After fleeing persecution in Missouri, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rallied in Illinois. By January 1841, they had purchased a small town, renamed it Nauvoo, and begun turning it into a city. The state legislature had authorized them to pass their own laws, establish a militia, and build a university. (See Alex D. Smith, “Organizing the Church in Nauvoo,” Revelations in Context.)
At this time, Joseph Smith received an expansive revelation emphasizing the global nature of the Church’s mission (Doctrine and Covenants 124). In that revelation, the Lord instructed the Church to do three big things:
- Write a proclamation to the leaders of all nations, inviting them to contribute to the work of the Lord (v. 1-17).
- Build a temple, so that church members would have an appropriate place to participate in priesthood ordinances (v. 26-55)
- Build a boarding house, called the Nauvoo House, to be “a resting-place for the weary traveler, that he may contemplate the glory of Zion” (v. 22-25, 56-122).
The Lord also invited a number of people to help fund the Nauvoo House by buying stock, and He clarified the names of church officers. In all, sixty people are named in this revelation, and many of them are given specific feedback and guidance.
Here are some of the principles I’ve learned from this revelation, with relevant blog posts:
- Some sacred activities can only be done in a sacred place (v. 38-39): What Offering Will the Sons of Levi Make in Righteousness?
- The Savior can guide us in safety as we do His work (v,. 98-99): The Great Commission.
- The gospel of Jesus Christ is so important that God wants His servants to share it openly and with conviction (v. 101): Spare Not.
- Sometimes the Lord gives us a limited responsibility so that we can demonstrate that we can be trusted with a greater one (v. 113): Entrusted.