Week 41: Doctrine and Covenants 111‒114

October 3, 2021

The revelations that are now sections 111 through 114 of the Doctrine and Covenants were received from August 1836 to April 1838, a period in which the maturing Church faced hosts of problems. These revelations gave comfort and counsel to Church leaders and members struggling with these challenges.

Doctrine and Covenants 111

Trying to establish Zion, publish scriptures, and keep the Church functioning resulted in a heavy burden of debt that weighed on Church leaders. Looking for ways to resolve the Church’s debts, some of the leaders went to Salem, Massachusetts, where Joseph Smith had spent part of his childhood. They had heard they might be able to obtain money there someone had hidden.

The Lord appreciated that these leaders were trying to do good, but He considered their approach to be wrong: “I, the Lord your God, am not displeased with your coming this journey, notwithstanding your follies,” the revelation begins. The Lord explained that He had “much treasure in this city for you,” but in the form of people to hear the gospel, not money.

Converts in Salem later became a branch of the Church.

For more on the history of this section, click here.

Doctrine and Covenants 112

During a period of turbulence in the Church, leaders were inspired to send missionaries to the British Isles. On July 23, 1837—the day these missionaries first preached in England—the Lord gave a revelation through the Prophet Joseph Smith to Thomas B. Marsh, the president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

In the revelation, the Lord gave Elder Marsh needed counsel, including, “Exalt not yourselves; rebel not against my servant Joseph” (verse 15) and “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers” (verse 10).

Regrettably, Thomas Marsh later rebelled against Joseph, falling away from the Church, though he returned nearly two decades later.

For more on the history of this section, click here.

Doctrine and Covenants 113

From time to time, Joseph Smith answered questions about scripture. In March of 1838, near Far West, Missouri, the Prophet answered questions about the Old Testament book of Isaiah.

For more on the history of this section, click here.

Doctrine and Covenants 114

On April 11, 1838, at Far West, Missouri, the Lord gave a revelation (now section 114) to Joseph Smith in which he commanded David W. Patten to “settle up all his business as soon as he possibly can, and make a disposition of his merchandise, that he may perform a mission unto me next spring, in company with others, even twelve including himself, to testify of my name and bear glad tidings unto all the world” (verse 1). Members of the Quorum of the Twelve would go on their second mission to England in 1839.

By then, David Patten had been killed in the Battle of Crooked River, and Thomas B. Marsh, the subject of section 112, had been excommunicated. Section 114 also directed that “inasmuch as there are those among you who deny my name, others shall be planted in their stead” (verse 2).

For more on the history of this section, click here.

Credit for the image at top of the page: Detail from C. C. A. Christensen’s painting “The Battle of Crooked River,” public domain, from https://moa.byu.edu/cca-christensen-highlights/.

Author: Richard E. Turley Jr.

Richard E. Turley Jr. served for twenty-two years as managing director of the Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and eight years as Assistant Church Historian and Recorder. He also served as managing director of the Family History, Public Affairs, and Church Communication Departments.

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