DC 65 Historical Background
Peace and tranquility were rare commodities in the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Moving to Hiram, Ohio to live with the John Johnson family allowed the Prophet to concentrate on spiritual things. He and Sidney Rigdon ready to resume work on the inspired translation of the Bible. Many great revelations would be received in the next several months as the Prophet was able to minister in relative peace.
While in the eye of the storm, his vision was clear to see the future of the small struggling church. Success of the church had been modest. Many had already apostatized, but something great was happening, and the Prophet Joseph was one of the few who comprehended it.
On Sunday night the Prophet called on all who held the Priesthood to gather into the little log school house they had there. It was a small house, perhaps 14 feet square. But it held the whole of the priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who were then in the town of Kirtland. ... When we got together the Prophet called upon the Elders of Israel with him to bear testimony of this work. ... When they got through the Prophet said, "Brethren I have been very much edified and instructed in your testimonies here tonight. But I want to say to you before the Lord, that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and kingdom than a babe upon its mother's lap. You don't comprehend it. ... [It] will fill North and South America-it will fill the world." (In Conference Report, 6 April 1898, p. 57; see also Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, ed. G. Homer Durham, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1946, 1990, pp. 30-31, citing Millennial Star 54:605.)
DC 65 Introduction
Of this revelation, the Prophet Joseph Smith declared, "In the fore part of October, I received the following prayer through revelation." (History of the Church, 1:218) Such an inspired prayer is much like the psalms of the Old Testament-inspired petitions of praise and appreciation. One of the goals of our personal prayers should be to seek for that same level of inspiration.
Neal A. Maxwell
We can grow in experience in prayer as in all things. The Prophet Joseph Smith on one occasion said, "A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, . . . you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 151.) When our prayers are inspired, we actually learn from our very petitions, just as President Marion G. Romney has observed that when he speaks under inspiration, he learns from what he says. (Prayer [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 45.)
Neal A. Maxwell
If... our prayers sometimes seem so very proximate, we should not be discouraged. So much can be done "in process of time" to improve our petitioning. Neither the pure City of Enoch nor pure prayers are arrived at in a day!
To grow to that point when we can utter inspired prayers (which we can do only insofar as we can align ourselves with the will of God and petition Him in faith and righteousness and appropriateness) is part of being proven... We clearly cannot have the Spirit in our prayers if our lives do not reflect reasonable righteousness.
...It is through true prayer that we can refine and adjust our desires to those of the Lord's so that we do not "ask amiss." In prayer we can actually learn more than we imagine about His will for us.
In prayer we can learn more how to seek the Spirit, so that even our very prayers will be inspired. (All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979], 95, 99.)
DC 65:1 Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight
James E. Talmage
The work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may be summed up as the preparation of the earth for the [crowning] of its Lord and King. As in the meridian of time the voice of the Baptist was heard in the wilderness, "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," so has the voice of that same John the Baptist been heard in this day, restoring the authority of the Priesthood requisite to the administration of the ordinance of baptism, whereby remission of sins may be obtained; and the proclamation is made now, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." That proclamation is authoritatively sounded throughout the world; and the work of the Church, which is veritably the kingdom of God, is to prepare the earth for the coming of the King of earth and heaven, and for the establishment of the kingdom of heaven upon the earth. (Conference Report, April 1917, Third Day-Morning Session 66.)
DC 65:2 the gospel shall roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain
"Adversarial attempts to block the stone's path or to chisel away at its size may cause an occasional chip to break away, but nothing will deter the great stone from its divinely designated course." (Hoyt W. Brewster Jr., "The '80s-Looking Back; The '90s-Looking Ahead," Ensign, Jan. 1990, 13)
Our missionaries are going forth to different nations, and in Germany, Palestine, New Holland, Australia, the East Indies, and other places, the Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done. (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4: 540.)
It will not be by sword or gun that this kingdom will roll on: the power of truth is such that all nations will be under the necessity of obeying the Gospel. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Deseret Book Company, 1961, p. 366.)
Joseph F. Smith
The kingdom of God is here to grow, to spread abroad, to take root in the earth, and to abide where the Lord has planted it by His own power and by His own word, in the earth, never more to be destroyed or to cease, but to continue until the purposes of the Almighty shall be accomplished, every whit that has been spoken of by the mouths of the holy prophets since the world began. ("Faith of Our Fathers," Ensign, May 1996, 32)
Gordon B. Hinckley
The little stone which was cut out of the mountain without hands is rolling forth to fill the earth (see D&C 65:2). What a wonderful thing it is to be part of this growing kingdom of our Lord. There are no political boundaries separating the hearts of the children of God regardless of where they may live. We are all of one great family. We are sons and daughters of God. We are engaged in the service of His Beloved Son. He is our Redeemer and our Savior, and a testimony of this truth burns within our hearts. Each is entitled to such a testimony of this work. It is an individual knowledge of great fundamental truths that binds us together into what we call the church and kingdom of God. ("As We Gather Together," Ensign, Nov. 1995, 4-5)
Gordon B. Hinckley
"Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!" (D&C 128:22). So wrote the Prophet Joseph in a psalm of faith.
How glorious is the past of this great cause. It is filled with heroism, courage, boldness, and faith. How wondrous is the present as we move forward to bless the lives of people wherever they will hearken to the message of the servants of the Lord. How magnificent will be the future as the Almighty rolls on His glorious work touching for good all who will accept and live His gospel, and even reaching to the eternal blessing of His sons and daughters of all generations through the selfless work of those whose hearts are filled with love for the Redeemer of the world. ("Stay the Course-Keep the Faith," Ensign, Nov. 1995, 72)
DC 65:2 the stone...is cut out of the mountain without hands
We should pause to consider the symbolism of Daniel's imagery. He speaks of a stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands. What is the meaning of the phrase, without hands? Apparently, Daniel means that the stone is cut out of the mountain-not by mortal hands-that no earthly power could get such a stone moving in the first place. Elsewhere, Daniel would prophecy of worldly kingdoms (Dan. 2), but this stone is not representative of any earthly power, whether political dynasty or the greatest of the world's empires.
The meaning, then, is that the stone can only get rolling by the power of God. We could even say that the stone is cut out of the mountain without mortal hands but rather by the hand of God. God made the mountain; He cut out the stone; He provided the gravity by which it moves; and He controls its trajectory and velocity according to his will and pleasure. Ultimately, He receives the honor, the power, and the glory when it rolls forth to fill the whole earth.
DC 65:4 Pray unto the Lord, call upon his holy name
Marion G. Romney
I plead with all men everywhere to turn to God in true prayer. This is the number one requisite for peace in the world. It is the only way that we can conquer Satan and escape the hands of the servants of Satan that uphold this work. We Latter-day Saints know that God is our Eternal Father, that Jesus Christ is his Son and our Redeemer, and that we must bring our desires and our lives in harmony with his divine will, praying to him always about all things in the name of Jesus. Let us see to it that from henceforth no day shall pass in which we do not fervently, in family and in private prayers, express our gratitude to our Heavenly Father and seek his guidance and protecting care, I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. (Look to God and Live [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1971], 206.)
DC 65:5 call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth
Franklin D. Richards
From this revelation just read, it appears that the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is the great point at which all our prayers should be directed. It seems to be the great leading object of our work here upon the earth, to be endeavoring continually to spread abroad the kingdom of God here on the earth. It is the point, starting from whatever radius we will, that all the lines of our operations should be centered in-the one great and glorious event, when He shall come and take to Himself His ruling power, and rule and reign on the earth, King of nations, as He reigns already King of Saints. It would appear, from the spirit of this prayer and from the phraseology of it, that its tendency and its concentration of purpose would all point to that great event which is to be brought to pass-the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the earth. (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992], vol. 3, October 7, 1892 Discourse)
DC 65:6 may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come
When I reflect that in heaven there is a perfect union of spirit and feeling among the celestial throng-when I reflect that in that happy place there is no disunion one with another-no different views, but that all will have the same mind and feeling in regard to the things of God; and then reflect that the day is to come when the same order of things is to be established here upon the earth; and then look at the present condition of mankind, I am constrained to acknowledge that there must be a great revolution on the earth. Where are there two men abroad in the world that see eye to eye-that have the same view in regard to doctrine and principle-that are of the same mind? They can scarcely be found. I doubt whether they can be found in the world.
How is it among us, the Latter-day Saints?...I will say many of them: they do actually, in the great fundamental principles of the doctrine of Jesus Christ, see eye to eye. I cannot suppose that in our infancy and childhood we can attain to all this great perfection in a moment, and be brought to see and understand alike. But there is one great heavenly standard or principle? It is the restoration of the holy Priesthood, the living oracles of God, to the earth; and that Priesthood, dictated, governed, and directed by the power of revelation, through the gift of the Holy Ghost-that is the standard to which all the Latter-day Saints and the kingdom of God must come, in order to fulfil the prophecy I have read in your hearing. (Journal of Discourses, 7:371)
James E. Talmage
The kingdom of heaven shall come, and then shall justice rule in the earth. No longer shall men rise in unrighteous dominion over their fellows. No longer shall men exalt themselves on thrones, nor adorn themselves with crowns and scepters. The best form of government possible unto man is a monarchy with the right kind of a monarch, who will do only justice, full justice, and with due regard to the claims of mercy, give unto every man his right. Such a government will be democracy and monarchy combined, and such is the government of the kingdom of heaven. (Conference Report, April 1917, Third Day-Morning Session 66.)
George F. Richards
Here it is very plainly set forth that God has established His kingdom upon the earth, and the time will come when His kingdom which is established in heaven shall come forth to meet His kingdom upon the earth. The Lord has made clear to us that no sinful thing can enter into His presence. He dwells in the celestial kingdom. The kingdom of God in heaven is most perfect, and all that pertains unto it... This Church, then, an embryonic kingdom of God, is typical of the kingdom of our Father in heaven; and as no sinful thing can enter the kingdom of God in heaven, go where our Father is and enjoy celestial glory with Him and with our elder brother and Savior, so we cannot enter this preparatory kingdom in our sins, but every man and woman must of necessity repent of sin, with broken heart and contrite spirit, or they cannot obtain admission. (Conference Report, April 1909, Second Overflow Meeting. 39 - 40.)