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If this is your first visit to Modern Apocrypha, I have only two recommendations for continuing on with minimal confusion:

1) Please begin with the first introductory post (found HERE) and work your way forward. Almost all the posts on this blog flow chronologically and will make more sense with the background and context of previous ones. Jumping in anywhere might be disorienting.

2) Please read along in the texts posted off to the right. I try not to summarize too much in the commentary and discussion, and being at least somewhat familiar with what we're discussing or I'm commenting on will be most beneficial and edifying for all involved. Plus, going along with the theme of this blog, any hidden truths to be brought to light will be found within the text itself and not necessarily within my ramblings.

Okay, fine, three recommendations:

3) Please read with an open heart, mind, and spirit. See what truths you can find in these works--ones which speak to you. Namaste : )

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


aklatan sons of levi

Since the people of the Aklatan claim descent from Levi, built a temple wherein they performed sacrifices and other ordinances according to their scriptures, and prophesied of another temple built by their descendants before the third Jerusalem temple, I thought it would be interesting to visit the Lord's prophecies and other prophetic teachings concerning the "sons of Levi" and sacrifice in the last days.

Malachi prophesied:
And [the Lord] shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3:3; 3 Nephi 24:3; see also D&C 128:24)
John the Baptist told Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery:
Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness. (D&C 13:1; JSH 1:69)
Joseph Smith expanded on Malachi in a 21 March 1841 funeral sermon:
Yes brethren, the Lord will purify the sons of Levi, good or bad, for it is through them that blessings flow to Israel, and as Israel once was baptized in the cloud and in the sea, so shall God, as a refiner's fire and a fuller's soap, purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and as silver, and then, and not till then, shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord as in days of old and as in former years. (punctuation added)
The Lord taught Joseph Smith when He asked the Nauvoo temple to be built:
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,... are ordained by the ordinance of my holy house, which my people are always commanded to build unto my holy name. (D&C 124:39)
Wilford Woodruff recorded on 18 Dec 1857 Brigham Young's plans for a room in the Salt Lake Temple to be used for animal sacrifices:
Under the pulpit in the west [Aaronic priesthood] end will be a place to offer sacrifices. There will be an altar prepared for that purpose so that when any sacrifices are to be offered, they should be offered there.
In Joseph Smith's only known written discourse on 5 Oct 1840, he taught:
Thus we behold the keys of this Priesthood consisted in obtaining the voice of Jehovah that He talked with [Noah] in a familiar and friendly manner, that He continued to him the keys, the covenants, the power and the glory, with which he blessed Adam at the beginning; and the offering of sacrifice, which also shall be continued at the last time; for all the ordinances and duties that ever have been required by the Priesthood, under the directions and commandments of the Almighty in any of the dispensations, shall all be had in the last dispensation, therefore all things had under the authority of the Priesthood at any former period, shall be had again, bringing to pass the restoration spoken of by the mouth of all the Holy Prophets; then shall the sons of Levi offer an acceptable offering to the Lord....
The offering of sacrifice has ever been connected and forms a part of the duties of the Priesthood. It began with the Priesthood, and will be continued until after the coming of Christ, from generation to generation. We frequently have mention made of the offering of sacrifice by the servants of the Most High in ancient days, prior to the law of Moses; which ordinances will be continued when the Priesthood is restored with all its authority, power and blessings.
Elijah was the last Prophet that held the keys of the Priesthood, and who will, before the last dispensation, restore the authority and deliver the keys of the Priesthood, in order that all the ordinances may be attended to in righteousness. It is true that the Savior had authority and power to bestow this blessing; but the sons of Levi were too prejudiced.... Why send Elijah? Because he holds the Keys of the Authority to administer in all the ordinances of the priesthood and without the authority as given, the ordinances could not be administered in righteousness.
These sacrifices, as well as every ordinance belonging to the Priesthood, will, when the Temple of the Lord shall be built, and the sons of Levi be purified, be fully restored and attended to in all their powers, ramifications, and blessings. This ever did and ever will exist when the powers of the Melchizedek Priesthood are sufficiently manifest; else how can the restitution of all things spoken of by the holy Prophets be brought to pass? It is not to be understood that the law of Moses will be established again with all its rites and variety of ceremonies; this has never been spoken of by the Prophets; but those things which existed prior to Moses' day, namely, sacrifice, will be continued.
So what do we learn from these passages?
The Lord will purify Levi's latter-day descendants so they can participate in the final restoration of the Patriarchal priesthood, offer righteous sacrifices, bless the house of Israel, and redeem Judah and Jerusalem. The lesser or preparatory Aaronic priesthood will then be removed at that time, with only the higher priesthood remaining.

The Lord's temples are places where all ordinances pertaining to the higher priesthood are to be performed. One of those higher ordinances requested by the Lord to be performed in the Nauvoo temple (or any of His temples) were sacrifices in memorial of those performed by the sons of Levi. (None ever were.) And Brigham Young planned for the performance of the same in the Salt Lake Temple. (None ever were there, either.) If sacrifice, then, is an ordinance that accompanies the fulness of the Priesthood, the complete priesthood as was had among the Patriarchs was not exercised in Nauvoo and is not currently exercised among the general body of any Judeo-Christian denomination.)

The Patriarchs obtained their priesthood keys directly from God by His declaration (see Nephi in Helaman 10), and all ordinances they performed will be restored (but haven't been yet) in the last days. Elijah was the last prophet to hold the priesthood keys necessary to administer all ordinances (Peter, didn't then?), and he will restore them before the final restoration so that all ordinances can again be performed. (Joseph used the future tense in this statement. Was he speaking generally, meaning that Elijah had already given him all the keys at the Kirtland temple before the final restoration? Or was he saying Elijah gave him what was then necessary and would return again and restore the rest?)

In any case, the sons of Levi will play a key and pivotal role in the last days in blessing scattered Israel, redeeming Judah and Jerusalem, and restoring the fulness of the Priesthood and its ordinances to the earth. Their sacrifices will be performed with authority from God in His holy temple.


  1. I remember first reading about these people being descendants of Levi, and that idea itself seemed to potentially connect the dots for me, as the identity of the "sons of Levi" never being quite clear to me.

    1. At the very least, it's gotten me to think outside the "sons of Levi can only be in Jerusalem" box. Working backward (according to me):

      For Judah to be fully redeemed, the final Jerusalem temple needs to be built so the Lord can come, accept it, and abide there. But Jerusalem needs to be cleansed so that temple can be built. But, as Malachi and Joseph Smith said, Judah and Jerusalem will only be ready for that time after the sons of Levi have offered their sacrifice again in righteousness and the fulness of the Patriarchal priesthood is restored. But there needs to be a forerunner temple built for that purpose or at least one that they can access to perform that ordinance. But they need to be purified by the Holy Spirit and receive keys from God to administer that ordinance. And before they can do that, they need to be reminded of the reality of the Lord and His Gospel, who they are, their relationship with Him, and the role they need to perform. That means the "times of the Gentiles" will be coming to an end and the Gospel again offered to Israel.

      Again, this was the purpose of Moses, Elias, and Elijah visiting and committing keys to Joseph and Oliver in the Kirtland temple -- find and gather scattered Israel, remind them who they are and the covenants their ancestors made with the Lord, bestow those covenant blessings upon them, and restore the fulness of the priesthood which brings us into the presence of God.