D&C/CHURCH HISTORY - LESSON 17
- Introductory Comments.
- WHAT IS ZION? THE CITY OF ZION?
- HAVE ANY BEEN TO MISSOURI? WHAT WERE YOUR IMPRESSIONS?
- Section 57.
- Historical Background.
- On June 19, 1831, Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Martin Harris, Edward
Partridge, William W. Phelps, Joseph Coe, A. Sidney Gilbert & his wife
started from Kirtland on their journey to Missouri.
- They went to Cincinnati by wagon, canal boats, and stages.
- To Louisville by steamer.
- To St. Louis by steamer.
- Joseph, Martin Harris, W.W. Phelps, Edward Partridge, and Joseph Coe
walked the 240 miles across Missouri to Independence arriving in mid July.
- Wrote Joseph, "...the Lord continued His watchful care and
loving kindness to us day by day; and we made it a rule wherever there
was an opportunity, to read a chapter in the Bible, and pray; and these
seasons of worship gave us great consolation." (DHC 1:189)
- The others arrived by water a few days later.
- Independence and Jackson County in 1831.
- Independence: A small log courthouse, 3 stores, 20 houses made mostly
- County population - 2,823 scattered on small farms. Most lived in log
- The people dressed befitting those on the fringe of civilization.
- Parley P. Pratt observed that some families were "entirely
dressed in skins, without any other clothing; including ladies, young and
- Joseph wrote: "But our reflections were many, coming as we
had from a highly cultivated state of society in the east, and standing
now upon the confines or western limits of the United States, and looking
into the vast wilderness of those that sat in darkness; how natural it
was to observe the degradation, leanness of intellect, ferocity, and jealousy
of a people that were nearly a century behind the times, and to feel for
those who roamed about without the benefit of civilization, refinement,
or religion, yea, and exclaim in the language of the Prophets: 'When will
the wilderness blossom as the rose? When will Zion be built up in her glory,
and where will Thy temple stand, unto which all nations shall come in the
last days?' Our anxiety was soon relieved by receiving the following [Section
57]." (DHC 1:189)
- The Prophet wrote of the land itself: "The country is unlike
the timbered states of the East. As far as the eye can reach the beautiful
rolling prairies lie spread out like a sea of meadows; and are decorated
with a growth of flowers so gorgeous and grand as to exceed description;
and nothing is more fruitful, or a richer stockholder in the blooming prairie
than the honey bee. Only on the water courses is timber to be found. There
in strips from one to three miles in width, and following faithfully the
meanderings of the streams, it grows in luxuriant forests." (DHC
- Unoccupied land in Jackson County could be bought from the U.S. Government
for $1.25 per acre.
- Section 57 was given through the Prophet in Jackson County, Missouri,
in July 1831.
- Discussion of Section 57.
- READ ETHER 13:6,8. Moroni wrote that there was to be a New Jerusalem
built upon this land.
- V6: "And that a New Jerusalem should be built upon this
land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for which things there
has been a type."
- V8: "Wherefore, the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be
built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and
they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem
of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come when
the earth shall pass away."
- THE LORD ALSO SPOKE OF THIS NEW JERUSALEM AS RECORDED IN 3 NEPHI.
- It has also been referred to in Biblical prophesy.
- The Prophet had asked, "...where will thy temple stand, unto which
all nations shall come in the last days?"
- READ 57:1-3. The place for the city of Zion revealed.
- In the remainder of this section, the Lord gave instructions for obtaining
and settling the land.
- Section 58.
- Historical Background.
- On July 25, the Colesville Saints arrived in the land of Zion. This
was the first branch of the Church to emigrate to Zion.
- They were accompanied by Sidney Rigdon, Isaac Morley, Ezra Booth, and
Sidney Gilbert and wife.
- The thoughts of a promised land, a New Jerusalem, seemed to excite
these early saints.
- Polly Knight, wife of Joseph Knight and mother to Newel Knight, was
in poor health during the journey from Ohio to Missouri, but she would
not allow them to stop.
- Her desire was to reach the promised land and be buried there.
- She was so ill, that Newel went on shore and purchased lumber to make
a coffin in case she should die before reaching Zion.
- She reached Zion and died soon thereafter, praising God that she had
lived to see the land of Zion.
- Said Joseph, "This was the first death in the Church in this
land, and I can say, a worthy member sleeps in Jesus till the resurrection."
- Section 58 was given to the Prophet after the arrival of the Colesville
Saints on August 1, 1831 in Jackson County, Missouri.
- Discussion of Section 58.
- The Prophet had asked, "When will Zion be built?"
- It would seem that the Saints anticipated the building of Zion in the
- READ 58:1-5.
- V3 - The glory of Zion shall follow after much tribulation.
- WHAT DOES THIS TELL US ABOUT THE LORD'S PLANS?
- IF ZION WAS NOT TO BE BUILT AT THIS TIME WHY WERE SOME OF THE SAINTS
SENT TO MISSOURI?
- READ 58:6-11. Reasons for going to Missouri.
- Test of obedience (v6) - see Section 101:1-4.
- Prepare their hearts so they could bear testimony of that which was
to come, the building of Zion (v6).
- There were truths to be revealed which could only given in Zion.
- Lay the foundation for the city of Zion (v7).
- The Saints seem to have expected more, but the land was dedicated and
the site of the temple appointed. We now all look to that day when the
construction of Zion will commence.
- That a "feast of fat things" may be prepared for the poor
- Seems to be a reference to the law of consecration which had previously
been revealed and the dispensing of the gospel in the latter day.
- V9 indicates that the nations" will be invited.
- V10-11 give us the sequence.
- 1st - the rich, learned, wise, & noble.
- 2nd - the poor, lame, blind, & deaf.
- WHO ARE THE RICH AND WHO ARE THE POOR?
- READ 42:39. Riches of Gentile Saints to be consecrated to the poor
- READ 3 NE 16:10-11. When the Gentiles sin against the gospel, the
fulness to be taken to the House of Israel.
- READ V13-14. To further the cause of Zion, Edward Partridge called
to be bishop in Zion.
- V15-16 - If he did not repent his mission would be given to another.
- WHAT WERE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE BISHOP IN ZION? (SEE V17-18)
- To divide the lands of Zion.
- To judge his people by the testimony of the just.
- READ V20. Leaders in Zion were not to consider themselves rulers.
- READ V21-22. Obey the law of the land.
- WHAT DO THESE VERSES TELL US?
- D&C Commentary: "Revolutionary movements that aim at the abolition
of government itself are contrary to the law of God; those which are aimed
at the correction of abuses are not wrong." (p389)
- WHAT DOES THIS STATEMENT MEAN & HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT IT?
- HOW DOES OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF THE LAND HELP ACCOMPLISH THE CAUSE
- Such obedience often makes inroads to previously inaccessible nations
- those governments understand that Latter-day Saints are humble, law abiding
- READ V26-28. Men should be anxiously engaged in doing good.
- WHAT DO THESE VERSES MEAN TO YOU?
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN IN V28 WHEN IT SAYS "FOR THE POWER IS IN THEM,
WHEREIN THEY ARE AGENTS UNTO THEMSELVES"?
- WHAT IS THE POWER THAT IS IN THEM?
- The light of Christ and the power of the Spirit. Certainly not the
learned intellect of man.
- WHAT DOES VERSE 29 TELL US? DOES IT GIVE US AN EXCUSE FOR NOT KEEPING
A COMMANDMENT IF OUR HEART IS NOT IN IT?
- MARTIN HARRIS (V39) AND WILLIAM W. PHELPS (V41) CALLED TO REPENT.
- READ V42-43. He who repents will be forgiven.
- Summary of Instructions:
- Bishop of Zion called.
- Role of the Bishop of Zion.
- No man is to be a ruler.
- Obey the laws of the land.
- Men to be engaged in good causes by their own free will.
- Lands to be purchased in
- Independence for the storehouse & printing house.
- M Harris/W W Phelps given instructions and called to repent.
- Principles of repentance reiterated.
- The Prophet asked: "When will the wilderness blossom as a rose?"
- READ 58:44. The time to receive their inheritance is not for many
- WHAT MUST BE DONE?
- According to v44 most will not receive their inheritance until they
desire it through prayer.
- READ 58:45. Push the people together.
- READ 58:48. The elder to build up churches.
- READ 58:56. Not to be done in haste. Directed by the elders.
- It seems to me that one of the effects of gathering Israel is the blossoming
of the wilderness - consider Utah and modern Israel.
- Continue Reading.
- Lesson 18: Sections 59-62.