Section 62 is one of many revelations in which the Lord tells us much about himself. He is our advocate. He knows our weakness. He knows just how to run to our relief when we are tempted. He keeps his promises. He cannot lie. Who wouldn’t gladly travel hundreds of miles to obey one of his revelations?
Leaving the Missouri River to travel by land, Joseph and the elders who had been to Missouri ran into a group of their brethren—Joseph’s brother Hyrum, David Whitmer, John Murdock, and Harvey Whitlock—still en route to Zion. They had been preaching the gospel with great success along their way. The joyful meeting would not have occurred had Joseph’s trip down the Missouri River been tranquil, but it fulfilled the Lord’s promise that the brethren would meet in Missouri to rejoice in the land of Zion. Joseph sought and received a revelation concerning the elders who had not yet been to Independence.1
Hyrum Smith, David Whitmer, Harvey Whitlock, John Murdock, and others who joined them obeyed this revelation. They pursued their journey to Independence and held a solemn meeting with the members of the bishopric there. They sang hymns, prayed, read scriptural prophecies about Zion and the second coming, and then turned around and returned to Ohio.
The revelation, as with so many others, is full of conditional clauses. It thus empowers the elders to control their own destiny by choosing to do the things that will bring the Lord’s promised blessings.
From Doctrine and Covenants Minute
After their experience on the Missouri River, Joseph Smith and his traveling companions crossed the river at Chariton, Missouri. They were delighted to find Hyrum Smith, John Murdock, David Whitmer, and Harvey Whitlock in the small settlement. John had become ill in the early part of August, delaying Hyrum on his journey to Missouri. Hyrum waited in Chariton while John recovered, and shortly after, the two were joined by David and Harvey. Joseph later wrote in his history, “On the 13th I met several of the Elders on their way to the land of Zion, and after the joyful salutations with which brethren meet each other who are actually ‘contending for the faith once delivered to the saints,’ I received the following” (Joseph Smith—History, vol. A-1, 145).