D&C 110:1-16

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Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 110
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  • D&C 110:1: Eyes of our understanding. Joseph reports that these visions happened after "the eyes of our understanding were opened". This seems to indicate that for Joseph Smith, seeing a vision was something that happened in the mind, rather than with his physical eyes. He used similar language to report The Vision (D&C 76) and other events. While we sometimes imagine that angels appear in our world just like any other person or thing, a close reading of these accounts seems to indicate that there is something else going on--that angels and other visions only occur as the mind is opened so that spiritual things can be perceived with the "eyes of understanding" rather than our physical eyes.
  • D&C 110:11: Ten tribes. According to the Topical Guide, the two tribes of the southern kingdom were Judah and Benjamin. Assuming Levi is being excluded (since Levi didn't get a land inheritance—reference forthcoming), and Ephraim and Manassah are both included, this would leave the ten tribes as: (1) Reuben, (2) Simeon, (3) Zebulun, (4) Issachar, (5) Dan, (6) Gad, (7) Asher, (8) Naphtali, (9) Ephraim, and (10) Manassah (see Gen 49 for a list of the promises Jacob gives each of his 12 sons).
Although my guess is that this is the most common connotation of the 10 lost tribes, this begs the following questions: First, why is Simeon left out in Deut 33? Second, why is Dan left out of Rev 7?
Bruce R. McConkie says in Mormon Doctrine (under "Tribes of Israel") that there's a Jewish tradition that the anti-Christ will come through the tribe of Dan (I think there's a scholarly reference on this).
I added some notes on these latter two issues (mainly from the WBC) on the Deut 33:8 and Rev 7:6 commentary pages.

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  • D&C 110:1. What does Joseph Smith mean by "the eyes of our understanding were opened"? Does that mean that these visions were seen spiritually, rather than physically? What is the difference between seeing things this way, and an act of imagination?
  • D&C 110:1. How does it change our understanding of visions and angelic messengers to read that they are only visible to our minds, rather than our physical eyes? Does it take more faith to believe something perceived this way, rather than through our normal physical senses?
  • D&C 110:11. Moses. Why did Moses have the keys for the gathering of Israel? What does that gathering have to do with his role as the prophet who led the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt, but not into the Promised Land?
  • D&C 110:11. Ten tribes. Who are the ten tribes being referred to here?


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Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 110 is __.
  • D&C 110 was first published in __.
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Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 110.

  • D&C 110 is one of several sections that were added to the Doctrine & Covenants for the 1876 edition, along with D&C 2, D&C 13, and D&C 132. These additions cause the Doctrine & Covenants to begin with Malachi's promise in D&C 2 that Elijah will return and restore the priesthood sealing keys and an account in D&C 13 of John restoring the first set of preparatory keys, and to finish with an account of the fulfillment of Malachi's promise in D&C 110 and with discussions of the exercise of those keys through proxy baptism in D&C 127 and D&C 128 and eternal marriage in D&C 132 (further bookended by the Preface in D&C 1 and the Appendix in D&C 133).

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"It is appropriate that Moses, who first led God’s children to the land of their inheritance, would be the one to commit the keys of the gathering of Israel to the restored Church. Moses had come to Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration and there had bestowed upon them the same priesthood keys in their day."


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