D&C/CHURCH HISTORY - LESSON 12
- Introductory Comments.
- Section 37.
- Historical Background.
- This revelation was given to the Prophet & Sidney Rigdon near Fayette,
NY in December 1830.
- The year, 1830, had been a significant one for the Church.
- On April 6 it had been organized for the first time in centuries.
- The Church had grown to nearly 200 members in New York.
- Missionary efforts in Kirtland, Ohio, had been successful where they
had baptized about 127 people during their few weeks there and continued
- Important future leaders had been baptized including Parley and Orson
Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, Edward Partridge, and Thomas B. Marsh.
- Numerous revelations had been received.
- The inspired revision of the Bible had begun.
- Discussion of Section 37.
- In v1 the Lord tells Joseph that he need not continue the translation
until he goes to the Ohio.
- READ V3. The Saints commanded to gather at the Ohio.
- This is the first commandment concerning a gathering to be given in
- THE CONCEPT OF GATHERING SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN IMPORTANT PART OF THE GOSPEL
THROUGHOUT THE AGES. WHY? WHY WAS IT SO IMPORTANT TO THE EARLY CHURCH?
- To deliver the saints from their enemies.
- It was a means of strengthening the church & the members.
- Large numbers of saints were necessary to accomplish some of the aims
of the gospel such as the building of temples.
- The members were taught & instructed in the proper operation of
the priesthood & gospel principles. They could then go out a strengthen
the outlying branches.
- Joseph Smith: "All that the prophets have written, from the
days of righteous Abel, down to the last man that has left any testimony
on record for our consideration, in speaking of the salvation of Israel
in the last days, goes directly to show that it consists in the work of
gathering. "The greatest temporal & spiritual blessing which always
flow from faithfulness and concerted effort, never attended individual
exertion or enterprise. The history of all ages abundantly attest this
fact. In addition to all temporal blessings, there is no other way for
the Saints to be saved in these last days, [than by a gathering] as the
concurrent testimony of all the holy prophets proves, . . ."
- Joseph Smith: "The main object [of gathering] was to build
unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto His people the ordinances
of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way
of salvation; for there are certain ordinances and principles that, when
they are taught and practiced, must be done in a place or house built for
that purpose. "It was the design of the councils of heaven before
the world was, that the principles and laws of the priesthood should be
predicated upon the gathering of the people in every age of the world....
"It is for the same purpose that God gathers together His people in
the last days, to build unto the Lord a house to prepare them for the ordinances
and endowments, washings and anointings, etc." (DHC 5:423-424)
- AN INTERESTING QUESTION: These early New York saints, particularly
in Palmyra, Fayette, and Colesville, had to dispose of their property and
move to Kirtland.
- HOW WOULD YOU REACT IF THE LORD ASKED YOU TO MOVE IMMEDIATELY TO A
- WHAT SACRIFICES WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO MAKE?
- Section 38.
- Sunday, January 2, 1831, the Saints met at Fayette for the third conference
of the Church.
- It was during this conference that the revelation known as Section
38 was given through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
- In this revelation the New York Saints were commanded to dispose of
their houses and property and move to Ohio.
- In v30 the Lord said: "...if ye are prepared ye shall not fear."
- In his 1973 October Conference address, Ezra Taft Benson spoke of some
of the calamities for which we are to prepare. He then said: "Yet,
through all of this, the Lord Jesus Christ has said: '...if ye are prepared
ye shall not fear.' "What then is the Lord's way to help us prepare
for these calamities? The answer is also found in Section 1 of the Doctrine
and Covenants... [v17-18,37] "Here then is the key--to look to the
prophets for the words of God, that will show us how to prepare for the
calamities which are to come." (CR, Oct. 1973)
- READ V24-27. The saints commanded to be one.
- ARE WE A UNITED PEOPLE ACTING AS ONE?
- WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO BRING OURSELVES IN LINE WITH THIS COMMANDMENT?
- Harold B. Lee: "If we would be united in love and fellowship
and harmony, this Church would convert the world, who would see in us the
shining example of these qualities which evidence that divine ownership."
(CR, Apr. 1950)
- Spencer W. Kimball: "I come to realize more and more, as my
experience broadens, the vast influence and power that a small minority
may wield in this world, in politics, in religion, in social activities,
everywhere you go. A small group, united in purpose, with definite goals,
may greatly influence the great majorities." (Teachings of Spencer
W. Kimball, p178)
- READ V31-33. Reason for gathering to Ohio.
- WHY DID THE LORD CALL THE SAINTS TO MOVE TO OHIO?
- Escape the power of the enemy.
- The Lord to give his law.
- To be endowed with power from on high.
- V34-36: Men to be appointed to look after the poor and the needy.
- V37: Farms that cannot be sold are to be left or rented.
- V39: The Lord instructs the Saints to beware of pride.
- THESE EARLY SAINTS WERE CALLED UPON TO MAKE GREAT SACRIFICES FOR THE
SAKE OF THE GOSPEL. WHAT SACRIFICES DOES THE LORD ASK US TO MAKE TO BUILD
- Joseph Smith: "The faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life
and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly
things." (Lectures on Faith, 6:7)
- Presentation on Kirtland, Ohio.
- View a slide presentation on the Kirtland, Ohio area.
- Section 39.
- Given through the Prophet to James Covill at Fayette in January 1831.
James Covill had been a Baptist minister for about 40 years. Very little
is know of James Covill.
- READ V9. Covill has seen great sorrow due to rejecting the Lord because
of pride and cares of the world.
- READ V15. Blessing for those that gather to Ohio.
- Indeed, it was here in Kirtland, that the gospel began to be spread
to the nations of the world.
- READ V16-18. The Lord cannot stay his judgment upon the nations,
unless the people repent.
- Section 40.
- Revelation given to the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon after James Covill
had rejected the word of the Lord and returned to his former principles
- READ V1-3. James Covill tempted and returned to his former ways.
- Covill was like those in Lehi's dream that started up the path, but
left because of those who were mocking them.
- Section 41.
- The Prophet arrived in Kirtland on February 1, 1831 and took up residence
with Newel K Whitney.
- The church was new in Kirtland and some of the members had been participating
in practices not in harmony with the gospel. Joseph referred to them as
"strange notions and false spirits". There was a group in
Kirtland that called the Morley Family. The lived an imperfect law of sharing
all things, which caused a lot of difficult feelings. They had a revelator
known as "Black Pete". They claimed to see angels and to receive
letters from heaven. These people were striving to do the will of the Lord,
but had bought many of their earlier practices into the church.
- This revelation was given to the Prophet in Kirtland in February 1831.
- READ V2,3. The people to assemble together to agree upon the work
of the Lord.
- READ V9,10. Edward Partridge called as a Bishop to the church.
- Next Week.
- Lesson 13: Section 42 & Lesson 14: Sections 43-45.