D&C/CHURCH HISTORY - LESSON 33
- Introductory Comments.
- Section 109.
- Historical Background.
- Kirtland became the preparatory location for the restoration of the
keys and ordinances connected to the temple.
- First commanded to build in Dec 1832 (see 88:119).
- At this time there were only about 100 members living in Kirtland township
(about 20 families).
- Over the next 3 years the membership in Kirtland increased to 1300.
- On June 1, 1833 the Prophet received a revelation from the Lord chastising
him and the Saints for not building the House of the Lord (Section 95).
- 95:2-3,11-12: "Wherefore, ye must needs be chastened and stand
rebuked before my face; "For ye have sinned against me a very grievous
sin, in that ye have not considered the great commandment in all things,
that I have given unto you concerning the building of mine house; "Verily
I say unto you, it is my will that you should build a house. If you keep
my commandments you shall have power to build it. "If you keep not
my commandments, the love of the Father shall not continue with you, therefore
you shall walk in darkness."
- Joseph was told that great blessings depended upon the completion of
- 95:8: "Yea, verily I say unto you, I gave unto you a commandment
that you should build a house, in the which house I design to endow those
whom I have chosen with power from on high;"
- The membership of the Church at this time was not wealthy. Building
such a building seemed to be an impossible task.
- JULY 1833: Foundation stone laid and construction commenced.
- The Saints in Kirtland were poor and the building of the temple required
a sacrifice of money and physical effort.
- John A. Widsoe estimated that based in relation to what the Saints
possessed, this was the most expensive religious building in American history.
- It was an unprecedented sacrifice.
- Often Sidney Rigdon wept over the poverty of the Church and the sacrifices
the Saints made to build the temple.
- He pled with the Lord to support them in their labors.
- The Prophet acted as foreman in the stone quarry and frequently worked
on the construction of the temple.
- Many of the enemies of the Church, learning that a temple was going
to be built, declared that it would never be finished.
- In some cases there were 3 men guarding for each one working.
- They were also having to stand guard through this period to protect
- Brigham Young: "We completed a temple in Kirtland and in Nauvoo;
and did not the bells of hell toll all the time we were building them?
They did, every week and every day." (JD 8:356)
- WHY DID THIS SITUATION EXIST?
- Brigham Young: "...a mere handful of men, living on air, and
a little hominy and milk, and often salt or no salt, when milk could not
be had; the great Prophet Joseph, in the stone quarry, quarrying rock with
his own hands; and the few then in the Church, following his example of
obedience and diligence wherever most needed; with laborers on the walls,
holding the sword in one hand to protect themselves from the mob, while
they placed the stone and moved the trowel with the other, the Kirtland
temple...was so far completed as to be dedicated." (DBY, p.415)
- The temple was not a large building by today's standards. 80x60 with
50 foot high walls.
- The two main rooms were 55x65 feet in the inner court & 22 feet
- At the time of dedication there was still $13,000 owing on the building.
- A time of preparation.
- From Jan 21, 1836 to May 1, probably more Latter-day Saints beheld
visions and received gifts of tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecy
than during any other period in the history of the Church.
- Wrote Orson Pratt: "God was there, his angels were there, the
Holy Ghost was in the midst of the people, the visions of the Almighty
were opened to the minds of the servants of the living God; the veil was
taken from the minds of many; they saw the heavens opened; they beheld
the angels of God; they heard the voice of the Lord; and they were filled
from the crown of their heads to the soles of their feet with the power
and inspiration of the Holy Ghost.... In that Temple, set apart by the
servants of God, and dedicated by a prayer that was written by inspiration,
the people were blessed as they never had been blessed for generations."
(Journal of Discourses 18:131-132)
- The first of these great manifestations occurred on the evening of
- In a meeting with some of the brethren in one of the attic classrooms
in the nearly completed temple, the Prophet introduced the ordinance of
- After this instruction was given the Prophet testified that "the
heavens were opened upon us". He says that he "beheld the
celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof."
- This revelation has been recorded as Section 137.
- Before this remarkable series of visions ended, the high councils from
Kirtland and Missouri entered the room, received their anointings, and
were blessed with the ministering of angels.
- Oliver Cowdery wrote that the "glorious scene" was
"too great to be described." "I only say, the
heavens were opened to many, and great and marvelous things were shown."
(Studies In Scripture 1:420)
- Many meetings were held to prepare the Saints for the dedication.
- They were told that they must come in purity.
- Come having studied and pondered the revelations.
- THE DAY OF DEDICATION - March 27, 1836.
- Rules drafted by the Prophet: Old & young to sit quietly. No whispering,
talking, laughing, or menacing gestures. Children were not allowed to play
in the building.
- The people were in their seats at 7:00 AM.
- According to George A. Smith, 960 people were seated, and others standing
swelled the congregation to a little over 1,000.
- The Prophet suggested that children that wanted to come and be orderly
could sit on their parent's laps.
- The Prophet found when arriving for the service that there were two
persons in each seat. (BEWARE THE FIRE MARSHALL)
- About 800 eager Saints were turned away. The Prophet promised a repeat
of the dedication on March 31.
- One Frazier Eaton had paid $700 towards the building of the temple,
but arriving late he was not admitted. He sullenly departed and eventually
- Donations were accepted at the door to help pay the $13,000 deficit.
$963 was contributed.
- The meeting began at 9:00AM and lasted until 4:00PM with only a 20
- The Morning Session.
- Sidney Rigdon conducted.
- He began by reading Psalms 96 & 24.
- A hymn written by Parley P. Pratt was sung (Ere The Veil Rent In Twain).
- Sidney gave the opening prayer.
- A W.W. Phelps hymn (Waymouth) was sung by the congregation and a small
- Sidney Rigdon then gave a 2 1/2 hour sermon based on Matthew 8 where
it says: "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests;
but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head."
- He said that this house is to become the house of the Lord.
- The morning session concluded with the singing of "Now Let Us
- The Afternoon Session.
- A brief intermission - 15-20 minutes.
- Enough time for a few of the sisters to take care of their children.
- Few left the temple after the morning session.
- The Prophet gave a brief address and presented the priesthood authorities
of the Church for the sustaining vote of the Church.
- The Prophet then read the dedicatory prayer
- Section 109 - This prayer was revealed by the Lord.
- This has been the pattern for all subsequent dedicatory prayers.
- So crucial as to what must be said in the prayer that it could only
come by revelation.
- Following the dedicatory prayer the choir arose and sang "The
Spirit of God Like a Fire Is Burning."
- William W. Phelps wrote the prayer especially for this occasion.
- The Prophet then took a sustaining vote from each of the priesthood
quorums to accept the dedication. The vote was unanimous.
- The sacrament of the Lord's supper was administered to the congregation.
- The Prophet then testified of his divine mission and the ministration
- Don Carlos Smith bore his testimony.
- Oliver Cowdery testified of the truth of the Book of Mormon and the
- According to the Prophet President, Frederick G. Williams then arose
and "testified that while President Rigdon was making his first
prayer, an angel entered the window and took his seat between Father Smith
and himself, and remained there during the prayer."
- Hyrum Smith spoke and congratulated those who had endured so many toils
and privations to build the temple.
- President Rigdon made a few closing comments and gave a short prayer.
- The proceedings of the day were sealed by the hosanna shout:
- Done with a shout and a raising of their arms.
- The following was shouted 3 times:
- "Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb. Amen. Amen.
- Dictionary Definition of hosanna.
- Hosanna = save now. The word is taken from Ps. 118:25, one of the Psalms
of the Hallel. The chanting of this psalm was connected at the Feast of
Tabernacles with the waving of palm branches; hence the use of the word
by the multitudes at our Lord's triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:9,
15; Mark 11:9, 10; John 12:13).
- It was a plea that the Lord enter/accept/and visit this Holy House.
- Father Smith welcomed a woman with a very small child. She had been
turned away by others who felt that the child could not endure the service.
- Father Smith promised the woman that all would be well.
- When the mother arose to join in the Hosanna shout, the 2 month old
baby pushed back his coverlet & joined in the shout.
- Brigham Young then arose to speak - the Spirit descended on Brigham
and he began to speak in tongues.
- David W. Patten arose to interpret.
- Evidently a message of admonition and divine approval.
- The Prophet concluded the session with a blessing to the congregation
in the name of the Lord.
- The assembly dispersed a little past 4:00 PM.
- Eliza R. Snow wrote: "No mortal language can describe the sweet
spirit of love and union. No language can describe the heavenly manifestations
of that memorable day. A sense of divine presence was realized by all.
Each heart was filled with joy inexpressible."
- CONCLUDE WITH "HOSANNAH ANTHEM".
- Discussion of Section 109.
- THE PRAYER BEGINS & CONCLUDES BY ASKING THE LORD TO ACCEPT THE
- V4-5: "...we ask thee, O Lord, to accept of this house, the
workmanship of the hands of us, thy servants, which thou didst command
us to build. "For thou knowest that we have done this work through
great tribulation; and out of our poverty we have given of our substance
to build a house to thy name, that the Son of Man might have a place to
manifest himself to his people."
- READ 109:10-13. Call for the glory of the Lord to rest upon the Saints.
- WHAT GREAT PROMISES. WHAT MUST WE DO TO QUALIFY TO HAVE THE GLORY OF
THE LORD REST UPON US?
- READ 109:20-21. No unclean thing to enter the House of the Lord.
- WHY MUST WE BE WORTHY WHEN WE ENTER THE TEMPLE?
- D&C 97:15-17: "And inasmuch as my people build a house
unto me in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to
come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it; "Yea,
and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure
in heart that shall come into it shall see God. "But if it be defiled
I will not come into it, and my glory shall not be there; for I will not
come into unholy temples."
- WHAT BLESSINGS MAY WE RECEIVE AS WE ATTEND THE TEMPLE WORTHILY?
- V13-19 list several blessings:
- 13 - We may feel the power of the Lord.
- 14 - Learn words of wisdom.
- 15 - Receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost.
- 15 - We will be organized according to the laws of God.
- 15 - We will be prepared to obtain every needful thing.
- President Benson: "When you attend the temple and perform the
ordinances that pertain to the House of the Lord, certain blessings will
come to you:
- "You will receive the spirit of Elijah, which will turn your
hearts to your spouse, to your children, and to your forebears.
- "You will love your family with a deeper love than you have
- "You will be endowed with power from on high as the Lord has
- "You will receive the key of the knowledge of God. (See D&C
84:19) You will learn how you can be like Him. Even the power of godliness
will be manifest to you. (See D&C 84:20)
- "You will be doing a great service to those who have passed
to the other side of the veil in order that they might be 'judged according
to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.' (D&C
- "Such are the blessings of the temple and the blessings of
frequently attending the temple." (Ensign, Aug. 1985, p.10)
- READ 109:22. Go from the temple armed with power.
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO LEAVE THE TEMPLE ARMED WITH THE POWER OF
- See v24-26: "We ask thee, Holy Father, to establish the people
that shall worship, and honorably hold a name and standing in this thy
house, to all generations and for eternity; "That no weapon formed
against them shall prosper; that he who diggeth a pit for them shall fall
into the same himself; "That no combination of wickedness shall have
power to rise up and prevail over thy people upon whom thy name shall be
put in this house;"
- So vital was the endowment that in the last days in Nauvoo the temple
was kept busy night and day for the Saints to receive their endowments
before the trek west.
- I have heard it said that the Saints could not endure the trials ahead
without the strength and power of the endowment received in the House of
- HOW HAS TEMPLE ATTENDANCE STRENGTHENED YOU AGAINST TEMPTATION?
- READ 109:45-46.
- I believe that we will be prepared for the calamities of the last days
if we are diligent in serving the Lord. Temple attendance is one of the
most significant things we can do to deliver ourselves from the calamity
of the wicked.
- V50: "Have mercy, O Lord, upon the wicked mob, who have driven
thy people, that they may cease to spoil, that they may repent of their
sins if repentance is to be found;"
- HOW DO YOU THINK THE SAINTS FELT ABOUT PRAYING FOR THOSE WHO DROVE
THEM FROM THEIR HOMES?
- WHAT GOOD CAN COME FROM PRAYING FOR OUR ENEMIES?
- In v54 we read: "...have mercy upon the rulers of our land;
may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely,
the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever."
- WHAT DOES THIS TELL US ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION?
- That its principles should continue to govern our land.
- THIS MIGHT WELL BE PART OF OUR DAILY PRAYER.
- READ 109:55-59.
- THIS IS A PRAYER THAT CONTINUES TO BE ANSWERED AND AGAIN A PRAYER THAT
WE SHOULD CONTINUE TO UTTER.
- V62-64: "We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children
of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed; "And
the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David;
"And the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which
thou didst give to Abraham, their father."
- LOOK AT THE BLESSINGS AND PROPHECIES IN THIS PRAYER THAT HAVE BEEN
- Section 110.
- Historical Background.
- Evening meeting on the day of dedication.
- That evening 416 bearers of the priesthood gathered in the temple for
the Prophet to instruct them about the ordinance of washing of feet.
- After instructing them on this ordinance, the Prophet gave them instructions
in relation to the spirit of prophecy and called upon the congregation
- The Prophet said: "Do not quench the Spirit, for the first
one that opens his mouth shall receive the Spirit of prophecy."
- Wrote the Prophet: "George A. Smith arose and began to prophesy,
when a noise was heard like the sound of a rushing mighty wind, which filled
the Temple, and all the congregation simultaneously arose, being moved
upon by an invisible power; many began to speak in tongues and prophesy;
others saw glorious visions; and I beheld the Temple was filled with angels,
which fact I declared to the congregation. The people of the neighborhood
came running together (hearing an unusual sound within, and seeing a bright
light like a pillar of fire resting upon the Temple), and were astonished
at what was taking place. This continued until the meeting closed at eleven
p.m." (DHC 2:428)
- Great spiritual meetings were held in the temple in the weeks that
followed the dedication.
- Meetings would last throughout the night, no one tiring, no one falling
- They were feasting on what the Prophet called the "fat things
of the Spirit".
- The Prophet says that on Tuesday, March 29, he met at 11:00 AM with
Frederick G. Williams, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, and Oliver Cowdery.
- Later, other brethren were added to the meeting.
- The Prophet received word that those who had entered this holy place
were not to leave until morning.
- The brethren in attendance were to cleanse their feet and partake of
the Sacrament that they might be made holy before the Lord.
- Wrote the Prophet: "The Holy Spirit rested down upon us, and
we continued in the Lord's House all night, prophesying and giving glory
to God." (DHC 2:430)
- On a meeting with the elders on March 30 the Prophet declared the organization
of the Church complete; they should go forth now and build up the kingdom
- So great was the feeling of spirituality and unity that it continued
for days and weeks after the meeting.
- Some had thought that the millennium had come because there seemed
to be no temptation.
- There was no desire to sin.
- The Prophet had to warn them that this was all from the Spirit and
that the great temptations would return.
- In some cases, what happened seemed to be more or less than what some
had expected. As a consequence these few soon left the Church.
- On Sunday, April 3, one week following the dedication, Thomas B. Marsh
and David W. Patten spoke to the Saints in a morning meeting.
- In the afternoon the Presidency and the apostles participated in administering
and passing the sacrament.
- After this Joseph and Oliver retired to the pulpit, where the veils
were dropped and they commenced in prayer.
- It was at this time that the vision recorded in Section 110 was received.
- Discussion of Section 110.
- READ V1-10. Appearance of the Lord.
- NEXT APPEARED MOSES (11). WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HIS VISIT?
- The President of the Church was given the keys to gather modern Israel
- both a spiritual and temporal gathering.
- Bruce R. McConkie: "These keys empower those who hold them
to lead all Israel, the ten tribes included, from all the nations of the
earth, coming as the prophetic word affirms, one by one and two by two,
to the mountains of the Lord's houses, there to be endowed with power from
- NEXT APPEARED ELIAS (12). WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HIS VISIT?
- Elias restored the keys necessary to establish the ancient patriarchal
order, making all those who receive celestial marriage through the temple
heirs of the blessings and "promises of the fathers"--Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob - including eternal increase.
- According to Joseph Fielding Smith, Elias is Noah. (Answers to Gospel
- FINALLY, APPEARED ELIJAH (13-16). WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HIS VISIT?
- Elijah restored the keys whereby families - organized in the patriarchal
order through the keys delivered by Elias - could be bound and sealed for
- Joseph Smith said: "The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah
is that ye have power to hold the key of the revelations, ordinances, oracles,
powers and endowments of the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and
of the kingdom of God on the earth."
- BECAUSE ELIJAH CAME, ALL OTHER ORDINANCES FOR THE LIVING AND THE DEAD
HAVE REAL MEANING AND ARE THUS OF EFFICACY, VIRTUE, AND FORCE IN ETERNITY.
- READ 110:16. The keys of this dispensation have been committed.
- Next Week.
- Lesson 34: Sections 111-120.