The restoration of “all as at first” is a call to the return of The Order of the Fathers. Adam was the first of that Order, …and “dispensation heads,” since then, were reconnected to that Order. Our current situation finds us completely disconnected from that Order, and beckons our return.
Order of the Fathers: The Order of the Fathers offers men and women a place in the Patriarchal Order and family of God, to be sons and daughters of God. This is done as the only begotten (Christ) seals you his. Christ is also called the Holy Spirit of Promise (D&C 76:53). When you are a member of this Order, you are of “the Church of the Firstborn.” Until you have had this experience of receiving Christ, in the flesh, you are not of the Church of the Firstborn, the Order of the Fathers, or the sealed family of God, to receive, as an heir with Christ, all that the Father hath.
Turned to the Fathers: Adam & Eve stands as the first of the Order of the Fathers, and their role as the head is still active and necessary to us today, …just as it was when they were in the flesh. Anyone wishing to belong to the royal family, must be connected through the Order of the Fathers. For this purpose, the head of each new dispensation produced a restoration, and became a Father (both husband & wife), …being tied to the Order of the Fathers themselves.
Fathers could then seal people to themselves, as children. Thus, by sealing them as children, Fathers took full responsibility for their salvation. They held themselves responsible for teaching them principles of salvation (faith, ordinances, who Christ and God was, etc.), …because Fathers knew both Christ and God, personally.
The blood of the children would be upon the heads of those Fathers, if the children weren’t taught properly. Thus, King Benjamin, having taught the children all that was necessary for them to know Christ and God themselves, washed his hands clean of their blood. Now it was necessary for the children to know Christ and God for themselves, by coming back into their presence.
Strayed from Ordinances: We have strayed from that Order of the Fathers, since the restoration by Joseph Smith. Joseph began sealing men and women to himself, just as did all dispensation heads of the past. Those who were sealed to him was now his responsibility to teach. So the school of the prophets was established to teach them about principles of salvation, Christ, God and ascension. However, Joseph’s life was taken too early, the principles were not completely explained to the children, the scriptures were left to do the teaching, and the saints were left wondering what Joseph was trying to do. A perfect conundrum, if you ask me.
Immediately after Joseph’s death, the Quorum of the 12 took over the church administration. They were not certain what Joseph was doing, …they having been sealed as children, but not yet being after the Order of the Fathers. There were strong disagreements amongst the 12 as to who should lead, and were to lead the church, in Joseph’s absence. Eventually, Brigham Young convinced a majority-vote, of the Quorum of the 12, placing him at the head. Since then, every prophet of the church was selected by seniority.
Brigham Young, as the new president, expressed concern about the doctrine of adoption, …and he and the rest of the 12 began sealing people to themselves. It was during this time period, in Joseph’s absence, that polygamy became “church policy,” tied to the eternal salvation of all men. To Brigham, eternal salvation = polygamy. Brigham held that if a woman could find someone with greater keys, and marry them, they would have their salvation sealed up.
The subject of sealing became so misunderstood, that in 1894 Wilfred Woodruff changed it, once again, in his talk titled “The Law of Adoption.” (April 8th, Gen. Conf., Sunday Morning, 1894) It stated that he didn’t know what Joseph was up to, …and had a feeling to seal himself to his father, and his father to his father, as far back as possible, …and then seal them to Joseph Smith.
Since president Woodruff, the church has discontinued to seal anyone to Joseph Smith, and salvation is now based upon being tied to your kindred dead. This is far from where it all began. And the key is, once again, in the scriptures. Our current situation finds us completely disconnected from the Order of the Fathers, and beckons our return.
Conclusion: Since we are completely disconnected from the Order of the Fathers as a church, it is our “individual” responsibility to reconnect. Dispite how true we claim the church to be, we are all required to search the promises made to the Fathers, which are the scriptures, …which is not the same as the words spoken from the pulpit at the conference center. They have disagreed in the past, and they can still contradict in our day. It is left to each individual, to be tested, to discern the truth from the error. It is by the words of Christ alone, that all will prove their hearts being turned to the Fathers.
Malachi warns us to have our hearts turned to the Fathers, so that their hearts can turn to us. I recommend that we search the scriptures, to fix the unbelief planted as tares, within us. Thus, our eyes and ears can be healed of blindness and defness, perpetuated in our foolish traditions. Then can the hearts of the Fathers turn to us, individually. Then can we belong to the Order of the Fathers, to be members of the Church of the Firstborn, to return to the presence of Christ, in the flesh!