Scripture Roundtable 38: D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 34, Faith in Every Footstep

(Originally published on 3 August 2013.)

This is Scripture Roundtable 38 from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #34, “Faith in Every Footstep,” focusing on D&C 136, bringing in various insights to help us better understand the scriptures. These roundtables will generally follow the 2013 Gospel Doctrine schedule of scriptures, a few weeks ahead of time.

Panelists for this roundtable include Martin Tanner and Shon Hopkin.

Some highlights from this roundtable include:

  • Lead yourself out of bondage to a better place in your life.
  • We can learn from the examples of the pioneers.
  • Our journey through life is similar to the journey of the pioneers. They crossed the plains at profound personal sacrifice and often under severe hardship. Demonstrating great faith, courage, and endurance, they set an example for us to follow.

This roundtable is also available as an audio podcast, and will be included in the podcast feed. You can listen by pressing the play button or download the podcast below:


3 thoughts on “Scripture Roundtable 38: D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 34, Faith in Every Footstep

  1. At about 33:00, Martin Tanner says,

    “If you want some type of a tear-jerking episode, take a look at the redress petitions of the Saints who were driven out of Missouri. It would just break your heart, all of those. Some of them are very short and very simple. Some of them are many pages long but there are people who not only lost their physical possessions, but many many lost family members as well. And this was after having already lost placed they lived in prior locations like Kirkland. It was a dramatic time.

    “And if you look into historical context, I think you would be hard pressed ANYWHERE to find a situation where people, because of their religious beliefs — in the United States of America (chuckling) — could be driven out and persecuted, and killed and their property looted on a GRAND scale, on a HORRIBLE scale, in the United States of America —

    “Who else has that happened to?

    “It hasn’t.

    “And it’s quite dramatic and sad.”

    Martin, about 5 million Native Americans, and many non-Natives who know something about American history, might beg to differ with you.

    Not only were the American Indians’ non-Christian ways looked down on by many Americans (not just those in Missouri), but even if they did change their beliefs and convert to mainstream Christianity, Indigenous Americans were persecuted still just for their race.

    At least Mormons got to more or less choose the land they were driven to.

    Of course this doesn’t diminish from your point that the Saints suffered greatly and unjustly at the hands of those who should have been stewards of freedom, not stealers of it…

    But unfortunately the Saints do not have the market cornered when it comes to unjust treatment by the United States of America, so we probably shouldn’t be leaving that impression here.

    That said, as usual I enjoyed the roundtable and very much appreciate the trouble you guys go through to provide them for us.

    • Tanner was strictly speaking about persecution directed at religious beliefs. No doubt the Indians were persecuted in like manner but you can hardly classify that as religious persecution. There were many many other motivations behind the Indian wars and contentions whereas with the Mormons you can say most of the persecution was a direct result of religious beliefs.

      • “Tanner was speaking STRICTLY ABOUT RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. There were many many other motivations behind the Indian wars and contentions whereas with the Mormons you can say most of the persecution was a DIRECT RESULT OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.” (EMPHASIS added).

        Let me say again (as I have at other times in comments on this site) that I love these roundtables, so please do not be defensive about my point.

        Of course religion played a large role in what happened to the Saints in Missouri, but as you well know, the roundtables spent considerable time telling us that:

        1. The Saints (and their religious beliefs) were INITIALLY WELCOME in Missouri.

        2. The resentment by Missourians for the Saints grew as the Saints grew in POLITICAL and ECONOMIC power.

        3. The Saints may have been left alone with their religious beliefs were it not for the “other motivations” Missourians had.

        In other words, the roundtable itself has made it clear that the persecutions were not just “strictly speaking” about religious beliefs, and we should probably be consistent about that.

        By the way, it is interesting to me that there is such eagerness to draw parallels between the early Saints and Biblical Israel, and such apparent reluctance to acknowledge similarities between the Saints and the decedents of Book of Mormon Israel.

        Of course NEITHER comparison is a perfect, one-to-one likeness, but only one of these comparisons offers insights into the plight of the Saints with respect to where the US Government’s head was at the time. The Saints and other minorities lived in a “Might Makes Right” world, right here in the “land choice above all other lands,” and like other groups they suffered greatly because of it.

        Mormons, Africans, Native Americans… the truth is several ethnic groups with shared racial or cultural traditions were unjustly wrenched from their homes and severely mistreated with the blessing of state and US Government. Acknowledging this doesn’t diminish the suffering of any one of these groups. If anything, recognizing this pattern provides another witness that even in America people are capable of government sanctioned cruelties to others.

        I would think that scholars would be at least somewhat open to this perspective and the insights it could offer.

        I guess it’s human nature to feel like our troubles are distinct. The African American spiritual, “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen” has an irony in that its popularity is probably due at least in part to the fact that everyone can relate to that feeling of “no one’s troubles are as bad as mine.”

        Nevertheless, no matter how sure you might be that your broken leg is different from the broken leg your brother had last year, it still makes sense to take a close look at what he went through, in case you come upon an insight that you can benefit from.

        At any rate, thanks for listening, and as always, thank you very much for the trouble you all go through to provide these roundtable discussions. I know I am learning a lot from them.


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