Understanding the Scriptures
Doctrine and Covenants 71
|Allay(section heading)||Ease, reduce|
|Expedient(v. 1)||Appropriate, desirable|
|Confound(v. 7)||Put to silence, defeat, confuse|
Doctrine and Covenants 71:1–8—When Should We “Confound [Our] Enemies”?
Ezra Booth, a former Methodist minister who joined the Church after witnessing a healing, turned apostate and wrote nine letters against the Church. The letters, published in theOhio Starat Ravenna, Ohio, were very critical, and the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote that they, “by their coloring, falsity, and vain calculations to overthrow the work of the Lord, exposed his [Booth’s] weakness, wickedness and folly, and left him a monument of his own shame, for the world to wonder at” (History of the Church,1:217). Booth was not the first to apostatize, but he was the first Church member to write and publish anti-Mormon materials.
The agitation caused by Ezra Booth had grown so serious that on December 1, 1831, the Lord called Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon from their work of translation to proclaim the gospel to the world in power and demonstration. “Sometimes it is wise to ignore the attacks of the wicked; at other times it is necessary to meet them, fearlessly and with ability” (Smith and Sjodahl,Doctrine and Covenants Commentary,423).
Studying the Scriptures
Do activity A as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 71.
Look for the Details
How would they know what to say? (v. 1).
What have you noticed in the history of the Church from the time of Joseph Smith until now that illustrates the truth of what the Lord promised in verses 9–11?