Come Follow Me LDS- Doctrine and Covenants 23-26

"Emma Hale Smith"
Cwic Study Group-​

Some members of the church have been harsh with Emma Smith. We cover just a few of the trials that this good woman went through. We also go over the coupling of "pride" and "temptation" as well as the principle of Common Consent.


Raw Transcript


all right welcome to the quick media
come follow me series we're covering
doctrine and covenants sections 23-26
section 23 here is given through joseph
to oliver cowdery hiram smith
samuel smith joseph smith senior and
joseph knight senior i'm only going to
focus on one or two of these
right in the get-go of this to oliver
cowdery in in verse one
here's what we hear kind of a
foreshadowing for oliver
it says behold i speak unto you oliver a
few words
behold thou art blessed and art under no
yet but beware of pride
lest thou should enter into temptation
two things here first i think it's
and and something we should be very
aware of ourselves
that pride is an open door to
temptation to faltering with temptation
so the more we're looking at our own
as compared to serving others and
helping others and
loving others and of course putting
god's will above our will the more
likely it is that we're going to falter
with temptation
so interestingly the hero right these
are these are put together
it gives us a warning beware of pride
because it's going to bring you down the
wrong path it's going to set you toward
the great and spacious building and not
the tree of life
secondly this is very specific to oliver
because this is his problem and it's
martin harris's problem too
right they both have this issue here
they are two of the three witnesses
early on
they see all these signs unbelievable
spiritual experiences
but it's still pride that gets in the
way think of layman and lemuel
as they are leaving jerusalem and they
tie up nephi
and they see an angel right it doesn't
that they've seen an angel it just
doesn't matter because
pride can go above all things
so when we're checking ourselves when
you know that's that's something we kind
of need to look at when we cross
ourselves that's a good place to start
where are we in in regards to our own
this is what uh joseph fielding smith
said about oliver cowdery in section 23
here he says
pride was one of oliver cowdery's
besetting sins
if he could have humbled himself in the
troubled days of kirtland he would not
have lost his place
and membership in the church that which
he had which had been bestowed upon him
was exceedingly great and had he been
willing to humble himself
it was his privilege to stand with the
prophet joseph smith
through all time and eternity holding
the keys of the dispensation
of the fullness of times he would have
been right there with
joseph but pride pulled him away now of
course he does get baptized later on
returns to the church but
how much stronger would his legacy have
been and how much better for the church
if oliver would have humbled himself
and that's the case with all of us we
you know humility is not a weakness
it's an awareness of our weakness
i think it's a better way to look at it
it's an awareness of our place in the
fluid hierarchy
it's the ability to submit to those who
are above us in that hierarchy where
whatever that might be but especially
a spiritual hierarchy if we
don't live with an understanding of
then then again we don't we don't
put ourselves in a position always of
submitting and reaching up
which is every bit as important
as helping and serving down below and
reaching down and pulling up
we have to be able to do both then i
want to skip down to verse six and talk
about joseph knight
and what the lord has to say to him it
says behold i manifest
unto you joseph knight think about these
guys again i mean they
they believe in joseph smith as a
prophet so he
he brings these revelations out and this
is the lord
speaking directly to joseph knight
imagine how that would feel i mean do i
believe this this is
this is the lord talking directly to me
it says by these words that you must
take up your cross in the which you must
pray vocally and by the way
again take up your cross
is inserting herself into the fluid
hierarchy it's the same thing the savior
he inserted himself into the fluid
hierarchy he had to submit
he had to lower himself on the cross he
had to take up
the cross by submitting to the will
of the father in the which you must pray
vocally before the world as well as
in secret and in your family and among
your friends and in all places think
about the
exhortation of alma about prayer and how
you know pray in your closets pray
day and night always have a prayer in
your heart
pray unceasingly kind of think about
what that might
mean you know it's it's not necessarily
when you're always kneeling down it's
not necessarily
always even vocally but having a prayer
in your heart
always praying sounds to me like trying
always have communication directly
open to your heavenly father
but praying vocally i think is key it's
just like uh in
in many ways to me it's it's like an
why do you have to do the baptism
right why can't you just go to church
what's the point why do you have to what
does that matter what does it mean
well words are the same thing in in a
sense or or have a similar effect
to actions so when we make a covenant
there is oftentimes with that covenant a
a word an action when we even with the
sacrament we may not be saying anything
but we say amen we agree to the words
on the blessings on the bread and the
and i've found in my life that when i
pray vocally when i have an
opportunity to pray vocally it makes a
i try to do that alone or if i'm with my
wife or my kids obviously but but
you know real prayer when i'm really
digging in
it's it's vocally is important
and just from personal experience i
would recommend that you do that
whenever you can
it there's something different about it
it creates a different spirit
a stronger spirit i think it can
now sections 24 25 and 26 were all given
at the same time
in july of 1830 so this is about three
months three and a half months
after the organization of the church
and it's kind of interesting what the
lord goes over here
the joseph smith is going through an
immense amount of persecution
right there they have they have tried to
have baptisms uh
in the river where they've had mobs come
and and take down a
small dam that was created to make
enough of a pool to
to have baptisms um there's been
persecution everywhere they go
and yet this is still what the lord
comes and tells joseph smith here in
in section 24. behold thou was called
and chosen to write the book of mormon
confirmation and to my ministry and i
have lifted thee
up out of thine afflictions and have
counseled thee
that thou hast been delivered from all
thine enemies
and thou has been delivered from the
powers of satan and from darkness i just
find this interesting
that in this time right i mean he's he's
going through trials when i say trials i
mean in court
he's being accused of being disorderly
anything people can do mostly by the
local ministers
to stop joseph from pushing
forward with the church he's getting
converts left and right here
the church is growing but even through
all of this
he does get confirmation on what this
calling has been to him
but he's being told look i have lifted
you up through these trials
in other words none of these trials have
stopped you
he doesn't say i'm not going to allow
any more trials don't worry you won't
you won't have any more trials
right his trials have just begun so he's
going through
all of these issues i mean really i mean
stressful stressful times
how do you keep pushing forward and the
lord says to him i've lifted you up out
of your
your your afflictions so there's
two ways to look at that right half
glass full half
glass empty or a glass half empty glass
half full
and so the lord saying hey your glass is
half full
remember that i'm lifting you you're
having a lot of afflictions but i'm
lifting you up through them
and i'm delivering you out of them from
your enemies
and then he goes right in in verse two
and he says nevertheless thou
art not excusable in thy transgressions
think of the the the the
learning course here the prophet the
prophetic learning course that he's
having to go through with the lord
on this i mean you and i might be
thinking maybe joseph was thinking
you've got to be kidding me look at all
of the problems i'm going through look
at what's going on
the problems my wife is having to go
through just to just to make this work
just to try and
keep moving forward but the lord says
you are not excusable
in thy transgressions nevertheless go
that way and sin no more
so in this time of trial and tribulation
the lord comes to him and says you need
to reach even higher
right he's slowly but surely bringing
joseph up even higher
in his actions in his attitude
and i suppose helping him inoculating
him perhaps in many ways
through these trials to be able to get
through what he's about to go through
over the next several years
and then again in verse five and and
this is important i think for all of us
in looking at the scriptures because
a lot of times we there there's there's
kind of again going between
god and man how much of the scripture is
god and how much of the scripture is man
right there is that's that's a
legitimate thing to think about i think
it's it's it's not god writing this down
and handing it out to us and giving it
to joseph smith
but here's what we get in verse 5 and
thou shalt continue
in calling upon god in my name
and writing the things which shall be
given thee
by the comforter and expounding all
unto the church so two things there
number one
writing the things which shall be given
me by the comforter so
the the the things that he is writing
right and again going to the doctrine of
covenants and the sections that he's
writing all the revelations he's writing
down many of his teachings we can
probably look at
we can talk about the book of moses the
book of abraham the joseph smith
translation of the bible
these things are coming from the
that's how he is able to write them so
they might not be
perfect i i don't think we can say they
are perfect
but they are coming from the lord
and and that's the only way that
scripture can be written
i i find comfort in that and i believe
secondly it says and expounding all
scriptures under the church
so it's his teachings right it's it's
here's what i'm pulling from the book of
mormon and the bible and
later other things and and i'm going to
expound on these things
to the church and to others to in my
missionary efforts
being joseph smith so
continue calling upon god for these
right so for us also it's very important
that we
that we pray and call on god to help us
in our callings
to help us in our missionary efforts and
to make sure
that we are getting these things by the
and then i love these things here we get
this in the new testament a lot
in verse six we start off with kind of
about don't worry about
temporal things we're in a very
spiritual mode here
don't worry as much about the temporal
things he says
and it shall be given thee in the very
moment what thou
shalt speak and write similar to what
jesus says to his apostles
and they shall hear it or i will send
unto them a cursing instead of a
for thou shalt devote all thy service in
zion and in this thou shalt have
and then again going to the afflictions
that he's going through he's already
been told to repent
he's told that hey i'm delivering you
out of all these things i know they keep
but i'm delivering you out of these
afflictions we can apply that to our own
he says be patient in afflictions
of course we see this real this
principle real strong in section 121
when we get there
in liberty jail for thou shalt have many
all right you think this is something so
far you think the having to move around
protecting the gold plates the mobs that
have come out here you think this is
something so far no this is nothing
yet but i will deliver you out of them
endure them for low i am with thee
even unto the end of thy days so again
a principle here is we have all of these
trials and tribulations we're supposed
to we signed up for them
we want them in a sense because
that's how we grow that's how we build
our faith that's how we grow
in the principles of the gospel but what
he's telling us he's giving us
a manual right he's giving us steps on
how to deal with this
be patient in the afflictions
and endure them because
i am with you even till the end
so i think there's some comfort and
solace in understanding
even if we're not being delivered from
if we are patient in that we can have
the lord
with us and and and help us through that
trial by fire
and we might even say i mean this is
just me making an assumption here after
reading this right now
is maybe the lord's with us stronger
when we're with the in those trials
that's probably part of that
the reason for having those trials is to
turn to him
even stronger then he says and in
temporal labors
thou shalt not have strength for this is
not thy calling
and this becomes very true once we get
to kirtland for example in other places
he's not real good at these things
that's not his calling brigham young was
better at at the the organizational
skills and the building things up and
the entrepreneurship
and business and other things like that
than joseph smith ever was
but for joseph that's that's not his
calling that's not the type of person
that the lord wanted for the restoration
all of the revelation that's going to
come through joseph smith
and then again down in verse 18 very
to what jesus says to the apostles and
thou shalt take no purse nor script
neither staves neither two coats for the
church shall give unto thee
in the very hour what thou need is for
and for raiment and for shoes and for
money and for script
i i think that you know when when you
see these types of things
some people that might be critics of the
church or joseph smith might say well
he's just copying down things from the
new testament
that's not really what's happening here
what's happening here
is that the lord is giving the same
principle out
that was given to the early apostles
remember that was a restoration also
that was the beginning of a
dispensation as well at the time of
and so jesus is teaching joseph the same
thing at the beginning of this
don't worry as much about the temporal
issues that's not as
important might be important but it's
not as important
and the more you cannot rely on these
and rely more on me and on the spirit
the more you're going to become a better
to me the more you're going to learn to
rely on me and on the spirit and i think
that's a part of what we're
called to do right in and we can call
this over it's like it's like spiritual
resistance training
we're going to resist the things of the
world we're going to resist
temporal things it's like fasting right
that's in a sense that is resistance
training just like you would think about
lifting weights
you're actually going to tear down your
muscles when you lift weights
but they're going to build back up
stronger when you
fast there's a lot of other physical
that are torn down and and
that help you as well it's also physical
resistance training i'll do
i still need to do a an episode on that
um because i've had some experience with
that but
it's also spiritual resistance training
right kind of like don't worry about the
script or the two coats or
or a purse or or staves or anything else
i'm going to help you
rely on the spirit
so when we fast and we don't eat it's
like look don't rely
so much on the temporal stuff it's
but if you cannot rely on that as much
you're able to rely much more on the
spiritual things
same principle with it with the apostles
in the new testament
now another section here 25
is given for the benefit of emma smith
right this is also july 1830
it says here it manifests the will of
the lord to emma smith
the prophet's wife
now a couple things about emma smith
that i want to cover before we go
through this
emma is is given
in the early history of the church
immense amounts of credit and praise
right but later uh and i'm talking about
us today looking back
at emma smith right but the last few
last couple years of of the prophet's
life of joseph smith's life
things are stressed a little bit and
things are changed a little bit and
there's some difficult times for
joseph and emma and because of that
because emma does not come with the
saints across the
the uh the plains to salt lake
and because she ends up joining a
different mormon sect later on
she gets a lot of uh piling on
sometimes because of her
what do you call it i mean it's it's she
end up i guess completely loyal to
joseph in that sense and
to the gospel later in life but we need
to consider a couple of things about
um first of all just a few things about
who she is i mean most people when you
look at people that have
talked about who she is everybody
praises her
here's what lucy mac smith said about
emma smith
i have never seen a woman in my life who
would endure
every species of fatigue and hardship
from month to month
and from year to year with that with
that unflinching courage
zeal and patience which she has ever
how often i have parted every bed in the
house for the accommodation of the
while joseph and emma slept on the floor
with nothing but their cloaks
for both bed and bedding right so when
they were
hosting people and bringing him in
this was the life of emma that was the
church it was building a new church
and she's in it you know as deep as
joseph is in many ways
sharing the burdens with joseph the
difficulties that joseph went through
she's she's bearing that also
here's what she's told here in verse
uh behold thy sins are forgiven thee and
thou art
an elect lady a chosen lady right
whom i have called
now joseph smith later on says
that elect meant to be elected to a
certain work
and really that work is is i think
twofold number one
we're told that she's to be a comfort to
her husband all right joseph
is unlikely to be able to do this
without a supportive spouse
right it without her she he's not going
to be able to do this remember
that moroni tells joseph smith you bring
emma here with you
you're going to marry emma and you're
going to come here to
hilkimora for the last time with her as
your wife or you're not getting the gold
right the lord's not even going to start
everything here
without him being married to her
so this is crucial to understand and the
second thing is she becomes the first
president of the relief society
which i think still has a long ways to
go in in
in being what it will eventually become
but let's consider a few things that
that emma goes through here
with joseph smith throughout her life
we'll cover touch on this
from time to time as we go through the
year here
so covering a few examples here in
january of 1831
when joseph and emma moved to kirtland
emma would never see her parents again
and she was never able to reconcile her
husband joseph
and her father isaac hale and and their
relationship so that's very difficult
she never sees him again after this
in april on april 30th of 1831
emma gives birth to twins both of them
die within hours
now nearby a friend dies giving birth to
and so joseph and emma adopt those twins
joseph one of them is named joseph the
other is julia
the following year 1832 and march 24th
she sees her husband joseph smith
dragged out
of the johnson home at night on a cold
tarred and feathered by an angry mob
so the mob comes in grabs him pulls him
and tars and feathers him
well the cold exposure from the home
being opened up
ends up killing joseph one of their
adopted twins
just five days later for the majority of
joseph and and emma's marriage
well as as she's supporting joseph and
in all that he's doing and all that he's
going through in all of joseph's trials
she's a mother and on top of that
she is using their home constantly for
room and board
for people so she's always a hostess in
her own home
to people it's just a it's a revolving
door for her
she later gives birth to another joseph
another son they call joseph and another
son they call frederick
and then later in 1838 another son
and this is the case for all women back
then by the way right i mean it's
it from from the time that that
emma is first pregnant
in 1830 all the way until the death of
joseph smith where she was pregnant
at the time almost half of
the time from 1830 to 1844
she's pregnant that was the life of a
married woman
that's how it worked and like most women
she lost
one or more of her children
at or near birth we often times in a
modern world don't
put ourselves really in their shoes to
see how life really was at that time
while joseph is in liberty jail
and uh emma had taken i believe four
kids at the time
up to quincy which became nauvoo
she writes to joseph saying talking
about all the trials and tribulations
that she's had to go through
but then says the following in the
letter to joseph
i am yet willing to suffer more
if it is the will of kind heaven
wow right artie having gone through
more than most women even in her time
a lot more than most women in her time
she is still
willing to submit she still has a broken
heart and a contrite spirit
and is willing to suffer more for the
cause the cause of the gospel
the cause of eternal families she later
gives birth to two more kids
and then one more finally
david hiram is born on november 17 1844
just five months
after joseph smith was murdered so all
of these things that she goes through
she is she is the the
sounding board for joseph she is the
to joseph she's the lover to joseph
all of these things she goes through and
then in the last several years
of the church she goes through polygamy
right and it becomes just too much for
her it becomes too much
she she's called i think it was in 1842
the general president of the relief
and but over the next couple of years it
just becomes too much for her
to handle working with the
the principle of polygamy and it's hard
to say
hey you couldn't do this
right i mean everything that's been
poured on her
on her back and then this too
i i think we really need to give her a
lot of space
a lot of leeway because i don't know
what you or
i would do having gone through the same
immense amount of suffering immense
amount of distress
going back here to section 25 a couple
quick things here verse 4
murmur not because of the things which
thou hast not seen
for they are withheld from thee and from
the world which is wisdom in me in a
time to come
so these things are going to be brought
out later on in other words
you don't need all of the signs you've
seen many things
and the more we see the more we want to
see likely
but this is being withheld for several
it's wisdom in him there's a time and a
place for everything
verse five calling of a spouse
especially a wife
especially back then right and the
office of thy calling shall be for a
comfort unto my servant joseph smith jr
thy husband in his afflictions with
consoling words
in the spirit of meekness
again joseph probably can't do this
without her
and then she's also ordained which
probably means
blessed with her hands on her head
to expound scriptures and to exhort the
church according
as it shall be given thee by my spirit
which are
similar functions under the aaronic
now that is given to her by the
priesthood it's a calling
by a priesthood bearer but she's
called to expound on scriptures and this
much more evident and much more of a
reality when she
especially when she's brought in as the
president of the relief society
and then he says this also remember this
is early 19th century
thy time shall be given to writing
and to learning much so for the lord
back then even it was very important
that she learn a lot that she be
educated in verse 11 and it shall be
given thee also to make a selection of
sacred hymns
as it shall be given thee which is
pleasing unto me to be had in my church
she completes this
in 1836 right before the dedication of
the kirtland temple
she gets some help from wwe phelps on
and then even though she's going to
experience even more
trials and tribulations
the lord says to her in verse 13
lift up thy heart and rejoice and cleave
unto the covenants which thou has made
and i think that's what you have to do
with trials and tribulations
the covenants that you've made become a
those ordinances should be a strength
for us
and then finally here in section 26 just
two verses here this is a
section that is given to joseph smith
oliver cowdery and john whitmer at
harmony pennsylvania
in july of 1830. and there's here's what
verse 1 says behold i say unto you that
you shall let your time be devoted
to the studying of the scriptures so
you know for all of us we need to
dedicate time to studying the scriptures
that's a big part of what we're doing
here with come follow me
it's crucial for us to really lay into
the scriptures
really pull back the layers of the onion
and understand them and feel the spirit
confirm their veracity to us
and to see the richness of of truth
and gospel principles
helping us to be calm more like the
in verse 2 and all things shall be done
common consent in the church by much
and faith for all things you shall
receive by faith
this is an interesting important part
of of the church and how it's run
and it doesn't mean that it's a
democracy it's not a democracy we don't
vote and there's a percentage and
whoever has the highest percentage
that's what we do
it's not a democracy consent is not a
it's saying that everybody has a voice
everyone has a voice all the way up to
the level of the prophet
in who the prophet is and we can voice a
we can voice support and sustaining
i think that's really important because
it allows us to come in and
have ownership of things it's also a
commitment for us when we do sustain
it allows us to commit to the
hierarchical structure of the priesthood
which is important it's very important
it does
it does also offer kind of a check and
in the church we don't know when
especially early on i think that that
that came up a lot more but
it is a check and balance and just
because that check and balance is there
that helps everyone right that always
helps everyone knowing that every
in a ward and the stake the general
the brethren the general officers of the
everybody has a voice to say something
if necessary
now most of the checks and balances in
the church
are going to be found in a later section
which is really what i would say more
like the section of constitute of the
the constitution of the church
but this is definitely a part of
governing in
the church and in this way every
through common consent at least has
a voice talk to you next time


Come Follow Me LDS
Doctrine and Covenants 23-26


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