“Unit 21: Day 3, Doctrine and Covenants 101:1–16,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2017)
“Unit 21: Day 3,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide
On December 16 and 17, 1833, the Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation concerning the afflictions the Saints were experiencing in Missouri. This revelation, recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 101, will be covered in three lessons. This first lesson includes the Lord’s explanation of why He allowed the Saints to be afflicted. It also includes His words of counsel and comfort to the suffering Saints.
From what you learned during your study of Doctrine and Covenants 98, indicate which of the following difficulties the Saints experienced in Jackson County, Missouri, in July 1833. You can refer to the lesson from day 1 to help you remember.
The Saints’ printing office was destroyed.
Sidney Gilbert’s store was demolished, and the goods were stolen.
Many of the Saints’ homes and crops were burned down.
Two of the Saints, Edward Partridge and Charles Allen, were tarred and feathered in a public square.
Due to the mob violence in Jackson County, Missouri, in July 1833, Church leaders agreed to leave the county. However, in August 1833, the Prophet Joseph Smith counseled the Saints not to sell any of their land there. Church leaders petitioned the government and used available legal channels to maintain their lands in Missouri and seek justice for those responsible for the violence. After hearing of these actions, and believing that the Saints were not planning to leave as expected, non–Latter-day Saint settlers attacked the Saints again. On the night of October 31, 1833, a mob of about 50 horsemen raided the Whitmer Settlement, west of Independence. They unroofed 13 houses and whipped several men, almost killing them. These attacks continued for the next two nights in Independence and other places where the Saints lived. Men were beaten, and women and children were terrorized. More than 1,000 Saints were driven from their homes in Jackson County.
What questions do you think the Saints in Missouri might have had at this time? Have you ever wondered why the Lord allows bad things to happen to you or people you know?
Read the section introduction to Doctrine and Covenants 101 to learn when this revelation was given and some further trials the Saints in Missouri faced at this time.
When the Saints in Missouri were suffering through these trials, the Lord revealed truths about why He allows His people to experience afflictions. Read Doctrine and Covenants 101:1–2, looking for a reason why the Lord allowed the Saints in Jackson County to suffer persecution and affliction.
From verse 2 we learn that when we violate the commandments, God allows us to suffer.
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: Why do you think it is important to understand this truth?
Although many Saints in Missouri were faithful and obedient, they still suffered because of persecution. Read Doctrine and Covenants 101:3–5, looking for a reason why the Lord allows even the righteous Saints to be afflicted. Note that the word chasten means to discipline or correct, that the word try means to test, and that the word sanctify means to make someone or something pure or holy.
Refer to verse 5 to complete the following statement of truth: If we will not endure chastening, we cannot be .
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught how being chastened and tested helps us become sanctified: “In addition to stimulating our repentance, the very experience of enduring chastening can refine us and prepare us for greater spiritual privileges” (“As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 98).
In Doctrine and Covenants 101:4, the Lord referred to Abraham as an example of someone who was chastened and tried. When the Lord commanded Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice, Abraham proved his faithfulness and showed that he was prepared to receive great spiritual blessings (see Genesis 22:1–18).
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: How can understanding the truth taught in Doctrine and Covenants 101:5 help you during difficult times?
- Read Doctrine and Covenants 101:6–8, and identify specific things some of the Saints in Missouri did that caused afflictions to come upon them. Then answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
Ponder an experience when you have felt chastened and you sought the Lord.
As you read Doctrine and Covenants 101:9, look for a message of hope the Lord gave to the Saints who were suffering in Missouri. You may want to mark words or phrases that teach the following doctrine: Even when we have sinned, the Lord will have compassion toward us.
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: How can understanding this doctrine bring you hope?
In Doctrine and Covenants 101:10–11, we learn that even though the Lord allowed the Saints to be persecuted, He said that He would punish the people who persecuted them.
As you read the following paragraphs, mark the descriptions of suffering that would have been especially difficult for you to witness or experience:
The mob in Jackson County, Missouri, continued tormenting the Saints until all members of the Church were driven out of the county. Lyman Wight reported, “I saw one hundred and ninety women and children driven thirty miles across the prairie, with three decrepit men only in their company, in the month of November, the ground thinly crusted with sleet; and I could easily follow on their trail by the blood that flowed from their lacerated feet on the stubble of the burnt prairie!” (in History of the Church, 3:439).
Most of the Saints fled north, where they had to cross the Missouri River. The shores of the river near the ferry were lined with refugees on both sides. Some were fortunate enough to escape with their household goods, but many lost everything. Parley P. Pratt wrote: “Hundreds of people were seen in every direction, some in tents and some in the open air around their fires, while the rain descended in torrents. Husbands were inquiring for their wives, wives for their husbands; parents for children, and children for parents. … The scene was indescribable, and, I am sure, would have melted the hearts of any people on the earth, except our blind oppressors, and a blind and ignorant community” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, ed. Parley P. Pratt Jr. , 102).
How do you think you might respond if you experienced such afflictions?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 101:12–16, looking for the Lord’s promises to the righteous Saints. (It may help you to know that in verse 12, the phrase “all mine Israel” refers to those who are true to the gospel covenant.)
You may want to write the following principle in your scriptures near Doctrine and Covenants 101:16: When we live righteously, we can find comfort in the knowledge that all people are in the Lord’s hands.
- In your scripture study journal, answer the following questions based on your own experience, or you could discuss these questions with a family member or friend and write what you learn from the conversation:
In Doctrine and Covenants 101:16, what do you think is the meaning of the command to “be still and know that I am God”?
When have you felt blessed with peace during a difficult time?
How can being still, or quiet, help you receive comfort from the Lord?
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 101:1–16 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: