Presentation on theme: "What event in 1820 is happening here? Why did this event happen? What feelings is Joseph Smith expressing in the following statement about how people treated."— Presentation transcript:
What event in 1820 is happening here? Why did this event happen? What feelings is Joseph Smith expressing in the following statement about how people treated him because he told them about this event? “I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it….” The First Vision
What is this event that happened in 1823? Following the First Vision in 1820 Joseph Smith continued to pursue his common vocation in life until the 21st of September 1823. That night he supplicated God for forgiveness of his sins and follies and a manifestation. He was visited by the angel Moroni who said God had a work for him to do; that his name should be had for good and evil; that Joseph was to translate the Book of Mormon; and then he was taught the first principle of this dispensation – that Elijah was to return. “If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.” (JS history 27-39)
It was given before he received the priesthood, before he was baptized, and well before the church was organized. It says much concerning the priority of this work in the plan of the Lord. In 1995, in the Let Your Hearts Rejoice video, Gordon B. Hinckley said, “To me it is significant that in the opening of this dispensation, the foretelling of this remarkable family history work occurred on the initial visit of Moroni to the boy Joseph Smith on the evening of September 21, 1823... (Moroni) told of the Book of Mormon record, and after speaking in some detail concerning this, he quoted from the Book of Malachi I repeat my brethren and sisters, it is tremendously significant to me that this declaration, this repetition of the wondrous words of Malachi concerning work for the dead, was given to the boy Joseph four years before he was allowed to take the plates from the hill.
God in His infinite wisdom had a plan under which the full benefits of the Atonement wrought by His beloved Son might be made available to all the sons and daughters of God of all generations of time. Without this work, the Lord indicated that the whole purpose of creating and peopling the earth would be frustrated - would be wasted.... That which goes on in the House of the Lord - and which must be preceded by research - comes nearer to the spirit of the sacrifice of the Lord than any other activity of which I know... Great is our mission and tremendous our responsibility!” Can anyone doubt the importance with which it is regarded by the Almighty? President Hinckley continues:
What is this place? Kirtland Temple Do you know what happened in this place on April 3, 1836? After distributing the Lord’s Supper to the Church, Joseph Smith retired to the pulpit, the veils being dropped, and bowed himself, with Oliver Cowdery, in solemn and silent Prayer.
On this day, an Easter Sunday, the resurrected Savior appeared to the Prophet and Oliver in the Kirtland Temple and announced, "I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father. Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me; therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice." D&C 110:4-5
"After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened" and at the Lord's direction the ancient prophets Moses, Elias, and Elijah appeared, one by one, to the Prophet Joseph and to Oliver Cowdery and committed the "keys of this dispensation" to carry forward "ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world." D&C 110:11-13
In 1836 Elijah Returned “This fulfilled Malachi’s prophecy that Elijah would be sent ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse.’” – James E. Faust “Elijah came to enable families to be eternally linked beyond the bounds of mortality. Indeed, the opportunity for families to be sealed forever is the real reason for our research.” – Russell M. Nelson Elijah the Prophet fulfilled prophecy by restoring the keys of the sealing power to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. (Doctrine & Covenants 110:13-16)
The Saints were driven from Kirtland. They finally gathered in Nauvoo and amidst the struggles, construction of the Nauvoo Temple began in the spring of 1841 on a hilltop overlooking the Mississippi River. They finished the baptismal font about 9 months later and in D&C Section 128, given in 1842, Joseph repeats his appeal that we turn our hearts to our fathers. Between December 1845 and February 1846, nearly 6,000 Latter-day Saints received their endowments in this house of the Lord before moving west. They had been told to evacuate or face extermination. The temple was dedicated in the spring of 1846.
Before these people removed from Nauvoo they made covenants and were endowed in the temple. President Hinckley said, “In this work there must be commitment. There must be devotion. We are engaged in a great eternal struggle that concerns the very souls of the sons and daughters of God. We are not losing. We are winning. We will continue to win if we will be faithful and true. We can do it. We must do it. There is nothing the Lord has asked of us that in faith we cannot accomplish.” Ensign June 2007. In our lives, we are just as much pioneers as they. We must be the same covenant people as they were. Things which matter most should not be sacrificed to things which matter less.
Boyd K. Packer, The Holy Temple, Bookcraft, said, “There somehow seems to be the feeling that genealogical work is a responsibility for another person or time. You can do this work. You can do it without becoming a so-called ‘expert’ in it. But the decision, the action, must begin with the individual. The Lord will not tamper with our agency. If we want a testimony of genealogical and temple work, do something in that work.” Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 640 says, “We are responsible for the blessing, the eternal blessing, of all who have lived upon the earth, the uncounted, unnumbered generations of men and women who have lived upon the earth, and all who will yet live upon the earth. How great is our responsibility. We must work a little harder to accomplish it.” That is not so. Family History work is another responsibility for every Latter-day Saint. And we may do it successfully along with all the other responsibilities that rest upon us.
Family History work is not about guilt. We don't do this because we will feel guilty if we don't, nor should we feel guilty for not having it done yet at this time or moving as fast as someone else. This is NOT a race. It is a life long process. When you feel overwhelmed, then you need to stop for the hour or the day or the week (but schedule a time to return to it). Then start again. We ALL feel overwhelmed at times, but like the pioneer – press on. One step at a time. Focus on small tasks that build a strong 4-generation record instead of trying to do a task that overwhelms you. Develop the skills of time management, the attitude of humility and persist in being true to your covenant to turn your heart to your fathers. Start with a covenant and follow that with doing something weekly. We need to feel after our own ancestors. We choose to turn our hearts. As we do we have been promised they will help us in all the affairs of our lives. The spirit will help you do as much and as fast as you can. But you do need to provide the commitment and determination to do this work.
The purpose of family history is to identify our ancestors, link them into families, and provide temple ordinances for them. In the April 1998 general conference, President Gordon B. Hinckley declared: “If temple ordinances are an essential part of the restored gospel, and I testify that they are, then we must provide the means where they can be accomplished. All of our vast family history endeavor is directed to temple work. There is no other purpose for it. The temple ordinances become the crowning blessings the Church has to offer.” (Ensign, May 1998, 88).
Will you please covenant with the Lord that you will turn your heart to your fathers and then that you will provide ordinances for them? And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming. Doctrine & Covenants 2:2-3