D&C 42

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Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 42

Subpages: Verses 42:1-10 Verses 42:11-17 Verses 42:18-29 Verses 42:30-42 Verses 42:43-55 Verses 42:56-93

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Summary[edit]

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D&C 42

• Introduction (1-3)
■ • __ (4-10)
■ The "Law"
• Preaching the gospel (11-17)
• Commandments #6-9 (18-29)
• Commandment #10, the Law of Consecration and Stewardship (30-42)
• Corrections of Campbellite beliefs (43-55)
• Continuing revelation (56-59)
• Gathering (60-69)
■ How the elders are to care for their families while engaged in the service of the Church (70-73)
■ A commandment how to act in certain cases of adultery (74-77)
■ ___ (78-93)

Historical setting[edit]

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. →

  • Received: February 9, 1831 at Kirtland, Ohio[1]
  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 41
  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 43

On January 2, 1831 the Lord had instructed the New York Saints in D&C 38:32 to move to Ohio where they would receive his law.[2] Joseph Smith arrived in Kirtland, Ohio about the first of February, where he joined the new converts at Kirtland well ahead of most other New York Saints. On February 4 he received D&C 41:2-3, which instructed the elders to assemble and agree upon the receipt of God’s word in order that, through the prayer of faith, they might receive that word.[3]

"After this revelation [D&C 41] was received, the elders were called together and united in mighty prayer and were agreed as touching the reception of the Law."[4] So "on the 9th of February 1831 at Kirtland, in the presence of 12 elders, and according to the promise heretofore made, the Lord gave the following revelation embracing the Law of the Church [D&C 42],"[5] or "The Laws of the Church of Christ."[6]

For a brief overview of D&C 42 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 7 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 8.

Discussion[edit]

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Complete outline and page map[edit]

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D&C 42

• Introduction (1-3)


• __ (4-10)


The "Law"

• Preaching the gospel (11-17)
• Commandments #6-9 (18-29)
• Commandment #10, the Law of Consecration and Stewardship (30-42)
• Corrections of Campbellite beliefs (43-55)
• Continuing revelation (56-59)
• Gathering (60-69)


How the elders are to care for their families while engaged in the service of the Church (70-73)


A commandment how to act in certain cases of adultery (74-77)


___ (78-93)

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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Resources[edit]

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Previous editions.

  • D&C 42:1-69 was first published and first received widespread circulation in the September 6, 1831 issue of the Ravenna Western Courier newspaper and was republished by the end of that month in at least four other local newspapers in northeast Ohio, including the Painesville Telegraph.[7]
  • D&C 42:11-77 was first published by the Church on the front page of the second, July 1832 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star newspaper printed by William Phelps in Jackson County, Missouri[8] (a month after D&C 20 was published on the front page of the inaugural June 1832 issue).[9] Verses 78-93 were first published three months later in the October 1832 issue.[10]
  • D&C 42 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 1833 Book of Commandments, which was also printed by William Phelps during 1833. Verses 1-73 were printed as chapter 44, and verses 78-93, 74-77 were printed as chapter 47. The various parts of D&C 42 were combined in the second 1835 edition and all subsequent editions of the Doctrine & Covenants.
  • D&C 42 is one of the sections with the most significant changes having been made. Changes to the text of D&C 42:

Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 42.

  • D&C 20 and D&C 42 were treated as the two most important revelations in the earliest days of the Church. Both were often read and discussed at Church conferences, handwritten copies of both sections were made by many elders, and both were often read in the course of preaching by the elders.[11] Portions of several other revelations are identified as additions to the commandments, covenants, laws, and/or articles of the Church, meaning D&C 20 and/or D&C 42, in D&C 68:13, D&C 72:9, D&C 72:24, D&C 83:1, and D&C 107:59.

Doctrinal references cited on this page.

Historical references cited on this page.

Other resources.

Notes[edit]

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.

  1. (1) Smith, Joseph. Manuscript History of the Church, Vol. A-1, p. 95. The Joseph Smith Papers. (2) Commandment, 9 February 1831 (D&C 42). In Revelation Book 1, p. 62-67. The Joseph Smith Papers.
  2. Smith, Joseph. Manuscript History of the Church, Vol. A-1, p. 88-90. The Joseph Smith Papers.
  3. Smith, Joseph, Manuscript History of the Church, Vol. A-1, p. 92-93. The Joseph Smith Papers.
  4. Whitmer, John. The Book of John Whitmer, p. 15. Grantsville, Utah: Archive Publishers, 2000.
  5. Smith, Joseph. Manuscript History of the Church, Vol. A-1, p. 95. The Joseph Smith Papers.
  6. Commandment, 9 February 1831 (D&C 42). In Revelation Book 1, p. 62-67. The Joseph Smith Papers.
  7. (1) Painesville Telegraph (13 Sep 1831) Vol. 3 / No. 13, p. 1, reprinting article from Ravenna Western Courier (6 Sep 1831). (2) Backman, Milton. The Heavens Resound, p. 80-81, 403 n.45. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983.
  8. "Extract from the Laws for the Government of the Church of Christ." In The Evening and the Morning Star, original series (July 1832) Vol. 1 / No. 2, p. 9. Independence, Missouri: W.W. Phelps & Co., 1832-1833.
  9. "The Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ." In The Evening and the Morning Star, original series (June 1832) Vol. 1 / No. 1, p. 1. Independence, Missouri: W.W. Phelps & Co., 1832-1833.
  10. "Items of Law for the Government of the Church of Christ, Given February 23, 1831." In The Evening and the Morning Star, original series (October 1832) Vol. 1 / No. 5, p. 34. Independence, Missouri: W.W. Phelps & Co., 1832-1833.
  11. Woodford, Robert. Historical Development of the Doctrine & Covenants, p. 293, 299, 527. Ph.D. dissertation, Brigham Young University, 1974.


Subpages: Verses 42:1-10 Verses 42:11-17 Verses 42:18-29 Verses 42:30-42 Verses 42:43-55 Verses 42:56-93
Previous section: D&C 41                         Next section: D&C 43