24. “Be Not Deceived, but Continue in Steadfastness”

We may suffer persecution or receive blessings beyond our expectations, but no matter what happens, we must keep our eyes on the Lord and remain steadfast in our covenants.

“All Things Must Be Done in Order,” Jeffrey G. Cannon, Revelations in Context
Oliver Cowdery sought to reword one of Joseph Smith’s documents, and Joseph was able to persuade him that it was of God and no one could alter it. Soon after, Joseph had to address the revelations that Hiram Page claimed; he sought God’s will and received revelation that no one was authorized to receive revelation for the Church except himself.

“The Faith and Fall of Thomas Marsh,” Kay Darowski, Revelations in Context
There is more to the story of Marsh leaving the Church than defending his wife in the “cream stripping” incident. While Marsh received comforting revelations through Joseph Smith (such as D&C 112), Marsh endured much tribulation. He lost a son and felt the sting of persecution in Missouri. He left the Church in fall 1838 and contributed an affidavit that was used as evidence against the Saints by Missouri officials.

“Ezra Booth and Isaac Morley,” Matthew McBride, Revelations in Context
Missionaries Isaac Morley and Ezra Booth both suffered through hardship and unmet expectations, but Morley continued to sacrifice and remained in the Church, while Booth complained and parted ways with the Church.

“The Seduction of our Gifts,” Pat Debenham, BYU Studies, Vol. 41, no. 3
Let us not be seduced by our own talents that we place them above the word of God. Even if we know our talents are God-given and we have earnestly sought the best gifts, we must always remember for what they are given, to build the kingdom of God.