This week we are studying the D&C 27-28 Come, Follow Me Lesson. This is the section when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized at the Whitmer home.
Here is what you have to look forward to this week:
What Doesn’t Matter.
What to do.
What not to do.
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This revelation announced guidelines for what members of the Church of Christ should use in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to represent the blood of Christ. Joseph Smith’s history explained that he dictated the revelation during a visit from Newel and Sally Knight to his home in Harmony in August 1830:
“As neither his wife nor mine had been as yet confirmed, it was proposed that we should confirm them, and partake together of the sacrament, before he and his wife should leave us.— In order to prepare for this; I set out to go to procure some wine for the occasion, but had gone only a short distance when I was met by a heavenly messenger, and received the following revelation.” The revelation told Joseph to use only new wine made by members of the church.
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers Background Section 27
This revelation was a response to actions by Oliver Cowdery and Hiram Page that raised the question of whether Joseph Smith was the only one authorized to deliver revelation to the church.
The question first arose in summer 1830 when Oliver Cowdery “commanded” Joseph to change a passage in “Articles and Covenants,” a document outlining the basic beliefs and practices of the Church of Christ.
When the church was organized on 6 April 1830, Cowdery was ordained second elder while Joseph was ordained first elder, and the two worked closely together to oversee the newly formed organization. Presumably Cowdery worked with Joseph in preparing Articles and Covenants and was part of the “unanimous voice of the whole congregation” that approved Articles and Covenants at the first conference of the church on 9 June, yet weeks later he sent a letter ordering JS to make a correction to the document.
According to Joseph Smith’s history, Cowdery objected to the requirement that candidates for baptism “truly manifest by their works that they have received the gift of Christ unto the remission of their sins,” and he wrote to Joseph, “I command you in the name of God to erase those words, that no priestcraft be amongst us.”
In response, Joseph traveled from Harmony, Pennsylvania, to Fayette, New York, to persuade Cowdery and the Whitmers that they were mistaken. According to Joseph’s later account, it was “not without both labor and perseverance” that he “could prevail with any of them to reason calmly on the subject.”
Finally, with support from Christian Whitmer, Joseph convinced Cowdery and the Whitmer family “that they had been in error, and that the sentence in dispute was in accordance of the rest of the commandment.”
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers Background Section 28
Newel Knight remembered how he, Joseph, and their wives obeyed this revelation. They “prepared some wine at our own make, and held our meeting. . . . We partook of the sacrament, after which we confirmed the two sisters into the church, and spent the evening in a glorious manner. The Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon us. We praised the God of Israel, and rejoiced exceedingly.”
“That shield of faith is not produced in a factory but at home in a cottage industry…the shield of faith is to be made and fitted in the family. No two can be exactly alike. Each must be handcrafted to individual specifications.”
Quote by President Boyd K. Packer, “The Shield of Faith”
Do you love this week’s Come, Follow Me study 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.