D&C 98:1-22 Your Afflictions Shall Work Together for Your Good
This revelation from the Lord to the persecuted Church members in Missouri is significant because of the commandments and the promises He gave:
- Fear not, let your hearts be comforted, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks (verse 1). These commandments may seem counter-intuitive for those going through times of great adversity, but how do you think obedience to these words could help the 1833 Missouri Saints? How do they help you?
- Wait patiently on the Lord (verse 2).
- Be obedient to the law of the land “which is constitutional” (properly based on the U.S. Constitution) and supports citizens’ freedom, rights, and privileges (verses 4-8; see also verses 77-80).
- Seek and support honest, wise, and good men [and women] for political office (verses 9-10).
- Forsake all evil and cleave unto all good (verse 11).
- Be not afraid of your enemies (verse 14).
- Renounce war and proclaim peace (verse 16; see also verse 34 and Alma 43:29-30; 45-47; 48:14-16).
- Let not your hearts be troubled (verse 18).
And to “many who are in the church at Kirtland,” He commanded:
- Forsake your sins, wicked ways, pride, covetousness, and “detestable things” (verse 20).
- Your prayers have been heard, are recorded, and they shall be granted (verses 2-3).
- All your afflictions shall work together for your good, and to God’s glory (verse 3).
- The Lord will give the faithful line upon line, even as He tries and proves them (verses 12, 14).
- Those who lose their lives in the Lord’s cause shall gain eternal life (verses 13-14).
- The Lord has prepared a place in eternity, where the faithful will be with Him (verse 18).
And the promise to those in Kirtland:
- If they repent, the Lord will turn away His wrath and protect them from the gates of hell (verse 22).
What attributes do you see in the Lord, as you ponder the commandments and promises in these verses?
D&C 98:23-48 How to Respond to Persecutors
In verse 38 the Lord says, “Behold this is an ensample unto all people.” Therefore:
- What do you see in verses 23-48 that you can apply in your interpersonal relationships?
- How can these teachings help you when you experience opposition against your beliefs and practices?
- In what ways have you seen the Lord fight your battles? (verse 37).
D&C 99 John Murdock
John Murdock’s wife Julia died in April 1831, while giving birth to twins. The twins were adopted by Joseph and Emma Smith (who lost newborn twins the very same day that Julia died in childbirth). John then left his other children in the care of friends and neighbors, while he spent over a year preaching the gospel as a missionary. This revelation calls him to additional missionary work, laboring “in the midst of persecution and wickedness” (verse 1).
What additional instructions did the Lord give John in verses 2, 4, 6, 7, 8? (“Zion” in verse 6 and “the goodly land” in verse 7 both refer to Missouri). What promises did the Lord make in verses 2-3, 5? How could this revelation assist missionaries today?
D&C 100 “It Shall Be Given You in the Very Hour”
As is also seen in Section 98 and throughout the Doctrine and Covenants, this revelation is full of sweet, special promises from the Lord to His servants. But first, what commandments did the Lord give Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon (who were laboring away from home) in verses 2, 5, 7, 12, 17? Then, find the Lord’s promises to them in verses 1, 3, 5-6, 8, 10-17. In what ways can any of these promises apply to you?
Read again verses 5-6. Have you ever had an experience when you felt that the Lord put thoughts into your heart? Have you had times when things to say were given you “in the very moment”?
Read verse 15 and consider ways in which something that was a trial or difficulty for you was turned to your good (see also Romans 8:28; 2 Nephi 2:2).
D&C 101:1-18, 35-38, 41-42 “Be Still and Know that I Am God”
The persecution against the Saints in Missouri continued—even though they had moved out of Jackson County—and now the severe winter weather is making things even more difficult. Consider the following:
- What are some of the reasons the Church members in Missouri were being afflicted and persecuted? (verses 1-2, 4-8, 41-42; see also D&C 103:4; 104:52; 105:2-4).
- What eventualities did the Lord promise them? (verses 3, 9-15, 17-18, 35-38).
- How do you think the Lord’s words in verse 16 could help the suffering Saints? How can those who are enduring great sufferings “be still”?
D&C 101:20-22 The Gathering
Although the “Zion” in Jackson County, Missouri did not initially succeed, the Lord’s work moves forward with the establishment of Church stakes as places of gathering in all the world. And, we continue to anticipate and prepare for the building up of Zion’s center place in Missouri and the spreading of Zion throughout the world (see verses 20-22, 63-75, 99-101; see also the Lord’s parable about the “redemption” of Zion in verses 43-62).
D&C 101:22-34 The Second Coming and the Millennium
These verses give us more information about the coming of our Lord, and about life during the Millennium:
- The veil preventing us from seeing the Lord will be removed and all mankind shall see Him (verse 23).
- All that is “corruptible” shall be consumed (by fire; verse 24).
- All elements shall become new, and the knowledge and glory of the Lord will fill the earth (verse 25).
- There will be total peace among mankind and between men and the animal kingdom (verse 26).
- “Whatsoever any man shall ask [of God], it shall be given unto him” (verse 27).
- Satan’s power to tempt will be taken away (verse 28).
- There will be no sorrow nor death (verse 29).
- Children shall live until the age “of a tree” (age 100; see Isaiah 65:20), then in an instant they will die and resurrect unto glory (verses 30-31).
- The Lord will reveal all things pertaining to the past, including the Creation and all things above, beneath, and in the earth (verses 32-34).
We truly believe in and anticipate with faith and hope the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and Millennial life with Him as our Redeemer and King.
D&C 101:76-92 “According to the Laws”
Again, the Lord addresses the importance of constitutional law, instructing Joseph Smith to appeal to those in authority for help regarding the persecution and losses the Saints had suffered in Missouri (verses 76, 81-92). Joseph Smith and other leaders followed these instructions from the Lord, appealing—without satisfaction—to a circuit court judge (Austin King), to the governor of Missouri (Daniel Dunklin), and to the U.S. president (Martin Van Buren). (See History of the Church, 4:40-42, 89.)
Note especially the Lord’s declaration in verse 80 that He raised up the wise men who crafted the U.S. Constitution under His inspiration, and that He “redeemed the land by the shedding of blood” (an apparent reference to the Revolutionary War). Wilford Woodruff, who served as the first president of the St. George Temple, testified that in August 1877—just four months after the temple was dedicated—a number of the founding fathers of the U.S. appeared to him in the temple. President Woodruff wrote in his journal that they said to him, “You have had the use of the [Salt Lake] Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God” (Wilford Woodruff Journal, Aug. 21, 1877). He also recorded that John D.T. McCallister baptized him as proxy for the signers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, as well as fifty other renowned men (see Journal of Discourses, 19:229; see also Conference Report, April 1898, pp. 89-90). Additional temple ordinances were subsequently performed in behalf of these men. Also, baptisms and other temple ordinances were performed for seventy eminent women.