D&C/CHURCH HISTORY - LESSON 36
- Introductory Comments.
- Historical Background.
- The move to Illinois.
- After fruitless appeals to the Missouri legislature, thousands of Saints
began their exodus to Illinois.
- The Saints left Missouri in poverty during the winter and spring of
- The Church was led by Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball at this time
since the Prophet, Sydney, and Hyrum were all in jail.
- The Prophet escapes:
- In April of 1838 the Prophet and the others with him were moved from
the jail in Liberty to the jail in Gallatin, Daviess county.
- On April 15 the prisoners received a change in venue from the court
in Gallatin to Boone County.
- On the second day of the journey to Boone County the prisoners, with
the connivance of their guards, made their escape and ten days later arrived
among their families and friends in Illinois.
- The Prophet said: "This evening our guard got intoxicated.
We thought it a favorable opportunity to make our escape; knowing that
the only object of our enemies was our destruction."
- The Saints fled toward Quincy, Illinois, on the Mississippi River.
- They were received kindly by the people in this area.
- When the Prophet arrived in Quincy, after his escape, no plan for the
settlement of the Saints yet existed. Some thought the Saints might go
back to Ohio or up into Canada.
- The Church began purchasing land near Commerce, much of which was swampland.
- These purchases became the foundation for the city Nauvoo.
- Additional lands were purchased across the river in Iowa.
- The Twelve leave for England.
- According to Prophecy, 5 members of the Twelve and 20 Saints gathered
at the temple site in Far West to take leave for their missions to England.
- Brigham Young and the other brethren met Heber C. Kimball and a few
of the Saints at Tenney's Grove, Missouri.
- According to these Saints, a mob had ridden into Far West six days
earlier and jeered at them about the revelation that the Twelve would take
leave of their mission from Far West on April 26.
- Captain Samuel Bogart had warned Theodore Turley, "the Twelve
are now scattered all over creation; let them come here if they dare; if
they do, they will be murdered."
- The Twelve met shortly after midnight on April 26 to avoid being seen
by their Missouri enemies.
- Alpheus Cutler resumed laying the foundation of the Lord's House, in
accordance with revelation, by rolling a large stone adjacent to the southeast
- He then said, "In consequence of the peculiar situation of
the saints, it is deemed prudent to discontinue further labor on the House
until the Lord should open the way for its completion." (CHC 1:531)
- Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith were ordained apostles to fill
the vacancies left by apostasy. This then made seven apostles present,
thus having a majority of the quorum present.
- "As the saints were passing away from the meeting, Brother
Turley said to Elders Page and Woodruff, 'Stop a bit, while I bid Isaac
Russell goodbye.' and knocking at the door, called Brother Russell."
- Isaac Russell had been excommunicated.
- "His wife answered, 'Come in, it is Brother Turley.' Russell
replied, 'it is not; he left here two weeks ago,' and appeared quite alarmed;
but on finding it was Brother Turley, asked him to sit down; but the latter
replied. 'I cannot, I shall lose my company.' 'Who is your company?' enquired
Russell. 'The twelve.' 'The twelve!' 'Yes, don't you know that this is
the twenty-sixth, and the day the twelve were to take leave of their friends
on the foundation of the Lord's House, to go to the islands of the sea?
The revelation is now fulfilled, and I am going with them.' Russell was
speechless, and Turley bid him farewell." (CHMR 4:18)
- The Twelve did not actually leave from Illinois for their missions
until later that summer due to the efforts in settling their families and
- The mission of the Twelve to England lasted just over one year.
- Brigham Young and others of the Twelve departed from England on April
- Between 7,000 to 8,000 people had been baptized during this period
and about 1,000 emigrated to Nauvoo.
- Joseph and Sidney visit Washington, D.C.
- Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were appointed by the Church to make
an appeal for redress from the President and Congress.
- On October 29, along with Judge Elias Higbee, they left in a carriage
with Orrin Porter Rockwell as driver.
- By the time they arrived in Columbus, Ohio, Sidney was too sick to
- The Prophet and Judge Higbee continued to Washington were they made
their appeal to President Martin Van Buren and several representatives
- The Prophet said of many of the representatives they met, "there
is a great deal of wind blown off" and "an itching disposition
to display their oratory on the most trivial occasions." (DHC
- They had little success with Congress and in a second visit to the
President, he stated: "Gentlemen, your cause is just, but I can
do nothing for you.... If I take up for you I shall lose the vote of Missouri."
- The Mormons lobbied the Illinois state legislature for approval of
a charter for the city of Nauvoo.
- One of those who fiercely lobbied for the charter was a man by the
name of John C. Bennett, quartermaster for the state of Illinois.
- He had moved to Nauvoo in 1840 and was baptized shortly thereafter.
- The charter was passed and the city was incorporated in February 1841.
- It was a liberal charter that gave to the city many powers including
public education, judicial, and the ability to organize a military body,
which became known as the Nauvoo Legion.
- On February 1, 1841 an election was held and John C. Bennett was elected
- By the time Section 124 was given to the Prophet on January 19, 1841,
Nauvoo had become the center of the Church and about 3,000 people were
- Discussion of Section 124.
- READ 124:2-3,7-8.
- An official proclamation by the Twelve was issued in 1845.
- It appears that this proclamation was issued in compliance with this
revelation. There is no evidence that the Prophet issued such a declaration
prior to his death. It was written and issued by the Twelve since they
were the presiding authority of the Church at this time.
- That declaration was reaffirmed by President Benson in 1975, then President
of the Twelve.
- This charge is yet only partially fulfilled. Few world leaders have
been taught the gospel. Several have been given Book of Mormons. And there
have been negotiations with government leaders for opening missionary work.
But this charge still remains largely unfulfilled.
- READ 124:15.
- WHAT TRAITS DID THE LORD PRAISE IN HYRUM?
- His integrity and love for that which is right.
- HOW CAN WE DEVELOP GREATER LOVE FOR THE THINGS THAT ARE RIGHT SO THAT
WE SERVE THE LORD WILLINGLY?
- READ 124:16-17. John C. Bennett counseled to stand by the Prophet.
- WHO WAS JOHN C BENNETT?
- Joined the Saints in Nauvoo in 1840, rose to position of assistant
president to Joseph Smith, mayor of Nauvoo, and he was instrumental in
securing the Nauvoo Charter.
- Excommunicated in May 1842 & became one of the bitterest enemies
of the Church.
- WHAT HAPPENED TO JOHN C BENNETT?
- John Taylor says: "I was well acquainted with him. At one time
he was a good man, but fell into adultery, and was cut off from the Church
for his iniquity."
- JOHN C. BENNETT RECEIVED GREAT PROMISES FROM THE LORD. LATER IN THIS
SECTION WILLIAM LAW ALSO RECEIVED GREAT PROMISES (87-90,97-102), BUT BOTH
FELL INTO APOSTASY. WHAT THINGS IN OUR LIVES MIGHT CAUSE US TO LOSE THE
BLESSINGS WE HAVE BEEN PROMISED?
- WHAT ATTITUDES OR PRACTICES HAVE MOST HELPED YOU IN ENDURING TO THE
END IN RIGHTEOUSNESS?
- READ 124:22-23. Command to build the Nauvoo House.
- WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE THE LORD COMMANDED THE BUILDING OF A HOTEL?
- V60-61: "And let the name of that house be called Nauvoo House;
and let it be a delightful habitation for man, and a resting-place for
the weary traveler, that he may contemplate the glory of Zion, and the
glory of this, the corner-stone thereof; "That he may receive also
the counsel from those whom I have set to be as plants of renown, and as
watchmen upon her walls."
- The Nauvoo House was begun in the spring of 1841. When the Saints left
Nauvoo in 1846 the walls were above the windows on the second story. It
was planned to be the most magnificent hotel in the west at that time.
- WHAT DO THESE VERSES TEACH ABOUT HOW THE LORD WANTS US TO TREAT NONMEMBERS?
- WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP NONMEMBERS FEEL WELCOME AMONG US?
- READ 124:25-32. Command to build a temple in Nauvoo.
- THE LORD KNEW THE SAINTS WOULD BE IN NAUVOO ONLY A FEW SHORT YEARS.
WHY DID HE THEN COMMAND THEM TO BUILD ANOTHER TEMPLE?
- No place on the earth where the Lord could restore the fulness of the
Priesthood. Joseph Field Smith said: "You cannot receive the fullness
of the priesthood and the fullness of eternal reward unless you receive
the ordinances of the House of the Lord; and when you receive these ordinances,
the door is then open so you can obtain all the blessings which any man
- The ordinances for baptism of the dead belong to the House of the Lord.
- To prove the faithfulness of the Saints.
- V55: "And again, verily I say unto you, I command you again
to build a house to my name, even in this place, that you may prove yourselves
unto me that ye are faithful in all things whatsoever I command you, that
I may bless you, and crown you with honor, immortality, and eternal life."
- Baptisms for the dead were performed in the Mississippi River for a
short time. This ended on October 3, 1841, when the Prophet announced at
General Conference that there would be no more baptisms for the dead performed
until it could be done in the House of the Lord.
- On November 8, 1841 the baptismal font in the basement of the, far
from being finished, Nauvoo Temple was dedicated by Brigham Young. On November
21 work for 40 persons was done by Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, John
Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and George A. Smith.
- READ 124:36. The places to do work for the dead to be in the stakes.
- WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
- Brigham Young said: "We trust in God. I reckon he will fight our
battles and we will be baptized for and in behalf of the human family during
the thousand years; and we will have hundreds of temples and thousands
of men and women officiating therein for those who have fallen asleep,
without having had the privilege of hearing and obeying the Gospel, that
they may be brought forth and have a glorious resurrection, and enjoy the
kingdom which God has prepared for them." (DBY, p401)
- READ 124:47. If one does not obey the commandment, he cannot expect
- WHAT IS THIS VERSE TELLING US?
- READ 124:49-53. The efforts of the Missouri Saints accepted.
- THE SAINTS DID NOT BUILD A TEMPLE IN MISSOURI EVEN THOUGH THE LORD
HAD COMMANDED THEM TO BUILD ONE IN INDEPENDENCE AND ONE IN FAR WEST. WHAT
PRINCIPLE DID THE LORD TEACH THE SAINTS IN THESE VERSES?
- If we do the best to accomplish the task the Lord has laid out for
us, the Lord will accept our efforts. He will accept our efforts even if
we fail at the task.
- HOW CAN THIS PRINCIPLE BE A COMFORT TO US TODAY?
- V56-86: Specific instructions regarding the Nauvoo House. Much of it
dealt with stocks & shares in the building.
- WHY DID THE LORD DEAL IN SUCH DETAIL ABOUT SOMETHING SUCH AS THE NAUVOO
HOUSE? HE DOESN'T DO IT NOW, DOES HE?
- V84-118: In these verses the Spirit of Revelation speaks to various
individuals giving counsel, instructions, encouragement or warning, and
reproof, as each case may require.
- READ 124:84. Almon W Babbit chastened. It appears that his chief
ambition was to make money. As the Saints left Nauvoo, he was involved
in numerous real estate transactions were it appears he made of with a
great deal of money.
- He seems to have had the wrong center in his life.
- V87-90,97-102: Counsel to William Law. Had he hearkened to the counsel
of the Lord he most certainly would not have fallen from his high position
in the Church.
- V91-96: Hyrum to hold the keys of patriarchal blessings. He was previously
ordained by his father, to succeed him in this position. He was also appointed
Assistant President of the Church, the office Oliver Cowdery had held.
- WHY DOESN'T THE OFFICE OF ASSISTANT PRESIDENT EXIST ANY LONGER?
- Bruce R. McConkie: " When these two joint Presidents of the Church
sealed their testimonies with their blood, the full operation of the keys
of the kingdom rested with the Twelve, and Brigham Young, the senior apostle
became the ranking officer of the Church. Since the kingdom was then fully
established and the two witnesses had left a binding testimony, it was
no longer necessary to continue the office of Assistant President. (Mormon
- V103-110: Counsel given to Sydney Rigdon. His health suffered following
Liberty Jail. The Lord promised Sydney in v104 that he would be healed
if he would follow the Lord's counsel as contained in this revelation.
- V123-145: Various officers in the Church identified and appointed.
- V124: Hyrum appointed as Patriarch.
- V125. Joseph appointed as Prophet: "I give unto you my servant
Joseph to be a presiding elder over all my church, to be a translator,
a revelator, a seer, and prophet."
- V126: Sydney Rigdon & William Law appointed counselors to Joseph
to form the Quorum of the 1st Presidency.
- V127: Brigham Young to be president of the Twelve.
- V138: Presidency of the Seventies named.
- READ 124:143. Offices given for the government and perfecting of
- WHY DO WE HAVE THESE OFFICES IN THE CHURCH?
- Next Week.
- Lesson 37: Sections 125-128.