D&C/CHURCH HISTORY - LESSON 30
- Introductory Comments.
- 150 Years Ago Today In Church History.
- Section 101.
- Historical Background.
- We left off last week with the beginnings of the trouble in Missouri
with the mob destroying the home and printing office of W.W. Phelps in
July of 1833.
- July 23: A mob of 500 men rushed into Independence. They searched for
the leading elders.
- To preserve the lives of the Saints, Edward Partridge, W.W. Phelps,
Isaac Morley, A. Sidney Gilbert, John Whitmer, and John Corrill offered
themselves as a ransom, even to be scourged unto death if necessary.
- The mobbers scoffed at this brave offer and demanded that the Saints
leave the county or die.
- The elders agreed to the demands by stating that they would leave on
January 1, 1834 and no later than April 1834.
- In September 1833, Orson Hyde and John Gould arrived in Independence
with instructions from the Prophet.
- The Saints in Zion were not to dispose of their property or move, except
for the few brethren who had signed the agreement to do so.
- The revelation in Section 98 was read to the afflicted Saints.
- They were reminded in the revelation to abide by the nation's constitutional
- Orson Hyde and William W. Phelps petitioned the governor of Missouri,
Daniel Dunklin, for redress. They requested that the governor raise sufficient
troops to help the Saints defend themselves.
- The governor advised the Saints to make their case in the courts in
the district where the Saints resided. The governor said if the courts
failed, he would take steps to enforce the law.
- The problem was that many of the court officials were part of the mob
or sympathetic to it.
- October 31: A mob of 50 men rode upon the Whitmer branch threatening
the Saints. They demolished 10 houses and unroofed 13.
- Several fled into the woods to escape capture.
- Some of the men were caught and whipped with heavy ox goads.
- November 1: The mob threw bricks at Mormon homes and began to tear
down the Gilbert and Whitney store.
- A number of brethren hearing of the destruction, raced to the defense
of the store.
- The mob fled, but a Richard McCarty was caught throwing bricks at the
doors and windows. He was seized and taken before the justice of the peace.
- The following day, some of the brethren were arrested for catching
McCarty in the act of destroying the store.
- November 2: The mob went after the small Mormon settlement on the Big
- Brother David Bennett, who was ill, was dragged out of his house and
- Some of the brethren attempted to defend the settlement and there was
gunfire. One Missourian was wounded in the thigh.
- The mobbers threatened to kill every Mormon.
- November 4: 100 men led by a James Campbell took possession of the
Church owned ferry on the Big Blue River.
- They then rode to the Whitmer settlement where they tore down houses
and turned horses into the corn fields.
- David Whitmer ran to the gristmill and alerted about 30 men that were
- There was a skirmish between the mobbers and these Mormons. Two of
the mobbers were killed. The mob made a disorganized retreat.
- The mob outnumbered the Mormons by more than two to one and had three
times as many firearms.
- According to George A. Smith, "father" Brace, a revolutionary
war veteran and ventriloquist, threw is voice from tree to tree making
the mobbers believe that the woods were full of Mormons, thus helping cause
- Andrew Barber, a Mormon, was mortally wounded and became the first
man in this dispensation to be martyred for the gospel.
- Philo Dibble was shot in the abdomen and was attended to by a surgeon
who pronounced him dead.
- Brother Dibble wrote: "After the surgeon had left me, Brother
Newel Knight came to see me, and sat down on the side of my bed. He laid
his right hand on my head, but never spoke. I felt the Spirit resting upon
me at the crown of my head before his hand touched me, and I knew immediately
that I was going to be healed. It seemed to form like a ring under the
skin, and followed down my body. When the ring came to the wound, another
ring formed around the first bullet hole, also the second and third. Then
a ring formed on each shoulder and on each hip, and followed down to the
ends of my fingers and toes and left me. I immediately arose and discharged
three quarts of blood or more, with some pieces of my clothes that had
been driven into my body by the bullets. I then dressed myself and went
outdoors and saw the falling of the stars, which so encouraged the Saints
and frightened their enemies. It was one of the grandest sights I ever
beheld. From that time not a drop of blood came from me and I never afterwards
felt the slightest pain or inconvenience from my wounds, except that I
was somewhat weak from the loss of blood. The next day I walked around
the field, and the day following I mounted a horse and rode eight miles,
and went three miles on foot." (Philo Dibble autobiography, in
Faith Prom Classics (1968), p.85)
- The following day, rumors regarding an uprising of the Mormons and
their joining with the Indian began to spread through the county.
- Armed men began to crowd into Independence. Lieutenant Governor Boggs
called out the state militia.
- Colonel Pitcher demanded that the Mormons give up their arms and turn
over the men engaged in the battle above the Blue River to be tried for
- Lyman Wight refused to give up their arms unless Pitcher disarmed the
- Pitcher agreed and the Mormons turned over 49 guns and a pistol. Some
of the brethren involved in the battle also gave themselves up.
- The day after the Mormons surrendered their firearms, the mobbers were
once again turned loose. The burst into houses frightening the women and
children. They were warned to get out of the county or their houses would
be torn down and they would be massacred by nightfall.
- The Mormons began fleeing from their Missouri enemies on November 5th
- One company of 190, comprised of women and children, and three decrepit
men, were driven 30 miles over a burned prairie with light snow. They left
bloodstains from their lacerated feet.
- By November 7 the banks of the Missouri were lined with the Mormon
exiles. They were disorganized with parents, children, and spouses looking
for their missing family members.
- Wrote Newel Knight:: "Thus homeless, and without means of taking
much to sustain them did the whole Church in Jackson County flee before
the mob, and at night those who went to the river camped in the rain which
poured down in torrents; the frail mother, the helpless infant, the sick
and the dying, all alike without the means to shelter themselves from the
storm." (Newel Knight Autobiography in Classic Experiences, p.83
- Wrote Parley P. Pratt: "In short, every member of the society
was driven from the county, and fields of corn were plundered and destroyed.
Stacks of wheat were burned--household goods plundered, and improvements
and every kind of property lost, and at length no less than two hundred
and three houses burned." (Parley Pratt History of Persecution,
- 1000 Saints were driven from their homes in Jackson County during the
early winter of 1833.
- They crossed the Missouri River where they were treat with some degree
of kindness by the citizens of Clay County.
- They allowed the Mormons to occupy every vacant cabin and build sheds
for temporary shelter.
- In December, the Prophet received letters from Bishop Partridge, John
Corrill, and William W. Phelps about the Jackson County expulsion.
- On December 10, the Prophet sent a letter of encouragement, comfort,
and sympathy to the Saints.
- Six days later, December 16, the Prophet received the revelation in
Section 101 at Kirtland, Ohio.
- Discussion of Section 101.
- The Saints who came to Missouri had hoped to build Zion there. When
they were driven out of Jackson County in November 1833, this hope seemed
- WHAT DO YOU THINK IT WOULD HAVE BEEN LIKE TO BE AMONG THEM?
- WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD HAVE DONE WHEN YOU WERE CAST OUT?
- WHAT SELF-SEARCHING QUESTIONS MIGHT YOU HAVE ASKED?
- WHY DID GOD PERMIT THE SAINTS TO BE DRIVEN FROM JACKSON COUNTY?
- READ 101:1-2. In consequence of transgression.
- V41 says that "many, but not all; they were found transgressors,
therefore they must needs be chastened".
- 103:4: "And that those who call themselves after my name might
be chastened for a little season with a sore and grievous chastisement,
because they did not hearken altogether unto the precepts and commandments
which I gave unto them."
- READ 101:6-8. Transgressions committed by the Missouri Saints.
- WHAT TRANSGRESSIONS HAD THE SAINTS COMMITTED?
- WHY DOES THE LORD CHASTEN AND TRY HIS PEOPLE?
- READ 101:4-5. Those who cannot endure chastening cannot be sanctified.
- READ 101:16-17. Words of comfort regarding the destiny of Zion.
- WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP ESTABLISH ZION?
- Spencer W. Kimball: "May I suggest three fundamental things
we must do if we are to "bring again Zion," three things for
which we who labor for Zion must commit ourselves. "First, we must
eliminate the individual tendency to selfishness that snares the soul,
shrinks the heart, and darkens the mind.... "Second, we must cooperate
completely and work in harmony one with the other. There must be unanimity
in our decisions and unity in our actions.... "Third, we must lay
on the altar and sacrifice whatever is required by the Lord. We begin by
offering a 'broken heart and a contrite spirit.' We follow this by giving
our best effort in our assigned fields of labor and callings. We learn
our duty and execute it fully. Finally we consecrate our time, talents,
and means as called upon by our file leaders and as prompted by the whisperings
of the Spirit." (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pp363-364)
- The Lord gives instructions regarding how to proceed with the problems
- 101:76-77: "And again I say unto you, those who have been scattered
by their enemies, it is my will that they should continue to importune
for redress, and redemption, by the hands of those who are placed as rulers
and are in authority over you-- "According to the laws and constitution
of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained
for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy
- The Lord continues to instruct the Saints to act within the law.
- Section 102.
- This section was given to the Prophet in Kirtland on February 17, 1834.
- The first High Council was organized in Kirtland on this date following
the instructions given in this section.
- This section also gives instructions regarding church courts/disciplinary
- Continue Reading.
- Sections 103 & 105.