“O God, Where Art Thou? . . . Remember Thy Suffering Saints, O Our God . . .”

Doctrine and Covenants 121:1–6

1 O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?
2 How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?
3 Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions, before thine heart shall be softened toward them, and thy bowels be moved with compassion toward them?
4 O Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven, earth, and seas, and of all things that in them are, and who controllest and subjectest the devil, and the dark and benighted dominion of Sheol—stretch forth thy hand; let thine eye pierce; let thy pavilion be taken up; let thy hiding place no longer be covered; let thine ear be inclined; let thine heart be softened, and thy bowels moved with compassion toward us.
5 Let thine anger be kindled against our enemies; and, in the fury of thine heart, with thy sword avenge us of our wrongs.
6 Remember thy suffering saints, O our God; and thy servants will rejoice in thy name forever.

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

“The Prophet Joseph Smith and his companions, Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight, Caleb Baldwin, Alexander McRae, and, part of the time, Sidney Rigdon, were confined in Liberty Jail awaiting trial on false charges, and suffering unspeakable abuse from the wicked and filthy guards who attended them. . . . Considering the fact that these prisoners had been confined several months; were fed on food at times not fit for a pig, and at times impregnated with poison and once being offered human flesh, . . . it is no wonder that the Prophet cried out in the anguish of his soul for relief. . . .

“. . . In his anguish, yet pleading not so much for himself as for his afflicted brethren, the Prophet also cried in earnest pleading: ‘O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?’ [D&C 121:1.] Did he feel that he had been forsaken? This he alone can answer. Yet his trust was in the Lord, for all other help had failed him. Earnestly he pleaded: ‘How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?’ [D&C 121:2.] It was his people for whom he plead, more than for himself. ‘Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions, before thine heart shall be softened toward them, and thy bowels be moved with compassion toward them? . . . Remember thy suffering saints, O our God; and thy servants will rejoice in thy name forever.’” [D&C 121:3, 6.]

(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 2:175, 176.)

Comments