So...in my institute class this year, we've been studying the Doctrine and Covenants. What I like about institute classes that is different than gospel doctrine classes, is that you get to talk about more detail that you seem to in a gospel doctrine class. We're nearing the end of the semester, and last week we talked about sections 135, 136 and 137. There were several things I either learned or of which I was reminded.
1) Was it necessary that Hyrum Smith seal his testimony with his blood? President Joseph Fielding Smith, grandson of Hyrum Smith, explained: “The Prophet Joseph Smith conferred upon Hyrum Smith all the keys, authority and gifts of the priesthood which he, the Prophet, held, and which were formerly held by Oliver Cowdery. The Lord also revealed to Hyrum Smith all that was necessary to make him completely and to the full degree, a witness with his brother Joseph, as a prophet, seer, revelator and president of the Church, and to stand through all time and eternity at the head of this dispensation with his brother Joseph, a witness for Jesus Christ.
“Thus, we see, Hyrum Smith became a president of the Church with Joseph Smith, which place Oliver Cowdery might have held had he not wavered and fallen from his exalted station. I am firmly of the opinion that had Oliver Cowdery remained true to his covenants and obligations as a witness with Joseph Smith, and retained his authority and place, he, and not Hyrum Smith, would have gone with Joseph Smith as a prisoner and to martyrdom at Carthage.“The sealing of the testimony through the shedding of blood would not have been complete in the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith alone; it required the death of Hyrum Smith who jointly held the keys of this dispensation. It was needful that these martyrs seal their testimony with their blood, that they ‘might be honored and the wicked might be condemned.’”
2) Why did Willard Richards escape injury?
“Dr. Richards’ escape was miraculous; he being a very large man, and in the midst of a shower of balls, yet he stood unscathed, with the exception of a ball which grazed the tip end of the lower part of his left ear. His escape fulfilled literally a prophecy which Joseph made over a year previously, that the time would come that the balls would fly around him like hail, and he should see his friends fall on the right and on the left, but that there should not be a hole in his garment.”
3) Has the U.S. been vexed (cursed) because of the its persecution of the Saints?
Elder B. H. Roberts quoted 3 Nephi 16:10, the Savior’s warning of what would happen if the Gentiles rejected His gospel, and said: “That is what the people of the United States did when they rejected from habitation among them, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and expatriated the membership thereof, so that they were under the necessity of finding a refuge in a land, which, at the time our fathers entered it—The Salt Lake Valley—was no part of the United States of America—but was Mexican territory. (Did you know Utah was once Mexico? I need to review my American history.)
“Listen to this: it is a revelation that we do not often refer to, but it has some very choice gems in it. It is the ‘Word and Will of the Lord to President Brigham Young,’ given at Winter Quarters, and, among other things, this was said: [D&C 136:34–36].
“I think our country at that time did not repent of the wrongs they had done in this and other things, for this proclamation was immediately followed by the war with Mexico, in which at least those regiments that were selected from western Illinois—one of them at least, was well nigh wiped out of existence in the war with Mexico; and it was about the only disastrous engagement that we had in that war. Then followed the awful war, between 1861 and 1865, in which, as I believe, the hand of God severely punished the United States of America, in fulfilment of the wonderful prediction that was made by the Prophet Joseph Smith, in relation to the calamities that would befall the nation.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1922, pp. 17–18.)
Since the Civil War, the United States has been involved in numerous major wars including the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and the Gulf War. Nor has war been the only means of vexation. Depressions, natural disasters, and other calamities have plagued the nation. The prophetic promise is that if the people of this nation do not serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, they will be swept off (see Ether 2:10). As yet there has been no nationwide repentance for past and present sins, and so the Lord continues to vex the people of the United States, seeking to bring them to repentance. In verse 42 of section 136, the Lord reminds the Saints that they are under the same obligation to keep the commandments.
4) Why do some children die and others live? Are those who die better off than those who remain in mortality? Elder McConkie wrote: “We may rest assured that all things are controlled and governed by Him whose spirit children we are. He knows the end from the beginning, and he provides for each of us the testings and trials which he knows we need. President Joseph Fielding Smith once told me that we must assume that the Lord knows and arranges beforehand who shall be taken in infancy and who shall remain on earth to undergo whatever tests are needed in their cases. This accords with Joseph Smith’s statement: ‘The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth.’ (Teachings, pp. 196–97.) It is implicit in the whole scheme of things that those of us who have arrived at the years of accountability need the tests and trials to which we are subject and that our problem is to overcome the world and attain that spotless and pure state which little children already possess.” (“Salvation of Little Children,” p. 6.)
Will children who die before the years of accountability ever be tested in the way that other mortals are tested?
President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “Satan cannot tempt little children in this life, nor in the spirit world, nor after their resurrection. Little children who die before reaching the years of accountability will not be tempted.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:57; see also D&C 29:47; 45:58.)
What will happen to children in the Resurrection?
President Joseph F. Smith wrote: “Joseph Smith taught the doctrine that the infant child that was laid away in death would come up in the resurrection as a child; and, pointing to the mother of a lifeless child, he said to her: ‘You will have the joy, the pleasure, and satisfaction of nurturing this child, after its resurrection, until it reaches the full stature of its spirit.’ There is restitution, there is growth, there is development, after the resurrection from death. I love this truth. It speaks volumes of happiness, of joy and gratitude to my soul. Thank the Lord he has revealed these principles to us.” (Gospel Doctrine, pp. 455–56.)
A Little History:
Our story begins in Pocatello, Idaho, circa 1972, when the lovely Debby Christensen agreed to a first, though fateful date with admirer, David Croshaw. Long story-short, he bade her follow him, and they went arm-in-arm to the Logan, Utah temple for establishment of an eternal family unit, Generation 1, on May 23 1973.
From their first blissful summer in Salt Lake City, educational pursuits took them to Provo/Orem, Utah, birthplace of Leslie and Rebecca, and to San Francisco/Oakland California, birthplace of Colin and Matt. Then, for establishment of livelihood, expansion of the tribe with Abby and Dana, and for raising/unifying of Generation 2, it was back to the roots in Pocatello for a rewarding sojourn.
In time, driven by a raging, but commonly shared sense of adventure and independence, one-by-one, Generation 2 escaped the homeland to distant regions of the country and the world, each ultimately developing their own tribal expansions by pairing with worthy mates and initiating Generation 3.
Now sensing fulfillment of their purpose in Pocatello, Generation 1 has also left those roots and transplanted to Cascade Idaho, from which base, they anticipate more abundant contact with The Posterity, Generations 2 and 3, in the future. That contact however, awaits fulfillment of a call to LDS missionary service in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, wherein they hope to help the state of the world by sharing the love of Jesus Christ.
So now, including Generation 0 (Grandma and Grandpa Christensen) home base includes Yuma, Arizona, Pocatello, Idaho, Cascade, Idaho, Vancouver, BC, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Spokane, Washington, Boise, Idaho, Los Angeles, California, back to Boise, Idaho, and on and on (Generation 3+) to infinity.
Our Mission Statement:
This is the blog of our eternal family unit. Initiated years ago, it served well as a journal, but even more so, as an archive of our personal interaction. It was a gathering place, a confabulation instrument, a unifying force for four generations of widely dispersed and progressively prolific posterity, and their valued associates. Though it served these purposes well for many years, it eventually took a back seat to new-kids-on-the-block, Facebook, and Instagram, and was sadly forgotten.
We now move to resurrect this blog with an added functional purpose of archiving the missionary experiences of Generation 1, of their movements and activities as they participate with The Gathering of Israel in the land northward. In so doing, we hope that via their own comments and posts, this blog will again serve to gather and unify the posterity and their friends.
As in the past, that the young and vibrant may know the old and tired, that enduring bonds may be fostered and maintained, that experience and encouragement may be openly shared, that posterity may embrace truth, and that hearts may be knit together, we must resist detachment despite our geographic divergence. We shall do so here.