“Listen, You That Call Yourselves the People of the Lord”

Doctrine and Covenants 63:1–6

1 Hearken, O ye people, and open your hearts and give ear from afar; and listen, you that call yourselves the people of the Lord, and hear the word of the Lord and his will concerning you.
2 Yea, verily, I say, hear the word of him whose anger is kindled against the wicked and rebellious;
3 Who willeth to take even them whom he will take, and preserveth in life them whom he will preserve;
4 Who buildeth up at his own will and pleasure; and destroyeth when he pleases, and is able to cast the soul down to hell.
5 Behold, I, the Lord, utter my voice, and it shall be obeyed.
6 Wherefore, verily I say, let the wicked take heed, and let the rebellious fear and tremble; and let the unbelieving hold their lips, for the day of wrath shall come upon them as a whirlwind, and all flesh shall know that I am God.

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

“When the report spread among the members of the Church that the Lord had revealed definitely where the city New Jerusalem was to be built, naturally there was rejoicing and many expressed the desire to know what they were to do in order to obtain inheritances. The Lord has given instruction repeatedly that all who go to Zion shall obey His law—the celestial law on which Zion was to be built. Those who were weak in the faith, or indifferent to the commandments, were warned that they would not be made welcome in that land unless they repented. ‘Hearken, O ye people, and open your hearts and give ear from afar; and listen, you that call yourselves the people of the Lord, and hear the word of the Lord and his will concerning you’ [D&C 63:1]. These are the words by which this revelation [D&C 63] is introduced. Then follows the proclamation that the anger of the Lord is kindled against the wicked and rebellious and that the Lord holds the right ‘to take . . . whom he will,’ and to preserve in life ‘them whom he will preserve’ [D&C 63:2–3]. All flesh is in His hands, and He has power to punish the rebellious and cast them down to hell [see D&C 63:4]. The righteous He has power to exalt and bless in His kingdom. A solemn warning is given to all the wicked, whether in the Church or out, and the wicked should take heed and tremble, ‘for the day of wrath shall come upon them as a whirlwind, and all flesh shall know that I am God’ [D&C 63:6].”

(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 1:229.)

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