📖 Come, Follow Me Doctrine and Covenants Lesson 42: October 11–17 “His Sacrifice Shall Be More Sacred unto Me Than His Increase” Doctrine and Covenants 115–120 📖
There was reason to be optimistic about the Saints’ newest gathering place, Far West, Missouri, in July 1838. The city was growing rapidly, the land seemed bountiful, and it was revealed that a short distance to the north lay Adam-ondi-Ahman, a place of great spiritual significance (see Doctrine and Covenants 107:53–56; 116). Still, it must have been hard for the Saints not to think about what they had lost. They had been driven from Independence, the appointed center place of Zion, and the chances of returning anytime soon probably seemed slim. In addition, the Saints had to flee Kirtland, Ohio, leaving their beloved temple after only two years. And this time it wasn’t just enemies outside the Church causing trouble—many prominent members had turned against Joseph Smith, including the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon and four members of the Twelve. Some may have wondered, Is the kingdom of God really growing stronger, or is it getting weaker?
Yet the faithful didn’t let questions like that stop them. Instead, they started building a new holy place, this time in Far West. They made plans for a new temple. Four new Apostles were called, including two—John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff—who would later become Presidents of the Church (see Doctrine and Covenants 118:6). The Saints learned that doing God’s work doesn’t mean you never fall; it means you “rise again.” And though you’ll have to give up some things, those sacrifices will be sacred to God, even “more sacred … than [your] increase” (Doctrine and Covenants 117:13).
D&C 115: Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, April 26, 1838, making known the will of God concerning the building up of that place and of the Lord’s house. This revelation is addressed to the presiding officers and the members of the Church.
D&C 116: Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, near Wight’s Ferry, at a place called Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri, May 19, 1838.
D&C 117: Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, July 8, 1838, concerning the immediate duties of William Marks, Newel K. Whitney, and Oliver Granger.
D&C 118: Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, July 8, 1838, in response to the supplication, “Show us thy will, O Lord, concerning the Twelve.”
D&C 119: Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, July 8, 1838, in answer to his supplication: “O Lord! Show unto thy servants how much thou requirest of the properties of thy people for a tithing.” The law of tithing, as understood today, had not been given to the Church previous to this revelation. The term tithing in the prayer just quoted and in previous revelations (64:23; 85:3; 97:11) had meant not just one-tenth, but all free-will offerings, or contributions, to the Church funds. The Lord had previously given to the Church the law of consecration and stewardship of property, which members (chiefly the leading elders) entered into by a covenant that was to be everlasting. Because of failure on the part of many to abide by this covenant, the Lord withdrew it for a time and gave instead the law of tithing to the whole Church. The Prophet asked the Lord how much of their property He required for sacred purposes. The answer was this revelation.
D&C 120: Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, July 8, 1838, making known the disposition of the properties tithed as named in the preceding revelation, section 119.