D&C/CHURCH HISTORY - LESSON 31
D&C 103 & 105
- Section 103.
- Historical Background.
- Governor Dunklin did little to help the Saints gain redress. One of
the brethren said, "The determination of the mob to resist the
law was stronger than the determination of the state officers to execute
it and make it honorable."
- At a conference held on New Year's Day 1834 at Parley P. Pratt's home
in Liberty, Missouri. Pratt and Lyman Wight volunteered to journey to Ohio
and counsel with Joseph about what measures should be taken for the relief
or restoration of the Missouri Saints.
- In February 1834 when Joseph heard the report of the Missouri Saints
expulsion and suffering, he declared that he was going to Zion to assist
in its redemption. He asked for volunteers and 40 offered to go and assist
- Section 103 was given to the Prophet on February 24, 1834, in Kirtland.
It was a response to the concerns of the Saints regarding the Missouri
problem and their desire to assist in the redemption of Zion.
- Discussion of Section 103.
- In this section, the Lord once again addresses the question as to why
the Saints were driven from Jackson County.
- V3: To allow the enemies of the Saints to "fill up the measure
of their iniquities".
- V4: The Saints were to be "chastened for a little season...because
they did not" obey the commandments of the Lord.
- In Section 105, given after the arrival of Zion's Camp in Missouri,
the Lord address this question further.
- 105:6 "and my people must needs be chastened until they learn
- 105:4-5 "And are not united according to the union required
by the law of the celestial kingdom; "And Zion cannot be built up
unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise
I cannot receive her unto myself."
- READ V5-10. If the Saints shall heed the Lord they shall prevail.
- V7: As we more fully obey, the sooner the Kingdom of God shall prevail.
- HOW WILL THIS BE DONE?
- See v9-10: By being a light to the world and as we do so, we become
the saviors of men.
- THE MORE SOBERING QUESTION IS THIS: WHAT IF WE ARE NOT OBEDIENT?
- V8: "the kingdoms of the world shall prevail against them."
- V10: "they are as salt that has lost its savor, and is thenceforth
good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men."
- READ 103:15. The redemption of Zion must needs come by power.
- WHAT IS THIS POWER?
- The power of God.
- Orson Pratt: "When God shows forth His power among the Latter-day
Saints, it will be because there is unity in regard to doctrine, and in
regard to everything that God has placed in their hands; and not only unity,
but sanctification on their part, that there shall not be a spot or wrinkle,
as it were, but everything shall be as fair as the sun that shines in the
- In v22-23 Joseph Smith was directed to call up the young and middle
aged men of the Church to assemble in Zion and wise men with money to purchase
all the land for sale.
- This was the call for what came to be known as Zion's Camp.
- In v29-30 Sidney Rigdon, Parley Pratt, and Lyman Wight were instructed
to obtain companies of men to go up to the land of Zion, preferably 500
- V34: Not to go up to the land of Zion until they had obtained at least
- READ 103:27-28. No man should be afraid to lay down his life for
the sake of the Lord.
- WHY DOES THE LORD REQUIRE US TO BE WILLING TO SACRIFICE ALL THINGS,
EVEN OUR LIVES, IF NECESSARY?
- Joseph Smith: "A religion that does not require the sacrifice
of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary
unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith
necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained
without the sacrifice of all earthly things.... When a man has offered
in sacrifice all that he has for the truth's sake, not even witholding
his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this
sacrifice because he seeks to do his will, he does know, most assuredly,
that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has
not, nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then
he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life"
(Lectures on Faith 6:7)
- HOW CAN WE DEVELOP SUCH A WILLINGNESS?
- HOW CAN WE SHOW THIS WILLINGNESS IN TIMES WHEN THE LORD DOESN'T REQUIRE
SUCH A SACRIFICE?
- Section 105.
- Historical Background.
- With wagons loaded with relief items for the Missouri Saints, Zion's
Camp left Kirtland on May 5 (1834) and journeyed to New Portage.
- The camp was organized by the Prophet on May 7 with 130 men divided
into companies of 12 with a captain over each. Additional recruits were
added along the way finally bringing the number to 205.
- Zion's Camp left New Portage on May 8 to begin the 900 mile journey.
- Some important participants: Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley
P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith.
- Reveille was sounded at 4:00 AM & each man was to pray at that
time and before he retired.
- Members of the camp were not to divulge their identity.
- They even went to far as to preach Protestant sermons on the Sabbath
when they were in populated areas.
- Walking from 20-40 miles a day left the men's feet blistered and their
stockings wet with blood. H.C. Kimball had a team and wagon of his own;
yet he walked most of the journey, letting the lame and footsore ride in
his stead. Seeing the Prophet limping with sore feet, he frequently invited
him to ride.
- An unruly spirit developed among many members of the camp. On June
3 the Prophet spoke to the Camp during the noon hour and exhorted them
- He delivered the following prophecy: "...a scourge would come
upon the camp in consequence of the fractious and unruly spirits that appeared
among them, and they should die like sheep with the rot; still if they
would repent and humble themselves before the Lord, the scourge, in a great
measure, might be turned away; but, as the Lord lives, the members of this
camp will suffer for giving way to their unruly temper."
- There were enemies of the Saints along the route, but the record of
the camp is emphatic concerning "the presence of angels while on
the march to Missouri." The chronicle of the camp states that
"we saw them."
- After crossing the Mississippi Parley Pratt and Orson Hyde were sent
as delegates to Governor Dunklin of Missouri.
- Dunklin admitted the justice of their demands but feared that an effort
reestablish them by military force would excite civil war and deluge the
whole state with blood.
- The governor's advice was, for the sake of peace, to sell their lands
and not try to repossess them.
- On June 19, after a day of difficulties, the little army camped on
an elevated piece of land between the Big and Little Fishing rivers.
- While they were setting up camp 5 heavily armed men rode in and swore
that the Mormons would "see hell before morning." They
boasted that 60 men were riding out from Richmond and another 70 from Clay
county to join about 200 from Jackson county.
- H.C. Kimball wrote: "The whole county was in a rage against
us, and nothing but the power of God could save us."
- Shortly after the five men left a storm arose with tremendous fury:
wind, rain, and hail struck a mob of 40 men within 2 miles of Zion's Camp.
The following morning in their soaked condition they returned to their
homes. Very little hail fell in the camp of Zion.
- On June 22 the sheriff of Clay County rode out to the camp and asked
the Prophet what their intentions were. He said they were bringing help
and supplies for their stricken brethren. They brought firearms for self-defense
- On June 24, not to far from Liberty, the camp had stopped in a woodland
near Sidney Gilbert's home. That night cholera broke out among the camp.
Sixty-eight members of the Camp were attacked and fourteen of them died.
- Heber C. Kimball wrote in his journal: "The destroyer came
upon us as we had been warned by the servant of God. About 12 o'clock at
night we began to hear the cries of those who had been seized. Even those
on guard fell with their guns in their hands, and we had to exert ourselves
considerably to attend to the sick, for they were stricken on every hand.
Thus it continued until morning, when the camp was separated into several
little bands and dispersed among the brethren.... "While Brother Luke
Johnson was digging, the cholera attacked him with cramping and blindness.
Brother Brigham laid hold of him and pulled him out of the grave, and shook
him about, talked to and prayed for him, and exhorted him to jump about
and exercise himself, when it would leave him for a few moments, then it
would attack him again; and thus we had the greatest difficulty to keep
the destroyer from laying us low. Soon after we returned another brother
was taken from our little band; thus it continued until five our of ten
were taken away. "After burying these five brethren, I was seized
by the hand of the destroyer as I went in the woods to pray. I was instantly
struck blind, and saw no way whereby I could free myself from the disease,
only by jumping and thrashing myself about, until my sight returned to
me and my blood began to circulate in my veins. I started and ran some
distance, and by this means, through the help of God, I was enabled to
extricate myself from the grasp of death. This circumstance took place
in a piece of woods behind Brother Gilbert's house." (O.F.Whitney,
- On July 3, 1834, the Prophet organized a high council in Clay County
and set the affairs of the church in order. Shortly thereafter Lyman Wight
was sent out to discharge the members of Zion's Camp, thus ending the expedition
of Israel's army for the redemption of Zion.
- Zion's Camp did not seem to achieve much benefit for the Saints in
- WHY DID THE LORD AUTHORIZE THIS MISSION? WHAT PURPOSES DID IT SERVE?
- According to Wilford Woodruff: The participants "gained an
experience that we never could have gained in any other way. We had the
privilege of beholding the face of the prophet, and we had the privilege
of traveling a thousand miles with him, and seeing the workings of the
Spirit of God with him, and the revelations of Jesus Christ unto him and
the fulfillment of those revelations.... Had I not gone up with Zion's
camp I should not have been [President of the Church] today".
- Soon after the seventies were organized, Joseph Smith told the elders
in Kirtland: "Brethren, some of you are angry with me, because
you did not fight in Missouri; but let me tell you, God did not want you
to fight. He could not organize His kingdom with twelve men to open the
Gospel door to the nations of the earth, and with seventy men under their
direction to follow in their tracks, unless He took them from a body of
men who had offered their lives, and who had made as great a sacrifice
as did Abraham. Now the Lord has got His Twelve and His Seventy."
- Section 105 was given to the Prophet while at Fishing River, Missouri,
on June 22, 1834.
- Discussion of Section 105.
- ACCORDING TO THIS SECTION, WHAT DO WE LEARN ABOUT THE BUILDING OF ZION?
- WE CAN BRING ABOUT THE GROWTH OF ZION (THE CHURCH/THE ACTUAL CITY)
BY COMPLYING WITH THOSE THINGS TAUGHT IN 103:1-6.
- V9: "Therefore, in consequence of the transgressions of my
people, it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little
season for the redemption of Zion--".
- READ 103:29-31. Lands to be purchased, then they may be redeemed.
- READ 103:38-40. Commanded to sue for peace.
- HOW CAN WE APPLY THIS COUNSEL TO OUR LIVES?
- Next Week.
- Lesson 32: Sections 106-108.