D&C 81 From Jesse to Frederick
After becoming a counselor in the First Presidency, Jesse Gause traveled with Joseph Smith to Missouri. Upon his return, he left for a mission to the Shakers—the religion to which he had previously belonged. As noted in the section heading, when Jesse failed to remain faithful, his calling—and this revelation—were passed on to Frederick G. Williams. The Lord instructs Joseph’s counselor to listen to His voice (verse 1), be faithful in his calling (verses 1, 3, 5), pray always (verse 3), and proclaim the gospel (verse 3).
The final instruction is one to be followed by all leaders and indeed all members of the Church: “Succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (verse 5). This is the essence of ministering in the Church today. The Lord’s promise for faithfulness is “a crown of immortality, and eternal life in the mansions which I have prepared” (verse 6). Frederick G. Williams served in the First Presidency until 1837, and has posterity in the Church today.
In regards to the importance of the First Presidency and other Church leaders, in the October 2019 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson recited the updated temple recommend questions. The fourth question is: “Do you sustain the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the prophet, seer, and revelator and as the only person on the earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local leaders of the Church?”
D&C 82:1-7 Sinning Against His Light
During the night of March 25, 1832 (between receiving Sections 81 and 82) Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were brutally attacked by a mob. They were tarred and feathered, and Joseph recorded, “I pulled the tar away from my lips, etc., so that I could breathe more freely, and after a while I began to recover and raised myself up…. My friends spent the night in scraping and removing the tar, and washing and cleansing my body, so that by morning I was ready to be clothed again. This being Sabbath morning, the people assembled for meeting at the usual hour of worship, and among those came also the mobbers … and many others. With my flesh all scarified and defaced, I preached to the congregation, as usual, and in the afternoon of the same day baptized three individuals” (Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 611). Now, a month later, Joseph is back in Missouri and receives this revelation.
In verses 1-5, what things does the Lord warn against? (see also verse 21). Do you consider that the Lord has given you “much,” including “greater light”? (verse 3). Truth and light from God are great blessings, which place us in a position of greater responsibility and accountability toward God and our fellowmen.
D&C 82:10-15 To Be Bound
Verse 10 is an oft-quoted statement of the Lord. Re-write this verse in your own words, expressing your understanding of this important principle. Besides being “bound” to the Lord through our obedience (verse 10), we are also to be bound to our fellow Saints in our stewardships (verse 11), and we are to bind ourselves in covenant, according to the laws of the Lord (verse 15).
D&C 82:16-24 “Here Is Wisdom”
- In the Lord’s “wisdom” (verse 16), we are to live “equal” through the law of consecration.
- As we live consecrated lives, what does verse 18 say will be the blessings that will follow?
- Note that our selfish interests are to be repressed, as we are “seeking the interest of [our] neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God” (verse 19).
- The “order” which was set up to help live the law of consecration is “to be an everlasting order” (verse 20). This order, which came to be known as the “United Order” is temporarily suspended, but those who have been endowed in the temple have covenanted to live the law of consecration. Each of us is to determine how we best live a life of consecration.
- To be “friends with the mammon of unrighteousness” (verse 22) may refer to the importance of living in peace with others, regardless of their beliefs or practices (see also verse 23).
- The kingdom is ours if we fall not from our steadfastness (verse 24). Describe people who live the gospel of Jesus Christ with “steadfastness.” What are they like? What are they not like?
D&C 83 Principles of Consecration
From this revelation we may deduce several things:
- Men are to be providers for their families (verse 2).
- Those who receive help through the Church welfare system are to be deemed worthy of the assistance (verse 3).
- At an appropriate age, children should begin providing for themselves (verse 4).
- The consecrations of Church members are to help care for the poor and needy (verse 6).
Our modern prophets have taught: “Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children…. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, p. 102).
Consider your own application of divine principles in relation to social, emotional, spiritual, physical, and economic well-being, for yourself and toward family members.