D&C 50:1-46

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Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 50
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Historical setting[edit]

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For a brief overview of D&C 50 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.


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  • D&C 50:2-4. A little over one year after the church was established it was already having problems with false spirits (v. 2). Verse 4 makes it clear that the Lord wasn't happy with some of the saints.
  • D&C 50:6-9. Verse 7 tells us that those whose choices have given the adversary power, but whose actions are the result of having been deceived, will be reclaimed. If we apply this promise widely to those led in whatever wrong direction because they were deceived, it provides some comfort. In contrast the hypocrites will be cut off. The difference between the two groups seems to depend on whether one is a deceiver or a deceived. Of course, applying the scripture to ourselves, the significant point is to avoid falling in either group as indicated in verse 9.
  • D&C 50:1-9. If we read verses 1-9 as connected to the next verses, then it could be read that there were hypocrites who came, deceived, and thereby weakened some Saints (v 7). Because of their weakened state, these Saints were more likely to receive spirits which they could not understand (v 15-16).
  • D&C 50:24: Brighter until the perfect day. A natural reading of this verse suggests a contrast between growing brightness and the perfect day. That is, "he that receiveth light" will continue to grow brighter "until the perfect day" seems to imply that the growing in light stops at some point. This does not necessarily contradict the notion that one will continue to increase in glory via some sense of "eternal increase" (cf. D&C 131:4), but it does suggest there may be some sort of achievable level of attained light where one is then considered perfect or whole or complete.
  • D&C 50:26-27. Verses 26-27 are similar to D&C 46:27 "unto such as God shall appoint and ordain to watch over the church and to be elders unto the church, are to have it given unto them to discern all those gifts lest there shall be any among you professing and yet be not of God."
  • D&C 50:30. Verse 30's language of a "head" is similar to D&C 46:29 "That unto some it may be given to have all those gifts, that there may be a head"

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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  • D&C 50:14. The business of "receiving" in this section has a lot to be worked out. In verse 14, the Lord talks about their ordination to go teach, but verse 15 talks about them receiving, not teaching. Verse 19's usage of "receiving" seems to mean those being taught. So why, in verse 15, does the Lord talk about someone who is called to teach as receiving?


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Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 50 is __.
  • D&C 50 was first published in __.
  • D&C 50 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.
  • Changes to the text of D&C 50:

Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 50.

Doctrinal references cited on this page.

Historical references cited on this page.

Other resources.

  • Robert D. Hales, "To Act for Ourselves: The Gift and Blessings of Agency," Ensign, May 2006, pp. 4–8. "Agency is strengthened by our faith and obedience. Agency leads us to act: to seek that we may find, to ask that we may receive guidance from the Spirit, to knock on that door that leads to spiritual light and ultimately salvation. I bear special witness that our Savior Jesus Christ is the source of that light, even the Light and Life of the World. As we use our agency to follow Him, His light will grow within us 'brighter and brighter until that perfect day' when we are welcomed into the presence of our Father in Heaven for all eternity."


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