Discover more from Eternal Perspectives
Introduction and Testimony
1. The Cosmism Manifesto
This is ultimately about building an inner sanctuary of the heart, a paradigm of peace and confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ to endure the storms of these Last Days we have been called to endure.
This is also about connecting to and synthesizing an awareness of the cosmic layer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; what I affectionately call ‘space doctrine’ - referred to here as cosmism. It may not seem like it now at the beginning - but these two things are very much related and we will see this in the end.
Thanks for reading Eternal Perspectives! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
I want to freely share my testimony of Jesus Christ and leave a record of my perspective in the flesh. I do so with the hope and prayer that it may help someone else in their own personal quest to seek a more meaningful relationship with their Savior.
More specifically, I want to share how I continue to dig deeper and more powerful personal roots of faith and testimony here in mortality as I focus with conscious intent on the covenant path to 'endure to the end'.1 I have learned to push and nourish these roots by striving to see all things through a perspective centered on the Restored Gospel.
Sister Tracy Browning of the Primary General Presidency gave an address in the October 2022 Saturday morning session of General Conference that topically encapsulates and supports my intentions. She stated,
“Our dear prophet has taught that “our focus must be riveted on the Savior and His gospel” and that we must “strive to look unto Him in every thought.” President Nelson has also promised that “nothing invites the Spirit more than fixing your focus on Jesus Christ. … He will lead and guide you in your personal life if you will make time for Him in your life—each and every day.”
Friends, Jesus Christ is both the purpose of our focus and the intent of our destination. To help us to remain fixed and heading in the right direction, the Savior invites us to see our lives through Him in order to see more of Him in our lives.”2
This work is a collection of essays that will attempt to convey my ongoing experience working to ‘look unto Him in every thought’,3 to synthesize all things into proper association with the framework of the Gospel of Christ. Like a snapshot view into my own 'theory of everything' that I apply to circumscribe all truth into one great and coherent whole.
DISCLAIMER: I want to establish a basic image of my paradigm and mental program that anyone interested might poach from it for themselves any elements or ideas that help to edify the soul and bring them closer to Christ - but know that my ‘theory of everything’ continues to expand and crystallize as I continue to live and to learn and to synthesize - just like it does and should for all of us. These are my opinions and the product of my lived experience and personal study. I know that I know very little, very bigly.
I call this mental effort, ‘Melchizedek syncretism’. It drives the constructive forward progress of my personal living temple of flesh. To me, it is quite literally mind control and worldview building using the Restored Gospel and the Priesthood as the framework and scaffolding. More simply stated, I desire to share how I seek to discern and bring all things to make sense within the umbrella of the Plan of Salvation (which encompasses all things). I want to share my eternal perspectives.
In any building project, there are plans and phases and interconnected layers and processes; each effort of construction must follow a linear sequence of steps or events. This principle of sequentially additive physical construction is a parallel type of our spiritual growth efforts as well.
The Prophets witness to this concept and teach how it applies to the building up of our own bodily temples and character through our consistent exercise of faith in Christ - who is the Divine Exemplar and Template - be it individually or collectively as members of a united corpus(body). This principle is also evident in other Gospel symbols like the growth of a seed into a fruit and shade-bearing tree, a straight and narrow way or the covenant path leading to a desired destination and outcome, and more.
Isaiah teaches that in building our knowledge and understanding of God and our relationship with Him, that revelation comes line upon line, precept upon precept, and that Christ is the sure foundation that we must build upon,
“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little”4
Then later in the same chapter,
“Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”5
Peter, nicknamed Cephas (the ‘rock’ or a ‘seer’ a ‘stone’)6 and appointed to be the Prophet and source of revelation for the Church of Jesus Christ, calls upon Isaiah’s same exclamation in his first general epistle to the Saints of the Meridian Church.
“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.”7
The general correlation that is vibrantly most apparent to me is in this running theme of acquiring great knowledge from God being compared to the building up of an edifice of stone (as we are lively stones) or a house and structure for the Holy Spirit of God to dwell within and illuminate. We are promised that as we build our personal character upon the commandments and template of Jesus Christ, our foundation will not fail.
“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”8
This temple-body parallel is coupled with the comparison of our physical bodies in the process of growth and the weaning of milk, to our gradual process of acquiring knowledge and moving from an elementary form and witness of introductory doctrines and wisdom to an understanding and a testimony that expands in complexity, depth, and scope. A more profound conversion.
“Weaning” is a transitory process of gradually introducing a solid or more complex food into an infant’s diet.9 In our spiritual growth journey through mortality, the 'milk' of intelligence is as the foundational principles and ordinances of the Gospel that we first learn to embrace and obey - whereas the metaphorical 'meat' is like unto more substantive concepts and applications that enhance and beautify our individual superstructures of faith and character. This superstructure, when built upon the rock of the Son of God and attended to by the constant and consistent righteous exercise of our faith, can blossom into a refuge of protection from the storm and heat of our fallen state. It can become a true Holy Place.10
Now first - a few initial critical assumptions to outline on the blueprint:
I believe that there is absolute truth.
This is heresy to the relativistic popular world today.
I believe that the absolute truth and the whole coherent picture of reality can be discerned only through revelation and the pure doctrine of Christ.
This is nonsense to anyone who does not believe in Christ.
I believe that the pure doctrine of Christ was restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true Church AND the Kingdom of God on the Earth today.
This is heresy to the creedal ‘Christians’ of these Latter-days, and also most everyone else.
These assumptions are important initial boundaries to my paradigm and are supported by recent statements by our current Prophet President Russell M. Nelson. During the October 2021 General Conference he declared,
“Contrary to the doubts of some, there really is such a thing as right and wrong. There really is absolute truth—eternal truth. One of the plagues of our day is that too few people know where to turn for truth…
The pure doctrine of Christ is powerful. It changes the life of everyone who understands it and seeks to implement it in his or her life. The doctrine of Christ helps us find and stay on the covenant path. Staying on that narrow but well-defined path will ultimately qualify us to receive all that God has. Nothing could be worth more than all our Father has!”11
During the October 2022 General Conference President Nelson stated,
“Many on earth today “are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.” Some would have us believe that truth is relative—that each person should determine for himself or herself what is true. Such a belief is but wishful thinking for those who mistakenly think they will not also be accountable to God.
Dear brothers and sisters, God is the source of all truth. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints embraces all truth that God conveys to His children, whether learned in a scientific laboratory or received by direct revelation from Him.”12
Consider now these two scriptures:
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”13
"...all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator"14
I seek to personally bring into captivity all of my thoughts to the obedience of Christ as the scripture clearly implies; and - if all things denote that there is a God - then everywhere that I look with an eternal perspective and the Lord’s help, I should be able to see His hand or how a particular thing connects to the Plan of Salvation. This has been my experience. I witness that it is true.
If you desire and seek the same quest - then I pray that what I share will be beneficial to you as you also experiment on the word. This focused goal of an all-enveloping Christ-centered lens has helped me to stay firm, repentant, and eager to continually seek the truth as I move along the Covenant Path exercising faith to show the Lord “that [I am] willing to take upon [myself] the name of [the] Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given [me], that [I] may always have his Spirit to be with [me].”15
To me, this mental effort of unification is an individual form of ‘gathering [Israel]’.
This effort is what I call ‘Melchizedek syncretism’.
The term 'Syncretism' today can be defined as,
"The combining of different beliefs and various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merging or assimilation of several originally [seemingly] discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths"16
I added the word "seemingly" there because I believe that all traditions in the end can and will be traced back to Adam and Eve and back further to the premortal council in Heaven where the true Gospel of Jesus Christ was taught and known even before the Creation of this Earth.17
I believe that only the Melchizedek Priesthood provides the pure and true scaffolding and authority from God through which all knowledge can be properly filtered(discerned) and organized. This is an important key for me. I believe that regular Temple attendance in earnest seeking to understand the symbolism conveyed and the covenants and blessings received therein is a necessary companion to the process of acquiring the Spirit of Prophecy and personally implementing the mission of ‘At-one-ment’ unto the building of our own sanctified individual Temples and families.
There are countless wonderful and inspired thinkers who have lived and who currently live and who are able to glean great portions of truth through the influence of the Light of Christ. They then in turn are able to disseminate that light through their teachings and their arts and their creations and overall contributions to society. Yet unless that person is Endowed in the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood and familiar with the pure doctrine of Christ - and full of the true spirit of prophecy, or the testimony of Christ - they will always be missing the proper perspective and foundation to place their portion or member of truth within the greater absolute body. The restored Gospel and the New and Everlasting Covenant is the revealed center axle of the wheel around which all organized matter pivots.18
This is the mission, in essence, to combine or re-bind all things into one great singular whole. A truly interdisciplinary approach. A re-combination. A re-storation. A gathering together of all truth, and we should expect to find answers in this the final dispensation of the fullness of times, when all things are to be revealed. The word 'religion' originally meant “to re-bind;”
Re = “back to the original place” [for us → Celestial State]
ligio = “to bind”
'Ligio' is where we get our word 'ligament' (which binds bone to bone). Through the Priesthood rituals and ordinances of true religion in our mortal existence, we make covenants with and bind ourselves back to God - flesh and bone to flesh and bone. We do this first individually by entering into the covenant of Baptism with God which opens the gate to membership in the Lord’s Kingdom both here on Earth, and in Heaven - where we can then help to perform the work and glory of the father by ministering to our neighbors. The collective body of the Kingdom of God is Zion - to be unified and of one heart, one mind, one desire, and purpose, bound through Celestial Law eternally with our Father in Heaven.
17 And they were called the church of God, or the church of Christ, from that time forward. And it came to pass that whosoever was baptized by the power and authority of God was added to his church.
18 And it came to pass that Alma, having authority from God, ordained priests; even one priest to every fifty of their number did he ordain to preach unto them, and to teach them concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
19 And he commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which he had taught, and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets.
20 Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.
21 And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.
22 And thus he commanded them to preach. And thus they became the children of God.19
You and I play an important part as 'members' of the covenant body of Christ on Earth today amidst great division and separation.
25 And behold, ye are the children of the prophets; and ye are of the house of Israel; and ye are of the covenant which the Father made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.20
Our commission is to help re-bind the Children of God, all the kindreds of the earth, to gather and seal all truth together with authority.21 This means we collect and preach the doctrine of Christ and we administer the ordinances of his Kingdom.
Consider President Nelson’s exclamation from the October General Conference 2020,
The Lord is gathering those who are willing to let God prevail in their lives. The Lord is gathering those who will choose to let God be the most important influence in their lives.
For centuries, prophets have foretold this gathering, and it is happening right now! As an essential prelude to the Second Coming of the Lord, it is the most important work in the world!
This premillennial gathering is an individual saga of expanding faith and spiritual courage for millions of people. And as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or “latter-day covenant Israel,” we have been charged to assist the Lord with this pivotal work.
When we speak of gathering Israel on both sides of the veil, we are referring, of course, to missionary, temple, and family history work. We are also referring to building faith and testimony in the hearts of those with whom we live, work, and serve. Anytime we do anything that helps anyone—on either side of the veil—to make and keep their covenants with God, we are helping to gather Israel.22
It is our individual responsibility to seek the word before we preach the word.23 So in tandem with our missionary, temple, and family history efforts which are essential outward exercises of our faith and participation in the gathering of Covenant Israel, we must constantly seek to feast upon the word of God and to write it upon our hearts so that we might be converted. We must gather light unto ourselves so that we can more freely share that light and spirit with others who are in need. So that we may feed his sheep.
All things were created by Christ and witness of him - and so all things can be synchronized in their relationship to that fundamental truth. I do not believe that there can be any other way to make coherent sense of the seemingly disparate facets and realities of existence without anchoring it all directly to the true Gospel and framework of Jesus Christ and his Priesthood.
I appeal to the Prophet Joseph Smith who is the head of this Dispensation for more support for my impetus and quest for interconnected knowledge.
“Mormonism is truth; and every man who embraces it feels himself at liberty to embrace every truth: consequently the shackles of superstition, bigotry, ignorance, and priestcraft, fall at once from his neck; and his eyes are opened to see the truth, and truth greatly prevails over priestcraft. …
“… Mormonism is truth, in other words the doctrine of the Latter-day Saints, is truth. … The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same.”24
In January 1843, Joseph Smith had a conversation with some people who were not members of the Church: “I stated that the most prominent difference in sentiment between the Latter-day Saints and sectarians was, that the latter were all circumscribed by some peculiar creed, which deprived its members the privilege of believing anything not contained therein, whereas the Latter-day Saints … are ready to believe all true principles that exist, as they are made manifest from time to time.”25
“The great thing for us to know is to comprehend what God did institute before the foundation of the world. Who knows it? It is the constitutional disposition of mankind to set up stakes and set bounds to the works and ways of the Almighty. … That which hath been hid from before the foundation of the world is revealed to babes and sucklings in the last days [see D&C 128:18].”26
One last one,
“When men open their lips against [the truth] they do not injure me, but injure themselves. … When things that are of the greatest importance are passed over by weak-minded men without even a thought, I want to see truth in all its bearings and hug it to my bosom. I believe all that God ever revealed, and I never hear of a man being damned for believing too much; but they are damned for unbelief.”27
My quest is for the internal consistency of a pure heart and righteously captivated thoughts - so that I might grow into and become ‘the principle of revelation.'28 As I have earnestly sought to implement this Christ-centered program and to spiritually govern my carnal temple of flesh and bones, the Spirit has led me powerfully to study and to meditate on and in the Temple of the Lord.
This is the pinnacle of our religion and the Covenant Path on Earth.
This is the Template of rebinding and sealing or gathering/bringing together things on Earth to a likeness of things in Heaven. The Temple is inherently cosmic, it is an intermediary sacred space and portal between worlds. We will explore much more of this in later chapters as this manifesto is explicitly centered on these topics. I hope and pray that my humble contributions and insights and experience exploring restored cosmism and the Temple, among other things, will enhance your faith in the Lord of the House who is also the Lord of the Hosts of Heaven.
From the Guide to the Scriptures:
When Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery at the Kirtland Temple in 1836 and committed unto them the keys of the sealing power, take note that it is all within the context of the Doctrine of Translation (which is an estate that ministers unto many planets29) and the warning of the coming catastrophe and upheaval of the cosmos themselves in preparation for the 2nd Coming referred to throughout scripture as 'the great and dreadful (or terrible) day of the Lord.’
13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—
15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—
16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.30
Why is the Prophet who is known for calling down consuming fire from Heaven and ascending up into the cosmos in a chariot of flame the very messenger and Latter-day conduit for the keys to the sealing power and the endowment? If we remember the culminating event after the construction of the Tabernacle (or the Kirtland Temple), was it not the heavenly descent and resting of the presence of God upon the edifice?
34 Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
36 And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:
37 But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.
38 For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.31
This was literal. Cosmism can fill this gap of understanding, the foundation and key for doing so were restored with power through the Latter-day work of Joseph Smith and the restoration of the Temple endowment. This sealing/binding machine [The Temple] truly is the means by which we can access the key of knowledge, which encompasses the cosmic or cosmological, it encompasses all things micro to macro.
53 Woe unto you, lawyers! For ye have taken away the key of knowledge, the fullness of the scriptures; ye enter not in yourselves into the kingdom; and those who were entering in, ye hindered.32
Consider this as well from Joseph Smith,
…This, therefore, is the sealing and binding power, and, in one sense of the word, the keys of the kingdom, which consist in the key of knowledge.33
As we seek to further the cause of Zion and more tightly knit our hearts with the will of God so that we may have peace in these troubled times and exaltation hereafter - our hearts will be turned to the Temple and an enhanced personal relationship with the Savior will blossom. Our eyes of understanding will expand to encompass the cosmos through the key of knowledge, and we will see things as they really are.
I love the Lord.
I share this to spread some of that love and the joy that I draw from the fruits of my discipleship to Jesus Christ.
I invite you to seek the companionship of the Holy Ghost who is your ultimate Revelator and teacher in discerning all truth. My paradigm is driven by the goal to circumscribe all truth into one coherent whole. This 'whole' of truth is centered on the foundation of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation as found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I don’t claim to be objective in how I approach learning by faith and by the Spirit - on the contrary, I know that Jesus lives! My heart is broken and in his hands.
It is wonderful, it is glorious to me! Because of him, we will all be resurrected - to receive again our bodies after death! There will be judgment for our actions in mortality. Christ will be our advocate before the Father and it will be our adherence to the covenants we make with him and our obedience to his commandments that can and will wipe away our sins to make us clean and worthy of the Father’s reward. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and a sign that these are the Latter-days where God is conducting a ‘marvelous work and a wonder’,
“Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.”34
I know that Joseph Smith is a true Prophet of God and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restored Kingdom of God on Earth in preparation for the Lord’s 2nd Coming in power and glory. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and Prophetic fruit and proof that Joseph is a true servant of the Messiah. I have tested Joseph Smith’s fruits available in the doctrine of the Temple, and I know that he is a Holy Prophet of God!
I know that the Lord will fulfill all of the promises and covenants he has made to his people, Israel.
I amend this scripture and plea from the Lord to my testimony,
“5 Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom.
6 And, as it is written—Whatsoever ye shall ask in faith, being united in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive.
7 And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts;
8 Wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall be gathered in unto one place upon the face of this land, to prepare their hearts and be prepared in all things against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked.
9 For the hour is nigh and the day soon at hand when the earth is ripe; and all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that wickedness shall not be upon the earth;
10 For the hour is nigh, and that which was spoken by mine apostles must be fulfilled; for as they spoke so shall it come to pass;
11 For I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof, and dwell in righteousness with men on earth a thousand years, and the wicked shall not stand.
12 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, and it hath gone forth in a firm decree, by the will of the Father, that mine apostles, the Twelve which were with me in my ministry at Jerusalem, shall stand at my right hand at the day of my coming in a pillar of fire, being clothed with robes of righteousness, with crowns upon their heads, in glory even as I am, to judge the whole house of Israel, even as many as have loved me and kept my commandments, and none else.
13 For a trump shall sound both long and loud, even as upon Mount Sinai, and all the earth shall quake, and they shall come forth—yea, even the dead which died in me, to receive a crown of righteousness, and to be clothed upon, even as I am, to be with me, that we may be one.”35
This witness is an intimate part of the story and perspective I seek to share. It is the very foundation of it.
I witness that faith in Christ, real repentance, baptism by proper priesthood authority, and by immersion and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands are the initial principles and ordinances and the gate to a lifetime pursuit to learn more about Christ and to increase in light and knowledge.
I know that President Russell M. Nelson is the living Prophet of God. I love and sustain him.
I know that the family is eternal and that I can be with them forever.
I know that Heavenly Father loves me, and he loves you. He desires your happiness and success. He wants you to return home faithfully to him by following Jesus Christ and seeking to see all things through Him.
I invite you to take action on the feelings and thoughts and impressions that you have had while exploring this. We are just getting started.
42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon, the son of Jona, thou shalt be called Cephas, which is, by interpretation, a seer, or a stone. And they were fishermen. And they straightway left all, and followed Jesus.
8 Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.
3 It was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me.
4 I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers concerning the seed.
Letter from Joseph Smith to Isaac Galland, Mar. 22, 1839, Liberty Jail, Missouri, published in Times and Seasons, Feb. 1840, pp.53-54; spelling and grammar modernized, bold and italics as well.
History of the Church 5:529-30; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on Aug. 13, 1843, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Willard Richards.
History of the Church 6:477; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on June 16, 1844, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Thomas Bullock.
Chapter 10: Prayer and Personal Revelation - Teachings of the Presidents: Joseph Smith
John Taylor, while serving as President of the Quorum of the Twelve, reported: “I well remember a remark that Joseph Smith made to me upwards of forty years ago. Said he, ‘Elder Taylor, you have been baptized, you have had hands laid upon your head for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and you have been ordained to the holy priesthood. Now, if you will continue to follow the leadings of that spirit, it will always lead you right. Sometimes it might be contrary to your judgment; never mind that, follow its dictates; and if you be true to its whisperings it will in time become in you a principle of revelation so that you will know all things.’”
"History of Joseph Smith," Deseret News, Vol. IV, No. 30. (quoted in John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, p.72-75
“Many may have supposed that the doctrine of translation was a doctrine whereby men were taken immediately into the presence of God, and into an eternal fulness, but this is a mistaken idea. Their place of habitation is that of the terrestrial order, and a place prepared for such characters He held in reserve to be ministering angels unto many planets, and who as yet have not entered into so great a fulness as those who are resurrected from the dead. See [Hebrews 11:35] verse, "Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection."