Saturday, October 26, 2019

Questioning the Prophet

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Heber J. Grant

Heber J. Grant questioned President Woodruff about what?
a.                  Why tithing was 10% and not 5%
b.                  Why the Relief Society could not hold the priesthood
c.                   Why the next prophet is always the president of the twelve
d.                  Why missions were three years and not two
Yesterday’s answer:
C.   The Saints getting on the locals telling them that God has given them the county
The Mormons and Missourians alike expected the other to conform because each community laid claim to the lands in Jackson County. In speaking of gathering to Zion, the revelations and articles in the Evening and the Morning Star designated Jackson County as the land of the Mormon inheritance. Some Mormons interpreted that designation to mean that God had given the Saints the land by divine decree. As a result, “there were among us a few ignorant and simple-minded persons who were continually making boasts to the Jackson county people that they intended to possess the entire country.” Mormon resident David Whitmer stated. Jackson County resident John McCoy related an account of an “old, gray-headed Mormon named Pryor,” who claimed God had given him their Missouri lands. “’Brother M[cCoy], I have the greatest regard and friendship for you,’” the old man would say to John’s father. He continued: “’ this land of promise is already parceled to the Saints by divine authority. Your tract, brother M., is included in my inheritance and in the Lords’ own good time I will possess it, for it is so recorded. But fear not, brother M. The Lord will either open your eyes to become one of us, or He will make me an instrument for your welfare.’”
Bitter at the condescending tone of such claims, the Missourians complained, “We are daily told, and not by the ignorant alone, but by all classes of them, that we, (the Gentiles) of this county are to be cut off, and our lands appropriated by them for inheritances.” Isaac McCoy, a Baptist minister, estimated that the Mormons had declared “perhaps hundreds of times, that this county was theirs, the Almighty had given it to them, and that they would surely have entire possession of it in a few years.” Jackson County resident and militia officer Thomas Pitcher asserted that “the troubles of 1833, which led to [the Mormon] expulsion from the county, were originated by those fanatics making boasts that they intended to possess the entire county, saying that God had promised it to them and they were going to have it.” W. W. Phelps, editor of the Evening and the Morning Star, warned non-Mormons that if they did not repent and receive baptism they would be “taken out of the world by the pestilential arrows of the Almighty.”
Matthew B. Lund, A Society of Like-Minded Men: American Localism and The Mormon Expulsion From Jackson County, Journal of Mormon History, Summer 2014, 181-183.

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