Authentic Joseph Smith (No. 3)
Part of the Joseph Smith, Jr. Series
All blue quotes by Joseph Smith (unless otherwise noted).
Question of the day, does new wine break your bottle? Does all the recent change at Church and new revelations make you uncomfortable? Consider what might be causing that.
From the journal of contemporary David Osborn
Joseph Had to Withhold New Revelation And Spiritual Privileges From the Saints
A lot like Moses.
In the editorial notes of the book “The Words of Joseph Smith” – the authors noted a reoccurring theme running throughout several of Joseph’s discourses:
(24) “Joseph Smith was already recognizing the difficulty he would have attempting to introduce all the knowledge and ordinances he had received by revelation. Undoubtedly the recently announced doctrine of baptism for the dead challenged the faith of some. Likewise also, he had only recently begun to preach the practice of plural marriage, which met with decided opposition. It was these and other doctrinal developments that would try the faith of many saints and fly in the face of their prejudices. Often throughout the remainder of his life, Joseph Smith would lament that many Saints were unwilling to accept the glorious things revealed to him from heaven.”
This same sentiment is already referenced in Joseph Smith Series (No. 1)
“Even the Saints are slow to understand. I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God…”
How Do the Old Bottles Break?
Joseph used a parable to explain why people couldn’t withstand new or more significant revelations.
First – here is the same parable as told in the JST Bible. Have you ever considered whether you are the old or the new bottle spoken of in JST Matthew 9:21-23?
21 For when that which is new is come, the old is ready to be put away.
22 For no man putteth a piece of new cloth on an old garment; for that which is put in to fill it up, taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.
23 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish; but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
From David Osborn’s Journal
David Osborn was baptized in 1835 and with Joseph Smith in Far West in 1837.
“David Osborn confirms these teachings in a reminiscent account of what is probably this discourse. “Joseph’s explanation of this saying of the Savior. ‘No man putteth new wine into old bottles—but new wine must be put into new bottles, lest the bottles break and the wine be spilt etc.’ He said the Jews anciently used bottles made of the skins of sheep and other animals. The wine when new would ferment and swell so would a new bottle stretch and swell, but to put new wine into an old one that had stretched all it could, the bottle was liable to burst and spill the wine. He explained the new wine to represent new revelation. He said he had seen this saying of the Savior’s exemplified in this church many times by those who had been gathered out of other churches. Who were so full of ancient revelation on the Bible that when a little more was given they could not find room for it, consequently it was lost to them. They would turn away and leave the church” (David Osborn Journal, Church Archives)
My hope for you: May we soften, stretch and grow with all the new revelations and powers as they are offered to us. Nonetheless, we must be willing to pray and seek them out. May we experience powerful humility and be receptive to more glorious experiences. They are authentic and attainable.
The Joseph Smith Series comes from, in part, a book called “The Words of Joseph Smith.”
Note: usually, the book costs a small fortune ($150-$250) because it is out of print. But I found it on Kindle, bundled with other books for $10. The downside is the electronic version is hard to navigate when trying to read the footnotes and editorial notes – which contain some of the best reading of the whole book. So I use Kindle bookmarks a lot to help with that flaw. Just a tip and a heads up.
(P.S. I receive no compensation for any recommendations – I like sharing!)