Lesson 27: “They Must Needs Be Chastened and Tried, Even as Abraham”
Spread of the Church
April 6, 1830 - Church was organized in Fayette, NY.
July (circa), 1830 - The first branch organized in Colesville, NY at Joseph Smith, Sr. home.
October, 1830 - Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, Jr., and Ziba Peterson called to preach to the lamanites in the wilderness.
Nov. 1830 - Sidney Rigdon baptized near Kirtland. Hundreds of converts followed.
Dec 1830 - Church commanded to move to Kirtland. See D&C 37
January 1831 - The first missionaries arrived in Missouri.
July 1831 - Independence, Missouri revealed as center place of Zion.
August 1831 - Joseph Smith dedicated the temple site in Independence, Missouri.
July 1833 - A mob attacked the Saints in Independence, Missouri.
November 1833 - The Battle of the Big Blue occurred. The Saints were driven from Jackson County to Clay County, Missouri.
May–June 1834 - Zion’s Camp marched from Kirtland, Ohio, to Clay County, Missouri.
June 1836 - Citizens of Clay County asked the Saints to leave the county.
September 1836 - The Saints began moving to Far West and other locations that became Caldwell and Daviess Counties, Missouri.
March 1838 - Joseph Smith and his family arrived in Far West, Missouri, after fleeing from the mobs in Kirtland, Ohio.
October 1838 - The Battle of Crooked River occurred. Governor Boggs of Missouri issued his extermination order.
October 1838–April 1839 - Joseph Smith and other Church leaders were kept as prisoners in Missouri.
April 1839 - The Saints fled from Missouri to Illinois.
"Moroni’s Travels starting from Sentral America to the Sand hills Arizona then to Salt Lake U[tah], T[erritory], then to Adam on Diammon Mo, then to Nauvoo, Ill, then to Independence Mo, then to Kirtland Ohio then to Cumoro NY.”
Persecutions in Missouri
Prophecy Prior - the Lord had hinted at this effort to redeem Zion in the revelation that is now D&C 101:43-62.
Lyman White and Parley P. Pratt travel to Kirtland Ohio to counsel with the prophet about relief and restoration of Saints to their lands in Jackson County, Missouri.
Israel in the wilderness - very similar situation. The latter-day saints will be even more blessed. They will be led by the angels, but also by the presence of the Lord himself, see D&C 103:19-20.
Read Our Heritage, pages 27–29 (section Titled Strengthening of the Priesthood)
Story of Parley P. Pratt and an angel: HC Vol. 2 Ch. 5:4
Strengthening Attitude of the saints in trials:
"Despite the inconveniences of the frontier, the Colesville Saints remained cheerful and happy. Parley P. Pratt, who settled with them, said: “We enjoyed many happy seasons in our prayer and other meetings, and the Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon us, and even on the little children, insomuch that many of eight, ten or twelve years of age spake, and prayed, and prophesied in our meetings and in our family worship. There was a spirit of peace and union, and love and good will manifested in this little Church in the wilderness, the memory of which will be ever dear to my heart.” - Parley P. Pratt, Our Heritage
Purpose of Chastening
- Sanctification - D&C 101
5 For all those who will not endure chastening, but deny me, cannot be sanctified.
- Because of transgression: see D&C 105:2.
- Zion cannot be accepted unless it is built on Celestial principles, see D&C 105:5.
- To learn obedience. See D&C 105:6.
- Perspective - see D&C 101:35-38
- To find out who would be chosen to be leaders.
When Brigham Young returned...
- The participants were strengthened by several miraculous manifestations of the Lord’s power (see Our Heritage, pages 44–45, for one example).
- It provided an opportunity to try the faith of the participants, allowing them to prove that they would obey the Lord and sacrifice all things, even their lives if necessary, to do His will.
- It served as a proving ground to determine who was faithful to serve in positions of Church leadership.
- It gave participants an opportunity to associate closely with the Prophet and learn from him, preparing them for future leadership responsibilities.
- Our Heritage "In early July, the camp members were honorably discharged by the Prophet. The journey had revealed who was on the Lord’s side and who was worthy to serve in positions of leadership. The Prophet later explained the outcome of the march: “God did not want you to fight. He could not organize his kingdom with twelve men to open the gospel door to the nations of the earth, and with seventy men under their direction to follow in their tracks, unless he took them from a body of men who had offered their lives, and who had made as great a sacrifice as did Abraham.
Wilford Woodruff, a member of the camp who later became the fourth President of the Church, said: “We gained an experience that we never could have gained in any other way. We had the privilege of beholding the face of the prophet, and we had the privilege of traveling a thousand miles with him, and seeing the workings of the spirit of God with him, and the revelations of Jesus Christ unto him and the fulfilment of those revelations.”
In February of 1835, five months after the discharge of the camp, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Quorum of the Seventy were organized. Seventy-nine of the eighty-two positions filled in the two quorums were filled by men who had been proven in the march of Zion’s Camp.
In Kirtland, Joseph Smith continued to train future leaders. Four future Presidents of the Church—Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow—were baptized during the Kirtland years and later led the Church in succession until 1901. In addition, the next three Presidents—Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, and George Albert Smith, whose administrations lasted until 1951—were direct descendants of stalwart Kirtland pioneers."
Looking back on this, you can see why the Lord would do it this way. If he was to tell Joseph the reason for all of the trials (to find the faithful in the camp), he might have been tempted to skip to the end to relieve them of the trials. Joseph had to be tried as well, so they would follow him, and he would have the conviction to lead them.
The Lord's way of chastening
- D&C 101:9. (He promised that he would not cast them off and would be merciful “in the day of wrath.”)
- D&C 101:10. (He promised that His indignation would fall upon their enemies.)
- D&C 101:11–15. (He promised to save, gather, and comfort His Saints.)
- D&C 101:16–19. (He promised that Zion would be redeemed in the future.)