Doctrine and Covenants 115: The Temple at Far West

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 131–132


“The Saints in northern Missouri industriously planted crops and built log houses throughout the summer [of 1838], and prospects for peace appeared good. They still hoped for eventual reconciliation with the citizens of Jackson County so that they could return to their center place, but in the meantime they intended to prosper where they were. By revelation, Far West was to become a temple city (D&C 115:7), and the following spring, the Quorum of the Twelve would dedicate the temple site before departing on a mission to Great Britain (D&C 118:4). Revelation in Far West also prescribed the formal name of the Church, ‘even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ (D&C 115:4), and established the tithing system, which continues to provide financial stability to the Church and to bless its members (D&C 119, 120)” (in Daniel H. Ludlow, ed.,Encyclopedia of Mormonism,5 vols. [1992], 2:926).

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 115

Standard(v. 5)Symbol, such as a flag or banner 
Refuge(v. 6)Shelter, safe place 
Re-commence(v. 11)Begin again 

Doctrine and Covenants 115:1—Who Were the Prophet Joseph Smith’s Counselors?

“At a conference held at Kirtland, Ohio, on 3 September 1837, Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith, Sr., Hyrum Smith, and John Smith were sustained as assistant counselors.

“At the time the revelation inDoctrine and Covenants 115was given, however, only Joseph Smith, Sr., and John Smith were serving as assistant counselors (26 April 1838). Hyrum Smith had taken the place of Frederick G. Williams in the First Presidency, and Oliver Cowdery had lost his membership in the Church.” (Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual[Religion 324–25, 1981], 286).

Doctrine and Covenants 115:14—Why Was a Temple Never Built at Far West, Missouri?

“At this time [April 1838] there were about 150 houses at Far West, and among them were stores, hotels, and a fine school house. The City had sprung up, as by magic, in the midst of a rolling prairie. …

“The corner stones of the Temple were laid on the 4th of July, 1838. … Little else was done, however, for the storm of persecution broke loose in all its fury, and the Saints at that place went into exile again” (Smith and Sjodahl,Doctrine and Covenants Commentary,742; also photo 11 in the appendix of the triple combination).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A or B as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 115.

Activity A iconExplain Each Word

Consider each word in the full name of the Church, as given inDoctrine and Covenants 115:4. In your notebook, explain why each word is important and what it tells the world about the Church.

Activity B iconWrite a Letter

Suppose a friend expressed concern about the future and how unstable and frightening the world is getting. In your notebook, write a letter to that friend, acknowledging his or her concerns and using what you learn inDoctrine and Covenants 115:4–6to explain what we can do to find safety in the hard times ahead.