When what has to be has been and when what lessons to be learned have been learned, it will be for us as it was for the Prophet Joseph. We don’t have to look for sorrow. . 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). They were leaving Missouri, heading for Illinois, but who knew what tragedies were awaiting them there? So in what sense could Liberty Jail be called a “temple”—or at least a kind of temple—in the development of Joseph Smith personally and in his role as a prophet? And when we weep He and the angels of heaven weep with us. See Comprehensive History, chapter 38 heading, vol. The Seattle Times Local section covers Seattle, the Eastside, Snohomish County, the Puget Sound region and the Pacific Northwest. They remembered their covenants, they disciplined themselves, and they knew that we must live the gospel at all times, not just when it is convenient and not just when things are going well. 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! Very early in the Prophet Joseph’s ministry, the Savior taught him this doctrine. Indeed, let me say that even a little stronger: You can have sacred, revelatory, profoundly instructive experience with the Lord in the most miserable experiences of your life—in the worst settings, while enduring the most painful injustices, when facing the most insurmountable odds and opposition you have ever faced. . That knowledge can turn every such situation into a would-be temple. The truths Joseph received while in Liberty Jail reveal that God was not only teaching Joseph Smith in that prison circumstance, but He was also teaching all of us, for generations yet to come. I’ve just said that hard times can happen to us. When what has to be has been and when what lessons to be learned have been learned, it will be for us as it was for the Prophet Joseph. 49:14–16; see also 1 Ne. We don’t have to seek to be martyrs. . 3. Indeed, we may face difficult circumstances for reasons that were absolutely right and proper, reasons that came because we were trying to keep the commandments of the Lord. 40 Tangible Testimonies HEA THER L. STOCK They remembered their covenants, they disciplined themselves, and they knew that we must live the gospel at all times, not just when it is convenient and not just when things are going well. He is your Father, and you are His child. In the cold, lonely hours, Joseph says let us do all we can and do it cheerfully. How empty our lives as Latter-day Saints would be if we did not have sections 121, 122, and 123 of the Doctrine and Covenants! Here is a painting by Liz Lemon Swindle showing Joseph in prayer. As did the Prophet Joseph, you can have sacred, revelatory, profoundly instructive experiences—even in the most miserable times of your life. Dean C. Jessee (2002), 456. Very early in the Prophet Joseph’s ministry, the Savior taught him this doctrine. From a CES Fireside given on September 7, 2008, at Brigham Young University. Trouble has a way of finding us even without our looking for it. thy bowels be moved with compassion toward them?” (D&C 121:1–3). Those are all antithetical to the Spirit of the Lord. The height of the dungeon in Liberty Jail was barely six feet. And then we can justifiably turn to the Lord, wait upon His mercy, and see His arm revealed in our behalf. So in what sense could Liberty Jail be called a “temple,” and what does such a title tell us about God’s love and teachings, including where and when that love and those teachings are made manifest? Editorial inquiries and submissions: magazine@byu.edu. He is there. In our moments of pain and trial, I guess we would shudder to think it could be worse, but without the Atonement it not only could be worse, it would be worse. When suffering, we may in fact be nearer to God than we’ve ever been in our entire lives. You can read the transcript from this PDF link. One of the most trying times in the history of the Church, both in terms of its impact on the Church generally and in the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith personally, occurred during the winter of 1838–39. I testify that bad days come to an end, that faith always triumphs, and that heavenly promises are always kept. When he wrote those lines, Joseph did not know when he would be released or if he would ever be released. 190–91. Jeffrey R. Holland was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ . No. We may face persecution, we may endure heartache and separation from loved ones, we may be hungry and cold and forlorn. This was a terribly difficult time in our history for the Church generally and certainly for the Prophet Joseph himself, who bore the brunt of the persecution in that period. 7. (See Isa. lessons from liberty Jail iberty Jail 5 Here is a cross section of the Church’s reconstruction of the prison, which can now be seen at our visitors’ center there. 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 food given to the prisoners was coarse and sometimes contaminated, so filthy that one of them said they “could not eat it until [they] were driven to it by hunger.”1 On as many as four occasions poison was administered to them in their food, making them so violently ill that for days they alternated between vomiting and a kind of delirium, not really caring whether they lived or died. Painting by Al Rounds, Liberty Jail. Joseph Smith was unjustly confined in Liberty Jail from December 1838 to April 1839 along with several other Church leaders. The Prophet, who bore the brunt of the persecution in that period, had been imprisoned in the ironically named Liberty Jail. 22, 1839, in Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, comp. Furthermore, we note that not only has the Savior suffered, in His case entirely innocently, but so have most of the prophets and other great men and women recorded in the scriptures. Now then, three lessons from Liberty Jail: May I suggest that the first of these is inherent in what I’ve already said—that everyone, including (and perhaps especially) the righteous, will be called upon to face trying times. 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. [except] by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; . 1. The best company that has ever lived. Yet in these cold, lonely hours, Joseph says let us do all we can and do it cheerfully. 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 “no power or influence can or ought to be maintained … [except] by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; … without hypocrisy, and without guile” (D&C 121:41–42; emphasis added). “Pen, or tongue, or angels,” Joseph wrote, could not adequately describe “the malice of hell” that he suffered [in Liberty Jail]. Yea, O Lord, how long shall [thy people] suffer … before … thy bowels be moved with compassion toward them?” (D&C 121:1–3). Courtesy Church History Library. 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. Let me push this just a little further. The first lesson from Liberty Jail is inherent in what I’ve already mentioned—that everyone, including, and perhaps especially, the righteous, will be called upon to face trying times. 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. Donors who contribute at least $25 to BYU Annual Giving receive the magazine for one year. Every one of us, in one way or another, great or small, dramatic or incidental, is going to spend a little time in Liberty Jail—spiritually speaking. Download Citation | On Sep 1, 2009, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland published Lessons from Liberty Jail | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate 5 years ago | 163 views. Furthermore, we note that not only has the Savior suffered, in His case entirely innocently, but so have most of the prophets and other great men and women recorded in the scriptures. Article by BYU Speeches. BYU Magazine is published four times a year by Brigham Young University for graduates and friends. Keep knocking on that door. . 34 Four Talks, Four Lives Changed How general conference changed these members’ lives for the better. As a valedictory to the lessons from Liberty Jail, I refer to the last verse of section 123: “Therefore … 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” (D&C 123:17; emphasis added). In selecting these lessons I note yet another kind of blessing that came out of this adversity. They were leaving Missouri, heading for Illinois, but who knew what tragedies were awaiting them there? … How long shall thy hand be stayed … ? Jeffrey r. Holland. 22:7–10). The Spirit has a near impossible task to get through to a heart that is filled with hate or anger or vengeance or self-pity. 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. In fact, it ought to be a matter of great doctrinal consolation to us that Jesus, in the course of the Atonement, experienced all of the heartache and sorrow, all of the disappointments and injustices that the entire family of man had experienced and would experience from Adam and Eve to the end of the world in order that we would not have to face them so severely or so deeply. Liberty Jail Historic Site: History Lesson - See 104 traveler reviews, 39 candid photos, and great deals for Liberty, MO, at Tripadvisor. Browse more videos. As individuals, as families, as communities, and as nations, probably everyone has had or will have an occasion to feel as Joseph Smith felt when he asked why such sorrow had to come and how long its darkness and damage would remain. He is ninety-one years old. I love him and sustain him as I know you do. 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. That is a painful, personal cry—a cry from the heart, a spiritual loneliness we may all have occasion to feel at some time in our lives. Zachariah Tenney. Into this dismal dungeon the voice of God came, saying: “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes” (D&C 121:7–8). "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. He is ninety-one years old. They are truly the holiest, most sacred structures in the kingdom of God, to which we all ought to go as worthily and as often as possible. 5. Todd A. Knowles, “Lessons from Liberty Jail,” in Religious Educator 3, no. But they could, and they did. Some of the men, including the Prophet Joseph, when standing had to stoop constantly. After speaking of sufferings so exquisite to feel and so hard to bear, Jesus said, “I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they [and that means you and I and everyone] might not suffer if they would repent” (D&C 19:16). In giving us this sober reminder of what the Savior went through, the revelation from Liberty Jail records: “The Son of Man hath descended below them all. . They have planned, prepared, and guaranteed your victory if you desire it, so be believing and “endure it well” (D&C 121:8). Joseph suffered helplessly, knowing that the Latter-day Saints were being driven from Missouri under an "extermination order" from the governor. . (Doctrine and Covenants 121:36.) I will not obey your order. Follow. We thank heaven and the presiding Brethren that more and more of them are being built, giving more and more of us greater access to them. The jail is known in the Latter Day Saint movement due to the imprisonment of Joseph Smith and some of his associates during the 1838 Mormon War.. That is an everlasting declaration of God’s love and care for us, including—and perhaps especially—in times of trouble. Furthermore, his wife and children were alone, frightened, often hungry, wondering how they would fend for themselves without their husband and father. “The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Until his martyrdom five and a half years later, there was no more burdensome time in Joseph’s life than this cruel, illegal, and unjustified incarceration. Smith at Liberty Jail Rites,” Church News, Sept. 21, 1963, p. 14; emphasis added. When that happens we can sometimes fear that God has abandoned us, and we might be left, at least for a time, to wonder when our troubles will ever end. The purpose of Primary 5 Lesson 32: Joseph Smith Is Jailed Unjustly is to understand that when we have faith in the Lord, He will help us meet whatever adversity we face.. In our moments of pain and trial, I guess we would shudder to think it could be worse, but without the Atonement it not only could be worse, it would be worse. . He does hear us. Liberty Jail, one of the more forbidding structures in that region, was considered escape proof, and it probably was. 8. 1838: Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, and others are incarcerated in Liberty Jail. We will face things we do not want to face for reasons that may not have been our fault. I would highly recommend watching the talk first, though. Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 121, Criticism, interpretation, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Presidents, History, Liberty Jail… We love and cherish our dedicated temples and the essential, exalting ordinances that are performed there. What a magnificent attitude to maintain in good times or bad, in sorrow or in joy! We may face persecution; we may endure heartache and separation from loved ones; we may be hungry and cold and forlorn. And it certainly underscores the fact that the righteous—in the Savior’s case, the personification of righteousness—can be totally worthy before God and still suffer. In Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2nd edition, ed. Joseph was to remember that the same thing had happened to the Savior of the world. When suffering, we may in fact be nearer to God than we’ve ever been in our entire lives. '. In our moments of pain and trial, I guess we would shudder to think it could be worse, but the answer to that is clearly that it could be worse and it would be worse. Lessons from Liberty Jail: A Prison and a Temple - BYU Speeches. It began with his hasty departure from Kirtland, Ohio, the evening of 12 January “to escape mob violence” [1] and ended with his incarceration in the … When he wrote those lines, Joseph did not know when he would be released or if he would ever be released. History of the Church, vol. Art thou greater than he?” (D&C 122:8). By Todd A. Knowles, Published on 09/01/02. 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