Sections 121–123

Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class



April 1838 excommunications
Oliver Cowdery David Whitmer

Hiram Page

John Whitmer

Lyman E. Johnson

“Salt Sermon,” 17 June 1838
• ―If the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.‖ (Matthew 5:13.)
Sidney Rigdon


Independence Day Sermon, 1838
―We take God and all the holy angels to witness this day, that we warn all men in the name of Jesus Christ, to come on us no more forever. for from this hour, we will bear it no more, our rights shall no more be trampled on with impunity. The man or the set of men, who attempts it, does it at the expense of their lives. And that mob that comes on us to disturb us; it shall be between us and them a war of extermination; for we will follow them till the last drop of their blood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us: for we will carry the seat of war to their own houses, and their own families, and one party or the other shall be utterly destroyed.—Remember it then all MEN. ―We will never be the agressors, we will infringe on the rights of no people; but shall stand for our own until death. We claim our own rights, and are willing that all others shall enjoy theirs. ―No man shall be at liberty to come into our streets, to threaten us with mobs, for if he does, he shall attone for it before he leaves the place, neither shall he be at liberty, to villify and slander any of us, for suffer it we will not in this place.‖ — Sidney Rigdon

The Danites
• Private militia of about 300 Mormons. • Created and directed by Sampson Avard . • ―The saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess [it] for ever‖ (Daniel 7:18).

6 Aug 1838

25 Oct 1838


19 Aug 1838


The “Exterminating Order”

“…puts the Mormons in the attitude of an open and avowed defiance of the laws and of having made war upon the people of this State.”

“…the Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be ex terminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace….” — Lilburn W. Boggs, 27 October 1838



Winter 1838–39

31 Oct 1838


30 Nov 1838

Alexander Doniphan



Letter of 20–25 March 1839


Letter of 20–25 March 1839
History of the Church 3:289–305

121:1–6 121:7–25


121:34–46 123:1–17 121:33 122:1–9

2,420 of 7,340 words (33%)

The abuses the Saints suffered
―And again, the cries of orphans and widows would not have ascended up to God against [the inhabitants of Missouri]…. But oh! the unrelenting hand! The inhumanity and murderous disposition of this people! It shocks all nature; it beggars and defies all description; it is a tale of woe; a lamentable tale; yea a sorrowful tale; too much to tell; too much for contemplation; too much for human beings; it cannot be found among the heathens; it cannot be found among the nations where kings and tyrants are enthroned; it cannot be found among the savages of the wilderness; yea, and I think it cannot be found among the wild and ferocious beasts of the forest—that a man should be mangled for sport! women be robbed of all that they have—their last morsel for subsistence, and then be violated to gratify the hellish desires of the mob, and finally left to perish with their helpless offspring clinging around their necks. ―But this is not all. After a man is dead, he must be dug up from his grave and mangled to pieces, for no other purpose than to gratify their spleen against the religion of God.‖ — Joseph Smith, 20 March 1839 (History of the Church 3:290–91) 15

Comfort at receiving news
―We had been a long time without information; and when we read those letters they were to our souls as the gentle air is refreshing, but our joy was mingled with grief, because of the sufferings of the poor and much injured Saints. And we need not say to you that the floodgates of our hearts were lifted and our eyes were a fountain of tears, but those who have not been enclosed in the walls of prison without cause or provocation, can have but little idea how sweet the voice of a friend is; one token of friendship from any source whatever awakens and calls into action every sympathetic feeling; it brings up in an instant everything that is passed; it seizes the present with the avidity of lightning; it grasps after the future with the fierceness of a tiger; it moves the mind backward and forward, from one thing to another, until finally all enmity, malice and hatred, and past differences, misunderstandings and mismanagements are slain victorious at the feet of hope; and when the heart is sufficiently contrite, then the voice of inspiration steals along and whispers, [D&C 121:7–25].‖ — Joseph Smith, 20 March 1839 (History of the Church 3:293) 16

Endurance in adversity
• 121:7–10. ―Thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment. And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high.‖ • 121:9–10. ―Thy friends do stand by thee…[they] do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgression, as they did Job.‖ • 122:7–9. ―All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.‖

The blessing of adversity
―The revelations…show that we should even give thanks for our afflictions because they turn our hearts to God and give us opportunities to prepare for what God would have us become. The Lord taught the prophet Moroni, ‗I give unto men weakness that they may be humble,‘ and then promised that ‗if they humble themselves…and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.‘ In the midst of the persecutions the Latter-day Saints were suffering in Missouri, the Lord gave a similar teaching and promise: ‗Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks;…and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good.‘‖ — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, April 2003

The Lord’s warning to apostates
• 121:16–22. Those who accuse the Lord‘s appointed leaders of transgression are transgressors themselves.
 ―Lift up the heel‖: Psalm 41:9; John 13:18.  Cut off from:
121:19. The blessings of the temple. 121:20. The bounties of the earth 121:21. The rights and blessing of the priesthood.

Knowledge reserved for the last days
• 121:26–28. ―Knowledge…that has not been revealed since the world was until now.‖ • 124:41. ―Things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world.‖ • 128:18b. ―Things which never have been revealed from the days of Adam even unto the present time.‖

D&C 121:30–31


Principles of priesthood government
• 121:34–36. ―Many are called but few are chosen.‖
 D&C 68:12; 131:5.  D&C 95:5–6.

• 121:37–38. Keys to loss of priesthood power. • 121:39–40. Lord Acton‘s maxim. • 121:41–46. Keys to increasing priesthood power.

Principles of priesthood government
• Reproving: To seek to correct, especially by mild rebuke. • Betimes: At an appropriate time, early, and before it was too late. • Sharpness: Acuteness of intellect; quickness of understanding, sense, or perception. • Reproving betimes with sharpness means to correct at an appropriate, early occasion, and the reproof must come with plainness and discernment—and only when the Holy Ghost so instructs, followed by an increase of love.


No class next week! In 2 weeks: Sections 124–126, 2, 127–128
Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class

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