"And again, we would suggest for your consideration the propriety of all the saints gathering up a knowledge of all the facts, and sufferings and abuses put upon them by the people of this State;
Which dark and blackening deeds are enough to make hell itself shudder, and to stand aghast and pale, and the hands of the very devil to tremble and palsy.
Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."
The early saints of the church suffered so much persecution, death and loss of property and this chapter describes some of it. Then they are told to gather statements and affidavits from those effected by these crimes. Search out the names of those that committed them if they can. Gather all the libelous publications, etc. and then present them to the heads of the government. This would be our last effort which is enjoined on us by our Heavenly Father, before we can fully and completely claim the promise that he would call them forth from their hiding places. I take that to mean do all we can legally, and when that fails it is left in the hands of the Lord. I wouldn't want to be left in the Lord's hands to be punished. That punishment would be far worse than anything a government can do. I wonder if that is why they did ultimately fail in this matter for redress. The punishment the devilish deserved was held in reserve by the Lord.
I had so many thoughts reading this chapter. I knew the LDS Church has the largest collection of anti-Mormon literature in the world. Literature written with the intent to persecute and destroy the Church. It's stored in the Church History Library. I had thought that rather odd when I first learned of it. This material is exactly what I've been counseled not to read. This chapter explains that we are to gather this material up, giving the type and how, basically from every source. So not only have we been commanded to keep a history of the Church, we are to also keep a history of those that persecute the Church. I think I know which collection I would want my name to be in.
After all the persecution they are told to be cheerful in doing all in their power. I would think that a council of protection so their hearts do not become bitter. That can happen when you see those that committed crimes against you appear to go unpunished. After doing all, they are to stand still, I would think let the matter drop and know with assurance God will take care of the matter. I know what was asked had to be extremely hard, but I cannot help but think how easy it could be for a righteous person to lose their exaltation through bitterness and the desire for revenge. We need to leave matters in God's hands because his judgments are just. We are given this council to not canker our own souls. If Satan cannot destroy you one way, he can certainly try to destroy you in another. We just cannot afford to have him win any type of victory over us. Learning to stand still and leaving things to the Lord will bless our souls.