God's Pattern Found in the Reorganized Church

By Elder John Landers

We had reached Quincy [Illinois in 1839], when we met the people [Saints] on their way from Far West, from whence we learned they had been driven.

We were then at a loss to know what to do or where to settle. We talked and thought and prayed much over the subject, and one night I left the house and went to a cornfield to pray. I had begun my petitions, when something caused me to look up, and I saw a light of intense brightness, descending upon me. When it surrounded me, I was immediately carried away to the city then called Commerce [later Nauvoo, Illinois], and saw that the Saints would gather there, and would begin to erect a temple. I saw three men come out of the temple and one, by the brightness of his clothing, I knew to be Bro. Joseph.

When the vision had closed I entered the house and told the inmates where the Saints would settle, and some said that if Bro. Joseph said so they would not doubt, but they were afraid to trust what to them was an uncertainty.

After the death of Bro. Joseph, there was great confusion among the Saints, and many would-be leaders of the people arose. Some believed one thing and some another; some believed one part of the work as established by Joseph Smith, some had faith in another part; some believed he had authority up to a certain time, some to a different date. I believed him and his work entirely.

One evening I was at a meeting where there was much discussion of the subject, and while meditating upon it, about ten o’clock, I was carried away in a vision which lasted all night, and until nine o’clock the next morning.

In the vision I was surrounded by myriads of glorified spirits. They commenced to organize the Church or Kingdom of God. They called four quorums of the greater priesthood and three of the lesser. These they called grand quorums, because they comprised the whole church. Out of these seven quorums there were formed five more, which made the number twelve. When they had completed the organization of the church, they began again and organized another after the same order and exactly the same pattern. When the second was completed they organized a third and thus continued until there were seven such similar organizations. I was informed that the first was the church in the days of Adam; the second in the days of Noah; the third in the days of Abraham; the fourth in the days of Moses, at the foot of Mount Horeb, called the Horeb Covenant; the fifth on the plains of Moab, over against Jericho; the sixth by Jesus Christ; the seventh and last by Joseph the Seer. I noticed throughout all that all these organizations of the church and kingdom were exactly alike. I said to the Lord, “I wonder greatly at the exactness of your works.” He said, ‘That exactness exists through all the workmanship of God.”

Many things that transpired then I might relate, but I shall only say I could be no happier than I was then in the contemplation of the things God had revealed to me. I had no desire to leave that place where the countenances of all shone with love and happiness. I asked the Lord if I might stay, but he said I must return to earth and finish my work.

The order and harmony I saw in the church or kingdom of God I did not find in any of the factions that arose after the death of Bro. Joseph, neither did I ever find it again until the Lord called his servants to reorganize his church. (Vision 22:11; Autumn Leaves 3:68–69)