This is Scripture Roundtable 20 from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #16, “Thou Shalt … Offer Up Thy Sacraments upon My Holy Day,” covering scriptures in D&C 59, 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.
From June 3 to June 6, 18311 the fourth conference of the Church was held in a log school house on the property of Isaac Morely in Kirtland, Ohio. Right after this conference Joseph Smith received a revelation2 to send forth missionaries throughout the Western States (what was then the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri) preaching the gospel and building up congregations unto the Lord. The elders were assigned to labor in pairs as they journeyed to “the borders of the Lamanites” on the western end of Missouri.3 By revelation, the Lord indicated that the elders were to hold a conference once they arrived in the land of Missouri. Continue reading →
This conference had been convened based on revelation given to Joseph Smith in February 1831 and is now found in Section 44 of the Doctrine & Covenants. ↩
This revelation is found in Section 52 of the Doctrine & Covenants. ↩
The land of Missouri marked the furthest western border of the United States at that time. What lay beyond was the Indian territory which had been the site of the first organized mission of the Church during the winter of 1831. Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer were the four missionaries so designated by revelation (D&C 30 & 32) to preach the gospel among the Lamanites. For a fascinating account of their journey and success see The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, Revised and Enhanced Edition, edited by Scot Facer Proctor & Maurine Jensen Proctor (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), chapters 6-8. ↩