Melanie Stroud

Episode 34 Part 1 Doctrine and Covenants 102–105 “After Much Tribulation … Cometh the Blessing”

This is the first half of a two-part lesson on zion’s camp and membership counsels.

Stayed tuned for the second half which will count for next week’s podcast.  Although it will be available Saturday Morning.

From the manual:

The Saints in Kirtland were heartbroken to hear that their brothers and sisters in Jackson County, Missouri, were being driven from their homes. It must have been encouraging, then, when the Lord declared that “the redemption of Zion” would “come by power” (Doctrine and Covenants 103:15). With that promise in their hearts, over 200 men, plus about 25 women and children, enlisted in what they called the Camp of Israel, later known as Zion’s Camp. Its mission was to march to Missouri and redeem Zion.

To the members of the camp, redeeming Zion meant restoring the Saints to their land. But just before the camp arrived in Jackson County, the Lord told Joseph Smith to stop and disband Zion’s Camp. Some members of the camp were confused and upset by this new instruction; to them, it meant the expedition failed and the Lord’s promises were not fulfilled. Others, however, saw it differently. While the exiled Saints never returned to Jackson County, the experience did bring a degree of “redemption” to Zion, and it did “come by power.” Faithful members of Zion’s Camp, many of whom later became leaders of the Church, testified that the experience deepened their faith in God’s power, in Joseph Smith’s divine call, and in Zion—not just Zion the place but Zion the people of God. Rather than questioning the value of this seemingly unsuccessful task, they learned that the real task is to follow the Savior, even when we don’t understand everything. This is how Zion, ultimately, will be redeemed.

See Saints, 1:194–206; “The Acceptable Offering of Zion’s Camp,” Revelations in Context, 213–18.

Letter from a modern day hero.

Modern day hero

“Hi Melanie. I’m sitting outside the pharmacy after getting my first dose of the vaccine. And I can’t believe I’m here. I told the people closest to me that I wouldn’t get this vaccine for a million dollars. My family members have led the fight against this vaccine from day one. I’ve been an activist against this vaccine. I’ve been a proud anti-vaxxer since the 90’s. I have 4 kids and none of them have been given any vaccines from the day they were born. That’s just a bit of backstory to show you how completely ironic it is that I’m sitting here now…….

When the 1st presidency counseled us to get the vaccine, I was in turmoil. I couldn’t sleep, I was crying all the time, and I was so confused. But one thing I knew for sure was that I was never going to refuse to follow counsel that I felt was for me. No matter my personal convictions. If there is a sifting going on, I don’t want to end up on the wrong side of things

So I started cutting back on all the political stuff I had been consuming. I unsubscribed from all the daily emails that were keeping me angry and afraid and judging all the people. The spirit started to show me that there are lies and confusion on both sides. My mind gradually was guided to focus more on what really matters: my relationship with God and living my life how He wants me to. I don’t think He wanted me continuing down that road of outrage and resistance. I was already feeling the blessing that He wanted me to have: peace and comfort. But what about that vaccine?? Your videos in the closet and podcasts touched me deeply. Honestly it was brutal to really get honest with myself and God. It was really REALLY humbling to admit that MAYBE I had been wrong. That President Nelson knows more than I do. That God corrects me sometimes with a big slap in the face.I finally couldn’t deny it anymore that God wanted ME to get the vaccine. I made an appointment without knowing if I would actually show up for it. I talked to my doctor, I read the scriptures and conference talks (Elder Eyring’s talk on finding peace in counsel was spot on 🙌🏻) and I prayed A LOT. I even got a blessing from my wonderful ministering brother (because my dad and brothers are all still 100% against this). And I am so grateful that I took President Nelson’s advice to learn how to receive personal revelation and to HEAR HIM. I know the spirit communicated with my heart that the vaccine, for whatever reason (which I don’t understand), was what I needed to do. Even though I cried as I sat there getting the shot, I felt peace in my heart. And I know that was the Spirit. I trust Him. I don’t have to know all the reasons why He asks me to do things. But I can trust that He’s got this. He’s in control. He can see the end from the beginning.I don’t know what will happen with my family. My parents and siblings are 100% opposed to all this, to the point of some of them having one foot out of the church over it. They are very upset that I was talking about following this counsel. They can’t understand how I could even think about it. Even though I may be rejected and ridiculed by them now, I know things will be ok in the end. I know God won’t let me down. …..”

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10 thoughts on “Episode 34 Part 1 Doctrine and Covenants 102–105 “After Much Tribulation … Cometh the Blessing””

  1. Melanie,

    I think you are awesome and you are a special spirit in this world. You have a special gift of being loving, kind and spreading (and yes, funny) this wonderful gospel!

    While listening to this awesome podcast, I noticed you apologizing for your convictions, trials and for what some people have said in negative comments.

    To quote Elder Uchtdorf, STOP IT!

    Don’t let them win by starting to believe their crap!!

    You are a beautiful spirit of God, doing a great thing! Don’t discount your struggles compared to someone else’s.. we all have our own and we are us because of what we learn in this life. Please don’t let others comments make you question or think less of yourself!!! Thank goodness we are all different experiencing our own lives!!

    I am so sorry people are so rude and mean!! It’s easy when they aren’t standing in front of you! Don’t believe it or even entertain their comments!

    I am sending this because you would not make the comments unless it is bothering you! Stop it! Let those negative nellies go!!

    Anytime you need a boost of how awesome you are, you just call me, I’ll set you straight!

    Even though we don’t know each other… I love you and love the spirit you being into my life!

    Thank you!

    P.S. I can give you my phone on a different format!!

    1. Where are you? I am missing you? I hope everything‘s OK👍and that you will be back soon🙏
      I love you! I love how real you are…. and I love your sweet testimony! Shine on! 🙏❤️🇨🇦

  2. Hey Melanie,

    So far out of this podcast this is how my mind has processed things.
    We need to make a pact that if either one of us gets throat or esophageal cancer we will personally come over and whack the others head off.
    My grandma was lonely all the time. One day she walked over to my house a little later than normal. I asked her why she was late. She said she has a new friend (it was a fly) she named him Oscar. Perhaps you should name the fly?

    I’m only 10 minutes in!!!

    Loving you and your words!


  3. Your story about the sister who is anti-vax resonated loudly with me. My last vaccine was a tetanus shot when my now 37 year old was born. I study several natural modalities and have many like minded friends. I try to follow the Prophet to the best of my understanding and when the first counsel was released I asked both my doctor and my husband’s neurologist. My husband has Parkinson’s disease and I have inflammatory problems so we really try to avoid chemicals as much as possible. Both doctors counseled us to be vaccinated.

    As I pondered and studied our Come Follow Me lessons, each one solidified in my heart to watch, listen to and follow the actions and counsel of the Prophet and Apostles. My friends were campaigning loudly against everything that has to do with Covid-19. I reread the words of the Prophet about it being a dangerous and dreadful disease and how we should do everything we could to help prevent the spread. We were Church Service missionaries in a church camp that we were told we were authorized to work in, no visitors, as long as we followed the social distancing and masking guidelines. I caught a lot of flack from other missionaries and often was the only one wearing a mask as we performed our indoor tasks. I heard every reason and excuse for not complying.

    My husband said he would follow my decision whether or not to be vaccinated. I felt great peace in the decision and we got our shots. We had slight reactions as to be expected and I just took that as our immunity reacting.

    I have been ridiculed, called names by friends and members as I followed the counsel of the current Prophet to the best of my knowledge and ability. I consider this a very personal decision and have tried to not have negative feelings regarding those who are still vigorously and loudly resisting the counsel to follow government and health leaders. I have loved ones on the front lines who are being bombarded with viruses and the hateful disposition of those who now need the very people they have been campaigning against.

    I don’t know why we are in this pandemic for sure but this week’s lesson about Zion’s Camp shows us that we don’t always know why the Lord calls us to do what He does. We may not understand why we are to build the watchtower but I do know that no matter what, we will not be led from God’s light and love by following the counsel of the Prophet.

  4. I’m sorry you’ve had such a hard time standing up for your beliefs ON YOUR podcast!! I don’t understand why people feel they HAVE to be so hurtful and they can’t just scroll on by or stop following you!!
    You only have to please yourself and feel like you’ve pleased the Lord If you please me- great, but if you don’t- 🤷🏻‍♀️ well too bad (I’m well pleased by the way)
    You realize last week you applied the CFM lesson to us! If a few were being rude and argumentative and causing trouble you punished ALL of us by just reading straight through the lesson
    Soooo on behalf of all of us!!! I’M SORRY!! Stay with us!! I’m just hoping you’ll stick with us long enough to get us through the old test then you can retire and we can just start listening from S1 E1 again lol
    I hope your good comments out number and speak louder than your bad comments
    Denise J

  5. This is my story as well and I echo all the above… I received my first vaccine shot yesterday after my brother told me “I’m scared you’re going to go get the vaccine and let them put that poison in you”. I told him “I’m not scared”. I felt peace…

  6. Good job! The important thing is that you followed the counsel of our leaders, even when it didn’t make sense. That showed a lot of courage…and faith.

  7. Hi Melanie! I’ve never commented on your blog before… but a long time ago, when you first were starting to do your podcasts I think, one of your former Young Women, who is in my ward now with her cute growing family, mentioned quickly how much she appreciated and loved listening to your “Come Follow Me For Us” podcast and how much it helped and blessed her… I heard it quickly but somehow didn’t forget the name of it (nice and easy, thank you!) and so I decided one day to look it up and listen… One of the first podcasts I listened to was your incredible testimony of The Book of Mormon. You truly seek to “Let The Holy Spirit guide” and you are “Not ashamed of the Gospel!” (Romans 1:16) Thank you for sharing your light and your insights! I love how you follow the manual’s questions and resources and I think that is one of the keys to why your thoughts are so Spirit-filled because of your second witness to the truth that ripples with The Holy Ghost!… This home centered program is such a gift we’ve been given. Thank you for sharing the insights you receive as we strive to receive our own personal insights. I usually try to study the lesson myself and think about it, share within my family, and then I love to listen to your and a few others’ insights and it just continues to fill my bucket of overflowing love for this gospel and it’s power and message… Christ changes people! I loved your thoughts on letting our lights shine and the need to not waste our time, but to find people who are ready to accept it… no better time than today. I feel like we are sisters in that desire! Thank you and thank you to one of your previous young women for passing on your love… love to you, and thank you for your dedication and sacrifices!! Don’t forget to take a break if you need to… we will be alright!! ha ha!!

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