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This heading should explain facts about the historical setting that will help a reader to understand the section. This may include issues that prompted the section, its subsequent implementation, and the extent of circulation through its first inclusion in the Doctrine & Covenants. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
For a brief overview of D&C 27 in historical relation to the rest of the Doctrine & Covenants, see Historical Overview of the Restoration Scriptures. For lengthier discussions of the historical setting, see Historical Context of the Doctrine & Covenants, chapter 5 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 6.
This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- D&C 27:2-5: Wine and water. In verse 2 the Lord says it doesn't matter what we drink when we take the sacrament as long as we partake of the sacrament in the right way. This instruction prepares the way for verse 3 and 4 where the saints are told not to use alcoholic wine for the sacrament. The connection between verses 2 and 4 goes something like this:
- Alcoholic wine is what has been traditionally used for the sacrament but you don't have to use that. What matters isn't what you drink but how you drink it. Don't use alcoholic wine or even new wine unless you make it yourself.
- Note that verse 2 doesn't explain why the saints shouldn't use alcoholic wine for the sacrament. It only offers an explanation for why not doing so is morally acceptable. We can try to understand the reasons though, by reading this section of scripture carefully. One possible reason is suggested by verse 3. In verse 3 the saints are prohibited from buying wine or strong drink from their enemies. The fact that this prohibition comes directly before the commandment not to drink wine that isn't of their own making suggests that part of the reason for the commandments of verse 4 is that their enemies could harm the saints by selling them wine, e.g. poison the saints by selling them poisoned wine. However, this doesn't seem to be the complete story. As we will see, verses 5 and beyond are connected with the earlier verses in a way that suggests that there is more reason for the command than to protect them from poison.
- Consider verse 5. After saying "marvel not" the Lord says "for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth." Then He goes on to list, throughout the rest of the chapter, who else the Lord will drink with. The structure "marvel not for ..." suggests that the Lord is about to tell us something that in some way diminishes our surprise or difficulty in understanding the commandment. So how does telling His audience that one day the He will drink of the fruit of the vine with that audience diminish in any way their surprise or difficulty in understanding the command not to drink alcoholic wine for the sacrament?
- D&C 27:5: Symbolism of the Sacrament. By using the phrase "the fruit of the vine" the Lord makes reference to the Last Supper where he says that he will not drink of the fruit of the vine "until the day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." (Matt 26:29, see also Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18).
- D&C 27:6-7: Gabriel. In Luke 1:19, the angel appearing to Zacharias identifies himself as Gabriel. So Elias is another name or title (see the Bible Dictionary entry on Elias) given to Gabriel. If both references to Elias in verses 6 and 7 of section 27 refer to the same person, then verse six gives us additional information about Gabriel and his role. According to HC 3:386, Gabriel is also Noah, the biblical patriarch.
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Prompts for further study
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- D&C 27:2-4. Why do we use water in the sacrament? What else could we use?
- D&C 27:4. Is the command here not to partake of wine (except new wine of their own making) at any time or is this command limited to when they are partaking of the sacrament?
- D&C 27:5. Why does the Lord say here "marvel not"? Is there some part of what the Lord has said (verses 1-4) that might cause some to marvel? What part?
- D&C 27:5ff. What do these verses describe?
- D&C 27:5. What is Moroni’s particular authority?
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- The oldest surviving copy of D&C 27 is __.
- D&C 27 was first published in __.
- D&C 27 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.
- The text of D&C 27 in significant editions of the Doctrine & Covenants can be found at: <NEED TO UPDATE REFERENCES>
Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 27.
Doctrinal references cited on this page.
Historical references cited on this page.
Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.