2021 Study Summary 29: I Will Lead You Along
Doctrine and Covenants 77-80
“I Will Lead You Along”
Doctrine and Covenants 77. Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Hiram, Ohio, about March 1832. Joseph Smith’s history states, “In connection with the translation of the Scriptures, I received the following explanation of the Revelation of St. John.” 1–4, Beasts have spirits and will dwell in eternal felicity; 5–7, This earth has a temporal existence of 7,000 years; 8–10, Various angels restore the gospel and minister on earth; 11, The sealing of the 144,000; 12–14, Christ will come in the beginning of the seventh thousand years; 15, Two prophets will be raised up to the Jewish nation.
Doctrine and Covenants 78. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, March 1, 1832. On that day, the Prophet and other leaders had assembled to discuss Church business. This revelation originally instructed the Prophet, Sidney Rigdon, and Newel K. Whitney to travel to Missouri and organize the Church’s mercantile and publishing endeavors by creating a “firm” that would oversee these efforts, generating funds for the establishment of Zion and for the benefit of the poor. This firm, known as the United Firm, was organized in April 1832 and disbanded in 1834 (see section 82). Sometime after its dissolution, under the direction of Joseph Smith, the phrase “the affairs of the storehouse for the poor” replaced “mercantile and publishing establishments” in the revelation, and the word “order” replaced the word “firm.” 1–4, The Saints should organize and establish a storehouse; 5–12, Wise use of their properties will lead to salvation; 13–14, The Church should be independent of earthly powers; 15–16, Michael (Adam) serves under the direction of the Holy One (Christ); 17–22, Blessed are the faithful, for they will inherit all things.
Doctrine and Covenants 79. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Hiram, Ohio, March 12, 1832. 1–4, Jared Carter is called to preach the gospel by the Comforter.
Doctrine and Covenants 80. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Stephen Burnett, at Hiram, Ohio, March 7, 1832. 1–5, Stephen Burnett and Eden Smith are called to preach in whatever place they choose.
What is the difference between the United Order and the Law of Consecration?
As stated in the lesson covering sections 51–57, there is a significant difference between the “United Order” and the “Law of Consecration.” The United Order is more like the modern version of the Jewish Kibbutz. These are similar cooperative efforts as was done throughout the ages. “. . . new groups of Zionists (in) the Second Aliyah (1904) and continuous waves of immigrants after that made their way to Israel . . . established agricultural settlements all over the country, revived the Hebrew language, and created their own Watchman Society to guard their members from Arab attack. In 1909, on land purchased by the Jewish National Fund, the first kibbutz, Deganyah, was established. By 1914, the yishuv, as the Jewish community was called, numbered some 85,000.” “Kibbutzim with similar ways of thinking often group together in federations, which save their member-villages money by purchasing for them all in bulk, and arranging from one central office to sell all their crops. In addition, many kibbutzim cooperate with other kibbutzim in the same region, whether they share the same ideas or not, and together they are able to build central silos and arrange heavy transport. Likewise, the kibbutz associations have their own adult education courses, choirs, amateur orchestras, art collections, bulletins, publishing houses, and even their own teachers’ training college.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
What can I learn about unified communities throughout the last two-thousand years?
Just prior to Jesus’ time, a legislated, cooperative community, the Essenes, arose and used similar governance bound by a strict order of unity. An Essene’s membership in a kibbutz-like united order came into effect only after a two-year trial period. The Essenes kept copies of the scriptures, interpretations of the scriptures, and their own scrolls of doctrines and covenants. It is worth repeating that a similar unity and community bond can be seen throughout the scriptures. “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:44-47) “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.” (Acts 4:32) “And they taught, and did minister one to another; and they had all things common among them, every man dealing justly, one with another.” (3 Nephi 26:19) The valuable lesson that we can learn is that unity represented in the scriptures is always connected with a central belief and faith in the Lord. That focus assures a unity because His directive powers are the same for everyone. “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:6) “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” (Alma 37:37) “And now, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that when ye are assembled together ye shall instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and direct my church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments, which I have given.” (Doctrine and Covenants 43:8) “The rabbis placed great emphasis on the relationship of the individual to the community during prayer. Almost all prayer, for example, was written in the first person plural – ‘Forgive us,’ ‘Teach us, ‘Bring us to our Land.’ Although private prayer was certainly permitted, the individual was urged to join a congregation (minyan) (prayer circle) when he prays and to incorporate the needs of the minyan in his prayers.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) The Latter-day Saints’ concept of focusing on the Lord has promoted a unified way of community life that can still be expressed individually.
How can I better “concentrate” on “consecration?”
“The law of consecration, in a celestial sense, is a stewardship of doing without being instructed to do so. Those who have to ask, “What must I do to inherit life?” must grasp the opportunity to reach higher – so that the spirit can dictate the “Law of Consecration.” In the days of the Savior, all believing members committed their time, talent and even their lives to “the kingdom.” As a discipline and behavioral structure, the early or “former-day” Saints gave everything to the Lord. By consecrating their resources to the Kingdom of God, they were learning stewardship over ownership. Stewardship is an eternal principle also given before Jesus’ time. “For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to day to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.” (Exodus 32:29)
What eternal destiny do animals have?
In reflecting on the introductory words to Section 77, “Beasts have spirits and will dwell in eternal felicity,” these are thoughts our Jewish family are taught; “Whatever the solution to the theological problem of suffering, Judaism absolutely forbids inflicting suffering on other people and even on animals. Also, no man may ignore the suffering of others but must do everything in his power to help remedy the situation. This applies to physical suffering, to poverty and to psychological suffering. Furthermore, no man has the right to enjoy himself if the rest of the community is suffering.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) Other biblical laws repeatedly show concern for the well-being of animals. Man must rest on the Sabbath and may not work his animals either. “Thou shalt not do any manner of work, neither thy son . . . nor thy servant . . . nor thy cattle’.” (Exodus 20:10)
In what context will the “two Prophets” and “Battle of Armageddon” occur?
In latter-days, in a warring world, a final battle will take place in Israel-the crossroads of the East, as well. (1) The world turns against the nation of Israel. (2) Two Prophets will hold back the armies of the enemies for three-and-a-half years. (Revelation 11:3) (3) Then they will be killed and lie in the streets for three-and-a-half days. (4) The Messianic event occurs as besieged Jerusalem will be freed and the Mount of Olives divides. (5) The preceding holocaust will have left so many dead that it will take seven months to find and bury them. The leftover instruments of war will apparently provide the survivors in the country with seven years of fuel. (Zecharia 11:14, Revelation 16:14-21) “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days . . .” (Revelation 11:3) “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.” (Revelation 11:7-9) We know that there are living prophets on the earth today. I remember when Apostles Howard W. Hunter (1907-1995) and James E. Faust (1920-2007) were in Jerusalem, Elder Faust turned to Elder Hunter and said, “I don’t think we are the two prophets!” Some Messianic Jews who don’t know about living prophets, consider Moses and Elijah as possibilities of the two witnesses because they will have the power to turn water into blood (Revelation 11:6), which duplicates a miracle of Moses (Exodus 7). They will have power to destroy their enemies with fire (Revelation 11:5), which resembles an event in Elijah’s life (2 Kings 1). And, that Moses and Elijah both appeared with Jesus at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:3–4). Additionally, Jewish traditions have specific holidays when Moses and Elijah are expected to return. (Malachi 4:5), (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18), some Jews believe these Deuteronomy verses necessitate Moses’ return.