D&C/CHURCH HISTORY - LESSON 19
- Introductory Comments.
- Section 63
- Historical Background.
- August 9, 1831 - The Prophet & ten others left for Kirtland heading
down the Missouri River in canoes.
- On the 3rd day they experienced treacherous waters. Sidney Rigdon's
boat capsized & he almost drowned.
- W.W.Phelps said that he saw in open vision "the destroyer in
his most horrible power, ride upon the face of the waters...".
- The following day the Prophet received a revelation (section 61) which
confirmed Phelps vision. The brethren were warned in their travel to and
from Zion not to go on the rivers because "the destroyer rideth
upon the face thereof."
- The Prophet arrived in Kirtland on August 27 and completed his mission
- August 28, a special meeting was held at which the brethren reported
their labors. Section 63 was given in response to the Saints questions
regarding Zion and how the land should be obtained.
- Wrote the Prophet: "In these infant days of the Church, there
was a great anxiety to obtain the word of the Lord upon every subject that
in any way concerned our salvation; and as the land of Zion was now the
most important temporal object in view, I inquired of the Lord for further
information upon the gathering of the Saints, and the purchase of the land,
and other matters." (DHC 1:207)
- Sign Seeking.
- READ V7-12. Signs follow those that believe.
- WHY IS THE LORD DISPLEASED WITH THOSE THAT SEEK TO BUILD THEIR FAITH
- Signs come by the will of God to those that have demonstrated faith.
- HOW MIGHT WE HAVE SOUGHT AFTER SIGNS?
- Do we seek for praise, rewards, and other confirmations that we have
done well? Is not this a type of sign?
- Example of a latter-day sign seeker: Ezra Booth.
- A Methodist preacher converted to the gospel after having witnessed
the healing of the wife of Father Johnson through the Prophet in 1831.
She had a lame arm which was healed. After returning from Missouri he apostatized.
Ezra Booth wanted to convert others by showing them miracles.
- The Prophet wrote, "But, when he actually learned that faith,
humility, patience, and tribulation go before blessing, and that God brings
low before He exalts;...he was disappointed." (DHC 1:217)
- D&C Commentary: "Hundreds of miracles have been performed
in this dispensation, through the power of God. Signs and miraculous manifestations
prove the genuineness of man's faith; they do not produce it. The speed
of the vessel proves the good quality of her engines and the skill of the
designer and builders; it does not produce these qualities or that skill."
- READ V14-17. Repent speedily of gross sins.
- HOW DO MEN AND WOMEN COMMIT ADULTERY IN THEIR HEARTS? HOW DO IMMORAL
PICTURES, LITERATURE, VIDEOS, OR MOVIES CONTRIBUTE TO THIS CONDITION?
- Thought precedes the action. Consider this story from President McKay:
- "Let me make it simple. Many years ago a young man came to
me while I was president of the European Mission and made a confession
of a wrong and sinful act. He justified himself by saying that he happened
to be in a bookstore at the closing hour, and when the door was locked
he yielded to temptation. He rather blamed the circumstances for his fall.
"But I said, 'It wasn't the circumstances; it wasn't the locked door,
nor the enticement. You had thought of that before you went to that bookstore.
If you had never thought of that act, there would have been no circumstance
strong enough to entice or to tempt you, a missionary to fall. The thought
always precedes the act'." (Instructor, Mar. 1965, p86)
- READ V20-21. The reward to those that endure.
- WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
- READ V23. The mysteries to be revealed to those who keep the commandments.
- READ V32-36. The wicked to be destroyed. The Saints should assemble
- Note in v34 where it says, "And the saints also shall hardly
- WHAT IS THE LORD TELLING US IN THIS VERSE?
- Joseph Smith: "...it is a false idea that the Saints will escape
all the judgments, whilst the wicked suffer; for all flesh is subject to
suffer, and "the righteous shall hardly escape;" still many of
the Saints will escape, for the just shall live by faith; yet many of the
righteous shall fall a prey to disease, to pestilence, etc., by reason
of the weakness of the flesh, and yet be saved In the Kingdom of God. So
that it is an unhallowed principle to say that such and such have transgressed
because they have been preyed upon by disease or death, for all flesh is
subject to death; and the Savior has said, "judge not, lest ye be
judged." (DHC 4:11)
- READ V54. Foolish virgins among the wise. WHO ARE THE FOOLISH VIRGINS?
- D&C Commentary: "Foolish virgins are those who suppose
that they need less preparation for their attendance at the Court on High
than they would need if they were to attend the court function of an earthly
- Redemption of Zion.
- READ V24. Assemble to Zion, not in haste.
- V27-31: The lands in Zion to be purchased, not obtained by the shedding
of blood. If obtained by blood "ye shall be scourged from city
- Joseph Fielding Smith: "This fact was taught the early members.
They were warned against creating antagonism among their neighbors, many
of whom were extremely bitter towards the members of the Church. The Lord
said the land could not be obtained by the shedding of blood. Those who
had the privilege of assembling there should not go up to Zion in haste,
but gradually. The reason for this advice is apparent, for haste would
lead to confusion, unsatisfactory conditions and pestilence, and then,
also, it creates consternation and fear in the hearts of their enemies
and arouses greater opposition. Satan desired to destroy them and in his
anger endeavored to stir them up to strife and contention as well as the
older settlers in Missouri." (CHMR 2:6)
- Section 64.
- Historical Background.
- On September 12, 1831, Joseph moved to the home of John Johnson in
the township of Hiram, Ohio, about thirty miles southeast of Kirtland.
He moved there in hopes of escaping interference and finding a quiet place
to work in order to continue the translation or revision of the Bible.
Section 64 was given to the Prophet on the day prior to his move to Hiram.
- Discussion of Section 64.
- Summary of this section:
- Rebukes some of the leading men of the Church.
- Special direction concerning Zion.
- Warns against contracting debts with enemies.
- General instructions.
- READ V9-11. Required to forgive.
- WHY CAN'T WE TRULY FORGIVE OUR NEIGHBOR WHILE CONTINUING TO TELL OTHERS
WHAT OUR NEIGHBOR DID TO US?
- HOW DO WE DAMAGE OUR OWN SOULS BY BEING UNFORGIVING?
- Marion D. Hanks: "It is reported that President Brigham Young
once said that he who takes offense when no offense was intended is a fool,
and he who takes offense when intended is usually a fool. It was then explained
that there are two courses of action to follow when one is bitten by a
rattlesnake. One may, in anger, fear, or vengefulness, pursue the creature
and kill it. Or he may make full haste to get the venom out of his system.
If we pursue the latter course we will likely survive, but if we attempt
to follow the former, we may not be around long enough to finish it."
(CR, Oct. 1973)
- Example: A mission welcome home.
- Spencer W. Kimball: "We must forgive, and we must do so without
regard to whether or not our antagonist repents, or how sincere is his
transformation or whether or not he asks our forgiveness." (Miracle
of Forgiveness, p283)
- READ V27. Forbidden to get in debt to your enemies.
- In this verse Newel K. Whitney and Sidney Gilbert are warned against
contracting debt with enemies.
- HOW MIGHT THIS VERSE APPLY TO US? CAN DEBT BE A SIN? HOW?
- Heber J. Grant: "To my mind, the main reason for the depression
in the United States as a whole, is the bondage of debt and the spirit
of speculation among the people." (Gospel Standards, p110)
- WHAT CONDITION ARE WE IN TODAY?
- Heber J. Grant: "If there is any one thing that will bring
peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is
to live within our means. And if there is any one thing that is grinding
and discouraging and disheartening, it is to have debts and obligations
that one cannot meet." (Gospel Standards, p.111)
- V33: "Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying
the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that
which is great."
- The process of learning to play the piano.
- My experience - my mother as a piano teacher.
- Success at the piano requires repetition, repetition, repetition.
- Building the kingdom of god is often the same - we have many repetitive
tasks that we may become weary of: teaching a class, home teaching, daily
- THE LORD SAYS BE NOT WEARY IN WELL-DOING, "...OUT OF SMALL
THINGS PROCEEDETH THAT WHICH IS GREAT."
- Consider the missionary work
- This is a great success principle to apply in both our temporal and
- READ 41-43. A glimpse at the future glory of Zion.
- Bruce R. McConkie: "When Zion is fully established, in a
yet future day, the divine promise, given September 11, 1831, shall
be fulfilled: "Zion shall flourish, and the glory of the Lord shall
be upon her; and she shall be an ensign unto the people, and there shall
come unto her out of every nation under heaven. And the day shall come
when the nations of the earth shall tremble because of her, and shall fear
because of her terrible ones." (D&C 64:41-43.) To a degree
the stakes of Zion now flourish and the lost sheep of Israel are gathering
to them, but the day when all the earth shall tremble and fear because
of the Zion of God is yet to be." (A New Witness for the Articles
of Faith, p.600)
- Section 65.
- Historical Background.
- As previously mentioned, on September 12, 1831, the Prophet moved with
his family from Kirtland, Ohio, to the home of John Johnson in Hiram, Ohio.
- This was done for the safety of his family and with the intent to continue
the retranslation of the Bible.
- Apostates had joined with the enemies of the Church and threatened
Joseph with violence.
- One of those who came out against the Prophet at this time was Ezra
Booth, a former Methodist minister. He had been converted by the healing
of Elsa Johnson's arm in about May 1831 and had made the trip to Missouri.
He is considered the first apostate to publish anti-Mormon literature.
- After the Prophet's arrival, a conference was held in which Wm. W.
Phelps and Oliver Cowdery were instructed to purchase a press in Cincinnati
to be used to publish the first periodical of the Church called the Evening
and Morning Star. It would be published in Independence.
- This revelation was given in Hiram, in October 1831.
- The Prophet designates this section as a prayer.
- READ 2-3. The keys of the kingdom committed to man. Prepare the way
of the Lord.
- MESSAGE OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY TO THE CHURCH. Read by President J.
Reuben Clark, Jr., at the final session of the 112th Annual Conference,
Monday, April 6, 1942: "For this cause was the Church organized,
the gospel again revealed in its fulness, the Priesthood of God again restored,
with all its rights, powers, keys and functions. This is the mission of
the Church. The divine commission given to the apostles of old (Matt. 28:18
ff.; Mark 16:15 ff.) has been repeated in this day, that the gospel shall
be carried to all nations (D&C 38:33), unto the Jew and the gentile
(D&C 18:26); it shall be declared with rejoicing (D&C 28:16); it
shall roll to the ends of the earth (D&C 65:2); and it must be preached
by us to whom the kingdom has been given. (D&C 84:76.) No act of ours
or of the Church must interfere with this God-given mandate. The Lord will
hold us to this high commission and exalted duty imposed by His commandment
to us". (James R. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, Vol.6,
p.153 - p.154)
- Next Week.
- Lesson 20: D&C 66-70.