Monday, December 12, 2011

D&C Sections 113, 114, 115 and 116

Section 113
Section 113 is comprised of five questions asked by the brethren and Joseph's inspired answers to them.  They deal with the interpretation of Isaiah. The first three questions ask who is the stem of Jesse, the rod of Jesse and the root of Jesse?  The stem is Christ and the rod and root refer to the prophet of the latter days, who is a descendent of Jesse, who will receive the keys of authority to administer in the restoration and preparations for the second coming of Christ.  This prophet is referring to Joseph Smith.  The next question asks what people are being referred to when the Isaiah says "Put on thy strength O Zion?"  The answer to this is those who hold the power of the priesthood and they are being admonished to obtain the strength of the priesthood.  The last question asks what Isaiah means when he says that Zion must loose herself  from the bands of her neck.  The answer is that Israel must remove those things that caused her to be in bondage to other nations and scattered throughout the world.  The Lord is instructing Israel to do this so that Israel can be gathered again.  One thing I find easy to lose sight of is the fact that there is a far bigger picture of the church that prophets saw regarding Israel and its gathering.  There is so much more involved with the church that tends to get lost in our every living of the gospel.  There are much bigger wheels in motion than we realize.

Section 114
Brigham Young had this section added in 1876.  Church members have rejected David and John Whitmer, and W.W. Phelps as leaders in Missouri.  This revelation regarding David W. Patten is fascinating to me.  The Lord instructs him to settle all of his business, sell his merchandise, in other words, get everything in his life in order, so that he can fill a mission in the spring.  Everyone assumed it was a normal mission, but in reality, the Lord is having him get everything in order prior to his death.  His mission was going to be in the next life because in the spring, he will be killed by the mobs.  I think it behooves all of us to always have our affairs and our lives in order because we have no idea just how long our lives are going to be.

Section 115
Given just over a week after Section 114, this revelation also comes to Joseph in Far West, Missouri. He has been forced by mobs to flee Kirtland.  Mobs have taken over the temple, riding horses through it and destroying much of the interior. It will be used a bit as a church by apostates who try to form their own restored church, but these efforts will quickly fail and eventually the temple will go into disrepair because the saints no longer can control it.  One of the important things in this section is the Lord instructs the church that they should be called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Previously, it had been called the the Church of Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ, the Church of God and the Church of the Latter-day Saints.  I think the Lord doesn't want any ambiguity regarding his church's name.  The Lord instructs the saints to consecrate land for the building of a temple and that they should begin building it a year from that day.  At the same time, the Lord indicates that he doesn't want Joseph, Sidney and others to go into debt to build it.  The mobs who will eventually drive the saints from Far West into Missouri are aware of the instruction for the saints to begin construction in a year and vow they will kill anyone who comes near the site to attempt it.  But a year later, the 12 apostles gather at the site and lay the cornerstones prior to going on missions.  They are able to sneak in and back out right underneath the noses of the people in Far West and fulfill the command to start the temple.  If the Lord wants it done, he will find a way and it will be eventually done.

Section 116
This revelation indicates that the land called Spring Hill was named Adam-ondi-Ahman by the Lord because it is the place where Adam will come visit his people, or the people of Zion. Since that time, it has become known that this was the original site of Eden and when the Lord comes again it will be returned to its paradisiacal state.  With this revelation and Section 115, these must have raised questions in Joseph's mind as to how this could possibly be.  He knows the saints will not be allowed to remain in these lands.  While they strive to build a settlement in Far West, they are already beginning to see problems like they had in Independence.  I think the Lord is giving these revelations because he wants Joseph to know that in the end, the Lord's designs will be fulfilled, and that in the Lord's mind, the opposition is but a blink of the eye in time.

1 comment:

Kenny Schank said...

It seems to me that the Lord is very specific about naming His church. For example, in 3 Nephi 27:1-8, He says that the Church should be named after Him. Elder M. Russell Ballard also gave a really good talk about that in his October 2011 General Conference talk, "The Importance of a Name".