Monday, June 21, 2021

Doctrine and Covenants 67-70

 Section 67 begins:

Behold and hearken, O ye elders of my church, who have assembled yourselves together, whose prayers I have heard, and whose hearts I know, and whose desires have come up before me.

Behold and lo, mine eyes are upon you, and the heavens and the earth are in mine hands, and the riches of eternity are mine to give.

Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you; but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive.

Here are some questions for us to think deeply upon: 

What fears are in our hearts? 

And what blessings are we not receiving because of those fears?

Now that I am 57 years old I have seen a lot of life. Sometimes it feels as if I have experienced 114 years of life packed into those 57 years! Looking back, I can see that many of my greatest fears actually happened. Sometimes I thought these fears would overcome me and I would never be okay again. But with each of these challenges, came great blessings (over time) as the Lord was ready to help. With each of these blessings, came greater faith in the Lord. With greater faith in the Lord comes less fear.

What great fears have happened to you?

What blessings did you receive by facing those fears and turning to the Lord?

Here is the great blessing the Lord promised to the Saints at this conference:

10 And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.

Let us note that jealousy is just a type of fear, right? It's the fear that we are not good enough or that we do not have enough.

If we strip ourselves of fear, we will get mighty blessings from the Lord--even knowing Him and being united with Him. The Kirtland Saints actually saw the Lord as the veil was parted between heaven and earth at the dedication of their temple a few years later. It was an amazing event, which we will read about later. For us, the veil may be rent in other ways, and we may "see" the Lord in other ways.

In Section 68, four departing missionaries (Orson Hyde, Luke and Lyman Johnson, and William McLellin) are told by the Lord:

Wherefore, be of good acheer, and do not bfear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I cwas, that I am, and that I am to come.

This is the word of the Lord unto you, my servant Orson Hyde, and also unto my servant Luke Johnson, and unto my servant Lyman Johnson, and unto my servant aWilliam E. McLellin, and unto all the faithful elders of my church—

aGo ye into all the world, bpreach the gospel to every ccreature, acting in the dauthority which I have given you, ebaptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Each of these brethren responded to this call and faced the fears they encountered in a different way. Each of them was so overcome by fear at some time in their life that they left the Church. Two of them came back.  I'm sure we cannot comprehend their times, their culture, their challenges. They were all young men; they were all new converts. They lived and worked near the Prophet Joseph Smith and saw his ordinariness along with his extraordinariness. But learning from them (with compassion) may be instructive for us, as we face our fears in staying true to the faith, and as we maintain relationships with beloved family members and friends who choose to leave the faith.

Two points are important to remember here: 

1) Although D&C 68:25 tells us that if we don't teach our children properly concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ, "the sin be upon the heads of the parents," that word "sin" is singular. It is not the sins the children commit that will be upon the parents' heads--it is the sin of not teaching the children that will be upon their heads. It is a grave error to assume that we can control what our children choose to do by the way that we teach. This would be in direct opposition to the plan of our Heavenly Father.

2) "This life" is the time to prepare to meet God, but "this life" includes the spirit world after our mortal life; there is no Judgment until after that time. The spirit world is one great mission field. No one is completely finished with living and learning when they die. That includes the early Saints who were all beginners at Sainthood, and had no family history of Church membership, and that includes us and our children who are living in a different but also wicked world. It is very possible that all four of these early Saints are now great missionaries and leaders in the post-existence.

William McLellin

William McLellin was discussed in the previous blog post. Being a schoolteacher made William McLellin very educated and respected in his day--perhaps equivalent to holding a doctorate degree today. 

Orson Hyde


Orson Hyde was a genius, pure and simple. He had a photographic memory and "when anyone quoted one verse [of the Bible], [he] could quote the next...in English, German, [or] Hebrew" (Susan Easton Black, Who's Who in the Doctrine and Covenants, Bookcraft, 142). He traveled east in the United States with Samuel Smith on his first mission. He served in Zion's Camp. He was one of the first Apostles to serve a mission to England where a great harvest of souls was reaped. 

For about six months in 1838-1839, he was one of the apostates. He signed a slanderous document against the Prophet, which caused great distress and damage. He confessed and apologized sincerely in the spring and was restored to his previous position and remained faithful for the rest of his life. 

In the 1840s he served an arduous mission to Israel to dedicate Jerusalem for the returning of the Jews and for the building of a temple. When he returned from this mission, he was called to St. Petersburg, Russia, but that call was changed to Washington, D.C. to plead the cause of the Saints in their persecutions to the government (Black, 143).

Luke and Lyman Johnson

Luke and Lyman were the sons of Elsa Johnson, whose miraculous healing inspired the baptism of Ezra Booth. They became brothers-in-law to Orson Hyde when he married their sister Marinda Nancy Johnson in 1834 (Joseph Smith Papers; Brian and Laura Hales, Joseph Smith's Polygamy). 


Luke served a mission to the eastern states and another to the southern states. He was a fun-loving guy who played a trick on one of his investigators who had been waiting upon a direct voice from an angel to tell him to join the Church by climbing a ladder to the man's bedroom window and whispering loudly, "Ezekial! Ezekial! Ezekial! Repent! Repent! Repent!" Apparently, it worked.

Luke left the Church after two successful missions because of the financial crises that hit the United States and crushed the Kirtland church bank in 1838. In the ensuing years, he studied medicine and became a doctor. Finally, eight years later, he was rebaptized by his brother-in-law Orson in 1846 in Nauvoo (Joseph Smith Papers) and was never again troubled by that fear that shook his faith in Kirtland. He journeyed with the 1847 company of pioneers to Salt Lake City and settled in Tooele County, Utah. He died suddenly at the age of 54 at Marinda and Orson's home while he was in Salt Lake City on business. 


Luke's brother Lyman served his mission to the eastern states with Orson Pratt. He served in Zion's Camp and was the first Apostle called in this dispensation at the young age of 23. But in 1837 he began his decline into apostacy over his personal financial loss. The following April he was excommunicated for "bringing distress to the innocent, assaulting Phineas Young, not attending Church meetings, failing to observe the Word of Wisdom, and unrighteous conduct" (Black, 158-9). Although he never served another mission, he sent Heber C. Kimball off on his mission to England with his own cloak, and that cloak served seven missions to the British Isles--three times on Brother Kimball's back and four times on Parley Pratt's.

Lyman is reported by Brigham Young to have said, "I would suffer my right hand to be cut off, if I could believe [in the Church] again. Then I was full of joy and gladness. My dreams were pleasant. When I awoke in the morning my spirit was cheerful. I was happy by day and by night, full of peace and joy and thanksgiving. But now it is darkness, pain, sorrow, misery in the extreme. I have never since seen a happy moment" (Black, 159). Lyman became an attorney in Iowa and died at age 45 in an sleighing accident on the frozen Mississippi River.

In Section 70, the Lord warned the Saints to share their temporal blessings, and that became quite a difficult challenge for many of the Saints, Luke and Lyman included.

14 Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be aequal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be bwithheld.

In addition to the financial greed and ensuing jealousies that broke some Saints apart from their faith, these four men had the intellectual and educational superiority that sometimes makes it hard to be humble and honor a prophet who is younger, rougher, poorer, and less educated.

The Rest of the Story

After the Saints left Kirtland, the city never regained its glory. Nearby Cleveland and Akron became bustling centers of industry, but Kirtland remained a small town, with a population of as little as 900. But the Lord did not forget His promise that the Church in Kirtland would rise again.

In 1954 the editor of the Cleveland Press wrote, "If Joseph Smith, the dedicated and courageous founder of the Mormon Church, were living today, he would take special pride in the news that a new Mormon Chapel shortly will be built on Lake Avenue near Edgewater Park" (quoted in Karl Ricks Anderson, Joseph Smith's Kirtland, 374). About 1,000 members of the Church lived in the Cleveland/Kirtland area at the time. In 1956, the Church purchased its first historic property in its mission to restore Kirtland. That purchase was the John and Elsa Johnson home.

In 1976, President Spencer W. Kimball traveled to Ohio and conducted a missionary-oriented meeting at the Cleveland Colliseum, attended by 19,000 people. Nearly 1,000 baptisms resulted from that inspirational meeting.

From 1979 to 1986 President Ezra Taft Benson traveled to Kirtland five times, meeting with descendants of the early Saints who had left the Church and remained in Ohio. When the Kirtland Stake was reorganized in 1983, "a substantial portion of the members were descendants of the earlier Kirtland Saints." Efforts were then made to connect descendants whose ancestors had traveled west with the Saints with their cousins whose ancestors had stayed behind. This was the case with the siblings Luke, Lyman, and Marinda Johnson and their family was one of the first to reestablish ties between Utah and Ohio descendants when Grant Johnson and his wife from Utah were called on a mission to the Kirtland area and met with cousins they never knew (Anderson, 384).

(Personal note: In 2006, my husband and I took our youngest four children on a Church History cross-country tour, as we had done previously with our older children. When we visited Kirtland, we attended the indoor musical pageant, "This is Kirtland," performed by the Kirtland Stake. It was exceptionally good and was one of the highlights of our trip.)

What can we learn from this portion of the Doctrine and Covenants and this time in the history of the Church that we can apply in our lives?

1) Don't assume that righteousness will equal financial gain or you are likely to consider the loss of your money as cause for a loss of faith.

2) Don't allow your education and intelligence to put you in a position to criticique Church leaders and members past and present. The glory of God is intelligence, so get all the intelligence you can, but know where your learning stops and the intelligence of God takes over. Never reverse the two. Smarter people than you (such as Orson Hyde) have kept the faith to the end of their lives. 

3) Reach out to your extended family members whether or not they believe the same way you do. The gathering of Israel, the key commission of the dispensation of the fullness of times, is all about family connections.

4) Share the gospel wherever you go, and always be willing to serve. The gospel is the way to navigate this life in happiness and to find joy in the eternities.


Saturday, June 12, 2021

Doctrine and Covenants 64-66

Recap: The Saints had begun gathering to Ohio in early 1831. In late spring a large group of New York Saints joined them. The Lord then instructed the Saints that this was only a stopping point along the way, but despite that, they should "act upon this land for years" (D&C 51:17) and it would turn unto their good. By mid-summer, the final location was announced as Jackson County, Missouri. The Saints were to move there slowly, over years, so as not to overwhelm and alarm the frontier town. 

Section 64 reads:

21 I will not that my servant Frederick G. Williams should sell his farm, for I, the Lord, will to retain a strong hold in the land of Kirtland, for the space of five years, in the which I will not overthrow the wicked, that thereby I may save some.

22 And after that day, I, the Lord, will not hold any aguilty that shall go with an open heart up to the land of Zion; for I, the Lord, require the bhearts of the children of men.

If after 5 years the Lord would not hold any guilty for moving to Jackson County, we can presume that he would hold people guilty for going earlier if not commanded. As discussed in the previous lesson, many did not wait 5 years to go up to Zion, and perhaps partly because of that, there was no Zion in Jackson County when the 5 years came. The Saints were driven out of Jackson in 2 years. (See Chronology of Church History.) By November of 1833, they were fleeing for their lives to Clay County.

Would we be willing to stop at someplace we knew was only halfway to Utopia? It wouldn't have been easy. Yet those who did "act upon [the] land as for years" were still in Kirtland for the marvelous dedication of the Kirtland Temple in 1836!

Section 64 promises that the Saints will get to Zion if they can forgive each other and if they can share what they have with each other.  These are two very, very difficult commandments to follow which most of us struggle with throughout our lives.

Section 65 tells us that we should pray for the Lord's Kingdom to come on the earth, for that day when Christ shall be king. An interesting note is made by Steven Harper:

"In 1838, Judge Austin King charged Joseph Smith with treason and confined him in jail at Liberty, Missouri, for teaching the doctrines given in section 65. Parley P. Pratt wrote that Judge King 'inquired diligently into our belief of the seventh chapter of Daniel concerning the kingdom of God, which should subdue all other kingdoms and stand forever.' The Saints testified that they believed the prophecy, and Judge King instructed his clerk, 'Write that down; it is a strong point for treason.' The Saints' attorney objected. Is the Bible treason? The next time he was charged with treason, Joseph did not escape. A month after 'setting up the kingdom of Daniel by the word of the Lord' and declaring his intent to 'revolutionize the whole world,' Joseph Smith's life was ended abruptly by a lunch mob in Carthage, Illinois, on June 27, 1844" (Steven C. Harper, Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants: A Guided Tour through Modern Revelation, electronic version, Deseret Book, 400).


Section 66 is a personal revelation to Brother William E. McLellin, which he wrote as the Prophet dictated it. Brother McLellin's mother was a Cherokee, making him half Lamanite, if you believe the Cherokee tribes descend from the Book of Mormon peoples as I do and as the early Saints did (Joseph Smith Papers). Brother McLellin, a brand-new convert, wanted to try the Lord and His prophet Joseph Smith by asking for the answers to 5 questions that were very important to him, but without telling the Prophet that he had these questions. That evening, he wrote the revelation in his journal and added that it "gave great joy to my heart because some important questions were answered which had dwelt upon my mind with anxiety and yet with uncertainty." He never revealed what the questions were, but he had asked in faith and received a testimony because of them (Harper, 403).

Harper reports that Brother McLellin used his journal after this point as an "accountability report" on his obedience to this revelation. In his honesty of writing, many lapses are recorded.

1) He set out on the mission he was called to, preaching the gospel and blessing the sick. He tried to "be patient in affliction," but the winter wore him down and he left his companion and returned to Kirtland around Christmastime of 1831. He was rebuked by the Lord in D&C 75:6-7 and called to service again.

2) He set out on the second mission, but his health and his faith waned, and he again left his companion. 

3) He took a job to earn money and he married, all while he was supposed to be on a mission, unencumbered by family obligations (D&C 66:10).

4) He and his bride dashed off to Jackson County, despite being commanded "go not up unto the land of Zion" (D&C 66:6).

5) He did not consecrate his money to the bishop there, but bought two lots on Main Street in Independence, after being commanded to "think not of [his own] property" (D&C 66:6).

Despite disobeying revelations given specifically to himself in answer to his questions, he still believed Joseph Smith to be a prophet and wrote as much in August 1832. Joseph Smith publicly called him out for his disobedience. 

Brother McLellin's time in the Church was brief but highly eventful. His faithfulness was rather like a yo-yo, with extreme highs and lows. He had requested the revelation now known as Section 66 shortly after joining the Church in 1831. Due to his disobedience, he was excommunicated in 1832, but soon after was reinstated. In 1833 and 1834 he served two short missions. He was called as an Apostle in 1835. He formally left the Church in 1836, but apparently changed his mind soon and rejoined. He was called again as an Apostle in 1837. He was excommunicated again in 1838, admitting that he had gone "his own way and indulged himself in his lustful desires." He was again excommunicated, this time never to return, and "he spent the rest of his long life struggling to resolve the dissonance between his unshaken testimony and his unwillingness to repent" (Joseph Smith Papers; Harper, 407). 

It is impossible for us to know what personal struggles Brother McLellin had in this life that made obedience so difficult for him. But he never forsook his testimony of this revelation. In 1848, ten years after he and the Church parted ways, he wrote in his journal, "I now testify in the fear of God, that every question which I had thus lodged in the ears of the Lord of Sabbaoth, were answered to my full and entire satisfaction. I desired it for a testimony of Joseph's inspiration. And I to this day consider it to me an evidence which I cannot refute" (Journal entry, quoted in Harper, 404). He tried several break-off groups through the years, but finally left all organized religion. William McLellin died in 1883 in Independence, Missouri at the age of 78.



Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Doctrine and Covenants 63

SHORTCUTS TO TESTIMONY

When the Brethren came back from their trip to Missouri in summer of 1831, Joseph Smith was able to announce, "Now we know where Zion and the New Jerusalem will be: Jackson County, Missouri!" Jackson County did not look anything like a promised land or a celestial society, however. To see it as such required an eye of faith.

The Saints themselves were no more near a Zion society than we are, as was easily shown by the quarrels and controversies among prospective Church leaders on the trip back along the Missouri River! Such quarreling and complaining led to the near capsizing of the Prophet's canoe. In fact, the operation of a canoe is an excellent metaphor for a Zion society. If you have ever traveled in a canoe, you know that it requires absolute cooperation between the two who are in it, otherwise it goes in circles or nowhere. It's a craft that operates on principles of equal strength, shared goals, and syncronized movement.

A new convert (let's be real--by today's standards, all the members of the Church in 1831 were new converts, but this man was one of the newest), Ezra Booth, was traveling with the party. Before he had any faith in the truths of the gospel, and very little knowledge of its principles, he had been present for a miracle, the healing of Sister Johnson's shoulder, and this caused him to "rush the process" and join the Church without careful study. He didn't need faith because he had seen the gift of healing with his natural eyes. But this is the opposite of how faith becomes deeply rooted, and once the quarreling traveling party reached home in Kirtland, he now had knowledge that the Saints were imperfect. In addition, he had seen the very rough and sinful frontier city of Independence, Missouri--where you could only tell it was Sunday because there was more drinking and fighting and carousing on that day--and he wanted nothing to do with living there.

So on his return to Ohio, he quickly became a vicious opponent of the Church. He holds the dubious honor of being the first writer and promoter of "anti-Mormon" material in history. He began writing letters, first to a Methodist minister and then to Edward Partridge, describing the faults of the Church, the so-called promised land, and the individuals leading the movement. Then  he sent these sensational letters to be published in the Ohio Star newspaper. One contemporary who read his letters wrote to his brother that the Mormon Church worshipped the devil himself.

These letters apparently became quite influential. They were not only read by interested local individuals, but they were included as a major source for the first anti-Mormon book published, Mormonism Unvailed (sic). Over 100 years later, they were source material for one of the most-read books criticizing the Church and Joseph Smith, No Man Knows My History, by Fawn Brody. Although Ezra Booth was only a member of the Church for a matter of weeks, his letters were (and sometimes still are) considered insider knowledge and his criticism considered accurate. 

Why did Ezra Booth go to such lengths to spread his negative opinions (some would certainly be called lies) about the Church he had left? We know exactly why he did because he said so himself to the editor of the newspaper: 1) it was his duty before God and man, 2) he needed to rescue those who had been entrapped in the Church, 3) he wanted to prevent others from ruining their lives by joining the Church, 4) he wanted to satisfy other people who had asked him to expose the Church and its faults (Source: Dialogue). It felt really good to be an "expert witness." These reasons are the exact reasons that influential people (or people who desire to be influential) use today in their efforts to point out faults in the Church, its leadership, its mission, its use of its financial resources, its history, its doctrine.

Some things don't change much, even over 200 years.

Hearken, O ye people, and open your hearts and give ear from afar; and listen, you that call yourselves the apeople of the Lord, and hear the word of the Lord and his will concerning you.
Yea, verily, I say, hear the word of him whose anger is akindled against the wicked and brebellious;
Who willeth to take even them whom he will atake, and bpreserveth in life them whom he will preserve;
Who buildeth up at his own will and apleasure; and destroyeth when he pleases, and is able to bcast the soul down to hell.
Behold, I, the Lord, utter my voice, and it shall be aobeyed.
Wherefore, verily I say, let the wicked take heed, and let the arebellious bfear and tremble; and let the unbelieving hold their lips, for the cday of wrath shall come upon them as a dwhirlwind, and all flesh shall eknow that I am God.
And he that seeketh asigns shall see bsigns, but not unto salvation.
Verily, I say unto you, there are those among you who seek signs, and there have been such even from the beginning;
But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but asigns follow those that believe.
10 Yea, asigns come by bfaith, not by the will of men, nor as they please, but by the will of God.

See also verses 8-12 for condemnation of people who seek for signs.

SHORTCUTS TO ZION

After the exciting announcement that Zion would be built in Jackson County, Missouri, the Lord counseled the Saints to be patient and orderly in gathering there. 

24 And now, behold, this is the will of the Lord your God concerning his saints, that they should aassemble themselves together unto the land of Zion, not in haste, lest there should be confusion, which bringeth pestilence.
25 Behold, the land of aZion—I, the Lord, hold it in mine own hands;
26 Nevertheless, I, the Lord, render unto aCæsar the things which are Cæsar’s.
27 Wherefore, I the Lord will that you should apurchase the lands, that you may have advantage of the world, that you may have claim on the world, that they may not be bstirred up unto anger.
28 For aSatan bputteth it into their hearts to anger against you, and to the shedding of blood.
29 Wherefore, the land of Zion shall not be obtained but by apurchase or by blood, otherwise there is none inheritance for you.
30 And if by purchase, behold you are blessed;
31 And if by ablood, as you are forbidden to shed blood, lo, your enemies are upon you, and ye shall be scourged from city to city, and from synagogue to synagogue, and but bfew shall stand to receive an inheritance.

Although God was ultimately in charge of Zion, holding it in His own hands, He counseled the Church to purchase the land and avoid angering the citizens already living there. He knew they were a wild, rowdy, and greedy bunch, ready for a fight at any moment. If the Saints rushed to Jackson County, there would be opposition and it would be bloody. He asked for any extra money to be sent to the agents left in Jackson to purchase land and he asked the people to hold back and wait for the Prophet to tell them when it was their turn to go. As an example He asked Newel K. Whitney to stay back and keep running his store, but if he received any money that he could spare, he should send it to Zion. (See verses 41-45.) 

Emily Coburn was among those early members who were sent to Jackson. She reflected on the happy time spent initially setting up the community: "Cabins were built and prepared for families as fast as time, money, and labor could accomplish the work; and our homes in this new country presented a prosperous appearance--almost equal to paradise itself--and our peace and happiness as we flattered ourselves, were not in a great degree deficient to that of our first parents in the garden of Eden, as no labor or painstaking was spared in the cultivation of flowers and shrubbery, of a choice selection..." (quoted in Brian and Petrea Kelley, Latter-day History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Covenant Communications, p. 111).

However, the building of homes and the purchasing of land could not keep up with the demand from Saints who did not want to wait until they were called to move to Missouri. "Any member who wanted to come to Missouri was supposed to receive a recommend from his bishop or branch president and be accepted by the bishop in Zion before moving. However, some ignored this procedure and just showed up, expecting to receive a plot of land. This put a great strain on the resources of the Church. Seven high priests...had been called to administer affairs in Zion, but some members set up their own branches and refused to follow these brethren's counsel" (Kelley, 115).

Some Saints, including some in authority, quarreled over land and some purchased it in their own names using Church monies, rather than deeding them directly to the Church.

Members in Jackson would also critique revelations and directives that Joseph Smith sent from Kirtland. Elder Newel Knight, as a branch president, read one new revelation to his congregation from the Prophet and his own aunt stood up and contradicted it fiercely. He finally stopped her, but she continued to talk about it among the members and try to get people on her side. She was sure the Prophet was wrong. It took a severe illness to finally humble her enough to admit her prideful error and apologize (Kelley, 115-116).

Eventually President Smith felt it necessary to send a letter to the Missouri Saints: "Our hearts are greatly grieved at the spirit which is breathed...the very spirit which is wasting the strength of Zion like a pestilence; and if it is not detected and driven from you, it will ripen Zion for the threatened judgments of God...They who will not hear [God's] voice, must expect to feel His wrath" (Smith, History of the Church, 1:316-317).

The "confusion" of an unprepared rush to Zion (physically, socially, and spiritually) had brought a "pestilence" of dissension and contention among the people, as was prophesied in verse 24.

ZION IS FOUND IN A STATE OF PATIENCE, ORDER, AND LOVE

We must remember the same truth: God is patience, love, and order. He never forces anyone or rushes anything. He encourages societies to change. He gives people second, third, and tenth chances. He leads us along little by little on our spiritual journeys. If we are to be united with Him in purpose, in vision, and in love, we must also be patient. We must not rush the answers to our prayers. We must not force the behavior of others or expect them to develop spiritually faster than they can. We must not rush ourselves to run faster than we have strength. I was so moved by an answer to prayer that a friend shared with me this week. He is a great-grandfather who has been a faithful member all his life, but many of his children and grandchildren are outside the Church, several are struggling with mental illnesses, some have never overcome addictions fully. He was praying fervently for them, as he always did, when he suddenly received a clear and powerful message. It was this: 

"Don't you trust me?" 

If we are asking the Lord, "What can I do to help?" daily, and if we follow through and heed the answers we receive, we don't have to be frantic and afraid. And when we are not frantic and afraid, it's easier to accept and love others, and set an example of joyfulness, and that's the whole point of the gospel. It's easier for them to approach us for answers to their questions, knowing we are a "judgment-free zone." It is only love that will make any difference, and love is never in a hurry. We can trust that the Lord holds our own family Zion in His hands and He will redeem it in His own time. We just need to build the cabin and plant the flowers and stay with the Prophet.


(For a more in-depth treatment of this Section, I recommend Teaching With Power on YouTube.