The Doctrine and Covenants (D&C 124 to 10th Article of Faith)
D&C 124:1-11, 18, 23, 36, 39, 60, 118, 131
As we resume the historical narrative between revelations, the date is January 19, 1841, and much has transpired since the revelation on tithing. Governor Lilburn W. Boggs signed his infamous extermination order on October 27, 1838, and the saints were driven from Missouri. Joseph and his companions were incarcerated in Liberty Jail through the winter, and then permitted to escape. By 1839, the main body of the Church had established a settlement in Commerce, Illinois. It didn't take Joseph long to change the name to Nauvoo. The spirit of "commerce" had nearly ruined the saints at Kirtland.
From November 1839 to March 1840, the Prophet lobbied in Washington, D.C. for redress of the wrongs suffered in Missouri with little apparent success, including his unsatisfactory interviews with President Martin Van Buren. The Church had been without a revelation since July 1838. Two and one-half years later this revelation made up in length and breadth for the dearth. Its subject matter would consume the Prophet's attention until his martyrdom in 1844.
The first eleven verses pertain to the commandment of the Lord to issue a "proclamation" to the kings of the world. We have the evidence of Joseph's first draft of this proclamation in the Joseph Smith Collection in the Church Archives, but the commandment was not actually fulfilled until after the Prophet's death in 1845. (See HC, Vol.7, 558). Notice that no matter how many different places the saints set up their headquarters, Jackson County is always referred to as "the centerstake," and everywhere else is merely "a stake."
It is an interesting comparison to read this earlier proclamation along with the proclamation issued during the General Conference celebrating the Sesquicentennial in April 1980, or the 1995 “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” Here again, we can learn that conditions have not changed much in all this time -- the voices of the modern prophets are all but lost in the din of wickedness. The warnings fall upon deaf ears in the world.
A thorough study of the revelation is necessary to link the subject matter of the verses cited here, including baptism for the dead and other temple ordinances, and references to the Nauvoo House.
Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, I am well pleased with your offering and acknowledgments, which you have made; for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might show forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth.
Your prayers are acceptable before me; and in answer to them I say unto you, that you are now called immediately to make a solemn proclamation of my gospel and of this stake which I have planted to be a cornerstone of Zion, which shall be polished with the refinement which is after the similitude of a palace.
This proclamation shall be made to all the kings of the world, to the four corners thereof, and the honorable president elect, and the high minded governors of the nation in which you live, and to all the nations of the earth scattered abroad.
Let it be written in the spirit of meekness and by the power of the Holy Ghost, which shall be in you at the time of the writing of the same;
For it shall be given you by the Holy Ghost to know my will concerning those kings and authorities, even what shall befall them in a time to come.
For, behold, I am about to call upon them to give heed to the light and glory of Zion, for the set time has come to favor her.
Call ye, therefore, upon them with loud proclamation, and with your testimony, fearing them not, for they are as grass, and all their glory as the flower thereof which soon falleth, that they may be left also without excuse --
And that I may visit them in the day of visitation, when I shall unveil the face of my covering, to appoint the portion of the oppressor among hypocrites, where there is gnashing of teeth, if they reject my servants and my testimony which I have revealed unto them.
And again, I will visit and soften their hearts, many of them for your good, that ye may find grace in their eyes, that they may come to the light of truth, and the Gentiles to the exaltation or lifting up of Zion.
For the day of my visitation cometh speedily, in an hour when ye think not of; and where shall be the safety of my people, and refuge for those who shall be left of them?
Awake, O kings of the earth! Come ye, O, come ye, with your gold and your silver, to the help of my people, to the house of the daughters of Zion.
And again, I say unto you that it is my will that my servant Lyman Wight should continue in preaching for Zion, in the spirit of meekness, confessing me before the world; and I will bear him up as on eagles' wings; and he shall beget glory and honor to himself and unto my name.
And it shall be for a house for boarding, a house that strangers may come from afar to lodge therein; therefore let it be a good house, worthy of all acceptation, that the weary traveler may find health and safety while he shall contemplate the word of the Lord; and the corner-stone I have appointed for Zion.
For it is ordained that in Zion, and in her stakes, and in Jerusalem, those places which I have appointed for refuge, shall be the places for your baptisms for your dead.
Therefore, verily I say unto you, that your anointings, and your washings, and your baptisms for the dead, and your solemn assemblies, and your memorials for your sacrifices by the sons of Levi, and for your oracles in your most holy places wherein you receive conversations, and your statutes and judgments, for the beginning of the revelations and foundation of Zion, and for the glory, honor, and endowment of all her municipals, are ordained by the ordinance of my holy house, which my people are always commanded to build unto my holy name.
And let the name of that house be called Nauvoo House; and let it be a delightful habitation for man, and a resting place for the weary traveler, that he may contemplate the glory of Zion, and the glory of this, the corner-stone thereof;
And hearken unto the counsel of my servants Joseph, and Hyrum, and William Law, and unto the authorities which I have called to lay the foundation of Zion; and it shall be well with him forever and ever. Even so. Amen.
And again, I say unto you, I give unto you a high council, for the corner-stone of Zion --
Persecution had once again caught up with the Prophet by the time this revelation was recorded on September 6, 1842. Sheriffs and officers of the courts in Missouri and Illinois were dogging the Prophet's movements during this period, seeking to serve him with summons and complaints from both states. Boggs had been shot, and Joseph had been named in many suits as an accomplice. Despite his fugitive status (maybe because of it), he rises to his most eloquent heights in language in this revelation and the one preceding it. Once again we see the Prophet make use of the imagery of Isaiah 52.
Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!
D&C 133:1-35, 56
This revelation is out of sequence historically, since it was received November 3, 1831, during that prolific period of Church history when revelations concerning Zion were bursting upon the mind of Joseph Smith. The revelation was first printed as Section 100 in the 1835 edition of The Doctrine and Covenants, and titled "Appendix."
Few revelations unfold the events preceding the Second Coming in such detail. It will be noted that the events spoken of here seem to begin with the Second Coming, then the events that precede the Advent, then the Second Coming again, so they are somewhat out of sequence. It is a doctrinal treasure chest for the spiritually inquisitive, giving much detail of the foreshadowed upheavals that will change the configuration of the earth's land masses, the return of the lost 10 tribes of Israel, and the role of Ephraim's descendants in conferring blessings upon the heads of their long-lost cousins.
Once again we hear the Lord's petition to the Church to forsake Babylon, and to sanctify ourselves in preparation for the day of His coming. The watch cry then and now, as it has ever been, is "Awake, watch, prepare, arise, and go forth." Throughout the revelations pertaining to Zion the Lord entreats us to "hearken."
Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the Lord your God, and hear the word of the Lord concerning you --
The Lord who shall suddenly come to his temple; the Lord who shall come down upon the world with a curse to judgment; yea, upon all the nations that forget God, and upon all the ungodly among you.
For he shall make bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of their God.
Wherefore, prepare ye, prepare ye, O my people; sanctify yourselves; gather ye together, O ye people of my church, upon the land of Zion, all you that have not been commanded to tarry.
Go ye out from Babylon. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.
Call your solemn assemblies, and speak often one to another. And let every man call upon the name of the Lord.
Yea, verily I say unto you again, the time has come when the voice of the Lord is unto you: Go ye out of Babylon; gather ye out from among the nations, from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Send forth the elders of my church unto the nations which are afar off; unto the islands of the sea; send forth unto foreign lands; call upon all nations, first upon the Gentiles, and then upon the Jews.
And behold, and lo, this shall be their cry, and the voice of the Lord unto all people: Go ye forth unto the land of Zion, that the borders of my people may be enlarged, and that her stakes may be strengthened, and that Zion may go forth unto the regions round about.
Yea, let the cry go forth among all people: Awake and arise and go forth to meet the Bridegroom; behold and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord.
Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour.
Let them, therefore, who are among the Gentiles flee unto Zion.
And let them who be of Judah flee unto Jerusalem, unto the mountains of the Lord's house.
Go ye out from among the nations, even from Babylon, from the midst of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon.
But verily, thus saith the Lord, let not your flight be in haste, but let all things be prepared before you; and he that goeth, let him not look back lest sudden destruction shall come upon him.
Hearken and hear, O ye inhabitants of the earth. Listen, ye elders of my church together, and hear the voice of the Lord; for he calleth upon all men, and he commandeth all men everywhere to repent.
For behold, the Lord God hath sent forth the angel crying through the midst of heaven, saying: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight, for the hour of his coming is nigh --
Wherefore, prepare ye for the coming of the Bridegroom; go ye, go ye out to meet him.
For behold, he shall stand upon the mount of Olivet, and upon the mighty ocean, even the great deep, and upon the islands of the sea, and upon the land of Zion.
And he shall be a voice as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder, which shall break down the mountains, and the valleys shall not be found.
He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become one land;
And the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like it was in the days before it was divided.
And the Lord, even the Savior, shall stand in the midst of his people, and shall reign over all flesh.
And they who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord; and their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves; and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence.
And an highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep.
Their enemies shall become a prey unto them,
And in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools of living water; and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty land.
And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants.
And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence.
And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim.
And they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy.
Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows.
And they also of the tribe of Judah, after their pain, shall be sanctified in holiness before the Lord, to dwell in his presence day and night, forever and ever.
And the graves of the saints shall be opened; and they shall come forth and stand on the right hand of the Lamb, when he shall stand upon Mount Zion, and upon the holy city, the New Jerusalem; and they shall sing the song of the Lamb, day and night forever and ever.
The introductory verse of this revelation provides all the historical setting necessary for this revelation: "The Word and Will of the Lord concerning the Camp of Israel in the journeyings to the West." The revelation was given to Brigham Young at Winter Quarters, near Council Bluffs, Iowa, on January 14, 1847.
Once again the exiled saints were cast out of their homes, and now they faced westward, leaving behind them all the promised blessings of obtaining the land of Zion. Even so, the Lord gives his assurance once again: "Zion shall be redeemed in mine own time."
Many years later, speaking to the saints assembled in the Tabernacle on Temple Square on December 11, 1864, Brigham Young made this declaration regarding the future redemption of Zion:
. . . The Latter-day Saints are living in the expectation of redeeming Zion, when the law shall go forth from Zion, and when Jesus will reign king of nations, as he now reigns kings of Saints.
Remarks have been made as to our staying here. I will tell you how long we shall stay here. If we live our religion, we shall stay here in these mountains forever and forever, worlds without end, and a portion of the Priesthood will go and redeem and build up the centre Stake of Zion . . .
Before we were driven out of Missouri I had a vision, if I would dare to say that I had a vision, and saw that the people would go to the east, to the north and to the west; but we should go back to Jackson County from the west. When this people return to the Centre Stake of Zion, they will go from the west. . . (JD, Vol. 11, 16-17).
Let every man use all his influence and property to remove this people to the place where the Lord shall locate a stake of Zion.
And let my servants that have been appointed go and teach this, my will, to the saints, that they may be ready to go to a land of peace.
Go thy way and do as I have told you, and fear not thine enemies; for they shall not have power to stop my work.
Zion shall be redeemed in mine own due time.
Keep yourselves from evil to take the name of the Lord in vain, for I am the Lord your God, even the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.
I am he who led the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; and my arm is stretched out in the last days, to save my people Israel.
Fear not thine enemies, for they are in mine hands and I will do my pleasure with them.
My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion; and he that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom.
Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God, that his eyes may be opened that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear;
For my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite, and to the condemnation of the ungodly.
THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE
The verses of this chapter constitute the capstone of the Lord's revelations concerning the establishment of Zion. It will be remembered from our study of the Old Testament that they also represent the foundation stone upon which we have built. (See JST Genesis 7:11-78). As it was in Enoch's day, so shall it yet be:
And it came to pass, that the Lord said unto me: Look; and I looked, and I beheld the land of Sharon, and the land of Enoch, and the land of Omner, and the land of Heni, and the land of Shem, and the land of Haner, and the land of Hanannihah, and all the inhabitants thereof;
And the Lord said unto me: Go to this people, and say unto them Repent, lest I come out and smite them with a curse, and they die.
And he gave unto me a commandment that I should baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, which is full of grace and truth, and of the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son.
And it came to pass that Enoch continued to call upon all the people, save it were the people of Canaan, to repent;
And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.
There also came up a land out of the depth of the sea, and so great was the fear of the enemies of the people of God, that they fled and stood afar off and went upon the land which came up out of the depth of the sea.
And the giants of the land, also, stood afar off; and there went forth a curse upon all the people that fought against God;
And from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness.
The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people.
And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish.
And the Lord called his people, ZION, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.
And Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even ZION.
And it came to pass, that Enoch talked with the Lord; and he said unto the Lord: Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever. But the Lord said unto Enoch: Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I cursed.
And it came to pass that the Lord showed unto Enoch all the inhabitants of the earth; and he beheld, and lo, Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven.
And the Lord said unto Enoch: Behold mine abode forever.
And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam, save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them.
And after that Zion was taken up into heaven, Enoch beheld, and lo, all the nations of the earth were before him;
And there came generation upon generation; and Enoch was high and lifted up, even in the bosom of the Father, and the Son of Man; and behold, the power of Satan was upon all the face of the earth.
And he saw angels descending out of heaven; and he heard a loud voice saying: Wo, wo be unto the inhabitants of the earth.
And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.
And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and Son; and the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.
And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?
And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?
And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, and millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet thou art there, and thy bosom is there; and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever; And thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity; and naught but peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it that thou canst weep?
The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency; And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;
And the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them; and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them.
Behold, I am God; Man of Holiness is my name; Man of Counsel is my name; and Endless and Eternal is my name, also.
Wherefore, I can stretch forth mine hands and hold all the creations which I have made; and mine eye can pierce them also, and among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren.
But behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers; Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?
But behold, these which thine eyes are upon shall perish in the floods; and, behold, I will shut them up; a prison have I prepared for them.
And That which I have chosen hath pled before my face.
Wherefore, he suffereth for their sins; inasmuch as they will repent in the day that my Chosen shall return unto me, and until that day they shall be in torment;
Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep, yea, and all the workmanship of my hands.
And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Enoch, and told Enoch all the doings of the children of men;
wherefore Enoch knew, and looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook.
And Enoch also saw Noah, and his family; that the posterity of all the sons of Noah should be saved with a temporal salvation;
Wherefore Enoch saw that Noah built an ark; and that Lord smiled upon it, and held it in his own hand; but upon the residue of the wicked the floods came and swallowed them up.
And as Enoch saw this, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted; but the Lord said unto Enoch: Lift up your heart, and be glad; and look.
And it came to pass that Enoch looked; and from Noah, he beheld all the families of the earth; and he cried unto the Lord, saying: When shall the day of the Lord come? When shall the blood of the Righteous be shed, that all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life?
And the Lord said: It shall be in the meridian of time, in the days of wickedness and vengeance.
And behold, Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, even in the flesh; and his soul rejoiced, saying: The Righteous is lifted up, and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world; and through faith I am in the bosom of the Father, and behold, Zion is with me.
And it came to pass that Enoch looked upon the earth; and he heard a voice from the bowels thereof, saying: Wo, wo is me, the mother of men; I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children. When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?
And when Enoch heard the earth mourn, he wept, and cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, wilt thou not have compassion upon the earth? Wilt thou not bless the children of Noah?
And it came to pass that Enoch continued his cry unto the Lord, saying: I ask thee, O Lord, in the name of thine Only Begotten, even Jesus Christ, that thou wilt have mercy upon Noah and his seed, that the earth might never more be covered by the floods.
And the Lord could not withhold; and he covenanted with Enoch, and sware unto him with an oath, that he would stay the floods; that he would call upon the children of Noah;
And he sent forth an unalterable decree, that a remnant of his seed should always be found among all nations, while the earth should stand;
And the Lord said: Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come; for he saith I am Messiah, the King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven, which is broad as eternity; whoso cometh in at the gate, and climbeth up by me shall never fall; wherefore, blessed are they of whom I have spoken, for they shall come forth with songs of everlasting joy.
And it came to pass, that Enoch cried unto the Lord, saying: When the Son of Man cometh in the flesh, shall the earth rest? I pray thee, show me these things.
And the Lord said unto Enoch: Look, and he looked and beheld the Son of Man lifted up on the cross, after the manner of men;
And he heard a loud voice; and the heavens were veiled; and all the creations of God mourned; and the earth groaned; and the rocks were rent; and the saints arose, and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man, with crowns of glory;
And as many of the spirits as were in prison came forth, and stood on the right hand of God; and the remainder were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day.
And again Enoch wept and cried unto the Lord, saying: When shall the earth rest?
And Enoch beheld the Son of Man ascend up unto the Father; and he called unto the Lord, saying: Wilt thou not come again upon the earth? Forasmuch as thou art God, and I know thee, and thou hast sworn unto me, and commanded me that I should ask in the name of thine Only Begotten; thou hast made me, and given unto me a right to thy throne, and not of myself, but through thine own grace; wherefore, I ask thee if thou wilt not come again on the earth.
And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I made unto you concerning the children of Noah;
And the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve;
Aand righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine own elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.
And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other;
And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest.
And it came to pass that Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, in the last days, to dwell on the earth in righteousness for the space of a thousand years;
But before that day he saw great tribulations among the wicked; and he also saw the sea, that it was troubled, and men's hearts failing them, looking forth with fear for the judgments of the Almighty God, which should come upon the wicked.
And the Lord showed Enoch all things, even unto the end of the world; and he saw the day of the righteous, the hour of their redemption, and received a fulness of joy;
And all the days of Zion, in the days of Enoch, were three hundred and sixty-five years.
And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, ZION IS FLED.
We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.