“One Mighty and Strong Will Give the Saints Their Inheritance in Zion”

Doctrine and Covenants 85:6–8

6 Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying:
7 And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God;
8 While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning.

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

“Verses 6, 7, and 8. in this letter as published in the Doctrine and Covenants, have caused no end of needless speculation due to a misunderstanding of what is written. These verses are:

“‘Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying:

“‘And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God;

“‘While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning’ [D&C 85:6–8].

“There have arisen from time to time men of doubtful intelligence who have laid claim to being the ‘one mighty and strong.’ Some of these, notwithstanding their limitations of intellect and power of understanding, have succeeded in gathering around them a few followers of like spirit and lack of understanding. Some of these have passed away and others have arisen to make similar claims, but all without making very much commotion. Then, in our priesthood classes, Sunday Schools, and other organizations there has been too much discussion of uncertain sound, as to whom it was that was smitten and who will be appointed to come and set in order the inheritances. Speaking of those who rise up and proclaim themselves the appointed one, the First Presidency in an article in the Deseret News, Nov. 13, 1905, has said:

“‘One would think in such a matter as this that sufficient native modesty would assert itself to restrain a man from announcing himself as the one upon whom such high honors are to be conferred, and who is to exercise such great powers in establishing the Saints in their inheritances; and that even if one suspected, for any reason, that such a position, and such exceptional powers were to be conferred upon him, he would wait until the Lord would clearly indicate to the Church, as well as to himself, that he had been indeed sent of God to do the work of so noble a ministry, as is described in the passage under question. Those, however, who have so far proclaimed themselves as being the ‘one mighty and strong,’ have manifested the utmost ignorance of the things of God and the order of the Church. Indeed their insufferable ignorance and egotism have been at the bottom of all their pretensions, and the cause of all the trouble into which they have fallen. They seem not to have been aware of the fact that the Church of Christ and of the Saints is completely organized, and that when the man who shall be called upon to divide unto the Saints their inheritances comes, he will be designated by the inspiration of the Lord to the proper authorities of the Church, appointed and sustained according to the order provided for in the government of the Church.’

“It is clear from what is written in the revelations and also in this letter that it was the bishop Edward Partridge who had been appointed to set in order the inheritances. It is also evident from the recorded history that the bishop had failed at times in his duty and had to be rebuked for his opposition and rebellion and for being out of harmony with the Prophet and his brethren. However, all that was written by revelation in the letter was contingent upon the unfaithfulness of the bishop who was appointed to set the inheritances in order, and when a man repents he is forgiven. Edward Partridge turned away from his errors in the true spirit of repentance and therefore the punishment which otherwise would have come upon him was set aside, and the threatened calamity averted. The First Presidency in this article call attention to the subsequent faithfulness of Edward Partridge, who suffered much persecution and privation for his faithfulness to and love for the truth.

“When the day comes for one to be appointed to set in order the inheritances as stated in this letter, it will be in a day when the members of the Church who are privileged to remain and obtain inheritances, will be willing to keep the commandments of the Lord. The First Presidency stated:

“‘As to the “one mighty and strong” some hold that he has come, others that he is yet to come. Some have held that the Prophet Joseph Smith was the man, and that he would be raised from the dead and appear among the Saints to fulfill the terms of this prophecy. Others have insisted that the late President Brigham Young was the man who fulfilled the prediction, when, with such heaven-inspired wisdom and masterly skill, he led the exiled Saints from Nauvoo to the Rocky Mountains and laid their settlements in the valleys of Utah.

“‘All these theories have been entertained and some of them by very good brethren; but good men and well informed men are sometimes mistaken, and all are capable of receiving larger information, and more and more light respecting the things which God reveals.’

“Since this entire subject has to do with the inheritances in Missouri, it is evident that all such theories are in error. Further the First Presidency have said:

“‘If, however, there are those who will still insist that the prophecy concerning the coming of “one mighty and strong,” is still to be regarded as relating to the future, let the Latter-day Saints know that he will be a future bishop of the Church, who will be with the Saints in Zion, Jackson County, Missouri, when the Lord shall establish them in that land; and he will be so blessed with the spirit and power of his calling that he will be able to set in order the house of God, pertaining to the department of the work under his jurisdiction; and in righteousness and justice will “arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints.” He will hold the same high and exalted station that Edward Partridge held; for the latter was called to do just this kind of work—that is, to set in order the house of God as pertaining to settling the Saints upon their inheritances, as will appear from the following passages.’ Then follow quotations from [Doctrine and Covenants] 57:7 and 15, and 58:14 and 17.”

(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 1:350–52.)

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