May, 24, 2010

School of the Elders

Latter-day Saints in Kirtland, Ohio, were enlightened through their studies at the School of the Prophets, but what about the Saints in Jackson County, Missouri?

In summer 1833, Parley P. Pratt was called to organize a school to bring the best education possible to the elders in Missouri. The School of the Elders formed in Jackson County, following the pattern set by the School of the Prophets in Kirtland.  The Lord commended Parley P. Pratt on his work with this school in Doctrine & Covenants 97:3-5:

“Behold, I say unto you, concerning the school in Zion, I, the Lord, am well pleased that there should be a school in Zion, and also with my servant Parley P. Pratt, for he abideth in me.

“And inasmuch as he continueth to abide in me he shall continue to preside over the school in the land of Zion until I shall give unto him other commandments.

“And I will bless him with a multiplicity of blessings, in expounding all scriptures and mysteries to the edification of the school, and of the church in Zion.”

To avoid mob persecution, Pratt and the sixty elders he instructed met outside of town in a grove of trees to receive this edification. Traveling six miles, often barefoot, Pratt led these men in their preparation for the great work ahead of them.