2021 Study Summary 30: Where Much Is Given Much Is Required
Doctrine and Covenants 81-83
“Where Much Is Given Much Is Required”
Doctrine and Covenants 81. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Hiram, Ohio, March 15, 1832. Frederick G. Williams is called to be a high priest and a counselor in the Presidency of the High Priesthood. The historical records show that when this revelation was received in March 1832, it called Jesse Gause to the office of counselor to Joseph Smith in the Presidency. However, when he failed to continue in a manner consistent with this appointment, the call was subsequently transferred to Frederick G. Williams. The revelation (dated March 1832) should be regarded as a step toward the formal organization of the First Presidency, specifically calling for the office of counselor in that body and explaining the dignity of the appointment. Brother Gause served for a time but was excommunicated from the Church in December 1832. Brother Williams was ordained to the specified office on March 18, 1833. 1–2, The keys of the kingdom are always held by the First Presidency; 3–7, If Frederick G. Williams is faithful in his ministry, he will have eternal life.
Doctrine and Covenants 82. Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, April 26, 1832. The occasion was a council of high priests and elders of the Church. At the council, Joseph Smith was sustained as the President of the High Priesthood, to which office he had previously been ordained at a conference of high priests, elders, and members, at Amherst, Ohio, January 25, 1832 (see the heading to section 75). This revelation reiterates instructions given in an earlier revelation (section 78) to establish a firm—known as the United Firm (under Joseph Smith’s direction, the term “order” later replaced “firm”)—to govern the Church’s mercantile and publishing endeavors. 1–4, Where much is given, much is required; 5–7, Darkness reigns in the world; 8–13, The Lord is bound when we do what He says; 14–18, Zion must increase in beauty and holiness; 19–24, Every man should seek the interest of his neighbor.
Doctrine and Covenants 83. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Independence, Missouri, April 30, 1832. This revelation was received as the Prophet sat in council with his brethren. 1–4, Women and children have claim upon their husbands and fathers for their support; 5–6, Widows and orphans have claim upon the Church for their support.
What is the original priesthood leadership organization??
The original true religion had an order governed by the priesthood of God. Consider the leadership of the children of Israel, a council of three, with Moses, Aaron & Hur, a Council of Twelve Elders and a Council of Seventy. It is comparable in form to the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The latter-day Israelites are now being led by the tribe of Ephraim (Joseph), organized with a First Presidency of three, a Quorum of Twelve and a Council of Seventy. In Jesus’ time, the Biblical priesthood leadership had become corrupted. Caiaphas was the High Priest over three councils that made up the grand Sanhedrin assembly. Incidentally, to condemn Jesus, Caiaphas apparently was only meeting with one of the three councils and not the entire Sanhedrin (seventy men). The entire Sanhedrin would have to judge in such a case (if it had been a legal trial).
How can I see the echoes of original priesthood leadership?
More than two millennia ago, attempts to return to the original ecclesiastical organization are seen in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The best preserved of these Qumran scrolls is called The Manual of Discipline, a collection of doctrine and covenants of these religious people. Their organization included a Teacher of Righteousness and two assistants. There was also a council of twelve overseers. Their priestly system included two castes: One of a higher authority that was called an order of the Melech Zedek (righteous king), and another of lesser authority that connected with the Levitical, or Order of Aaron. They were 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. The Qumran community did not follow the Mosaic governmental pattern completely. Jesus did. Moses had a governing leadership of three persons, Moses and his two assistants, Aaron and Hur. Some biblical scholars have suggested that it looks like the Essene governing system was copied by Jesus, and that he may have studied with this sect. It seems highly unlikely that this is really the case. However, the organizational similarity that Jesus did use came from the same system of government given to Moses, a system that partially continued to exist in other Jewish traditions up to and at the time of Jesus. “And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;” (Luke 6:13) “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.” (Luke 10:1) The Old Testament leadership structure came from God. “And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.” (Exodus 24:1) “And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have matters to do, let him come unto them.” (Exodus 24:14) The organization and growth of the Church in the Meridian of Times parallels the organization of the Church in ancient and modern times. These were and are men, in their respective times, who had and have authority from God to bring light and truth to the people.
How can Zion increase in beauty and holiness?
Clearly from the mouth of God; “Every man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God.” (Doctrine and Covenants 82:19) The echoes of this eternal principles can be seen in Jewish writings. Whether establishing themselves within or part of a community, Jewish ethics and hospitality are an important lifestyle. “Ethics are the principles by which man can live a good life in relation to his fellow man. The ethical life is basic to Jewish religious observance: ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord’ (Leviticus 19:18). Love of God is incomplete without love of man. This precept underlies the rules of conduct which the Torah prescribes . . .” “Hospitality is considered by Judaism to be one of the most important virtues that a person can develop. This has been true since the time of ancient Israel, when hospitality was not merely a question of good manners, but a moral institution which grew out of the harsh desert and nomadic existence of the people of Israel. The biblical customs of welcoming the weary traveler and receiving the stranger in one’s midst developed into an important Jewish virtue. Isaiah states that one of the duties of the pious is to ‘deal thy bread to the hungry’ and to ‘bring the poor that are cast out to thy house.’” A.J. Heschel (1907-1972) based his views on a Midrash (tradition) stating that holiness is the only way to combat evil and that learning and obeying the precepts of Torah is the only way to gain holiness. The simplest advice in combating evil: ‘Turn from evil and do good’ is from the Book of Psalms (34:15).” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
What effort have the Jews made to overcome ritualism?
“. . .the mid-19th century . . . (an) outstanding rabbinical authority . . . (Lithuanian) of his day, Israel Lipkin . . . felt that the Jews were seeing Judaism as a ritualistic religion and were observing the mitzvot (commandments) in a mechanical manner and ignoring the fact that Judaism requires of man to be as good and ethical as he can possibly be. He believed that this could be corrected only by intensive study of texts which discuss the proper behavior required and the way to achieve it; and he inaugurated a movement to make such study an integral part of the curriculum of the yeshivot and to establish a small ‘musar room’ in every neighborhood where people would go for a short period every day to ‘check up on their spiritual well being.” “Habad has developed a widespread network of schools, and it was the first Hasidic group to open yeshivot for the study of Torah and other religious subjects. They are also very active in attempting to help Russian Jews to emigrate to Israel. They run a strong ‘propaganda’ campaign and, in Jerusalem, the tourist visiting the Western Wall is likely to be approached by a Habad Hasid with a pair of tefillin in his hand, suggesting that he put them on then and there.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
How can I transform friendly into being a friend?
In Jerusalem, one of my associates, a Levite, told me, “Friendship is easy, being a friend is rare.” It is clear to see the close relationships Jews and Latter-day Saints have in their families. Even with most theological differences, the family relationship remains. Family is one of Joseph and Judah’s strongest similarities. “The Bible appears to be more concerned with social and family relations than with individual ones, and thus puts more emphasis on being a good neighbor than it does on friendship. The Bible also warns against false friendship, saying that people might be attracted to a person solely because of his wealth, and not out of motives of respect. “Balaam’s eyes opened . . . he stood on a lofty summit overlooking the camp of the People of Israel in the plain below . . . Balaam blessed the nation, predicting its victory over Edom and Moab . . . Balaam, seeing Israel’s tents arranged in such a way that each family was assured of its privacy, praised the nation he had come to curse, with the words: ‘How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, thy dwelling places, O Israel’!” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr. – Numbers 24:5)
How does Jewish culture apply to family, children and their responsibilities and reverence for each other?
One of the most consistent rituals includes, at the Sabbath’s beginning, a weekly pouring of “kosher wine” by the eldest male in the family. He will say a blessing, take a sip of the wine and then each family member partakes thereafter. Another part of the Sabbath’s beginning is to bless a piece of broken bread. Again, the eldest male partakes first, and the rest of the family partakes thereafter. Jeremiah used the favorite image of an even earlier prophet, Hosea, comparing the relationship between God and Israel to that of husband and wife. Israel, in not keeping its responsibilities, deserted the true faith and had become like an unfaithful wife. “Both husband and wife have a commitment to each other that should be like God’s and Israel’s dedication to one another. “‘Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward’ (Psalm 127:3). In Jewish tradition, the central purpose of marriage is to have children. Children are considered a great blessing; they are the hope and the promise of continuing life.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) Responsibilities of a man, a woman and of children are stated in the scriptures, Talmudic and oral traditions. In many religious Jewish families, the father blesses his wife and children on a weekly basis. Women and children are to be cherished and blessed. They have different responsibilities, yet they should share an honorable status without preference. Yet, as Judaism spread without the guidance of living prophets, some discrimination has crept into society.
What is a Zion People?
“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.” (Moses 7:16-21) 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. (Moses 7:69)
What is the status of women in Jewish culture?
The strong Jewish tradition about women places them on a lofty pedestal. “It is said that a man without a wife lives without joy, blessing and good, and that a man should love his wife as himself and respect her more than himself. Women have greater faith than men and greater powers of discernment. The Torah, the greatest joy of the rabbis, is frequently pictured as a woman and is represented as God’s daughter and Israel’s bride.” “In modern Israel, the Declaration of Independence ensures complete equality of political and social rights to all its inhabitants, regardless of religion, race, or sex, but the real Magna Carta of the Israeli woman was the Women’s Equal Rights Law of 1951, giving women equal legal status with men. The only field of law in which there remains a degree of discrimination against women is that of personal status. Matters of marriage and divorce come within the exclusive jurisdiction of the religious courts and thus, for example, a divorce must be given by the husband to the wife. On the other hand, in accordance with the halakhah (Jewish law), children take the national identity of their mother and not that of their father. “Woman (Eve) was created primarily to serve man (Adam) as a helper, and throughout the Bible she is expected to be a good wife and mother. But in ages when many cultures regarded their women as mere chattels, the Jews did not disregard the girl’s wishes when a marriage arrangement was made. Womanly traits, good and bad, were proverbial in the Bible. Foolishness, contentiousness and indiscretion were censured. On the other hand, graciousness, industry and generosity were lauded, particularly in the paean of praise to the woman in Proverbs, whose beginning is usually translated as ‘A woman of valor who shall find, and her worth is far above pearls.’” “The Talmud teaches that it is a woman’s duty to beautify herself so as to appear pleasing to her husband. The rabbis said: ‘A woman beautifies herself by powdering herself, by parting her hair and leaving it loose over her shoulders, and by applying rouge to her face.’ Said Rav Huna: ‘Only the young ones do so, but not the old ones.’ Said Rav Hisda to him: ‘Even your mother does so, even your grandmother does so, and even a woman on the verge of the grave.’ Though the talmudic attitude toward the use of cosmetics is basically favorable, it is combined with warnings against its utilization for immoral purposes. Furthermore, cosmetics were not permitted during periods of mourning.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
As Children of Israel, what is our culture about the calling of the father?
Jewish tradition places a strong responsibility on the husband and father. Further details of Jewish custom in the family parallel the Latter-day Saints’ lifestyle. “The father’s duty is to provide for his children, to give them a proper education, to teach them a trade, and to prepare them for marriage. Some authorities require that the father teach his son to swim. The father is morally accountable for the behavior and the sins of his children until they reach the age of their own responsibility – bat mitzvah at the age of 12 for girls, and bar mitzvah at the age of 13 (the end of the 12th year) for boys. The father retains responsibility in legal matters for his son until the age of 20 and for his daughter until she marries.” “Great emphasis is placed on the importance of education and religious training, which should begin early in the home. The mother’s role is vital since she is the one who creates the home atmosphere in which basic values are fostered and transmitted. She trains her sons and daughters in mitzvot and prepares them for formal education. The rabbis advised parents to be loving but firm in the upbringing of their children, and warned against showing favoritism.” “In some communities it is customary for the father to bless his children on the Sabbath eve when he returns from the synagogue.” “Children are obliged to treat their parents with honor and respect. Children must provide dependent parents with food, clothing and personal attention if it is necessary. This obligation is removed from a daughter when she marries.” “Judaism considers the establishment of a family a holy task. Children are a gift from God and childlessness the greatest misfortune that could befall a marriage. The virtues of domestic bliss have been frequently extolled by the rabbis, and the close-knit Jewish family, where the home has been the center of religious practice and ceremony, has greatly helped the survival of Judaism and preserved the moral integrity of the Jews.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)