D&C 88:1-141

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Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 88
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Historical setting[edit]

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  • Received:
  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 87
  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 89


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Verse 3[edit]

  • My friends. The Lord calls those he addresses here my friends. This use of friends is similar to how it is used in John 15:14-15 where the Lord distinguishes his servants from his friends. See also D&C 84:63.

Verse 15[edit]

  • Though "soul" is defined here as the unity of the spirit and body, it isn't always or even often used that way in other scriptures. This definition is one which seems to have been saved for the latter-days. Therefore, when you read the word "soul" in scripture, you must ask yourself whether the writer meant "spirit" or "soul" as it is used here.

Verse 15[edit]

  • This is an important doctrine, for traditional Christianity has often denigrated the body, and because of that denigration our culture still often looks on the body as a hindrance (or, in backlash, it thinks of the body as the only thing). The privilege and acclaim we sometimes give supposedly intellectual professions over more physical professions is one of the remnants of this misunderstanding of the body and the spirit.

Verse 22[edit]

"Abide" means "wait for," "be prepared for," "endure," or "sustain."

  • Verse 32 speaks of those who remain, after those who receive a celestial, terrestrial and telestial glory have received it. The end of the verse tells us that these are they who are not willing to enjoy that which they might have received. It seems that what they might have received is one of the kingdom's of glory, or in other words, salvation (as the term is used in D&C 76:43). In D&C 76 (in verses 32 and 43) these people who do not receive salvation are referred to as the sons of perdition.


D&C 88 begins with a discussion of how Christ became "in and through all things" including the sun, moon, and stars because of his ascending above and descending below all things during the atonement. Here in verse 47, we are told that when we see the movement of the sun, moon or stars, we see God. We might ask about the promise to see God, is this all it means?--that we can see the sun, moon or stars? For most people, seeing the sun, moon, or stars is not the same as seeing God, just as verse 48 reminds us that when Jesus came to the earth, many people did not comprehend him--they just saw a carpenter from Nazareth, because they did not understand what they saw. Likewise, if we just see the sun, moon, or stars, we might miss seeing God if we don't understand how He is connected to them through the creation and the atonement. D&C 88 seems to challenge us to look beyond the mere physics of heavenly objects to seek out God. Especially in light of vv. 11-12, one might also see in this a merciful invitation to begin to see God (i.e., through phenomenon derived from his grace but not requiring translation/calling and election made sure, etc. that we might normally associate with the privilege of viewing God). See D&C 18:36 for a similarly "right in front of your face" way to hear His voice.

  • Verses 69-84 address what the elders who attend the school of the prophets are to do.
  • Verses 85-116 address signs of the times.
  • Verses 117-126 address the building of a temple at Kirtland.
  • Verses 127-141 were received two weeks later than the rest of D&C 88. These verses address the order of the school of the prophets.

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Verse 3[edit]

  • The verse ends "as is recorded in the testimony of John." Is this a reference to John 14:16?

Verse 4[edit]

  • How is the comforter the promise of eternal life?

Verse 15[edit]

  • What are some of the ways that we forget that the spirit and the body are one?

Verse 17[edit]

  • Why is it significant in the context of the redemption of the soul to note that Jesus promised the earth to the poor and meek? Why do these two things belong together?

Verses 21-22[edit]

  • We sometimes speak of being sanctified through obedience to law, but verse 21 speaks of being sanctified through the law. Is that any different? If so, how so? If not, why not?
  • Why do you suppose the Lord speak of abiding a law rather than obeying a law?

Verse 31[edit]

  • How does the phrase "receive of the same, even a fulness" square with D&C 76:86 where seems to say that those of a telestial glory "receive not of his fulness in the eternal world"? Is "fulness" referring to different things in these two passages? Or are these talking about two different periods of time? Or is something else going on?

Verse 32[edit]

  • Verse 32 tells us that the sons of perdition (see exegesis) enjoy that which they are willing to receive. Since the sons of perdition have openly rejected Christ, what is there left to receive?

Verse 35[edit]

  • "A law unto itself." What does this phrase mean? Is it related to Rom 2:14 where the Gentiles are said to be a "law unto themselves" (but in a seemingly positive context there, in contrast to the seemingly negative context here)?

Verses 67 & 68[edit]

Verse 67 contains promises for those whose "eye be single to [the Lord's] glory", while verse 68 states contains a promise for those who sanctify themselves that "[their] minds become single to God." What is the relationship between the eye and the mind in these verses? Could eye and mind be used interchangeably in these verses?

Verse 69[edit]

What is the "great and last promise" we are to remember? Is it the promise found in verse 68?

Verse 78[edit]

  • What is the law of the gospel? Is it some specific law, or set of laws (e.g. the law of Moses)? or does it mean something general like "all the commandments"? (Maybe D&C 74:4 would be of help? There law of Moses and gospel of Christ are setup in contrast.)

Verse 114[edit]

  • Is this a metaphorical battle, like the one in the pre-mortal existence? Do Satan's armies only consist of the 1/3 of the hosts of heaven that are his spirit beings followers, or will people fall from glory and join Satan and his ranks?


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Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 88 is __.
  • D&C 88 was first published in __.
  • D&C 88 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.
  • Changes to the text of D&C 88:

Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 88.

Doctrinal references cited on this page.

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Other resources.

Verse 22[edit]

  • Larry W. Gibbons, "Wherefore, Settle This in Your Hearts," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 102–4. Elder Gibbons states: "Commandments are not given to burden or restrict us. Rather, they are guideposts from an all-wise Heavenly Father to keep us out of trouble, to bring us a fulness of happiness in this life, and to bring us safely back home to Him... Brothers and sisters, keeping the commandments makes all the difference in this life and in the next. To be worthy of the celestial kingdom and the joy that is there, we must keep the commandments!"

Verse 33[edit]

  • A. Roger Merrill, "Receiving by the Spirit," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 92-94. Elder Merrill ponders: "One cannot help but wonder how many gifts and blessings surround us that we do not receive."


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