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- Doctrine and Covenants 14:2 — 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝙶𝚘𝚍 𝚒𝚜 “𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚌𝚔 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚙𝚘𝚠𝚎𝚛𝚏𝚞𝚕.”
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Come Follow Me Insights (Doctrine and Covenants 23-26, Mar 8-14) – powered by Happy Scribe
I’m Taylor and I’m Taylor. This is The Book of Mormon Centrals, Come, Follow Me Insight’s Today Doctrine and Covenants sections twenty three or twenty six. So let’s just jump right in. These are really fascinating sections. In fact, the time period they cover are really interesting. Now, before we jump into the historical context, let me put your mind to a thought. Have you ever started a new job or a new responsibility and had no idea what you’re doing?
And if so, did you go talk to other people who had more experience? Perhaps you found a mentor. Maybe you went to the Internet and looked for insight from people who’ve been in a similar job. Or maybe you went to YouTube and watch people who had done something similar or even perhaps there a company manual or a list of best practices. So as we consider these sections today, let’s remind ourselves that the early states in April, May, June and July of 18, 30, they’re brand new to the church.
In fact, the church is also brand new. It had only been restored in April of 1830. And so they didn’t have other people to go talk to. They didn’t have a handbook of instructions. They didn’t have YouTube or the Internet or a bunch of earthly mentors. Now, they did have access these early scenes to great resources to train them. That’s called revolution. And what we love about these sections here is that we’re seeing very real, very human people who have a deep desire to do their very best in the work of God, but had questions about how to do that.
Questions about how can I best fulfill my duties to God and fellow men and so some of these sections are, in that context revealed to help guide the early saints so they can serve well in building God’s kingdom. And as we look at these, you might ask yourself, what are the principles that these really saints learned and what can we do today in our life to apply these principles? In any situation we might find ourselves. And we might also then say we feel deep gratitude that these revelations have been preserved for us and we have prophets and all sorts of instructions and help and the great apparatus of support in the church to guide us in our duties, both within any responsibility, what might have the church, but as well as citizens of the world.
So our invitation to you is we dig deep into these chapters is remember that God guides his church and guides his people and those who are willing to ask for guidance will receive it.
So let’s jump in now with that historical context. Section twenty three is a compilation of revelations given to five different people very shortly after the church had been organized who come to Joseph saying, OK, now what?
So we get Oliver Cowdrey first, then Hyrum Smith, Joseph’s brother, then Samuel Smith, Joseph’s other brother, then Joseph Senior, his father, and then Joseph Knight.
Now, let’s watch for some themes and variations that the flow through these five different revelations that are all compiled into Section twenty three.
So first, Oliver.
Notice he’s told that he’s blessed and he’s under no condemnation, by the way.
You’ll notice that the Lord tells Oliver he’s not under condemnation. Hiram Samuel and Joseph Senior, all four of them are told you’re not under condemnation. That’s interesting, even though we don’t have all of the detail and all of the backstory and all the journal entries, so to speak, it seems that perhaps those four felt like they weren’t good enough, felt like maybe they had done too many wrong things, that they were condemned. And I love the fact that the Lord opens the section that’s given to each one of them, reminding them that they’re not under condemnation.
I guess it comes back to, John, three, 16 and 17 for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. And why did he send Jesus? It was to save us. He sent not his son into the world to condemn us. And I love that that comes through here. Thou art not condemned. And and my hunch is, is that many of many of you who are watching are much more prone to to forgive and be kind to people around you than you are to the person staring at you in the mirror.
I hope that you could hear the Lord’s sweet, still small voice whispering that you’re not condemned if you’re continually striving and trying your very best to move forward on the covenant path, you’re not condemned. Now, notice the next thing that Oliver Cowdrey’s has told the bottom of verse one, but beware of pride lest thou shouldst enter into temptation. We’ve seen it before that here’s this schoolteacher. He’s he’s way more educated, way more learned than Joseph.
And it it’s got this tendency, if he’s not careful, to lead to pride, to thinking he’s smarter than God’s seer, than God’s prophet and feeling like he needs to to have more power in this early church. And he’s told to beware of that pride. It’s interesting to note that Oliver Cowdrey is going to leave the church in eighteen thirty eight. So eight years later and then after a decade of being outside the church, he’s going to come back in.
But it’s his pride ultimately in eighteen thirty eight in Missouri that causes him to leave. And he was warned of that right here. So it’s interesting the words that God chooses to use, that we’re all familiar with this word. A lot of us fear becoming prideful. Let me show you a word that relates and actually comes from the same word as pride, actually a couple of words.
So the word first in front actually all come from the same word that the word pride does. And let’s dwell on these for just a moment, that those who are prideful put themselves first. Those are prideful, put themselves out in front. But consider this in God’s church, who’s out front? It’s Jesus, anybody who gets out in front of Jesus and wants to be first is going to mislead themselves and possibly others. Only Jesus should be first. God will choose servants to represent him, and that is his prophet and the apostles and in this case, just Joseph Smith was called to be the one who’s to be up front.
So Oliver is now given some direction in verse to make known my calling into the church and also before the world and thy heart shall be open to preach the truth from henceforth and forever. Amen.
So Oliver is given this assignment to go and preach the gospel, make it known to the church as well as to the world, which leads us now to hire them in verse three.
Behold, as we come to you, Hiram, a few words for thou also art under no condemnation. There you go again.
And thy heart is opened and the tongue loosed. And my calling is to exhortation and to strengthen the church continually.
You’ll remember perhaps back in Section 11, when we covered that entire section given to Hyams Smith a year before the churches organized that he was told before you seek to declare my word, seek to to obtain my word, go and study your scriptures, Hyam.
Learn of God’s revelations, learn of God’s will before you’re you’re given this opportunity to go and preach and have your tongue be loosed. Notice what it says. That tongue is loosed. Thy calling is exhortation and to strengthen the church continually wherefore they duties unto the church forever. And this because of this family. Amen. So now his tongue is loosed.
He’s apparently done his studying over the last year. He’s he’s learned the things that he needs to out of the scriptures and he’s learned the gospel. So he is now free to go and teach.
He’s going to be a powerful force for helping to move the church forward as a quiet sustaining influence. Beside his younger brother, Joseph Smith Jr., it’s interesting how how steady and constant Hyrum is throughout the entire history of the church, leading all the way down to the martyrdom in June of eighteen forty four, he seems to be right beside his brother. And it’s ironic that he is so not driven by pride. He he doesn’t need to be that first person or out in front.
He he seems to be perfectly OK with his duty being as a support. Now, look at verse four, behold, I speak a few words unto you, Samuel, for thou art also under no condemnation and thy calling is to exhortation and to strengthen the church. And thou art not as yet called to preach. Before the world, amen, it’s it’s interesting here because. He’s told to strengthen the church, but don’t go out to the world yet, and and the irony here is Samuel very soon is going to be called to now go out into the world and preach the gospel.
He is credited as being our first missionary in the whole dispensation.
He’s the one who the prophet’s brother, who goes out and preaches the gospel openly to people now.
Joseph, Senior Verse five, behold, I speak a few words, and to you, Joseph, for thou art also under no condemnation and thy calling also is to exhortation and to strengthen the church. And this is thy duty from henceforth and forever. Amen. So he’s called to strengthen and exhort the church. He is going to be our first patriarch. Now, we don’t have that office of the priesthood revealed at this point.
Like Taylor was saying at the beginning, there’s not there’s not a handbook that lists out everything that’s ever going to happen in the church. In fact, in the dispensation, the fullness of times, the handbook of instructions is being constantly revised. Why?
It’s because the Lord is revealing things line upon line, precept upon precept, and he’s going to continue to do that.
One of our one of our famous articles of faith says, We believe that God will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
So even though they didn’t have the office or the knowledge right here, he was given the foundation to work on preaching and expounding and exhorting and strengthening the church, because down the road he is going to get the calling to be the first patriarch. And after him, Hiram Smith is going to be the second patriarch of the church.
Now on to Joseph Night in verse six and seven, Joseph is is such an interesting character in church history, wonderful on many levels.
He was one of Joseph’s earliest, what you would call friends. So when Joseph went to Colesville, originally four years before the church was established to pick up some some work digging a well, and he was hired as also to help in treasure hunting. And he talks about that in his history with Josiah Stoll and others there. And in Colesville, Joseph Knight is the one who’s who’s involved with that. And he trusts Joseph. He likes Joseph. And he’s happy to be a sustaining, supporting character.
He doesn’t want to be out in front either. He’s not driven by pride. He is the one who went to Harmonie multiple times and gave money for purchase of paper and for other things.
For Joseph and Emma and Oliver, he brought barrels of food and bushels of of grain to help sustain them as they were working through the translation process. But the irony is Joseph Knight still hasn’t joined the church.
And he he says, I want to wait until I’ve read the Book of Mormon. And he’s he’s hesitant, look over six, behold, I manifest onto you, Joseph Knight, by these words that you must take up your cross in which you must pray vocally before the world, as well as in secret and in your family and among your friends and in all places.
Now, look over seven, behold, it is your duty to unite with the true church and give your language to exhortation continually that you may receive the reward of the labor.
So he started to work through this process.
Of reading The Book of Mormon, but then he realizes he needs to obey, he’s he’s he has tension in his soul and he decides, OK, it’s time, I need to just get baptized. And so a few weeks later, he is going to come and get baptized by or get baptized into the church. Ironically, if you look at verse six, he’s told to pray vocally and to pray before the world as well as in secret. It’s Joseph and Pollinates son Newel, who is asked to pray in one of those early meetings of the church in Colesville.
And Newell said, No, I prefer not to and I prefer to pray in private.
So he’s going to go out into the woods on his own later on and begin to try to pray. And he’s overcome by a dark spirit and he comes home and he’s not doing well.
And he says to the group to call for Joseph. Joseph is going to go over and take Noul by the hand and rebuke the devil cast him out, at which point he does leave. And a whole bunch of people who were there. Watch this. And Joseph referred to that as the first miracle of this new church. Interest in the church grows significantly at this point.
Power to cast out devils. People start to to express a lot more interest, both good and bad. Persecution is going to continue to raise like like crazy and Colesville and around that region, driven largely by other churches who are losing congregants who are coming to join with this this new fledgling church.
And so opposition is going to mount up to the point where you get this scenario in Colesville, where you have a whole group of people who are ready to be baptized. They dam up the little river there to to to get water deep enough to now perform baptisms. And a mob is going to come and destroy the dam and threaten violence if they if they do anything else to build it back up. They rebuild the dam. They baptize some people. Interestingly, that’s where Emma, Joseph’s wife, is finally baptized at that point.
But she’s not confirmed yet and she won’t get confirmed until August of that year.
It’s quite a delay because of mob mob action going on. Joseph Smith is going to be arrested and taken to court for stirring up the neighborhood by preaching the Book of Mormon and Josiah Stoll and others there in the region. They come to his defense. And New Knight offers a beautiful testimony that shames the prosecution and the judge acquits him.
So we’re good.
And just as he’s getting off of that one, a constable from a neighboring county comes and arrests him and takes him to that neighboring county. And he’s put on trial again. And after deliberation, he’s acquitted a second time. Now he goes back to Harmonie, then he comes back to Colesville to try to give the gift to the Holy Ghost.
To those who had been baptized, more mob action starts to come up, more threatened violence.
He and Oliver now flee for their life. And through the night, they they’re running and they sleep under a big tree keeping watch. Alternately through the night, they finally get home to harmony when Section twenty four is given. So this was stop and stop and picture what this might be like.
You have you have this amazing experience. Let me raise this. You have this spiritual outpouring. The church is restored. And so you’re going along through life and then you have this really great spiritual plateau experience of the establishment of the church in the the kingdom of God is now on the earth again.
And what happens? Opposition mounts up like never before.
The darkness is stirred up against them like never before.
And then you experience this spiritual opposition that pulls you down.
But I love the fact that God’s work is going to move forward regardless of what the earth or regardless of what hell. Rose at these early saints and their profit, so look at Chapter 20 for.
Behold, that was called and chosen to write The Book of Mormon and to my ministry and I have lifted the up out of Zion afflictions. You’ve noticed that God doesn’t say I have gotten rid of all of your afflictions or I have prevented you from having hardship. He said, I’ve lifted you up. I basically sustained you. I’ve supported you.
I’ve I’ve held you, held you through these afflictions so that you could survive them. Brothers and sisters. We know we live in this world with you. We know that there are incredible winds of opposition and the human nature that the way we would like to respond is to just give up sometimes and to stop fighting or surrender.
But I love these sections because what you see with these very real people going through real circumstances and real struggles is it’s not beautiful, they’re not perfect.
They’re they’re getting some things. It’s complex for them, but they’re moving forward. They’re facing the opposition and they’re not facing it alone.
I have been with you, is what he’s saying here, I lifted the up out of the afflictions and I have counseled the that thou has been delivered from all thine enemies and that has been delivered from the powers of Satan and from darkness, he’s reminding us. All you have to do is turn and face the opposition and start moving forward. I will help you overcome the victory will be a joint victory between us and the Lord as we move forward. In faith in him.
Now, notice, nevertheless, that was not excusable in thy transgressions, nevertheless goes away and sin no more. Are you noticing that? Here’s Jesus saying to him to to Joseph and Oliver, he didn’t say, you two are perfect. You’ve done everything exactly the right way. He’s saying. You’ve you’ve had some transgressions, you’ve even had some sin, but again, I’m not condemning you, go forward and say no more. I love that this this hope that comes from from that sweet reminder that in Christ I can do all things without him.
I’m not going very far. Now, verses one through two, I love one thing I love to do as I’m studying scriptures is look closely at verb tense because there’s a lot that can come from understanding past, present and future.
In this case, he is pointing Joseph and Oliver to the past.
Look at these things that you’ve just recently even come through and recognize that my hand is there. I have guided you. I blessed you. And you wouldn’t have survived this without my help. So he points them to the past and then look of history, magnify thine office and after thou hast so thy fields and secured them go speedily unto the church, which is in Colesville Fayette and Manchester, and they shall support De and I will bless them both spiritually and temporally.
Did you notice that he’s saying I’ve done all this for you in the past and now there’s something for you to do right now. And it is go and plant your filles, Joseph.
You’re a farmer who happens to have been called to be the prophet of the dispensation of the fullness of times. But you do still have fields that need to be planted.
Go and plant them.
Now, just just imagine, Emma Smith, where there is an expectation of duties that her husband is supposed to perform primarily to be the breadwinner. And he’s not plant to the bread. He’s busy planting souls and harvesting souls, which is a great thing. But yet there’s still a need to take care of his family. And in a bit, we’re going to get to Section twenty five. But we want you to pay attention to the context that Emma’s husband has been persecuted and mocked and taken to court three times, he’s traveling all over the place and the fields basically are going untended and he’s not at home as much.
And she has a very common question, a very understandable question many of us might ask like. What’s happening here and how will I be taking care of what’s my role and how will God help me to play a role that matters and bring forth this kingdom? But let’s talk about Joseph Smith. He wants to do everything. How many of us feel that way today? We have to do it all. And we love the council that God is here.
In fact, I’m not sure any one of us needs to take this personally, but he tells Joseph. Be patient in afflictions, for thou shall have many. But endure them for low, I am with the even until the end of my days, and even though God told him, plant your fields and go, then go take care of ministering first nine and intemperately labors. Thou shalt not have strength. But this is not that calling. Wow, I’m not really sure I’d want to hear that from God.
God says to Joseph, attend to that Colleen and that I’ll have wherewith to magnify that office and what we learn. Is that God is going to provide for Joseph and his family as Joseph and Emma work hard through the support of others that God blesses. All right.
So then from for to the end of the section, you get the Lord instructing him for future things and future roles.
And as Taylor has said, he’s he’s also giving him some future, shall we say, warnings that this idea of you’re going to have many afflictions, so be patient. Don’t, don’t, no, don’t don’t get angry that you’re having opposition. Because if you look at your scriptures, look at the old and the New Testament. Look at The Book of Mormon, how many people do you see in the scriptures who embark in the service of God and who go and do the work and they face zero opposition or zero trials and tribulations along the way?
It’s pretty hard to find any examples. Now, someone say, well, what about Đinđić? Those first years Freaknik were not pleasant trying to get going, or for Melchizedek or even even those who in The Book of Mormon for two hundred years have Tzion, it took them some serious effort to get that Zion to establish Zion. And so notice verse seven, he says, Thou shalt devote all thy service in Zion, and in this thou shalt have strength.
Again, as Taylor mentioned, this idea that in the future, Joseph, your call to come down to this earth was not to become rich, it wasn’t to be a businessman or the most successful farmer. Your call is to be the head of the dispensation of the fullness of times. And the church is going to support you and and take care of the the temporal labors. Notice he then goes on in verse 10 to refer to Oliver. Thou shalt continue in bearing my name before the world and also to the church, and he shall not suppose that he can say enough in my cause and lo I am with him to the end.
I love that when you’re in the service of God, you’re with him. Or you can choose to reject him and turn away from that calling because the opposition or because something else is more enticing, but then we’re no longer walking with him. Verse 13 require not miracles, except I shall commend you, except casting out devils, healing the sick and against poisonous serpents and against deadly poisons again in their in their human natured perspective.
We love the fantastical. We love when somebody does something that can’t be explained or makes a prophecy that comes to pass.
And we love these big, miraculous things. And God’s saying don’t require these. So Joseph has already faced people coming to him saying things like show me a sign, or even Emma’s uncle came early on in the translation and said, here’s some Hebrew text. Use your fancy Mormon some of them translated for me and then I’ll believe you’re a prophet. God doesn’t use miracles as signs to convince unbelievers who are demanding a miracle first before they’ll believe. And he’s reminding us of that here.
OK, now, as we turn our attention to doctrine and covenants, Section twenty five thought it might be fitting to have my wife, my beautiful bride, Kipling, come and join as we work our way through this section. This was given to Joseph Smith’s wife, Emma, in a time of of great need for her. She has she has a lot of questions about her role, her identity, what the Lord expected of her husband and her in this unfolding of the events in this early period, right after the restoration of the church.
And the Lord’s going to answer a lot of those questions and then some.
So, Capellan, what stands out to you beginning in verse one? Well, the very first thing I noticed when I was studying this on my own was verse one is it’s amazing what the Lord does in this verse. Listen carefully to what he says. Very first, Hakin, onto the voice of the Lord, your God. So right off the bat, he’s establishing who he is, the Lord, your God, not just a God or the God, but it’s your God, Emma.
And then he says, while I speak unto you, Emma Smith, he calls her by name my daughter, and he puts a relationship between himself and her in there with the word my daughter.
So basically in verse one. We have the Lord establishing his identity and Emmas, then he brings it together in the relationship of that of that of those two identities, which is we’ll find that in verse two. Actually, he says a revelation are given to you concerning my will. If thou art faithful and walk in the paths of virtue before me, I will preserve thy life and thou shalt receive an inheritance in Zion.
So this is a kind of an explanation of what a covenant relationship is going to write that down. We’ll go to here take. Of what a covenant relationship looks like and the thing that was interesting to me here were the words, if thou. And I. Well. So. This is this is Emma’s part, this is my part, this is your part that if if though and we fill in the blank with with the terms of the covenant, the covenant covenantal agreement, and then the Lord’s part is I will.
And there’s an interesting these are the the pronouns here and this is the difference is that in ours it’s a kind of an if statement. And with the Lord, it’s a will. It’s just there’s there’s no question about his end of the agreement being held up. There’s no question about his side of the covenant being kept. It’s I will. And we are the are the only question mark in there, but the very next part after that. Jesus Christ says to Emma and to all of us, behold, thy sins are forgiven, the.
That’s interesting because he willingly puts himself in this relationship with us and he knows that that we’re the if the iffy part of this relationship, if you will, that we’re going to make mistakes and there’s going to be struggle and there’s going to be mess ups.
And he tells Emma here, he tells us here her specifically by sins are forgiven. And then thou art unelect lady whom I have called. So I’m just going to write here.
After establishing identity. And after. Talking about this covenant relationship a little bit then. He goes here, which is so beautiful, because this is only possible because of Christ, the Atonement. I love that he says in this section by sins are forgiven me. Are there any sweeter words really than those of. I think a lot of times we carry burdens. Our our own weaknesses, our own struggles are our repeated failures with us.
And and those burdens. We we look at ourselves in the mirror every day and we see the weakness and. The words they sins are forgiven, they sometimes we think, oh, those those are great words, but they’re reserved for, you know, the prophets and special people in the scriptures where we see the Lord say that to them. And I feel like these are words that that I can speak to here daily, constantly, as I as I work through this process of repenting over and over again to the point where where the repentance and forgiveness cycle becomes just part of my my lifeblood.
It becomes part of of who I am and how how I approach my days and my life. I love that sense of forgiveness, what beautiful and gentle words those are to hear. And they’re not reserved just for people that have a section of scripture written to them. Those can be heard by all of us.
So one of the things I love about this, what you’re what you’re teaching here is sometimes in church settings or sometimes even in family settings, we get this idea that you messed up, you’re a bad person, you failed, and then you think, OK, I need to go and repent and I need to get that forgiveness, this event. But the way you’re describing it, this becomes more of this glorious process of discipleship. Yes, beautiful.
Just like our babies when we’re teaching them to walk, you know, Daddy stands over here and mommy stands over here and you put the little baby down and you send them off to the other side.
And there was not a single time that that happened ever, that I expected that baby to walk perfectly and straight and no stumbles, no falls, just straight to dad and hooray, we did a good job.
That was just not that was not even part of the plan. The plan was to put this little baby who had never walked before on the ground and send them tottering and stumbling and falling off to the other parent, expecting that this child was going to struggle. They were going to wrestle with the balance. They were going to experience some falls and possibly some bumps and bruises. But that was the plan.
And I I love that about this particular verse. It communicates to me this idea. Yeah, there have been sins and weaknesses, Emma and Kipling and Tyler and everyone else. And and I’m willing to forgive those over and over again. And you are an elect, son or daughter of God. And you’re called. You’re still called. You’re still let’s keep working through this process together.
I love them. It’s beautiful, it reminds me of a verse three of one of my favorite hymns, Jesus, the very thought of the third verse encapsulates this where it says, Oh, hope of every contrite heart, oh, joy of all the meek to those who fall. How kind thou art, how good to those who seek. The message of the gospel is not you have to be perfect, and if you’re not perfect, then aim for the terrestrial kingdom.
It’s just keep coming. Just keep coming to Christ to be perfected in him.
Daly As the Prophet has invited us to do and as you’re as you’re talking about here, I just thought of an experience we had when we were pulling handcarts at one time. I mean, I’m not as strong as Tyler, I’m close to strong, but physically me.
But but being in the front of that handcart and pulling that that heavy thing over rough terrain, I was I was I would say I was this part of that equation.
But because I was in the Trace’s, I was yoked, if you will, with someone who could handle the pulling without too much effort. It worked. And I was OK, even though I was I was stumbling. I wasn’t probably pulling my weight most of the time, but I was boy, I was trying I was doing a good job trying and and it’s like that with the savior on a whole different level where where we are in the trace’s with him.
And because of his infinite atonement and because of his power and his grace and his mercy and his love and his his capability to heal and save and and and take that which is imperfect and and somehow make it OK. All of us are going to be OK if we stay in this covenant relationship, if we if we stay yoked with him.
So, yeah, I love them. So capelin, what would you say to the to the person who listens to this and says, yeah, this is all good for other people or for for those who feel like they’re progressing on the covenant path, but perhaps some of you or loved ones that you have may not feel like they’re moving forward. They may not even know where the covenant path is at this point in their life. And they’re they’re seeking for help or they’re seeking for answers and they don’t feel like they’re getting them or or perhaps they feel like the church is doing exactly what they want it to be doing.
Well, what would you say? Well, there’s a lot of struggle and wrestle right now in the world with a whole variety of things and. And there’s there’s some hard questions being asked and answers being sought. I love Facebook. I mean, at first you might read and be like, oh, murmur or not, it’s going to be a rebuke and it’s going to skip over that one, go to the next. But really, this is one of my favorites because it’s simply.
A gentle reminder from the savior to me and to me and to all of us to trust Mormon not because of the things which thou hast not seen. For they are withheld from the and from the world, which is wisdom in me in a time to come, are there things in our lives that. That we feel maybe our are withheld from us. Are there blessings that maybe have been delayed or prayers that that don’t seem to be being answered for us?
I think that all of us have experienced maybe some version or some range of those kinds of feelings. And the Lord is reminding us. To trust him, he says wisdom in me and he says in a time to come, those two phrases for me stick out here, because the wisdom in me part is is a reminder to me of this. He’s reestablishing his identity again to me here and and to me and to to all of us. He said, you know, I am your God.
I am all knowing I know things. I see things I’m all seeing.
And in that perfect knowledge, he has wisdom that we cannot understand as mortals. We cannot comprehend all things. And then he talks about timing in a time to come. This is where this comes in. Again, trust that the Lord will he will reveal things. He will give things. He will grant blessings. He will do these things in that covenant relationship when it is wisdom in him, when the perfect God, your perfect God, my perfect God sees that it is the wise and right time for these things.
And so it really just comes down to this. Do we trust him? Can we trust him? And if we if we have a hard time with that, can we work on trusting him?
He loves effort. Our prophet who I love said that the Lord loves effort. If we can even just try to trust him when these these difficult things are in our path. In verses five and six and 14 of this section, we get some very beautiful and practical marriage counseling from the Lord, this council can be here. It’s given specifically to Emma for whatever she was struggling with at this time and needing to hear. But this council can be applied to men and women, marriages, other significant eternal relationships that we have in our lives.
But that’s really an important point that you bring up. If you look, in fact, at verse 16, fairly early into you, that this is my voice. And to all I like that that you didn’t say this is just to all of you who are going to be married or this is to all of you who are women. It’s this is my voice and all. Amen. So these are true principles that he’s teaching to Emma in her specific situation.
But it really is our our great privilege to liken all scriptures onto us. And there are some very, very profound principles to help any relationship specifically in this setting, a marriage relationship. But as as you said, helpful for anybody. It’s like our stake. President Clinton, Mortenson has shared, he said, the most important things in life. Are those which last the longest? Stop and think about that in the world in which we live and and all of the things in this world of ours that are that are trying to draw your time and your attention and your energy, and some of them are really good.
But most of those things don’t last, whereas those eternal relationships of family and those those binding ties that we all have opportunities to connect with our families. And in a variety of ways, those are eternal relationships. And he’s giving us kind of a mini handbook here of how to help each other in those kinds of of lasting relationships.
Yeah, and they’re surprisingly practical to a lot of times, you know, we might come across a scripture and we have to kind of extract the practical out of it here. It’s just pretty practical. He talks about how to be a comfort. To your husband, be a comfort to your spouse. Can I write up some of these words form? Another thing that she is told here is to use consoling words, I think in a world that that almost enjoys harsh sometimes in the communication realm, in perhaps on TV or in social media or other forums where it might almost be celebrated to kind of be abrasive and harsh in our in our words, with each other.
This council is good council in any relationship, especially in a marriage, to use consoling words, kind, gentle, soothing balm of Gilead kind of words to to soothe things that could be flared into anger or frustration if harsh words were used. Great advice.
So, yeah, exactly. So how many times in in a family relationship do you recognize when somebody is having a rough day? They’re not they’re not acting or speaking or behaving in ways that they normally would behave, that they’re struggling. How helpful is it to come up and tell them you’re being bad, you’re being less than ideal as a person today, or we beat each other up? I love the idea that we comfort those that stand in need of comfort.
And somebody who’s having a great day isn’t traditionally in need of comfort. It’s usually the people who feel less who they know. They’re having a hard time for the most part. And I love this advice here, this counsel to go and comfort with consoling words, not condemning words, not you’re such a bad person, you should change so they can be happy. Kind of a way. It’s that’s a powerful combination, especially when couched with this this idea of meekness.
Yeah, and meekness is an interesting concept, especially when when you put it in a marriage context or a relationship context, sometimes I feel like in our world there’s a lot of comparing and competing and competition and meekness is. In part, the opposite of that where where we don’t feel those competitive feelings, we’re not jockeying for position in the relationship and and trying to get ahead or or come out on top, it’s it’s a feeling of meekness, strength.
Weakness is is being comfortable with with who you are and allowing other people to be who they are and not feeling threatened by that.
It’s a beautiful word. I love that. And I love that Jesus is referred to as the ultimate in strength is also the ultimate in weakness. It’s beautiful.
Which then leads us to her six and thou shalt go with him at the time of his going. Remember, that was one of Emma’s questions leading into this was what do I do? Joseph is going on all of these these mini missions, so to speak, to help members of the church up in Colesville and Fayette and up in New York. And she’s here on this this mortgaged farm from her parents. And should I stay here? Should I go with them?
What do I do? And the Lord tells her. Go with him at the time of his going now that’s applicable to Emma. What about us? I like those words. I love the word with Jesus talks about it when he says Walk with me. But it’s the same kind of imagery here. If we want to make an application to ourselves. This was specific for her.
But go with your spouse. Uh. Walk with them, be with them, make this journey with them not apart. Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in your different things that you’re doing and to pretty soon feel like you’re you’re walking apart. You’re on a journey together, but you’re apart. And there’s something beautiful about being on a journey together and being with someone with them in the ways that that matter. So I love that. And it’s it’s one of those manifestations of the Lord’s command to be one.
And if you’re not one, you’re not mine.
Rather than living totally parallel lives, it’s to increasingly figure out ways to be with, to walk with, to, to mourn with and comfort with and to, to repent with and to trust with. So you you see, Vash, five and six as teaching very similar principles as we get again over here in verse 14.
Yes. He talks again about a spirit of meekness and then this wonderful phrase that I think nails us all to the wall at times. Beware of pride. And that that just again, is is that opposite of the meekness that he’s talking about? I love this last part, Leth. I saw the light in my husband or they wife. And the glory which shall come upon him or her again, in a world that is somewhat obsessed with competing and comparing what beautiful counsel for a relationship where where that does not exist or when it does, we take care of it quickly.
But where when one person achieves success or has has wonderful things happen or something exciting in their life, that the other glories in that and is delighted in that and vice versa, that is a covenant kind of relationship and way of interacting with each other. And if you think about how Jesus in his covenantal connection with us interacts with us, he is he is delighted when good things happen. He he loves it. He glories in our successes. And and as we can take those principles from that relationship and apply them to our marriages and our other significant eternal relationships with people, the blessings will be significant and they’ll be beautiful.
It’s interesting because if you look at that whole concept, we put a lot of emphasis, and rightly so, because the scriptures do and the prophets to through time the emphasis on Mormon with those born comfort, those that stand in need of comfort.
We don’t we don’t usually talk about rejoice with those that rejoice, experience joy with with those that are happy and having success in their life.
I love the fact here that when we rejoice with those that rejoice as well as mourn with those that mourn, that builds more of that covenantal connection that I think the Lord does with us. Like you’re describing, he he doesn’t just weep with us. I think he celebrates with us. Now, in verse seven and eight, Emma receives some some very specific promises from the Lord, he says thou shalt be ordained under his hand, choses to expound scriptures and to exhort the church according as it shall be given the by my spirit.
You’ll notice the promises you’re going to receive some callings, a mission of sort of sorts to fill, but you’re going to fulfill it according to that shall be given unto the by my spirit. I’ll guide you in this, Emma. Now we know that later on when we get to Nauvoo, Emma is going to be set apart as the first president of the Relief Society.
And she is going to expound and exhort and she’s going to be doing these things before that point as well. But that’s where it really becomes official, this this really important calling that she’s going to get in, building up the kingdom of God on the earth, not just with her family relationships, but now trying to take those those lessons that she’s learned in her family and to try to bless other women in the church in the novel period. And we’ll talk about that later when we get to those sections much later in the year.
I love the fact that Emma is promised here that she is going to expound and exhort the scriptures to the church has given to her by the spirit. It’s that idea that sometimes there are people in the church who feel like they aren’t the smartest. They don’t know the history. They. Brothers and sisters, keep in mind, Emma Smith just got baptized a few days before this section is given, she’s by all by all measures. She is a brand new convert.
They don’t have a big handbook of how to do this, and God is simply saying, trust me, I’ll guide you with my spirit and and you have important things to add and contribute to this to this growing church that’s just just been born recently, so to speak. I think the most powerful application of this is in the home where where a parent or parents have children, and by the help of the Holy Ghost, they have the capacity. They have everything they need to be able to succeed in expounding scriptures and exhorting their family and and building up the kingdom of God in that little setting.
I believe the most powerful qualification any of us have. For standing and expounding and exhorting is Jesus, Christ and our testimony of him when we are in this covenant relationship with him and we have had experiences with him, whether in small fledgling ways or or what we would call powerful ways, we are qualified to share those things with others, share the things we know. We don’t have to be experts, as Tyler said.
So now in verse nine, we we reintroduce or we revisit this idea of just trust me, keep in mind I had some questions leading into the section about her, her physical wealth, well-being. How are we going to pay the bills or are we going to survive financially?
And God tells her, don’t need us, not fear for my husband. She’ll support the in the church and God make some some promises that as Joseph fulfills the calling that is given to to him and Emma fulfills her role in all of these things side by side with him, that the Lord will provide in various ways for all of those those concerns that they have financially and temporally. That’s that’s really comforting it it tells me that the Lord is not only concerned with our spiritual welfare, but also he’s very involved in the physical and temporal aspects of our our moral journey.
He cares about them and and he helps us with those two. It’s beautiful. Which then leads into verse 10, burliest into the that thou shalt lay aside the things of this world and seek for the things of a better. It’s it’s that idea of once again, the most important things in life are those that are the most eternal, that lasts the longest. And and here’s the Lord inviting her to put her her focus and her attention not on the things of the world, but on the things of a better world than this.
I had a little thought about the phrase, thou needs not fear sometimes in from my own experience. Here’s my heart, OK, and forgive my drawing here. This is a shovel. When there are things that I need to root out of my life, dig them up, so to speak. So here we go, fear. All right. And here it is all piled up on the side here. Often times if I if I just try to take the bad out.
And I leave a void there, oftentimes this stuff will come spilling back in or other things, we have an adversary out there who loves to fill those voids with things.
But if I am conscientious about saying, OK, I’m trying to take this out, and of course, when I say I don’t really mean I, I mean Jesus Christ we we OK when we take this out.
For me, the I’m going to write fear here, OK? The opposite of fear, and I think most of us have experienced that in one realm or another, in one genre of issues or another, this fear this this is the filler for that hole. And I found that this works every time to fill that void and to keep other bad things out. And so when I replace. The fear with you can call it faith as well. With trust in Jesus, Christ, trust in God.
This becomes fertile soil, the trust, the fear is gone and the trust is there, and now things can grow and things can take root.
OK, so let’s shift gears a little bit into into talking about this.
It’s a very little book and it was published in eighteen thirty five. This is a replica copy of the very first hymnbook of our church. That assignment or that responsibility was given to Emma to compile those hymns based on her her upbringing as a good member of the Methodist Church and those hymns that she knew and loved, as well as getting additional hymns from other people. And so five years later, we get our first hymnbook.
So the question that really begs asking here is. Why music, why do we need that as part of the the coming force of the gospel of Jesus Christ and building up of the Church of Jesus Christ in the latter days, what is the role of music? You’ll notice the way the Lord answers that question in verse 12 by saying, For my soul delights in the song of the Heart. The song of the righteous is a prayer. And to me and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.
It’s interesting to look at our life raising our family and the role that music plays and how it creates almost a conduit between heaven and earth for the spirit to come and touch, touch lives and open hearts in ways that words alone can’t do.
It’s it’s a very powerful means whereby we can connect with God and with heaven. When I first arrived in Brazil in my mission, I was blessed with one of the world’s greatest missionary trainers. His name was Elder Pratt Bryan Pratt. He was his own leader, and we were we were living in this this suburb of the capital city of Pattana in Brazil, in Chiba. We were out in Taurama and by Hoelter and about two days, three days into the mission, we needed to go up to the chapel at the very top of the area.
And because he was the zone leader, he needed to get the numbers reported from the other missionaries in our zone. And he told me I could go into the chapel and either study or play the piano. I was having a very hard time. Those first two, three days of my mission were very, very hard for me as far as trying to to get used to this mission life and the food and the living conditions. It was very hard. I went into that piano and I started playing hymns.
I started singing them to the best of my ability and Portuguese, as well as mixing in some English. I poured my heart out to the Lord. In ways that I had tried before in the previous two to three days on my knees or laying down in bed or sitting at the table or studying at my desk, I had I had tried to pour my heart out, but it wasn’t I wasn’t feeling as connected as I knew that I needed to.
It was in that moment. When I’m sitting there at the piano for 30, 40 minutes. Pleading with God through music that I felt that those prayers were being answered and I knew that I wasn’t alone, I knew that I was going to be able to make it through that mission and it was going to be hard. But I knew I wasn’t alone. This these these hymns became heartfelt prayers for little elder Griffin, and I needed those desperately, and it it created this firm foundation for the rest of my mission to move forward, trusting that God wasn’t going to forsake me.
He was with me.
Thank you. I. I love that story. Made me think for a minute about our our little Alysha on her mission and some of the sweet experiences she’s had with with the Lord helping to sustain her through those those times of difficulty. Something that I noticed about the wording in this on my last time through through this section was. The Lord says, my soul delights in the song of the heart. And I thought it was interesting, it just struck me this time that he didn’t say the the song of the voice or the song of the violin or the song of the piano.
But it was the song of the heart. And it it made me think a little bit more broadly about what maybe this could mean. We all at times have those feelings in our heart, those yearnings, those longings, those reaching us. I believe those feelings, those songs of our heart, so to speak, ascend up to heaven and God hears those. I love the little phrase in relation to this from the song In The Quiet Heart is hidden sorrow that the I can’t see and also the phrase from another hymn and Jesus listening can hear the songs.
We cannot sing these these songs and feelings of our heart I believe could be part of this. And, and God delights in, in those things as they reach out to him and he reaches back. Love it, which which then ties in, noticed the very first quarter, verse 13, wherefore it sets up this causal relationship between what came before and now, what comes after the word wherefore because of everything that we’ve we’ve read here in verse 12, the outcome, the conclusion that the Lord is making forces lift up the heart and rejoice and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.
I love that how he’s making this connection between the song of the righteous, being a parent to me and lifting up our heart and rejoicing and holding on tightly to those covenants which we made with him. I love the connection with Covenant’s and and rejoicing in here, knowing a little bit about what Emma’s going to go through and what she has been through in life is not going to be easy for these early saints. And life is not always easy for us.
But the message here from the Lord is lift up your heads and rejoice. This kind of rejoicing doesn’t mean we’re just happy all the time and everything’s always wonderful. This kind of rejoicing is for me, it’s more of a foundational undercurrent in our lives and we can be sad. We can be really sad sometimes. And yet that foundation of just supportive, uplifting, enduring joy is there because of Jesus Christ and our covenants with him and the hope that that brings into our times of struggle and triumph.
So I love the connection between the rejoicing in the Covenant and hold on to those.
So now as we skip down diversifying, he says, keep my commandments continually and the crown of righteousness thou shalt receive. I love that idea of back to the covenant’s again, if you love me, keep my commandments comes through here. And if you do, I will give you a crown of righteousness is the promise is very sure here you will receive that crown of righteousness in the eternities that won’t fade like so many of the things on this earth do.
As we wrap up this section, let’s end where we began and talk a little bit more about identity, because I think it’s important, it seems as if every generation throughout the history of time has been given challenges to wrestle with and sometimes multiple challenges. And one of our challenges currently today. I believe is this question of identity, and it can have many forms and varied applications, you or people, you know may be struggling with their identity in relation to their race or in relation to LGBTQ issues or in relation to what does it mean to be a daughter of God or what does it mean to be a son of God or in relation to mental health issues or a myriad of other other ways that these identity questions can be raised today?
The identity questions that people have can be profound and soul wrenching at times. Let us not be afraid of the Russell. God allows us to wrestle, and it’s a noble wrestle, and I believe that as we do wrestle before the Lord with these things, the answers will come. Truth will come. Light will come. And whatever your particular wrestle. Stay with Jesus, stick with Jesus Christ, trust Jesus the world will offer all kinds of solutions and those solutions will not fill the gaps and the empty places and the longings of your heart.
They might make an attempt at it, but it will not be sufficient to give you what you need. Only Jesus can give you that. Have there been wrongs in the world? Yes. Have there been misunderstandings and misconceptions and myths? Applications? Yes. Has there been evil and darkness? Yes. Have there been? Harms and hurts, yes, are there holes and imperfections in our understandings, in our applications? Yes, but part of the glorious restoration is knowing that Jesus Christ can and will restore.
He will restore that which has been lost. He will right. That which has been wrong. He will fix that which is broken. He will heal that which is hurt. Jesus Christ will restore light and truth and love and beauty to the world. That, to me, is one of the most glorious parts of the restoration. And if we will trust him and keep our covenants with him, I know that those things will come to pass. Thank you.
Now, as we come to the close of this particular episode, I just wanted to say. If any of you have ever wondered why, I’m usually pretty happy, I’m pretty upbeat, it’s because I have the Lord in my life. And I have an angel in my life. Kiplinger And what a privilege it is to be able to share this particular section with you standing side by side with her as we walk this path together forward brothers and sisters know that God lives Jesus is the Christ, and there is no other way nor means whereby any of us can find enduring joy to the end and through him.
May God bless you to feel his love and his power in your life. Know that your loved.
Join Taylor and Tyler this week as they discuss the revelations to Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Samuel Smith, Joseph Smith Sr, and Joseph Knight. Then they will go on to talk about some of the early challenges for the saints. Tyler and his wife, Kiplin, will dive into Section 25 and discuss the special revelation to Emma and the personal applications that we can learn from it. __________________________________________________
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0:00 Introduction: Guidance and instruction provided for a newly formed Church
2:46 D&C23 – compilation of revelations given for 5 men. A common reassurance is given that they are not condemned.
5:32 Instruction for Oliver Cowdery
6:36 Word study on pride
8:07 Instruction for Hyrum Smith
10:25 Instruction for Samuel Smith
11:22 Instruction for Joseph Smith Sr.
12:52 Instruction for Joseph Knight
20:41 The Lord lifts His people out of their afflictions.
22:43 Finding hope. Look at verb tense to see past help given, guidance for the present time, and instruction for future responsibilities.
35:28 Repentance is a process of discipleship and can be compared to a young child learning to walk.
40:46 Verse 4: Why we need to TRUST in God and in His wisdom How can we work on trusting Him more?
44:21 Verses 5,6, 14 – Principles to apply to marriage and all relationships: Provide comfort and consoling words in a spirit of meekness.
50:07 Verses 6 and 14: What does it mean to BE WITH someone? How can we take delight in our spouse and glory in their success?
53:47 Covenant connection in relationships: mourning with those who mourn, comforting those who stand in need of comfort, rejoicing with those who rejoice.
54:36 Verse 7: “Expound scriptures . . . according as it shall be given thee by my spirit”. The most powerful application will be in our homes and families.
59:10 Verse 10 “Lay aside the things of this world and seek for the things of a better”. FOCUS on the better things.
1:01:50 Verse 12 “My soul delighteth in the song of the heart”. Music invites the Spirit and connects us with God.
1:10:38 The question of identity . . . don’t be afraid of the wrestle. Stay with Jesus and trust Him. Part of the glorious restoration is to restore life, light, truth, love, and beauty to the world.
1:13:44 Concluding testimony
Timestamps courtesy of Tammy Hulse