What is the “Tower” mentioned in D&C 101? and its relation to the U.S. Constitution?
The following comes from The Doctrine & Covenants Section 101, versus 43-62. After reading this parable please read the quote by Joseph Smith below it.
And now, I will show unto you a parable, that you may know my will concerning the redemption of Zion. A certain nobleman had a spot of land, very choice; and he said unto his servants: Go ye unto my vineyard, even upon this very choice piece of land, and plant twelve olive-trees; And set watchmen round about them, and build a tower, that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower, that mine olive-trees may not be broken down when the enemy shall come to spoil and take upon themselves the fruit of my vineyard.
Now, the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them, and planted the olive-trees, and built a hedge round about, and set watchmen, and began to build a tower. And while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves: And what need hath my lord of this tower? And consulted for a long time, saying among themselves: What need hath my lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace? Might not this money be given to the exchangers? For there is no need of these things.
And while they were at variance one with another they became very slothful, and they hearkened not unto the commandments of their lord. And the enemy came by night, and broke down the hedge; and the servants of the nobleman arose and were affrighted, and fled; and the enemy destroyed their works, and broke down the olive-trees.
Now, behold, the nobleman, the lord of the vineyard, called upon his servants, and said unto them, Why! what is the cause of this great evil? Ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you, and—after ye had planted the vineyard, and built the hedge round about, and set watchmen upon the walls thereof—built the tower also, and set a awatchman upon the tower, and watched for my vineyard, and not have fallen asleep, lest the enemy should come upon you? And behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off; and then ye could have made ready and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof, and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer.
And the lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants: Go and gather together the residue of my servants, and take all the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also among all my servants, who arethe strength of mine house, save those only whom I have appointed to tarry; And go ye straightway unto the land of my vineyard, and redeem my vineyard; for it is mine; I have bought it with money. Therefore, get ye straightway unto my land; break down thewalls of mine enemies; throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen. And inasmuch as they gather together against you, avenge me of mine enemies, that by and by I may come with the residue of mine house and possess the land.
And the servant said unto his lord: When shall these things be?
And he said unto his servant: When I will; go ye straightway, and do all things whatsoever I have commanded you; And this shall be my seal and blessing upon you—a faithful and wise steward in the midst of mine house, a ruler in my kingdom.
And his servant went straightway, and did all things whatsoever his lord commanded him; and after many days all things were fulfilled.
…According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles; That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment. Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another. And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemedthe land by the shedding of blood…
“We shall build the Zion of the Lord in peace until the servants of that Lord shall begin to lay the foundation of a great and high watch Tower and then shall they begin to say within themselves what need hath my Lord of this tower seeing this is a time of peace & Then the Enemy shall come as a thief in the night and scatter the servants abroad when the seed of these 12 Olive trees are scattered abroad they will wake up the Nations of the whole Earth. Even this Nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground and when the constitution is upon the brink of ruin this people will be the Staff up which the Nation shall lean and they shall bear the constitution away from the very verge of destruction. Then shall the Lord say go tell all my servants who are the strength of mine house my young men and middle aged and come to the Land of my vineyard and fight the battle of the Lord. Then the Kings & Queens shall come then the rulers of the Earth shall come then shall all saints come yea the Foreign saints shall come to fight for the Land of my vineyard for in this thing shall be their safety and they will have no power to choose but will come as a man fleeth from a sudden destruction.”
Putting some of the pieces together
In D&C Section 101 we read about the parable of the Tower, the servants only started on the foundation, but never completed the tower. Then we read about the U.S. Constitution that “should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles.”
In the sermon given by the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1840 he spoke of that same parable of the Tower and also of the Constitution, and that “when the constitution is upon the brink of ruin this people will be the Staff up which the Nation shall lean and they shall bear the constitution away from the very verge of destruction”.
Have you done any studying into the significance of this connection? Do you have any thoughts regarding what this “tower” was supposed to be? (a “tower” that the saints didn’t think was important enough to build, yet it resulted in a surprise attack from the enemy). What does the “tower” represent? and what is the relation of the Constitution to the “Tower” the Saints were supposed to build, if any?
I have several thoughts regarding this which I will share later on, some ideas based on talks given by Church leaders, and other ideas of my own.
I would like to know your thoughts via the comments below…