Revealing the Revelations

Doctrine and Covenants - Sec. 129.

 The Three Grand Keys.


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The following section is printed as it appears in D & C. (1968 edition)


SECTION 129
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, February 9, 1843, making known the three grand keys by which good or bad angels or spirits may be distinguished. --

Two kinds of beings besides mortals - Resurrected personages having bodies of flesh and bones -- Disembodied spirits and spirits that have never been embodied -- Means of detection.

1. There are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones

2. For instance, Jesus said: Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

3. Secondly: The spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory.

4. When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you.

5. If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand.

6. If he be the spirit of a just man made perfect he will come in his glory; for that is the only way he can appear -

7. Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message.

8. If it be the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him.

9. These are the three grand keys whereby you may know whether any administration is from God.

[End of Revelation]


There is an old joke where a man says to a friend: "My wife's an angel." Whereupon his friend replies: "I wish mine was."

Some people seem to believe if you are good, then upon death, you go to heaven and become an angel. But that is not what the Bible teaches.

Angels are created beings. Just as God created everything else, so He created angels.

Therefore verse 1 of Section 129 is wrong; in fact if you read the revelation carefully you will discover other problems, for example, verse 2 implies that Jesus is an angel.

But I wish to bring to your attention a major flaw in the "three grand keys."

We are told that if the messenger really is an angel he will shake your hand and you will feel his hand (verse 5).

We are told that if the messenger is the spirit of a just man made perfect we should offer to shake hands but he will not do so, he will, however, deliver his message (verses 6 and 7).

The final "Grand Key" is the one by which we can fool the Devil. We are told that when we offer to shake hands with the devil, who is appearing to us as an angel of light, he will attempt to shake hands but we will not feel his hand, therefore we may detect the imposter.

Please bear in mind; this is supposed to be God's instruction to mankind, the same God who created everything which exists, from the smallest insect to the largest planet, and He created them perfect.

Now He gives instructions to mankind to enable us to overcome the deceit of our greatest enemy, Satan. I find it hard to believe that such a Wonderful Creator could make a stupid mistake when giving instructions as important as these.

If Satan so wishes, he could appear to a Mormon (for only they believe this 'revelation') posing as an angel of light, and when the Mormon offers to shake hands in order to detect whether the messenger is truly from God, all Satan need do is stand still and not shake hands.

This will leave the Mormon convinced the messenger is the spirit of a just man made perfect (see verses 6 & 7). Satan can then deliver whatever message he wants the Mormon to believe.

It is well known that Joseph Smith, who claimed to have received this and many other revelations, was involved in the occult. In view of this we should not be surprised at his obsession with the spirit world.

Jim Cowen
Good Tidings Ministry.