2021 Study Summary 23: All Flesh Is In Mine Hand
Doctrine and Covenants 60-62
“All Flesh Is In Mine Hand”
Doctrine and Covenants 60. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, August 8, 1831. On this occasion the elders who had traveled to Jackson County and participated in the dedication of the land and the temple site desired to know what they were to do. 1–9, The elders are to preach the gospel in the congregations of the wicked; 10–14, They should not idle away their time, nor bury their talents; 15–17, They may wash their feet as a testimony against those who reject the gospel.
Doctrine and Covenants 61. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, on the bank of the Missouri River, McIlwaine’s Bend, August 12, 1831. On their return trip to Kirtland, the Prophet and ten elders had traveled down the Missouri River in canoes. On the third day of the journey, many dangers were experienced. Elder William W. Phelps, in a daylight vision, saw the destroyer riding in power upon the face of the waters. 1–12, The Lord has decreed many destructions upon the waters; 13–22, The waters were cursed by John, and the destroyer rides upon their face; 23–29, Some have power to command the waters; 30–35, Elders are to journey two by two and preach the gospel; 36–39, They are to prepare for the coming of the Son of Man.
Doctrine and Covenants 62. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, on the bank of the Missouri River at Chariton, Missouri, August 13, 1831. On this day the Prophet and his group, who were on their way from Independence to Kirtland, met several elders who were on their way to the land of Zion, and, after joyful salutations, received this revelation. 1–3, Testimonies are recorded in heaven; 4–9, The elders are to travel and preach according to judgment and as directed by the Spirit.
How significant are dedications of buildings and lands?
One purpose of dedications of places and buildings was to provide a place where worthy Church members could receive spiritual power, authority, and enlightenment as instructed by the Lord. The Kirtland Temple was dedicated on March 27, 1836, by the Prophet Joseph Smith, by revelation. (Doctrine and Covenants 109–110) One of the original members of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Orson Hyde (1805-1878) said, “Joseph Smith (1805-1844), a prophet and servant of the Most High God, did predict upon my head, that I should yet go to the city of Jerusalem, and be a watchman unto the house of Israel, and perform a work there which would greatly facilitate the gathering together of that people.” (History of the Church 4:375, Orson Hyde, “A voice from Jerusalem, or a sketch of the travels and ministry of Elder Orson Hyde, p III)
How was the dedication of the Holy Land announced?
At the April 1840 General Conference of the Church in Nauvoo, Illinois, Joseph Smith called Elders Orson Hyde (1805-1878), and John E. Page (1879-1867), members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to cross the oceans and dedicate the land of Palestine for the gathering of the children of Abraham. Hyde wrote of his high eagerness to complete his calling in that land. “I find that almost a universal anxiety prevails respecting the return of the Jews. The waters are troubled because the Angel has descended. My heart leaps for joy at the prospect of seeing that land, and there fulfilling my mission.” (Marilyn Rona, Steven Baldridge, Grafting In, a History of the Latter-day Saints in the Holy Land, Church History Library) Salt Lake City (M275.694 G737 1989), Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 4:454-459, Orson Hyde (1805-1878), “A voice from Jerusalem, or a sketch of the travels and ministry of Elder Orson Hyde, p IV) “ . . . Now, O Lord! Thy servant has been obedient to the heavenly vision which Thou gavest him in his native land; and under the shadow of Thine outstretched arm, he has safely arrived in this place to dedicate and consecrate this land unto Thee, for the gathering together of Judah’s scattered remnants, according to the predictions of the holy Prophets–for the building up of Jerusalem again after it has been trodden down by the Gentiles so long, and for rearing a Temple in honor of Thy name . . .” (Joseph fielding Smith, History of the Church, Volume 4, page 454 and essential in Church History, 230 and 235)
What other dedications occurred in Church History?
“Most major events in scriptural history centered around certain commemorative seasons. The dedication of the Kirtland temple culminated with the remarkable visits of Elijah and Moses at Passover week in 1836. The sequel to Passover, the festival of Sukkoth, which happens at the first full moon after the first day of autumn, commemorates among other things, the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. In February and March of 1873, Palestine was visited by First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, George A. Smith (1817-1875), Apostle and Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, Lorenzo Snow (1814-1901), Albert Carrington (1813-1889) of the Quorum of the Twelve, Paul A. Schettler (1827-1884) of the Seventy, Feramorz Little (1820-1887), George Dunford (1822-1891), Sisters Eliza R. Snow, older sister of Lorenzo Snow, and Clara S. Little. Sunday morning, March 2nd, 1873, President Smith arranged for a tent, table, seats and carpet to be taken up on the Mount of Olives, to which all the brethren of the company rode to on horseback. After Carrington offered an opening prayer, they united in the order of the Holy Priesthood, President Smith led in humble, fervent supplication, dedicated the land of Palestine for the gathering of the Jews and the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and returning heart-felt thanks and gratitude to God for the fulness of the Gospel and the blessings bestowed on the Latter-day Saints. The other brethren led in turn. Their journal entry included, “It seemed the crowning point of the whole tour . . . worshipping on the summit of the sacred Mount, once the frequent resort of the Prince of Life.” (Encyclopedia of LDS History, p 62, George A. Smith, Lorenzo Snow, Paul Schettler, and Eliza R. Snow, Palestine Tourists, 1875, P. 260)
What are some symbolic meanings used in storms and water?
There are several accounts in the Bible that have to do with an ‘ark,’ a ‘ship’ or a ‘boat.’ In each account, those in the crafts were “saved” or “lifted up.” These “sea and storm stories” in the scriptures have meanings and lessons for us, nowadays. They have a common connection. Noah is saved by the Lord, Jonah is saved by the Lord, the Apostles on the Sea of Galilee are saved by the Lord. When “sinking,” remember, we are saved by the Lord. We are completely immersed in the waters of baptism. Jonah learns that it is God’s will that Gentiles will also be saved. Peter learns the same lesson. Both prophets sank to the depths in learning that it is God’s work that “Jehovah Saves.” It is a characteristic of Prophets to be so tested that they “sink to new heights.” “And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.” (Genesis 7:17) “So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:15-17) “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” (Matthew 8:23-26) “Wherefore, they knew not whither they should steer the ship, insomuch that there arose a great storm, yea, a great and terrible tempest, and we were driven back upon the waters for the space of three days; and they began to be frightened exceedingly lest they should be drowned in the sea; nevertheless they did not loose me.” (1 Nephi 18:13) “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did guide the ship, that we sailed again towards the promised land.” (1 Nephi 18:22) The ocean waters were used to discover the new promised land. “During the Middle Ages Jews became less involved in the actual owning and sailing of ships but remained active as sea merchants and brokers. Jews were known for producing nautical instruments and maps. Abraham Zacuto invented the astrolabe and drew up nautical tables that were invaluable to sailors. Christopher Columbus is thought by some to have been a Marrano (secret Jew) and his interpreter certainly was Jewish. In England a Marrano, Simon Fernandez, was chief pilot to Sir Walter Raleigh.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
What can I learn from the assignment to go “two by two?”
From biblical tradition coms the Jewish practice of marriage. “Kiddushin is a legal act of acquisition of the bride by the groom: by handing over an object of value (usually a simple ring) to the bride in the presence of two witnesses and reciting the formula, ‘Behold you are consecrated unto me with this ring according to the law of Moses and Israel,’ the groom signifies his intent to reserve the bride exclusively to himself, and by accepting the ring the bride signifies her consent.” “Halakhic requirements of the marriage ceremony include . . . giving of the ring by the groom to the bride in the presence of two valid witnesses.” “The Bible declares that in order to convict, the evidence must be given by at least two witnesses. However, in certain cases such as those requiring an oath, a single witness is valid. A testimony must be given by the witness himself and not by another who says that he heard such a testimony.” “The court warns the witnesses that bearing false witness is a serious crime and each witness is investigated and interrogated separately in order to make sure that he is not lying. If it is established that the witnesses have testified falsely, they are disqualified from ever bearing witness again and, under certain circumstances receive . . . the same punishment the accused would have received had he been convicted. If one witness should contradict another, or say something contradicted by fact–the testimony is rejected. Acceptable witnesses who sign a document render it valid.” ““In Jewish law, perjury can only be proven by the evidence of two other witnesses who both testify that the perjurer could not have been present at the time and place he claims. These second witnesses must give their evidence in the presence of the first witness. Only in this way can the charge of perjury be leveled: if the second witnesses simply disagree with the first but cannot break his alibi, or if the second witnesses do not offer their refutal in front of the first, this constitutes not perjury, but contradiction in which case all the evidence is disregarded.” “From Talmudic times, it was the special duty of the housewife to bake the bread for the Sabbath. This bread, usually prepared from white flour, is also called ‘hallah.’ Two such loaves are placed on the festive Sabbath table as a symbol for the double portion of manna which the Israelites in the wilderness received every Friday, and because of the Show bread in the Temple, which was displayed each Sabbath.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
How meaningful are “two” in New Testament and modern revelation?
“After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place . . .” (Luke 10:1) At a New Testament archaeology site, Chorazim, two chairs or seats are reserved. The Jews are still waiting for the prophets Moses and Elijah to return. Two seats are traditionally and historically reserved for them in every synagogue. At one of the early meetings of the “Bnai Shalom” group (Jewish/Latter-day Saint’s cultural group), the late Apostle LeGrand Richards once remarked that he saw two beautifully decorated chairs fastened to the wall of a synagogue he was visiting. Knowingly, he asked the Rabbi, “What are those two chairs for?” The reply came quickly that they were being kept for Elijah and Moses. Elder Richards, seizing the moment and using his wonderful sense of humor said, “Get them down, they’ve already been here!” “Why did John send two of his disciples to Jesus to ask if he were the promised Messiah? (Matt. 11:2-6; Luke 7:19-23) Any inference that the Baptist was uncertain or doubtful in his own mind, as to the identity and mission of the Master, is totally unwarranted. In reality, the imprisoned Elias and forerunner of our Lord was using this means to persuade his disciples to forsake him and follow Jesus.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Vol.1, p.251) “When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other–This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Joseph Smith History 1:17)