D&C 5:1-35

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Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 5
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This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

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  • D&C 5 is directed to Joseph Smith but the discussion relates to Martin Harris.

Historical setting[edit]

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  • Received: March 1829 at Harmony, Pennsylvania
  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 4
  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 6

The 116 page manuscript translated by Joseph Smith with Martin Harris' assistance was lost in July 1828. Two months later in September 1828 Joseph again received the Book of Mormon plates from the angel Moroni.

In October 1828 Joseph's parents visited him at Harmony, Pennsylvania from Manchester-Palmyra, New York. They stayed for about three months, returning home in January 1829. During September 1828 - March 1829 Joseph has made very little progress on the Book of Mormon translation.

The immediate setting of D&C 5 was a trip by Martin Harris from Palmyra, New York to visit Joseph at Harmony, Pennsylvania soon afterward in March 1829. "Martin Harris has desired a witness at my [the Lord's hand] that you, my servant Joseph Smith Jr., have got the plates of which you have testified and borne record that you have received of me." (D&C 5:1). Joseph Smith receives D&C 5 in response to this desire of Martin Harris.

For a brief overview of D&C 5 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 3 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 5.

Discussion[edit]

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  • D&C 5:23: And again. The term "and again" is often (though not always) used by Joseph Smith in his revelations to indicate the beginning of a new thought. In other words, the term often indicates a break in the train of thought rather than continuity. In connection with D&C 84:103, John Tvedteness has written: "The words 'And again' at the beginning of [a verse] are used throughout Joseph Smith's revelations to mark places where the Lord gave him supplementary information to a previous revelation, usually the same day, after a break [even though] the whole was considered a single revelation."[1]
D&C 5:23 is the earliest occurrence of this term in the Doctrine & Covenants, and it likely indicates a break in the train of thought. Other places where this term appears to mark a break in the train of thought include:

Outline and page map[edit]

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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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  • D&C 5: Of all the revelations that were adjusted for the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants (from the original texts as they stood in the 1833 Book of Commandments), this one perhaps was changed the most? Why this one, which seems relatively simple or even unimportant?
  • D&C 5:9: What does "those things which I have entrusted unto you" refer to here?
  • D&C 5:10: What does "word" mean in this context?

Resources[edit]

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Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 5 is _____.
  • D&C 5 was first published in the 1833 Book of Commandments, the earliest edition of what we now call the Doctrine & Covenants.

Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 5

References cited on this page.

  • Tvedtness, John A. Historical Perspectives on the Kirthland Revelation Book, p. 424-25. In Stephen D. Ricks, Donald W. Parry, and Andrew H. Hedges, eds. The Disciple As Witness: Essays on Later-day Saint History and Doctrine in Honor of Richard Lloyd Anderson, p. 407-33. Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2000.

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. Tvedtness, John A. Historical Perspectives on the Kirthland Revelation Book, p. 424-25. In Stephen D. Ricks, Donald W. Parry, and Andrew H. Hedges, eds. The Disciple As Witness: Essays on Later-day Saint History and Doctrine in Honor of Richard Lloyd Anderson, p. 407-33. Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2000.

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