Have you ever felt forgotten? Left behind? Does it ever feel like things are moving on without you? Sidney Gilbert found himself in this situation, but instead of leaning into discouragement, he asked the Lord an important question. We wonder if you have ever asked the Lord the same question Sidney Gilbert asked? This week we will be studying the D&C 51-57 Come Follow Me Lesson. This is a section focused on the building up of Kirtland, Ohio. This section was given to the Saints of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in an effort to help them invest in the place where they were.
Here is what you have to look forward to this week:
What about me?
How Do You Find Contentment Where You Are?
What is your work?
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After revelations in late December 1830 and early January 1831 instructed all church members in New York to move to Ohio, believers “made preparations to Journey to the Ohio, with their wives, and children and all that they possessed, to obey the commandment of the Lord.” The group of sixty or more members residing in and around Colesville in Broome and Chenango counties, New York, constituted one of three groups that emigrated from New York to Ohio.
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers D&C 51
In June 1831 a conference was held in Kirtland, Ohio, which all of the elders of the church had been directed to attend by a February revelation. As part of the conference, according to Levi Hancock, many church members gathered on 5 June “on the hill in a field where there was a large concours of people collected.” Joseph Smith addressed the congregation and told them that “from that time the Elders would have large congregations to speak to and they must soon take their departure into the Regions west.” The next day, 6 June, the conference continued, and that night Joseph Smith dictated the text featured here, later writing that he received it “by an heavenly vision.”
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers D&C 52
Sidney Gilbert, the recipient of this revelation, was Newel K. Whitney’s business partner and an early convert to the church. He may have been present at a 5 June 1831 meeting at which Joseph Smith taught that “the Elders would have large congregations to speak to and they must soon take their departure into the Regions west.” The next evening, Joseph Smith dictated a revelation that commissioned a number of elders to accompany him to Missouri, which the text called “the land which I will consecrate unto my People which are a remnant of Jacob & those who are heirs according to the covenant.”
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers D&C 53
This revelation provided instructions to the church members from Colesville, New York, after they encountered difficulties settling in Thompson, Ohio. In May 1831, shortly after they arrived in Ohio in compliance with revelations directing all New York members to gather there, Joseph Smith instructed Bishop Edward Partridge to settle the Colesville members in Thompson on land offered by convert Leman Copley, a former Shaker.
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers D&C 54
This revelation was directed to William W. Phelps. In 1830, Phelps was the publisher of an anti-Masonic newspaper, the Ontario Phoenix, in Canandaigua, New York, about fourteen miles from Palmyra. On 9 April, two weeks after the Book of Mormon was offered for sale, Phelps purchased a copy. He later wrote, “Notwithstanding my body was not baptized into this church till . . . June, 1831, yet my heart was there from the time I became acquainted with the book of Mormon.” In December 1830 he traveled to Fayette, New York, to meet Joseph Smith and came away from the experience further committed to the new movement and convinced that he needed to “quit the folly of my way, and the fancy and fame of this world, and seek the Lord and his righteousness.”
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers D&C 55
When he copied the following revelation into Revelation Book 1, John Whitmer introduced it by writing, “Thomas [B.] Marsh was desirous to know what he should do as the Lord had commanded him & Ezra Thayer to take their Journey to the land of Missorie but Thayer could not get ready as soon as Thomas wanted that he should.” Thayer and Marsh had been commanded in a 6 June 1831 revelation to “take their Journey also preaching the word by the way unto this same land [Missouri],” and nine days later, Marsh was apparently ready to depart with others traveling to Missouri while Thayer was not.
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers D&C 56
A 6 June 1831 revelation instructed Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and certain elders to travel to “the land of Missorie,” which God would “consecrate” to his people. It further stated that if Joseph Smith and Rigdon remained faithful, God would reveal to them the land of their inheritance. Leaving Kirtland, Ohio, on 19 June 1831, Joseph Smith reached Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, on 14 July. After arriving in Independence, Joseph Smith dictated this revelation on 20 July 1831 identifying “the land of Missorie” as the “land of promise.” John Whitmer recorded it in Revelation Book 1 as the “first Revelation given in Missorie.”
Excerpt from Joseph Smith Papers D&C 57
We hope you gained some insight on what to do when you are feeling left behind. We loved this D&C 51-57 Come Follow Me Lesson and the example of Oliver Cowdery in turning to the Lord and asking Him the right questions. To catch up on last week’s lesson, click here. And follow us on Instagram @dontmissthisstudy to keep studying with us!