A revelation Given to William Smith, in 1847, on the pruning of the vineyard of the Lord. We ask members of the Fellowship to read this revelation prayerfully to determine if it should be added to the Fellowship Doctrine and Covenants.
1 Verily I say unto you, my servant William Smith, that the time has come when it is needful that my Vineyard should be pruned with a faithful and mighty pruning,
2 For there never was a time when the hearts of my people mourned more bitterly, or in which the cries of the innocent ascended upon high with greater fervency in pure and acceptable prayers for deliverance;
3 For grievous wolves have crept into my flock, and like subtle foxes destroyed almost all of my beautiful vineyard:
4 And it grieveth me that I should cut down all the trees thereof for in the latter part of the third chapter of the Book of Jacob, in the Book of Mormon, my purposes are made manifest.
5 ¶ What more could I have done? I have been a Father unto them,
6 Yet they, in the pride of their heart, would not hearken to my counsel, nor to the counsel of my servant Joseph and the brethren of his father’s house, for they have oppressed the poor and built to get gain, and not to do my will.
7 They have robbed God, and yet they say, in what have we robbed God?
8 In tithes and in offerings by which ye clothe yourselves in fine apparel and say, have we not the power of God?
9 Yet ye distress the poor and neglect the widow and fatherless children, whose cries have come up before me, saith the Lord your God.
10 Such works are an abomination unto me, and I give unto thee a commandment, even unto my servant William Smith, that thou shalt call on the honest in heart to gather themselves together in fasting and prayer, and to purify their hearts for the judgment of the great day;
11 For great troubles await the rebellious in this generation, yet the obedient and pure in heart shall find rest to their souls.
12 ¶ Therefore, my servant William, gird up thy loins and put on thy whole armor for the work whereunto I have appointed thee,
13 For though thy spirit has not been altogether pure, yet because thou hast humbled thyself before me,
14 And because of the integrity of thy heart in the proclamation of the truth, and because thou hast nobly and manfully defended the cause of thy father’s house, the cause of the innocent and my servant Joseph who was the Prophet and head of the Church in these last days, a church of my own right hand’s planting, not to be destroyed or thrown down;
15 Yea, because of these things I have forgiven thee, and accepted thy offering.
16 ¶ I said unto my servant Joseph that his blessing should remain upon the head of his posterity, and be handed down through the lineage of his father’s house according to the flesh;
17 Therefore the true Church continues with this priesthood: that same high-priesthood with which thou art invested and to which thou hast been ordained by my servant Joseph, thy brother,
18 And which thou dost inherit by lineage from thy father Joseph Smith, who was a descendant of Joseph the son of Jacob who was sold into Egypt;
19 And no power on earth can deprive thee of thy authority and priesthood.
20 ¶ Moreover I have appointed thee, my servant William Smith, to take the place of my servant Hiram Smith, thy brother, as Patriarch unto the whole Church, and to preside over my people, saith the Lord your God,
21 And no power shall remove thee therefrom; and thou shalt be the Prophet, Seer Revelator, and Translator unto my church during the minority of him whom I have appointed from the loins of Joseph thy brother;
22 Go on, therefore, and organize and set in order all the branches, for I have given thee full power and authority.
23 ¶ Now if the lawful heir of Joseph whom I have appointed as Prophet, Seer, and Translator, shall be true and faithful, and shall serve me with a perfect heart and a willing mind in his minority, he shall be great in his majority, even like unto Joseph, thy brother;
24 But if he does that which is wicked and corrupt before me, and hardens his heart and stiffens his neck with pride and rebellious schism, then thou my servant William, shall continue to exercise all the authority with which I have this day invested thee,
25 And thou shalt not only be the successor of Hiram, thy brother, but of Joseph, thy brother also, in all things;
26 And if thou shouldst transgress, I will chastise thee with sore and grievous buffetings.
27 ¶ Be thou faithful, therefore, and humble thyself before me, saith the Lord thy God, and I will uphold thee, and thy authority shall never end, for thou art the “President of the High-Priesthood of the Church.”
28 Now let the elders understand the true order of Heaven, for the kingdom cannot be perfect without a president of the high-priesthood, inherited by lineal descent.
29 Therefore I say unto my servant William Smith, arise and set all things in order, and according to the pattern made known in the revelations given unto my servant Joseph, as recorded in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants:
30 For unto my servant William have I given to act in the place of the legal heir of Joseph whom I have appointed to receive commandments for my church, if he continue faithful.
31 ¶ Now hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, for those who were my servants, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Willard Richards, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Hyde, George A. Smith, and all who follow them into the wilderness or hearken to their abominable and iniquitous counsels which are not of me, are cut off from before my face and my power have I taken from them,
32 And they are removed out of their place, and others will I put in their stead, for they are like salt that has lost its savor, and are only fit to be hewn down and cast into the fire.
33 But those who will humble themselves and repent of their abominations, and return to the true order of the church as established by my servant Joseph, will I pardon and accept, provided they hearken to the counsel of the three presiding high priests, my servant William and his two counselors in the Presidency.
34 I will accept the former free-will offerings of my people; yet no more will I accept them at the hands of those who were my servants, but have spoiled my vineyard,
35 For upon them cometh wailing, distress calamity and destruction, unless they speedily repent;
36 For have not the wicked and corrupt rulers of my people taught their brethren to steal from and wrong the Gentiles?
37 When I have said “Thou shalt not steal:” and have they not taught other abominable doctrines and formed secret combinations whereby many have transgressed the laws of the land and disobeyed my commandments, even those which were given unto my servant Joseph as a law unto my church?
38 Yet many of my chosen ones shall tarry and find deliverance, and shall not go into the wilderness, but shall remain in their inheritances, and in the stakes, and shall be blessed of me.
39 ¶ No acceptable endowments will be given in the Temple my people have built unto me, because of their sins, and because of the pollution of that holy land, and the defiling of my house.
40 All the baptisms for the dead performed before the death of my servant Joseph are acceptable unto me,
41 And from this time let my servant William appoint stakes in every state, and let this ordinance, and all washings, anointings, endowments, and other ordinances, be performed by those whom I shall hereafter appoint in those stakes, until I shall command otherwise;
42 For it is needful that my people should continue to work and to preach the gospel to the gentiles, at present, and to save their dead, for so I commanded my servants in all ages of the world;
43 And my kingdom and the glory thereof shall not fail, neither shall it be given unto another people.
44 ¶ I further command my people to return to peace, and teach war no longer; but humble themselves before me, and be of a meek and lowly spirit, and do the works of righteousness, forsaking all their abominations.
45 And let the Smith family gather themselves together, and not go into the wilderness, for so I have commanded.
46 Let them give heed to the counsel of my servant William, and remain in the inheritance that I have appointed to my servant Joseph.
47 The wicked and the abominable may flee from before me and seek to hide themselves in the wilderness;
48 But the true and faithful shall not be moved out of their place, for it is by transgression and not by me that any are removed and seek to hide themselves in the wilderness.
49 ¶ Again I say unto my people that the time has not come for you to hide up in your chambers; for none will seek to hide themselves, either in their chambers or by fleeing to the wilderness but the adulterers, the whore-mongers, the thieves, the liars, the hypocrites and the abominable.
50 Therefore, obey my voice and continue to labor, to build up the church;
51 To cease to do evil and learn to do well, to be holy and watch unto prayer,
52 To obey the laws of the land, and honor the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and obey the scriptures of Divine Truth contained in the Old and New Testaments;
53 For, verily I say unto you that it is wisdom in me that all these things shall be done.
54 ¶ And my aged handmaid who is the mother of the Prophet I counsel to continue to remain in the land of her inheritance,
55 ¶ And the glory of my kingdom shall continue to roll on, for this is the land of Joseph and the land I have appointed for the Zion of the last days and the gathering of my people;
56 And verily I say that he that selleth the Temple shall be as Esau who sold his inheritance for a mess of pottage, for his inheritance another shall inhabit.
57 The Temple that is built out of the tithings of the poor may be sanctified by prayer because of the poor of my people;
58 Yet no ordinance performed therein will I bless, until the wicked shall cease to pollute that sanctuary: then will I pour out upon all that are pure in heart a blessing and endowments shall be given as I have said,
59 But not until an atonement is made because of the wicked rulers of my people.
60 ¶ Now as the Temple has not been built according to the pattern given to my servant Joseph, I will not accept therof until the atonement be made and my people hearken to my counsel;
61 So let all my saints be sober and watch unto prayer, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord, for my coming is nigh even at your doors.
62 And the work of my servant Joseph I have accepted, and to none have I given power to do his work over again, nor are his labors dis-annulled;
63 Therefore all your sealings and baptisms performed under his hand or by his appointment shall stand forever, and none shall have authority by lawful right to disinherit his brethren of his own father’s hous.
64 ¶ And now I say unto my servant William stand in thy lot and place, thou hast authority to perform the work whereunto I have appointed thee,
65 And lead my people into all truth and endow the faithful with the rich blessings, which I have committed to thy care, and which thou shalt confer on all who will hearken to my counsels;
66 And thine adversaries shall be broken to pieces, for out of heaven I will thunder upon them.
67 I will judge the ends of the earth, and give strength to my chosen one and exalt the horn of mine Anointed.
The Fellowship interprets this revelation to state that the Lord was not happy with the secret blood oaths added by Brigham Young to the temple rituals, and the Latter-day Saints’ class divisions (not allowing blacks or women hold the priesthood, given better care and attendance to the rich rather than the poor, etc.). It points out that the Lord does want temple worship, and makes clear the importance of caring for the poor and needy. It seems that the Lord wished to someone within Joseph Smith’s blood line to carry on in leadership. The Fellowship determines this mandate was fulfilled by both the Latter-day Saint church by allowing two direct defendants to become church presidents, and Community of Christ by allowing Joseph Smith Jr.’s decedents to be church presidents. However, this is not longer a requirement per revelation 160 in the Community of Christ Doctrine and Covenants.
If accepted, this section will be placed with all other sections on the sacrament of Communion in the Community of Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Doctrine and Covenants.
Thoughts, comments, and other interpretations are welcome below.