 1970 all the keys which were restored in the Kirtland Temple were conferred upon me by the laying on of hands, and since that time my life has been taken up with the work of God. For those who would wish to learn more of our principles, we invite you to contact us. You may call us (505) 600-1842.

In closing, we commend to you the following Article, which was written and published by Apostle Parley P. Pratt in 1845: Man is an eternal being, both in regard to his material organization, and his mind and affections. The resurrection from the dead (if quickened by the celestial glory) restores him to life with all his bodily and mental powers and faculties, and consequently associates him with his family, friends, and kindred, as one of the necessary links of the chain which connects the great and royal family of heaven and earth, in one eternal bond of kindred affection, and association.

The ORDER OF GOD’S GOVERNMENT [i.e. the Kingdom of God], both in time and in eternity, is patriarchal: that is — it is a fatherly government. Each father who is raised from the dead and made a partaker of the celestial glory in its fulness, will hold lawful jurisdiction over his his own children, and over all the families which spring of them to all generations, forever and ever.

We talk, in this ignorant age, of children becoming ‘of age,’ as it is called; and we consider when they are ‘of age’ they are free from the authority of their father. But no such rule is known in the celestial law and organization, either here or hereafter. By that law a son is subject to his father forever and ever, worlds without end.

Again, we have a rule now established in the earth by which a woman becomes the wife of a man, and is bound by law to him till death shall separate. But in the Celestial Order IT IS NOT SO, for the plainest of all reasons: viz, the celestial order is an order of Eternal Life, it knows no death, and consequently makes no provision for any. Therefore all its covenants and contracts are eternal in their duration, and calculated to bind the several members of a family in one eternal union.

* * * * * *

This being the case, it leads us to the irresistible conclusion, that the love and union of a man and his wife should extend into, and even be more perfect in eternity; or else Paul was very wrong in telling every man to love his wife even as Christ LOVES THE CHURCH.

Having established the fact, or principle of ETERNAL UNION between a man and his wife, we will now proceed to establish the eternal relationship and authority on one hand and OBEDIENCE on the other, that will exist between parents and children.

To illustrate this principle we have a beautiful and plain precedent — Jesus Christ and his Father continue to be ONE in their affection and UNION since he rose from the dead, and he still yields obedience to the commands OF HIS FATHER, and has also revealed that he will continue to do so, when he has put down death, and all rule, and authority, and power. “Then shall the Son also be subject to the Father.”

We hear nothing in all this subject about Jesus Christ ever being ‘of age’, so as to be free from all further obligation to obey his Father; but on the contrary, it is clearly revealed that he will always be subject to him.

Now this same Jesus prayed to his Father, as testified to by the Apostle John — That his disciples, and those who believed on their words, might be ONE, even as Christ and his Father are ONE. — Not only one with God and Christ, but also ONE with each other in the same manner, and in the same sense that they [i.e. the Father and the Son] were ONE.

Now suppose, in fulfillment of this prayer, a man[’s] . . . children were his disciples; and finally, in the eternal world, they become ONE with each other, in precisely the same sense that Christ and his Father are ONE; would not these children be subject to their father in the same manner as Christ is SUBJECT to his Father? Certainly they would.

* * * * * *

Having now established the fact that the Celestial Order is designed not only to give Eternal Life, but also to establish an ETERNAL ORDER OF FAMILY GOVERNMENT, founded upon the most pure and holy principles of UNION and affection. We will take a review of the CELESTIAL FAMILY of man as it will exist in the restoration of all things spoken of by the holy prophets.

First. His most gracious and venerable majesty KING ADAM, with his royal consort QUEEN EVE, will appear at the head of the whole great family of the redeemed, and will be crowned in their midst as a KING AND PRIEST forever after the order of the Son of God. They will then be arrayed in garments white as snow, and will take their seats on the throne, in the midst of the paradise of God on the earth, to reign forever and ever. While thousands of thousands stand before him and ten thousand times ten thousand minister unto him. And if you will receive it, this is THE ORDER OF THE ANCIENT OF DAYS — the kingdom prepared and organized to meet Jesus when he comes.

This venerable Patriarch and Sovereign will hold lawful jurisdiction over Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the prophets, apostles, and saints of all ages and dispensations, who will all reverence and obey him as their venerable father and lawful sovereign.

They will then be organized, each over his own department of the government according to their birthright and office, in their families, generations and nations. Each one will obey, and be obeyed according to the connection which he sustains as a member of the great CELESTIAL FAMILY.

Thus the gradation will descend in regular degrees from the throne of the ANCIENT OF DAYS with his innumerable subjects, down to the least and last saint of the last days, who may be counted worthy of a throne and scepter . . . .

Such is the order and organization of the Celestial Family, and such the nature of the THRONES, PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS, which are the rewards of diligence.

This kingdom, organized and established upon the earth in its beauty and order will be ready for the Son of man. He will then come in the clouds of heaven and receive it to himself.

* * * * * *

I now wish to say a few words on the subject of matrimony, and also on the subject of raising and educating children. Who that has had one glimpse of the order of the Celestial Family, and of the eternal connections and relationships which should be formed here in order to be enjoyed there; who that has felt one thrill of the energy and power of ETERNAL LIFE and love, which flows from the divine spirit of revelation, can ever be contented with the corrupt pleasures of a moment which arise from unlawful connections and desires? Or what Saint who has any degree of faith in the power of the resurrection and of ETERNAL LIFE, can be contented to throw themselves away by matrimonial connection with sectarians or other worldlings, who are so blind that they can never secure an eternal union by the authority of the holy priesthood which has power to bind on earth that which shall be bound in heaven?

By such a union, or by corrupt, unlawful, and unvirtuous connections and indulgences, they not only lose their own CELESTIAL CROWN and throne, but also plunge their children into ruin and darkness, which will probably cause them to neglect so great salvation for the sake of the love and the praise of the world, and the traditions of men.

O my friends — my brethren and sisters, and especially the younger classes of our community! I beseech you in the fear and love of God, and entreat you in view of eternal glory and exaltation in this kingdom, to deny yourselves all the corrupt and abominable practices and desires of the world and the flesh, and seek to be pure and virtuous in all your ways and thoughts, and not only so, but make no matrimonial connections or engagements till you have asked council of the spirit of God in humble prayer before him; till you know and understand the principles of Eternal Life and UNION sufficiently to act wisely and prudently, and in that way that will eventually secure yourself, and companion, and your children in the great family circle of the Celestial Organization.

I would now say to parents that their own salvation, as well as that of their children, depends to a certain extent on the bringing up of their children, and EDUCATING THEMIN THE TRUTH, that their traditions and early impressions may be correct.

No parent who continues to neglect this after they themselves have come to the KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH, can be saved in the CELESTIAL KINGDOM.

* * * * * *

Fathers and mothers, can you realize these facts, and not feel a strong sense of obligation resting upon you in regard to your children? — Can you contemplate THE PRESENT STATE OF THE WORLD and not feel an exceeding desire to take your family and flee from the confusion of Babel, and go where you can be associated WITH THE CHILDREN OF LIGHT?

Strive then by example and precept, to teach your children in the light of truth, and have no more to do with the doctrines, books, creeds, tracts, commentaries, sermons, almanacs, periodicals, romances, meetings and schools, which are calculated to blind their young and tender minds and lead them into error.

* * * * * *

In regard to matrimony, I suppose some will tell me that “in the RESURRECTION they neither marry nor are given in marriage.” That is true, for the best of all reasons — because they do it here and thus bind on earth that which shall be bound in heaven, and that too by God’s own authority, this being the world of preparation, and that the world of enjoyment. Therefore there is no need of doing it in that world.

Those who do not understand and attend to the ORDINANCES and AUTHORITY of God in this world, neither by themselves nor by proxy, are not counted worthy to enjoy the CELESTIAL GLORY in the world to come, therefore they must remain as they are, and never enjoy that sweet UNION and EXALTATION, which is prepared for the Saints of the Most High.

Thus all are judged according to the deeds done in the body; and that which they sow, they shall also reap. If they choose in this world to follow the wicked lusts and pleasures of the moment, by unlawful connections; or if they choose to be united after the manner of this world, by being joined with a companion who is not worthy of an Eternal Covenant, and of the “seal of the living God,” why then, the consequence is, that they enjoy the things of this world, and the pleasures and fashions thereof; but death closes the scene, and eternity finds them poor wanderers and outcasts from the commonwealth of the Celestial Family, and strangers to the Covenant of Promise. Their former Covenants COME TO AN END with their life, and in that world they can neither marry nor be given in marriage, consequently, they must remain unassociated in a family capacity, and therefore have no kingdom over which to reign, nor any possible means of increasing their own glory.

There will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth indeed; for who can endure Eternal Disappointment? Who can endure to be forever BANISHED and SEPARATED from father, mother, wife, children, and every kindred affection and from every family tie?

For none of our relationships will be recognized by the authorities in that world, unless secured to us here in an Everlasting Covenant WHICH CANNOT BE BROKEN, and sealed by the constituted authorities of the living God. Well did the Lord promise by the mouth of the prophet Malachi, that he would send Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; and that he should turn, seal, or bind the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest the whole earth should be smitten WITH A CURSE.

And if you will receive it, ELIJAH THE PROPHET has been sent in these last days to man on the earth, and has conferred the Keys of the Sealing Power, that others might go forth in his spirit, power, and priesthood, and seal both on earth and in heaven. But they have done unto some of them whatever they listed, and even so may others perhaps suffer under their cruel hand.

But the keys are on the earth, and SHALL NOT BE TAKEN from it till the Sealing IS ACCOMPLISHED. Therefore, O ye Saints of the Most High! — build the Temple and sanctuary of our God, and gather together thereunto. For there, saith the Lord, will I reveal unto you the fulness of mine ordinances pertaining to the Holy Priesthood and preparation, by which the living and the dead may be redeemed and associated in the Exalted Principles of ETERNAL LIFE and joy. Amen. P[arley] P. Pratt (The Prophet Vol. 1: <1 March 1845> 1– 2; Millennial Star Vol 5: <May 1845> 189 –194)

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