D&C/CHURCH HISTORY - LESSON 37
- Introductory Comments.
- Section 125.
- WITHOUT OPENING YOUR D&C, WHAT THE SUBJECT MATTER OF SECTION 125?
- Historical Background:
- Many of the Saints, when driven from Missouri, settled on the Iowa
side of the Mississippi across from Nauvoo.
- Section 125 was given in response to questions as to whether the Saints
on the Iowa side of the river should gather to Nauvoo.
- This section was given in March 1841.
- Discussion of Section 125.
- In v3 the Lord tells the Saints to build up a city on the Iowa side
of the river and call it Zarahemla.
- By the time of the exodus to the West in 1846, a few thousand Saints
had settled on the Iowa side of the river.
- V2: "Verily, thus saith the Lord, I say unto you, if those
who call themselves by my name and are essaying to be my saints, if they
will do my will and keep my commandments concerning them, let them gather
themselves together unto the places which I shall appoint unto them by
my servant Joseph, and build up cities unto my name, that they may be prepared
for that which is in store for a time to come."
- WHAT DID THE LORD KNOW THAT THESE SAINTS WERE TO PREPARE FOR?
- The exodus to the West.
- Section 126.
- Historical Background.
- This Section was given through the Prophet to Brigham Young at Nauvoo
on July 9, 1841.
- This revelation was given soon after the return of Brigham Young and
the Twelve from their mission in England.
- Discussion of Section 126.
- V1-3: "Dear and well-beloved brother, Brigham Young, verily
thus saith the Lord unto you: My servant Brigham, it is no more required
at your hand to leave your family as in times past, for your offering is
acceptable to me. "I have seen your labor and toil in journeyings
for my name. "I therefore command you to send my word abroad, and
take especial care of your family from this time, henceforth and forever.
- Brigham is commended by the Lord for the sacrifice he has made over
the years in serving as a missionary for the Church.
- Brigham did serve a three more missions after this revelation (about
9-10 months total.
- His primary place was with the Prophet and Saints in Nauvoo.
- The Prophet said in a conference in August 1841 that "the time
had come when the Apostles must stand in their places next to the First
Presidency" and that it was now time for them to remain at home
and perform their duty in Zion.
- Both Sections 125 and 126 reflect the foreknowledge of the Lord in
the future of the Church and the Saints.
- Section 125 commanded the Saints to prepare for the which was to come.
- In Section 126 Brigham Youg is told the he no longer need leave his
- The next three years were an important time of preparation & education
for the man who was to become the Joshua of the latter-days.
- Brigham spent 28 of the Prophets last 36 months near the Prophet.
- There was much that Brigham needed to learn from Joseph.
- Sections 127 & 128.
- Historical Background.
- Sections 127 & 128 are letters written by the Prophet to the Saints.
- In May of 1842 governor Boggs of Missouri was shot and wounded. Obviously
the Saints were suspected. Joseph Smith was specifically accused of being
an accessory to the crime. In August he was arrested on those charges and
- Some Missourians threatened to take the law into their hands and so
the Prophet went into hiding for a period of time. It was while the Prophet
was in hiding that these two letters were written to the Saints.
- Side note: Porter Rockwell was caught in Missouri and arrested for
the shooting of Boggs. Some months later he was eventually released. It
was said that when Rockwell was asked if he shot the Governor he replied:
No. He's still alive isn't he. Any that are aware of the history of Porter
Rockwell know that he was an exceptional marksman.
- Section 127 is dated September 1, 1842 & Section 128 is dated September
- Discussion of Sections 127 & 128.
- READ 127:1.
- WHY DID JOSEPH SMITH'S ENEMIES PERSECUTE HIM WITHOUT CAUSE?
- Brigham Young: "Why was Joseph Smith persecuted? Why was he
hunted from neighborhood to neighborhood, from city to city, from state
to state, and at last suffered death? Because he received revelations from
the Father, from the Son, and was ministered to by holy angels, and published
to the world the direct will of the Lord concerning his children on the
earth. Again, why was he persecuted? Because he revealed to all mankind
a religion so plain and so easily understood, consistent with the Bible,
and so true. It is now as it was in the days of the Savior; let people
believe and practice these simple, God-like truths and it will be as it
was in the old world..." (JD 14:199)
- Brigham Young: "Joseph Smith, in forty-seven prosecutions was
never proven guilty of one violation of the laws of his country. They accused
him of treason, because he would not fellowship their wickedness."
- As the Prophet cosidered his current situation and his previous trials
he said in 127:2, "...and I feel, like Paul, to glory in tribulation;"
- WHAT DO YOU SUPPOSE THE PROPHET MEANT WHEN HE SAID THIS?
- Romans 5:3-4: "And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations
also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience;
and experience, hope:"
- Importance of Accurate Records.
- Baptisms for the dead had begun in the Mississippi River and then moved
to the basement of the Nauvoo Temple. In May of 1842 the Prophet presented
the temple endowment for the first time. It was also during this period
that sealings of husbands and wives began.
- READ 127:6-7.
- THESE VERSES DISCUSS THE NECESSITY OF HAVING A RECORDER PRESENT AT
THESE BAPTISMS. VERSE 2-7 IN SECTION 128 GIVE ADDITIONAL DETAILS. THE LORD
KNOWS WHAT IS BEING DONE, SO WHY DID HE EMPHASIZE RECORD KEEPING?
- The Lord has indicated that there should be witnesses to verify the
- To make sure that the ordinance is being performed properly.
- To avoid repetition and to enable us to see our progress (running log).
- The Prophet emphasized in v6 that which was spoken by John in Revelation
20:12, "and I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God;
and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book
of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written
in the books, according to their works."
- 128:5: "You may think this order of things to be very particular;
but let me tell you that it is only to answer the will of God, by conforming
to the ordinance and preparation that the Lord ordained and prepared before
the foundation of the world, for the salvation of the dead who should die
without a knowledge of the gospel."
- The Power To Bind and Loose.
- The Prophet linked the keeping of accurate records to the power to
bind or loose on earth and have this action recognized in heaven.
- READ 128:8-9.
- WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS THAT MUST BE MET FOR AN ORDINANCE PERFORMED
ON EARTH TO BE BINDING IN HEAVEN?
- It must be performed in authority (the person must have the priesthood
and given specific authorization).
- It must be done in the name of the Lord.
- It must be done truly & faithfully (precisely as the Lord has instructed).
- A proper record must be kept (v9).
- The Importance of Work for the Dead.
- READ 128:15: "And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters,
let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and
the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation.
For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul
says concerning the fathers--that they without us cannot be made perfect--neither
can we without our dead be made perfect."
- WHY IS THE WORK FOR THE DEAD ESSENTIAL TO OUR SALVATION?
- IN V17 THE PROPHET REFERS TO THE WORK OF THE DEAD AMONG THE "MOST
GLORIOUS OF ALL SUBJECTS BELONGING TO THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL". WHY
IS THIS SO?
- The Prophet went on to state in v18 that "the earth will be
smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link" of some kind
or other between the fathers and the children and that baptism for the
dead is the key. Obviously this also applied to the other necessary ordinances.
- At the time of the Prophet, baptisms were the only ordinances being
performed for the dead. Vicarious endowments were not inaugurated until
- READ 128:24.
- BRIGHAM YOUNG AND THE OTHER SAINTS WHO TRULY UNDERSTOOD THIS PRINCIPLE
MUST HAVE FELT A GREAT DEAL OF FRUSTRATION AFTER LEAVING NAUVOO AT NOT
BEING ABLE TO PERFORM THIS ESSENTIAL WORK FOR SO MANY YEARS.
- Glad Tidings for the Living and the Dead.
- The Prophet writes in verses 19-23 of glad tidings for the living and
the dead. In verses 20-21 he speaks of several manifestations from the
- Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfillment of the Prophets.
- A voice of the Lord near Fayette declaring the 3 witnesses to bear
record of the Book of Mormon.
- The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the
devil when he appeared as an angel of light.
- The voice of Peter, James, and John near Harmony, Pennsylvania, declaring
themselves as possessing0 the keys of the kingdom and of the dispensation
of the fulness of times.
- The voice of God in the chamber of Old Father Whitmer in Fayette and
at sundry times and in diverse places.
- The voice of Gabriel.
- The voice of Raphael.
- Other divers angels from Adam down to the present time.
- John Taylor discussing the necessity for the above occurrences wrote:
"Why was it that all these people should be associated with all
these dispensations, and all could communicate with Joseph Smith? Because
he stood at the head of the dispensation of the fullness of times, which
comprehends all the various dispensations that have existed upon the earth,
and that as the Gods in the eternal worlds and the Priesthood that officiated
in time and eternity had declared that it was time for the issuing forth
of all these things, they all combined together to impart to him the keys
of their several missions, that he might be fully competent, through the
intelligence and aid afforded him through these several parties, to introduce
the Gospel in all its fullness, namely, the dispensation of the fullness
of times, when says the Apostle Paul 'He might gather all things in Christ,
both which are in heaven and which are in earth, even in him.' Consequently
he stood in that position, and hence his familiarity with all these various
dispensations and the men who administered in them. If you were to ask
Joseph what sort of a looking man Adam was, he would tell you at once;
he would tell you his size and appearance and all about him. You might
have asked him what sort of men Peter, James, and John were, and he could
have told you. Why! Because he had seen them." (JD 18:325-26.)
- READ 128:22-23.
- WHAT A VISION OF THIS WORK THE PROPHET MUST HAVE HAD WHEN HE WROTE
THESE LINES. AS HE SAID IN V23, "Let the woods and all the trees
of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let
the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons
of God shout for joy!"
- NEXT WEEK.
- Lesson 38: Sections 129-131.