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For a brief overview of D&C 58 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 8 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 9.
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. →
In verse 6 the Lord says that the purpose for them (those gathered in Jackson County Missouri) to be sent (we assume that what is meant here is sent to Jackson County Missouri) is so that they can be obedient and be prepared to bear testimony of things which are to come. From this, we might ask, "what are they to bear testimony of?" or in other words, "what is to come?"
At first we might interpret verse 8 as an answer to this question. There the Lord prophecies that there will be a feast of the fat thing for the poor. Then in verse 9 the Lord explains that this is to be "a supper of the house of the Lord . . . unto which all nations shall be invited." But verse 11 tells us that this feast is not the end in itself that we should be looking forward to. This feast is prepared "for the great day." We interpret this great day to be the second coming. In other words, the Saints are to testify of the fact that the second coming is on its way.
If we think of this feast in contrast to the famine that Amos prophecies about in Amos 8:11, then just as that was a famine for the words of the Lord, we can interpret this as a feast upon the words of the Lord.
Verse 9 tells us that "all nations shall be invited." But verses 10 & 11 tell us that not everyone is to be invited at that the same time. First the rich, the learned, the wise and the noble are invited. Then the poor.
Compare this with Luke 14:12-14. There the Lord tells the lawyers and Pharisees that when they throw a feast they ought not to invite the rich. Rather they should invite the poor, maimed and blind.
Compare also Luke 14:16-24. In that parable of a feast, the poor, the maimed, the halt and the blind are also invited after the guests of priviledge. And there it specifically tells us that those that were invited first, made excuses and did not come to the feast.
One could ask why it it is that the day the Lord invites the poor is what he calls the day of his power. Why not choose the day he first invites the rich as the day of his power? One possible answer is that the Lord may be implying that just like in the parable in Luke 14:16-24, the people he invites first reject the invitation. The day of the Lord's power would be identified then as the day when the Lord has triumphed.
- "Feast of fat things." This phrase also occurs in Isa 25:6. Interestingly, the modifying phrase "might be prepared for the poor" does not occur there. This modifying phrase might be read as a check against reading Isaiah as supporting, say, unchecked capitalist consumerism.
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Prompts for further study
This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- What is meant here by keeping the commandments "in death"? Does it mean something like accepting the gospel when you are dead? Or is it refers to someone who keeps the commandments and pays for this with their own life?
- v 6-10: Why are the rich, learned, wise and noble invited first? Is the Lord saying that this is who he invites first? Or, is he saying that this is who we should invite first? --Is this meant to be prescriptive? In other words, if we apply this scripture to today, if we are missionaries opening up a new city, should we teach first the rich, the learned, the wise and the noble before we go to teach the poor?
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- The oldest surviving copy of D&C 58 is __.
- D&C 58 was first published in __.
- D&C 58 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.
- The text of D&C 58 in significant editions of the Doctrine & Covenants can be found at: <NEED TO UPDATE REFERENCES>
- Changes to the text of D&C 58:
Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 58.
Doctrinal references cited on this page.
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- "Feast of fat things." See this post by Rosalynde at the T&S blog for thoughts on Christmas, consumerism and (extreme) Puritanism, as it relates to the phrase "feast of fat things."
- M. Russell Ballard, "O Be Wise," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 17–20. Elder Ballard encourages members of the church to be innovative in their callings. "Because the eternal principle of agency gives us the freedom to choose and think for ourselves, we should become increasingly able to solve problems. We may make the occasional mistake, but as long as we are following gospel principles and guidelines, we can learn from those mistakes and become more understanding of others and more effective in serving them."
- Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins advises: "Start with yourself, and forgive others as well. If God will not remember our repented-of sins, then why should we? Avoid wasting time and energy reliving the past."
- Robert D. Hales, "To Act for Ourselves: The Gift and Blessings of Agency," Ensign, May 2006, pp. 4–8.
- "Choose to believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Accept the Savior's forgiveness, and then forgive yourself. Because of His sacrifice for you, He has the power to 'remember [your sins] no more.' You must do likewise."
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.