Sometimes the darkest circumstances can lead to the brightest inspiration. On March 20, 1839, after enduring 109 days in the inhumane environment of Liberty Jail, Joseph Smith wrote an epistle to the Church containing extraordinary gems of wisdom. Excerpts from that letter now appear as three sections in the Doctrine and Covenants.
Here are some principles I have learned from these sections, with relevant blog posts:
Doctrine and Covenants 121
- God is always there for us, even when we feel that a pavilion separates us from Him (v. 1-3): The Lord Hath Made Bare His Holy Arm – 3 Nephi 16:18-20.
- The challenges and trials we face will not last forever (v. 7-8): “For a Small Moment…” – 3 Nephi 22:7.
- Our trials can be beneficial to the people who watch us pass through them (v. 8): That the Lord Might Show Forth His Power in Them – Alma 8:30-31.
- Heavenly Father wants to give us knowledge (v. 33): “Revealed…Manifest…Loosed” – 2 Nephi 30:17.
- We must show respect for the people around us and not seek to control them (v. 37): How Can I Be Bold Without Being Overbearing?
- We need to overcome the human tendency to abuse power (v. 39): I Am Like As Yourselves – Mosiah 2:10-11.
- Power and influence can only be maintained over time by persuasion, patience, and sincere love (v. 41-42): They Were Seeking for Power – Alma 46:4, 19-20.
- Sustainable leadership requires humility (v. 41): Blessed Are the Meek – 3 Nephi 12:5.
- Effective admonitions do not require harshness or anger, but they do require a willingness to deliver difficult messages with clarity (v. 41-44): The Nurture and Admonition of the Lord – Enos 1:1.
- Virtue begins with our thoughts (v. 45): Virtue.
- Sustainable leadership does not require “compulsory means” (v. 46): Of Government and Peace – 2 Nephi 19:6-7.
Doctrine and Covenants 122
- The Savior suffered more than we can comprehend to accomplish His Father’s purposes (v. 5-8): The Beatitudes – 3 Nephi 12:3-12.
- Jesus Christ comprehends everything. He has ascended to the highest heights and descended to the lowest depths (v. 8): Ascension, Descension, and Comprehension.
Doctrine and Covenants 123
- We owe it to God and to our children to record the most important events in our lives (v. 7, 9): How Be It That Ye Have Not Written This Thing? – 3 Nephi 23:7-13.
- Without a clear understanding of the truth, we can be “blinded by the subtle craftiness of men” (v. 12): Tossed.
- The apparently small and simple commandments can be the key to our peace and happiness (v. 14-16): Because of the Simpleness of the Way – 1 Nephi 17:41.