“There Is No Weapon That Is Formed against You Shall Prosper”

Doctrine and Covenants 71:1–11

1 Behold, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, that the time has verily come that it is necessary and expedient in me that you should open your mouths in proclaiming my gospel, the things of the kingdom, expounding the mysteries thereof out of the scriptures, according to that portion of Spirit and power which shall be given unto you, even as I will.
2 Verily I say unto you, proclaim unto the world in the regions round about, and in the church also, for the space of a season, even until it shall be made known unto you.
3 Verily this is a mission for a season, which I give unto you.
4 Wherefore, labor ye in my vineyard. Call upon the inhabitants of the earth, and bear record, and prepare the way for the commandments and revelations which are to come.
5 Now, behold this is wisdom; whoso readeth, let him understand and receive also;
6 For unto him that receiveth it shall be given more abundantly, even power.
7 Wherefore, confound your enemies; call upon them to meet you both in public and in private; and inasmuch as ye are faithful their shame shall be made manifest.
8 Wherefore, let them bring forth their strong reasons against the Lord.
9 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you—there is no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper;
10 And if any man lift his voice against you he shall be confounded in mine own due time.
11 Wherefore, keep my commandments; they are true and faithful. Even so. Amen.

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

“Ezra Booth, who apostatized after his return from Missouri, did all in his power to injure the Church. He was responsible for the publication of the earliest attacks against the Church. He also caused articles to be published in the press among which were some scandalous letters published in the Ravenna Ohio Star, which created a bitter spirit on the part of many people. December 1, 1831, the Lord gave a revelation to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon [D&C 71] in which the Lord said: ‘Behold, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, that the time has verily come that it is necessary and expedient in me that you should open your mouths in proclaiming my gospel, the things of the kingdom, expounding the mysteries thereof out of the scriptures, according to that portion of Spirit and power which shall be given unto you, even as I will’ [D&C 71:1]. They were, therefore, released for the time of this mission from translating the scriptures, that they might go forth to confound their enemies. The Lord said to them: ‘Wherefore, labor ye in my vineyard. Call upon the inhabitants of the earth, and bear record, and prepare the way for the commandments and revelations which are to come’ [D&C 71:4]. They were to go forth with a challenge to their enemies and traducers calling upon them to meet in discussion and to meet them in private and thus refute the many falsehoods and put an end to the scandalous tirades of Ezra Booth. They were promised that no weapon formed against them should prosper, and that those who raised their voices in opposition would be confounded.

“In obedience to this call Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon left Kirtland December 3, 1831, and went forth in Kirtland, Shalersville, Ravenna, and other places preaching boldly the truth and calling on their traducers to meet them and face their falsehoods. This was rather an unusual condition. Quite generally the Lord counsels His servants not to engage in debates and arguments, but to preach in power the fundamental principles of the gospel. This was a condition that required some action of this kind, and the Spirit of the Lord directed these brethren to go forth and confound their enemies which they proceeded immediately to do, as their enemies were unable to substantiate their falsehoods and were surprised by this sudden challenge so boldly given. Much of the prejudice was allayed and some friends made through this action.”

(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 1:269.)

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