Summary Lesson 27: “They Must Needs Be Chastened and Tried, Even as Abraham”
- Scattering and Gathering, Being Tempered and Taught: The early saints paralleled the experiences of the Children of Israel in Biblical times. It is also part of a pattern teaching us the plan of life where we leave Father’s presence, come to this earth to by tried, tempered and taught and then have the opportunity to return to Father’s presence.
- Joseph Smith’s Role Is Summarized in Parable: After the destruction of the twelve olive trees and the scattering of the watchmen, the lord instructed a gathering. “. . . take all the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also among all my servants, who are the strength of mine house, save those only whom I have appointed to tarry . . .” (D&C 101:55) The instruction of “gathering” includes Elders, Sisters, middle aged and older couples. The exception is that some, for the time being, are told not to do missionary work, like in Israel and the rest of the Middle-East. In the end, the Lord would gather those that we have not been able to find. (D&C 101:58)
- Similarity in New Testament Parable: Israel’s unfinished watch towers, hedges (terraces) and olive trees are constant reminders of the Lord working to gather us home. The gathering leadership was always Joseph. In a parable with almost the same visual imagery, Jesus told the self-appointed leaders, the Pharisees, that the kingdom would be taken from them (Judah) and given to another (Joseph). “. . . The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” (Matthew 21:43-46)
- Origin of “Stakes of Zion:” Is it possible that the areas of responsibility and assigned living were “staked” out, that there were stakes, poles or standards that identified the living areas? “The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron saying “The Israelites shall camp each with his standard under the banners of their ancestral house’ (Numbers 2:2). The standards borne by the 12 tribes served the same purpose as heraldic devices.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Difference of Biblical and Modern Law: The Prophet Joseph Smith instructed the saints to seek legal redress due to the persecution the early saints were subject to. Biblical law prescribed punishments based on breaking the law, yet the modern legal system in the USA, like the Roman system, is much more slanted to the punishment of people . . . breaking the law.
- Legal System Becomes Flawed: “The American Bar Association has said that being guilty and rich is better than being innocent and poor . . . ‘[and] that the color of justice is green’.” (Harland Stonecipher, CEO and Founder, Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.)