D&C/CHURCH HISTORY - LESSON 9
- Introductory Comments.
- Section 23.
- Historical background:
- Five days after the organization of the Church, Oliver Cowdery preached
the first public discourse to a small gathering of believers in
the home of Peter Whitmer.
- 6 were baptized after the service.
- The following Sunday Oliver baptized 7 more, bringing the total membership
of the Church to about 20.
- Later in April, Joseph visited his friends, the Joseph Knight family,
in Colesville, NY.
- Prior to this time Section 23 was given to the Prophet.
- In this section Joseph Knight is commanded to unite with the Church.
- This section was also directed to Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Samuel
H. Smith, & Joseph Smith, Sen. These men desired to know their duties
in the Church.
- V1: "Behold, I speak unto you, Oliver, a few words. Behold,
thou art blessed, and art under no condemnation. But beware of pride, lest
thou shouldst enter into temptation."
- In 25:14 the Lord also warns Emma to "beware of pride".
- HERE WERE TWO OF THE GREAT ONES THAT PARTICIPATED IN THE RESTORATION
OF THE CHURCH, POSSIBLY MORE THAN ANY OTHERS EXCEPT JOSEPH. WHY DOES THE
LORD WARN OLIVER AGAINST PRIDE?
- It may be that which leads him into temptation.
- We have talked much about the battle the adversary is waging against
the Church & each of us individually. He uses any tool available &
pride seems to work well.
- WHAT ARE SOME MANIFESTATIONS OF PRIDE?
- President Ezra Taft Benson: "Pride is a very misunderstood
sin, and many are sinning in ignorance. . . . Most of us think of pride
as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness.
All of these are elements of the sin, but the heart, or core, is still
missing. "The central feature of pride is enmity-enmity toward God
and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means 'hatred toward, hostility
to, or a state of opposition.' . . . "Pride is essentially competitive
in nature. We pit our will against God's. . . . The proud cannot accept
the authority of God giving direction to their lives. (See Hel. 12:6.)
They pit their perceptions of truth against God's great knowledge, their
abilities versus God's priesthood power, their accomplishments against
His mighty works. "Our enmity toward God takes on many labels, such
as rebellion, hardheartedness, stiff-neckedness, unrepentant, puffed up,
easily offended, and sign seekers. The proud wish God would agree with
them. They aren't interested in changing their opinions to agree with God's.
"Another major portion of this very prevalent sin of pride is enmity
toward our fellowmen. . . . It is manifest in so many ways, such as fault-finding,
gossiping, backbiting, murmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting,
withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving
and jealous. . . . "Selfishness is one of the more common faces of
pride. ". . . Another face of pride is contention. Arguments, fights,
unrighteous dominion, generation gaps, divorces, spouse abuse, riots, and
disturbances all fall into this category of pride. . . ."
- HOW CAN WE AVOID OR REPENT OF PRIDE?
- President Benson continues: "The antidote for pride is humility-meekness,
submissiveness. . . . It is the broken heart and contrite spirit"
(Ensign, May 1 989, pp. 4-6).
- In addition to uniting himself to the Church the Lord said to Joseph
Knight in V6: "...you must take up your cross, in the which you
must pray vocally before the world as well as in secret, and in your family,
and among your friends, and in all places."
- Joseph Knight commanded to pray vocally, in secret, and in all places.
- He is also commanded to take up his cross.
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO TAKE UP THE CROSS?
- James E. Talmage: "The cross to be taken up may be heavy, perhaps
to be dragged because too burdensome to be borne. We are apt to assume
that self-denial is the sole material of our cross; but this is true only
as we regard self-denial in its broadest sense, comprising both positive
and negative aspects. One man's cross may consist mostly in refraining
from doings to which he is inclined, another's in doing what he would fain
escape. One's besetting sin is evil indulgence; his neighbor's a lazy inattention
to the activities required by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, coupled perchance
with puritanical rigor in other observances." (Vitality of Mormonism,
- Section 24.
- Historical Notes & Background.
- The Prophet's visit to Colesville.
- In April, Joseph went to Colesville, Broome County, and the home of
- He said that they held several meetings and they were well attended
by the Knights and some of their neighbors.
- At one of those meetings Joseph asked Joseph Knight's son, Newel, to
- He said that he would wait until he went into the woods and pray by
- Newel went out into the woods to pray by himself, but felt uneasy and
hurried home. He asked his wife to call for the Prophet.
- Joseph said: "I went and found him suffering very much in his
mind, and his body acted upon in a very strange manner; his visage and
limbs distorted and twisted in every shape and appearance possible to imagine;
and finally he was caught up off the floor of the apartment, and tossed
about most fearfully." (DHC 1:82)
- Joseph was finally able to get a hand on Newel and Newel asked Joseph
to cast the devil from him. By this time several of the neighbors had gathered
to see what was going on. Joseph responded to Newels request. He wrote:
"I replied, 'If you know that I can, it shall be done;' and then
almost unconsciously I rebuked the devel, and commanded him in the name
of Jesus Christ to depart from him; when immediately Newel spoke out and
said that he saw the devil leave him and vanish from his sight. This was
the first miracle which was done in the Church...". (DHC 1:83)
- Newel related this: "I now began to feel a most pleasing sensation
resting upon me, and immediately the visions of heaven were opened to my
view. I felt myself attracted upward, and remained for some time enwrapt
in contemplation, insomuch that I knew not what was going on in the room.
By and by, I felt some weight pressing upon my shoulder and the side of
my head, which served to recall me to a sense of my situation, and I found
that the Spirit of the Lord had actually caught me up off the floor and
that my shoulder and head were resting upon the beams." (DHC 1:83)
- Many who witnessed this miracle later joined the Church.
- The first conference of the Church.
- June 9, 1830 - the first conference of Church was held at the Whitmer
home in Fayette.
- It was a gathering of about 30 members & many investigators.
- Smaller than this class.
- Several were ordained to priesthood offices.
- At the conclusion of the conference, David Whitmer baptized 11 persons
in Seneca Lake.
- Arrests & trials.
- After the conference, Joseph, Oliver, and others went to Colesville.
- There were several that desired to be baptized and so a stream near
Joseph Knight's home was damned. During the night, men opposed to Joseph
Smith tore out the dam.
- The following morning they repaired the dam and 13 were baptized, including
- That night during a confirmation meeting at the Knight home, a constable
appeared and arrested the Prophet on a charge of being a disorderly person
and setting the country in an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon.
- Joseph said: "The constable informed me, soon after I had been
arested, that the plan of those who had got the warrant was to get me into
the hands of the mob, who were now lying in ambush for me; but that he
was determined to save me from them, as he had found me to be a different
sort of person from what I had been represented to him."
- When they came to the mob wrote the Prophet: "...to their great
disappointement, he gave the horse the whip, and drove me out of their
- One of the wheels came off of the wagon and they got it back on just
in time to get away from the mob.
- The constable took Joseph to South Bainbridge, where they lodged for
the night. The Prophet wrote that the constable "slept during the
night with his feet against the door, and a loaded musket by his side,
whilst I occupied a bed which was in the room..." (DHC 1:88)
- A REMARKABLE STORY. THE ADVERSARY WAS WAGING WAR AGAINST THE PROPHET
AND THE GROWTH OF THE KINGDOM.
- They were unable to convict the Prophet in court the following day.
- Before Joseph was released from court, a warrant was served on him
from Broome County.
- The arresting officer did not treat the prophet as kindly as the first.
- He was then brought before trial in Colesville, where once again he
- Consider the testimony of Newel Knight before the court at Colesville
(see DHC 1:92-93):
- Mr. Knight was sworn, and Mr. Seymour interrogated him as follows:
- "Did the prisoner, Joseph Smith, Jun., cast the devil out of
- "No, sir."
- "Why, have not you had the devil cast out of you?"
- "Yes, sir."
- "And had not Joe Smith some hand in its being done? "
- "Yes, sir."
- "And did not he cast him out of you?"
- "No, sir; it was done by the power of God, and Joseph Smith
was the instrument in the hands of God, on the occasion. He commanded him
to come out of me in the name of Jesus Christ."
- "And are you sure that it was the devil?"
- "Yes sir."
- "Did you see him after he was cast out of you?"
- "Yes sir! I saw him."
- "Pray, what did he look like?"
- (Here one of my lawyers informed the witness that he need not answer
the question. The witness replied: "I believe I need not answer your
last question, but I will do it, provided I be allowed to ask you one question
first, and you answer me, viz., Do you, Mr. Seymour, understand the things
of the spirit?
- "No," answered Mr. Seymour, "I do not pretend to
such big things.'
- "Well, then," replied Knight, "it would be of no
use to tell you what the devil looked like, for it was a spiritual sight,
and spiritually discerned; and of course you would not understand it were
I to tell you of it.
- The lawyer dropped his head, whilst the loud laugh of the audience
proclaimed his discomfiture.
- The officer who arrested him felt bad and apologized to Joseph and
offered to help Joseph escape to safety. The mob had plans to tar &
feather him and railride him out of town.
- Samuel Smith's mission.
- At the June conference, the Prophet's brother was ordained an elder.
- He was called on the first mission of the Church to take the Book of
Mormon to the people in the vicinity of Palmyra.
- June 30 - started down the road w/knapsack filled with copies of the
BofM. 1st day walked 25 miles without a favorable contact.
- Bloomfield, NY, left a BofM with John P. Green, a circuit preacher.
Green was not interested, but said he would sell the book to anyone that
was. When Samuel returned to Bloomfield, no one had purchased the book,
but Mrs. Green had read it and believed it. Samuel was inspired to leave
it with her. Later Greene read it & believed.
- She loaned it to her brother who read the book - Brigham Young.
- It may have been this same book that was read by Heber C. Kimball.
- On this same trip a book was sold to Greene's brother-in-law, Phineas
Young, a Methodist preacher. Also, brother to Brigham Young.
- Samuel returned from this brief mission without any apparent success.
Little did he know what seeds were planted and how many lives would be
touched over the generations.
- WHAT A TREMENDOUS LESSON ABOUT DOING OUR DUTY IN FAITH.
- Background to Sections 24-26.
- Background to Sections 24-26.
- During July 1830 Joseph labored, with Oliver's assistance, on his farm
- Persecution had increased and the leaders had to seek safety in partial
- Sections 24-26 were given at this time.
- Notes on Section 24.
- In V6 the Lord told the Prophet: "And it shall be given thee
in the very moment what thou shalt speak and write..."
- EVEN THOUGH THIS WAS SPOKEN TO THE PROPHET, CAN WE HAVE THAT SAME PROMISE?
- WHAT MUST WE DO TO RECEIVE SUCH GUIDANCE FROM THE LORD?
- V7: "For thou shalt devote all thy service in Zion; and in this
thou shalt have strength."
- WE ARE NOT CALLED AT THIS TIME TO DEVOTE ALL OUR EFFORT TO THE SERVICE
OF ZION, BUT I BELIEVE THAT AS WE HONESTLY ATTEMPT TO "DEVOTE SERVICE"
IN AND TO ZION, WE TOO SHALL RECEIVE THIS BLESSING OF STRENGTH.
- V8: "Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but
endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days."
- WHY DOES THE LORD ALLOW AFFLICTIONS?
- Helaman 12:3: "And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten
his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death
and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they
will not remember him."
- Ether 12:6: "...ye receive no witness until after the trial of
- The Prophet wrote this famous statement: "I am like a huge, rough
stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is
when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else,
striking with accelerated force...all hell knocking off a corner here and
a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver
of the Almighty..." (DHC 5:401)
- HOW HAVE YOU BECOME STRONGER THROUGH AFFLICTIONS?
- Section 25.
- This section was given through the Prophet to his wife Emma.
- READ V5. Emma's calling.
- V6 - to be a scribe to the Prophet when there are not others.
- V7 - to be ordained to expound scriptures & exhort the church.
- Joseph Fielding Smith: "The term 'ordain' was used generally
in the early days of the Church in reference to both ordination and setting
apart, and too, correctly according the meaning of the word.... This saying
that Emma Smith was 'ordained' to expound scripture, does not mean that
she had conferred upon her the Priesthood, but that she was set apart to
this calling, which found its fulfillment in the Relief Society of the
Church." (CHMR 1:126)
- V11 - to make a selection of sacred hymns.
- READ V12.
- WHY ARE HYMNS IMPORTANT?
- HOW CAN MUSIC BUILD OR DESTROY YOUR SPIRITUALITY?
- Bruce R. McConkie: "Music is given of God to further his purposes.
Sweet melodies mellow the souls of men and help prepare them for the gospel.
After men receive the truth, songs of praise to Deity help to sanctify
and cleanse their souls. It follows that the best and greatest music is
that in which, by both note and word, God is praised and his truths are
extolled. On the other hand, music can be used for sensuous and carnal
purposes. To accomplish the Lord's aims both word and melody must be edifying
and lead to wholesome thoughts and emotion. There is vulgar as well as
virtuous music." (Mormon Doctrine, p.521)
- DOES THE MUSIC YOU ENJOY BUILD OR DESTROY SPIRITUALITY?
- Consider sharing a sampling of music.
- Section 26.
- READ V2: "And all things shall be done by common consent
in the church, by much prayer and faith, for all things you shall receive
by faith. Amen."
- WHAT IS COMMON CONSENT? IS THE CHURCH A DEMOCRACY?
- WHAT ARE THE APPROPRIATE WAYS TO MAKE OUR OPPOSITION KNOWN?
- Joseph Fielding Smith: "I have no right to raise my hand in
opposition to a man who is appointed to any position in this Church, simply
because I may not like him, or because of some personal disagreement or
feeling I may have, but only on the grounds that he is guilty of wrongdoing,
of transgression of the laws of the Church which would disqualify him for
the position which he is called to hold."
- Section 27.
- Historical Background.
- The Prophet Joseph wrote: "Early in the month of August Newel
Knight and his wife paid us a visit at my place in Harmony, Pennsylvania;
and as neither his wife nor mine had been as yet confirmed, it was proposed
that we should confirm them, and partake together of the sacrament, before
he and his wife should leave us. In order to prepare for this I set out
to procure some wine for the occasion, but had gone only a short distance
when I was met by a heavenly messenger, and received the following revelation,
the first four paragraphs which were written at this time, and the remainder
the September following." (DHC 1:106)
- Notes on Section 27.
- READ V2.
- WHAT DOES THE LORD TEACH US HERE ABOUT THE ATTITUDE WE SHOULD HAVE
AS WE PARTAKE OF THE SACRAMENT?
- V12 is the verse that confirms the visit of Peter, James, and John
for the purpose of restoring the Melchizedek Priesthood.
- This occurred during the late spring of 1829.
- READ 27:15-18.
- Counsel on how to withstand Satan and his temptations.
- The six parts of the armor:
- Girdle of armor about the loins - an ancient soldier wore a girdle
of physical armor about his loins to protect vital parts of his body.
- President Lee: "Truth is to be the substance of which the girdle
about your loins is to be formed if your virtue and vital strength is to
- Breastplate of righteousness - meeting the standards of that which
is morally right and just.
- Have feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
- President Lee: "Your feet, which are to represent your goals
or objectives in life, are to be shod. Shod with what? With the preparation
of the gospel of peace.... He [the Apostle Paul] knew that preparedness
is the way to victory and that 'eternal vigilance is the price of safety.'
Fear is the penalty of unpreparedness and aimless dawdling with opportunity."
- Shield of faith - by having this we can ward of Satan's fiery darts.
- Leon R. Hartshorn: "When persecution, heartbreak, temptation,
disappointment, illness, etc., comes into the life of a Latter-day Saint,
the first thing he should do is get behind the shield of faith. He must
let the Lord help him; if he does not, then Satan's fiery darts may wound
him spiritually. Some have sustained so many wounds that their recovery
is lengthy, and there are some who have never recovered."
- Helmet of salvation - that which is to protect our mind, our ability
to think properly. We must control our thoughts and dwell upon the things
of salvation. To deviate, we may well fall is did Oliver and others.
- The sword of the Spirit - the word of God.
- This is primarily an offensive weapon. We are to study the scriptures,
listen to the voices of the living prophets, and have the companionship
of the Holy Ghost as we move forward in God's service.
- Imagine an armor that has a tarnished helmet, a corroded breastplate,
a rusted shield, a broken sword, a girdle about the loins that has slipped
downward, and tattered footwear.
- HOW WELL WOULD IT GUARD A MAN IN BATTLE?
- HOW WELL WOULD SUCH ARMOR GUARD US IN THE BATTLE AGAINST SATAN?
- Next Week.
- Lesson 10: Sections 28-29.