Fishing River (Near Lawson), Missouri
On the bank of the river's east fork
Section 105
June 1834
". . . Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.
"And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer.
"But inasmuch as there are those who have hearkened unto my words, I have prepared a blessing and an endowment for them, if they continue faithful.
The shallow eastern fork of Fishing River, near the headwaters.
"I have heard their prayers, and will accept their offering; and it is expedient in me that they should be brought thus far for a trial of their faith."
Doctrine and Covenants 105:5-6, 18-19
A severe storm caused the shallow river to rapidly rise to a depth of more than 30 feet, which protected Zion's Camp from an attack by mobbers.
Key Events
Zion's Camp consisted of about 200 volunteers asked to assist Church members in Jackson County, who had been driven from their homes by mobs. They walked about 1,000 miles from the east to Missouri.
Due to the disobedience of some camp members, Joseph prophesied a scourge would occur. Cholera broke out near the end of the journey. 70 people were stricken, and 14 died.
Zion's Camp was disbanded several days after arriving here in late June 1834. They were unable to provide the assistance they anticipated. Some complained, but Joseph received a revelation explaining God's perspective.
9 of the first 12 Apostles participated in Zion's Camp, as did many other early Church leaders.
The rolling prairie adjacent to the Fishing River, near where several hundred saints camped on land owned by church member John Cooper.
Words of Joseph Smith
"Notwithstanding our enemies were continually breathing threats of violence, we did not fear, neither did we hesitate to prosecute our journey, for God was with us, and His angels went before us, and the faith of our little band was unwavering. We know that angels were our companions, for we saw them." (History of the Church 2:73)
"I frequently rebuke and admonish my brethren, and that because I love them, not because I wish to incur their displeasure, or mar their happiness. Such a course of conduct is not calculated to gain the good will of all, but rather the ill will of many; therefore, the situation in which I stand is an important one; so, you see, brethren, the higher the authority, the greater the difficulty of the station . . . but these rebukes and admonitions become necessary . . . for their temporal as well as spiritual welfare." (History of the Church 2:487)
"There is no safety only in the arm of Jehovah. None else can deliver and he will not deliver unless we do prove ourselves faithful to him in the severest trouble, for he that will have his robes washed in the blood of the Lamb must come up through great tribulation, even the greatest of all affliction." (The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, 285)
Copyright 2005 Steve Mortensen. All rights reserved.