Episode 110: D&C 15 – Section 27-28

April 11, 2016


Episode 110: D&C 15 – Section 27-28

We first learn that Jesus doesn’t really care what you eat or drink during sacrament, as long as you’re really serious about it. Then we learn all about some evil devil stones that are giving off evil revelations! Finally, we are introduced to our first bonafide mormon missionaries!

“Drink!” Count – 14

Around 3 beers


Like and Follow

Like and Follow

5 Comments on “Episode 110: D&C 15 – Section 27-28”

  1. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    First off, thanks for directing us to “The Dollop” podcast. That Porter Rockwell episode was great!

    Second, David, I don’t understand why all of a sudden you’re so wary about reading the section intros, thinking they’ll spoil the sections. As you’ll notice, D&C 27 didn’t actually contain any really cool story about the heavenly messenger coming down to Joseph Smith, but it does set up why Jesus is so keen to talk about water vs. wine all of a sudden. That’s hardly a spoiler. Additionally, if you’d read the D&C 28 intro, you’d see that it mentioned how Hiram Page’s revelations through his devil stone were in regards to the building of the city of Zion, which lays the groundwork for the section to suddenly start talking about that, seemingly out of left field.

    Bryce may be able to inform you on the historical context, but he’s not reading ahead, so the intros are, if nothing else, a reminder to him of the precise point in church history we’re reading about at a given time. Besides, not everyone listens to Naked Mormonism, so you can’t assume everyone is up to date on the history along with you guys.

    Lastly, since the church isn’t willing to change the actual text of the revelations (any more, that is…), the intros are the one place they can editorialize and attempt to steer the interpretation of the scriptures within their covers, and the little nuggets of stories and apologetics we get there are still very much a part of the D&C experience that needs to be dealt with. Please, please don’t skip the intros! [End of whiny screed.]

    Now a few points from the reading (also known as nap time):

    I was taught that it’s only ever appropriate to use other foods or drinks as sacramental symbols in cases where bread and water aren’t available, even though Jesus doesn’t seem to be so picky here in the D&C. I always wished I’d find myself in a situation where I’d get to modify the sacrament prayer to “bless and sanctify these Chips Ahoy to the souls of all those who partake of them”, but the opportunity never really came up.

    “I will drink the fruit of the vine with you on earth, and with Moroni… and with Elias…” etc. This is alluding to what Jesus said at the Last Supper about how he would not drink the fruit of the vine again until the kingdom of God shall come. This is taken by the church to hint at a great meeting (Mormons think of everything in terms of having more meetings) that will occur shortly before the (official) Second Coming of Christ, in which Jesus will appear in Missouri, having gathered together all the old time dead prophets and all the dead and living church leaders, and they’ll all drink some sacramental wine and talk shop about administering the literal Kingdom of God after the kingdoms of the earth are overthrown by Jesus when he appears before the world.

    “Stick of Ephraim” is definitely supposed to be the Book of Mormon. That’s from one of the church’s favorite cherry-picked Bible passages, Ezekiel 37:16-17, “Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions; then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions. And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.” (Ephraim was the son of Joseph, so sometimes the two names are used in place of one another.) And thus Ezekiel, 2,500 years ago, prophesied to the dispossessed Jews of the coming forth of the LDS church’s 1981 printing of its 4-in-1 scriptural “quad”. Yes, Mormons actually say that, and only slightly tongue-in-cheek.

    “Elias” is a big hot mess. The only “Elias” in the Bible is in the New Testament, and it’s merely the Greek form of the name Elijah, as Wikipedia tells us. Elias shows up on the Mount of Transfiguration, and since there are confusing references to John the Baptist associated with that event, maybe that contributed to Joseph Smith going off in weird directions in his use of the name. Here in D&C 27, the angel who visited Zacharias is called Elias, but in the Gospel of Luke, the angel calls himself Gabriel. Here and elsewhere, Joseph Smith explicitly identifies Elias as a person completely distinct from Elijah, but later he’ll equate the angel Gabriel with the post-mortal Noah, so no one really knows who this Elias guy was supposed to be during his mortal life. Church leaders try to explain it all away as Elias being a dude’s name as well as a title for any kind of preparer or forerunner. No, this isn’t the least bit important or entertaining.

    “And also with Peter, and James, and John…” That little bit of name-dropping is the very most important one here. This is the only reference in the D&C to the alleged June 1829 restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood upon which the church bases all its claims to authority, and that verse wasn’t even in the D&C until 1835…


  2. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    One thing I really miss about David Michael reading the Book of Mormon was being able to post famous Book of Mormon artwork and commenting on it. We don’t really get “art”, as such, to go with our church history, but there are portraits out there of the people involved, and some other often used illustrations and paintings. It might be helpful to some out there, I don’t know, to have images and faces to put to the names. I think I’ll start that up again, and maybe go back and do it on some earlier episodes.

    To start off, then, is the church’s official depiction of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery receiving the Priesthood from Peter, James, and John:


  3. Mr. H Says:

    The basics of the armor of God part in section 27 is taking from the Bible…
    Ephesians 6:10-18

    10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

    11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

    12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

    14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

    15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

    16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

    17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

    18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;


  4. Ben Wilcox Says:

    Enjoyed the episode, but Bryce clearly never read his Mormon Doctrine closely enough when he was still a member, because you just skimmed right over one of the most obvious mistakes Joe ever made, and the crazy doctrine later Mormons made up to cover Joe’s ass: Elias.

    Elias is the Greek spelling of the Hebrew name Elijah. This is well known to actual biblical scholars, who speak both Greek and Hebrew, and is actually somewhat obvious in the bible itself – Elijah is mentioned all the time in the OT, but never once in the NT, while all of a sudden in the NT we have references to Elias. If you look at the places where the name appears in the NT, it’s pretty clear that it means Elijah (and we see a parallel, with Jeremiah becoming Jeremias), but Joe apparently didn’t pick up on this, and so decided Elias must be a separate prophet. But obviously God/Joe wouldn’t make such an obvious mistake, so later Mormons invented the wonderfully kooky “Doctrine of Elias” to explain the discrepancy. I will give you the explanation from hardline Apostle Bruce R. McConkie’s book “Mormon Doctrine”, which is a most wonderfully absurd book, a sort of dictionary or encyclopedia of Mormonism that tries to make all of Mormonism’s weird doctrines and contradictory scriptures fit together. It used to be the next best thing to scripture, but has since been quietly swept under the rug.

    Here is the full entry for Elias – it’s long, but so worth it:

    [Quote from the first edition of Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce R. McConkie, taken from Archive.org]



    Many scriptures use the term Elias in connection with vital doctrinal explanations. Some of these passages have come to us in garbled and fragmentary form. Various of them use the word to mean wholly different and divergent things. Much confusion and uncertainty would be avoided if gospel students would note carefully the distinguishable differences in the various usages of this important though unusual word. The following different meanings of the designation Elias are of scriptural record:

    1. ELIAS OF ABRAHAM’S DAY. – As part of the restoration of all things, a prophet named Elias came to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on April 3, 1836, and committed unto them the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham. The scriptural account of this glorious event specifies: “Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.” (D. & C. 110:12.)

    Now what was the gospel of Abraham? Obviously it was the commission, the mission, the endowment and power, the message of salvation, given to Abraham. And what was this? It was a divine promise that both in the world and out of the world his seed should continue “as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them.” (D. & C. 132:30; Gen. 17; Abra. 2:1-12.)

    Thus the gospel of Abraham was one of celestial marriage (including plurality of wives); it was a gospel or commission to provide a lineage for the elect portion of the pre-existent spirits, a gospel to provide a household in eternity for those who live the fulness of the celestial law. This power and commission is what Elias restored, and as a consequence, the righteous among all future generations were assured of the blessings of a continuation of the seeds forever, even as it was with Abraham of old. (D. & C. 132.)

    This committing to man of the gospel of Abraham, of the great commission which he had, should not be confused with the spirit of Elias or the doctrine of Elias. The commission which the man Elias conferred was not an authorization either to operate in the spirit of Elias or to preach the gospel. The spirit of Elias had been manifest long before the man Elias came. The commission to preach the gospel was restored by Peter, James, and John in 1829, and the gospel had been preached for nearly seven years before Elias came. In their mortal ministry, Peter, James, and John had been given this commission: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15.) In other words, the gospel of Peter, James and John, their great commission, was to preach the gospel of salvation. When they came in
    modem times that, among other things, was what they restored.

    We have no information, at this time, as to the mortal life or ministry of Elias. Apparently he lived in the days of Abraham, but whether he was Abraham, or Melchizedek, or some other prophet, we do not know.

    2. ELIAS A NAME FOR ELIJAH. – Elias is the Greek form of Elijah. This leads to some confusion and the necessity of determining whether Elijah or someone else is meant in each passage where the name Elias appears. Such a determination is not difficult, however, when the full doctrine of Elias and Elijah is understood.

    3. SPIRIT AND DOCTRINE OF ELIAS. – Joseph Smith taught that a preparatory work, one that lays a foundation for a greater work, one that goes before to prepare the way for a greater which is to come, is a work performed by the spirit of Elias. This principle is called the doctrine of Elias. The Prophet explained that the spirit and doctrine of Elias pertain to the Aaronic Priesthood only. He used himself as an example, saying that he worked by the spirit of Elias from the time he received the Aaronic Priesthood (which is a preparatory priesthood) until the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored. In the same way John the Baptist, he explained, served in the spirit and power of Elias; that is, as our Lord’s forerunner, serving in the lesser priesthood, he prepared the way for a greater work.

    Work done by authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood is not performed in accordance with the spirit of Elias. To distinguish between the spirit of Elias and a higher power, the Prophet said that a man could be baptized by the spirit of Elias, but he could not receive the Holy Ghost by that power, and “any man that comes, having the spirit and power of Elias, he will not transcend his bounds.” (Teachings, pp. 335- 341.)

    4. ELIAS OF THE RESTORATION. – According to the plan and program of the Lord, the
    dispensation of the fulness of times is “the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:21.) This restoration is to be effected by Elias. Before the winding up of the Lord’s work, the promise is: “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.” (Matt. 17:11.) With these ancient scriptures before us, these questions arise: Who is the promised Elias who was to come and restore all things? Has this work of restoration taken place? Or is it something that is yet future?

    Correcting the Bible by the spirit of revelation, the Prophet restored a statement of John the Baptist which says that Christ is the Elias who was to restore all things. (Inspired Version, John 1:21-28.) By revelation we are also informed that the Elias who was to restore all things is the angel Gabriel who was known in mortality as Noah. (D. & C. 27:6-7; Luke 1:5-25; Teachings, p. 157.) From the same authentic source we also learn that the promised Elias is John the Revelator. (D. & C. 77: 9, 14.) Thus there are three different revelations which name Elias as being three different persons. What are we to conclude?

    By finding answer to the question, by whom has the restoration been effected, we shall find who Elias is and find there is no problem in harmonizing these apparently contradictory revelations. Who has restored all things? Was it one man? Certainly not. Many angelic ministrants have been sent from the courts of glory to confer keys and powers, to commit their dispensations and glories again to men on earth. At least the following have come: Moroni, John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John, Moses, Elijah,
    Elias, Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael. (D. & C. 13; 110; 128:19-21.) Since it is apparent that no one messenger has carried the whole burden of the restoration, but rather that each has come with a specific endowment from on high, it becomes clear that Elias is a composite personage. The expression must be understood to be a name and a title for those whose mission it was to commit keys and powers to men in this final dispensation. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 170-174.)

    5. JOHN THE BAPTIST AN ELIAS. – No better illustration is found in the revelations of one who acted in the spirit and power of Elias – and yet who expressly disavowed any claim to being the Elias who was to restore all things – than that seen in the ministry of John the Baptist. Gabriel foretold that John would go before the Lord “in the spirit and power of Elias” (Luke 1:17); and the skeptical and unbelieving Jews – knowing that Elijah was to come again and that Elias was to restore all things – made pointed inquiry of John to determine if he claimed to fulfil ancient predictions in this field.

    “And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem, to ask him: Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not that he was Elias; but confessed, saying: I am not the Christ. And they asked him, saying: How then art thou Elias? And he said, I am not that Elias who was to restore all things. And they asked him, saying, Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. … And they asked him, and said unto him: Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not the Christ, nor Elias who was to
    restore all things, neither that prophet? John answered them, saying: I baptize with water, but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is of whom I bear record. He is that prophet, even Elias, who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose, or whose place I am not able to fill; for he shall baptize, not only with water, but with fire, and with the Holy Ghost.” (Inspired Version, John 1:21-28.)

    After Moses and Elijah (Elias) had appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration our Lord’s “disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?” That is, the scribes knew that Elias (Elijah) was to precede the coming of the Lord, and yet here Peter, James, and John had seen the heavenly visitant come after the Lord had been manifest among the people.

    “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things, as the prophets have written. And again I say unto you that Elias has come already, concerning whom it is written, Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and they knew him not, and have done unto him, whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them.
    But I say unto you, Who is Elias? Behold, this is Elias, whom I send to prepare the way before me. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist, and also of another who should come and restore all things, as it is written by the prophets.” (Inspired Version, Matt. 17:9-14; Doctrines Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 108-112.)

    [end quote]

    By the way, Mormons have invented a similarly crazy doctrine to explain away all the contradictions that arose when they switched from the traditional Trinity to Joe’s Godhead model, called “Divine Investiture of Authority” or the “Doctrine of Divine Investiture”, which basically says Jesus can pretend to be God the Father whenever he feels like it, so sometimes you’re talking to the actual God, but most of the time you’re just talking to Jesus pretending to be God. It’s pretty crazy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: