D&C/CHURCH HISTORY - LESSON 20
SECTIONS 66 - 70
- Introductory Comments.
- Section 66.
- Historical Background.
- After returning from Missouri, in September of 1831, the Prophet moved
his family to Hiram, Ohio, about 30 miles from Kirtland. Joseph moved to
Hiram primarily for his own protection.
- A conference was held on October 25 and 26 at Orange, Cuyahoga County,
Ohio. Many of the brethren present expressed their willingness to consecrate
all to the Lord.
- Among those present was William E. McLellin who desired to know
the Lord's will concerning him.
- He had heard Samuel Smith & Reynolds Cahoon preaching the gospel
during the summer of 1831 and shortly joined the Church.
- Discussion of Section 66.
- READ V3,10. McLellin admonished to repent.
- HOW WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR TEMPTATIONS ADDRESSED PUBLICLY?
- The Lord knew brother McLellin's heart. The Lord knew that he had good
desires, but also had certain weaknesses to overcome.
- HOW DO WE FEEL ABOUT RECEIVING SUCH INSTRUCTION FROM THE LORD?
- WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT OUR SINS AND TEMPTATIONS? ARE WE LISTENING
TO THE PROMPTINGS AND WARNINGS OF THE SPIRIT?
- The results of heeding the counsel of the Lord:
- V12: "Continue in these things even unto the end, and you shall
have a crown of eternal life at the right hand of my Father, who is full
of grace and truth."
- Brother McLellin was also given instructions regarding his ministry.
- Section 67.
- Historical Background.
- At this time Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer were preparing to return
- Prior to their departure, the Prophet called a conference to consider
the publication of the revelations received thus far.
- This conference began on November 1, 1831, in Hyrum, Ohio.
- It was at this conference that Section 1, the Lord's Preface to the
Book of Commandments, was received.
- At the conference it was decided that 10,000 copies of the 65 revelations
would be published under the title, "Book of Commandments". This
was to be done by W.W. Phelps in Missouri.
- Not all present approved of the revelations as written. Some criticized
the language found is some of the revelations. Most notable among this
group was William E. McLellin. In response, the revelation known as Section
67 was given throught the Prophet.
- Discussion of Section 67.
- READ V4-9. The Lord challenges the doubters to write a revelation.
- HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO TAKE ON SUCH A CHALLENGE?
- IF YOU DID, HOW DO YOU SUPPOSE IT WOULD TURN OUT?
- At best, it would probably be a poor immitation of one of the revelations
given through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
- William McLellin takes up the challenge. Wrote the Prophet: "After
the foregoing was received, William E. M'Lellin, as the wisest man, in
his own estimation, having more learning than sense, endeavored to write
a commandment like unto one of the least of the Lord's, but failed; it
was an awful responsibility to write in the name of the Lord. The Elders
and all present that witnessed this vain attempt of a man to imitate the
language of Jesus Christ, renewed their faith in the fulness of the Gospel,
and in the truth of the commandments and revelations which the Lord had
given to the Church through my instrumentality; and the Elders signified
a willingness to bear testimony of their truth to all the world."
- WHAT EVENTUALLY HAPPENED TO MCLELLIN?
- Lost confidence in Church leadership August 1836. Publicly opposed
Church leaders May 1838 in Far West, Missouri. Excommunicated 1838.
- WHAT MIGHT WE LEARN FROM THESE VERSES AND THIS INCIDENT?
- The Lord works through men to accomplish his purposes, but it is still
his work. It will continue with or without us.
- D&C Commentary: "According to the order of the kingdom
of God, there is only one man appointed at any one time to receive revelations
for the Church. McLellin, had he been faithful and humble, might have
received revelations for himself, though not for the Church."
- READ 10, 13-14. Humble yourselves and the veil shall be rent.
- IF JOSEPH SMITH WERE THE AUTHOR OF THESE REVELATIONS WOULD HE MAKE
SUCH A MAGNIFICIENT PROMISE?
- WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO IN OUR PERSONAL LIVES TO QUALIFY TO RECEIVE SUCH
- According to these verses:
- Strip oneself of jealousies and fears (10).
- Humble oneself before the Lord (10).
- Continue in patience until ye are perfected (13).
- Let not your minds turn back (14).
- Neal A. Maxwell: "If we would further strip ourselves of our
jealousies and fears, what mountains of misunderstanding might we then
move?" (Men & Women of Christ, p7)
- Joseph Smith: "After a person has faith in Christ, repents
of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives
the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter,
then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting
after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will
soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly
proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards,
then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it
will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath
promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John, in the
14th chapter, from the 12th to the 27th verses.... "Now what is this
other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself;
and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man
obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ
to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time...." (TPJS,
- Section 68.
- Historical Background.
- This revelation was given to the Prophet Joseph Smith on November 3,
1831, in Hyrum, Ohio. It was given in response to some of the brethrens'
desires to know the will of the Lord. Those brethren were Orson Hyde, Luke
S. Johnson, Lyman E. Johnson, & Wm E. McLellin.
- Brief history of these brethren.
- Orson Hyde: 1835 ordained an apostle. 1837 mission to England.
Hyde had a falling out with the brethren and signed an affidavit by Thomas
Marsh against the Saints. Removed from the Quorum May 1839. Reinstated
in June 1839. 1841 he went to the Mt of Olives and dedicated Palestine
for the gathering of the Jews. In 1875 Brigham Young changed Hyde's seniority
in the quorum to that had he been ordained to the quorum at the time of
his reinstatement. Had he retained his seniority, he would have been the
senior apostle at the time of the death of Brigham Young in 1877. Hyde
died in 1878.
- Luke Johnson: 1835 ordained an apostle. Fell away in 1838. Returned
to the Church in 1846. Appointed a Bishop in 1858 in Tooele County.
- Lyman Johnson: 1835 ordained an apostle. Disfellowshiped in
1838, but remained friendly to his associates in the church.
- Wm E. McLellin: 1835 ordained an apostle. 1838 disfellowshipped
from the Church. Attempted to establish a church of his own. Took an active
part in driving the Saints from Missouri.
- Discussion of Section 68.
- READ V1-5. Whatever is spoken by the Spirit shall be scripture.
- IN OUR STUDY OF THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS WE HAVE LEARNED THAT THERE
IS ONLY ONE MOUTHPIECE FOR THE LORD AND, YET, WE FIND IN THESE VERSES THAT
WHATEVER IS SPOKEN BY THE SPIRIT SHALL BE SCRIPTURE. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
- Joseph Fielding Smith: "There is only one man in the Church
at a time who has the right to give revelation for the Church, and that
is the President of the Church. But that does not bar any other member
in this Church from speaking the word of the Lord, as indicated here in
this revelation, section 68, but a revelation that is to be given as these
revelations are given in this book, to the Church, will come through the
presiding officer of the Church; yet, the word of the Lord, as spoken by
other servants at the general conferences and stake conferences, or wherever
they may be when they speak that which the Lord has put into their mouths,
is just as much the word of the Lord as the writings and the words of other
prophets in other dispensations." (Doctrines of Salvation 1:186)
- V13-24: Instructions regarding the appointment of bishops.
- Bishops must be High Priests, worthy, & appointed by the 1st Presidency
- If one is a literal descendant of Aaron & they are the first born,
they have a right to the Bishopric as an heir. Must be designated, worthy,
anointed, & ordained by the 1st Presidency.
- V21 indicates that "...they may claim their anointing if at
any time they can prove their lineage, or do so by revelation from the
Lord under the hands..." of the 1st Presidency."
- Bishops serving in the Church today are High Priests. I am not aware
of any who have qualified due to lineage.
- READ V25-28: Parents to teach their children the principles.
- The Lord puts the responsibility for teaching children upon the
shoulders of the parents, not the primary, sunday school, or seminary.
I think it is easy to blame the church if the spiritual life of our children
is not what it should be. We must first take a look at ourselves and see
if we have done all that we could.
- I have heard it said that if Bishop so & so had done more, the
child would not have turned away from the Church.
- WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN YOUR HOME TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN? WHAT MORE CAN
- Spencer W. Kimball: "There is no guarantee, of course, that
righteous parents will succeed always in holding their children, and certainly
they may lose them if they do not do all in their power. The children have
their free agency. "But if we as parents fail to influence our families
and set them on the 'strait and narrow way,' then certainly the waves,
the winds of temptation and evil will carry the posterity away from the
path. ... What we do know is that righteous parents who strive to develop
wholesome influences for their children will be held blameless at the last
day, and that they will succeed in saving most of their children, if not
all." (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.335)
- Spencer W. Kimball: "I like to compare the home evening, family
prayer, and other associated activities of the Church for the saving of
the family, when they are conscientiously carried out, with an umbrella.
If the umbrella is not opened up, it is little more than a cane and can
give little protection from the storms of nature. Likewise, God-given plans
are of little value unless they are used. "The umbrella spread out
makes the silken material taut. When the rain falls, it runs off; when
the snow falls, it slides off; when the hail comes, it bounces off; when
the wind blows, it is diverted around the umbrella. And in like manner,
this spiritual umbrella wards off the foes of ignorance, superstition,
skepticism, apostasy, immorality, and other forms of godlessness."
(Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.334)
- READ V30,31. The Lord will remember the idler.
- HOW DOES BEING IDLE CONTRIBUTE TO WICKEDNESS?
- WHAT ARE SOME WAYS THAT WE, AS MEMBERS, MAY IDLE AWAY OUR TIME?
- In v31 it states, "...they also seek not earnestly the riches
of eternity, but their eyes are full of greediness."
- DOES NOT THE IDLER SEEK WAYS TO OBTAIN WEALTH THROUGH PROCESSES THAT
DO NOT REQUIRE WORK AND EFFORT?
- Consider: gambling, lotteries, certain market activities, get rich
- HOW CAN WE USE OUR TIME MORE PRODUCTIVELY?
- Consider Stephen Covey's book, Seven Habits.
- Do we have a Personal Mission Statement? Are we utilizing it?
- Section 69.
- This revelation was given on November 3, 1831, in Hyrum, Ohio.
- Discussion of Section 69.
- V1-2: John Whitmer to accompany Oliver Cowdery to Missouri with the
manuscript for the Book of Commandments & money being sent to Missouri.
- V3: John Whitmer to continue keeping a history of the Church.
- Section 70.
- Given to the Prophet in Kirtland, November 1831.
- Directed to Joseph Smith, Martin Harris, John Whitmer, Sidney Rigdon,
William W. Phelps.
- Discussion of Section 70.
- V1-5: The Lord appoints a committee to manage the business of printing
- V6-14: Instructs them concerning the dispositon of the proceeds.
- Continue Reading.
- Lesson 21: 71-75; 77.