25 And again, verily I say unto you, let all my saints come from afar.
26 And send ye swift messengers, yea, chosen messengers, and say unto them: Come ye, with all your gold, and your silver, and your precious stones, and with all your antiquities; and with all who have knowledge of antiquities, that will come, may come, and bring the box-tree, and the fir-tree, and the pine-tree, together with all the precious trees of the earth;
27 And with iron, with copper, and with brass, and with zinc, and with all your precious things of the earth; and build a house to my name, for the Most High to dwell therein.
Come everyone, bring all you have to offer, and build a house to my name so the Father has a place to dwell.
28 For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood.
29 For a baptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they, my saints, may be baptized for those who are dead—
30 For this ordinance belongeth to my house, and cannot be acceptable to me, only in the days of your poverty, wherein ye are not able to build a house unto me.
31 But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.
32 But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God.
33 For verily I say unto you, that after you have had sufficient time to build a house to me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me;
34 For therein are the keys of the holy priesthood ordained, that you may receive honor and glory.
35 And after this time, your baptisms for the dead, by those who are scattered abroad, are not acceptable unto me, saith the Lord.
I command you all to build a house unto me so I can restore the fullness of the priesthood, which you have lost. I’m telling you that this is the way that I have ordained. You will have sufficient time, but focus and dedicate yourselves, and consecrate all that you possess to my purposes. Don’t get distracted or preoccupied with your own business. During this sufficient time period, your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me. But if you allow this opportunity to come and go without being diligent, your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me. You will be rejected as a church, with your dead.
36 For it is ordained that in Zion, and in her stakes, and in Jerusalem, those places which I have appointed for refuge, shall be the places for your baptisms for your dead.
37 And again, verily I say unto you, how shall your washings be acceptable unto me, except ye perform them in a house which you have built to my name?
38 For, for this cause I commanded Moses that he should build a tabernacle, that they should bear it with them in the wilderness, and to build a house in the land of promise, that those ordinances might be revealed which had been hid from before the world was.
39 Therefore, verily I say unto you, that your anointings, and your washings, and your baptisms for the dead, and your solemn assemblies, and your memorials for your sacrifices by the sons of Levi, and for your oracles in your most holy places wherein you receive conversations, and your statutes and judgments, for the beginning of the revelations and foundation of Zion, and for the glory, honor, and endowment of all her municipals, are ordained by the ordinance of my holy house, which my people are always commanded to build unto my holy name.
40 And verily I say unto you, let this house be built unto my name, that I may reveal mine ordinances therein unto my people;
41 For I deign to reveal unto my church things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that pertain to the dispensation of the fulness of times.
Washings, anointings, baptisms, solemn assemblies, memorials for sacrifices, and oracles are ordained by the ordinance of my holy house. My house that I have commanded you to build is a place to receive conversations from heaven, revelations, glory, honor, and endowments from Me. It is a place where I can come to you, talk to you, minister to you, and reveal mine ordinances unto you. I want to reveal to you things that have been hid from before the foundation of the world that pertain to the dispensation of the fulness of times. I‘ll reveal unto you how to establish Zion. Don’t let this opportunity to establish Zion pass you by!
42 And I will show unto my servant Joseph all things pertaining to this house, and the priesthood thereof, and the place whereon it shall be built.
43 And ye shall build it on the place where you have contemplated building it, for that is the spot which I have chosen for you to build it.
44 If ye labor with all your might, I will consecrate that spot that it shall be made holy.
45 And if my people will hearken unto my voice, and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead my people, behold, verily I say unto you, they shall not be moved out of their place.
46 But if they will not hearken to my voice, nor unto the voice of these men whom I have appointed, they shall not be blest, because they pollute mine holy grounds, and mine holy ordinances, and charters, and my holy words which I give unto them.
47 And it shall come to pass that if you build a house unto my name, and do not do the things that I say, I will not perform the oath which I make unto you, neither fulfil the promises which ye expect at my hands, saith the Lord.
48 For instead of blessings, ye, by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practise before me, saith the Lord.
Through Joseph, I will show all things pertaining to this house. If you labor diligently, the spot will be made holy. If you hearken to my voice, you will not be moved out of your place. Does this mean that the Lord will protect the saints from their enemies, watch over them with his power, and make the temple a holy place? With the Lord in the midst of Zion, will the saints need to raise the arm of flesh in their defense against the powers that want to drive them out of Nauvoo?
The Lord also gives the penalty for failing to hearken to His voice. You will not be blessed. You will not have my protecting hand over you. Then a serious warning comes: But if you go ahead and build a house unto my name, and do not do the things that I say, I will not perform the oath neither fulfill the promises which you expect at my hands. Instead of blessings, you will experience cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments.
We may find some valuable answers by accepting God’s words at face value. By simply reading church history and looking at the results, we may determine whether or not the saints exercised faith, built the temple within the allotted time, and fulfilled the requirements set out by the Lord. Did they have a temple ready to receive the fullness of the priesthood while Joseph was still alive? Was Zion established? Did they receive Christ’s presence and His protection? What does history reveal?
To be continued . . .