Doctrine and Covenants 57-58. Historical Background : The main population centers of the church from 1830-1839 were in Ohio and Missouri. The two main problems facing the young church and it’s leaders were persecution from without and apostasy from within.
This is a very significant spot!
Independence is now a suburb of Kansas City, it is one of the most attractive parts of Missouri.
The Church owns about 63 acres in the area.
Doctrine and Covenants 58
The original plan for Missouri had a complex of 24 temples for worship (HC 1:357-59).
But our reflections were many, coming as we had from a highly cultivated state of society in the east, and standing now upon the confines or western limits of the United States, and looking into the vast wilderness of those that sat in darkness; how natural it was to observe the degradation, leanness of intellect, ferocity, and jealousy of a people that were nearly a century behind the times, and to feel for those who roamed about without the benefit of civilization, refinement, or religion; yea, and exclaim in the language of the Prophets:
When will Zion be built up in her glory, and where will Thy temple stand, unto which all nations shall come in the last days? (HC, 1:188-189).
Doctrine and Covenants 57:2
The land near independence, Missouri, encompasses the area of the garden planted eastward of Eden, in which Adam and Eve were placed. We learn from Brigham Young that “our God will finish his work where he commenced it, where the center (place) of Zion is, and where the garden of Eden was” (JD, 8:72).
The latter-day city of Zion shall be blessed with the presence of Enoch and his people, who were taken to heaven without tasting death (Moses 7:62-64).
It shall expand its borders to include all of North and South America, until eventually the entire globe shall be called Zion.
The Prophet Joseph Smith stated:
“You know there has been great discussion in relation to Zion – where it is, and where the gathering of the dispensation is, and which I am now going to tell you. The prophets have spoken and written upon it; but I will make a proclamation that will cover a broader ground. The whole of America is Zion itself from north to south, and is described by the prophets, who declare that it is the Zion, where the mountain of the Lord should be, and that it should be in the center of the land.
When Elders shall take up and examine the old prophecies in the Bible, they will see it” (Teachings, 362).
Further, “when Joseph first revealed the land where the Saints should gather,” Brigham Young explained, “a woman in Canada asked if we thought that Jackson County would be large enough to gather all the people that would want to go to Zion. I will answer that question really as it is. Zion will extend, eventually, all over this earth. There will be no nook or corner upon the earth but what will be in Zion. It will all be Zion” (JD, 9:138).
Doctrine and Covenants 57:3 the Bible, they will see it” (
The site is selected; the place is known; the decree has gone forth; and the promised destiny is assured” (New Witness, 595).
It will stand supreme and consist of a complex of twenty-four buildings, all dedicated as houses of the Lord. It’s companion temple will be built in the Jerusalem of old.
Further, it is at the temple in the New Jerusalem that “the Lamb shall stand upon Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having his Father’s name written on their foreheads” (D&C 133:18).
The twenty-four buildings aforementioned were located on a plot map of the future city of Zion.
Joseph Smith wrote:
“The names of the temples to be built on the painted squares as represented on the plot of the city of Zion, which is now about to be forwarded thither:
Numbers 10, 11, and 12, are to be called, House of the Lord, for the Presidency of the High and most High Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of the Son of God, upon Mount Zion, City of the New Jerusalem.
Numbers 7, 8, and 9, the Sacred Apostolic Repository, for the use of the Bishop.
Numbers 4, 5, and 6, the Holy Evangelical House, for the High Priesthood of the Holy Order of God.
Numbers 1, 2, and 3, the House of the Lord, for the Elders of Zion, an Ensign to the Nations.
Numbers 22, 23, and 24, House of the Lord for the Presidency of the High Priesthood, after the Order of Aaron, a standard for the People.
Numbers 19, 20, and 21, House of the Lord, the Law of the Kingdom of Heaven, and Messenger to the People; for the Highest Priesthood after the Order of Aaron.
Numbers 16, 17, and 18, House of the Lord for the Teachers in Zion, Messenger to the Church.
Numbers 13, 14, and 15, House of the Lord for the Deacons in Zion, Helps in Government.
Underneath must be written on each house – Holiness To The Lord” (HC 1: 359).
The Prophet Joseph Smith further instructed the Saints to commence by building temple number five as the beginning of the city of Zion, which temple was very similar to that built in Kirtland, Ohio (HC, 1:359-62).
Whether the other buildings will be built before or after the Savior returns remains to be revealed.
Doctrine and Covenants 57:4 commence by building temple number five as the beginning of the city of Zion, which temple was very similar to that built in Kirtland, Ohio (
“The line running directly between Jew and Gentile”
This has reference to the line separating the Lamanites from the settlers in Jackson County.
At this time the United States Government had given to the Indians the lands west of the Missouri, only later to take it away again.
The Lamanites, who were Israelites, were referred to as Jews, and the Gentiles were the people, many of whom were of the lawless element, living east of the river” (CH & MR, 1:206).
Doctrine and Covenants 57:13 commence by building temple number five as the beginning of the city of Zion, which temple was very similar to that built in Kirtland, Ohio (
“Oliver to assist W.W. Phelps”
Apostle George A. Smith, cousin to the Prophet, capsulated the importance of the Lord’s admonition that Oliver Cowdery preside over Brother Phelps’s writing and editorializing:
“Joseph asked my opinion of William W. Phelps as an editor. I told him that I considered Phelps the sixth part of an editor, and that was the satirist. When it came to the cool direction necessarily instructed to an editor in the control of public opinion –
the soothing of enmity, he was deficient, and would always make more enemies than friends; but for my part, if I were able, I would be willing to pay Phelps for editing a paper, providing no body else should have the privilege of reading it but myself.
Joseph laughed heartily – said I had the thing just right. Said he, ‘Brother Phelps makes such a severe use of language as to make enemies all the time’” (HC, 5:390-91).
Doctrine and Covenants 58 make more enemies than friends; but for my part, if I were able, I would be willing to pay Phelps for editing a paper, providing no body else should have the privilege of reading it but myself.
The first Sabbath after our arrival in Jackson county, Brother W.W. Phelps preached to a western audience over the boundary of the United States, wherein were present specimens of all the families of the earth; Shem, Ham, and Japheth; several of the Lamanites or Indians – representative of Shem; quite a respectable number of Negroes – descendants of Ham; and the balance was made up of citizens of the surrounding country, and fully represented themselves as pioneers of the West. At this meeting two were baptized, who had previously believed in the fullness of the Gospel.
Doctrine and Covenants 58:1-4 make more enemies than friends; but for my part, if I were able, I would be willing to pay Phelps for editing a paper, providing no body else should have the privilege of reading it but myself.
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were tarred and feathered in Hiram Ohio.
Doctrine and Covenants 58:21-22
“Obey the Laws of the Land.”
Doctrine and Covenants 58:26-29
The more He has to spell it out, the smaller the reward (President Benson, C.R. April, 1965).
Doctrine and Covenants 58:3-5 make more enemies than friends; but for my part, if I were able, I would be willing to pay Phelps for editing a paper, providing no body else should have the privilege of reading it but myself.
In the true sense, the wilderness shall blossom as the rose when the earth is renewed and receives its paradisiacal glory (McConkie, New Witness, 595).
Doctrine and Covenants 58:8
“A feast of fat things, of wine on the lees well refined.’
Anciently, meats with abundant fats were the privilege of the rich who could graze their animals to be served at banquets. The use of jellies and preserves from wines were also the diet of the rich. Thus these images are used to represent the goodness or richness of the gospel message that is to be taken to the poor.
Doctrine and Covenants 58:11
“Come in unto the Marriage of the Lamb”
The invitation extended by missionaries to enter into the covenant of the baptism is in effect the invitation to attend the marriage feast of the Lamb.
Doctrine and Covenants 58:25 the rich who could graze their animals to be served at banquets. The use of jellies and preserves from wines were also the diet of the rich. Thus these images are used to represent the goodness or richness of the gospel message that is to be taken to the poor.
“Let them bring their families to this land”
Faith and sacrifice were required of all who came to the land of Zion.
For example, members of Edward Partridge’s family traveled from Ohio without the help of their father because of his duties in Missouri.
Concerning their move to Zion, Emily Partridge, Bishop Partridge’s daughter, wrote: “It seemed to him a very great undertaking for mother to break up her home and prepare for such a journey with a family of little children, without her husband to advise and make arrangements for her. For she was then young and inexperienced in such things…
“The next season mother with her family started for Missouri, in a company of saints under the direction of W.W. Phelps and A.S. Gilbert.
Mother must have had a great deal to try her on that journey that we as children knew nothing about. What little money she had with her to defray her expense, she was advised to put into the hands of W.W. Phelps and he cheated her out of it. We went down the Ohio River to Cincinnati in a keel boat. Then we took a steamboat and went up the Missouri River. It was on this boat that our provision chest was rifled and thrown over board. We saw it floating down stream and knew it at once. The lid was open and we could see that everything had been taken out but the papers that things were packed in…
When we were within about one hundred miles of our destination we met the ice coming down the river so thick that the boat could not proceed and we were forced to land at a place called ‘Arrow Rock.’ On the banks of the river there was a log cabin occupied by Negroes. There was two rooms, with no windows. The light was admitted through the open door, a common thing then in the Negro cabins, and white folks too sometimes. These Negroes let mother and Sister Morley have one room. There was about fifteen in number in both families.
But there was a fire place in the room. We could have a good fire, and so keep from freezing. We remained here about two or three weeks, it being very cold weather. At the end of that time a large Kentucky wagon was procured and the two families and their effects were stowed into it and we started again for Independence. The weather was still very cold. That day my father and Brother Morley met us, and anybody that has been in like circumstances can understand how happy we were…
Whatever suffering and privation my mother had to endure she never murmured or complained, but rejoiced that she was counted worthy to endure tribulation for the Gospel’s sake. She felt that she and enlisted in a good cause and she looked forward to the happy time that had been promised to the saints. Her religion compensated her for all the hardships she had to endure” (“Reminiscences”, 8-9).
Doctrine and Covenants 58:28 she never murmured or complained,
“For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves”
In the 1828 dictionary of Joseph Smith’s day, agency was defined as “exerting power” or the “state of being in action.”
An “agent” was defined as one “entrusted with the concerns of another.” The dictionary cited as examples an attorney or a minister (Webster Dictionary, 1828, s. v. “agent”).
There is no hint or intimation that the word has anything to do with choosing or the freedom of choice.
Teaching this principle, Joseph Fielding Smith said: “I have heard people say, and members of the Church too, ‘I have a right to do as I please.’
My answer is “No, you do not. You haven’t any right at all to do just as you please. There is only one right that you have, and that is to do just what I read to you: keep the commandments of Jesus Christ. He has a perfect right to tell us so. We have no right to refuse.
I do not care who the man is; I do not care where he lives, or what he is – when the gospel of Jesus Christ is presented to him, he has no right to refuse to receive it. He has the privilege. He is not compelled to receive it, because our Father in heaven has given to everyone of us, in the Church and out, the gift of free agency.
That free agency gives us the privilege to accept and be loyal to our Lord’s commandments, but it has never given us the right to reject them. Every man who rejects the commandments of our Father in heaven is rebellious” (C.R., April 1967, 120-21).
D&C 58:42-43 loyal to our Lord’s commandments, but it has never given us the right to reject them. Every man who rejects the commandments of our Father in heaven is rebellious” (C.R., April 1967, 120-21).
Behold he will confess them and forsake them!
Bjorn Borg, considered to be the finest tennis player of his era, was, as Time magazine reported, “unflappable on the court, a mannerly competitor who rarely disputed a linesman’s calls, unleashing grimaces, tossed racquets, or bashed balls. ‘Iceborg’ they called him.” The article continues: “He rules his emotions so completely that so much as an on-court frown leaves fans and fellow players awe-struck.”
But it was not always so. loyal to our Lord’s commandments, but it has never given us the right to reject them. Every man who rejects the commandments of our Father in heaven is rebellious” (C.R., April 1967, 120-21).Time reveals a darker side before a remarkable change took place:
“At eleven young Bjorn cursed like a navy, hurled his racquet, hectored officials and bellyached over every close call. ‘I was crazy, a madman on the court. It was awful. Then the club I belonged to suspended me for five months, and my mother, she took my racquet and locked it in the closet. For five months, she locked up my racquet. After that I never opened my mouth again on the tennis court. Since that day I came back from that suspension, no matter what happened, I have behaved on the court (Phillips, “The Tennis Machine,” 56-57).
When we have the resolve to refrain from a certain course of conduct, no matter what happens, then repentance is in the works. We have forsaken when we have mastered the habit under any set of circumstances that may be thrown down at us. It is not the passage of time, but a change of heart that is the key.
Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone tells of a young man who came to him for a mission interview. Elder Featherstone inquired as to the young man’s transgressions. In a haughty manner the young man replied, “There isn’t anything I have done.” Elder Featherstone inquired as to the specifics --- morals, drugs, and so on. Again he replied, “I told you I have done everything.” Elder Featherstone asked, “What makes you think you’re going on a mission?” “Because I have repented,” came the reply. “I haven’t done any of these things for a year.” Elder Featherstone then looked at the young man across the table --- twenty-one years of age --- sarcastic, haughty, with an attitude far removed from sincere repentance, “My dear young friend,” he said, “I’m sorry to tell you this, but you are not going on a mission….You shouldn’t have been ordained an elder and you really should have been tried for your membership in the Church. What you have committed is a series of monumental transgressions. You haven’t repented; you’ve just stopped doing something.
Someday, after you have been to Gethsemane and back, you will understand what true repentance is.” At this, the young man started to cry. It lasted for about five minutes. There was no exchange of words, only silence. Then he left Elder Featherstone’s office.
About six months later Elder Featherstone was speaking to an institute group in Arizona. Following the meeting he saw this same young man walking up the aisle towards him, and the details of their interview flashed through his mind. Elder Featherstone reached down from the podium to shake his hand. As the young man looked up, Elder Featherstone could see that something wonderful had taken place in his life. Tears streamed down the young man’s cheeks and an almost holy glow came from his countenance. “You’ve been there, haven’t you?” asked Elder Featherstone. Through the tears he said, “Yes, Bishop Featherstone, I’ve been to Gethsemane and back.” “I know,” Elder Featherstone replied. “It shows in your face. I believe now that the Lord has forgiven you” (Featherstone, Generation of Excellence, 156-59).
Doctrine and Covenants 58:57 will understand what true repentance is.” At this, the young man started to cry. It lasted for about five minutes. There was no exchange of words, only silence. Then he left Elder Featherstone’s office.
“The first log”
“On the second day of August,” wrote the Prophet Joseph Smith,
“I assisted the Colesville branch of the Church to lay the first log, for a house, as a foundation of Zion in Kaw township, twelve miles west of Independence. The log was carried and placed by twelve men, in honor of the twelve tribes of Israel. At the same time, through prayer, the land of Zion was consecrated and dedicated by Elder Sidney Rigdon for the gathering of Saints. It was a season of joy to those present, and afforded a glimpse of the future, which time will yet unfold to the satisfaction of the faithful” (HC, 1:196).
Sidney Rigdon dedicated the ground where the city is to stand and Joseph Smith Jr. laid a stone at the northeast corner of the contemplated temple in the name of the Lord Jesus of Nazareth. After all present had rendered thanks to the great ruler of the universe, Sydney Rigdon pronounced this spot of ground wholly dedicated unto the Lord forever, Amen” (“Book of John Whitmer,” 11).
Doctrine and Covenants 58:64, 45 stand and Joseph Smith Jr. laid a stone at the northeast corner of the contemplated temple in the name of the Lord Jesus of Nazareth. After all present had rendered thanks to the great ruler of the universe, Sydney Rigdon pronounced this spot of ground wholly dedicated unto the Lord forever, Amen” (“ “Push!”
Truly the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith will be fulfilled:
“No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny many defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done (HC 4: 540).