D&C/CHURCH HISTORY - LESSON 34
- Introductory Comments.
- Section 111.
- Historical Background.
- Lorenzo Snow.
- In 1836 Lorenzo Snow was attending Oberlin College, a few miles from
- He had become unfavorable impressed at the system of religion which
controlled the college.
- He wrote to his sister Eliza, who had recently joined the Church and
moved to Kirtland: "If there is nothing better than is found here
in Oberlin College, good-bye to all religions."
- Eliza persuaded young Lorenzo, only 22 years of age, to come to Kirtland
and study Hebrew under Professor Seixes.
- Lorenzo met the Prophet's father after a meeting in the Kirtland Temple.
He told Lorenzo that he would be convinced that Mormonism was of God and
that he would be baptized.
- The old patriarch then made the following statement to Lorenzo: "You
will become as great as you can possibly wish--even as great as God, and
you cannot wish to be greater."
- Within two weeks of that meeting, Lorenzo was baptized on June 3, 1836.
- Economic difficulties in Kirtland.
- Following the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, the Church remained
indebted for $13,000. There was also a $6,000 deficit accumulated in Missouri.
- The Saints were poor and could do little to help. By the summer of
1836, the indebtedness of the Church weighed heavily upon the Church leaders.
- About this time, a member of the Church by the name of Burgess arrived
in Kirtland with a story of a large amount of money hidden in an abandoned
house in Salem, Massachusetts.
- Burgess said the he alone knew of its hiding place. It was secret in
the cellar of a house that belonged to a widow who had since passed away.
- The brethren believed Burgess and he, Hyrum, Oliver, and Sidney traveled
to Salem in hopes of finding this treasure to help alleviate the financial
burden of the Church.
- They met this Burgess in Salem. He said that the town had changed so
much that he could not find the house with the treasure.
- They had no success with the treasure, but they did preach the gospel
and had some success.
- Section 111 was given to the Prophet in Salem on August 6, 1836 in
response to their trip.
- Discussion of Section 111.
- READ 111:1-2. The Lord not displeased, despite their folly in coming.
- WHAT IS THE LORD SAYING IN THESE VERSES?
- The Lord is not displeased with them. WHY?
- They had not come for personal gain. They were looking for a way to
alleviate the burden of debt held by the Church.
- It was a folly for them to come. This is not the way the Lord provides.
- There was a treasure to be found in Salem. WHAT WAS IT?
- This was the Lord's way of saying, "You can turn lemons into lemonade."
- IN YOUR OWN LIFE, HOW AS THE LORD HELPED YOU TURN HONEST MISTAKES INTO
- V5: "Concern not yourselves about your debts, for I will give
you power to pay them."
- CAN THIS COUNSEL APPLY TO US? IF SO, HOW CAN THIS COUNSEL HELP US WHEN
WE FACE SEVERE FINANCIAL PROBLEMS OR OTHER TEMPORAL CONCERNS?
- Section 112.
- Historical Background.
- After returning from Salem, Joseph met with some of the other elders
and drew up articles of agreement in preparation for organizing a banking
- Joseph and others felt this was necessary due to the difficulty of
dealing with the other banks. He felt that the membership of the Church
would be best served by having an institution of their own.
- This institution was organized in January 1837 under the title, "Kirtland
Safety Society Anti-banking Company".
- It could not be organized as a bank since their petition for incorporation
to the state of Ohio was rejected.
- It was organized to make capital out of idle land through the process
of housing subdivision.
- It was backed by Mormon land and the sale of stock to members.
- Notes could then be issued to land purchasers secured with mortgages
on the land.
- Notes for sold for significantly less than face value in hopes that
investors would eventually invest the entire face value.
- 1837 was not a good time to start a banking institution.
- In May, disaster struck the nation and by June over 800 banks had collapsed.
The Kirtland bank was caught in storm of the depression of 1837.
- When the bank opened, many of the members got caught up in the spirit
- "Many who had been humble and faithful in the performance of
duty in the Church had become haughty in spirit and lifted up in pride."
- The Prophet said of this time, "As the fruits of this spirit,
evil surmisings, fault-finding, disunion, dissension, and apostasy followed
in quick succession, and it seemed as though all the powers of earth and
hell were combining their influence in an especial manner to overthrow
the Church at once, and make a final end." (DHC 2:487)
- When the Saints generally ignored his counsel and failed to meet their
obligation, the Prophet resigned as treasurer in the Society.
- Due to the spirit of speculation and the depression of 1837, the Kirtland
bank also collapsed.
- Many placed the blame on the Prophet.
- In May, while the Prophet was on a mission in Michigan, certain members
of the Twelve, the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, and other Church authorities
met in the temple.
- Some proposed that Joseph be dropped as the Prophet and David Whitmer
be named to take his place.
- Brigham Young stood in defense of the Prophet.
- Jacob Bump, a former boxer, could hardly sit still. He was held in
his seat while he attempted to get up and go after Brigham.
- After returning from a mission to Canada, even Parley Pratt got caught
up in evil spirit that seemed to permeate Kirtland. Fortunately, Parley
saw the error of his ways and went to the Prophet asking forgiveness.
- Kirtland was in turmoil and the Church was in trouble.
- Joseph said, "God revealed to me that something new must be
done for the salvation of his Church." (DHC 2:489)
- June 4, 1837, Joseph spoke to Heber C. Kimball in the temple and said
that the Lord had called him to open the missionary work in England.
- Within days, Heber, Orson Hyde, Willard Richards, and three others
left for England to begin the great work of salvation in that nation.
- Section 112 was given to the Prophet in Kirtland on July 23, 1837.
- This was the day that the first sermons were being preached in Preston,
- Discussion of Section 112.
- This section was directed to Thomas Marsh regarding the twelve apostles.
- V12: "And pray for thy brethren of the Twelve. Admonish them
sharply for my name's sake, and let them be admonished for all their sins,
and be ye faithful before me unto my name."
- As President of the quorum, Thomas Marsh was called by the Lord to
preach repentance those who were straying.
- READ 112:10.
- WHAT DOES THE LORD PROMISE US WHEN WE ARE HUMBLE?
- HOW HAVE YOU SEEN THESE PROMISES FULFILLED?
- In v15 the Lord reaffirms the fact that Joseph still holds the keys.
- Section 113.
- Historical Background.
- July 27, 1837: The Prophet left Kirtland with Sidney Rigdon and Thomas
Marsh to visit the Saints in Canada. They returned at the end of August.
- While they were away, the servants of Satan were busy stirring up the
Saints against Joseph.
- September 3, 1837: A conference was held in the temple.
- Knowing that the apostates would attempt to vote Joseph out of office,
Brigham Young went to every brother whose vote he could rely on and asked
them to occupy the stand and prominent seats.
- The Prophet was sustained, as was Sidney Rigdon. Frederick G. Williams
was not sustained.
- September 27, 1837: The Prophet and Sidney left for Missouri to establish
places of gathering.
- With Joseph in Missouri, the dissenters had the field to themselves.
- Some talked of taking over the Church and even throwing out the Book
- Martin Harris was among the dissenters, but he bore testimony to the
truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and told them they would be damned if
they rejected it.
- There was an attempt to start a fire in the temple.
- Before Joseph and Sidney returned, the high council in Kirtland took
action against nearly 50 apostates including Warren Parrish, Martin Harris,
Luke S. Johnson, and John F. Boynton.
- November 7, 1837: At a conference in Far West, Hyrum Smith was sustained
as a counselor to replace Frederick G. Williams.
- December 10, 1837: Joseph, Sidney, and Hyrum return from Far West.
- December 22, 1837: Brigham Young was forced to flee Kirtland to escape
an attempt on his life because of his bold defense of the Prophet.
- Early in 1838, the dissenters seized control of the temple.
- There was a plot to assassinate Joseph and Sidney. Joseph was warned
in time to be placed in a box nailed on an ox-cart and driven out of town
to safety. A friend met him with his favorite horse, Old Charley, where
Joseph continued through the night until he was a safe distance from Kirtland.
- The Prophet made his way to Missouri arriving there in March 1838.
- Members of the Church in Kirtland began leaving as fast as preparations
could be made. The following July, a group of 600 persons, known as the
Kirtland Camp made their way to Far West.
- Shortly after the Prophet Joseph Smith arrived in Far West, while in
conversation with some of the brethren, he gave some inspired answers to
questions pertaining to the writings of Isaiah. These questions were centered
on two chapters of Isaiah, namely 11 and 52. These questions and answers
are the content of Section 113.
- Section 114.
- This revelation was given to the Prophet at Far West on April 17, 1838.
It is directed to David W. Patten.
- He is instructed to settle up his affairs and prepare to take go on
- Section 115.
- This revelation was given through the Prophet at Far West on April
- V4: "For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
- B.H. Roberts: "The appropriateness of the title is self evident,
and in it there is a beautiful recognition of the relationship both of
the Lord Jesus Christ and of the Saints to the organization. It is 'The
Church of Jesus Christ.' It is the Lord's; He owns it, He organized it.
It is the Sacred Depository of His truth. It is His instrumentality for
promulgating all those spiritual truths with which He would have mankind
acquainted. It is also His instrumentality for the perfecting of the Saints,
as well as for the work of the ministry. It is His in all these respects;
but it is an institution which also belongs to the Saints. It is their
refuge from the confusion and religious doubt of the world. It is their
instructor in principle, doctrine, and righteousness. It is their guide
in matters of faith and morals. They have a conjoint ownership in it with
Jesus Christ, which ownership is beautifully recognized in the latter part
of the title." (CHC 1:392)
- V8: One again, the Saints are commanded to build a temple. This time
in Far West.
- V10: They are to begin on July 4 (1838).
- V13: They are commanded to not go into debt for this building.
- V14: It is to be done according to the Lord's pattern.
- V17: Far West is to be built up "speedily" for the gathering
of the Saints.
- Section 116.
- This Section is dated May 19, 1838.
- READ SECTION 116.
- WHAT IS THIS SECTION REFERRING TO?
- Joseph Smith: "Daniel in his seventh chapter speaks of the
Ancient of Days; he means the oldest man, our Father Adam, Michael, he
will call his children together and hold a council with them to prepare
them for the coming of the Son of Man. He (Adam) is the father of the human
family, and presides over the spirits of all men, and all that have had
the keys must stand before him in this grand council. This may take place
before some of us leave this stage of action. The Son of Man stands before
him, and there is given him glory and dominion. Adam delivers up his stewardship
to Christ, that which was delivered to him as holding the keys of the universe,
but retains his standing as head of the human family." (HC 3:386-387)
- Sections 117-120.
- These revelations were all given on July 8, 1838, at Far West.
- Section 117.
- This section was directed to Newel K. Whitney, Oliver Granger, William
- In this revelation the Lord calls William Marks and Newel K. Whitney
to come to Zion and instructs the Saint concerning the property in Kirtland,
promises them blessings, if they will obey, and gives instructions to Oliver
- Section 118.
- V4-5: The Twelve are commanded to go on their mission to England the
following year. They are to take leave from Far West on April 26, 1839.
- V6: John Taylor, John E. Page, Wilford Woodruff, and Willard Richards
are appointed to fill the place in the quorum of those have apostatized.
- Section 119.
- READ 119:3-4.
- This is the law of finance for the Lord's church at this time, instituted
in Far West in 1838.
- Section 120.
- D&C Commentary: "It is a promise that the Lord will guide
His servants by His Spirit in the expenditure of the offerings of the Saints-a
promise that, as the results prove, has been fulfilled." (p750)
- Next Week.
- Lesson 35: Read Sections 121-123.