This week we will be studying the D&C 23-26 Come Follow Me lesson. Within these sections we talk of Emma and her role in the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We will be visiting Harmony, Pennsylvania including Emma’s home, the Hale’s home, and Emma’s baptismal spot.
Here is what you have to look forward to this week:
To Strengthen, Encourage, and Instruct
An Elect Lady
How Much Can One Heart Take
A Last Blessing
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Each of the following five revelations, which were dictated soon after the organization of the Church of Christ on 6 April 1830, addressed one of Joseph Smith’s family members or a close associate who desired to know the Lord’s will concerning himself. All five texts include similar content and phrasing, and Joseph likely dictated them one after the other.
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers Background Section 23
During the two months after the Church of Christ was organized, Joseph Smith met with believers in three New York locations: the areas of Manchester, Fayette, and Colesville.
Several people were baptized and the first church conference was convened before Joseph returned home to his wife Emma in Harmony, Pennsylvania, around mid-June. About 26 June, Joseph, Emma, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and John Whitmer traveled to Colesville, where Emma and a number of others were baptized, even though several Colesville residents destroyed a previously constructed dam in the stream in an attempt to prevent the baptisms.
Before these believers could be confirmed, however, Joseph was twice arrested and charged, as his history recounted, with “being a disorderly person; of setting the country in an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon.” He was released in both instances, but he needed the help of a constable to escape from his antagonists and make his way to the house of Emma’s sister, Elizabeth Hale Wasson, in Harpursville, where he and Emma were reunited.
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers Background Section 24
Joseph Smith dictated this revelation for Emma Hale Smith, his wife, in July 1830. As with the other two July 1830 revelations, the precise date of the revelation is unknown.
The earliest manuscript copy noted only the year, but its first printing in 1833 included the July 1830 date that has been carried forward in all subsequent editions. That the revelation discusses much of the same subject matter found in the other two July 1830 revelations strengthens this July 1830 identification.
The period from April to mid-July 1830 involved a flurry of activity that included the organization of the Church of Christ, meetings in three different locations, and many convert baptisms. Emma was one of those baptized on 28 June at Colesville, New York, but the confirmations were delayed because of opposition.
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers Background Section 25
From the time that Joseph Smith took possession of the gold plates in September 1827, his days were increasingly filled with work relating to the translation.
After the publication of the Book of Mormon in March 1830, he spent much of his time building up the church and ministering to its members. He traveled back and forth between Harmony, Pennsylvania, and the three branches of the church in New York, leaving him less time to work on his farm and care for his material needs.
Around mid-July 1830, a revelation addressed these matters, instructing him to “magnify thy office & after that thou hast sowed thy fields & secured them then go speedily unto the Church which is in Colesville, Fayette & Manchester & they shall support thee.”
Shortly thereafter, this revelation called Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and John Whitmer to study the scriptures, preach, confirm the Colesville believers, and work on Joseph’s farm until the next conference.
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers Background Section 26
“I have never seen a woman in my life, who would endure every species of fatigue and hardship, from month to month, and from year to year, with that unflinching courage, zeal, and patience, which she has always done. … She has been tossed upon the ocean of uncertainty; … She has breasted the storms of persecution, and buffeted the rage of men and devils, … which have borne down almost any other woman.”
From the History of Lucy Mack Smith
First of all that I would crave as the richest of heaven’s blessings would be wisdom from my Heavenly Father bestowed daily, so that whatever I might do or say, I would not look back at the close of the day with regret, nor neglect the performance of any act that would bring a blessing. I desire the spirit of God to know and understand myself that I might be able to overcome whatever Tradition or nature that would not tend to my exaltation in the eternal worlds. I desire a fruitful, active mind, that I may be able to comprehend the designs of God, when revealed through His Servants without doubting. I desire the spirit of discernment, which is one of the blessings of the Holy Ghost.
I particularly wisdom to bring up all the children that are, or may be committed to my charge, in such a manner that they will be useful ornaments in the Kingdom of God, and in the coming day rise up and call me blessed.
I desire prudence that I may not through ambition abuse my body and cause it to be prematurely old and care-worn, but that I may wear a cheerful countenance, live to perform all the work I covenanted to perform in the spirit-world and be a blessing to all who may in any wise need aught at my hands.
I desire with all my heart to honor and respect my husband as my head, to ever live in his confidence and by acting in unison with him to retain the place which God has given me by his side. I desire to see my kindred and friend embrace the principles of Eternal Truth, that I may rejoice with them in the blessings which God has in store for all who are willing to be obedient to His requirements.
Finally, I desire that whatever may be my lot through life I may be enabled to acknowledge the hand of God in all things.”
Do you love this week’s D&C 23-26 Come Follow Me lesson as much as we do? The Doctrine & Covenants is just full of the voice of the Lord and revelations that were for Joseph Smith and the early Saints, but so much of it applies to us today. We just love that.