2021 Study Summary 41: I Will Order All Things For Your Good
Doctrine and Covenants 111-114
“I Will Order All Things For Your Good”
Doctrine and Covenants 111. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Salem, Massachusetts, August 6, 1836. At this time the leaders of the Church were heavily in debt due to their labors in the ministry. Hearing that a large amount of money would be available to them in Salem, the Prophet, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, and Oliver Cowdery traveled there from Kirtland, Ohio, to investigate this claim, along with preaching the gospel. The brethren transacted several items of Church business and did some preaching. When it became apparent that no money was to be forthcoming, they returned to Kirtland. Several of the factors prominent in the background are reflected in the wording of this revelation. 1–5, The Lord looks to the temporal needs of His servants; 6–11, He will deal mercifully with Zion and arrange all things for the good of His servants.
Doctrine and Covenants112. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Thomas B. Marsh, at Kirtland, Ohio, July 23, 1837, concerning the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb. This revelation was received on the day Elders Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde first preached the gospel in England. Thomas B. Marsh was at this time President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. 1–10, The Twelve are to send the gospel and raise the warning voice to all nations and people; 11–15, They are to take up their cross, follow Jesus, and feed His sheep; 16–20, Those who receive the First Presidency receive the Lord; 21–29, Darkness covers the earth, and only those who believe and are baptized will be saved; 30–34, The First Presidency and the Twelve hold the keys of the dispensation of the fulness of times.
Doctrine and Covenants113. Answers to certain questions on the writings of Isaiah, given by Joseph Smith the Prophet, at or near Far West, Missouri, March 1838. 1–6, The Stem of Jesse, the rod coming therefrom, and the root of Jesse are identified; 7–10, The scattered remnants of Zion have a right to the priesthood and are called to return to the Lord.
Doctrine and Covenants114. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, April 11, 1838. 1–2, Church positions held by those who are not faithful will be given to others.
What parallels can I see in ancient and recent restoration events?
A Jewish/Latter-day Saint comparison with Thomas Marsh might suggest a similarity of the “Dathan” personality in Exodus. Moses looked at Children of Israel’s burdens, and he saw an Egyptian man striking one of them. (Exodus 2:11-14) According to one opinion in the Midrash (ancient Hebrew scripture commentary) the Hebrew victim was none other than Dathan, (this is inferred by the fact that Dathan knew Moses killed the Egyptian). Dathan was an Israelite leader, apostatized, and then worked against the Prophet. Moses then came to Dathan; “Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. And Moses said, Hereby, ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind . . . And it came to pass . . . and the earth opened . . . and swallowed them up . . . and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.” (Numbers 16:27-33)
How did Thomas B. Marsh change, “with–against–and–for,” the Lord and His servants?
Thomas B. Marsh (1800-1866), a Latter-day Israelite leader, apostatized and worked against the Prophet Joseph Smith. However, Marsh determined to reunite with the Church. His regret and repentance appeared to be humble and genuine. Writing to Heber C. Kimball in Salt Lake City, Marsh lamented, “The Lord could get along very well without me, and He has lost nothing by my falling out of the ranks; But O what have I lost?!” Marsh further explained that he had “met with G. W. Harris and a reconciliation has taken place with us.” (Thomas B. Marsh Returns to the Church,” BYU Studies, vol. 20, no. 4 (Summer 1980), 389–400.) “After Marsh’s arrival in Salt Lake City in September 1857, Brigham Young allowed him to address the Saints. In a weakened voice, Marsh explained his apostasy and asked for forgiveness: “I have frequently wanted to know how my apostacy began, and I have come to the conclusion that I must have lost the Spirit of the Lord out of my heart . . . I became jealous of the Prophet . . . and overlooked everything that was right and spent all my time in looking for the evil; and then, when the Devil began to lead me, it was easy for the carnal mind to rise up, which is anger, jealousy, and wrath. I could feel it within me; I felt angry and wrathful; and the Spirit of the Lord being gone, as the Scriptures say, I was blinded . . . I got mad, and I wanted everybody else to be mad.” (Thomas B. Marsh, in Journal of Discourses, 5:206–7) “After Marsh spoke, Brigham Young asked for a vote receiving Thomas B. Marsh back into full fellowship as a member of the Church, and not a hand was raised in opposition.” (Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, 5:209) The Mercy of the Lord is so magnificent.
How did Isaiah foresee a “Joseph” activating the Latter-day restoration?
In this section of the Doctrine and Covenants the meaning is that Jesus the Messiah is referred to as the STEM, and two servants of the Lord are from two lineages, Joseph and Judah. One, the ROOT, will receive the “Keys of the Kingdom,” for the “gathering of my people in the latter-days,” and the Priesthood. The prophet Joseph Smith fulfills this. The other, the ROD, also from two lineages, “on whom is laid much power.” That servant has not yet come forth. “What is the root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th chapter? 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 113:5-6) We know by scripture that Joseph Smith was descended from ancient Joseph, (2 Nephi 3:6, 8-9, 13, 15) and received the keys of the gathering of Israel from Moses and Elijah. (Doctrine and Covenants 110) In addition to being a “Joseph through Ephraim,” there is a Judah connection, likely through his Lucy Mack, his mother’s lineage. From the publication “Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought,” we find this quote: “Bathsheba Bigler was promised by Joseph Smith, Sr., in 1839 that she would have “a son who shall be mighty, for he shall be a prophet and seer. Bathsheba later married George A. Smith, nephew of Joseph Sr. He became an apostle, as did their son John Henry Smith. Their grandson George Albert Smith became eighth president of the church. In 1845 Jennetta Richards was promised by Uncle John Smith that her children would “grow up around thee like healthful plants; one shall chase a thousand and two put 10,000 to flight, for the enemy shall not prevail over the saints in the last days. And Abigail Abbott was told “one of thy posterity named after the name of his father and after the name of his great-grandfather who was a descendant of the tribe of Judah and of the household of David, shall be a mighty warrior and be led on to avenge the blood of the Prophets and Patriarchs”. (Blessing given to Abigail Abbott by William Smith, 23 June 1845, Schroeder Collection)
What do Jews say about a Latter-day Joseph?
Jews, feel that Prophets and Prophecy have ended, yet they have an expectation of prophets returning, such as a Latter-day Joseph, Son of Joseph, and a Latter-day David (as well as Elijah and Moses). The Jewish tradition of a latter-day “Joseph son of Joseph” is so significant to the “gathering” that I will repeat it. When the Chief Rabbi, Avraham HaKohen Kook (1865-1935) was appointed in Palestine in the 1920’s, he was asked if the Jews could now build the Temple (destroyed since year 70 A.D.). His response was that the priestly rights were gone and referred to the great 12th century rabbi Moses Maimonides (1138-1204). Maimonides said, in effect, “We are waiting for a Messiah Ben-Joseph, to him will be given the keys of the gathering of Israel, he will restore Temple worship.” In Jewish Biblical tradition, Mashiach ben Yoseph, also known as Mashiach bar/ben Ephraim, is a Jewish messiah from the tribe of Ephraim and a descendant of Joseph.
How did Isaiah foresee a “Davidic descendant” as part of the Latter-day restoration?
“What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse? Behold, thus saith the Lord: It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power.” (Doctrine and Covenants 113:3-4) To better recognize the Davidic line, let us go back in time. Jesse’s youngest son was named David. In obscurity during his childhood, he was ordained as the king of Israel. Yet he continued to be a shepherd; surely, he was a good shepherd. Born at Bethlehem he was promised by God that his seed would bring the King of Kings, the Messiah—also to be known as the Good Shepherd. “I am the good shepherd: The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11) The ancient David proved himself politically, militarily, and spiritually. Despite his sinfulness later in his life, Israelis still sing about the old David, King of Israel, awaiting a new Davidic descendant. Virtually every Bar Mitzvah celebration is enhanced by singing to the Jewish lad being honored, “David, Melech Israel.” He is treated as an expected David, one that should come in latter-days, out of obscurity, to reestablish a righteous kingdom. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints feel that the Davidic prophecies began to be fulfilled when the Davidic kingdom was partially restored in the meridian of time with the coming of Jesus of Nazareth. They do expect the rest of the fulfillment to come later.
How can I recognize the latter-day David when he arrives?
In considering the words of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea, the Jewish expectation of a latter-day David seems to include a person similar to the ancient David in addition to the Davidic Messiah, the King of Kings. He may also come out of obscurity. “But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.” (Jeremiah 30:9) “And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.” (Ezekiel 34:24) “Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.” (Hosea 3:5) As ancient events are a kind of pattern for the future, the latter-day David may be like the ancient David. He probably will prove himself politically, militarily, and spiritually. The people may then want to proclaim him a king. However, he will not likely accept that kingship. Although honored as a prince or a noble person, he will introduce and bear witness of the LORD, the King of Kings, who came to earth in the meridian of time and will return in these latter days.
What is Section 113 revealing as the “Stem?”
“Who is the Stem of Jesse spoken of in the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th verses of the 11th chapter of Isaiah? Verily thus saith the Lord: It is Christ.” (Doctrine and Covenants 113:1-2) Using an olive tree as the object of comparison, leads us to remember that olives trees are in a sense, non-deciduous, they are evergreen and do not lose their leaves in winter. They have no “trunk.” They are the ROOT, (more olive tree is below the ground than above). The root grows into the STEMs, that give the fruit. The shoots or RODs come from the below-ground roots. Eventually they intertwine into the above-ground roots. The Prophet Joseph Smith is revealing that the Messiah and His two servants are keys to the restoration of all things. As one of these servants is still unknown, there is a strong reasoning that the restoration is still going on, it is in the hands of the Messiah, the STEM and His servants, the ROOT and the ROD.