A Young Folks' History of the Church by Nephi Anderson - HTML preview
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On the 14th of February, 1835, Joseph called together the brethren who had gone with him to Missouri in Zion's Camp. He spoke to the meeting and told the brethren the Lord had not forgotten them, but had remembered their faithfulness in answering the call of duty, and now he had a blessing for them.
Joseph then said the time had come when twelve apostles should be called. It was the duty of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon to select twelve men for this high calling, and these three brethren were then blessed for this purpose by the First Presidency. The following were then selected to be the first quorum of Twelve Apostles in the Church: Thomas B. Marsh, David W. Patten, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Wm. E. McLellin, Parley P. Pratt, Luke Johnson, William Smith, Orson Pratt, John F. Boynton and Lyman E. Johnson.
It is the duty of the Twelve Apostles to build up the Church and regulate its affairs in all the world under the direction of the First Presidency; also to open the door of the gospel to all nations.
On the 28th of February there was another meeting held, at which the first quorum of seventy was organized. You will remember that the Savior, after He had chosen Twelve Apostles to preach the gospel, chose also seventy to aid the Twelve in their work. So in our day, twelve men could not do all the work of spreading the gospel, so it was necessary to call other men. In this body of men seventy form a quorum. The first quorum was organized from the brethren who were members of Zion's Camp.
It is the special duty of the Seventies to travel and preach the gospel under the direction of the Twelve.
As early as May, 1833, the Lord told Joseph that the Saints should build a house to his name. July 23, the foundation was laid. The Saints in Kirtland were not many, neither were they rich, and it was therefore a great task for them to build such a house as the temple. However, they gave donations of what they had and worked willingly with all their might, until at last it was finished and dedicated to the Lord on Sunday, March 27, 1836.
During the meetings many glorious blessings were received. Angels were seen by many of the Saints, Brigham Young spoke in tongues, others prophesied, and many saw glorious visions. At the evening meeting George A. Smith arose and prophesied, when a noise was heard like the sound of a mighty wind which filled the temple. All the people arose at once and the Prophet Joseph told the Saints that the temple was filled with angels, as he could see them. The people living near the temple, seeing a bright light resting on the building and hearing a strange sound within, came rushing up to see what was the matter.
Nearly every day there were meetings held in the temple. The next Sunday after the dedication, Joseph and Oliver were praying in the sacred house when the Lord JesusChrist appeared unto them. He stood on the breastwork of the pulpit, and Joseph describes Him as a most glorious personage. Jesus told them that He had accepted the temple and promised them great blessings if they would continue to keep his commandments.
After this vision had closed, Moses, Elias, and Elijah appeared unto them and each of them gave to Joseph and Oliver many blessings concerning the gospel.
You would think that after all these blessings from the Lord the Saints would never turn away from the truth; but sad to say this was not the case. During the years 1837 and 1838 many of the brethren in Kirtland began to buy and sell land and set up stores and banks for the purpose of making money. Now, there would have been nothing wrong in all this if they had done all their business honestly; but the trouble was that many wanted to get rich so fast that oftimes they would cheat each other. This of course was inspired by the evil one, who did his best to stop the progress of the Church. It was a very hard trial for Joseph and those of his brethren who stood by him to see so many leading men fall away into wickedness.
Again, you may also wonder how men who have been in the company of the Prophet and who have seen angels and heavenly visions can deny the faith, but the fact is they sometimes do. The whole secret is this:
No matter how much a person has seen or how much he knows, if he sins and does not repent, the Spirit of God will leave him, and he will be in the dark. It then becomes an easy matter for him to fall away from the Church.
During the two years named above, four of the Twelve Apostles and many of the leading men apostatized; and then, not satisfied with so doing, they began to join the mobs who persecuted Joseph and the Saints. This led the Church leaders to remove to Missouri, and soon after nearly all the Saints followed them to the land of Zion.
Topics.—1. The calling of the Twelve Apostles. 2. Calling of the Seventy. 3. The Kirtland Temple. 4. The apostasy at Kirtland.
Questions and Review.—1. From what body were the first Twelve Apostles called? 2. Who chose the names? 3. Name the first Twelve Apostles? 4. Name the present Twelve. 5. What is the duty of the Twelve? 6. What is the duty of the Seventies? 7. How many Seventies' quorums are there in the Church? 8. Tell about the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. 9. Who appeared to Joseph and Oliver in the temple? 10. What causes many to fall from the Church? 11. What is the only safe way to remain faithful.