2021 Study Summary 32: Stand Ye In Holy Places
Doctrine and Covenants 85-87
“Stand Ye In Holy Places”
Doctrine and Covenants 85. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, November 27, 1832. This section is an extract from a letter of the Prophet to William W. Phelps, who was living in Independence, Missouri. It answers questions about those Saints who had moved to Zion but who had not followed the commandment to consecrate their properties and had thus not received their inheritances according to the established order in the Church. 1–5, Inheritances in Zion are to be received through consecration; 6–12, One mighty and strong will give the Saints their inheritance in Zion.
Doctrine and Covenants 86. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, December 6, 1832. This revelation was received while the Prophet was reviewing and editing the manuscript of the translation of the Bible. 1–7, The Lord gives the meaning of the parable of the wheat and tares; 8–11, He explains priesthood blessings to those who are lawful heirs according to the flesh.
Doctrine and Covenants 87. Revelation and prophecy on war, given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at or near Kirtland, Ohio, December 25, 1832. At this time disputes in the United States over slavery and South Carolina’s nullification of federal tariffs were prevalent. Joseph Smith’s history states that “appearances of troubles among the nations” were becoming “more visible” to the Prophet “than they had previously been since the Church began her journey out of the wilderness.” 1–4, War is foretold between the Northern States and the Southern States; 5–8, Great calamities will fall upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
What do world religions consider as the priesthood?
A discussion of “priesthood authority” is better appreciated by very few religious entities, (1) the Jews who concede it was lost when their Temple was destroyed in year 70 C.E. (A.D.) and anticipate its restoration when their Temple will be restored, (2) the Catholics who feel it was continued from Simon, Son of Jonas (Peter) and (3) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with Apostles and Prophets who testify of the restoration of the authority to act in God’s name. “It was the design of the councils of heaven before the world was, that the principles and laws of the priesthood should be predicated upon the gathering of the people in every age of the world . . . Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed. All must be saved on the same principles.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Six 1843-44, Pg.308)
Having received Priesthood, what is my responsibility?
“Aaron was clearly given a lesser role than Moses. Aaron experienced revelations from God and, being an eloquent speaker, acted as prophet and miracle-worker before Pharaoh in the matter of the Plagues of Egypt. However, it is significant that even where he plays an active role in performing the miracles, it is not a result of his own ability or initiative, but solely by divine command given through Moses.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) “The successors of Aaron were appointed to the priesthood by revelation. The Judges of Israel were called by visions, by angels and by the inspiration of the Spirit . . . prophets, down to the days of Malachi, were called by new revelation.” (Orson Pratt Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, No. 2 (1850), p.17) Even though genealogy often produced a line of worthy people, “Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.” (Doctrine and Covenants 113:1-6), worthiness and righteousness is more important than ancestry. That is the reason reference is given in (Doctrine and Covenants 85:12), “These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.” (Ezra 2:61-62) It happened in ancient times “. . . the Priesthood, and the kingdom were taken from David, the man after God’s own heart, and his soul was thrust into hell. Why? Because “the Holy Ghost spake by the mouth of David” — or, in other words, David possessed the gift of the Holy Ghost, and had power to speak by the light thereof. But even David, though guilty of adultery and murder of Uriah, obtained the promise that his soul should not be left in hell, which means, as I understand it, that even he shall escape the second death.” (Gospel Doctrine, Joseph F. Smith, page 433) “. . . We may conclude, that though there were different dispensations, yet all things which God communicated to His people were calculated to draw their minds to the great object, and to teach them to rely upon God alone as the author of their salvation, as contained in His law.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Two 1834-37 p.59-60)
What counsel can I glean from the parable of wheat and tares?
Considering the phrase that the “blade is yet tender,” there may be a reason to leave the “tares” be. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught us how to handle them, “We are, however, facing a kind of Third World War that is not a fight to crush our enemies but a conscription marshaling the children of God to care more about each other and to help heal the wounds we find in a conflicted world.” (General Conference, April, 2021, Not as the World Giveth) Consider the definition of fear, faith and faith in the Lord. Fear is THINKING about things we don’t want to happen. Faith is THINKING about things we do want to happen, and Faith in the Lord is THINKING about things Lord wants to happen. Because we are children of God, like Him, we will accomplish what we think about. Concentrating on the “wheat” produces a better harvest than focusing on the “tares.” Similar similes occur in the Old Testament; “Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” (Isaiah 55:13)
How should I keep a history, a book of remembrance?
The late Daniel H. Ludlow, (1924-2009), Chief Editor of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, taught me that history was always prejudiced, however, true prophecy is unbiased – it hasn’t happened yet! In that sense, the scriptures were intended to be lessons for our times, using history as prophecy. “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4) “Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.” (Deuteronomy 32:7) “Then they that feared (Hebrew-revere, awe) the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared (Hebrew-revere, awe) the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return (Hebrew-repent), and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” (Malachi 3:16-18)
What does a prophet know about the past, present and future?
“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret (Hebrew- counsel, deliberation, consultation) unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7) “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deutronomy 29:29) “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:10) “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6) “And it shall be given thee in the very moment what thou shalt speak and write,” (Doctrine and Covenants 24:6)