We believe that a restoration was made through the hand of God to Joseph Smith. The church we have currently has twelve apostles, etc. just as did the church that Christ had in the meridian of time. However, we must remember that the church Christ established was preparatory to being sent throughout the Gentile nations, to offer all men the gospel of Christ. Since the Gentiles could never really established an original House of Israel (being they are not of the blood of Israel), that is why Christ set up twelve apostles. The twelve apostles represented the 12 tribes of blood Israel. The full restoration was not meant to look back to the meridian of time. Instead, it was meant to look all the way back to the beginning, before the time of the creation. That is the restoration the scriptures prophesy of. It is meant to be all as at first, not all as at middle.
Our traditionalism wants us to be satisfied with a hierarchal organization that reflects the church of Christ in the meridian of time. It is necessary for the beginning of the restoration to reflect that of the church Christ set up at first. The day of the Gentile has not yet come to an end. The Gentiles still make all the decisions in our rank and file. The prophesy of 3 Nephi 16 states that those Gentiles will reject the fullness of the gospel, and that will be the indicator that the day of the Gentile has ended. Then the prophesy states that the fulness will be brought out from the among Gentiles, to the remnant of the seed of Jacob (AKA: the blood House of Israel). Most of you reading this blog are of this blood. Be careful not to follow after the ways of the Gentiles when they reject the fullness.
At that point, the House of Israel will be like a lion amongst the beasts of the forest, like a lion amongst the lambs. If the Gentiles repent, then they will be numbered among the blood Israel. But if they don’t, they will be trodden under their feet, like salt that has lost it’s savor, good for nothing but to be trodden under the foot of men. Then can the full restoration return the House of Israel back to the times of Adam. Then the sons of Levi can offer up an offering that is acceptable to the Lord (collectively). Then no man need say to their neighbor know ye the Lord, for all will know the Lord.
If we think that all is well in our Latter-day Zion it is because we haven’t read the prophesies in the scriptures. Thus, our hearts are not turned to the promises made to the Fathers. It is in the scriptures that these promises/covenants are written. It is these covenants that our Fathers have obtained that provide us with the opportunity to obtain our covenant. When our hearts are turned to them, then we can learn wisdom from their words. However, if we rest their words we are damned, cannot move forward, and remain under condemnation.
Since all of the promises made to the Fathers converge upon obtaining an ascension, anyone teaching otherwise can be considered a false prophet or a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They enter not in themselves, and they cause those who don’t know better to not enter either. They can be grouped with the anti-christs. That is what the ascension is all about, entering into the presence of Christ.
The restoration was never intended to end with a hierarchy of twelve apostles, and only one prophet. The fullness of the gospel offered the saints in Nauvoo was intended to make all men prophets. Joseph wanted to make Kings and Queens, then send them out to build their own stakes, and teach others, and give them similar ordinances so that they too can become Kings and Queens. Then they go out and build their own stakes, etc. And that is how Zion rolls forth to fill the earth. The stone cut without hands refers to the ordinances that make Kings and Queens, which is the word of God alone. It is the voice of God that confers that rite, that makes one a King or a Queen. Thus the stone cut, without hands, that fills the earth is Zion filling the earth with Kings and Queens given power by the voice of God. Since the saints at Nauvoo did not complete the temple in “sufficient time,” they could not be completely restored, and the hierarchy of twelve apostles and a single prophet was the result.
A complete restoration is yet to come. If the complete restoration is not what Christ gave at the meridian of time, instead it is what Adam had at the beginning, what will happen to the hierarchy of twelve apostles and a single prophet who leads our current church? They will be given a chance to accept the fullness of the gospel, as was offered to the Nauvoo saints, which is the doctrine of the ascension of the individual into the presence of Christ, the second comforter, the more sure word, the calling and election made sure. What each person in that hierarchy will do, no one can say. But this much we know to be true, the Gentiles will reject the fullness of the gospel. The reason we know it is because Christ said it (3 Nephi 16).
Conclusion: The allegory of the olive tree gives us the direction we must follow. The branches that bring forth sweet fruit get their moisture from the roots. At the roots we find the covenants (promises) made to the fathers in the scriptures. Our current tree (the Hierarchy) has grown beyond the roots. The existing branches are not getting their moisture from the roots and are taking over the roots instead. Their fruit is bitter.
It is not our place to fix others. Our only course is to get our moisture from the roots, and to kindly persuade others to do the same. When we do so, we can be numbered among the House of Israel, because we will produce sweet fruit that will be gathered into the garners. Through the roots, we’ll learn what is necessary to ascend. It will be that ascension that makes the fruit we produce sweet.