So Much Has Changed--Has God Changed?

General Musings

I would like to hear a Gospel Doctrine class teach about 3rd Nephi 7: 24-25 and compare it with 3 Nephi 19:11. Is there something missing in the way we think about baptism? Is baptism about something else other than a "one and only once" entrance ticket into church membership? 

These people were righteous. That's why they were preserved to meet the Savior. They had already been baptized. If the only purpose of baptism is church membership, making it necessary to do only once, why did the Lord tell Nephi (and the others He chose) to baptize "this people" (3rd Nephi 11:21-22)? They were already members of Christ's church. They had already been baptized.

What is it about baptism we miss? If we want to renew our baptismal covenants, must we be baptized again? Does baptism open a special conduit to the Holy Ghost that is refreshing and renewing of our natures and purifying of the "natural man"? Why would the Lord command people to be rebaptized and then inspire His current church leadership to abolish that commandment and institute an opposite policy not to be baptized but once, or suffer excommunication? Is God not unchanging? (Mormon 9:19)

In like manner, it appears that the Lord administered the Sacrament in various places to the people. He did not wait until they were all in a designated place and meeting. He offered the Sacrament whenever and wherever He was inspired to do so. Why then do we limit the Sacrament to a specific meeting and place only once a week? 

Why do we insist on a changing God when the scriptures teach the opposite?

Many answers to these questions can be found in D&C 121:34-46 in the Lord's warning about church leadership and its tendency to lead astray. A good example is found in Mosiah 11. Zeniff, like Joseph Smith, was a righteous man. Zeniff's son, however, "did walk after the desires of his own heart." Like King Noah, Brigham Young instituted changes in church organization and policy that took the church into a direction toward "all manner of wickedness" that continue to this day. Pride combined with power can corrupt even the most well meaning. It is apparent to any with eyes to see that Salt Lake City is a major capitol of institutional pride and power.

I long for the Wild West days of only 12 apostles. I keep searching for the revelation/scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants authorizing the addition of 3 more apostles and the reorganizing of the First Presidency from an independent body equal in authority with the others mentioned in D&C 107, to an extension of the Quorum of the Twelve. Sadly, that revelation seems to be missing.

So much has changed. So much that Joseph would not recognize. So much that would not be welcoming to Joseph. So much control. So much coercion.

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