DC 75 Historical Background
"On 10 January 1832, Joseph smith had received instructions that the elders of the Church were to continue in their various labors for the two weeks remaining until a priesthood conference was held, when they would receive their mission calls and instructions (see D&C 73:1-2). Joseph and Sidney were also told to return home where they translated, preached and prepared for the coming conference.
"This conference was held in Amherst, Ohio, on 25 January 1832 and was a great success. Amherst was the home of Gideon Carter, Sylvester Smith, and others. One reason for holding conferences away from Kirtland or Hiram was to proselytize outlying areas, and Joseph Smith related that 'at this conference much harmony prevailed, and considerable business was done to advance the kingdom, and promulgate the Gospel to the inhabitants of the surrounding country.'
"During the conference itself, Joseph Smith was presented, sustained, and set apart as president of the high priesthood of the Church. It should be remembered that Joseph already possessed the office of apostle and of priesthood authority necessary to organize the Church and preside over all its quorums and auxiliaries. These he had received under the hands of Peter, James, and John. It was still necessary, however, for Joseph to be accepted and set apart within the structure of the Church according to the law of common consent (See D&C 26:2)." (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2001] 1:279-280)
Robert J. Woodford
Section 75 is also a combination of two separate revelations received by Joseph Smith on 25 January 1832. The first comprises verses 1-22, and the second, verses 23-36. These have never been published separately, but manuscript copies in the handwriting of Sidney Rigdon (possibly the original manuscripts of these revelations) show section 75 was given as two revelations. ("How the Revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants Were Received and Compiled," Ensign, Jan. 1985, 31)
DC 75:1 I speak...by the voice of my Spirit
S. Dilworth Young
It is important that we learn to understand when the Lord speaks to us through his Spirit, for it is certain he will do this to the righteous and deserving... it will come into the mind of the recipient. For example, the prophet Enos was praying to the Lord and described his experience thus:
"And while I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind again, saying ..." (Enos 1:10.)
What he told Enos is not my immediate concern, but the means used to tell him is here illustrated. The word of the Lord comes into the mind... let us now listen to the Lord's instruction to Oliver Cowdery, who wanted to translate and was told he might do it.
"Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart." (D&C 8:2) ("The Still Small Voice," Ensign, May 1976, 22)
DC 75:3-4 labor with your might-Lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump
"In the more than 160 years since this revelation (D&C 75:2-5.) was given, many a sermon to missionaries has been built upon the few short words of its verses.
"Indeed, some of the phrases are almost slogans among today's army of more than 48,000 full-time missionaries: 'Go forth,' 'neither be idle,' 'labor with your might,' 'Lift up your voices,' and the promise, 'Ye shall be laden with many sheaves.'
"When the revelation was given in January 1832, the Church had approximately 700 members. Within one year, membership increased to more than 2,600, and gained more than a thousand members a year until 1835, when it doubled from about 4,400 to 8,800 members.
"This increase that has continued to the present is largely due to missionary work. The oft-repeated scriptural injunction to proclaim the gospel is continually echoed by today's leaders.
"'We live in the most exciting era in the history of mankind,' said Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve as he addressed April conference in 1989. 'The potential for declaring the gospel to the peoples of the world has never been greater . . .'" ("Scripture a Short Sermon", LDS Church News, 1993, 05/22/93, p. 14)
DC 75:5 if ye are faithful ye shall be laden with many sheaves
And now, these are the words of Ammon to his brethren...
Behold, the field was ripe, and blessed are ye, for ye did thrust in the sickle, and did reap with your might, yea, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your sheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted.
Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the storm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place, that the storm cannot penetrate to them; yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them.
But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his; and he will raise them up at the last day. (Alma 26:1-7)
Bruce R. McConkie
Those who labor with their might "shall be laden with many sheaves." (D&C 75:5.) These sheaves are then carried to the threshing floor where the chaff is blown away and the wheat made ready for the granary. These threshing processes are now going on for the last time on earth. The Lord of the harvest has sent laborers into his fields to gather in the wheat before he burns the tares with unquenchable fire. The day is rapidly approaching when every corruptible thing will be consumed and there will be a new heaven and a new earth whereon dwelleth righteousness. (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 137.)
DC 75:5 crowned with honor, and glory, and immortality, and eternal life
James E. Faust
Thomas Carlyle, a British writer, stated, "Every noble crown is, and on Earth will forever be, a crown of thorns." The ancient Latin phrase sic transit gloria mundi means "thus passes away the glory of this world." Earthly rewards can be a sore temptation. In contrast, those who are faithful and are committed to service are promised that they will be "crowned with honor, and glory, and immortality, and eternal life" (D&C 75:5). Thus, neither honors nor trials can defeat. Paul spoke of an incorruptible crown (see 1 Corinthians 9:25), and James spoke of the faithful receiving a "crown of life" (James 1:12). John the Revelator counseled, "Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown" (Revelation 3:11).
I believe that earthly crowns such as power, the love of money, and the preoccupation with material things and the honors of men are a crown of thorns because they are based upon obtaining and receiving rather than giving. So selfishness can make what we think is a noble crown into a crown of thorns beyond our power to endure. (Finding Light in a Dark World [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 22.)
Bruce R. McConkie
Those who gain exaltation in the highest heaven of the celestial world shall wear crowns. Perhaps literal crowns may be worn on occasion - emblematic of their victory over the world and signifying that they rule and reign as kings and queens in the eternal house of Israel. But at all times they will be "crowned with honor, and glory, and immortality, and eternal life." (D. & C. 75:5.) (Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], 173.)
DC 75:6 I revoke the commission which I gave unto him
"William E. McLellin had previously been called to a mission to 'the eastern lands' with Samuel Smith (see D&C 66:7-9). Though called on 25 October 1831, he did not actually leave until 16 November, and returned home before the end of December, showing little inclination to go out again. Samuel Smith parted company with William McLellin before Christmas when 'because of disobediences our way was hedged up before us [and] Brother William was taken sick.'" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2001] 1:281)
Charles W. Penrose
A great many promises have been made concerning things to be done in Zion, but unless we keep the commandments of God and perform the duties God has placed upon our shoulders, we cannot claim the blessings. The Lord says he promises, and people do not obey, and then he revokes, and they receive not the blessings. What? Is it possible that God revokes? Yes; he says so. Commandments are given and revoked-what for? Because the people who were to observe the commandments do not observe them, and are not worthy or prepared to receive the blessings. (Conference Report, April 1924, First Day-Morning Session 17.)
DC 75:7-8 I, the Lord, chasten him...and say unto him again, Go ye into the south countries
"William McLellin was given another mission call, this time to work south of Kirtland, but this mission was as unsuccessful as his first... There are indications other than this verse that William McClellin's heart was not entirely right. For example, after only three weeks on this second mission, he stopped preaching, claiming ill health and inclement weather. When he took a job working in a store, however, his companion, Luke Johnson, returned home and got another companion. William McLellin himself wrote, 'I determined to cease proclaiming until I was satisfied in my own mind.'" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, 1:281)
DC 75:9 Let my servant Luke Johnson go with him
"At this same time, Luke Johnson and William E. McLellin were called to labor in the southern states. They began as companions, but soon thereafter, Elder McLellin found employment and ended his mission. He was replaced by Seymour Brunson. Johnson and Brunson traveled through Ohio, Virginia, and Kentucky. They baptized more than 100 people and organized branches in Lawrence County, Ohio, and Cabell County, Virginia (now West Virginia). The new branch in Virginia became the first branch of the Church in the southern states." (S. Kent Brown, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard H. Jackson, eds., Historical Atlas of Mormonism [New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994], 30.)
On the eleventh of March, 1832, I started with brother Luke Johnson unto the south country, and on the twenty second, we left our brethren at Shalersville, and began to preach and baptize, and arrived at Windsor, Lawrence county, Ohio, on the ninth of May, having witnessed several instances of the Lord's healing power. At this place we built up a church, which made in all that we had baptized, fifty three members.
I then returned to Kirtland with brother Luke, and moved my family unto this church, where I now reside... The heavenly Father has wrought several special miracles by my hands, and the cause of Christ is more and more extending in this place; and opposition is falling under truth. ("The Progress of the Church of Christ.", Evening and Morning Star, vol. 2 (June 1833-September 1834), Vol. Ii. June, 1833. No. 13. 100.)
DC 75:13 Let my servant Orson Hyde and my servant Samuel H. Smith take their journey into the eastern countries
"In January 1832, Joseph Smith received another Revelation that led to further pioneer proselyting. Samuel Smith and Orson Hyde were called to preach in the eastern states. Obedient to their call, they became the first known missionaries in four New England states: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts. There is no record of them converting anyone in Connecticut, but in Rhode Island they baptized at least two persons before persecution drove them from the state. In Maine they converted enough people to start a branch in Saco, York County; and in Massachusetts they baptized enough people to organize two small branches." (S. Kent Brown, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard H. Jackson, eds., Historical Atlas of Mormonism [New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994], 30.)
"The first two missionaries in Boston were Samuel Smith and Orson Hyde, who organized the first congregation in Boston in 1832, only two years after the Church was organized." ("Boston: Gospel Rolls Forward in One of Nation's Oldest Cities", LDS Church News, 1991, 09/28/91)
"Samuel Smith's best-documented mission is one mentioned in the Doctrine and Covenants, which instructed him and Orson Hyde to 'take their journey into the eastern countries, and proclaim the things which I have commanded them.' Both men kept journals indicating that the presentation and testimony of the Book of Mormon was one of the major themes of their preaching. The witness was ridiculed periodically for his simple reiteration of his testimony: 'The people gathered around us and asked a great many questions about the plates, etc., and many of them used much lightness.' Daniel Tyler was converted as a result of this mission. (Richard Lloyd Anderson, Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], 140.)
In the Spring of 1832, Elders Samuel H. Smith and Orson Hyde, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, came to our neighborhood and held a few meetings. Elder Smith read the 29th chapter of Isaiah at the first meeting and delineated the circumstances of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, of which he said he was a witness. He knew his brother Joseph had the plates, for the prophet had shown them to him, and he had handled them and seen the engravings thereon. His speech was more like a narrative than a sermon. Elder Hyde made a few closing remarks and appointed another meeting. At the close of the first meeting my father, as his custom was, sprung his usual question about the spiritual gifts and was quite surprised to hear Elder Smith say, "That is our doctrine, and we have those gifts in our Church."
This meeting was held in the house of Mr. Joseph Hartshorn, one of our neighbors. At the close of the meeting I picked up the Book of Mormon, which they had left lying on the table, and began to read... (Scraps of Biography: Faith-Promoting Series, no. 10 [Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor Office, 1883], 24.)
DC 75:14 Lyman Johnson, and...Orson Pratt...shall also take their journey into the eastern countries
"Orson Pratt and Lyman Johnson journeyed through six states and converted more than ninety." (John Henry Evans, Joseph Smith, an American Prophet [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989], 74.)
"The Church in New Jersey had a humble beginning. In 1832, the state's first missionaries, Elders Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson, began preaching the gospel in that state. It took almost seven years before there were enough converts in the area to establish the Hornerstown Branch in October of 1838." (New Jersey Church Members Celebrate 150 Years , LDS Church News, 1988, 09/17/88 .)
"Elders Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson were the first LDS missionaries to introduce the fullness of the gospel into New Hampshire. They arrived there in 1832 and during the 26 days they spent in the state they baptized 15 persons, among whom were Hazen Aldrich and Amasa M. Lyman." (Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Salt Lake City: Deseret News Publishing Co., 1941], 574.)
Elder L. E. Johnson and myself started on our eastern mission, traveling as usual, on foot, without purse or scrip, and carrying our change of clothing in our hands. We traveled in an easterly direction through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York City, to Hurlgate, on Long Island; preached thirty times in towns and villages on the way, where they previously had never heard the gospel. In the town of Blakesley, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, we baptized four, and ordained one of them, namely, Asbury Secor, a priest. At Hurlgate, near the last of March, I baptized and confirmed my eldest brother, Anson Pratt. From this place we traveled north, visited Canaan, Columbia County, N. Y., and saw my parents. We then traveled north-east through the southern part of Vermont into New Hampshire, proceeded up the eastern shore of the Connecticut river to Bath, preaching wherever we were led by the Spirit. (Contributor, vol. 12 (November 1890-October 1891), Vol. Xii. January, 1891. No. 3. 81.)
I remained in this condition (not united with any of the churches of the times) until the spring of 1832, when our place was visited by Elders Lyman E. Johnson and Orson Pratt, from whom I first heard the gospel. I was baptized on the 27th of April 1832, by Elder Lyman E. Johnson, and was confirmed on the day following by Elder Orson Pratt. (Excerpts from the Millennial Star, Amasa Lyman's History, 472.)
I... was again entangled in the vanities of the world and so went on in sin and vanity until the 14th year of my age and in the spring of 1832 when Brother O. [Orson] Pratt and L. [Lyman] Johnson came into town (St. Johnsbury, Caledonia County, state of Vermont) preaching the gospel of Christ which had been lost for ages, I believed it and two of my elder brothers which were of age, obeyed it. (Erastus Snow, Journal, BYU Special Collections, Writings of Early Latter-day Saints, 1.)
DC 75:15 Asa Dodds, and...Calves Wilson...shall take their journey unto the western countries
"Among those called on a mission at the Amherst, Ohio, conference of January 1832 was Asa Dodds. He was called to accompany Calves Wilson on a journey to the west in proclaiming the gospel (D&C 75:15). Whether this mission was fulfilled is unknown, for no further mention is made of him or his companion in subsequent writings." (Hoyt W. Brewster, Jr., Doctrine and Covenants Encyclopedia [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 142.)
DC 75:17 my servant Major N. Ashley
"Little is known of Major's early years as he grew to manhood in Massachusetts. By 1831 he had joined the Church and been ordained a high priest. Pleased with his ordination, he pronounced that "it was by the help of the Lord that he had been preserved, yet his greatest fear was for those who were weak in the faith." Although his testimony was meant for the backslider, it proved to be a precursor of his own weak conviction.
"Confident in his faithfulness, Major submitted his name to the Prophet Joseph Smith, seeking to know the will of the Lord concerning him (see D&C 75:23). The Lord revealed on 25 January 1832, "And again, I say unto my servant Major N. Ashley, and my servant Burr Riggs, let them take their journey also into the south country" (D&C 75:17)... Whether he journeyed to the "south country" is not known. Less than six months later, on 3 July 1832, he was present at the home of Edward Partridge in Independence, Missouri, and was laboring as a tanner. He denied the faith after the expulsion of the Saints from Jackson County. (Susan Easton Black, Who's Who in the Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 1 - 2.)
"He left the Church in 1838 and took part in mob action against the Church at Haun's Mill that year." ("D&C People Form Fascinating Mosaic: Some Were Tried and Remained," LDS Church News, 1989, 01/07/89)
DC 75:19 If they receive you, leave your blessing upon that house
Carlos E. Asay
More than 150 years ago, missionaries were instructed, "In whatsoever house ye enter, and they receive you, leave your blessing upon that house" (D&C 75:19). Such instruction has been followed by thousands of modern-day representatives of the Lord as they have sought to acknowledge hospitality extended and to repay acts of kindness shown them by pronouncing blessings upon receptive households. But, at the same time, one wonders whether fathers have taken these instructions seriously enough and whether they are leaving their blessings upon their homes in accord with their sacred obligations and privileges. (Family Pecan Trees: Planting a Legacy of Faith at Home [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992], 61.)
DC 75:20 shake off the dust of your feet as a testimony against them... that in the day of judgment you shall be judges of that house
The priesthood has just as much power to curse as it has to bless. The scriptures instruct missionaries to shake off the dust of their feet against those who have rejected them. In practice, this ordinance is rarely performed. Perhaps there are a few reasons why this is so.
First, the Lord indicates that those who perform this cursing will stand as "judges of that house, and condemn them," at the last day. Many missionaries are not willing to take that responsibility. Secondly, such a cursing denies the individual to accept the gospel later. Elsewhere, the elders are instructed to "cleanse your feet even with water...and return not again unto that man." (D&C 84:92) The implication is that the individual has received his opportunity to accept the gospel and has rejected it. Therefore, they are not to be given another opportunity. This concept runs counter to the current teaching to never give up on anyone.
Nevertheless, this principle is scriptural and is underscored by the following incident. Whether this story is truth or missionary legend is not clear, but the message is useful. During my mission, I heard of a frustrated missionary who had cleansed his feet against his entire area. By doing so, he had, in effect, closed his area to the preaching of the gospel. A general authority had to be sent out to re-open the area for the preaching of the gospel. This shows how seriously the Brethren take this ordinance.
Students should understand that the cleansing of the feet is a priesthood ordinance that can still be performed where appropriate. The missionary has to have delivered his enough of his message for the individual to understand what he is rejecting, and if the message was delivered by the Spirit, the missionary is justified in cleansing his feet. He just has to be prepared to judge that house in the day of judgment.
We journeyed early in the spring of 1832, eastward together, without "purse or scrip," going from house to house, teaching and preaching in families, and also in the public congregations of the people. Wherever we were received and entertained, we left our blessing; and wherever we were rejected, we washed our feet in private against those who rejected us, and bore testimony of it unto our Father in Heaven, and went on our way rejoicing, according to the commandment. (Excerpts from the Millennial Star, History of Orson Hyde. 774.)
DC 75:22 it shall be more tolerable for the heathen in the day of judgment, than for that house
Joseph Fielding Smith
Whenever they entered a house and were received, they were to leave their blessing. From such houses as would not receive them and their message, they were to depart speedily shaking off the dust of their feet as a testimony against them. They were to remember also that one important duty which they were to fulfill and that was to be sure and bear testimony in every instance. If they performed their labors sincerely, humbly and diligently bearing witness of the restoration then it would be more tolerable for the heathen in the day of judgment, than for that house which rejected the message. If no warning had been left, however, then the judgment would be pronounced against the servant who was expected to deliver it. (D. & C. 4.) This statement that it would be more tolerable for the heathen should be considered. If the heathen are to be judged without law and assigned to the terrestrial kingdom (D. & C. 45:54; 76:72.), then the chances for those who rejected the message would imply that they may find themselves in a lower kingdom, when the judgment comes. The elders who delivered the message were also to be the judges in the day of judgment against those who rejected their testimony. Missionaries of the church should realize this fact. (Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 2: 46 - 47.)
DC 75:26 obtain places for their families, and support of the church for them
Where needed, the wife and children would live with other families while the father served a mission. This was not the only way in which the church was to support the missionary work, but it was the Lord's recommendation, "inasmuch as your brethren are willing to open their hearts."
Joseph Fielding Smith
The brethren who were called to take these missionary journeys were quite generally poor men in temporal things. It was difficult for them to go out on the Lord's work and leave their families without support. Yet the call was essential for the souls of men were at stake and there were those waiting to hear the message who would be a strength to the Church after they received the Gospel. The Lord took into account the needs of the families of these brethren, and he said, "It is the duty of the Church to assist in supporting the families of those who are called and must needs be sent unto the world to proclaim the gospel unto the world." The commandment therefore was given that suitable places should be provided in which these families could be housed and cared for, and the members of the Church were admonished to "open their hearts," and assist in this undertaking. If there were brethren, however, who could support themselves and their families, this was required of them. (Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 2: 47 - 48.)
DC 75:27 let them ask and they shall receive
Jesus... tells men to ask and they shall receive. What! the millions that live upon the earth? Yes, the millions of people, no matter how many there are. Can he hear and answer all? Can he attend to all these things? Yes. (The Gospel Kingdom: Selections from the Writings and Discourses of John Taylor, 36.)
DC 75:28 every man who is obliged to provide for his own family, let him provide
Ezra Taft Benson
Early in the history of the restored Church, the Lord specifically charged men with the obligation to provide for their wives and family. In January of 1832 He said, "Verily I say unto you, that every man who is obliged to provide for his own family, let him provide, and he shall in nowise lose his crown" (D&C 75:28). Three months later the Lord said again, "Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken" (D&C 83:2). This is the divine right of a wife and mother. While she cares for and nourishes her children at home, her husband earns the living for the family, which makes this nourishing possible.
In a home where there is an able-bodied husband, he is expected to be the breadwinner. Sometimes we hear of husbands who, because of economic conditions, have lost their jobs and expect the wives to go out of the home and work, even though the husband is still capable of providing for his family. In these cases, we urge the husband to do all in his power to allow his wife to remain in the home caring for the children while he continues to provide for his family the best he can, even though the job he is able to secure may not be ideal and family budgeting may have to be tighter. ("To the Fathers in Israel," Ensign, Nov. 1987, 48-49)
DC 75:28 let him provide...and let him labor in the church
Loren C. Dunn
As a father in the Church attempts to be a father to his children, there are occasionally some special conflicts. In the 75th section of the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord says: "And again, verily I say unto you, that every man who is obliged to provide for his own family, let him provide, and he shall in nowise lose his crown; and let him labor in the church." (D&C 75:28.)
This spells out two basic responsibilities: providing for our families and laboring in the Church. There arise questions sometimes as to a seeming conflict between a father's duty to his family and the many church responsibilities that might be his.
In response to this, certainly all church leaders who have responsibility for organizing and calling administrative meetings should realize that a well-planned, well-organized meeting with the beginning and ending times determined, in advance, will not only make the maximum use of time but will make it easier for the brethren who attend these meetings to receive the support of their wives and children.
A well-planned meeting means that the family knows when they can expect the husband or father home... On the other hand, as the verse just read in the Doctrine and Covenants indicates, the Lord expects us to take care of our families and to also attend to our duties in the Church.
It may not always be true that a heavy load of church responsibilities is the reason a father does not draw close to his family. My father was a stake president for twenty years. He was installed when I was six and released when I was twenty-six. I can hardly remember a time in my youth when he was not stake president. He had a very large stake, and it took a great deal of his time.
In addition to this, he was a newspaper editor, and there were also great demands here as far as deadlines and other work that simply could not be put off. I can remember that a seventeen-, eighteen-, or nineteen-hour day was not unusual for him. While this could have created difficulties with us as children and our relationship with our father, surprisingly it did not.
In reflecting back to see what he did to keep us close to him, even though he had virtually no time to spend with us, I believe it was his ability to build us into his life. Even on the run, he knew what we were doing and was vitally interested and cared. The questions he would ask and the comments he would make let us know that he was proud of us and interested in us and followed us although he could not always be with us...
As I look back on it, I realize that although the amount of time we spend is important, probably the more important thing is the ability to build our children into our lives. If we can express sincere interest in them and let them know that we know what is going on, even if we have to do it on the run sometimes, this seems to be far more important than a parent who has more time but somehow does not convey this interest. ("This Is My Beloved Son," Ensign, Dec. 1971, 48-49)
DC 75:29 Let every man be diligent in all things. And the idler shall not have place in the church
Spencer W. Kimball
Work brings happiness, self-esteem, and prosperity. It is the means of all accomplishment; it is the opposite of idleness. We are commanded to work. (See Gen. 3:19.) Attempts to obtain our temporal, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being by means of a dole violate the divine mandate that we should work for what we receive. Work should be the ruling principle in the lives of our Church membership. (See D&C 42:42; D&C 56:17; D&C 68:30-32; D&C 75:29.) ("And the Lord Called His People Zion," Ensign, Aug. 1984, 4)
Marion G. Romney
[The Bishop] should teach the fundamentals of Church welfare assistance, including self-help, family assistance, and Church responsibility. In an appropriate way, the bishop should determine if those [seeking welfare assistance] have done all they can reasonably be expected to do for themselves. This will include ascertaining if other family members and relatives have done their part to assist...
In authorizing assistance, the bishop, as common judge, has the further responsibility to determine the work or services to be performed by the recipients. This provides them the privilege of maintaining their dignity and self-respect, while sharing in the process of generating the resources they and others will use. Bishops must be ever watchful on this point of work by recipients for what they receive. We must never let the Lord's program of self-help become a dole, for "the idler shall not have place in the church, except he repent and mend his ways" (D&C 75:29). If an individual refuses to do his part by working according to his ability, then the bishop has the prerogative of withholding assistance until a reformation of attitude is achieved. ("The Role of a Bishop in the Church Welfare Program," Ensign, Nov. 1979, 95-96)
DC 75:30 my servant Emer Harris
Dallin H. Oaks
In 1832 Martin Harris's older brother, Emer, who is my great-great-grandfather, was called on a mission from Ohio (see D&C 75:30). Emer spent a year preaching the gospel near his former home in northeastern Pennsylvania. During most of this time Emer's companion was his brother Martin, whose zeal in preaching even caused him to be jailed for a few days. The Harris brothers baptized about 100 persons. Among those baptized was a family named Oaks, which included my great-great-grandfather. Thus, my middle name and my last name come from the grandfathers who met in that missionary encounter in Susquehanna County in 1832-33. ("The Witness: Martin Harris," Ensign, May 1999, 37)
DC 75:31 my servant Ezra Thayre and my servant Thomas B. Marsh
Ezra Thayre and Thomas B. Marsh had been commanded to be missionary companions back in June of 1831 (see D&C 52:22). At that time, Thomas got impatient with Ezra's slow response to the call and went to the Prophet to find out what he should do. The response was that another missionary companion, Selah J. Griffin, was called instead. Interestingly, the Lord calls these two brethren to work together again. They served this mission through the state of New York, leaving in the summer of 1832 and returning in the fall. Thomas B. Marsh recorded that this mission took place but did not record any particulars.
DC 75:32 my servant Hyrum Smith and my servant Reynolds Cahoon
At the time of this revelation, Hyrum and Reynolds had just returned from a mission. The two would be associated on different committees and assignments throughout the early days of the church. Hyrum tells of the mission performed just prior to this calling.
I, Hyrum Smith and Reynolds Cahoon the disciples of Jesus Christ being called and chosen of God in these the last days to preach the Gospel, which is to be proclaimed to all nations before the end shall come. I, Hyrum, having traveled through the various parts of the continent which is the Continent of America-even up to Zion and through the mercy of God have returned to my place of residence whence I started from and often resting for a short time and traveling and proclaiming in these regions, I Hyrum and Reynolds on the 13th of December in the year 1831, the second year of the rise of the Church of Christ-started to journey eastward-the first day of our journeyings called for an opportunity to proclaim in the town Concord but no admittance; traveled till night in the town of lavory (sic).
Stopped and labored with a sectarian Priest but his heart was hard and unpenetrable and mocked the truths of God but we bore testimony against him to his own destruction if he did not repent. (Pearson H. Corbett, Hyrum Smith, Patriarch [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 96.)
DC 75:34 my servant Sylvester Smith and my servant Gideon Carter
"Newly ordained priest Gideon Carter was told by the Prophet Joseph Smith that he 'had one tallent and if after being ordained [he] should hide it God would take it.' Heeding the admonition, Gideon concluded that the talent given him was to preach the gospel. He served several short missions in Ohio in 1831 before being ordained an elder and being commanded by revelation to labor in the ministry with Sylvester Smith (see D&C 75:34).
On 5 April 1832 Gideon and Sylvester began their mission to the East. In northeastern Pennsylvania they held four meetings and administered to a 'sick sister, who recovered immediately.' Continuing north, they journeyed through New York and baptized several persons. Then, with Gideon's brother Jared Carter, they extended their mission to Vermont, 'where it appeared to us the greater part of our labors would be for this season,' as Jared later wrote. In Gideon's hometown of Benson he expressed some fears about Jared's prophesying. His negative expressions led Jared to part company with the other missionaries. Gideon returned to Kirtland on 24 August 1832." (Susan Easton Black, Who's Who in the Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 49.)