Come Follow Me Insights (Doctrine and Covenants 10-11, Feb 1-7) – powered by Happy Scribe
I’m Taylor and I’m Tyler. This is Book of Mormon Centrals Come, Follow Me Insights.
Today Doctrine and Covenants, Sections 10 through 11.
A quick message from the production team. We experienced technical difficulties with the audio track on this episode, and we apologize for the audio quality. If you are having trouble hearing, we recommend that you turn on the subtitles by clicking on the closed caption button. Please enjoy.
As we jump into the scripture block today, I want to give you a big picture, symbolic overview of what we’re going to be covering. This is a variation on a premortem theme. What you have is God who establishes his work, who sets things up, who prepares a plan for us to be able to progress, to become like him, where he can empower agency in the process.
We have opposition. So Satan fights against everything that God prepares, trying to destroy or overthrow his work. And his work is to bring to pass the immortality and the the eternal life of man and of all of us.
So it’s fascinating in these sections to watch what Satan does to try to thwart God, this being who knows everything, who is not bound by time, who has all power and all love and all glory, how Satan tries to destroy that.
And in the process, some pretty bad things happen. And you think, oh, no, this doesn’t look good. But at the end of the day, God says now we’re going to proceed with the plan in an even better way than than you thought before.
So we’ve seen this pattern in heaven at the instigation of the war in heaven. We saw it in the Garden of Eden. We saw throughout the the mortal ministry of Jesus. We’ve seen it in the lives in the ministries of of prophets and saints throughout the ages where Satan fights against the work of God.
But in the process, God’s work always prevails and goes forth according to his plan, not according to the devil’s efforts.
Now, to clarify, Satan may win an occasional battle here or there along the way, but God wins the war every time the overall the overall war.
Let’s jump in Section ten. If you look at the section heading is says that it was a revelation given to Joseph Smith, the prophet of Harmony, Pennsylvania, in the summer of eighteen twenty eight. That’s when it seems to begin. But it’s spread out over a longer period of time as this revelation unfolds, because as you’ll remember, this section, Section Ten goes hand in hand with Section three, with the losing of the hundred and sixteen pages of manuscripts from the The Book of Mormon translation of Martin Harris assisted in bringing forth and then subsequently lost Notis verse one.
Now, behold, I sent you that because you delivered up those writings which you had power given them to you to translate by the means of the German thoman into the hands of a wicked man. You have lost them. It’s interesting to see how God refers to this. This phrase a wicked man throughout Section ten. Interesting because Martin Harris is still going to become one of the three witnesses to the book Mormon. He’s still going to finance the publication of the book Mormon.
It’s interesting because the Lord seems to be using the term here, wicked man to imply somebody who is doing what he wants to do rather than what God wants to do, trying to thwart the work from moving forth. Now, notice the effect that that had on Joseph verse, too. You also lost your gift at the same time and your mind became dark.
And brothers and sisters every time when we go against whatever it was that God has decreed or Lehi force for us to do, any time we go against that and think we’re smarter or we have a better idea or a better plan to move forward, it causes this stupor of thought. Our mind becomes darkened.
We we don’t have the capacity to carry forth our work like God has the capacity to carry forth his work. So notice the contrast. Verse three opens with the word nevertheless, remember? Nevertheless, puts a greater emphasis on what’s to come, not on what came right before. So here’s this mind darkening example in verse two. But in spite of that, look at what gets greater emphasis. Verse three. It is now restored unto you again, therefore, see that you are faithful, continue on until the finishing of the remainder of the work of translation as you have begun.
I love that God puts the never the less emphasis, the always the greater emphasis on basically saying, Joseph, I forgive you. Learn from that mistake, learn from that struggle that you faced and move on, go forward, build up the the work, build up the kingdom with faithfulness to my commandments and and in this covenant connection that I have with you.
Look at verse four, do not run faster no more than you have strength means provided to enable you to translate a be diligent onto the end. You get the sense that Joseph has been a little anxious, maybe a little impatient with himself in the timing, trying to to translate the work at a faster speed than maybe God had intended for him to have to translate it. He’s saying just don’t run faster and you have strength means will be provided for you to do the translation.
Little does Joseph know at this phase that the Lord has been preparing all of our Calvary to come down very soon and become his scribe late in the spring of eighteen twenty nine to do the bulk of the remaining translation work. And then you get the famous verse five. Pray always that you may come off you, that you may conquer Satan and you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work. At which point the Saviour transitions in Section ten into this section where he’s describing to Joseph, he’s revealing to Joseph from a heavenly perspective, let me describe to you exactly what Satan did and is trying to do with those pages of scripture.
And Satan thinks he has won a a big victory here. But I’m going to show you that the wisdom of God is much greater than the craftiness and the deceptiveness of Satan to try to overthrow the work because God’s in charge. This is his work. Remember, in The Book of Mormon. Sixty five. Twenty seven, he’s going to say on two occasions in that section, I am able to do my own work. And I think that’s what we have going on.
There is God reminding us, I got this. I am able to do my own work. I can do this. So here’s the cunning plan. Look, a verse ten Satan has put it into their hearts. These people have got a hold of the manuscript to alter the words which you have caused to be written or which you have translated, which have gone out of your hands. And then once they’ve altered them, they’re going to wait for you to retranslate them.
So then they can publish side by side with your your retranslation, their altered words and say, see, he’s not a prophet. This work is is a fraud from the from the get go. Some of you were probably thinking to yourself, wait a minute. How could a group of people. Honestly, think to themselves, let’s take these manuscript pages and alter it and then publish it in hopes that he translates again like he had here, so we can show that he’s a fraud.
What what rational human being would do that without stopping to say, wait a minute, we’re the ones being the fraud here because he just translated it again? Why would you do that? The simple answer is that one of the techniques or tactics of Satan is to get people to lie. In order to overcome somebody else’s perceived lies, it’s this idea of the ends justify the means. It’s OK for us to be deceptive because this person is being deceptive and this person is trying to lead people astray, perhaps even by the power of the devil.
Oh, the irony is thick here as they are being inspired by the devil to do this while claiming that somebody else is doing that power or doing what they’re doing by the power of the devil.
Not terribly unlike what some of the chief priests of the people are going to say to Jesus and the New Testament while you’re performing these miracles by the power of the devil. So they’re going to feel like anything they say or do against him is completely justified because this guy is clearly of the devil. Yeah, the irony irony is thick as it as it unfolds here.
So let’s focus on two things here for just a moment. Let’s talk a bit about Satan and who he thinks he is, but who he truly is and the word destroy. We actually through these verses like four, six, seven, eight, nine. There’s the word destroyer shows up quite a bit. But let’s begin with the word Satan. Satan is a Hebrew word that just literally means adversary. And the verb here actually means to term.
She’s actually trying to turn us away from God. Back, the word verse comes from the same word, because in the ancient past, when they would write, they would write this way and then they would turn and go this way. And so you’d be turning as you’d read from line to line. So the word here means to turn. So the adversary is trying to turn us away from God. But also, if you think about a little context, the adversary is the one who brings the lawsuit and the accusation.
OK, so Satan is trying to choose us, trying to get us in trouble with the law. I love this.
God is the judge of. He also is our advocate and he is the law. So let’s imagine for a moment Jesus, who’s given his life away for us, he has purchased us with his blood. He’s the life, he’s the advocate, he’s the judge. What chance does this adversary have of convincing the judge, who also is our advocate, Malala, that somehow we should be turned away towards him? Satan cannot win. The cards are stacked in our favor totally now in our modern day in a democratic world.
We actually have separate people in each of these categories and sometimes comes into conflict. There is no conflict with God. He is everything here. And so if we choose Jesus Christ in the sacrament, is our opportunity on a weekly basis to declare that we’ve chosen Jesus the adversary has no power. He cannot turn us aside. We will always win. Let’s talk about the word destroyer’s a few minutes.
It’s an interesting word. It literally means to. Screw things around. So imagine a building that gets all the pieces, the building gets strewn around the kingdom of God. God is building the kingdom.
He’s putting structure into his work. In fact, the word construction or instructor comes from the same word. In fact, so does the word instrument. It’s the same root word. Let’s take a look at this. What’s the work of Satan? Destroy everything around to just throw it out so it’s all disorganized God’s work that we see back in Genesis where he organizes. It sort of destroys God’s purpose is to bring structure and order ordinances, bring order to the world, got ordinances, reveal his orderliness.
So he gives us instruction through the law. He sends us instructors, prophets and apostles, and he provides instruments of salvation. Consider. We talk about the ordinances or the scriptures. All of these words of structure are found here, which also relate to the word. The word strew is right there. But Satan’s work is to do the opposite of God’s work. And as we noticed and we talked about, Satan cannot win, he cannot win against God because we have everything we’ve got.
He is our law. He is our advocate and our judge. And he will be a very merciful judge, though, just he will be merciful and grant us everything that we have access to because of the merits of his son. Isn’t that fascinating to notice them like Taylor saying, Satan’s efforts to destroy all of these things seatmates scripture. And he does everything he can to destroy it, to wrest it, to twist it, to repurpose it. He hates the people who God has chosen to be his mouthpiece to to spread the word sort of Satan, who he puts on them his own attributes.
They’re lying. They’re deceiving. They’re they’re trying to build up their own kingdom. All these claims that the devil makes against God’s servants through the ages.
And he does everything he can to keep people in ignorance with avoiding study and learning from your faith and from from learning from other people teaching notice to to clarify this, look at verse 19. This is what these men who have changed the writings on those hundred and sixteen pages said. Therefore, we will destroy him.
And also the work and we will do this, that we may not be ashamed in the end and that we may get glory of the world.
Fascinating. They thought this is this is we’re going to become famous, we’re going to we’re going to get the glory of the world, we’re going to destroy this work that’s of the devil, so to speak. Twenty years ago, I said to you that Satan has great hold upon their hearts and he stirred them up to iniquity against that which is good, and their hearts are corrupt and full of wickedness and abominations.
And they love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Therefore, they will not ask of me. In other words, these people doing this, they’re not praying and asking God, what should we do with these words? They love the darkness more than the light.
And then the savior gives Joseph this little caveat after discussing all of the plans that have been laid by the devil to trap these men and in the process to trap, to try to trap Joseph, look at verse twenty seven and thus he Satan goeth up and down to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men. Very reminiscent of a verse in the Old Testament that shares a similar concept here. Look at verse twenty eight Verdigris and you will be under him.
The lies to deceive because he supposes that another lie to deceive for such are not exempt from the Justice of God. In other words, Jesus is teaching a principle here that you don’t return contention with contention, darkness with darkness, lying with lies, violence with violence. It’s not his gospel. His gospel is to do good to those who, despite for you to be kind and pray for those who are persecuting within reason. Now, that doesn’t apply to somebody who’s being abused.
But you understand that the principal here is Satan is going to try to use these techniques to destroy us. And we shouldn’t use devilish techniques to push back the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of the devil. We should use heavenly techniques. Look at verse thirty three to finish off this section of of revealing the devil’s tactics. Thus Satan think to overpower your testimony in this generation that the work may not come forth in this generation. So just like in the sacred grove, when Satan sought to overpower Joseph and prevent this this restoration from even beginning, now he’s trying to do it with the coming forth of the scriptures and he’s going to seek to do it with coming forth of the church and with the coming force of the priesthood and the coming force of spreading the mission or the gathering of Israel through missionary work.
Satan is there at every one of these junctures doing everything he can to stop the work from progressing in this generation.
And I love the fact that what Taylor pointed out.
God’s work isn’t going to be stopped in the process, I might be stopped if I choose not to align my will and my heart with him, I can come to naught. But the work of God will go forth boldly, nobly and independent of these efforts. The devil ends and the earth me throw at or against the work. Now, clarification. Look at verse thirty four. This is beautiful. He says, behold here is wisdom. And because I show you wisdom and give you commandments concerning these things, what you shall do.
Show it not under the world until you accomplish the work of translation. Joseph, don’t make this widely known. I’m going to show you some wisdom that you’re going to keep this kind of closely guarded. Oh, and by the way, you’ll notice that once the translation process begins, Joseph has learned a lot about the powers of godliness and the powers of darkness. He he’s he’s experienced a lot of opposition as this work has progressed. And you’ll notice that he’s learned some practical things to never again is Joseph going to be stuck with just one copy of the translation.
You’ll notice from here on out, you’re going to have an original manuscript and then you’re going to have a printer’s manuscript. You’re going to have a back up. You’re going to have a second copy right there so that you’re never stuck with only one version like we have with the hundred lost pages. Look, it was thirty five Marvel, not that I said until you hear is wisdom, short knowledge of the world. I said sure not of the world that you may be preserved.
Joseph, I’m I’m giving you this direction that you may be preserved. Now, let’s pick this up in verse 38. Now, verily, I sing to you that an account of those things that you have written which have gone out of your hands is engraved upon the plates of Nephi. You’ll notice we have the plates that he’s been translating from that are called the plates of Mormon.
These are the plates of Mormon. Somewhere between a half to two thirds of those plates are sealed. We don’t even get to to translate those their seals for a later time. So all you get and we’re told that they’re about six inches by six inches, by eight inches roughly, it would take an inch. You get a little bit of variance in in people’s judgment of how big they are, but that’s all you get. So if I have to two thirds are sealed.
We’re only translating somewhere between two to three inches worth of the stack of plates total, including the 116 lost pages. So these are referred to as the plates of Mormon. And now what is or what is Joseph being told? You’re going to engrave those things which are upon the plates of Nephi Notis verse thirty nine Yae. And remember, it was said in these writings that are more particular account was given of these things upon the plates of Nephi Pacioretty.
Now, because the account which is engraved upon the plates of Nephi is more particular concerning the things which in my wisdom I would bring to the knowledge of the people in this account. Therefore, you shall translate the engravings which are on the plates of Nephi down even until you come to the reign of King Benjamin or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained. Now, let’s make something very clear here. It seems probably that we have on this set of plates, you have a small collection of plates called the Plates of Nephi, but they’re not exactly the plates of Mormon.
They’re not written by Mormon interested. But let’s go back. Let’s let’s get context here. Open up your book, Mormon to first Nephi. Chapter one, first Nephi. Chapter one way back at the beginning on the plates of Nephi. Verse seventeen. Here’s Nephi saying, but I shall make an account of my proceedings in my days, behold, I make an abridgement of the record of my father upon plates which I have made with my own hands.
Wherefore, after I have a bridge, the record of my father, then will I make an account of my own life.
So you have the book of Lihi, the record of Lihi. And if I just told you before I give you my own life, I’m going to give you an abridgement of the writings of my father, Lihi. You can see the abridgment that Nephi makes, and first, Nephi chapters one through nine. This is first Nephi chapters one through nine Nephi abridging the book of Lihi. Look at the very last verse of of Chapter nine in first Nephi at the very, very bottom line, it says, and thus it is a man.
There’s a closure here. There’s an ending point. Thus it is a. Now check out chapter 10, verse one. And now I Nephi proceed to give an account upon these plates of my proceedings and my reign and ministry where to proceed with my own account. I must speak somewhat of the things that my father and also my brother. So now he’s no longer in abridgment mode. He’s now giving you his own story moving forward. Interesting not to make to make sense of what’s going on here.
You have to throw one more piece of information onto the board, go up to her, go over to second by chapter five. Go to signify Chapter five. Look at verse 27, so here we are, section Nephi, chapter five started verse twenty seven came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness and 30 years had passed away from the time we left Jerusalem. So it’s been 30 years since we left the the home in Jerusalem. And I know if I had kept the records upon my plates, which I had made of my people thus far, and it came to pass, the Lord God said unto me, make other plates and thou shalt engrave in many things upon them, which are good in my and my sight for the profit of the people.
Brothers and sisters, what you have here is it’s been 30 years, we’ve been in the Americas for over 20 years at this point, and Nephi has already established a large collection of plates, the large plates of Nephi and now the Lord. After 30 years, he’s done all of this work, God says, and if I make another record, but this one’s going to be small, much smaller than what you’ve already done. And you’re only going to include on those plates the things of your soul, the things of deep spiritual importance, not all of the other details that you put on the on the first you’ll notice verse thirty two.
I engraved that which is pleasing onto God. And if my people are pleased with the things of God, they will be pleased with mine engravings which are upon these plates.
And if my people desire to know the more particular part of the history of my people, if you want all the great details, they must search mine, other plates.
Oh and by the way was thirty four and a with me to say that forty years had passed away and we’d already had wars and conventions for was twenty eight to thirty four.
You get a 10 year span from 30 years to 40 years out from Jerusalem. It makes it sound like in that 10 years Nephi has gone back and he’s telling his story again the second time, but he’s leaving out most of the detail that is the history of the people. And he’s giving you stuff which is pleasing to the Lord. And the fascinating thing is, is God isn’t telling him why. He’s just telling him he needs to do it. And Nephi being mr.
I will go and do the things which the Lord has commanded. He’s just doing it. He doesn’t understand why. Now, isn’t it fascinating that the large plates are the record? They become the record of the kings. The history, the official record of the Nation of Nephites passed down through a Keatley or royal line and it gets big. The Kings record is going to be large. There’s going to be a big collection of plates included in that, and it’s going to proliferate out and get big.
Whereas the smaller record is the record of the profits passed from Nephi, who was a king, has this down to the Kings.
But he passed this one down to his brother Jacob, and then on to Enos Joram Night until you get to the very end of this really small record.
And the Malachai the profit there in Omnes says, I don’t have any posterity to pass these onto, so I’m going to give them over to the King.
At the time, his name is Benjamin King. Benjamin’s got lots of records. He’ll know how to keep them safe and therefore it’s all done.
So into this huge repository of the big collection of plates called the Plates of Nephi goes this small account that is so small and simple that it would be really easy to completely overlook and ignore and not even notice, quite frankly, among the record of kings and the history of the people.
And it gets stuck in the repository, it seems, and perhaps forgotten for a long time until Mormon comes along. And if you turn over to words of Mormon. Go towards the Mormon, chapter one, verse three, here’s Mormon in the 4th century A.D. So we’re almost a thousand years after Nephi made this second copy. Notice what he says, verse three. Now, I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written for after I had made an abridgement from the plates of Nephi down to the ring of this King Benjamin, of whom a speak I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands.
And I found these plates which contained this small account of the prophets from Jacob down to the reign of this King Benjamin, and also many of the words of Nephi. Brothers and sisters, you’ve got this huge collection of plates with all these the large plates of Nephi and he’s at the point where he’s already a bridge.
The whole story from Lihi all the way down to King Benjamin on the large king we record. And at that point, is he searching among the plates in King Benjamin’s reign? Lo and behold, he finds this small collection, which is exactly where King Benjamin would have put it in with the records of the Kings that he is making at the time. And Mormon pulls out this small record and he reads it and he says, Wow. This is really good stuff, but he’s already abridged the entire record from Lihi down to this time on from the bigger plates.
So here he is.
Here’s Mormon in the 4th century A.D. holding this small collection, having either read through it in great detail or at least enough to say, no, this is amazing. Look at what he says. Verse in verse six. Behold, I shall take these plates which contain these prophecies and revelations and put them with the remainder of my record for their choice. And to me and I know they will be choice to my brother. Now look at the reason he gives for why he’s doing this for seven.
I do this for a wise purpose. For this it was for me according to the workings of the spirit of the Lord, which is in me. And now I do not know all things but the Lord and with all things which are to come, wherefore he was kissing me according to his will. Brothers and sisters, what we have here. Is it eighteen twenty eight, Joseph, and losing one hundred and sixteen pages that represent Mormons abridgements of the Book of Lihi all the way down to halfway through the reign of King Benjamin.
We lost all of that, that abridgment in eighteen twenty eight. God knew that was going to happen. So what does he do in five, five, six DVC? He goes to be fine, says I need to make a second record. And what does he do with Mormon in the 4th century A.D.? He has him find this small record of the profits, that’s all in first person. There’s no abridgment on small plates, everything and first Nephi through all night is I Nephi ig Jacob, I, I Jorm.
It’s not. And it came to pass that I did this and Jérome went here and Malachai said this. It’s all first person Mormon didn’t a bridgitte, he just took it and he included it with his record in some way, shape or form. God knows what he’s doing and he knows the efforts that Satan’s going to make to thwart the work and try to overthrow the plan. And he has things in place thousands of years in advance, in some cases from the Sisters of God will do that for scripture.
Don’t you think he would do that for his children? Do you think he’ll do that for you? Yeah, yes, Satan is fighting against you, but you have to trust that God has things in store, in place to preserve us, to move forward, to be able to accomplish his purposes, that his kingdom will roll forth in our own life and in our own families according to his purposes. If we’ll just trust him and not and not give up or lose hope or lose faith and grow weary on the path.
OK, now back to the Doctrine and Covenants. Section 10, verse 43. I will not suffer that. They shall destroy my work here. I will show it to them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil. And then he tells Joseph they only got a part where an abridgement of the account of Nephi Mormons abridgment and by the way, that was Mormons first attempt that we have record of of a bridging scripture.
It was Nephites first attempt to write scripture and many of the the king’s rather after him who wrote and that doesn’t go life. And it was also Joseph’s first attempt to translate. And so now God’s saying, look at verse forty five. Behold, there are many things engraved upon the plates of Nephi once again, not the plates of Mormon, not Mormons abridgment. We’re back to these small plates of Nephi. There are many things in Greven there which do throw braider views upon my gospel.
Therefore, it is wisdom in me that you should translate this first part of the engravings of Nephi and send forth in this work. And then he says, and behold, all the remainder of this work does contain all those parts of my gospels, of my gospel, which my only prophets and also my disciples desired in their prayers should come forth until this people. It makes you wonder, doesn’t it, if Mormon read those small plates of Nephi the record of the prophets that didn’t need any abridging it makes you wonder if, as he read through the words of Nephi on the small plates and words of Jacob, an illness and those other prophets.
If what degree that affected him in his subsequent bridge, which we do get lives in The Book of Mormon the Book of Mosiah The Book of Mormon Hilman third and fourth Nephi, and then the book with his own name, Mormon, where he’s focusing on the points of the gospel that are the most important as described here. Notice if you come down to verse 50 52. Now, behold, according to their faith, speaking of these prophets in the The Book of Mormon who look down the corner of time pleading with God to preserve these words according to their faith and their prayers, will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people?
Behold, I do not bring it to destroy that which they have received, but to build it up.
That which they have received could refer to the Bible. It could refer to these other teachings that have come to them. And he’s saying, I’m not giving you The Book of Mormon and I’m not giving you a modern scripture to destroy that which you’ve already received. I love the phrase that President Hinckley used on multiple occasions when referring to this kind of of approach. He said, Our message to the world is bring all of the good that you have and see if we can add to it.
Our missionary effort is not to go out and destroy and tear down what people believe in order and then teach them from the ground up. It’s to find out what spiritual experiences they’ve already had, what connections they’ve already made with heaven, what powerful feelings they’ve already acquired by reading the scriptures and by praying, and then assure them that we invite them to bring all of that and see if we can add to it. And President Hinckley said, we’re confident that we can there’s a fullness of the gospel in the Book of Mormon and in the doctrine covenants that enhances what they already know and love and appreciate about that which they’ve already received in the Bible and another in other Christian traditions.
Notice he says fifty four, I do not say this to destroy my church, but I say this to build up my church. Remember, it’s Satan who’s the one who wants to destroy it, Siegmund wants to screw around and tear up and break up, it’s God who wants to take every good foundation you have and build on it and increase the foundation in the process as well. Look over sixty five. Therefore, whosoever belong to my church need not fear for such shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.
Knowing that the section is given between section between eighteen twenty nine and he or eighteen twenty eight and eighteen twenty nine, it’s interesting to see Jesus speaking about his church in the present tense. Notice the number 65 there for whosoever belonging to my church need not fear the Church of Jesus Christ isn’t going to be officially organized until spring of 1830, a full year and and some away from when most of this is being given notice. He refers again to his church in verse 67 people.
This is my doctrine, whosoever repentance and cometh unto me. The same as my church makes you wonder, doesn’t it is? Is his church more widely defined at certain levels than just the organization called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, which isn’t going to be organized for another year, or is he just speaking in the prophetic, perfect tense of speaking of future events as if they’ve already happened?
That’s possible. Or.
Is it possible that something that elder Deloney chokes at the time now, President Obama, when he gave this talk at BYU, Idaho, called witnesses of God, he he said something I think very profound when referring back to something in the dream or sorry, the vision of Nephi and Christ Nephi 11 through 14, where it speaks of their save, only that there are only two churches, the Church of the Land and the Church of the Devil. He said the church of the Lamb is to paraphrase him.
He said it’s anyone who believes in God and gives their life to the to the best of their ability according to the light and knowledge that they’ve received in the church. The devil is anyone who fights against God and a belief in God, if that’s true. Now, Section Ten makes a lot more sense that anyone who believes in God, who is repenting and coming to him the same as his church and there are degrees of the church of the land that that God in heaven is willing to rent to people on the earth, degrees of light and knowledge and truth to the to the capacity that they can receive it and act on it without being condemned.
So what is our message that might be unique among all of the churches in the world that that believe in God? Our message is that we offer a fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ with his priesthood authority restored to the earth to perform ordinances that he established for salvation. These aren’t man made and to carry forth the words to every nation, kindred tongue in people and to gather Israel on both sides of the veil, not just through our missionary work, but through our temple and family history work as well.
That’s what we are. That’s what our message to the world is. Bring all that good that you have and see if we can add to this the gospel. Amazing. I love the doctrine of covenants. I love God’s plan. He just has built it out over the centuries with all these prophets. And in our day we get to see how all is flourishing and being brought to pass. Let’s return to verse forty nine, fifty fifty one. And remember that the righteous that lived in this land before and the Americans prayed to have the gospel go forth.
And here’s what they said. Now, this is not all their faith in their prayers. Was this gospel should be made known also if it were possible that other nations should possess this land. So there are many nations now possessing the Americas. And thus they did leave a blessing. Again, these are the righteous prophets who lived in the ancient Americas. They believe a blessing upon this land in their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this gospel, in this land might have eternal life.
The Book of Mormon came forth to share that gospel, so anybody in the Americas and anybody in the world who believes the gospel as we build The Book of Mormon can have eternal life first if you want. Very interesting. Say that it the land might be free unto all of what, sovereign nation, kindred tongue or people they may be. Notice it doesn’t say The Book of Mormon will come forth in a free land. It says if you believe the gospel.
It might be free until the people who believe the gospel. So if you want freedom, you live the gospel, you don’t wait for freedom to bring forth the gospel. The gospel brings forth freedom and again, this is important, verse 51 says that the land might be free unto all of what sovereign nation can tell tolerate people they may be if they believe in the gospel. So we want freedom in this life. We have to trust God. We have to accept the gospel as revealed and we have to live it.
We can’t simply claim I have it. I’m part of the church. Therefore, I should get all these blessings. You actually have to do something. We have to live the gospel and then we will be free. So finish up Section 10. Let’s go back to 63 for a second. This idea that I may establish my gospel, that there may not be so much contention. We live in a world where people are fighting over all kinds of things, all kinds of ideologies and approaches to politics and life in general.
Notice, he says, Satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to content you concerning the points of my doctrine. And in these things they do er for the rest of the scriptures and do not understand them. One of the things that he’s revealing here is the same doctrine that he taught the Nephites when he first arrived in the Americas don’t content. He says if you contend you’re giving in to the temptations of the devil because he is the father of contention, that’s not of me.
Notice, he then says, I’m going to unfold and to them this great mystery, we’re sixty five for behold, I will gather them as a hen gathers for chickens under wings.
If they will not harden their hearts, if they will come, they may and partake of the waters of life freely.
I love that. His message of the Gospel is this open invitation. He’s raised wings that you can come and gather underneath his wings for protection. It’s free. It’s open to all. Nobody’s denied. And he tells you that is his doctor. Now. Under Section 11, when Samuel Smith had come down from Manchester, New York, down to harmony with Oliver Cowdery, shortly thereafter, Joseph and Oliver had been visited by John the Baptist and received the ironic priesthood.
The ability to baptize Samuel had been baptized by Oliver. He goes home to Manchester by Palmira, and he shares with the family this this great news. Well, Hiram Smith, the now the oldest brother in the family, because Alvin passed away. He died back in nineteen twenty three. Now Alvin’s are now Hiram says I want to go down.
So he left immediately to go down to harmony and he shows up late in May of eighteen twenty nine and he is excited to assist in the work and do whatever he can. Now you’ll notice in chapter or section 11 the verse one through nine are basically with a couple of punctuation mark changes and a few words. Two words here. They’re changed. It’s the identical copy to Section six, verse one three nine, which was given to Oliver Cowdrey. So the Lord is using very, very similar, almost identical words to Hyrum.
But Hiram gets some additional stuff that is relevant and applicable only to hire him, not to Oliver in that context. So notice there’s a there’s a thread here that flows through Section eleven. Look, we’ll pick it up in six. Now, as you have asked Hyrum, you’ve asked, what can I do to help? What can I do to build up the kingdom? Here’s the answer. I say, And do you keep my commandments and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion?
So can offer riches, but for wisdom, don’t try to get rich, but try to gain wisdom, notice versus saying nothing about repentance until this generation keep my commandments and assist to bring forth my work according to my commandments. And you shall be blessed. Go down to verse 18, keep my commandments, hold your place or hold your peace appealing to my spirit. Look a verse twenty. Behold, this is your work to keep my commandments.
You with all your might mind and strength for times. Hyrum is told Keep my commandments. We live in a world that wants things. Resolved very quickly once things given to us, we don’t like pain, we don’t like long process drawn out, we like what might be termed cheap grace. You’ll notice the words of Jesus, not just in the New Testament but throughout the doctrine. And covenants are very focused on this long process of covenant, discipleship and loyalty to him.
And how do we show that loyalty? Tabors talked about this multiple times. That loyalty from our perspective to keep that part of the covenant is through doing the things that have been given to us, those those contractual agreements called commandments.
And here I was told that four times that is your work. And then he follows up in twenty one. Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, then show your tongue, be loosed. Then if you desire, you shall have my spirit in my word, Lehi the power of God under the convincing. And that I like this because it doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter where you live in the world, which country or which part of the world you’re in.
It doesn’t matter what gender, what age, what socioeconomic status you have. It doesn’t matter what your physical limitations or abilities may be. Every single one of us, without exception, can seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion better today than we did yesterday. And we can seek to keep his commandments with all of our heart or with all of our might mind and strength better than we did yesterday. This is very doable. And in the process we are allowing the Lord to shape us through the keeping of those commitments by swallowing up my will in his will say not my will the thing be done.
It allows him to put us in situations and to shape us into wholeness down to the point where we can be used as an instrument in his hands to accomplish his purposes as he does his work. And his work is to bring to pass the immortality, eternal life of of all of us and building the Zion, which is oneness and unity. And this collective group look in verse twenty six, therefore treasure up into in your heart until the time, which is in my wisdom that you shall go forth.
And that’s going to probably be different for all of us and it’s not going to look the same. But if we treasure up in our heart all those things that God has given us, he will call us to do his work and we’ll do it his way. And then he finishes verse twenty eight. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the son of God. I am the life and the light of the world. And he gives us the power to go and do his work.
If you look around you and you see efforts to thwart your progress on the current path, if you feel great opposition, a great temptation, recognize that’s what the devil has always done against God’s work and against God’s children. He’s always been that adversary against us. But inclosing. I want to say. There is nothing that Earth and hell combined can do to thwart the power and the glory and the knowledge and the love and the wisdom of God, this is his work and it will move forward.
Brothers and sisters, the work of God will move forward with or without me, but I will move forward without him. May the Lord bless all of us to seek to bring forth and establish design to to establish his kingdom, not just in the world, but in your own little world. Nobody lives and nobody loves you that with you in the name of Jesus Christ.