This week we are studying the D&C 30-36 Come Follow Me Lesson. This lesson focuses on the sending forth of missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We will also focus on the great things the Lord has in store for each of us and how He prepares each of us for His great work!
Here is what you have to look forward to this week:
The Setting Apart
Who are your 5
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The revelation to David Whitmer featured here, as well as the two that follow (directed to Peter Whitmer Jr. and John Whitmer, respectively), originated during the second conference of the Church of Christ, held in Fayette, New York, in late September 1830. In describing that conference, Joseph Smith’s history stated that “peace, and faith, and hope, and charity abounded in our midst” and then added, “Before we separated we obtained the following, Revelation to David Whitmer, Peter Whitmer Jr. and John Whitmer.” Although these three texts were treated as separate revelations in Revelation Book 1 and the 1833 Book of Commandments, they were combined into a single revelation in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers D&C 30
According to his history, Joseph Smith dictated this revelation for Thomas B. Marsh during the 26 September 1830 conference. Marsh, a resident of Charlestown, Massachusetts, who had earlier been affiliated with the Methodist church, first learned of Joseph Smith and his activities when he visited Palmyra, New York, in 1829. He later recounted that in the summer of that year, “I thought the Spirit required me to make a journey West. I started in co[mpan]y. with on[e] Benj. Hall, who was also led by the Spirit. We went to Lima Livingston Co N. Y. where we stayed some 3 mos. and then left for home.”
Before returning home, however, he stopped in Lyons, just fifteen miles east of Palmyra, where he learned of the printing of the Book of Mormon. He then traveled on to Palmyra, where he met Martin Harris, saw proof sheets of the first pages of the Book of Mormon, and spoke with Oliver Cowdery, who, according to Marsh, “gave me all the information concer[n]ing the Book I wanted.” Marsh returned to his home interested in what he had learned and carrying the first sixteen printed pages of the book.
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers D&C 31
After Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer Jr. were called on a mission to preach to the American Indians in September 1830, several other elders expressed a desire to see the fulfillment of God’s purposes among “the remnants of the house of Joseph—the Lamanites residing in the west.” Joseph Smith inquired “of the Lord respecting the propriety of sending som[e] of the Elders among them,” resulting in the following revelation for Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Peterson.
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers D&C 32
Joseph Smith dictated this revelation for Ezra Thayer and Northrop Sweet in early October 1830, within a month of their baptisms in the Church of Christ. The revelation appointed them to the ministry and provided instruction regarding their preaching. Later in his life, Thayer wrote that he was prepared for the revelation by a vision in which “a man came and brought me a roll of paper and presented it to me, and also a trumpet and told me to blow it. I told him that I never blowed any in my life. He said you can blow it, try it. I put it in my mouth and blowed on it, and it made the most beautiful sound that I ever heard. The roll of paper was the revelation on me and Northrop Sweet. Oliver [Cowdery] was the man that brought the roll and trumpet. When he brought the revelation on me and Northrop Sweet, he said, here is a revelation from God for you.”
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers D&C 33
Orson Pratt was baptized by his older brother Parley on 19 September 1830, Orson’s nineteenth birthday, in Canaan, New York. In October he traveled over two hundred miles to Fayette Township, New York, to meet JS. He arrived just after Parley and several others had been called by revelation “to go forth unto the Lamanites, to proclaim glad tidings of great joy unto them, by presenting unto them the fulness of the Gospel.” Orson Pratt later explained that he too wanted to know his duty and requested that JS “inquire of the Lord” for him. The result, according to Pratt’s account, was the following 4 November 1830 revelation, dictated by Joseph Smith in his presence and written down by John Whitmer.
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers D&C 34
The conversion of Sidney Rigdon and others in northeastern Ohio in fall 1830 transformed the new Church of Christ geographically and demographically. Within a few weeks after missionaries arrived in Ohio, more than one hundred individuals were baptized, and by the end of December church members in New York were commanded to move to Ohio. Kirtland, where the first baptisms in Ohio took place, became an important gathering place for church members for the next seven years. The visit of Sidney Rigdon and Edward Partridge to New York only a few weeks after Rigdon’s baptism helped bring about this transition.
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers D&C 35
This revelation was dictated for Edward Partridge, an Ohioan who had come to New York to meet Joseph Smith. Partridge, a hatter living in Painesville, Ohio, and his wife, Lydia, were members of Sidney Rigdon’s reformed Baptist congregation.1 In early November 1830 they became interested in the Church of Christ when Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, and Peter Whitmer Jr. began preaching to and baptizing many individuals from Rigdon’s congregation.
Lydia soon converted, but her husband remained skeptical and insisted on visiting Joseph Smith in New York before becoming a member. Partridge and Rigdon traveled to the Palmyra area and then went on to Waterloo in Seneca County. They arrived at the home of Joseph Smith Sr. while Joseph Smith was giving a sermon. When Joseph finished speaking, “a request was made that any who felt to speak should,” and Partridge stood and stated that he and Rigdon had visited the Smith family’s Manchester farm and had spoken with their neighbors about the character of the Smith family. Based on those conversations, Partridge declared that the Smiths “had sacrificed for the truth’s sake” and that he was ready to be baptized.
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers D&C 36
The same God that placed that star in a precise orbit millennia before it appeared over Bethlehem in celebration of the birth of the Babe has given at least equal attention to placement of each of us in precise human orbits so that we may, if we will, illuminate the landscape of our individual lives, so that our light may not only lead others but warm them as well.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell
Excerpt from That My Family Should Partake (1974), 86
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
We loved learning about the conversion stories of the Early Saints this week. We hope hearing their stories has brought you some gratitude for your testimonies like it has ours! We hope you will follow us on Instagram @dontmissthisstudy and sign up for our newsletter to keep studying with us!