Prophets in Mormonism/Part 19
|By: Marvin W. Cowan; ©2008|
|Doctrine and Covenants Section 124 is dated January 19, 1841. Verse 1 says, “Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, I am well pleased with your offering and acknowledgments, which you have made; for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might show forth my wisdom…” The last five articles discussed some of the problems in Doctrine and Covenants 124. This article summaries the issues raised in the previous five articles.|
Doctrine and Covenants Section 124 is dated January 19, 1841. Verse 1 says, “Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, I am well pleased with your offering and acknowledgments, which you have made; for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might show forth my wisdom…” Our last five articles discussed some of the problems in Doctrine and Covenants 124. Remember those problems were all in just one revelation (Doctrine and Covenants 124)! Following is a summary of some of the problems. For more details about them, see our recent articles.
- Joseph Smith was immediately to make a proclamation of the LDS gospel to the kings of the earth and American leaders and to tell them to bring their gold and silver to help the LDS build a temple in Nauvoo (vs. 2-11). He still hadn’t done that when he died in 1844.
- Robert B. Thompson was to help Smith write that proclamation (vs. 12-14). But he died at age 30 just seven months after Smith received this revelation, so he didn’t help write that proclamation.
- John C. Bennett was also to help with the same project (vs. 16-17). But he was disfellowshipped for immorality and on May 11, 1842 and later excommunicated without ever helping with Smith’s proclamation.
- Lyman Wight was to preach the gospel and help oversee the building of the Nauvoo House (vs. 18-19, 22, 62). “The Lord” said “It is my will that my servant Lyman Wight should continue preaching for Zion…that when he shall finish his work I may receive him unto myself (vs. 18-19). But he did not faithfully preach the LDS gospel nor oversee the building of the Nauvoo House. Against Brigham Young’s advice, he went to Texas to help George Miller start a church in 1845 and was excommunicated on December 3, 1848. Did “the Lord” receive him when he died as v. 19 says?
- “The Lord” said “George Miller is without guile; he may be trusted,” “I love him” and “he shall honor me” (vs. 20-21). He was to help oversee the building of the Nauvoo House (vs. 22, 62). But, instead he went to Texas in 1845 to start a church and he was excommunicated on December 3, 1848. So, was he trustworthy, honoring “the Lord,” and loved by “the Lord” when he was disobedient?
- The Lord” commanded George Miller, Lyman Wight and others to oversee the building of a boarding house called the Nauvoo House (vs. 22-24, 56-61). Joseph Smith and his descendants were to “have place” in the Nauvoo House from “generation to generation, forever and ever” (vs. 56-59). But Joseph Smith was killed before it was built, so he never lived in it. After Smith’s death, his wife, Emma, remarried and her second husband built a house on part of the Nauvoo House’s foundation. They lived in it for awhile and then the RLDS Church bought it, so it did not stay in the Smith family forever. No one has lived in it for over a hundred years.
- “The Lord” also commanded the LDS to build the Nauvoo Temple (vs. 25-55). All LDS were to come to Nauvoo with their gold, silver and other wealth to help build the temple (vs. 25-26). But “all” LDS didn’t come nor did they give all their wealth to build the temple. The Nauvoo Temple was under construction when it caught fire and burned, so it was never fully completed. “The Lord” commanded LDS to build that temple and He said He would give them sufficient time to build it, but if they didn’t finish it in that time they would be rejected as a Church (vs. 31-32). Since it wasn’t finished, were the LDS rejected? “The Lord” explained that the LDS temple in Jackson County, MO wasn’t built because the LDS were hindered by their enemies, so He did not require any more of them (vs. 49-54). That contradicts what He said in D. & C. 3:1-2 “The works and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught…neither doeth He vary from that which He hath said.” If He doesn’t change what He first said, what does that mean for the LDS regarding this temple?
- Vinson Knight was to buy stock in the Nauvoo House which would belong to him and his descendents from generation to generation (vs. 74-76). The Nauvoo House was never completed, so neither he nor his descendants had any benefit from it. He died just 18 months after Smith received this revelation.
- William Marks was to buy stock in the Nauvoo House “for himself and his generation from generation to generation” (v. 80). Since it wasn’t built, this never happened. Marks was dropped from the LDS Church on October 7, 1844.
- William Law was also to buy stock in the Nauvoo House “for himself and his seed after him from generation to generation” (vs. 82-102). It never happened. He was to preach the LDS gospel, publish Smith’s translation of the Bible, become a prophet, seer and revelator as well as heal the sick, cast out devils and raise the dead. “The Lord” said he had a mission for William Law and Hyrum (Smith) “and for them alone” (v. 102). Even though William was a counselor in the First Presidency he became estranged from Smith by January 1844. So, he never did the things “the Lord” said he would do and he was excommunicated on April 18, 1844.
- Robert D. Foster was also to buy stock in the Nauvoo House for himself and his descendants (vs. 115-117) but, he had the same result as the others. He was also excommunicated on April 18, 1844.
- Don Carlos Smith, youngest brother of Joseph, was called as president over a quorum of high priests (v. 133), but he died at age 26 on August 7, 1841, less than seven months after this revelation was given.
These are some of the problems in Doctrine and Covenants 124 which was to show the wisdom of the Lord! Would an omniscient Lord make such mistakes?
Our next article will discuss a different revelation by Joseph Smith. Those who would like more information about Doctrine and Covenants 124 should read it with the LDS History of the Church for that time period. Also read my chapter on LDS prophecy in Mormon Claims Answered.