Doctrine and Covenants 103

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual, (2001), 176–77


Introduction

By the time section 103 was revealed, the Saints had been expelled from Jackson County. “All this time the cry of the exiled Saints in Missouri was ascending to heaven for the redemption of their homes and for their own release from oppression. In a revelation given to the Prophet February 24, 1834, the Lord made known that the wicked had been permitted to fill up the measure of their iniquities that those who are called after His name might be chastened for a season; because in many things they had not hearkened unto His commandments” (George Q. Cannon, Life of Joseph Smith the Prophet, 172). In section 103 the Lord instructed the Prophet Joseph Smith to organize Zion’s Camp.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

  • Zion will be redeemed after the Saints suffer much tribulation and learn to obey God’s commandments (see D&C 103:1–20; see also D&C 100:13, 15–17).

  • The Lord will redeem Zion with power. He will direct the gathering of the Saints and the purchasing of the land of Zion through His prophet (see D&C 103:15–28; see also D&C 101:17–22).

Additional Resources

  • Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 141–42.

  • Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 248–52.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Video presentation 15, “Zion’s Camp” (21:56), can be used in teaching Doctrine and Covenants 101–5 (see Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Video Guide for teaching suggestions).

Doctrine and Covenants 103:1–28. Zion will be redeemed after the Saints suffer much tribulation and learn to obey God’s commandments. The Lord will redeem Zion with power. He will direct the gathering of the Saints and the purchasing of the land of Zion through His prophet.

(35–40 minutes)

Note: The teaching suggestion for Doctrine and Covenants 105 also deals with Zion’s Camp.

Make a sign that reads Volunteers Needed and post it where students will see it as they enter class. Write on the board the following “headlines” about Jackson County, Missouri, in 1833:

  • Missouri Mobs Drive Hundreds of Mormons from Their Homes

  • Mormons Openly Harassed and Persecuted

  • Printing House Destroyed—Mormon Settlers Lose Property

  • Mormon Refugees Lack Money and Supplies—Many in Ill Health

  • Mormons Seek Help from Government but Find Little Aid

Select stories from pages 132–37 of Church History in the Fulness of Times, and give copies to a few students ahead of time. Have them tell their stories to the class and explain how each illustrates one of the headlines.

Ask: Why do you think the Lord allowed the Saints to be persecuted and driven from their homes? Discuss their responses. Read Doctrine and Covenants 103:3–4 and find two reasons the Lord gave for waiting to redeem Zion. Read the commentary for Doctrine and Covenants 103:1–4 in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325 (p. 248).

Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 103:4–14; 105:1–5. Have them mark passages that tell what the Lord expected of the Missouri Saints and what must happen before He will establish Zion. Discuss their findings. Read Doctrine and Covenants 103:15, and testify that Zion will be redeemed through the Lord’s power.

Ask students how many of them noticed the sign calling for volunteers as they entered the classroom. Read the section heading for Doctrine and Covenants 103 and look for who came to Kirtland seeking help for the Saints in Missouri. Section 103 instructed Joseph Smith how to help the Missouri Saints. After receiving this revelation, the Prophet sought volunteers to march to Zion according to the pattern in verses 30–40. These volunteers were known as Zion’s Camp.

Tell students: Imagine you are living in Kirtland in 1834. One Sunday you attend a meeting in which Church leaders describe the suffering of the Missouri Saints and the Lord’s plan for helping them regain their land. How many of you would volunteer to go with Zion’s Camp?

Have a student read verses 19, 22, 27–28, 30–33, 36. Ask:

  • How would these verses affect your decision whether to go with Zion’s Camp?

  • What motivations might those who went on the camp have had?

  • How many people did the Lord want to go on Zion’s Camp? (see v. 30).

  • Why did the Lord give more than one set of instructions regarding how many men to recruit? (see v. 31).

Share descriptions of how members of Zion’s Camp suffered (see Church History in the Fulness of Times, pp. 143–44). Ask: Would knowing about these difficulties in advance change your mind about volunteering for Zion’s Camp? Discuss the following questions:

  • What persecutions or difficulties hamper the building of Zion in our day?

  • In what ways have you been called to help gather Israel and redeem Zion?

  • How can we live according to the Lord’s counsel in verse 9?

  • How might verses 27–28 apply to us today?

  • What can we learn from the example of those who went on Zion’s Camp?