On this Day in Church History the revelations in Doctrine & Covenants 121, 122, & 123 were given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail (March 20, 1839)

For the past two years we have lived in a village in Germany called Isenburg—tucked in the middle of a forest and nestled under a castle ruin. Every day driving home we passed under an ancient stone archway that served as the entrance to the castle grounds. On the hill directly above our house is the castle ruin.

The entryway leading up to the castle ruin in Isenburg, Germany.

My life sort of feels like it’s in ruins right now. We have taken our “castle” apart and now there’s not much left. Everything we have has been boxed up, sold, or given away. We are officially moved out. It’s a bizarre feeling—leaving your life behind. Tonight my four-year-old son said to me, “Mom, our house is empty. We aren’t going back.” Yep. That’s right. It’s difficult for an adult to cope with moving. It’s even more difficult for a kid. My two-year-old son has been crying and crying. It’s tough for him to process.

It’s fitting then that this was the time in church history when the Prophet Joseph Smith was also displaced. He was imprisoned and spent five agonizing months in jail awaiting trial. During his imprisonment, the Saints were expelled from Missouri. Their suffering was immeasurable.1

My husband and son at the castle ruin above our home in Isenburg, Germany. Photo credit: Jayme Herber

As a direct result of Joseph and the Saint’s suffering we have some of the most unforgettable and breathtaking scriptures found in Doctrine & Covenants 121, 122, & 123. The final verse in section 123 reads:

“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, 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.”2

I LOVE this scripture. My mission president also loved this scripture and shared it with us often. Isn’t that all we can do? There is so much in life that we can’t control and that we can’t change. What we can do, though, is cheerfully go about doing good.

We CAN be:

  • humble
  • forgiving
  • loving
  • honest
  • patient
  • happy
  • peaceful
  • diligent
  • generous
  • faithful
  • hopeful

After we have done all we can do, we can stand back and watch as God works miracles in our lives.

So, here I am, standing at a precipice with my family. We have done all we can do and we don’t know what is going to happen from here on out. Now we can “stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”3

Have you ever felt like your life was in ruins? What helped you?

Be well,

Justina

My husband and son at the castle ruin above our home in Isenburg, Germany. Photo credit: Jayme Herber

Citations:

1. Church History Topics, Liberty Jail

2. Doctrine & Covenants 123: 17

3. Doctrine & Covenants 123: 17

Justina McCandless , , ,

2 Replies

  1. Hang in there it will all be worth it. Tuck me in a small thing from Germany. My grandparents are from Bramen. I spent the day at the hospital. I was tested for long covid. I am having heart failure. They wanted me to spend the night and I wanted to go home. They said what if you die and I told them I would love to see my mom and dad. Don’t mess with me. I spent 120 days in the hospital last year.

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