Doctrine & Covenants/Church History
“This Is My Voice unto All”
Husbands and wives should support and comfort each other.
We should be meek and avoid pride.
We should rejoice and be of good cheer.
A study of this lesson will help us learn to apply in our own lives the
instructions the Lord has revealed to other individuals in the scriptures.
Scripture references for study:
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 10 Handout (PDF)
Five days after the organization of the Church, Oliver Cowdery preached
the first public discourse to a small gathering of believers in the home
of Peter Whitmer.
Six new members were baptized after the service.
The following Sunday Oliver baptized seven more, bringing the total membership
of the Church to about 20.
Later in April 1830 Joseph Smith went to Colesville, New York, to visit the
Joseph Knight family.
The Prophet and Joseph Knight had become friends during Joseph's earlier
visits to the Colesville and Harmony area. Joseph Knight had assisted
Joseph, Emma, and Oliver with food and other supplies during the translation.
While in Colesville, they held several meetings which were well attended
by the Knights and some of their neighbors.
At one of these meetings Joseph asked Joseph Knight's son, Newel, to pray.
Newel said that he would wait until later and go into the woods and pray
Newel went out into the woods to pray by himself, but felt uneasy and hurried
home. He asked his wife to call for the Prophet.
Joseph said: "I went and found him suffering very
much in his mind, and his body acted upon in a very strange manner; his
visage and limbs distorted and twisted in every shape and appearance possible
to imagine; and finally he was caught up off the floor of the apartment,
and tossed about most fearfully." (HC, 1:82)
Joseph was finally able to get a hand on him. Newel asked Joseph to
cast the devil from him. By this time several of the neighbors had gathered
to see what was happening. Joseph responded to Newels request. He wrote:
replied, 'If you know that I can, it shall be done;' and then almost unconsciously
I rebuked the devil, and commanded him in the name of Jesus Christ to depart
from him; when immediately Newel spoke out and said that he saw the devil
leave him and vanish from his sight. This was the first miracle which was
done in the Church..." (HC, 1:83)
Newel gave the following account: "I now began to feel a most
pleasing sensation resting upon me, and immediately the visions of heaven
were opened to my view. I felt myself attracted upward, and remained for
some time enwrapt in contemplation, insomuch that I knew not what was going
on in the room. By and by, I felt some weight pressing upon my shoulder
and the side of my head, which served to recall me to a sense of my situation,
and I found that the Spirit of the Lord had actually caught me up off the
floor and that my shoulder and head were resting upon the beams."
Many who witnessed this miracle later joined the Church.
The first conference of the Church.
June 9, 1830: The first conference of Church was held at the Whitmer
home in Fayette.
It was a gathering of about thirty members and many investigators.
Several were ordained to priesthood offices.
At the conclusion of the conference David Whitmer baptized eleven persons
in Seneca Lake.
Arrests and Trials.
After the conference, Joseph, Oliver, and others returned to Colesville.
There were many that desired to be baptized in the Colesville area. A stream near Joseph Knight's home was dammed. During the night, men opposed
to Joseph Smith tore out the dam.
The following morning the brethren repaired the dam and thirteen were baptized,
including Emma Smith.
That night, during a confirmation meeting at the Knight home, a constable
appeared and arrested the Prophet on a charge of being a disorderly person
and setting the country in an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon.
Joseph said: "The constable informed me, soon
after I had been arrested, that the plan of those who had got the warrant
was to get me into the hands of the mob, who were now lying in ambush for
me; but that he was determined to save me from them, as he had found me
to be a different sort of person from what I had been represented to him."
When they came to the mob, wrote the Prophet, "to their
great disappointment, he gave the horse the whip, and drove me out of their
One of the wheels came off of the wagon and they got it back on just in
time to get away from the mob.
The constable took Joseph to South Bainbridge (New York), where they lodged
for the night. The Prophet wrote that the constable "slept
during the night with his feet against the door, and a loaded musket by his
side, whilst I occupied a bed which was in the room."
His enemies were unable to get a conviction of the Prophet in court the following day.
Before Joseph was released from court, a warrant was served on him from
The arresting officer did not treat the prophet as kindly as the previous
Joseph was brought before trial in Colesville, where once again he was
Consider the testimony of Newel Knight before the court at Colesville (see
Mr. Knight was sworn, and Mr. Seymour interrogated him as follows:
"Did the prisoner, Joseph Smith, Jun., cast the devil out of you?"
"Why, have not you had the devil cast out of you?"
"And had not Joe Smith some hand in its being done? "
"And did not he cast him out of you?"
"No, sir; it was done by the power of God, and Joseph Smith was
the instrument in the hands of God, on the occasion. He commanded him to
come out of me in the name of Jesus Christ."
"And are you sure that it was the devil?"
"Did you see him after he was cast out of you?"
"Yes sir! I saw him."
"Pray, what did he look like?"
Here one of my lawyers informed the witness that he need not answer
the question. The witness replied: "I believe I need not answer your last
question, but I will do it, provided I be allowed to ask you one question
first, and you answer me, viz., Do you, Mr. Seymour, understand the things
of the spirit?
"No," answered Mr. Seymour, "I do not pretend to such big things.'
"Well, then," replied Knight, "it would be of no use to tell you
what the devil looked like, for it was a spiritual sight, and spiritually
discerned; and of course you would not understand it were I to tell you
The lawyer dropped his head, whilst the loud laugh of the audience
proclaimed his discomfiture.
The officer who arrested the Prophet apologized to Joseph
for his arrest and offered to help him escape to safety. The mob had plans to tar and
feather him and railride him out of town.
During the month of July (1830) Joseph labored, with Oliver's assistance,
on his farm in Harmony.
Persecution had increased and these leaders of the new church had to seek safety in partial
It was during this period that the Prophet received a revelation directed
to Emma, now D&C 25. One can only imagine the feelings
of Emma prior to the reception of this revelation. There had been nothing
routine about her life since marrying Joseph. Maybe she thought that
after the plates had been translated and the Church organized, she
and Joseph would find some peace from the world. As the above history
shows, such was not the case. At this time the Lord blessed Emma
with words of comfort and counsel. Consider the comfort and beauty
in these opening words of the revelation:
"Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God,
while I speak unto you, Emma Smith, my daughter; for verily I say unto
you, all those who receive my gospel are sons and daughters in my kingdom.
"A revelation I give unto
you concerning my will; and if thou art faithful and walk in the paths
of virtue before me, I will preserve thy life, and thou shalt receive an
inheritance in Zion.
"Behold, thy sins are forgiven
thee, and thou art an elect lady, whom I have called." (D&C
It is important to note that though this revelation was directed specifically
to Emma, the principles apply to us all. As the Lord has often said,
"what I say unto one I say unto all" (D&C 61:36). And
as Nephi wrote, "for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might
be for our profit and learning" (1 Nephi 19:23).
For additional background information on Section 25, see
Revelations in Context at LDS.org.
Husbands And Wives Should Support And Comfort Each
"And the office of thy calling shall be for a
comfort unto my servant, Joseph Smith, Jun., thy husband, in his afflictions,
with consoling words, in the spirit of meekness" (v5).
WHAT PRINCIPLE IS THE LORD TEACHING?
Husbands and wives should support each other during times of difficulty. In this modern world, with a divorce rate near 50%, too often the challenges
of life drive husbands and wives apart. The Lord is teaching a higher
Comfort your spouse when times are difficult.
Rather than criticize, speak consoling words in a spirit of meekness.
Joseph Smith taught that wives should treat their husbands "with
mildness and affection. When a man is borne down with trouble, when he
is perplexed with care and difficulty, if he can meet a smile instead of
an argument or a murmur—if he can meet with mildness, it will calm down
his soul and soothe his feelings; when the mind is going to despair, it
needs a solace of affection and kindness." (TPJS, p228)
Joseph Smith: "It is the duty of a husband
to love, cherish, and nourish his wife, and cleave unto her and none else;
he ought to honor her as himself, and he ought to regard her feelings with
tenderness." (Elders’ Journal, Aug 1838, p62)
Joseph and Emma were a great support to each other through the many years
of challenge and affliction. In 1842, Joseph was in hiding because
his life was in danger. Joseph wrote his feeling about Emma's visit during
this period: "With what unspeakable delight,
and what transports of joy swelled my bosom, when I took by the hand, on
that night, my beloved Emma—she that was my wife, even the wife of my youth,
and the choice of my heart. Many were the reverberations of my mind when
I contemplated for a moment the many scenes we had been called to pass
through, the fatigues and the toils, the sorrows and sufferings, and the
joys and consolations, from time to time, which had strewed our paths.
… Oh what a commingling of thought filled my mind for the moment, again
she is here, … undaunted, firm, and unwavering—unchangeable, affectionate
Emma!" (HC, 5:107).
Heber C. Kimball and his beloved wife, Vilate, were often separated during
the early years of the Church. They provided great comfort to each
other through their letters. Consider the feelings of Heber in a
letter written while serving a mission in England. A few phrases
from that letter:
"My Dear Vilate: I feel to rejoice to hear
from you once more."
"I felt to rejoice at hearing from you, that you
are still alive and in good spirits, and to hear of the good times that
you have in Nauvoo, and the good tidings that President Smith is laying
before the Saints."
"I have no desire for anything else but to press
forward for the celestial world. I don't expect to find much rest
this side of that, but I feel to prepare for the worst and hope for the
better. I have strong sensations of what is coming on the earth."
"Now, my dear Vilate, be of good cheer, for all
things will go well; and pray much, and hearken to counsel from those that
are over you. My love to all of the Saints in Christ. Remember
me to my little children, and kiss them for me. Oh, how I want to
see you all! I am your husband forever, H. C. KIMBALL." (see
Life of Heber C. Kimball, pp298-301)
The Prophet's mother, Lucy Mack Smith, gave the following tribute of Emma:
have never seen a woman in my life, who would endure every species of fatigue
and hardship, from month to month, and from year to year, with that unflinching
courage, zeal, and patience, which she has ever done; for I know that which
she had had to endure. … She has breasted the storms of persecution, and
buffeted the rage of men and devils, which would have borne down almost
any other woman" (History of Joseph Smith, pp190-91).
The Prophet, a busy man with an important mission, took time to serve and
LaMar C. Berrett: "When Emma was
ill, Joseph took personal care of her. Perhaps he could have hired nurse
Jane Johnson to take care of Emma. Or perhaps his mother could have taken
care of her; but Joseph's journal entries indicate that he played the role
of nurse himself, and this at a time when he was, as usual, extremely busy.
Joseph's writings further attest to his love and care for Emma: 'Emma began
to be sick with fever; consequently I kept in the house with her all day.'
'Emma is no better. I was with her all day.' 'Emma was a little better.
I was with her all day.' The entries go on and on. He spent much
time with Emma when she was ill, caring for his wife tenderly and lovingly.
Mercy Thompson said, 'I saw him [Joseph] by the bed-side of Emma, his wife,
in sickness, exhibiting all the solicitude and sympathy possible for the
tenderest of hearts and the most affectionate of natures to feel'."
(The Prophet Joseph Smith: Essays on the Life and Mission of Joseph Smith,
IN WHAT WAYS CAN WE BETTER SUPPORT EACH OTHER, PARTICULARLY WHEN TIMES
"Let thy soul delight in thy husband, and the
glory which shall come upon him" (v14).
HOW CAN SPOUSES SHOW THAT THEY DELIGHT IN EACH OTHER?
LaMar C. Berrett: "Joseph's journal
tells of riding horses often with Emma. He also tells of going in
a sleigh with her. He records how well Emma fed him: 'I took dinner
in the north room, and was remarking to Brother Phelps what a kind, provident
wife I had,—that when I wanted a little bread and milk, she would load
the table with so many good things, it would destroy my appetite'."
The Prophet demonstrated in his own life that couples "delight" in each
other by doing things together and by doing things for each other.
Emma Smith (Emma Hale Smith), (see
Be Meek & Avoid Pride
The Lord counsels Emma about pride: "Continue
in the spirit of meekness, and beware of pride" (D&C 25:14).
Other latter day warnings from the Lord:
To Oliver Cowdery: "...beware of pride,
lest thou shouldst enter into temptation" (D&C 23:1).
As history records, pride caused the eventual apostasy by Oliver.
To the Saints: "...beware of pride, lest
ye become as the Nephites of old" (D&C 38:39).
To the First Presidency: "...be admonished
in all your high-mindedness and pride, for it bringeth a snare upon your
souls" (D&C 90:17).
WHAT IS PRIDE?
President Ezra Taft Benson: "Pride is a very misunderstood
sin, and many are sinning in ignorance. . . . Most of us think of pride
as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness. All of these are elements of the sin, but the heart, or core, is still
"The central feature of pride is
enmity-enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means 'hatred
toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.'....
"Pride is essentially
competitive in nature. We pit our will against God's. . . . The proud cannot accept the authority of God giving direction to their
lives. (See Hel. 12:6.) They pit their perceptions of truth against
God's great knowledge, their abilities versus God's priesthood power, their
accomplishments against His mighty works.
"Our enmity toward
God takes on many labels, such as rebellion, hardheartedness, stiff-neckedness,
unrepentant, puffed up, easily offended, and sign seekers. The proud
wish God would agree with them. They aren't interested in changing
their opinions to agree with God's.
"Another major portion of this very
prevalent sin of pride is enmity toward our fellowmen. . . . It is manifest in
so many ways, such as fault-finding, gossiping, backbiting, murmuring, living
beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might
lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous....
one of the more common faces of pride....
face of pride is contention. Arguments, fights, unrighteous dominion, generation
gaps, divorces, spouse abuse, riots, and disturbances all fall into this
category of pride." (Ensign, May 1989, pp4-6)
WHY DO YOU THINK THE LORD'S WARNINGS ABOUT PRIDE ARE SO STRONG AND FREQUENT?
We have the scriptural history of the ancient Israelites, the Nephites,
and the Jaredites. Each show the consequences of falling in to pride
as described by President Benson. In the case of the Nephites and
the Jaredites, their civilizations were destroyed as a result of their
Joseph Smith: "If there are any among you
who aspire after their own aggrandizement, and seek their own opulence,
while their brethren are groaning in poverty, and are under sore trials
and temptations, they cannot be benefited by the intercession of the Holy
Spirit, which maketh intercession for us day and night with groanings that
cannot be uttered." (HC, 3:299)
Consider the case of Oliver Cowdery, he who was with the Prophet at virtually
every important moment during the Restoration. In September 1837,
in a general letter to the brethren, the Prophet stated that Oliver Cowdery "had been in transgression," but he hoped that Oliver would humble himself
and magnify his calling. Oliver did not follow the counsel of Joseph. In April
1838, charges were presented to the high council at Far West and Oliver Cowdery was ex-communicated from the Church. After his ex-communication,
he expected Joseph to come with an offer of reconciliation. When this did
not occur, Oliver stayed aloof from the Church for more than ten years. Oliver's experience should stand as a solemn warning to every member about
the results of pride.
Elder George A. Smith tells of the incident that led to the apostasy of
Thomas Marsh, then president of the Twelve.
"When the Saints were living in Far West, the
wife of Marsh and Sister Harris agreed to exchange milk, in order to enable
each of them to make a larger cheese than they could do separately.
Each was to take the other the 'strippings' as well as the rest of the
milk. Mrs. Harris performed her part of the agreement, but Mrs. Marsh
kept a pint of 'strippings' from each cow. When this became known
the matter was brought before the Teachers, and these decided against Mrs.
Marsh. An appeal was taken to the Bishop. He sustained the
Teachers. If Marsh had obeyed the Revelation and governed his house
in humility and with steadfastness, he would have righted the wrong done,
but instead of doing so, he appealed to the High Council. Marsh,
who at the time was President of the Twelve, possibly thought that the
Council would favor him, but that body confirmed the Bishop's decision. He was not yet satisfied, but appealed to the First Presidency, and Joseph,
the Prophet, and his two Counsellors consented to review the case. They approved the finding of the High Council. Was Marsh satisfied then? No. With the persistency of Lucifer himself, he declared that he would
uphold the character of his wife, 'even if he had to go to hell for it'."
(quoted in Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, p167)
Brother Marsh was excommunicated on 17 March 1839. "In
1857 Thomas traveled through Iowa and Nebraska. Wandle Mace described
him as 'an old man, a stranger carrying a satchel and wearing a black waterproof
coat to shield him from the storm … [with a] palsied frame.' He also
recorded what Thomas said was his greatest desire: 'I want to die in the
Church. Oh, if I could see Joseph, and talk with him and acknowledge my
faults to him, and get his forgiveness from him … then I would die happy'"
(Who's Who in the Doctrine & Covenants, p188). Brother Marsh
came west with the Walker company in 1857, being rebaptized after arriving
in Salt Lake. What a sad lesson to learn because of a little pride. Eighteen years away from the Church over milk strippings.
HOW CAN WE OVERCOME PRIDE AND CULTIVATE A SPIRIT OF MEEKNESS?
President Ezra Taft Benson: "The antidote for
pride is humility—meekness, submissiveness (see Alma 7:23). It is the broken
heart and contrite spirit.… We can choose to humble ourselves by loving God,
submitting our will to His, and putting Him first in our lives"
(Ensign, May 1989, pp6-7). The examples of Oliver Cowdery and Thomas
Marsh teach us how careful we must be or we will be consumed, possibly
destroyed, by pride.
The blessings of humility.
"And inasmuch as they were humble they might be
made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time
to time" (D&C 1:28).
"Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in
the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me" (D&C
"Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead
thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers" (D&C
"Let my servant William Law also receive the keys
by which he may ask and receive blessings; let him be humble before me,
and be without guile, and he shall receive of my Spirit, even the Comforter,
which shall manifest unto him the truth of all things, and shall give him,
in the very hour, what he shall say" (D&C 124:97).
Rejoice And Be Of Good Cheer
The Lord said to Emma, "Wherefore, lift up thy
heart and rejoice" (D&C 25:13).
Other similar admonitions in the Doctrine & Covenants:
"Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I
am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father" (D&C
"Be of good cheer, little children; for I am in
your midst, and I have not forsaken you" (D&C 61:36).
"Be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the
Lord am with you, and will stand by you" (D&C 68:6).
"Ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless,
be of good cheer, for I will lead you along" (D&C 78:18).
"If thou art sorrowful, call on the Lord thy God
with supplication, that your souls may be joyful" (D&C 136:29).
WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE THE LORD REMINDS US TO BE GLAD AND TO BE OF GOOD CHEER?
During this mortal probation we are subject to ill health, discouragement,
temptation, tragedy, and other such things. If we dwell on the negative and
become discouraged, our life will be one of unhappiness and our eternal
salvation could be in jeopardy. The gospel is a gospel of joy. The atoning sacrifice of our Savior gives us hope
for forgiveness and redemption. The eternal plan makes possible the eternal bonding of loved ones.
The blessings of the Spirit provide peace to the soul. Indeed, as
Lehi stated, "men are, that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:25).
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "Faithful saints
feel great delight and are uplifted in body and in spirit because of the
blessings of the gospel. Theirs is a status of joy and rejoicing which
comes because of obedience to gospel law." (Mormon Doctrine,
Elder Marvin J. Ashton: "None of us will
escape tragedy and suffering. Each of us will probably react differently.
However, if we can recall the Lord's promise, ‘for I the Lord am with you,’
we will be able to face our problems with dignity and courage. We will
find the strength to be of good cheer instead of becoming resentful, critical,
or defeated. We will be able to meet life's unpleasant happenings with
clear vision, strength, and power. …
"What a joy it is to see
someone of good cheer, who, when others because of an unpleasant happening
or development live in angry silence or vocal disgust, meets the situation
with cheerful endurance and good spirits." (Ensign, May 1986,
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Record your thoughts on the teachings from this lesson. What specific
things did you learn that you might more fully incorporate in your life?
Resources Used In This Lesson
Doctrine and Covenants Commentary by Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl.
Elders' Journal of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Volume 1.
History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, Lucy Mack Smith.
History of the Church (HC).
Life of Heber C. Kimball by Orson F. Whitney.
Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie.
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (TPJS).
The Prophet Joseph Smith: Essays on the Life and Mission of Joseph Smith edited
by Larry C. Porter and Susan Easton Black.
Who's Who in the Doctrine & Covenants by Susan Easton Black.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
09 January 2017