Doctrine and Covenants 111:1 “Notwithstanding your follies” The Prophet’s folly lay less in the fanciful hope of finding a treasure than it did in his failure to counsel with the Lord. A little over two years earlier he had received direction from the Lord about the Church’s indebtedness. At that time the Saints were told that if they would humble themselves and be prayerful and diligent that he would send means for their deliverance (D&C 104:78-80). The trip to Salem was a venture of their own design, not one of divine direction. Have you ever done anything in your life similar to this? Erastus Snow in 1842 organized a branch of about 120 members fulfilling verse two. A man named Burgess said he knew where a large amount of money was secreted in the cellar of a deceased widows house and that only he could find it. When it came right down to it, he could not find it. Other accounts said they found the house, but it Doctrine and Covenants 112 This revelation was given during some of the darkest days in the history of the Church. As night follows day, so the light and glory that surrounded the dedication of the Kirtland Temple was supplanted by darkness and evil. In the summer of 1837, members of the Quorum of the Twelve, witnesses to the Book of Mormon, and other key priesthood leaders meet in the upper room of the temple to dispose of Joseph Smith as the prophet of the Lord. Their plan was to organize a new Church with David Whitmer as its head. They had determined to reject the Prophet, the Book of Mormon, and the Priesthood, while seeking to unite the Christian world around repentance, baptism, and the Bible (George A. Smith, JD, 11:11). In the midst of this darkness, Joseph Smith said, “God revealed to me that something new must be done for the salvation of His Church,” He approached Heber C. Kimball in the Kirtland Temple and called him to go to England. Heber C. Kimball asked him why England? Joseph’s reply was to “save the Church” (Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 104). D&C 112:10 “Be thou Humble” Several years after Joseph Smith was martyred, he appeared to President Brigham Young. Hear his message: “Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the still small voice; it will teach you what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it” (Elden J. Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 18461847, Salt Lake City: Elden Jay Watson, 1971, 529). In a dream Elder Wilford Woodruff was instructed by President Brigham Young: “I want you to teach the people --- and I want you to follow this counsel yourself -- that they must labor and so live as to obtain the Holy Spirit, for without this you cannot build up the kingdom; without the spirit of God you are in danger of failing to accomplish your calling” (Journal of Discourses, 21: 318). The gospel requires us to yield our minds as well as bend our knees. Minds are often more arthritic than knees (Neal A. Maxwell, That Ye May Believe, 101). Jesus rejoices in our genuine goodness and achievement, but any assessment of where we stand in relation to Him tells us that we do not stand at all! We kneel! (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, November 1981, 8). We ought to listen as carefully to those we supervise as to those who supervise us. You and I are usually pretty good at paying attention upward, but we are not nearly as good at heeding that which comes from other directions. Likewise, while parents are to teach their children, my, how we can learn from them at times! Some of us are humble up but not humble down (Neal A. Maxwell, All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, 77-78). Doctrine and Covenants 112:15 “Rebel not against my servant Joseph” The spirit of darkness in Kirtland in 1837 was so pervasive that no quorum of the priesthood could escape it. Nor was this mist of darkness quick to lift. “At the quarterly conference assembled in Far West, April 7, 1838, David W. Patton declared that, as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, he could confidently recommend Thomas B. Marsh, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, and Orson Pratt as being men of God. However, in a spirit of discernment rather than of disparagement, he stated that he somewhat doubted William Smith, and that he could not recommend William E. McLellin, Luke S. Johnson, Lyman E. Johnson, or John F. Boynton. As time was to prove, Elder Patten’s discernments were valid” (Talbot, Acts of the Modern Apostles, 40). John Taylor, who was called to fill the place of one of the fallen apostles in December the following year, had occasion to counsel Parley P. Pratt, also an apostle and the missionary who had converted him, “After their temptations, and much tribulation.” Elder Taylor recounted part of that dialogue thus: “I am surprised to hear you speak so, Brother Parley. Before you left Canada you bore a strong testimony to Joseph Smith being a Prophet of God, and to the truth of the work he has inaugurated; and you said you knew these things by revelation, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. You gave me a strict charge to the effect that though you or an angel from heaven was to declare anything else I was not to believe it. Now Brother Parley, it is not man that I am following but the Lord. The principles you taught me led me to Him, and I now have the same testimony that you then rejoiced in. If the work was true six months ago, it is true today: if Joseph was then a prophet, he is now a prophet” (Roberts, Life of John Taylor, 40). Doctrine and Covenants 112:30-32 “Keys Restored” It was not until the end of Joseph Smith’s ministry in Nauvoo that all the keys had been restored in fullness to the Twelve. Doctrine and Covenants 107:22 “Counselors to the First Presidency” Additional counselors became counselors to that Quorum, not counselors in that quorum. Those who had served as counselors to that quorum include the following: John C. Bennett (1841-42), Amasa M. Lyman (1843-44), Joseph F. Smith (1866-77), Lorenzo Snow (1873-77), Brigham Young Jr. (1873-77), Albert Carrington (1873-77), John W. Young (1973-77), George Q. Cannon (1873-77), Hugh B. Brown (1961), Joseph Fielding Smith (1968-70), H. Thorpe B. Isaacson (1965-70), Alvin R. Dyer (1968-70), and Gordon B. Hinckley (1981-82, 1999-2000) Church Almanac, 16, 47-55). D&C 115:4 We received our official name eight years after the Church was organized. 1. 2. 3. 4. Church of Christ Church of God Church of Latter-day Saints In 1834, the “Mormonites” Don't let the Lord down by calling this the Mormon Church. He didn’t call it the Mormon Church” (George Albert Smith, C.R. April 1948, 160). “The name of the Church was not obtained through study or research, but by revelation directed from the Lord… Of all the churches in the world, there was not one that bore His name when the Lord restored His Church in this dispensation” (LeGrand Richards, Marvelous Work and a Wonder, 131-32). “I suppose that regardless of our efforts, we may never convert the world to general use of the full and correct name of the Church,” conceded President Gordon B. Hinckley. He continued “Because of the shortness of the word Mormon, and the ease with which it is spoken and written, they will continue to call us the Mormons, the Mormon Church and so forth.” President Hinckley recalled the Prophet Joseph Smith’s comment that the name “Mormon means more good,” and therefore suggested we should not be ashamed of this nickname” (Teachings, 299-300). Our individual differences will be regarded by some critics as institutional weaknesses. But, as Paul wrote, the Church is for the perfecting of the Saints (Ephesians 4:12) and, since the Church is filled with imperfect individuals, one should not expect an ecclesiastical Eden! (Neal A. Maxwell, We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ, 33-34). Doctrine and Covenants 116 “Adam-ondi-Ahman” An extract from the journal of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It was first included in the 1876 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. The site where the Saints intended to build the temple at Adam-ondi-Ahman is not known. Lyman Wight’s home was at the foot of “Tower Hill” (a name Joseph gave to the place in consequence of the remains of an old Nephite alter or tower that stood there), where they camped for the Sabbath. Yes, there will be wrenching polarization on this planet, but also the remarkable reunion with our colleagues in Christ from the City of Enoch. Yes, nation after nation will become a house divided, but more and more unifying Houses of the lord will grace this planet. Yes, Armageddon lies ahead. But so does Adam-ondi-Ahman! (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, November 1981, 10). Doctrine and Covenants 117 “The plains of Olaha Shinehah” Joseph Fielding Smith said, “The plains of Olaha Shinehah, or the place where Adam dwelt, must be a part of, or in the vicinity of Adam-ondi-Ahman. This name Olaha Shinehah, may be, and in all probability is, from the language of Adam. We may without great controversy believe that this is the name which Adam gave to this place, at least we may venture this as a probable guess. Shinehah, according to the Book of Abraham, is the name give to the sun. (Abraham 3:13)… Elder Janne M. Sjodahl commenting on the name, Olaha Shinehah, has said, “Shinehah means sun, and Olaha is possible a variant of the word Olea, which is “the moon” (Abraham 3:13). If so the plains of Olaha Shinehah would be the Plains of the Moon and the Sun, so called, perhaps because of the astronomical observations there made,’ We learn from the writings of Moses that the Lord revealed to the ancients great knowledge concerning the stars, and Abraham by revelations and through the Urim and Thummin received wonderful information concerning the heavens and the governing planets, or stars. It was also revealed by the Prophet Joseph Smith that Methuselah was acquainted with the stars as were others of the antediluvian prophets including Adam. So it may be reasonable that her in this valley important information was made known anciently in relation to the stars of our universe” (Church History and Modern Revelation, 2:97-98). D&C 117:11 “Nicolaitane band” Anciently, Nicolas turned from a similar calling to a life of worldliness'. Elder McConkie taught that those in the church today who want their records, but don’t want to devote themselves to the gospel (DNTC, vol. 3: 446). Revelation 2:6, 15 “Which Thing I Hate” Members of the church who are trying to maintain their church standards while living the ways of the world. Doctrine and Covenants 118:4-5 “The Apostles Depart on Their Mission” Prior to leaving on their missions, Brigham Young asked the Twelve who were with him – “What shall we do with regard to the fulfillment of this revelation?” He wanted to know their feelings. Father Smith, the Patriarch, said the Lord would take the will for the deed; others said the Lord could not expect the Twelve Apostles to go up and sacrifice their lives to fulfill that revelation; but the Spirit of the Lord rested upon the twelve, and they said – “The Lord God has spoken, and we will fulfill that revelation and commandment;” and that was the feeling of President Young and of those who were with him. We went through the State, and we laid that cornerstone. George A. Smith and myself were ordained to the Apostleship on that corner-stone upon that day. We returned in safety, and not a dog to move his tongue, and no man shed our blood” (JD, 18:123). It was a simple revelation which quickly got very complicated. On April 26th, 1838 the Twelve were to dedicate the temple spot in Far West, Missouri before they left on their mission to England. Joseph Smith Sr. thought the Lord would not require it of them because of the persecutions from their enemies. Brigham Young, however knew the doctrine too well and he would not be deterred. The mobs also knew about the revelation because of apostates. One was Isaac B. Russell who said that Joseph was not a prophet because that revelation was one that would not be fulfilled. The mob and apostates bragged constantly how that was one revelation that would not come to pass. Theodore Turley was told that he would give up Mormonism after the mob prevented the prophecy from coming to pass. Turley jumped to his feet and said, “In the name of God, that revelation will be fulfilled.” The above event happened 21 days prior to April 26th, 1838. The night before the revelation was to be fulfilled John E. Page was unsure whether he wanted to go. Brigham Young insisted that he should. They stayed just outside of Far West. After midnight they gathered at the temple lot in Far West. Seven members of the Twelve were present (two had not yet been ordained). Both Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith were ordained Apostles at the Far West Temple spot. George A. Smith was only 22 years old. Willard Richards would have been ordained also but he was serving in the British Mission Presidency. Willard will be ordained later in England. They excommunicated several people from the Church, including Isaac Russell, John Goodson and their wives. They rolled a stone on one of the corners and Brigham Young dedicated the site of the temple. Darwin Chase and Norman Sheer were ordained 70’s. They sang “Di – Ahman” as they departed to take up their journey and start their missions. A Classic Story: As they had completed their meeting in Far West and began traveling out of town, Theodore Turley asked a couple of the Twelve if they would wait for a few moments because he wanted to say goodbye to his old friend Isaac Russell. The sun was just barely up enough to give some light when he knocked at the Russell home. Mrs. Russell was dumbfounded to see Theodore Turley. Theodore Turley said, “I have come to say goodbye. I have taken up my mission with the Twelve.” Isaac Russell said, “What day is it?” Theodore Turley said, “It’s April 26th!” It turned out that the mob had simply forgotten about the date. It was considered by the Saints to be a great miracle from God. Isaac Russell could not speak. Theodore Turley bore his testimony to Isaac Russell and his wife. Theodore then left, never to see Isaac in mortality again. Isaac Russell never came back into the Church even after witnessing such a great prophecy’s fulfillment. Doctrine and Covenants 119:1-5 “The Law of Tithing” Though it is little known, the command that the Saints pay onetenth of their increase annually required a greater sacrifice of property than that required by the law of consecration and stewardship, as practiced in the early days of this dispensation. In the law of consecration, after the Saints put their substance and properties before the bishop, they received a stewardship to provide for their needs. Later, if from their stewardship they had more than was necessary for their support (D&C 42:33), or in other words, a residue or a surplus, then they would contribute surplus to the Church. The great difference in the law of tithing is that it requires the Saints to pay a tenth of their income before any expenses are met, not from their surplus after their needs have been satisfied. Because the law of tithing requires an act of faith before the day of the harvest, it provides a greater promise of blessing than that found in the law of consecration as it was applied to temporal stewardships in the early 1830s. Consecration is a higher law only when it extends beyond that which is temporal and involved dedicating all of one’s time, talent, and energies that may be needed to building up the Lord’s kingdom (D&C 105:3-5). Before I started, I asked brother Joseph, “Who shall be the judge of what is surplus property?” Said he, “Let them be the judges themselves, for I care not if they do not give a single dime. So far as I am concerned, I do not want anything they have.” “Then I replied, ‘I will go and ask them for their surplus property;’ and I did so; I found the people said they were willing to do about as they were counseled, but, upon asking them about their surplus property, most of the men who owned land and cattle would say, ‘I have got so many hundred acres of land, and I have got so many boys, and I want each one of them to have eighty acres, therefore this is not surplus property.’ Again, ‘I have got so many girls, and I do not believe I shall be able to give them more than forty acres each.’ ‘Well, you have got two or three hundred acres left.’ ‘Yes, but I have a brother-in-law coming on, and he will depend on me for a living; my wife’s nephew is also coming on, he is poor, and I shall have to finish him a farm after he arrives here.’ I would go on to the next one, and he would have more land and cattle that he could make use of to advantage. It is a laughable idea but is nevertheless true, men would tell me they were young and beginning the world, and would say, ‘We have no children, but our prospects are good, and we think we shall have a family of children, and if we do, we want to give them eighty acres of land each; we have no surplus property.’ ‘How many cattle have you?’ ‘So many.’ ‘How many horses, & etc.?’ ‘So many, but I have made provisions for all these, and I have use for everything I have got.” “Some were disposed to do right with their surplus property, and once in a while you would find a man who had a cow which he considered surplus, but generally she was of the class that would kick a person’s hat off, or eyes out, or the wolves had eaten off her teats. You would once in a while find a man who had a horse that he considered surplus, but at the same time he had the ringbone, was broken-winded, spavined in both legs, had the pole evil at one end of the neck and a fistula at the other and both knees sprung (JD, 2:306-7) “The Law of Tithing” (D&C 64:23; Malachi 3:8-12) This revelation established a new and exacting law to replace the law of consecration. Those who live the law of tithing will be preserved to live the law of consecration. It does away with selfishness, greed, pride, envy, etc. No man may hope to expect to have an inheritance on this Celestial Globe who has failed to pay his tithing (Marvin J. Ballard, Oct., C.R., 1929). I hope you are paying your tithing my fellow Latter-day Saints. The Church actually can get along without your money, but you can’t get along without the blessings of the Lord, I mean that (Gordon B. Hinckley). If we neglect to pay our tithes and offerings we will neglect other things and this will grow upon us until the spirit of the Gospel is entirely gone from us, and we are left in the dark, and know not whither to go (Brigham Young). Definition of Tithing: The First Presidency has written: “The simplest statement we know of is the statement of the Lord himself, namely, that the members of the Church should pay ‘one-tenth of all their interest annually,’ which is understood to mean income. No one is justified in making any other statement than this” (First Presidency letter, 19 Mar. 1970). When and How to Pay Tithing: Local leaders should encourage members to pay tithing as they receive their income. However, members who wish to pay annually may do so. Why should I pay my tithing: Payment of an honest tithing is essential to the attainment of salvation in the celestial kingdom. President McKay has said, “To members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, tithing is as much a law of God as is baptism” (David O. McKay, Treasures of Life, 183). I bear witness – and I know that the witness I bear is true – that the men an the women who have been absolutely honest with God, who have… paid their one-tenth,… God has given them wisdom whereby they have been able to utilize the remaining nine-tenths, and it has been of greater value to them, and they have accomplished more with it than they would if they had not been honest with the Lord (Heber J. Grant, C.R., April 1912, 30). “A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation” (Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, 6:58). Tithing is a donation. It is not optional for members. It is a commandment from God (Ezra Taft Benson). The time to pay your tithes is every week, or every month, or every time an income is in your hands (Spencer W. Kimball). I have wept as I have seen the poverty and the sufferings of the people in this part of the earth. My heart reaches out to them. I do not know what the solution is, except the gospel of Jesus Christ. I think it is the only thing that will help them and bless their lives. If they, even living in poverty and misery, can look to God with hope and faith, it will sustain them in their hours of sorrow. Furthermore, I believe with all my heart that if they will accept the gospel and live it, pay their tithes and offerings, even though it is meager, the Lord will keep His ancient promises in their behalf, and they will have rice in their bowls, and clothing on their backs, and shelter over their heads. I do not see any other solution (Gordon B. Hinckley). No one is ever too poor to pay tithing, and the Lord has promised that he will open the windows of heaven when we are obedient to his law (Spencer W. Kimball). Types of Tithing Property tithing: the 10% assessment on all property owned by church members. Labor tithing: one day in ten on various projects. Produce and Stock tithing: the increase from the farm ranch or mine. Institutional tithing: business gave one tenth to the church. Cash tithing: this was what was needed in early Church History and remains the case today. Doctrine and Covenants 120 Since this is sacred funds/property it must be dealt with properly and that was to be taken care of by the named groups. Today the Presiding Bishopric continues to hold that function and reports at General Conferences in April about how the money was used. Doctrine and Covenants 120:1 “Disposed of by a council” The Council is composed of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the Presiding Bishopric” (C.R., April 1999, 26).