Doctrine & Covenants 115, 118
Michelle just came in to say she read two sections that mention today’s date. (She’s a little further along in the book than I am.) And that gave me a chance to share one of my favorite church history stories with her. Maybe you’re familiar with it.
On April 26, 1838, Joseph Smith received a revelation commanding the saints to start building the temple at Far West in exactly one year. A few months later, the 12 Apostles were told to depart on a mission “over the great waters” on that same date. When these two revelations were given, the saints were living in Far West. However, by the next spring, the saints had been driven out of Missouri and Joseph Smith was a prisoner in Liberty Jail. Here’s the story from the seminary student guide:
“As the time drew nigh for the accomplishment of this work, the question arose. “What is to be done?” Here is a revelation commanding the Twelve to be in Far West on the 26th day of April, to lay the cornerstone of the Temple there; it has to be fulfilled. The Missourians had sworn by all the gods of eternity that if every other revelation given through Joseph Smith were fulfilled, that should not be, for the day and date being given they declared that it would fail. The general feeling in the Church, so far as I know, was that, under the circumstances, it was impossible to accomplish the work; and the Lord would accept the will for the deed.’ (Wilford Woodruff, in Journal of Discourses, 13:159.)
“But the Apostles were not to be put off their commanded duty: ‘On the night of April 25, 1839, the little band of apostles with a small company of faithful brethren, high priests, elders and priests, arrived at Far West. Shortly after midnight, on the morning of April 26th, they assembled on the temple lot in Far West, and there they held a conference.’ (Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, pp. 196–97.)”
After singing, praying, setting apart new apostles, and laying the cornerstone, Brigham Young and his brethren safely left for their mission to England.
When the Lord asks us to do something, if we have faith, we can accomplish it!