To make the points that I am now going to try to make in my message to you, I have drawn directly upon the revelatory words that came from the lips of Joseph Smith during this heartbreaking time, words that we now have canonized as sacred scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants. 5. Just at the time he felt most alone and distant from heaven’s ear was the very time he received the wonderful ministration of the Spirit and wonderful, glorious answers that came from his Father in Heaven. Let me push this just a little further. So if the Savior faced such injustices and discouragements, such persecutions, unrighteousness, and suffering, we cannot expect that we are not going to face some of that if we still intend to call ourselves His true disciples and faithful followers. God is our Father, Jesus is the Christ, and this is the true and living gospelï»¿âfound in this, the true and living Church. . Art thou greater than he?â (D&C 122:8). We must continue to believe, continue to have faith, continue to pray and plead with heaven, even if we feel for a time our prayers are not heard and that God has somehow gone away. It had two stories. The LDS Church News Web site has the full transcript of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's recent Church Educational Fireside, \"Lessons Learned From Liberty Jail.\" Todd A. Knowles, “Lessons from Liberty Jail,” in Religious Educator 3, no. 7. And when we weep He and the angels of heaven weep with us. He does love us. I testify that bad days come to an end, that faith always triumphs, and that heavenly promises are always kept. In fact, the restricting brutality and injustice of this experience at Liberty would make it seem the very antithesis of the liberating, merciful spirit of our temples and the ordinances that are performed in them. 10. Letter to Emma Smith, Mar. That was the Saviorâs message in the parable of the importuning widow (see Luke 18:1â8; see also Luke 11:5â10). "In this final canonized statement of the Liberty Jail experience, the Lord says to us through His prophet, Joseph Smith: 'Therefore, dearly beloved brethren [and sisters, when we are in even the most troubling of times], let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed. President Joseph Fielding Smith, grandnephew of the Prophet Joseph and grandson of the incarcerated Hyrum, said something even stronger than that when he dedicated the Liberty Jail Visitors’ Center in 1963. And when we promise to follow the Savior, to walk in His footsteps and be His disciples, we are promising to go where that divine path leads us. When we are in dire circumstances and want to cry “Where art Thou?” it is imperative that we remember He is right there with us—where He has always been! He does see us. Jeffrey R. Holland was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ . Church Leaders in Liberty Jail Author Leonard J. Arrington When war between the Latter-day Saints and "the Missouri mob" seemed inevitable in October 1838, five Church officials approached the camp of General Samuel D. Lucas, commander of the Missouri Militia, … Full scale cut away model of Liberty Jail, courtesy Visual Resource Library, Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail Â© Liz Lemon Swindle, Foundation Arts, may not be copied, Christ Before Pilate: Behold the Man by Marcus Vincent, courtesy Church History Museum, Family Visits in Liberty Jail Â© Joseph Brickey, may not be copied. Liberty Jail is a historical jail in Liberty, Missouri, United States, which served as the county jail of Clay County, Missouri between 1823 and 1853. 22, 1839, in Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, comp. Some are … We must continue to believe, continue to have faith, continue to pray and plead with heaven, even if we feel for a time our prayers are not heard and that God has somehow gone away. How I love the majesty of these elegant, celestial teachings taught, ironically, in such a despicable setting and time. 463, 464; spelling and capitalization standardized. Similar lessons are coming. 3. Keep knocking on that door. We may face persecution; we may endure heartache and separation from loved ones; we may be hungry and cold and forlorn. 26 LETTER WRITTEN BY JOSEPH SMITH WHILE IN LIBERTY JAIL. But they could, and they did. Letter to the Church in Caldwell County, Dec. 16, 1838; “Communications,” Times and Seasons, April 1840, p. 85. The jail, one of the few and certainly one of the more forbidding of such structures in that region, was considered escape proof, and it probably was. I testify that heavenâs kindness will never depart from you, regardless of what happens (see Isaiah 54:7â10; see also 3Â Nephi 22:7â10). So do thousands of others who spend their days wandering the streets glassy-eyed and dirty. In the middle of that floor was a trapdoor through which prisoners were then lowered into the lower floor or dungeon. Article by BYU Speeches. He does love us. . Therefore, even when we face such distressing circumstances in our life and there is something in us that wants to strike out at God or man or friend or foe, we must remember that âno power or influence can or ought to be maintained â¦ [except] by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; â¦ without hypocrisy, and without guileâ (D&C 121:41â42; emphasis added). 1, p. 521; see also p. 526. But sometimes suffering comes to the righteous too. What lessons does Joseph Smith's experience in Liberty Jail teach us about God's love? . . Lessons from Liberty Jail: A Prison and a Temple - BYU Speeches. And then we can justifiably turn to the Lord, wait upon His mercy, and see His arm revealed in our behalf. Combined, these walls made a formidable, virtually impenetrable barrier 4 feet thick. And then we can justifiably turn to the Lord, wait upon His mercy, and see His arm revealed in our behalf. Lessons from Liberty Jail My beloved young friends, it is a thrill for Sister Holland and for me to be with you tonight for this worldwide satellite broadcast. Surely the classic example of this is that in the most painful hours of the Crucifixion the Savior could say, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). The Saints, too, were without homes and without their prophet. As a valedictory to the lessons from Liberty Jail, I refer to the last verse of the last section of these three we have been referring to tonight. â¦ How long shall thy hand be stayedÂ â¦Â ? They are contained in a mere six pages of text, but those six pages touch our hearts with their beauty and their power. By Jeffrey R. Holland (BS ’65) in the Winter 2009 Issue. He is ninety-one years old. What a magnificent attitude to maintain in good times or bad, in sorrow or in joy! For further understanding of this revelation, read Within the Walls of Liberty Jail. I testify that the Father and the Son live and that They are close, perhaps even closest via the Holy Spirit, when we are experiencing difficult times. Yes, before our lives are over we may all be given a little taste of what the prophets faced often in their lives. It has always been a wonderful testimony to me of the Prophet Josephâs greatness and the greatness of all of our prophets, including and especially the Savior of the world in His magnificence, that in the midst of such distress and difficulty they could remain calm and patient, charitable and forgivingï»¿âthat they could even talk that way, let alone live that way. Letter to Emma Smith, April 4, 1839, in Personal Writings, pp. I’ve just said that hard times can happen to us. . Elder Jeffrey R. Holland - Lessons from Liberty Jail. They were leaving Missouri, heading for Illinois, but who knew what tragedies were awaiting them there? The height of the dungeon in Liberty Jail was barely six feet. We don’t have to seek to be martyrs. . It began with his hasty departure from Kirtland, Ohio, the evening of 12 January “to escape mob violence”  and ended with his incarceration in the … No. Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 3:290. 3:40. (See Isa. Editorial inquiries and submissions: email@example.com. Keep pleading. Use our Feedback Form to let us know what you think. The best company that has ever lived. After being driven from several counties in the state and under the presumption they had been invited to discuss ways of defusing the volatile situation, five leaders of the Church, including the Prophet Joseph, marching under a flag of truce, approached the camp of the Missouri militia near the small settlement of Far West, located in Caldwell County. Even though seemingly unjust circumstances may be heaped upon us and even though unkind and unmerited things may be done to us—perhaps by those we consider enemies but also, in some cases, by those whom we thought were friends—nevertheless, through it all, God is with us. No, Joseph was not greater than the Savior, and neither are we. Yet in these cold, lonely hours, Joseph says let us do all we can and do it cheerfully. I testify that heaven’s kindness will never depart from you, regardless of what happens (see Isa. People also love these ideas These difficult lessons teach us that man’s extremity is God’s opportunity, and if we will be humble and faithful, if we will be believing and not curse God for our problems, He can turn the unfair and inhumane and debilitating prisons of our lives into temples—or at least into a circumstance that can bring comfort and revelation, divine companionship and peace.
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