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Come Follow Me Insights (Doctrine and Covenants 37-40, Apr 12-18) – powered by Happy Scribe
I’m Taylor, and I’m Tyler, and I’m Ken Alford.
This is Book of Mormon Central’s Come, Follow Me Insights.
Today, Doctrine and Covenants, sections 37-40. And we’ve invited our friend and colleague Ken Alford to join us today.
Well, Ken, it’s a real privilege to have you join us today because these are some very, very important sections in the in the unfolding restoration and in the establishment of the church in this initial gathering. Question for you initially would be from a thirty thousand foot overview, looking at sections thirty seven, thirty three nine forty, what would you hope that people would would walk away with?
I would ask you to think about a couple of questions and put yourself in the position of these early church members. No one in the church at this point has been a member of the church even a year. And that includes the prophet. I mean, we’ve never had that situation. And in history, the prophet has been a member of the church less than a year. And and then on the 30th of December, in 1830, Joseph received instructions from the Lord that they are to gather.
And so I would just ask you to keep these questions in mind.
And the first question is, individually for you, what’s been the greatest sacrifice that you have been asked to make for the kingdom of God?
You know, being a church member has lots of little things that we do. But what’s the biggest sacrifice that you as an individual have been asked to give to the Lord?
The second question that I would ask is, you know, in this interesting period that we’re living in right now, how easily do we as individuals accept and embrace change? Because change is, you know, change is one of those things. It happens whether you want it to or not. But how we deal with change, I think is. A totally individual determination and probably a third question that I would ask is, you know. Why why do things happen in our lives and how do we react to that so those those questions, I guess, would be kind of the overriding questions as we look at sections thirty seven, thirty eight, thirty nine and forty and and also just one very broad general concept is the doctrinal concept of gathering that that concept.
We will talk about it in various ways here.
But if you can just kind of keep those things, sacrifice, change and gathering in your mind as we begin in these sections, that’s really powerful because at this stage of the church, our membership is not localized at all.
It’s spread out throughout New York, throughout now Ohio, because of those four missionaries who went on that journey to the to the west, converting people and baptizing them and establishing the churches, they went and we’re kind of scattered. And so we’re going to introduce this gathering.
And the Lord knows he wants very soon to build a temple. And that’s really hard to do in the 18 thirties if you got people living across New York and and you’re not together. Yeah.
So as we dove in, you’re going to be seeing God work with these people. But this question right here becomes really important because the timing in my mind, the timing couldn’t be worse as far as testing their their faith.
And what are you willing to sacrifice because of the time of year and the situations going on the world in eighteen, thirty, eighteen, thirty one. The world not just not just the US at that time, but the world is in is in upheaval. There’s a lot that’s happening now from the perspective of the twenty first century.
Things look pretty calm. But for the period at the time, Joseph frequently mentions in his his journals and has his scribes note his concern over world events and kind of these these closing days. And they see it in that perspective. So Section thirty seven, just to set the stage, section thirty seven is a really short section in the previous video Tylor that you and Taylor did, you discussed the events of the mission to the laminitis and the mission to find where Zion was led by Oliver Cowdrey and those four missionaries that went out.
Well, as a result of that and some of the baptisms in the Kirtland Mentor Ohio area, we have Sidney Rigdon and Edward Partridge’s who will soon become the first bishop of the church. He doesn’t know that yet. He’s a hatter, by the way. He makes he makes hats and they travel to New York to meet Joseph when Section thirty five is receive. Sydney is called as Joseph Scribe, which is very helpful for Joseph because his scribe, Oliver, had been sent out to to Missouri, to the borders of the laminitis, as it says in the revelation.
And so Sydney takes that calling to be scribe, very serious. And Joseph in Sydney actually go to Canandaigua, New York. It’s it’s near Fayette. And they go to Kennedy, go and do some translating. And as they are translating, this is a copy of what’s called a Fiani Cooperstown Bible. This is not the original that Joseph and Sydney used. But I will tell you, the original looks exactly like this. It has this leather tooled cover and it’s a very large print Bible.
And this is what they’re using as they’re doing the Joseph Smith translation. And in those weeks prior to Section thirty seven being received, they finish up Chapter five of what we know is the Book of Moses. Then they get Chapter six, then they get into Chapter seven. Now, interestingly, those verses in the Book of Moses are about what will in large measure, they’re about Đinđić and Joseph learns from the Lord through revelation he is able to expand on the account of Enoch.
That’s in this very brief in the in the Old Testament as we have it in the King James version. But he learns about Enoch and how Enoch did two interesting things. He gathered the people and he created a Zion. Now, isn’t the timing on that just interesting? Because in section thirty seven, what does the Lord invite Joseph to do? Wait a minute, Ken.
So what you’re saying is, is that sometimes the way of revelation might work.
Is God will take things that we have been focusing on in our scripture study. As those ideas come into our mind and into our heart, and he’ll take those and then he’ll help us find application for those principles in our life today, is that what you’re saying?
Oh, I’m going to guess that the people watching this have had that experience where you you hear a general conference talk or you read something in the scriptures or you see something in Come, Follow Me or something somewhere comes to your attention. And then in the next while you see it again and again and again and for the previous portion of your life, that verse might as well not even have existed. You just really didn’t notice it. And as soon as you read it or learn about it, it just keeps reappearing and the Lord keeps teaching you additional things.
That’s just one of the really fun things about about life and learning from the gospel. I love that.
Now, one thing that we we need to pause here for a second and discuss is, is the GST, because it goes on pause right here, they’re told in section thirty seven to to kind of put a hold on that for now.
It’ll, it’ll come back, they’re going to finish it. But keep in mind, Joseph started translating now. That’s an interesting word that we use, because the key he will use the word, the translation of the Bible in in some of these sections coming up.
But traditionally in the twenty first century, when when I say to somebody, I translated that the implication is that I know two languages and I know them well. And I’m taking something out of one language that I know translating it into another language that I know.
The fact is, is that this stage 18 30, Joseph Smith does not know Egyption, he doesn’t know Hebrew, he doesn’t know Greek, he doesn’t know the languages of ancient scripture. But he’s still through the help of the Holy Ghost and other prophetic means, he’s still making a translation of sorts, even though he may not know those original languages, God knows them. The Spirit knows them. And it’s fascinating to see that you have you have over 30, 600 verses in this Bible that he goes through, that he’s going to make changes 30, 600 plus.
And then there are hundreds of additional verses that are added to this to this inspired version of the Bible that he’s creating that don’t even appear here. And as Ken was talking, many of them are going to be in Enos story, the Book of Moses, for instance, you get Moses chapters one through eight in your pearl of great price. Those are the equivalent of Genesis, Chapter one through Chapter six, verse 13.
You’re noticing that there’s a lot added that doesn’t ever appear in the Holy Bible, which, by the way, causes a little bit of.
Potential discussion, and even at times contention among some of the early members were Josef’s teaching things about the Garden of Eden and about the fall of Adam and now Đinđić and building up of Zion, that they haven’t read these things before. This is new for years. It was kind of distrusted because many thought that some other people had probably changed some of the things Joseph did.
It was Robert Jay Mathews from our church who did his master’s and PhD research on it, and he brought it back to the church. And actually what had happened was Brigham Young had actually sent I believe it was John Byrne. Heisel it may have been another early member of the church, but he sent sent an emissary over to Emma Smith, asked for the manuscript of the Joseph Smith translation, and the church had been told to publish it. We’ll see that later as we get into Section one twenty four.
Well, William Law was commanded to publish it, but did not do so. And Emma kept it basically as personal property. She had carried it out. That’s another story that I’m sure will come in future weeks. But Emma did not give the manuscript up. And as a result, we kind of did distrust it because it was published by the reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints in eighteen sixty seven. And we had just little bits.
We had the Book of Moses. And the reason we had that is because it was published in Nauvoo in a newspaper called The Times and Seasons. And we had the Joseph Smith Matthew. But we just didn’t have very, very much from it up until nineteen eighty, eighty one and and sorry, nineteen seventy nine when the new Bible came out in nineteen eighty one when the doctrine of covenants came out. But Genesis this Moses it actually begins with Genesis zero I would say because Moses one is a chapter before the Old Testament actually begins.
And the Joseph Smith translation. Fascinating topic. Now you can find lots of resources on the church’s website about the Joseph Smith translation. It’s been known by various names. The Lord calls it the translation. He also calls it the new translation. That’s how Joseph referred to it. It’s then also called the inspired version when it was published in eighteen sixty seven. And it was it became known as the Joseph Smith translation in nineteen seventy nine. They were initially going to call it the the new translation and use the abbreviation Ente in our, in our Bibles.
But NTE had been taken, it was New Testament and so the Scripture Committee said, well it’s a translation that Joseph Smith did, let’s call it the Joseph Smith translation. And so today we know it is the GST.
Now there’s there’s one other element that we need to discuss regarding the translation of the Bible.
And then then we’re going to move on. Some people have assumed that what Joseph is doing, these 30, 600 plus change or verses that are changed, plus the additions that are made. In many cases, there’s an idea out there that what Joseph is doing is restoring the original and all of these thousands of cases.
The fact is, Joseph has a variety of reasons for making changes, in some cases, he’s restoring what the original author wrote like Moses one as an example that we don’t have. In other cases, he’s modernizing the language he’s making. He’s turning things like WIST into no, I wished not versus I knew not. And it had absolutely nothing to do. What any of the original writers of the scriptures, whether we’re Hebrew or Greek, what they wrote, because it wasn’t attached to that.
There are other times where Joseph is making changes that a prophet has that right, a seer and revelator has that right to take scripture and make it more accessible doctrinally to to teach or expound on a doctrine or to clarify where modern language may be has shifted the meaning of a word or a phrase or a concept.
It’s his right to say this is what the prophet meant. He never he didn’t have to write it that way. He didn’t it didn’t have to get translated that way. But for us now, this is what he meant. And if if the Lord were here redoing this, this is how it would come out. What I’m saying is there are a variety of reasons for the various changes that occur. The problem comes when you assume that all of the changes we’re trying to make it exactly the way as it came from the pen originally that may or may not be the case, but don’t you love the fact that we live in a church where we’re open to God, giving us more revelation, more clarification?
We believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God and to me that the Joseph Smith translation is kind of a little fruit of that root doctrine that we have, and it does all of that and.
There are many kinds of changes made, one other thing it does, though, is it serves it’s the way I think the Lord teaches Joseph the gospel.
Joseph learns the gospel through two major translation efforts The Book of Mormon. And the Joseph Smith translation, one thing that I would just encourage you to look for throughout this year as you study the doctrine and covenants is to look for a connection between Joseph’s efforts, translating the Joseph Smith translation and sections in the doctrine and covenants. There are literally dozens of sections that come about because Joseph or a member of the church had questions because of what Joseph had learned while doing the Joseph Smith translation.
And it’s beautiful to see that Joseph got answers to Revelation. We learned scriptural doctrines and the restoration unfolded in large measure through the doctrine of covenants because Joseph or somebody else ask a question. And I think the analogy there is, well, if I want to learn the gospel for myself, how do I do that? I study the word of the Lord, and when I don’t understand everything, I ask questions and we can learn the same way Joseph did absolutely that pattern.
President Ruslan Nillson has has pled with us to seek more inspiration and more revelation to hear him and the quickest way to hear him. Many of our profits and apostles and other church leaders have said is, open your scriptures, start studying them.
You’ll hear his voice. All right.
Now, section 37, verse one, we get an introduction to this this concept.
That that had to be revolutionary coming there the end of December 18 30. Behold, I said to you that it is not expedient to me that you should translate anymore until you shall gather or sorry, until you shall go to the Ohio. And this because of the enemy, for your sakes.
And I would just mention section twenty nine is where that term is first introduced in a previous lesson, and I’m sure that was mentioned and now it’s about to be operationalized. Now we’re going to actually do it. It’s going to go from theoretical to real. Very quickly here.
We’re going to move to the Ohio notice first to again, I say and to you that you shall not go until you have preached my gospel in those parts and strengthen up the church with whoever it is found and more especially in Colesville. I love that. That the Lord. We see in these verses well, throughout all of the scriptures, but we see it multiple times in the readings for this week. That the Lord says, I hear your prayers.
I know who you are. I know how I know your faith, I know your situation, and because of that. Let me help you out. I just I just know how to help you and those those good saints in Coleville, we’re going to see them well, in many future future weeks, they get battered from pillar to post, but they stay faithful. And they stay active, by and large, it’s a it’s an amazing it’s an amazing group of folks.
It’s interesting, Ken, because if you go back to your very first question that you posed at the beginning, what what are you willing to sacrifice for the Lord and for his gospel and for building up his kingdom on the earth? I think if we were to have any of those Colesville. Members of the church here today to ask them that question, I don’t think they would focus on how how hard those sacrifices were, because, like you said, that particular group is going to go through a portion of struggle.
But I think we watch the Lord shaping them and working with them through that intense opposition. If you want to talk about refining gold, that’s a that’s a group who had their gold refined. And they were they were remarkable. Now jump down to verse four, inverse three seven to close off that section, behold, here is wisdom and let every man choose for himself until I come. Even so, I mean, you’ll notice throughout the doctrine and covenants and quite frankly, throughout all of scripture and through any any dispensation of the gospel that God is saying to us basically without using these exact words in scripture, the phrase he’s giving is.
Do you trust me? Do you trust me? I’m God, I’m a creator of worlds without No. I hold them in my hand, my I can hear some I know my works. I’m powerful. I know everything. Do you trust me?
That’s the question every man choose for himself, this agency element that came out of his initial translation of of the Book of Moses and the Garden of Eden.
These questions are swirling around the people’s minds and he’s saying you get to choose for yourself. But don’t forget who I am and don’t forget who you are. One thing I like to think about is how many times, as Heavenly Father successfully taken his spirit, children through the plan of salvation with a winning result. It’s an infinite number of times, I mean, we it and then I look at it, how many times have I completely gone through the plan of salvation and its point?
Something it’s a zero point something. So. Hopefully, we’re wise enough to balance an infinite number of successful results. With our zero point something experience and recognize that when the Lord says, you can trust me, here’s my hand, take my hand, I know how to do this. These are the these are the ways you should live your life, their commandments. These are the relationships we can establish with ordinances and covenants. And take my hand.
I’m going to give you some help. I’m going to give you the scriptures. I’m going to give you prophets. I’m going to give you Postles. I’m going to give you the Holy Ghost. I’m going to do everything I can for you. But as it says that the universe. Thirty seven let every person choose for for themselves until I come. I’ve got all these things. I’ve set it up. I know how this works. I can bring you safely home, but you you still get to choose.
I’m not going to force you to do it. So what happens then? We have this on the 30th of December, three days later, just three days later on the 2nd of January, eighteen thirty one, the church holds its third conference. They’re holding their conference in Fayette. And so I don’t know if we have a count of the number of people that assemble for the conference, but it’s not huge. There’s there’s no big auditoriums and halls and there’s not that many members of the church at that time anyway.
But they assemble in Fayette. So Josephine City come back from Canandaigua, they assemble there. And Joseph stands up in the conference and teaches the Saints brothers and sisters. Just three days ago, the Lord called us to gather to the Ohio. And here’s what’s been happening with Oliver and and and brother Peterson and Charlie Pratt and Peter Wittmer Jr., who are out there teaching. They’ve had phenomenal success. And the Lord is calling us together for all these little branches in the New York area and joined with those saints in Cortland.
And he’s calling us to do that. Now. Now, if I was a member of of one of those little branches. I don’t know, I might have I might have a question, and that question might be. Why Kirtland and why now, Joseph, I don’t know if you’ve checked the calendar, but it’s you know, I looked outside and it was January and I own a farm and there’s not a lot of folks looking for farms in January in upstate New York.
And as you pointed out, there aren’t a lot of folks looking for Tobii Farms period in eighteen thirty one in eighteen, thirty, thirty one and so. There’s got to be some way questions, and in fact, the history of the church says the Saints, basically I’m going to paraphrase, but basically inquired of Joseph, and I think that’s probably a loaded phrase. I’m guessing there was some serious inquiry of Joseph regarding why now, why this just why.
And so Joseph inquires during the conference and receives Section thirty eight. This is when something really interesting about Section thirty eight, most of the commandments we received from the Lord. The Lord does not give a postscript saying, here’s my reasons why. And here, section thirty eight is basically. But think about it, this is the first time when was the last time Saints of God were asked to gather and build Zion? How many centuries had that been? It had been millennia.
And and so the Lord takes that early church by the hand and he says, let me help you out, we’re going to go with Joseph, I’m going to help you out with the Saints. I’m going to give you Section thirty eight and brothers and sisters. Here’s some reasons why you should gather. And by the way, here’s the blessings I’m going to give you if you do that. And that’s what Section thirty eight is all about. So just as a side note, to bring this out of the 18, 30 thirty one time frame into the twenty first century and into our modern day today.
What is President Nelson? Repeatedly been inviting the church to do with regards to this and how does it apply to us, this gathering effort is not exclusively important to them. This is it’s growing.
And it’s important that President Nelson said this is this is from October of twenty twenty in general conference.
He said for them, more than 36 years I’ve been an apostle. The doctrine of the gathering of Israel has captured my attention.
Interestingly, if you go back and you look at President Nelson’s addresses in general conference and other addresses that he’s given from the time he was called as a general authority, this doctrine of gathering Israel has been a constant and recurring theme throughout his teachings. I wonder if maybe we’re listening a little closer now that he’s the prophet, but it’s been a consistent theme and he said. Everything about it is intrigue me. When we speak of gathering Israel on both sides of the veil, we are referring, of course, to missionary temple and family history work.
We are also referring to building faith and testimony in the hearts of those with whom we live, work and serve. Any time we do anything that helps anyone on either side of the veil to make and keep their covenants with God, we are helping together Israel.
Any time we do anything that helps anyone on either side of the veil. Oh, my gosh, least can we really be any any more inclusive there? Any time we do anything that helps anyone on either side of the veil to make and keep Covenant’s with God, we are helping to gather Israel.
Oh. Yay for the causes and I mean, what a great what a great what a great statement. And and so section thirty eight kind of the Lord kind of pulls back the curtain. He does that sometimes in the scriptures. You know, when we don’t understand, he’ll pull it back enough so we can understand, but not so much that he overwhelms us in a section 38. He’s pulling back that curtain for us so that those saints could see there’s a bigger purpose here.
And as much as they’ll understand from Section thirty eight, the Lord also knows if you’re gathered at Kirtland, I can tell you about temples and you can build a place where we can have additional priesthood keys restored.
But the Saints have to show their faith and gather to Kirtland first before they ever learn about any of that. And that’ll be in future lessons in future weeks that’ll come. So as we look at Section thirty eight, one of the things you might want to do is you go through that section is just look, what are some of the things that the Lord is saying are the reasons why he’s having them do that? Because, again, this is one of those rare times when the Lord says, I’m going to let you see a little bit of things from my side.
And it starts right in verse to in verse two of section thirty eight. The Lord says when he’s talking about himself, he says, for all things are present before my own eyes. In other words, whether you live in Fayette or Palmyra or Coleville, wherever you are, I know who you are. I know everything about everything, and I know what’s for your best good. And this gathering to Ohio is so going to be for your everlasting benefit.
Once again, you can almost hear him asking the unwritten question, do you trust me? Or maybe the better question, to what extent do you trust me? You’ll notice the opening of Section thirty eight because of the degree of sacrifice there’s going to be required of this group, you can see verse one, two, three, four, five.
The Lord’s putting a little extra emphasis on identity as far as who he is, who we are. Just sure. A quick quote with you from October 20, 20 general conference as well from Sister Michelle Craig.
She said, Perhaps the most important things for us to see clearly are who God is and who we really are.
Sons and daughters of heavenly parents with a divine nature and eternal destiny. Ask God to reveal these truths with to you, along with how he feels about you, the more you understand your true identity and purpose so deep, the more it will influence everything in your life. That’s exactly what I see going on here, is God clearly establishing identity because these people, quite frankly, I don’t know how many of you would be willing to just up and walk away from a home and a bunch of land that you’ve developed and just walk away, in some cases in the middle of the winter to to go out into the frontier.
This is this is not an easy task.
But I love the fact that as we watch God working with shaping molding these saints through these these historical events as they unfold, that you’re you’re watching some shrink and fall away.
You’re watching others, it seems that they’re just holding the course. But others just seem to be refined. They when when they come to the end of their life, they’re they’re a totally different person than they were at the beginning. And I love the fact that now you translate that into our day today, can without being too personal, your family’s been called to go through some pretty difficult and trying things this last year and years. And what effect does it have on your on your relationship with God, on your sense of identity, of who God is and who you are?
Yeah, just very briefly, we’ve had some experiences, not myself, but those near and dear. We’ve had leukemia in the family. We’ve had continuing cancer challenges in the family and other other other challenges. And I guess through all of it, the thing that’s just been really amazing is that. Heavenly Father can comfort infinitely, and he knows the end from the beginning, and we don’t know how some of these stories are going to turn out yet. But it’s going to be OK.
You know, to two quotes just come to mind on this topic, elder Heils Robert de Hales, who had continuing health problems, heart problems and other problems, he made a statement in nineteen ninety eight in general conference and he said this. This was in the October conference. He said, quote, I have come to understand how useless it is to dwell on the whys, the what ifs and the only issues for which there are likely to be given no answers in mortality.
To receive the Lord’s comfort, we must exercise faith. The questions, why me, why our family, why now are usually unanswerable questions. These questions detract from our spirituality and can destroy our faith. We need to spend our time and our energy building our faith by turning to the Lord and asking for strength to overcome the pains and trials of this world and to endure to the end for greater understanding. Know another general authority that that the church watched his trials was elder elder Scott Elder Richard Scott, who lost his his wife, Janine, and he shared this in nineteen ninety five.
He said, quote, It really does no good to ask questions that reflect opposition to the will of God, rather ask What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my blessings in times of trial? You know, nobody nobody gets out of this life alive. Mortality is an interesting experience, but I think one of the things that’s just such a blessing of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is to have the Holy Ghost and the comfort in the bigger picture to know that, I mean, the the knowledge of the plan of salvation is worth everything.
And the Saints in this early time in this you know, the church is only eight months old. The Lord’s already taken by the hand and starting to lay this foundation for them so they can do that maybe to just be appropriate. This Brigham Young, this called together, you know, we talk about it, I think sometimes a little bit too much abstract. My family followed me around the world for almost 30 years in the military. I served in the army and and we got moved every couple of years.
And so these verses in church history where they’re called to move and uproot themselves, they were very real for fear for my family because we did it all the time.
But I want to just share with you a statement that Brigham Young made. Brigham Young joined the church, came into the church in the Kirtland area era, and he didn’t join at this period. It was actually about two years later, two and a half years later. But let me just share Brigham statement with you, because I think it gives a feel for these early saints. Here’s what Brigham said. This is from the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11 quote, When we arrived in Kirtland, If any man that ever did gather with the Saints was poorer than I was, it was because he had nothing.
I had two children to take care of. That was all. I was a widower. Brother Brigham, had you any shoes? No, not a shoe to my foot, except a pair of borrowed boots.
I had no winter clothing except a homemade coat that I had had for three or four years. Any pantaloons, pants? No. What did you do? Did you go without. No, he said I borrowed a pair to wear till I could get another pair. But here’s the key. Here’s the key, here’s how he ends that reminiscence. He says. But Joseph said, come up. And I went up the best I could. I think that just speaks volumes, what a difference that would make in the church if when we raise our hand to sustain our our profits and regulators, if we gave them that kind of sustaining.
Faith in Christ, that he’s giving us the direction that we need to do things the best we could as it comes from the prophets or our leaders. What a beautiful principle. Now, let’s dove into these beautiful words. Section thirty eight. You’ll notice verse one through five or one through four. Like we said, it’s this this incredible introduction of identity where verse one by the Lord, your God, even Jesus Christ the great. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning of the end, which look at the pond, the wide expanse of eternity and the seraphic hosts of heaven before the world was made.
I know all things. Verse two, I’ve created everything. Verse four, I am the same which have taken the city of or the Zion of Enoch into my own bosom. That’s that’s going to mean more to Joseph at that point as context now. And he finishes all of this and then notice the very first word of verse five after introducing his grand identity. The very first word, a verse five is. But it’s this in spite of all of that.
Behold the residue of the wicked have I kept in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day, even though I’ve got all of this amazing stuff to give?
There are still people who refuse to let me be their God, and I’ve reserved some judgment for them. Verse six. And even so will I cause the wicked to be kept that will not hear my voice but harden their hearts and market. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Three. It’s their doom. Brothers and sisters, that is a very significant verse here we are, it’s it’s right after New Year’s Day. It’s a day later in eighteen thirty one, and we’re we’re getting ready to gather designed to to Kirtland, rather.
And God is pronouncing the triple-O on this group of people who prefer to live in darkness and in chains rather than walk in the light. The triple wall only appears twice in The Book of Mormon in second Nephi chapter twenty eight, verse fifteen and in third Nephi nine, right before he returns, right before coming to the to the Nephites only minutes.
And then you get it here. And then there’s one other time where it appears. So there are four triple wolves. The other one is in Revelation Chapter eight where he’s going to pronounce these these three wolves in a row. It’s this superlative curse of doom and destruction, so to speak. Don’t you love the fact that verse seven, after he gets through with the triple whoa, what is the very first word of her? Seven, but. Again, in spite of this now, but behold, verily, I say to you that mine eyes are upon you, I’m in your midst and you can’t see I can see you, but he says you can’t see me.
You’re not seeing me. I wonder I wonder if we could take Section thirty eight and ponder it in our day today and look around and say there are some pretty crazy things going on in our in our world today in all countries of the world. And there there are some pretty difficult situations. And then come back to verse seven, but.
And then trust that God’s eyes really are upon us, that he’s in our midst and then verse, but notice the first word, by the way, this section is one of my favorites for doing this, where you take the first word of each verse and it really sets the stage.
He he he gives you a precursor for exactly what he’s going to tell you. And it flows in this nice grammatical, logical chain of of events here.
So the but the day soon comes that you shall see me and know that I am even though you don’t see me now the but gives us hope that it won’t always be that way. There will be a day when we can see him clearly. And then he says in nine, OK, now that you know this information, what do you do about it growing up your loins and that scripture talk for get to work. OK, you can look up on the Internet what it meant to Gurjit lines, tucking in your your tunic.
But he also says at the end of verse nine, I just love this look, it’s all worth it because the enemy shall not overcome. This is the only dispensation out of the history of the world. This is the only dispensation where the good guys win. And the good guys and gals win in spectacular fashion, ushering in the millennial reign of the savior and rolling up the earth into the celestial kingdom, I mean, the wind is so huge in this dispensation, but this is the only one in which good triumphs.
Ultimately, isn’t it fascinating that Joseph, he really, really gets excited about the dispensations and the dispensation heads through the history of time.
And there are lots of dispensations. But the seven that he keeps coming back to repeatedly are Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus himself. And then the seventh dispensation, the dispensation of the fullness of time, which is ours. You have all of these apostasies that have occurred with these falling away’s that have taken place, and there’s only one other dispensation that didn’t end in a complete apostacy, although once in a city is translated, the rest of the world is left in an apostacy.
And it’s fascinating that that is what is on Joseph’s mind more than anything right now, is I want to do what Enoch did. And the Lord is putting it on Joseph’s mind through multiple ways, through the Jesus translation, through this command together. And the theme of Building Zion is a continuing theme throughout this dispensation.
It’s going to occupy much of Joseph’s time. It’s going to move the church again after Kirtland into Zion, into Missouri. And it’s a it’s a continuing theme. And today we are still seeking to build Zion, where in the stakes of Zion, we’re trying to build Zion in the stakes.
And so as we look at we look at these verses, there’s just some wonderful, wonderful things in here. Section thirty eight is one of those sections, I think, that you can skim across the top. But if you’ll take just a minute and wade in a little bit, there’s some really cool things in this section.
Now, keep in mind that the magnitude of the day in which you and I live. Keep in mind that what God is now doing with this small handful of of, quite frankly, poor farmers and other trades tradesmen in Frontier America, what he’s trying, what he’s not trying, but what he is going to do with them eventually is what Enoch did with one city.
And keep in mind, timing is is difficult when it comes to the far back in the Old Testament time frame. But the biblical account gives Đinđić three hundred and sixty five years to create Zion in one city. You’ll notice what God is now doing in the dispensation of the fullness of times, what was accomplished in one city like Ken was saying, where do you gather? It’s not gathered in one city. It is here at this stage of the church.
But today it’s gather to the stakes across the world. God is turning this Zion concept into a global concept, not a one city, one location ideal.
And so then is section thirty eight continues. The Saints, the Lord again pass the curtain and he says there’s some things going on in the background that you just don’t know about, and he mentions it in in verse 13. He says there are things going on in secret chambers and they’re plotting your destruction. And he goes over and continues later in the verses and basically says, you talk about wars in other lands, but you don’t even know the hearts of of men in your own land.
Many have seen that as perhaps a precursor of the coming American civil war. But but also the fact that there are those that are are bent on destroying the church. St would have loved nothing more than to squash the church when its little young and helpless. So the Lord says, now the way I’m going to fix that is I’m going to pluck up all these individual branches. I’m going to move them and put them as a group because there’s safety in numbers and I’m going to put them there.
They’re going to be big enough to build a temple. They’re going to be away from everything else because Kirtland, Ohio, at that point, you know, Ohio is the Northwest Territories and it’s pretty rough. My family and I lived in New York for a while and we’ve seen the Coleville area and it is just lush and beautiful. And when you went to Kirtland, you had to clear the farm of original growth forest, which had to just be a trick in of itself.
And so the Lord describes that Kirtland area is a land of promise, land in verse 18, flowing with milk and honey. But it’s only that way after they clear the land and make it make it such. But there’s some fun, some fun comments and verses 14 and 15. The Lord says at the end of that verse, he says, I will be merciful unto you in your weakness. Therefore, be strong from henceforth, and so right now you’re just you’re just weak and I think of, you know, ether Chapter 12, where the Lord says, I’ll take weak things and your weaknesses and I’ll make them strong onto you.
And there’s a great quotation that I heard many years ago from from elder Neil Maxwell that I just think is just this kind of sums up this concept that even though we’re weak, the Lord can make us strong. And here’s here’s what elder Maxwell had to say. This was in a July nineteen seventy five enzyme magazine.
Quote, God does not begin by asking us about our ability. But only our availability. And if we prove our dependability, he will increase our capability. I just think that’s a great, great quote. God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only our availability. And if we prove our dependability, he will increase our capability. And that’s exactly what the Lord is doing here.
These I mean. By the standards of the nation, this is this is maybe a little more school to group, especially when they get out to Missouri and see the state of the folks in that frontier area. But these are not schooled people. These are not. You know, they’re not wealthy by the world’s standards, these are these are humble folks that the Lord has gathered up, you know, one of a family or one of a city. And and he tells them, though, in verse 19.
To to seek this with all their hearts and isn’t that a key to Tyler to making this all work? If we if you go in whole hog things, just things are just going to work out.
It’s interesting because it’s that idea of what is it that your heart really desires?
What do you what do you think about when you have nothing to think about? Where do you where does your mind and where does your heart go when it comes to life?
Why why are we here on this earth? What is it all about? All of the sacrifice, all of the trials, all the tribulations, all of the setbacks, all of the successes, all of the pleasures and the joys, put it all together and say, what is it really all about? And here I think we get this this witness that President Nelson has emphasized again and again, there is no work that is more important. There is nothing going on on the Earth right now that is more important than the gathering of Israel and the building up of Zion.
And then the Lord says in verse 20, to hear my voice and follow me and, you know, it’s been mentioned before, but it’s worth mentioning again, so many sections in the doctrine of covenants use the word Hakin. Now, I personally like that because my first name is Ken. And so I think it’s a personal invitation from the Lord because he begins the doctrine of covenants with here, Ken. But if you’re not, name’s not Ken.
I’m sorry, that doesn’t work for you. But but the key is he says, hear my voice and follow me. And then in twenty three, teach one another. So as we come to learn something, we teach it to our families, to our loved ones and to everyone who will listen. Love it. Verse twenty four. What a difference it would make in our world and in our society today if people would live verse twenty four, let every man esteem his brother as himself and practice virtue and holiness before me.
And then you’ll notice a very interesting shift, verse twenty six, this is this is an outlier in in the scriptures of the restoration. Why look closely for one man among you having 12 sons and it’s no respecter of them, and they serve him obediently and he stays under the one B. Thou clothed in robes and sit down here and the other be thou clothed in rags and sit down there and look upon his sons and say, yes, I am just that’s a really, really strange insert here.
Look at the qualification he gives in twenty seven. Behold this I have given unto you as a parable and it is even as I am I saying to you be one. And if you are not one, you are not my brothers and sisters. Are you noticing that one of Jesus’s favorite or preferred teaching techniques in his mortal ministry among the Jews in the Galilee and Jerusalem and throughout Judea is to teach in parables? But did you notice that when he came to the Nephites in third Nephi, he didn’t share a single parable that we have record of?
It doesn’t mean he didn’t. It just means we don’t have any record of it. If he did. And here in the in the doctrine and covenants, you would think, wow, he’s going to be able to share all kinds of parables with these people and you only get a couple of them. This is one of them in the in the doctrine and covenants where where he himself says, I’m given this kind of like a parable to you.
Why is that parables we’re given as this sitting side by side of concrete, well known situations that people would be familiar with in order to teach abstract truth and eternal truth? It’s kind of hard to wrap our heads around. It’s fascinating to me that in restoration scripture, God doesn’t need to do a lot of the sitting side by side. He just teaches directly. I guess what I’m saying is be grateful for the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the doctrine and covenants, he doesn’t have to veil or Cloke meaning behind parables and some symbolic placeholders.
He’s he really is just talking to us directly for the most part, isn’t he?
And you but you will find in the doctrine and covenants that the Lord explains gives little. Pieces, little portions of verses several times that explain his New Testament parables so that we can clearly understand them. And in fact, there’s there’s one instance I won’t steal the thunder of future weeks, but there is almost an entire section where the Lord explains the parable of the wheat and the tears. And he says, here’s what it man. They really didn’t understand it.
But here’s here’s what it is. I’m going to give it to you. Just write out. And so then we have. Yeah, that beautiful verse about about being one, and then he says, I tell you these things because of your prayers. You’ve been praying you want to know why you’re doing this? I’m going to I’m going to help you out and tell you these things. And then in verse 30. He says. I just love the ending of that verse.
In verse 30, where it says, if you are prepared, you shall not fear and you know, that does doesn’t apply to scriptural things, that applies to temporal preparedness. That applies to, you know, emotional preparedness. It it applies to financial preparedness. It applies to just everything. I think that is some of the most wonderful counsel we’ve ever been given, that if you just sit down and prepare one of the things while I was on active duty in the military, one of the things the military has to do is prepare for scenarios that we hope don’t occur.
But because you are prepared, if they do occur, whether it’s a natural disaster or whatever it might be, somebody already thought it through. We’re already prepared. You don’t have to panic in the moment. We know from the scriptures that there are interesting times coming. And it’s the Lord has said, you know, be wise. I’ve let you know these things are coming. I’m giving you the signs of the times. We’ll see other sections that are dedicated to that in future weeks.
But he’s saying, be wise, be prepared. And if you’re prepared, you just you know, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy to go through. The world’s gone through a, you know, a worldwide pandemic.
Not easy, but where preparation had occurred, it was easy and we were prepared.
Look at verse as we now begin to make this transition from New York to physically move that group of people. Notice there’s a group we haven’t even started making the move, but there’s a group that Jesus doesn’t want forgotten in all of this for thirty five. And they shall look to the poor and the needy and administer to their relief that they shall not suffer and send them for to the place which I have commanded them.
Isn’t that interesting that the guard has a special place in his heart for those who are sick and afflicted, fatherless widows, the poor, the needy does it exactly the same thing in Section 136, when the pioneers are getting ready to move out to the West. He specifically addresses the poor and the needy and says, how dare to get out there? They do the same thing when they’re leaving Kirtland. They do the same thing when they’re leaving Missouri. They do the same thing when they’re leaving every Nauvoo winter quarters, just every time.
Can we back up just just a verse? Thirty two, I think is a really important verse in verse thirty says where for for this cause. In other words, remember we said he’s he’s telling them why he just comes right out and says it. He says wherefore for this cause I gave under you the commandment that you should go to the Ohio. OK, folks, you’ve been waiting for it. Here it is. I’m going to tell you point blank.
And there I will give unto you my law. And if you check the footnote, it footnotes it to Doctrine and covenants section forty two. So just a little preview of a coming attraction next week. That section forty two is one of those sections that has. A nickname or a subtitle, and it is called The Law, and you’ll see next week for very good reason. But the Lord says, if you’ll show faith and go to the Ohio, I will give you my law and my law is here’s how you live.
If you want to be a zillion people and I’m going to give that to you when you get there. And, you know, looking forward to part two is and you shall be endowed with power from on high now in the 21st century. We hear that and we hear that word in doubt. And we immediately think of what Tylor the endowment temple. We absolutely do. But I’ve got to believe in eighteen thirty one in January on the 2nd of January when they heard this.
That’s not the first thing that popped into their mind, but they did understand that God is going to give us a great gift, he’s going to just give us a great gift. Joseph said this about gathering because the Lord saying I’m causing you to gather Joseph said this. What is the object of gathering? When the people of God in any age of any age in the world, the main object was to build unto the Lord a house whereby he could reveal under his people the ordinances of his house and the glories of his kingdom and teach the people the way of salvation.
It is for the same purpose that God gathers together his people in the last days to build under the Lord a house, to prepare them for the ordinances and endowment’s washings and anointing, etc.. Now, coming from a military background. One thing that struck me about this is my wife and I had the opportunity as newlyweds to live in Europe.
And so one thing, I really love it. I love medieval castles. I’ve just. I can’t remember a lot of people’s names sometimes, but I remember every castle I’ve ever been to and when it was built just the way your brain works. But on medieval castles, they are built. So that, you know, this is stone and this is called a Merline and this is called. A crennel, and so this up and down and it’s on basically every medieval fortress, it’s called a translation.
And accreditation is built that way so that you can hide behind the Merline while you’re starring in your bow or reloading your weapon, and then you step into the criminal to take offensive action. And this is this is across the cross, the medieval world. Well, interestingly. When Brigham Young. Was telling the scenes how the Salt Lake Temple should be built. Because I’d say the Salt Lake Temple is probably the most iconic of all the all the temples.
When Brigham Young sent out through an angel over to Europe, instructed him to look at cathedrals and castles and stately buildings, and then brother, brother Angel came back and Brigham and Brother Angel as they design the Salt Lake Temple. When you look at a picture of the Salt Lake temple, that temple is filled on almost every edge. With translations. Because what did Translation’s do in medieval castles? They protected the people on the inside. And what is the purpose of the temple?
It’s to protect us against the world and to boot, to endow us with power and to give us the ordinances. And covenants that we need to return to our heavenly father. And so I can’t look at the Salt Lake Temple and not see those translations first, that’s the first thing I notice every time I look at a picture of the Salt Lake Temple. And I hope you will, too, in the future and recognize I think the Lord is sending us a very visible symbol in that building because in stone, the Salt Lake Temple has way more symbolism on the on the in the stone of that building.
But it applies to every temple in the world that it’s a place of refuge. It’s a house of the Lord. It’s a place to learn, but it’s a place of safety. And a place where we can be endowed with power. What a I just think that’s just a wonderful metaphor. Beautiful can. And it brings us back again to what you emphasized at the bottom verse 30. Again, if you are prepared, you shall not fear you’re not out in the open where you can be destroyed by the enemy who is combined against you.
The Lord also warns them in verse thirty nine against pride.
And Boy, just coming off a book of Mormon Come, Follow Me year, we saw that the Lord once or twice in the Scriptures. And isn’t it interesting that he did? He invokes the actual book The Book of Mormon people who who fell to pride lest you become as the neophytes of old well and then he says in verse really says in verse 40 a commandment OK, go with your might labor with your hands. We are commanded to build Zion. And then he says, I’m forty one.
Let your preaching be the warning voice every man to his neighbor in mildness and in meekness. We are out there not by way of commanding. We’re not trying to compel. We are inviting. I love that. In Section twenty one it says basically the mission of the church is to invite everyone to come under Christ, and that’s our invitation is to just invite. And then he says in verse forty to go yell from among the wicked. We’re going to pull you out from all these different places in New York and in parts of Pennsylvania and that those areas and plant yourself in Kirtland.
And then the Lord closes with be clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. Tyler, do you want to what imagery is the Lord giving us here?
It’s beautiful because in Old Testament times and then into the New Testament as well, the imagery of of cleanliness in burying the vessels of the Lord, it it sees its fulfillment throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament. This idea of if a priest is called, for instance, to bear certain vessels in the temple or the tabernacle anciently there, there are extremely stringent cleanliness rituals. They have to go through, changing their clothes, taking a ritual bath, washing of the hands, the the anointing there.
There are a whole bunch of elements that go into this. And while those are physical and literal in nature in antiquity, I think he’s bringing it to us today. Be clean that the vessels of the Lord. I love one of the little adjustments that was made in the temple recommend interview. Where there’s that added statement that the Lord has said that all things are to be done in cleanliness before him. I think there’s power in that that that virtue, that holiness, that striving to be clean before the Lord in all things.
There’s a wonderful statement from President Gordon B. Hinckley. He he said in the April nineteen ninety six general conference quote, Be clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. Thus, has he spoken to us in modern revelation and then President Hinckley adds, be clean and body, be clean and mind, be clean in language, be clean in dress and manner and just kind of kind of sums it up.
Well, section thirty eight. I hope you’ll give section thirty eight a good look. And now we move into two sections, thirty nine and forty because they’re kind of a matched pair. Yeah. That you can’t have one without the other. Can’t, can’t have one without the other. I would add that the research from the great scholars at the Joseph Smith Papers project have helped us understand in recent years that Section thirty nine was given one day before Section forty.
All we used to know earlier was that it was sometime in January, but they’ve now determined that it was on the 5th of January and the 6th of January. James Carville, a little bit about him. He is a Protestant minister. He’s been teaching he’s been teaching Christianity for about 40 years. He’s been a circuit a religion writer. He travels around to various areas preaching. He hears the gospel preached in the Canandaigua area. When Joseph and Sidney are there, they give they give a presentation, I believe, in a large hall.
There he hears the gospel and he approaches Joseph. And as it says in the section heading, it says he covenant with the Lord that he, James, would obey any command that the Lord would give him through Joseph the Prophet. Well, Section 39 is the list of commands that James Colville receives, he’s told to do several things he’s told to. Teach the gospel, he’s told to go and gather to Zion, he’s told to go west. That’s going to be a little uncomfortable for him because he’s always taught to the east his whole life.
But he’s he specifically told in verse 14, go to the Ohio and to do all these various things. And remember, he had told the Lord, I’ll do whatever he told me to do, whatever you asked me to do, but. Let me just point out for six for just a second, this is one of the few times in the scriptures where the Lord defines the gospel. There’s these verses are kind of just just put in kind of like the cherry on the on the top of the cupcake several times in the scriptures.
But they’re but they’re not that frequent. And this is this is one that’s in the doctrine and covenants. And it says in verse six and this is my gospel. Repentance. And baptism by water and then come with the baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost, even the comforter, and I love this definition of the Holy Ghost, which show with all things and teaches the peaceable things of the kingdom. You know, if you look at the great need of the world right now, I would suggest that one of the great needs of the world is just for people.
To esteem each other, to respect each other and just let peace prevail and a holy that’s what the Holy Ghost is all about, it’s to show all things and to teach peaceable things that you can’t be riled up and upset and feeling contempt. If you have the Holy Ghost with you, it’s just incompatible. This is fascinating, if you if you can get beyond the black words on the white page, if you can try to visualize what it’s actually like for a man like James Carville, who and by the way, if you have the nineteen seventy nine nineteen eighty one addition of the scripture, I guess nineteen eighty one edition of the triple combination, if you look in your section heading, it lists James Carville and it tells you he was a Baptist minister for about 40 years.
If you have the twenty thirteen edition of the Scriptures or if you look at the the gospel tools, the online version of the Scriptures, you’re going to notice that his name is spelled James Carville. And it tells you that he was a Methodist minister, not a Baptist minister. Almost a decade after this happened is when Joseph and others seem to be remembering back and writing down some of the details, and they apparently got some of the details wrong because again, well, there actually was a James Carville minister in the New York area just quite a ways away.
And they figured and scholars have figured out this this James Carville.
Now, keep in mind, he’s been a minister in the Methodist faith, traveling throughout. He’s very experienced 40 years worth of preaching on top of all of his growing up years. Joseph Smith. He’s just barely turned twenty five years old. He’s not even a year in the church having been established, and here he has this, this guy who he James Carville knows the Bible pretty well. He’s had a lot of experience working with people in a lot of life situations.
And I love the fact that God speaks to him so tenderly, so gently and so powerfully at the same time through the mouth of a twenty five year old farm boy who, quite frankly, if we were to have a final exam at this point on on the Bible, I could be wrong. Jesus had a lot of training from heaven at this point. But I think as far as the nuts and bolts of the Bible are concerned, I’ll bet James Carville would do pretty well on that test.
And yet, here’s God speaking through Joseph to him, calling him to an amazing work to do to perform. Look at verse eight. Verily, I see into the thine heart is now right before me at this time. If you like marking your scriptures, you might want to circle the word is because that’s present tense. January 5th. James, your heart is right before me. You’re in a good place. You’re humble, you’re meek. You’re willing to do anything I’ve asked you to do.
So I’m going to give you some amazing things to accomplish. And then what happens is James James Caldwell gets this revelation and the record says that the next day he’s just gone. He just disappears. And so Joseph and Sidney are wondering themselves where James go covenanted that he would do everything the Lord said. I got this wonderful revelation for him and now he’s gone. So I guess there’s the possibility that he went west and he started teaching, but that is not the case.
So Joseph inquires of the Lord and receive Section forty, so they learn about James Carville’s decision. Now note it’s one day later James Carville’s covenant to do whatever the Lord commands through his prophet Joseph LARC. One day. And the Lord says this, it’s just three short verses, he said, behold, verily, I say and to you that the heart of my servant, James Carville. Was right, so in on the fifth, his heart is right, he’s willing to be baptized, he’s willing to do whatever the Lord asks, and then he.
Force makes it and never joins the church. And then the landlord says the reasons why in verse verse two, he said, and he received the word with gladness, but straight Satan tempted him. And the fear of persecution and the cares of the world caused him to reject the word. And don’t you love history, wherefore he broke my covenant, this is a covenant that God made and tried to establish with him and it remains with me to do with him as same as me.
Good. Amen. There’s a closure there that basically says to all of us, it’s not your place to judge James. That’s my job. I’ll take care of that. And we don’t know. So it’s not our job to say, man, what a terrible guy. The fact is, is none of us can judge his situation. Only only the Lord can now, rather than ending on that particular note. Let’s end on a on a higher note back in Section thirty nine.
Something that he is told that I think, quite frankly, applies to us every bit as much as it did to James Carville on January 5th of eighteen thirty one versus 10. Behold the days of thy deliverance or come if once again you could circle the word if this is conditional, if thou wilt hearken to my voice which says unto the and then you can fill in the blank with whatever the voice of the Lord has has prompted you with either from the Scripture study, from listening to the living prophets, from your patriarchal blessing, from other inspired revelation that you’ve received personally moved forward.
And then he says, and you shall receive my spirit and a blessing so great as you never have known. And if there it is again, if thou do this, I have prepared the for a greater work.
Now, as you study this week through these sections, you’re going to find we haven’t even talked about all of the incredible stories that we have in the Saints volume and in the other revelations in context, resources that the church has provided for us of the incredible sacrifices and miracles and setbacks and triumphs that these different groups have to go through in order to move from upstate New York to to the Ohio.
But you can see God working with these people, shaping them and refining them.
Just a closing thought. There’s a dream that Joseph Smith, prophet of the church around the turn of the 20th century, there’s a dream he had thinking back to the the way section thirty eight in this scripture block ends with the charge from the Lord to be clean. And Joseph Smith says that in his dream, he was he was going to meet important people. And along the way he felt impressed to stop and to take a bath and to put on new clothes.
And when he shows up, he’s greeted by many of the early members of the church. And his father, Hiram Smith, is there. Joseph Smith is there. And and he’s chided a little bit for being late.
And he looks at them and admits he’s late, but he says yes. But I am clean. And then Joseph Smith, when he would share this dream, would talk about the importance of being clean before the Lord. And. What a wonderful opportunity the Lord has given us to understand those things that we can do to become clean. From the from the world and be able to return to his presence, if we will take advantage of the atonement and and repentance, I just want to share my my testimony that these sections came from a prophet of God.
Yay for Joseph Smith, prophet of this restoration. I just want to share my testimony with you. This is a prophet of God. He holds the keys of this dispensation. And I am an next to Jesus Christ, he’s done more than anyone else has ever lived for the salvation of man. We learn of the savior because of what we’ve learned through Joseph Smith. I just want to just want to leave that testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ Damon.