Churches conspire against the Teacher – A husband and wife brought to judgment –
The chief high priest speaks – The husband rejects authority of the church – The
Teacher defends the innocent – Are the laws of the church greater than God? – Parable:
The Great Tree – “They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me”
– Take care how you judge – Authority from God, not men – The Teacher questions the
innocent – The keys of Heaven and hell – The husband and wife reject authority of
1 And the churches grew angry because of him, for many gave heed to his words and
they would no longer follow after the leaders of their church but sought after God
2 But certain leaders took counsel among themselves to see if they could by some
means destroy, even by death, the one appointed. And they issued the decree that
any who were of their church who should speak well of the man, even that person would
they cast from the church as a thing defiled.
3 Now there was in the church both husband and wife who had followed after the Teacher
from the very beginning, taking to their soul the light of God.
4 And it so happened that in their joy they spoke well of him, evensomuch that unto
whatsoever person they would meet, they would give account of all his words.
5 But those who were in authority grew angry against them, and they caused that
they should be brought before the high council of priests for judgment.
6 And the chief high priest, being over proud and filled with authority as he supposed,
spoke hotly unto them, saying:
7 “Why have you sought after this man? Know you not that we have authority over
you by reason of our priesthood? Where is this man’s authority that he should call
after so many, and that you should follow after him?
8 Behold, we know that this man is evil and filled with deceit continually. For
no man can, by any means, approach unto God except they first go unto those who are
in authority over them.
9 Why, therefore, have you proclaimed aloud saying that this man is from God? For
no man can come from God unto the children of men except that we first call him.
10 Is it not written among us that the house of God is a house of order? Why then
have you sought to follow God by some other way, seeing that we are given authority
11 Repent, therefore, and turn your heart again unto us. For it is written, that
whosoever should follow the brethren, even they shall stand well with God.
12 As for this fellow, turn now away from him and consider no longer the words which
he would speak. Turn again your soul unto the church lest we separate you from among
13 And if you will obey us concerning this thing, then we shall take you again unto
our bosom and grant to you such authority as we are given over the children of men.”
14 Now the husband, when he heard this, stood forth to answer; and being in the
Spirit of the Lord, he spoke boldly, saying:
15 “If this man be evil, then judge that among yourselves only. For I was made blind
aforetime, having to my soul no knowledge of God, being made to fear continually
because of your authority.
16 Come, therefore, and hear: For now am I made to see clearly the evil of your
ways, having been brought into the light of God’s glory. With what power shall you
cause me to tremble, seeing that I am no longer fearful of you?
17 For you were ever quick to boast of your authority, but of God you spoke not
a word. For what just cause therefore, shall I cease from following after this righteous
one, seeing that he has granted unto all who are willing the knowledge of God?”
18 Now when the husband had said these words to the high council, there arose among
the high priests gathered there a flood of indignation and anger; for they thought
themselves righteous above all others.
19 And the chief high priest, rising from his seat spoke angrily, saying: “Have
you come here to judge us? You were born altogether wicked from your mother’s womb,
and even now has this deceiver stolen away the affections of your heart and given
it unto another.”
20 Now after he said these things there came upon the chamber door a sharp and piercing
knock, and the one answering grew pale and filled with trouble; and turning to the
high council, proclaimed that he whom the husband and wife followed was standing
even at the very door.
21 And there arose a great commotion among all the priests concerning this man,
and being in agreement, desired that he should enter in, that even every one of them
might see for themselves the one who had come forth to trouble so many.
22 And the Teacher, entering in, smiled upon the husband and the wife, and turning
to the chief high priest inquired, saying: “For what cause have you brought forth
the innocent to judgment?”
23 And the chief priest answered: “These two have broken the law of the church and
the covenants thereof, for they will by no means obey those who are given authority
over them. And except they turn their hearts again unto the church, they shall be
cast out from among us.”
24 And the Teacher, hearing this, spoke saying: “Why have you forsaken the teachings
of that Jesus whom you claim to follow? Is the law of the church greater than God
25 Have you never read concerning this Jesus, how that on a certain day there came
unto him certain men of authority like unto yourselves, desiring to trap him?
26 And they tempted him, saying: ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment in the
law?’ And Jesus, knowing of their cunning, answered, saying:
27 ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
and with all your might. This is the first and great commandment.
28 The second is like unto the first: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’
29 Thus spoke Jesus unto the scribes and Pharisees. But I tell you that whosoever
shall take to their bosom the children of men, to love them even as their own soul,
even they shall become the heirs of God, having fulfilled the whole law in one.
30 Why, therefore, will you make of no effect the word which God has granted unto
you for the sake of your traditions only? Are the laws of the church greater than
the commandments of God?
31 Hear now this parable and consider deeply: For there was a certain field and
in the midst thereof stood a great tree with boughs of green, strong and plenty;
evensomuch that the birds of the air took refuge there, building nests and making
32 But one day there came from Heaven, a fierce and terrible wind which scattered
abroad the birds of the air, breaking in pieces a multitude of branches.
33 And there fell from Heaven a shaft of great lightning which struck the tree,
cleaving it in twain and revealing its inward parts. And, behold, the tree which
appeared unto men both strong and beautiful above all others was filled with all
manner of rottenness and corruption. And great was the destruction thereof, being
consumed in the fire and the fury.”
34 When the Teacher had said these things, the chief high priest declared: “Why
will you speak to us in riddles? Tell us plainly what you mean.”
35 And he answered saying: “Whosoever has ears to hear, let them hear and understand:
For the field in which the tree stood is the world, and the tree is this church which
you proclaim as being great and beautiful above all the rest.
36 And the birds of the air which took refuge therein are the souls of the children
of men, who have placed in you all their hope and trust.
37 The wind is the indignation of God which rises against you, and which would separate
from you the children of men to spare them. And the lightning is the judgment of
God which shall reveal your inward parts.
38 For there is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed, and nothing covered that
shall not be made known.
39 Seeing, therefore, that these whom you would judge desire but to follow God,
why would you cast them away as a thing defiled? Of such as you was it written: ‘For
they honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.’
40 You are become as murderers of prophets and wise men, for your hands are made
busy with mischief. You are become as dogs who turn themselves again to their own
vomit, and the priesthood which you would hold over the innocent is filled with corruption
41 The children of men would you weigh down with a multitude of commandments, that
you might hedge them round about with cares too grievous to be borne; and you will
not so much as lift your little finger to undo the heavy burden.
42 For this cause shall God make room in the kingdom of Heaven for even all the
children of men, from the worlds of Olaha Shinehah to the glories of Kolob shall
both room and place be found, from the least even to the greatest.
43 But for you shall there be found neither room nor place, but darkness only, except
you first turn your heart unto God, that from such unrighteous dominion as you would
exercise, might even all the people be set free.
44 Take care to yourselves concerning this man and woman, for with whatsoever judgment
you shall exercise against them, God shall apportion unto you a thousand fold.
45 And if you shall cast them aside as a thing defiled, to speak evil of them continually,
then shall God separate you from his glory, for God shall not give assent unto the
unrighteousness of any man.”
46 When the Teacher had said these things, the chief high priest asked of him, saying:
“Tell us by what authority you say and do these things which have troubled so many
in the church?”
47 And he answered, saying: “Such authority as I am given came not through men as
you would suppose, for the power of God is given by the Father only.
48 If, therefore, you were of God then you would hear my words and receive unto
your benefit eternal life. But you are made dull of hearing, for you have set your
heart against God, and all the words which I would speak you will not believe, neither
would you partake of that glory which God would grant unto the righteous.
49 Behold, how you are made desolate. And though you should bark and howl continually,
yet will your priesthood avail you little. For such authority as you would proclaim
is but mist and shadow, being without substance.
50 The things which I say and do, I do not of my own accord, but by the will of
the Father who sent me; and whosoever shall hear my words to do them, shall be made
one with God, even as I am made one with the Father.”
51 And saying these things the Teacher turned to the husband and wife and spoke
to them, saying: “Why did you come before such men as these, seeing that they are
without power or authority over you?
52 Have they power to cast you into prison or to take away your life? Seeing that
their authority is without effect: Why did you consent to mockery such as this?
53 For conspiring men desiring to take unto themselves authority over the children
of men, caused that there should be written: ‘And I will give you the keys of the
kingdom of Heaven, and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven,
and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.’”
54 And turning himself again unto the council of priests, he spoke, saying: “You
brood of serpents! What abomination gave rise to such as you? For you desire that
Jesus would give into your keeping the keys of Heaven and hell, as though you were
greater than God.
55 Have you not read concerning the Christ when he spoke unto the people, saying:
‘If any man hear my words and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge
the world, but to save the world.’ And again he spoke, saying: ‘You judge after the
flesh; but I judge no man.’
56 You foolish men, filled with pride and ever judging the world for the sake of
your authority only: Would you now have the servant to become greater than his master?
57 Come now and answer plainly: Who is it that you would follow: God or church leaders?
If God, then why have you become offended when others would seek after him instead
of you? Will you be made unrighteous for the sake of your authority?”
58 And saying these things, the Teacher turned himself away and all the high priests
were angry because of him.
59 And the husband, turning to his wife, said: “What have we to do with these fellows
any more? Have they not demanded that we should follow them instead of God?
60 Let us, therefore, seek after the Teacher, that we might take to our soul the
wisdom of God.” And so speaking they turned to leave, but the chief high priest spoke,
61 “For what just cause would you leave the church of your youth to go seeking after
this blasphemer? Have you forgotten that we have authority over you to bless or to
curse, according as we will?”
62 But the woman, being unafraid, said: “The only authority you have over us is
what we give you, and we give you none.”
63 Thus speaking, they turned their hearts unto God, and the chief high priest was
filled with anger, and casting them from the church, spoke evil of them continually.
64 And in secret chambers did the leaders of the churches plot night and day against
the Teacher, thinking him dangerous above all others.