After arriving in Far West, Missouri, in March 1838, the Prophet Joseph Smith received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 113. In the revelation, the Lord answered questions about passages from the book of Isaiah. Joseph Smith received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 114 on April 17, 1838. In this revelation the Lord directed David W. Patten, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to prepare to serve a mission.
Do you ever struggle to understand what you read in the scriptures?
Some prophecies in the scriptures use symbols that are difficult to understand. In Far West, Missouri, some brethren asked the Prophet Joseph Smith to clarify passages in the book of Isaiah. The Lord’s revealed answers to those questions are recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 113.
In your scripture study journal, list the questions in Doctrine and Covenants 113 and summarize the Lord’s answers.
In Doctrine and Covenants 113:1–2, the meaning of the stem is clear. The following information may help increase your understanding of that symbol: Jesus Christ descended from the house of Jesse, the father of David. The word stem in Isaiah 11:1 is translated from a Hebrew word that refers to the trunk or stump of a tree—either a tree that has been cut down or a tree that has been planted.
Ponder the meanings of the rod and the root, mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants 113:3–6. Consider the following interpretation shared by Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Are we amiss in saying that the prophet here mentioned is Joseph Smith, to whom the priesthood came, who received the keys of the kingdom, and who raised the ensign for the gathering of the Lord’s people in our dispensation? And is he not also the ‘servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power’? (D&C 113:4–6.) Those whose ears are attuned to the whisperings of the Infinite will know the meaning of these things” (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man , 339–40).
What are some things Joseph Smith has done as “a servant in the hands of Christ” (D&C 113:4)?
As you consider the meaning of the roots, study Doctrine and Covenants 113:5–6.
How might the roots represent Joseph Smith?
Complete the following statement of doctrine based on what you learn from verse 6: Joseph Smith received the keys of the kingdom, for and for in the last days. You may want to cross reference verse 6 with Doctrine and Covenants 110:11.
Study Doctrine and Covenants 113:7–10, and complete the following chart:
What should we “put on”?
What does the Lord promise to those who return to Him?
What do you think this means?
What do you think this means to the scattered people of Israel?
In your scripture study journal, list ways the Lord can provide guidance and strength for people who are striving to return to Him.
One person the Lord chose to help strengthen Zion was a man named David W. Patten.
David W. Patten joined the Church on June 15, 1832. He was ordained an Apostle in 1835. He had the gift of healing, and he was a man of great courage and power. He was fearless in his defense of the faith and of the Prophet Joseph Smith. In defending the Saints against the mobs in Missouri, David Patten was known as “Captain Fear Not.” (See Lycurgus A. Wilson, Life of David W. Patten: The First Apostolic Martyr , 5–8, 14–17, 48–49, 62.)
Elder Patten asked the Prophet Joseph Smith to seek a revelation on his behalf. Read Doctrine and Covenants 114:1, looking for what the Lord wanted Elder Patten to do.
In the fall of 1838, six months after the revelation in which Elder Patten was commanded to prepare for a mission, he was involved in the battle at Crooked River, located near the Saints’ settlements in west central Missouri. On October 25, 1838, mobs attacked the homes of some of the Saints, ordering the members to leave the state and taking three men prisoners. On hearing the report that the mob intended to murder the prisoners that night, the Saints’ militia organized two groups to rescue the prisoners. Elder David W. Patten led one of the groups. Near dawn, as Elder Patten’s company approached the Crooked River to cross, members of the mob, who had been hiding nearby, opened fire. A quick fight ensued, and several men on each side were wounded, including Elder Patten.
Elder Patten died several hours later. His faith in the restored gospel was such that he had once expressed to the Prophet Joseph Smith a desire to die the death of a martyr. “The Prophet, greatly moved, expressed extreme sorrow, ‘for,’ said he to David, ‘when a man of your faith asks the Lord for anything, he generally gets it.’” At Elder Patten’s funeral in Far West, two days after the battle, Joseph Smith eulogized him: “There lies a man that has done just as he said he would—he has laid down his life for his friends.” (See Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Manual, 2nd ed. [Church Educational System manual, 2003], 199–200; quoting Life of David W. Patten, 53; History of the Church, 3:175).
At the time Elder Patten died, he was preparing himself, through his faithfulness, to serve a mission. He was also concerned about his fellow Saints, including some members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who had not been faithful. When he was on his deathbed, he exclaimed, “O that they were in my situation! For I feel that I have kept the faith, I have finished my course, henceforth there is laid up for me a crown, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me [see 2 Timothy 4:7–8].” To his wife, he said, “Whatever you do else, O do not deny the faith” (quoted by Heber C. Kimball, in Life of David W. Patten, 69).
One truth we can learn from David Patten’s experience is that if we heed the Lord’s direction, we will be prepared for whatever He has planned for us.
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: When have you followed the Lord’s counsel and found that it prepared you for something you had not expected? If you have not had this experience, discuss the question with a family member or friend. Write what you learn from him or her.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 114:2, looking for what the Lord said will happen when some people deny His name. (In this verse, the term bishopric refers to a person’s responsibility, not to a bishop and his counselors. See Psalm 109:9; Acts 1:20; Bible Dictionary, “Bishop.”)
When some members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles did not remain faithful, others were called to serve in their places. These new Apostles included John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff, who faithfully served missions in England and brought thousands of souls to the knowledge of the restored gospel.
In your scripture study journal, write a short paragraph describing what you can do to follow the Lord’s counsel and fulfill the expectations He has for you.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 113–14 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: