D&C/CHURCH HISTORY - LESSON 18
SECTIONS 59-62

  1. Introductory Comments.
  2. Section 59.
    1. Historical Background.
      1. The Colesville Saints arrived in Zion on July 25.
        1. They did not settle in Independence, but as a group continued to Kaw Township, a sparsely populated area 12 miles southwest of Independence.
        2. They settled along the Big Blue River which separated Missouri from the Indian territory to the west.
      2. On August 2, Joseph, Sidney, and ten other brethren assisted the Colesville Branch in laying the first log for a house as a foundation of Zion. These twelve men laid this first log in honor of the twelve tribes of Israel.
        1. Sidney Rigdon was appointed by the Lord to dedicate and consecrate the land for the gathering of the Saints.
        2. Before doing so, he stood before the gathered Saints and asked the following questions:
          1. "Do you receive this land for the land of your inheritance with thankful hearts from the Lord?"
          2. "Do you pledge yourselves to keep the law of God on this land which you never have kept in your own lands?"
          3. "Do you pledge yourselves to see that others of your brethren who shall come hither do keep the laws of God?"
        3. The Saints assembled responded to each question with a unanimous, "We do."
        4. Sidney then offered the dedicatory prayer and then declared, "I now prance this land consecrated and dedicated unto the Lord for a possession and inheritance for the Saints, and for all the faithful servants of the Lord to the remotest ages of time. In the name of Jesus Christ, having authority from Him. Amen." (DHC 1:196)
      3. On August 3, eight of the brethren returned to Independence.
        1. They gathered at the 10 acre plot where the temple would be built.
          1. Joseph laid a stone at the southeast corner for the contemplated temple.
          2. Joseph then dedicated the spot for the building of the temple.
          3. Sidney dedicated the land where the city of Zion was to stand.
      4. On August 4, the fifth conference of the Church was held at the home of Joshua Lewis, in Kaw Township, with members of the Colesville branch.
        1. Joseph exhorted the Saints to keep their covenants so that they might receive the blessings.
      5. On August 7, Joseph attended the funeral of Polly Knight.
        1. Section 59 given on this same day in Jackson County, Missouri.
    2. Discussion of Section 59.
      1.  READ 59:9-13. Remember the Sabbath day.
        1. One of the characteristics of those saints prepared to participate in the redemption of Zion is the proper celebration of the Sabbath. As the Lord says in verse 1, blessed are those who have "an eye single to my glory".
        2. WHAT COMMANDMENT DEMONSTRATES OUR DEVOTION TO THE LORD AND THE CAUSE OF ZION MORE THAN THIS ONE?
        3. WE COULD GET INTO A "LAW OF MOSES" DISCUSSION ON PROPER SABBATH ACTIVITIES, BUT WHAT IS THE REAL KEY?
          1. See v10 - if we are living by the Spirit we will know if we are spending the day appropriately.
            1. Harold B. Lee: "My experience has taught me that the prompting of the conscience to a faithful Church member is the safest indicator as to that which is contrary to the spirit of worship on the Sabbath Day." (Decisions for Successful Living, p148)
          2. Spencer W. Kimball: "The Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts, and if one merely lounges about doing nothing on the Sabbath, he is breaking it. To observe it, one will be on his knees in prayer, preparing lessons, studying the gospel, meditating, visiting the ill and distressed, writing letters to missionaries, taking a nap, reading wholesome material, and attending all the meetings of that day at which he is expected." (Ensign, Jan. 1978, p4)
        4. D&C Commentary: "The Sabbath is necessary for the maintenance of free institutions and morality. No one living in a Christian community has the right to undermine these, by his conduct, no matter what his personal views may be." (p357)
      2. V23: "But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come."
  3. Section 60.
    1. As the mission to Missouri ended, the elders inquired what they were to do. This revelation was given on August 8, 1831 through the Prophet in Jackson County, Missouri.
      1. Instructions were given as to how they should return.
      2.  READ 60:2. With some the Lord is not pleased.
        1. D&C Commentary: "Some of the Elders, notwithstanding the manifestations they had had of the power and goodness of God, did not speak of these things to their fellowmen, because of their fear of man. This was highly displeasing to the Lord. We should learn from this, that, if we have a testimony of the truth, it is our duty to give that testimony to others, without fear." (P358)
  4. Section 61.
    1. Historical Background.
      1. On August 9, 1831, Joseph Smith and ten others left for Kirtland using 16 canoes.
        1. On the third day they encountered many dangers on the treacherous waters of the Missouri River.
        2. One canoe capsized and Sidney Rigdon almost drowned.
        3. The brethren finally landed safely at McIlwaine's Bend.
        4. William W. Phelps saw in open vision "the destroyer in his most horrible power, ride upon the face of the waters...." (DHC 1:203)
          1. Some of the others heard a noise, but did not see anything.
      2. The next morning, after prayers Joseph received a revelation regarding Phelps vision.
    2. Discussion of Section 61.
      1. V3: "But verily I say unto you, that it is not needful for this whole company of mine elders to be moving swiftly upon the waters, whilst the inhabitants on either side are perishing in unbelief."
      2.  READ 61:13-19. Revelation concerning the waters.
        1. D&C Commentary: "God's educational methods are wonderful. He commanded the Elders to go by the river to St. Louis. They complied with this command until, on the third day of their voyage, they met with an experience which caused them to land. The destroyer then appeared, and that vision was followed by the Revelation concerning destruction upon the waters. And thus the lesson was impressed on their minds." (p369)
  5. Section 62.
    1. August 13, 1831. Joseph and his companions met several Elders on their way to the land of Zion. Section 62 was given at this time.
      1. "The Elders were commended for their faithful devotion in preaching the gospel on the way to Zion, for the testimonies they had left with the inhabitants of the land were recorded in heaven for angels to read." (Barrett, p192)
  6. Conclusion.
    1. Spencer W. Kimball on Zion: "Zion can be built up only among those who are the pure in heart, not a people torn by covetousness or greed, but a pure and selfless people. Not a people who are pure in appearance, rather a people who are pure in heart. Zion is to be in the world and not of the world, not dulled by a sense of carnal security, nor paralyzed by materialism. No, Zion is not things of the lower, but of the higher order, things that exalt the mind and sanctify the heart."
  7. Next Week.
    1. Lesson 19: D&C 63-65.