There are times when we do not understand things as they unfold around us, but just knowing He does gives me peace and comfort in times of turmoil and distress.
There are so many evidences in the scriptures that show that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us, and that His plan unfolds line upon line, right before our eyes. In the process of the restoration of His Church upon this earth, He laid out many things so beautifully years before Joseph Smith even knew what He had in mind.
Perhaps I might give just two examples of what I mean:
Prior to the organization of the Church on April 6, 1830 Joseph Smith received a revelation that is known today as Section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants. In this revelation the Lord outlined the organization and government of the Church itself. I like to refer to Section 20 as the “Blueprint” for Section 19.
In Section 20 the Lord gave instruction regarding a group of men known as the “high council”:
Section 20: 65 No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that church;
It is interesting to me that the instruction on the organization of the High Council is not received until February, 1834, in Section 102 of the Doctrine and Covenants, nearly four years after the mention of them in Section 20.
Another example of this can be seen in the calling and organization of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Even before the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored, a revelation was received by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery giving specific instruction about the Twelve Apostles and the manner that they should be called. This instruction is given in Section 18 in June of 1829:
Section 18:26 And now, behold, there are others who are called to declare my gospel, both unto Gentile and unto Jew;
Section 18:37 And now, behold, I give unto you, Oliver Cowdery, and also unto David Whitmer, that you shall search out the Twelve, who shall have the desires of which I have spoken;
It was not until February 14, 1835 that the fullness of this instruction was realized. On that day a meeting was called by Joseph Smith for all the brethren who were part of
The account given of choosing of the Twelve apostles is as follows:
“President Joseph Smith, Jun., after making many remarks on the subject of choosing the Twelve, wanted an expression from the brethren if they would be satisfied to have the Spirit of the Lord dictate in the choice of the Elders to be Apostles; whereupon all the Elders present expressed their anxious desire to have it so.”
A hymn was sung, President Hyrum Smith prayed, and the meeting was dismissed for one hour.
When they returned the meeting continued:
“President Joseph Smith, Jun., said that the first business of the meeting was, for the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon to pray each one, and then proceed to choose twelve men from the Church, as Apostles, to go to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.
The Three Witnesses, viz., Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, united in prayer.
These Three Witnesses were then blessed by the laying on of the hands of the Presidency.
The Witnesses then, according to a former commandment, proceeded to make choice of the Twelve”
(In Section 18 only two of the three witnesses were mentioned by name for this sacred job. It is mentioned that at the time of the revelation Martin Harris was wavering in his commitment to the Lord by hesitating to dispose of his land to meet the obligations that were entered into with the printer who was contracted to print the Book of Mormon. Thankfully Harris repented and was found worthy of continued fellowship in the Church, and given this sacred privilege.)
On March 28, 1835, these Twelve Apostles which were spoken of as early as 1829 received instruction which is known as Section 107. It is the same instruction the Twelve Apostles follow today.
The Lord had a plan for His Church and the organization of it. He outlined it, and followed through with that plan. The Church leaders were given instruction for the Church which was pertinent to it years before the instruction was actually to be implemented.
The Lord has a plan for His children too. I believe we too are given information, sometimes years before we may need it, to help us to prepare, to help us follow that plan.
Thank goodness our Heavenly Father is in charge!