LDS Articles of Faith, Part XLIX
Article Nine, Latter-day Revelation, Part 7
The 9th LDS Article of Faith says, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” Joseph Smith organized the “Church of Christ,” (now called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) on April 6, 1830. He had a few “revelations” before that and many more afterwards that are now in the Doctrine and Covenants (D. & C.) Several of his revelations were about the gathering of the LDS Saints to one location called Zion or the New Jerusalem so they would be prepared for Christ’s second coming. About five months after organizing the LDS Church, Smith said he received D. & C. 29. The introduction over it says it came a few days before Sept. 26, 1830. Verses 7-8 say, “YE (Smith and 6 elders) are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts; Wherefore, the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall be gathered in unto one place upon the face of the land, to prepare their hearts and be prepared in all things against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked.” Smith was still teaching “the gathering of the saints” when he died in 1844. But Smith and the 6 elders in D. & C. 29 never brought to pass the gathering of the LDS saints to the place called Zion or the New Jerusalem.
On March 7, 1831, in D. & C. 45:62-71 the Lord called the gathering place “the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God…The wicked shall not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.” And on July 20, 1831, the Lord told Smith in D. & C. 57:1-5 the gathering of the saints was to be at Independence, MO, the location of the city of Zion and a temple and it would be an “everlasting inheritance” for the LDS Saints. On Sept. 22 & 23, 1832 the Lord told Smith in D. & C. 84:1-5 that the New Jerusalem and temple would be built in Independence, MO in Jackson Co. by the LDS people living in 1832. And on Aug. 2, 1833, the Lord told Smith in D. & C. 97:10-11, it was His will that a house (temple) should be built speedily in Zion. And in verse 19 He said, “Zion cannot fall, neither be moved out of her place for God is there, and the hand of the Lord is there.” But two weeks before that revelation on July 23, 1833, the conflicts LDS had with the earlier MO settlers resulted in LDS leaders in Jackson Co. MO signing an agreement saying that LDS would leave Jackson Co. by January 1834 (H. of C. vol. 1, p. 394). Smith was in Kirtland, OH when he said he received the revelation in D. & C. 97, so he didn’t know that LDS leaders in MO had signed that agreement two weeks before he received D. & C. 97. But God should have known!
Smith said he received D. & C. 101 on Dec. 16, 1833, while still in Kirtland, OH. In verses 17-20 he said the Lord told him “Zion shall not be moved out of her place…Behold, there is none other place appointed than that which I have appointed; neither shall there be any other place appointed than that which I have appointed, for the work of the gathering of my saints.” And in verses 70-71 the Lord said, “Purchase all the lands with money, which can be purchased for money, in the region round about the land which I have appointed to be the land of Zion, for the beginning of the gathering of my saints; All the land which can be purchased in Jackson County, and the counties round about, and leave the residue in mine hand.” Smith said he received D. & C. 103 on Feb. 24, 1834, in Kirtland, OH which told LDS how to regain their lands in Jackson Co. MO. In verses 5-7 the Lord said, “I have decreed a decree which my people shall realize, inasmuch as they harken from this very hour unto counsel which I, the Lord their God, shall give unto them. Behold, they shall, for I have decreed it, begin to prevail against mine enemies from this very hour. And by harkening to observe all the words which I, the Lord their God, shall speak unto them, they shall never cease to prevail until the kingdoms of the world are subdued under my feet, and the earth is given to the saints, to possess forever and ever.” After Smith said LDS would prevail against the Lord’s enemies “from this very hour,” he led “Zion’s Camp” to Fishing River, MO. There Smith saw the LDS conflict with the people of MO and the Lord revealed D. & C. 105:9 on June 22, 1834, to Smith saying, “In consequence of the transgression of my peopleit is expedient in me that mine elders should wait a little season for the redemption of Zion.” The Lord repeated that in verse 13. But on Feb. 24, 1834, in D. & C. 103:5-6, the Lord told LDS they would begin to prevail and never cease to prevail against the Lord’s enemies “from that very hour.” Some LDS wondered why that promise wasn’t fulfilled. So, in D. & C. 124:49 the Lord explained, “When I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept their offering.” Verse 51 says that happened in Jackson Co. MO when LDS were hindered from building the New Jerusalem and a temple. But that explanation contradicts what the Lord said in D. & C. 1:37, where it says, “Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.” It also contradicts D. & C. 3:1 which says, “The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught.” Verse 3 also says, “It is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men.” So, was the LDS gathering in MO to build the New Jerusalem and temple the work of God or the work of men?
Smith said D. & C. 115 was revealed to him on April 26, 1838, and said LDS were to gather at Far West, MO and build a city and temple. It said they were to start building the temple on April 26, 1839, and not stop until it was completely finished. But because of conflicts with the people in MO almost all LDS left MO by the end of 1838 and no temple was ever built there. A few LDS leaders slipped back into Far West and rolled a big stone on to the spot where the temple was to be built and claimed they fulfilled God’s requirement. Smith said D. & C. 118 was revealed to him on July 8, 1838. It says the 12 apostles were to be organized and leave from the temple lot in Far West in April 1839 and “go over the great waters to promulgate my gospel.” But the apostles went to Commerce, IL where Smith addressed them on July 2, 1839 (History of the Church, vol. 3, pp, 382-385). Some went to England by Aug. 1839 but others didn’t leave until fall. But they did not leave from the Far West, MO Temple lot, so that did not fulfill what D. & C 115 and 118 said. Smith claimed that the Lord revealed many other things in the D. & C. that were supposed to happen in the future, but they did not happen.
Next time we will continue our discussion of LDS “Latter-day Revelation.”