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Job 38:6-10

Home > The Old Testament > Job > Chapters 38-42a / Verses 38:1-42:6
Previous page: Chapters 32-37                              Next page: Chapter 42b


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Summary[edit]

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Relationship to Job. The relationship of Chapters 38-42a to Job as a whole is discussed at Job.

Story.

Message.

Discussion[edit]

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  • Job 38:4-7. The Lord asks Job a series of rhetorical questions about the creation of the world and pre-earth life, an essential part of our heavenly father's plan. "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?...Who hath laid the measures thereof?...Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened?...When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
This is an oft-quoted scripture about our pre-mortal life, and a very poetic one. During the past few weeks as we have watched a house being built across the way from us, I've been fascinated by what a beautiful, organized process it is. Each part of the house goes up with precision, and each new addition to the frame makes it more complete and more wonderful.
Much symbolism is attached to the construction of a house. While reading this passage in Job I am reminded of this. The Lord didn't allow the earth to be created by chance. Sure he may have allowed natural processes to form the Grand Canyon, allow plants and animals to evolve over thousands or millions of man-years. But he was behind it all - the master builder, who with precision "laid the measures" and cornerstone and completed the most beautiful, diverse planet for us to live on that we could ever imagine. As the sons of God did, I feel to shout for joy at the sight of the spectacular earth God created for us, just as I do at the sight of the home across the way.
  • Job 42:1-6: Alternate translation. J. Gerald Janzen offers this alternate translation of verses 2-6 in his commentary on Job, p. 251 (part of the Interpretation series):
2. a You know that you can do all things,
b and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3. a "Who is this that obscures design
b by words without knowledge?"
c Therefore, I have uttered what I have not understood,
d things too wonderful for me which I did not know.
4. a "Hear, and I will speak;
b I will question you, and you will make me to know."
5. a I have heard you with my own ears,
b and now my eye sees you!
6. a Therefore I recant and change my mind
b concerning dust and ashes.
First, it must be noticed that there are quotation marks in Job's speech. The first (verse 3a-b) is a direct quotation of Job 38:2, the words of the Lord to Job. Job quotes the Lord's words, and then responds (in c-d). The second is an altered quotation of Job 38:3 and Job 40:7. The alteration is that Job here replaces "Gird up thy loins now like a man" (in both instances) with "Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak." The alteration seems to set up Job's response (in verse 5a-b) to this second quotation. (It is not at all odd for Job, of all people, to alter interpretively the word of the Lord.)
Second, and this is the clinching point for the interpretation of the entire book of Job, Janzen's translation of verse 6 must be understood. However, discussion of that point must be located on the commentary page for that verse.
  • Job 42:4. This verse seems a bit troublesome since it seems to portray Job as demanding something from God and yet, in verse 6, Job seems to humbly repent. The NAB seems to omit this verse entirely. The NET translates this as Job recalling God's words telling Job to listen ("You said, 'Pay attention, and I will speak; I will question you, and you will answer me').
The Hebrew word yada, to know, is what is translated as "declare." This word could be read differently so here Job is declaring faith and/or that he is ready to know God—that is to see (v. 5), not just hear what God has been saying without really understanding God.
  • Job 42:6: Repent. The Hebrew word nchm is translated here as "repent." However, the word is typically used in the Old Testament to refer to God repenting/relenting, not man (e.g. Gen 6:6-7; Ex 32:14; Judg 2:18; 1 Sam 15:11). The word nchm is also used to mean "comfort" (e.g. 2 Sam 10:2; 1 Chr 19:2; Isa 61:2; Jer 16:7; 31:15). Interestingly, in all other instances in Job, the word nchm seems to to fit the "comfort" meaning more naturally and is thus translated in the KJV (viz. 2:11; 7:13; 16:2; 21:34; 29:25; 42:11). David Wolfers argues that verse 6 should be translated, "Therefore do I despise, and am comforted for, all that are dust and ash" (p. 333, Deep Things Out of Darkness, ISBN 0802840825; cf. Scheindlin, 1999, ISBN 0393319008, "I retract. I even take comfort for dust and ashes"). On this view, the significance here is that Job finds comfort after God speaks, not from anything his friends have said. The LXX seems to take an approach more similar to the KJV, where one translation of the LXX text is "Therefore, I despise myself and I melt, and I consider myself dirt and ashes." According to William Morrow (Journal of Biblical Literature, v. 105 n. 2, June 1986, p. 213), "Apparently the LXX translator wanted to highlight Job's reconciliation with God by having Job echo what he earlier described as the divine opinion concerning him [in Job 30:19]." Morrow also notes that "It is conceviable here that Job 42:6 is seen as having adopted a posture of humiliation as part of his grief and suffering, a posture he now renounces and forswears in order to adopt an attitude of praise." Morrow's ultimate conclusion is that that verse is purposely vague: "no translation of this verse can succeed without forcing the text at some point or another. . . . Job 42:6 is a polysemous construction, which even its original readers would have heard differently, depending on their evaluation of the meaning of Yahweh's address to Job. . . . [T]he poet himself intended no explicit resolution to the tension that exists in the Yahweh speech(es) between the very fact of Yahweh's presence and the actual contents of the divine address. Rather, he created a situation that can be interpreted in several ways according to the theological inclinations of the reader. The vague and ambiguous language of 42:6 is a reflection of this intention."
As noted above regarding Janzen's alternate translation of this verse: "Therefore I recant and change my mind concerning dust and ashes." Janzen points out (on p. 255 of his commentary) that in "every other instance where the niphal (middle or reflexive) form of nhm, 'change the mind,' is followed by the preposition `al, translators uniformly render the expression 'to repent of, concerning' (e.g., Jer 18:8, 10)." In other words, besides adding "myself" to the verse, the KJV translators offer a poor or at least unconventional translation. The plain meaning of the Hebrew: Job repents (mourns his former character or position) concerning "dust and ashes."
This more literal translation opens a fascinating interpretive possibility: instead of being driven to repent in dust and ashes, Job's experiences have led him to a new understanding of dust and ashes. Janzen suggests that the Lord's treatment of Job have led him to better understand what it means to be a human being in the image of God. This can be seen by looking at how "dust and ashes" is used in Gen 18:27 and Job 30:19. In each of these verses, the phrase "dust and ashes" (which appears nowhere else in the Bible) refers to the beginning and ending of man, which is formed out of dust and ends as ashes. The phrase in these two texts quite clearly refers to the fallen nature of man: man, as dust and ashes (not in dust and ashes), stands before God as created and mortal. But even so, dust and ashes are the very image of God (if one follows Gen 1:26). Job seems, after all the Lord has dragged him through, to recognize an important lesson: man, though dust and ashes, is nonetheless something far more than just dust and ashes.
If this is indeed the lesson Job is taught by the Lord, then the whole of the Book of Job is transformed: Job's perfect piety at the beginning of the story is not good enough and must be overcome. Job's piety is based on a sort of false humility, a misunderstanding of man's place in the more eternal scheme of things. Job is, as it were, too passive, too receptive, too safe. The radical trial (meant in the literal sense: God tries and proves him) is meant to radicalize Job, to take him beyond the safety of piety and so to help him understand the radical implications of the covenant he has with God. This radicalization was already implicit in Job, and the trial is meant to bring it out. In other words, the Lord's chastisement of Job in chapters 38-41 was a test to see if Job would "maintain his ways" before God. When Job sees that he is justified in complaining to God in direct prayer, it changes his mind concerning his own mortal (dust and ashes) standing and relationship with the Lord. Only by remaining true throughout the book is Job justified by the Lord in the end, while his three friends are disapproved of. Perhaps, in the end, Goethe saw the meaning of this book far better than most recognize.
This was hidden behind the Discussion tab, but much of it would be helpful to have here on the main Commentary tab:
  • Repenting of dust and ashes. Joe, I find this approach fascinating. I assume you are referring to Faust in your Goethe reference. I'm ashamed to say I haven't studied Goethe or Faust very carefully so I'm anxious to hear you elaborate (if only on the discussion page if this isn't appropriate for the commentary page). I also see now how this is crucially related to understanding Isa 6:5ff. Couple thoughts/questions: Might ashes be related to the "burning" of the Holy Ghost, baptism of fire etc.? Dust figures prominently in the Book of Mormon (I'm thinking "less than the dust" in Helaman esp.). Is there any reason to think they did or did not have access to the book of Job? What else is the significance of dust? From what I understand, it is Jewish tradition to have more respect for prophets who sort of talked back and argued with God. I'd like to look into this more—can you recommend anywhere to start looking? I think I've got a Ginzberg book checked out of the library, I'll see if he says anything related to Job in this vein. Very, very interesting.... --RobertC 16:54, 23 Aug 2006 (UTC)
On dust/ashes. It would be worth reading through the Book of Job with an eye to the Book of Mormon (I vaguely recall seeing some parallel language at some point). I don't know where I fall on dating the Book of Job. Placing it in the post-exilic milieu makes sense to me, though I have to admit that the sheer audacity of the text suggests an earlier date in some ways. I'd have to dedicate more to that.
On prophets talking back. A number of the OT prophets seem to have these moments. D&C 121 is an interesting place to look at it as well (recall that the Lord even cites Job there). I wonder if the best place wouldn't be Habakkuk. I began a few weeks ago to dedicate some discussion to that book here on the wiki (for this very reason), but interest didn't seem plentiful, so I dropped it. It might be worth returning to it. Habakkuk definitely dedicates himself to talking back to the Lord, but it is quite an odd text in its manner of execution. The whole theme of talking back probably needs to be thought through higher orders of prayer (which is what I think the Book of Job is all about). What of Jonah? That might be more interesting still: the prophet who simply refuses, gives in, refuses (the silence of Jonah clearly parallels the silence of Job in chapter 40), and then has a similar theophany, etc.
On Faust. Yes, Faust is what I had in mind. Goethe's brilliant move was to read the historical pact with Satan (apparently made by a real German priest named Faust) as a bet (Faust bets Mephisto that the latter cannot give him, through the pleasures of the flesh, the vision of the unifying meaning of all knowledge, the Augenblick), which Goethe reads as parallel to a sort of bet between Mephisto and God at the beginning of the play (God bets Mephisto that Faust will hold strong against all temptation). Goethe seems to have seen in Job, then, the radical character of God, desirous to show off His hero and willing to put His servant through a great deal of trouble in order to prove him (saving him at the very end, oddly enough, through Faust's horribly treated victim, Gretchen). In the end, I think what Goethe read well in Job was the question of the gamble, the deal, or the bet, which could only have been made with an eye to Faust's/Job's implicit worthiness and its explicitation through the gamble. Of course, Goethe misses (or is not interested in) the theme of prayer that so powerfully underlies Job, as he does a number of other major themes. After all, Faust is far more complicated than all this, one of the most complicated works in literature, really. But it is clear that Goethe saw something interesting in Job that most readers miss. --Joe Spencer 15:04, 24 Aug 2006 (UTC)
I'll try to consider Habakkuk and Jonah in the light you suggest (Jonah is the week after Job on the SS docket, but Habakkuk is never covered...). Thanks for these thoughts. --RobertC 16:13, 24 Aug 2006 (UTC)
Would be good to 'splain the Faust reference on the commentary page, as I think most won't get it. --Rob Fergus 23:10, 24 Aug 2006 (UTC)
  • More on dust and ashes. I finally got the Janzen book from the library. I think his writing is very, very interesting (though frustrating at times b/c he doesn't seem to quite fully develop his ideas; I'm anxious to look up some of the references he cites...). So I've been looking more closely at how the words dust and ashes are used in scripture.
  • Sackcloth and ashes. I think it's significant that the phrase "sackcloth and ashes" is not used, although the phrases of course may have similar meanings. Several later scriptures use the prhase "repent in sackcloth and ashes." On the one hand, this may be taken as suggestive that the reading of Job should be (or at least was historically taken as) such that Job is repenting in rather than of or concerning dust and ashes. On the other hand, the later use of "in sackcloth and ashes" may have a contrasting meaning to the "repenting of sackcloth and ashes" rendering.
  • Ashes and purification. I think the use of ashes in the Num 19:1-10 cleansing ritual is significant and may be taken as a symbol of the need to be purified. In this sense, it may be that Job, who continually maintaints that he is righteous, still has a need to be further purified. That is, perhaps an important purpose of the story of Job is to illustrate a distinction between righteousness in the sense that Job can legitimately claim for himself, and purified which only occurs later.
  • Dust and creation. This is what I think I really need to study more. It seems the discussion of creation in Job does not really include man among God's creations (I need to check this...). That is, man is not like God's others creations and so, although man is created from dust like other creatures, man is given a unique opportunity to transcend the nature of dust—after all, man is created in the image of God. This seems to be a major thrust in Janzen's argument, that man must reconcile his beginning as dust, but his destiny as more than dust. I think this is what is particularly interesting from an LDS perspective, given the prominence of dust in the BOM and the "man is nothing" phrase in Moses, coupled with man's divine potential. Definitely something I want to study more.... --RobertC 19:38, 2 Sep 2006 (UTC)
Robert, I think your third bullet is the best avenue for study. I think the phrasing is so careful here that Job's author is trying to take a departure from the common "in sackcloth and ashes" as you suggest. There are certainly some interesting themes of purification with ashes (a theme universal in the ancient world--cf. the Odyssey). But the dust and creation thing is certainly the most significant. I think that the creation story, as told in Job, needs to be explored in far greater detail by Latter-day Saints, particularly because it appears as a part of a theophany, as in the temple (in a way).
There is more, too. I really think it would be fruitful to try to read the book of Job through the theme of prayer. As I read the debates between Job and the friends, I see Job continually struggling to leave off the friends so that he can pray. In other words, Job sees the difficulties as a reason to turn to God in prayer. The friends are constantly telling him not to pray, distracting him from his prayer, because they believe a prayer the way he raises it to be blasphemous. When they are finally silenced by his arguments, he offers the prayer that results in a twofold engagement: Elihu (Alcibiades in the Symposium?) and God Himself. That Job essentially offers the prayer three times (in the three cycles) is interesting. There is a truer order of prayer at work here, I think. And in that order of prayer, Job is to repent of dust and ashes, to change his mind concerning dust... A thought, at least. --Joe Spencer 15:38, 4 Sep 2006 (UTC)
Interesting idea about prayer, I'll chew on this for a while.
On the one hand, I'm a little unmotivated to really spend a lot of time on Job b/c there only seem to be three mentions of Job in others scriptures (Ezek 14:14, 20; James 5:11; D&C 121:10). On the other hand, I think these are all fascinating and important passages regarding patience and adversity. By the sheer number of times we here D&C 121 quoted, I think it's importance is self-evident (I've wondered if there is a connection with the first part of that section and the last part, but haven't really looked into this yet). I think patience in the book of James is a very intriguing concept, esp. in light of the tantalizing ideas which begin the book in James 1:2-4: "the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect"—thus patience seems a theme which serves as book-ends to this book, with famous passages about asking God, words, faith and works in between, so again I think these passages are particularly significant for Mormons. I think Ezek 14:12-20 is a fascinating pericope addressing themes which are at least loosely related to Job, but I'm still a bit puzzled as to why Job, Daniel and Noah are singled out. The next step I take in trying to understand Job may be looking at these other passages more closely.
I should also add that, in reading about Job, I've read criticisms that James is missing the point of Job. Although I'm sympathetic to a polyphonic (in the Bhaktinian sense—after all, I studied Russian literature as an undergrad...) reading of Job, I think a lot can be learned from a Jamesian reading of Job, and I think the D&C allusion may presuppose a Jamesian reading. I also think a Jamesian reading may shed a lot of light (though perhaps not the only type of light) on the Ezekiel passage. In other words, I am interested in first understanding how Ezekiel, James and Joseph Smith understood Job (or how their writing elucidates Job) and secondarily interested in in understanding the book of Job on it's own (this is mainly b/c I only have a limited amount of time and prefer to focus it on understanding the most Mormon-relevant scriptures, as I arbitrarily see fit...). --RobertC 17:17, 4 Sep 2006 (UTC)
James, I think, reads this text wonderfully. We just have to realize that patient faith does not mean sitting quietly and waiting, but rather turning to God in accusatory prayer. The prayer theme is important for James' reading, I think: patience and faith are not attitudes (being happy or unhappy with God), they are actions (turning to God whether happy or unhappy versus turning away from God where happy or unhappy). I love your contextualization of James, though, the connection between patience late and patience early in the epistle. I have to reread James now. I have not taken D&C 121 on this subject very seriously. It is so brief a reference, and it seems to me to suggest little more than that Joseph doesn't have it so bad. But I'd be interested to hear what you come up with there.
Ezekiel is not so simple. I personally think that Ezekiel was written before Job, which would complicate trying to read Ezekiel in light of Job, rather than Job in light of Ezekiel. In fact, there is reason to believe that Ezekiel had a tradition in which Job, Noah, and Daniel were all considered to be traditional stories that everyone knew about. If one accepts the late dating of Daniel (I'm not sure whether I do or not yet) and the late dating of the Noah cycle (I certainly do not), then Job fits right in as a late text (I do, however, believe Job is rather late). Whatever Ezekiel knows about the three figures, it is clear that they are all understood to be figures from a much earlier history, folk stories, etc. I think that the book of Job, then, is a late literary handling of a story that had been around a long time (which means that the Job story might well be historical, though the book is not--that's my position). Noah's story seems to have been officially written up by this time, by all accounts, so it is not quite clear why Noah would be mentioned as folklore, unless the Genesis text was simply unavailable generally. Daniel was, as yet, nobody, and I am increasingly convinced that the Book of Daniel was written in a manner similar to Job: later, but based on historical stories that had been around a good while (in other words, I think the historical Daniel was probably not so late as the book of Daniel suggests, though I think some of the stories there are true stories of the earlier Daniel; the remainder of Daniel would be some later prophet working through his own questions in the name of that figure).
I suppose the question that underlies the Ezekiel reference is a question of the nature of pseudepigraphical writing. Is a book uninspired simply because it was written in the name of a historical figure by a much later person? I don't think so. It may just have been the prophetic style of a few of the post-exilic centuries--a rather literary style, but for preicsely that reason a rather rich one. On that account, we can take up texts like the Testament of Job (which has some very interesting connections to the temple), the Apocalypse of Abraham (which is similar in that regard), and the Book of Enoch (which goes a long way toward explaining the roots of Christianity--besides being quoted in Jude). At any rate, some thoughts for further external work on Job, and for further internal work as well (all of this, I hope, suggests that Job has to be read as a literary work, a poem that explores the possibilities of certain themes through the historical figure of Job). --Joe Spencer 14:52, 5 Sep 2006 (UTC)

Points to ponder[edit]

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I have a question[edit]

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  • Job 38:1-7. Where were we when the Lord created the earth (verse 4)?
  • Job 38:1-7. How did we participate in creating the earth?
  • Job 38:1-7. How do we continue to create the earth through our stewardship to care for the earth?
  • Job 38:1-7. Who are the morning stars (verse 7)?

Resources[edit]

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Notes[edit]

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Alma 40:11-15

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 36-42 > Chapters 39-41
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Summary[edit]

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Relationship to Alma 36-42. In Chapter 39 Alma turns from counseling his two older sons, Helaman and Shiblon, to counseling his younger son Corianton, the one who famously abandoned the ministry to pursue a harlot. The relationship of Chapters 39-41 to the rest of Chapters 36-41 is discussed at Chapters 36-42.

Story. Chapters 39-41 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 39-41 include:

Discussion[edit]

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. →

Alma 39[edit]

  • Alma 39: Outline. Alma 39:1-14 is an exhortation consisting of four major sections:
  • Verses 39:1-4: Alma rebukes Corianton for not following his brothers' example, instead boasting in his own strength and leaving the ministry to pursue a harlot.
  • Verses 39:5-8: Alma explains that this conduct is next in seriousness to murder and denying the Holy Ghost.
  • Verses 39:9-14: Alma instructs Corianton to counsel with his brothers, forsake adultery, and return to the ministry.
  • Verses 39:15-19: Alma explains that Corianton's ministry is to declare glad tidings of redemption through Christ.
  • Alma 39:1-14: Exhortation. Three elements of a typical exhortation are: (1) an exposition or description of an unacceptable condition, such as Your room is messy. (2) a call or exhortation to change the situation, such as Clean your room right now. and (3) a narrative prediction of good and bad consequences, or of carrots and sticks, to motivate the desired change, such as Otherwise you will be grounded. Although only the second of these three sentences appears to be an exhortation, all three sentences contribute to the overall exhortational purpose of this paragraph. Here Alma uses all three elements to encourage Corianton to repent. Alma first identifies Corianton's bad conduct in verses 39:1-4,then explains the seriousness of the consequences that Corianton now faces in verses 39:5-8, and finally concludes by stating exactly what change in behavior is expected in verses 39:9-14.
  • Alma 39:13. In this verse Alma emphasizes an important part of repentance - restitution, or repairing damages that our sins may have caused.
  • Alma 39:14. Alma tells his son not to seek for riches or vanities of the world because we cannot take these things with us into the next life. Note that, in contrast, Doctrine & Covenants 130:18 tells us that we can take knowledge and intelligence with us into the next life.

Alma 40[edit]

Alma 41[edit]

  • Alma 41:1: Wrested. In verse 1 wrested means distorted, twisted or perverted. See Webster's 1828 definition here. Here Alma tells us that some have gone astray by twisting and distorting the scriptures in relation to the restoration. Though the scriptures are meant for our good, we see here that if we distort them, they can lead us astray.
  • Alma 41:14: Restoration. How you live and treat others in this life is how you will be rewarded and restored in the next life. Verse 14 is a good, simple, one-verse reminder of how we are expected to conduct ourselves with respect to others.

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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  • Alma 39:5: These things. Which things are the abomination being referred to here, sexual sin (cf. verse 9) or "leading away the hearts of many people to destruction" (cf. verse 12 and Alma 36:14)?
  • Alma 39:6: Why does Alma repeat the phrase "it is not easy for him to obtain a forgiveness"? If it's to emphasize the point to Corianton, why might Alma feel this point needs to be emphasized to Corianton?
  • Alma 39:6: Why is the article "a" used to modify forgiveness here? (Note: all other uses of the term forgiveness in the scriptures do not use such an article.)
  • Alma 39:9: What does it mean to "cross" yourself?
  • Alma 39:9: Why is remembering so important to the repentance process? How can remembering help you gain control of unwanted desires? What can you do each day to help you remember?
  • Alma 40:1: Why might Corianton be "worried concerning the resurrection of the dead"? How did Alma "perceive" this worry?
  • Alma 40:2: Why could there be no resurrection "until after the coming of Christ"?
  • Alma 40:2: What does it mean for "corruption" to "put on incorruption"?
  • Alma 40:3: What does it mean that Christ "bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead"?
  • Alma 40:3: What does Alma mean by "mystery"? Does that just mean something lie things "which are kept, that no one knoweth them save God himself"? Or is something else meant here?
  • Alma 40:3: Why might Alma have "inquired diligently of God" to know "concerning the resurrection"? Why would this have been of special interest to Alma? Was it just because of Corianton's concern, or for some other reason?
  • Alma 40:4: What does it mean to "come forth from the dead"?
  • Alma 40:4: Alma teaches that "all shall come forth". Why is that significant?
  • Alma 40:5: Why doesn't Alma know how many times the resurrection will happen?
  • Alma 40:5: What does it mean that "there is a time appointed" for the resurrection?
  • Alma 40:6: What is meant by a "space" betwixt the time of death and the time of resurrection?
  • Alma 407: Why shift from talking about the resurrection itself to the space between death and resurrection?
  • Alma 40:8: What might it mean that "time only is measured unto men"? Does this have anything to do with D&C 130:7, where in contrast to mortality, all things past, present, and future are present before God?
  • Alma 40:9: Why has Alma been asking the Lord about the time between death and resurrection? What does it mean that Alma had "inquired diligently of the Lord to know" about these things? How does one inquire diligently?
  • Alma 40:9: Why would the Lord bother to answer Alma's questions about the afterlife? Is this just for Alma's edification, or was the revelation to him given mostly for the benefit of Corianton or others?
  • Alma 40:10: What does it mean that "God knoweth all the times which are appointed unto man"? What is this and why would it be important?
  • Alma 40:11: Why does Alma get answers to his prayers delivered by angels?
  • Alma 40:11: What does it mean for spirits to be "taken home to that God who gave them life"? How does this happen for both good and evil people?
  • Alma 40:12: Why is this "state of happiness" called paradise?
  • Alma 40:12: What does it mean for paradise to be a "state of rest, a state of peace, where they...rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow"? How does this compare to the view of the spirit world received by modern prophets, who indicate that priesthood holders are very busy there to teach the gospel to departed spirits?
  • Alma 40:13: What does it mean to "have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord"? Does that mean that if we have even a tiny portion, we aren't evil?
  • Alma 40:13: What does it mean to choose "evil works rather than good"? What is the definition of evil here?
  • Alma 40:13: How literally should we take this teaching of the devil taking "possession of their house"? What does this mean?
  • Alma 40:13: What is this "outer darkness"? How does it relate to our teaching of spirit prison?
  • Alma 40:13: Why does this verse include the word "wailing" in between the words "weeping" and "gnashing," unlike this verse from the New Testament: "shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt 8:12)?
  • Alma 40:13: What does it mean to be "led captive by the will of the devil"? Is everyone who doesn't accept the gospel being led by the devil? How many modern church members are being led captive? What does that mean, how does it happen, and how can we avoid it?
  • Alma 40:13: Do we see ourselves or our neighbors being "led captive by the will of the devil"? Why or why not? How does this relate to the feelings of the sons of Mosiah about their neighbors (Mosiah 28:3)?
  • Alma 40:14: What does it mean for the souls of the wicked to be in "darkness"?
  • Alma 40:14: What does it mean to be in "a state of awful, fearful looking"?
  • Alma 40:14: What is the "fiery indignation of the wrath of God"?
  • Alma 40:15: How can the initial judgment and consignation to different places in the spirit world be termed a resurrection?
  • Alma 40:15: What does Alma mean by "resurrection"?
  • Alma 40:15: What is this "consignation to happiness or misery" that Alma speaks of? How is this accomplished?
  • Alma 40:15: What are the "words which have been spoken" that Alma refers to?
  • Alma 40:16: How does this teaching square with our current teachings about "the morning of the first resurrection"?
  • Alma 40:17: What is the difference in being happy or being miserable when you are a disembodied spirit? How do you feel emotion without brain chemicals?
  • Alma 40:18: Alma seems to be using the word "soul" as an equivalent of what we mean when we say "spirit". How is this different from how we normally think of "soul"? Is there a difference between Alma's conception of the soul and our conception of the spirit?
  • Alma 40:19: Alma teaches that everyone who lives before Christ is resurrected will be resurrected before anyone who dies after that. How does that square with our current teachings about this? If we believe that Moroni has been resurrected, for Alma to be correct here, would that mean that everyone who has lived before Christ has already been resurrected? Could Alma be mistaken here? Or is there another way to read this verse?
  • Alma 40:20: Why would Alma offer an opinion about the timing of the resurrection? Why is Alma careful to label this part of his teaching an opinion? Does this also apply to his teaching about the timing of the resurrection of those who die before the resurrection of Christ (v.19)?
  • Alma 41:1: Of which has been spoken. Is there a passage in the Book of Mormon concerning the restoration that Alma may be referring to here?
  • Alma 41:5: The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness. Although seemingly simplistic in its logic, what does Alma mean by happiness? This verse reminds me of "Wickedness never was happiness", but does that mean? Also, if Alma states that those who are raised to happiness because they desire to be happy, doesn't that imply that those who don't get raised in happiness simply don't want to be happy? If happiness is something that one can either accept or reject based on their own desire, then what of exhorting people to happiness? What is innately "better" about being happy? To translate this into contemporary Mormon jargon, what is "better" about receiving celestial glory than any other glory? Will celestial glory ultimately everybody realize they would have wanted but failed to recognize here on earth? Will everybody ultimately be "happy" in whatever state of glory they end up in? Does God want us to be "happy" for our sake or for His sake or for both?
  • Alma 41:8: What are the decrees of God? What does it mean that they are unalterable?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Alma 39:5: The sin next to murder. Ash, Michael R. "The Sin Next to Murder: An Alternative Interpretation.", Sunstone (November 2006) p. 34-43. This article identifies several statements in which church leaders have interpreted verse 39:5 to mean that adultery is next to murder in seriousness. The article argues that in fact the sin next to murder is not adultery but is instead leading others spiritually astray. On the one hand, the article presents well reasoned arguments about the seriousness of leading others astray and convincingly explains how this verse can be read consistent with the idea that the sin next to murder is not adultery but is instead leading others astray. On the other hand, this article gives insufficient weight to the admonition in verses 39:9, 11 that Corianton forsake adultery, and thus leaves open the possibility of also reading this verse consistent with the usual interpretation that the sin next to murder is in fact adultery. The article thus opens a second avenue of interpretation without settling the issue of which interpretation should be preferred.
  • Alma 39:9. Compare verse 9 with Mosiah 4:30, "watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the comments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard..."
  • Alma 39:14. Elder Dallin H Oaks explains in "Focus and Priorities" (Ensign May 2001) that "the 'vain things of [the] world' include every combination of that worldly quartet of property, pride, prominence, and power." He also says there: "As regards property, Jesus taught that 'a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth' (Luke 12:15)."
  • Alma 40:16: Referring to Abinadi's teaching? See this comment for an argument that Alma is referring to Abinadi's teaching here.
  • Alma 41:10-11. Marcus B. Nash, "The Great Plan of Happiness," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 49–50. Elder Nash notes that "to be without God in the world—in other words, to refuse to live His gospel and therefore lack the companionship of the Spirit—is to be in a state contrary to the nature of happiness. The gospel of Jesus Christ is, in fact, the—note that this is singular, meaning it is the only—"great plan of happiness" (see Alma 42:8). If you opt for any other way of life or try to live only the parts of the gospel that seem convenient, such a choice will cheat you of the full, resplendent joy and happiness for which you were designed by our loving Father in Heaven and His Son."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 38                      Next page: Chapter 42

Alma 42:6-10

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 36-42 > Chapter 42
Previous page: Chapter 39-41                      Next page: Chapters 43-44


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Alma 36-42. The relationship of Chapter 42 to the rest of Chapters 36-42 is discussed at Chapters 36-42.

Story. Chapter 42 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 42 include:

Discussion[edit]

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. →

  • Verse 1: Alma talks to his sinning son Corianton. Alma perceives Corianton is troubled by the notion of justice. To Corianton it doesn't seem just that the sinful should be consigned to misery.
  • Verses 2-6: There is a space granted in which to repent.
  • Verses 7-9: It is expedient that man be reclaimed from spiritual death.
  • Verses 10-11: This life is a probationary state.
  • Verses 12-15: The requisite conditions for repentance.
  • Verses 16-18: There is a punishment affixed.
  • Verses 19-25: Mercy and justice claim their own because of the atonement.
  • Verses 26-31: Return to personal: don't deny the justice of God, don't be troubled by the justice of God, be troubled by your sins.
  • Alma 42:5 - Plan of Salvation
  • Alma 42:8 - Plan of Happiness
  • Alma 42:5 - Plan of Salvation
  • Alma 42:8 - Plan of Happiness
  • Alma 42:13 - Plan of Redemption
  • Alma 42:15 - Plan of Mercy
  • Alma 42:1-6. Alma just finished explaining to Corianton how restoration implies that good will be restored for good and evil for evil. Now Alma responds to a concern Alma perceives that Corianton has about the justice of God in consigning the sinner to a state of misery.
To begin Alma turns to Adam and Eve. He explains that a time was given to them to repent by preventing them from eating of the tree of life. The flaming sword and cherubim were put to guard the tree of life so that Adam and Eve wouldn't take the fruit and live forever. In verses 4-5 Alma tells his son that had Adam and Eve eaten the fruit of the tree of life, they couldn't have repented; they wouldn't have had a chance to be saved from their sins. Because Adam and Eve weren't allowed to eat of the tree of life, they had to die (verse 6). We can read verse 6 as a definition of what it means to be fallen. Man was fallen because he had to die.
Plan of salvation. In Alma 42, Alma speaks of four "plans" and he gives each a name. Although these plans are treated synonymously by most of Mormon literature, they are indeed specific to each portion of God's ultimate plan for his children. The first of these plans is mentioned in verse 5.
In the garden, two trees were mentioned by name: the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In Gen 2:16, God invited Adam and Eve to "freely eat" of every tree except that which was forbidden, meaning they had unfettered access to the Tree of Life. In the garden, Adam and Eve lived immortal lives, the same state promised to all God's children by the Plan of Salvation. Because of disobedience, Adam was to be punished according to the laws of Justice, and reaching forth his hand at that time to partake of the fruit would have caused him to face eternal punishment. To protect Adam, and indeed the Plan of Salvation itself, God chose to guard the tree with a "flaming sword."
Adam and Eve were sentenced to death after a probationary period. This period is integral to the Plan of Happiness mentioned in verse 8.
Alma highlights and summarizes his discussion in vs. 2-6 in vs. 7-9. Verse 7 begins 'Now ye see..." Our original parents were cut off temporally and spiritually and they could now follow after their own will. Death is part of God's plan, that we are cut off from the presence of the Lord. It was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from temporal death, but it was expedient that man should be reclaimed from spiritual death. This last claim, that it is expedient that man be reclaimed from spiritual death summarizes the movement of the narrative in verses 7-9.
  • Alma 42:7 - Temporal Death refers to the separation of body and spirit.
  • Alma 42:9 - Spiritual death implies the separation from the presence of God.
Plan of happiness. After the fall of Adam, mankind was cut off completely from the presence of God; however, it was not expedient for them to be reclaimed from physical death. In fact, by so doing, man's opportunity to gain true happiness would have been frustrated. The Plan of Happiness requires that men and women "follow after their own free will" for both good and evil, in order to learn wisdom and knowledge from their mistakes and successes. We must experience misery to appreciate joy, and sin in order that we may learn how to do good (see 2 Ne 2:23). Free will is central to the Plan of Happiness.
Choosing to freely repent and forsake one's sins is integral to the Plan of Redemption talked about in verse 13.
  • Alma 42:10-11. In verses 10-11, Alma teaches that because of the Fall, man had become carnal and a probationary period was given. Had there been no plan, there would be no escape from misery. Recall that the original perceived concern of Corianton was that it is "injustice that the sinner should be consigned to a state of misery." Alma is answering this concern by telling Corianton that misery is what we all would face, without this plan.
  • Alma 42:12-15. Verses 12-15 explain that man can be reclaimed from this state of misery on conditions of repentance. This is a central teaching in this passage, that without conditions, mercy couldn't take effect without destroying justice, and if justice is destroyed, God ceases to be God. Without mercy mankind would be in the grasp of justice, consigned forever to be cut off from the presence of God. To appease the demands of justice God himself atoned for the sins of the world. In this way God is perfect, just, and merciful.
Plan of Redemption and Plan of Mercy. Redemption is the act of regaining something that was previously lost. The whole purpose of the Plan of Redemption is to bring about victory over spiritual and physical death (see also Alma 12:25). We each participate in our own redemption--IT IS NOT FREE. For redemption to occur, men must repent and come unto Christ. Those who fail to repent during their lifetime (the probationary period) will be held accountable to the Justice of God for their sins.
However, repentance is only part of this equation. Remember, we are saved by grace "in spite of" all that we can do (see 2 Ne 2:23). Without the Plan of Mercy none of us would ever experience eternal life. Jesus Christ and his infinite sacrifice are central to this final part of God's plan for us. One perfect man, the son of God, took upon himself the sins of the world that He may intercede with God on our behalf, and offer us mercy instead of justice at the day of judgment--"at-one-ment" instead of "eternal punishment" (see D&C 19:11).
This narrowly focused interpretation of the Plan of Mercy gives additional weight to Alma's admonition that Corianton continue to "brings souls to unto repentance, [so] that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them" (Alma 42:31).
  • Alma 42:13, 22, 25: God would cease to be God. In verse 13 Alma tells his son that if people could be redeemed without repenting, justice would be destroyed. Then he says that the work of justice could not be destroyed--for if it were God would cease to be God.
Some read these verses as suggesting that God could literally cease to be God--he could actually lose his glory, power, and standing as a divine being--if He acted contrary to the law of justice by allowing men to be redeemed without requiring repentance. According to this view, God must live by certain laws--such as the law of justice--if He is to maintain his divine status. See the discussion of D&C 29:36 regarding honor as power. The view that God could cease to be God goes against the traditional Christian view of an Omnipotent God who makes the rules rather than a being who achieves godhood through abiding by the rules to which He is subject.
Others believe that Alma isn't saying that God could actually cease to be God. Under this interpretation the argument goes like this. 1) Alma argues that to allow the sinner to be redeemed without repentance would destroy justice. 2) Alma then says justice cannot be destroyed. 3) Alma backs up the claim that justice cannot be destroyed by saying that if it were God would cease to be God--something that cannot happen. In sum, in this view, Alma is saying that it is inconceivable that God, a just God, would destroy justice by allowing the sinner to be redeemed without repentance.
Both views are consistent with Alma's point that it makes sense that repentance is required in order for someone to be redeemed from their sins.
  • Alma 42:16-18. In verses 16-18, Alma teaches that repentance would be void, or of no effect if there was no punishment. There is a punishment affixed, this punishment stands opposite to eternal happiness. The fulcrum upon which these are balanced is law. How could one sin if there was no law? How could there be law if there was no punishment? Alma admonishes that Corianton rest assured that the law and punishment were affixed.
In verse 16 the Plan of Happiness clearly is synonymous to free will, else how could punishment be affixed in opposition to it unless the plan allowed for man to sin. And, just as "agency" and "free will" have been with us from the beginning (see D&C 93:29), Alma also states that the Plan of Happiness is as "eternal as the life of the soul."
  • Alma 42:19-25. In verses 19-25, Alma embellishes his discussion of law and recommends that the atonement allows mercy and justice to each claim their own. Alma asks: If there were no law, would anyone fear to murder? If there were no law, if men sinned, what could justice or mercy do? In affixing the punishment, the law is executed. In granting repentance, the law is executed. Mercy and justice claim all their own because of the atonement.
  • Alma 42:26-31. In verses 26-31, Alma returns to the interpersonal discussion with his son, Corianton. Recall once more that Corianton's concern was that it is injust that sinners should be consigned to misery. Alma has discussed justice and mercy, and how the atonement allows mercy and justice to claim their own. Injustice would occur if a person or group of people are inevitably, unavoidably consigned to misery. Corianton suggested (or Alma perceived that Corianton believed) that it appears the group of sinners is so consigned. Alma's response is that whoso wants may partake of mercy through repentance, but no one is compelled (such compelling would likewise compromise the demands of justice and mercy). Finally, Alma exclaims that Corianton should not deny the justice of God, and should not be troubled by seeming injustices--he (Alma) has just explained the 'justness' of the plan. He summarizes his response to the original concern like this: Don't be troubled by the justice of God, be troubled by your own sins.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

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. →

  • Alma 42:2: Why does this verse apparently quote from Gen 3:23, which says "the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken," but change the noun from Adam to "our first parents" and the pronoun from "him" to "they"?
  • Alma 42:2: Why does this verse apparently quote from Gen 3:24, which says "he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life," but change "drew" to "drove," eliminate "end" from "east end," make "cherubims" singular, and add "the way of"?
  • Alma 42:3: Why does this verse apparently quote from Gen 3:22, which says "lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever," but change the order of the quotations in Genesis 3 and eliminate the word "should"?
  • Alma 42:5: Why would partaking of the tree of life have meant that Adam could not have had a space for repentance? What is the connection between mortality and an ability to repent?
  • Alma 42:5: What might it mean that God could "cease to be God" (vs. 13)?
  • Alma 42:20: Does this verse make it sound like our obedience should be out of fear? Does it sound like this verse assumes people operate according to a sense of preconventional morality?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Alma 42. The Plan of Salvation, Gerald N. Lund follows the chronology of God's plan for his children from the Premortal Existence through the Three Degrees of Glory.

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.



Previous page: Chapter 39-41                      Next page: Chapters 43-44

Alma 42:11-15

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 36-42 > Chapter 42
Previous page: Chapter 39-41                      Next page: Chapters 43-44


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Alma 36-42. The relationship of Chapter 42 to the rest of Chapters 36-42 is discussed at Chapters 36-42.

Story. Chapter 42 consists of ____ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 42 include:

Discussion[edit]

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. →

  • Verse 1: Alma talks to his sinning son Corianton. Alma perceives Corianton is troubled by the notion of justice. To Corianton it doesn't seem just that the sinful should be consigned to misery.
  • Verses 2-6: There is a space granted in which to repent.
  • Verses 7-9: It is expedient that man be reclaimed from spiritual death.
  • Verses 10-11: This life is a probationary state.
  • Verses 12-15: The requisite conditions for repentance.
  • Verses 16-18: There is a punishment affixed.
  • Verses 19-25: Mercy and justice claim their own because of the atonement.
  • Verses 26-31: Return to personal: don't deny the justice of God, don't be troubled by the justice of God, be troubled by your sins.
  • Alma 42:5 - Plan of Salvation
  • Alma 42:8 - Plan of Happiness
  • Alma 42:5 - Plan of Salvation
  • Alma 42:8 - Plan of Happiness
  • Alma 42:13 - Plan of Redemption
  • Alma 42:15 - Plan of Mercy
  • Alma 42:1-6. Alma just finished explaining to Corianton how restoration implies that good will be restored for good and evil for evil. Now Alma responds to a concern Alma perceives that Corianton has about the justice of God in consigning the sinner to a state of misery.
To begin Alma turns to Adam and Eve. He explains that a time was given to them to repent by preventing them from eating of the tree of life. The flaming sword and cherubim were put to guard the tree of life so that Adam and Eve wouldn't take the fruit and live forever. In verses 4-5 Alma tells his son that had Adam and Eve eaten the fruit of the tree of life, they couldn't have repented; they wouldn't have had a chance to be saved from their sins. Because Adam and Eve weren't allowed to eat of the tree of life, they had to die (verse 6). We can read verse 6 as a definition of what it means to be fallen. Man was fallen because he had to die.
Plan of salvation. In Alma 42, Alma speaks of four "plans" and he gives each a name. Although these plans are treated synonymously by most of Mormon literature, they are indeed specific to each portion of God's ultimate plan for his children. The first of these plans is mentioned in verse 5.
In the garden, two trees were mentioned by name: the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In Gen 2:16, God invited Adam and Eve to "freely eat" of every tree except that which was forbidden, meaning they had unfettered access to the Tree of Life. In the garden, Adam and Eve lived immortal lives, the same state promised to all God's children by the Plan of Salvation. Because of disobedience, Adam was to be punished according to the laws of Justice, and reaching forth his hand at that time to partake of the fruit would have caused him to face eternal punishment. To protect Adam, and indeed the Plan of Salvation itself, God chose to guard the tree with a "flaming sword."
Adam and Eve were sentenced to death after a probationary period. This period is integral to the Plan of Happiness mentioned in verse 8.
Alma highlights and summarizes his discussion in vs. 2-6 in vs. 7-9. Verse 7 begins 'Now ye see..." Our original parents were cut off temporally and spiritually and they could now follow after their own will. Death is part of God's plan, that we are cut off from the presence of the Lord. It was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from temporal death, but it was expedient that man should be reclaimed from spiritual death. This last claim, that it is expedient that man be reclaimed from spiritual death summarizes the movement of the narrative in verses 7-9.
  • Alma 42:7 - Temporal Death refers to the separation of body and spirit.
  • Alma 42:9 - Spiritual death implies the separation from the presence of God.
Plan of happiness. After the fall of Adam, mankind was cut off completely from the presence of God; however, it was not expedient for them to be reclaimed from physical death. In fact, by so doing, man's opportunity to gain true happiness would have been frustrated. The Plan of Happiness requires that men and women "follow after their own free will" for both good and evil, in order to learn wisdom and knowledge from their mistakes and successes. We must experience misery to appreciate joy, and sin in order that we may learn how to do good (see 2 Ne 2:23). Free will is central to the Plan of Happiness.
Choosing to freely repent and forsake one's sins is integral to the Plan of Redemption talked about in verse 13.
  • Alma 42:10-11. In verses 10-11, Alma teaches that because of the Fall, man had become carnal and a probationary period was given. Had there been no plan, there would be no escape from misery. Recall that the original perceived concern of Corianton was that it is "injustice that the sinner should be consigned to a state of misery." Alma is answering this concern by telling Corianton that misery is what we all would face, without this plan.
  • Alma 42:12-15. Verses 12-15 explain that man can be reclaimed from this state of misery on conditions of repentance. This is a central teaching in this passage, that without conditions, mercy couldn't take effect without destroying justice, and if justice is destroyed, God ceases to be God. Without mercy mankind would be in the grasp of justice, consigned forever to be cut off from the presence of God. To appease the demands of justice God himself atoned for the sins of the world. In this way God is perfect, just, and merciful.
Plan of Redemption and Plan of Mercy. Redemption is the act of regaining something that was previously lost. The whole purpose of the Plan of Redemption is to bring about victory over spiritual and physical death (see also Alma 12:25). We each participate in our own redemption--IT IS NOT FREE. For redemption to occur, men must repent and come unto Christ. Those who fail to repent during their lifetime (the probationary period) will be held accountable to the Justice of God for their sins.
However, repentance is only part of this equation. Remember, we are saved by grace "in spite of" all that we can do (see 2 Ne 2:23). Without the Plan of Mercy none of us would ever experience eternal life. Jesus Christ and his infinite sacrifice are central to this final part of God's plan for us. One perfect man, the son of God, took upon himself the sins of the world that He may intercede with God on our behalf, and offer us mercy instead of justice at the day of judgment--"at-one-ment" instead of "eternal punishment" (see D&C 19:11).
This narrowly focused interpretation of the Plan of Mercy gives additional weight to Alma's admonition that Corianton continue to "brings souls to unto repentance, [so] that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them" (Alma 42:31).
  • Alma 42:13, 22, 25: God would cease to be God. In verse 13 Alma tells his son that if people could be redeemed without repenting, justice would be destroyed. Then he says that the work of justice could not be destroyed--for if it were God would cease to be God.
Some read these verses as suggesting that God could literally cease to be God--he could actually lose his glory, power, and standing as a divine being--if He acted contrary to the law of justice by allowing men to be redeemed without requiring repentance. According to this view, God must live by certain laws--such as the law of justice--if He is to maintain his divine status. See the discussion of D&C 29:36 regarding honor as power. The view that God could cease to be God goes against the traditional Christian view of an Omnipotent God who makes the rules rather than a being who achieves godhood through abiding by the rules to which He is subject.
Others believe that Alma isn't saying that God could actually cease to be God. Under this interpretation the argument goes like this. 1) Alma argues that to allow the sinner to be redeemed without repentance would destroy justice. 2) Alma then says justice cannot be destroyed. 3) Alma backs up the claim that justice cannot be destroyed by saying that if it were God would cease to be God--something that cannot happen. In sum, in this view, Alma is saying that it is inconceivable that God, a just God, would destroy justice by allowing the sinner to be redeemed without repentance.
Both views are consistent with Alma's point that it makes sense that repentance is required in order for someone to be redeemed from their sins.
  • Alma 42:16-18. In verses 16-18, Alma teaches that repentance would be void, or of no effect if there was no punishment. There is a punishment affixed, this punishment stands opposite to eternal happiness. The fulcrum upon which these are balanced is law. How could one sin if there was no law? How could there be law if there was no punishment? Alma admonishes that Corianton rest assured that the law and punishment were affixed.
In verse 16 the Plan of Happiness clearly is synonymous to free will, else how could punishment be affixed in opposition to it unless the plan allowed for man to sin. And, just as "agency" and "free will" have been with us from the beginning (see D&C 93:29), Alma also states that the Plan of Happiness is as "eternal as the life of the soul."
  • Alma 42:19-25. In verses 19-25, Alma embellishes his discussion of law and recommends that the atonement allows mercy and justice to each claim their own. Alma asks: If there were no law, would anyone fear to murder? If there were no law, if men sinned, what could justice or mercy do? In affixing the punishment, the law is executed. In granting repentance, the law is executed. Mercy and justice claim all their own because of the atonement.
  • Alma 42:26-31. In verses 26-31, Alma returns to the interpersonal discussion with his son, Corianton. Recall once more that Corianton's concern was that it is injust that sinners should be consigned to misery. Alma has discussed justice and mercy, and how the atonement allows mercy and justice to claim their own. Injustice would occur if a person or group of people are inevitably, unavoidably consigned to misery. Corianton suggested (or Alma perceived that Corianton believed) that it appears the group of sinners is so consigned. Alma's response is that whoso wants may partake of mercy through repentance, but no one is compelled (such compelling would likewise compromise the demands of justice and mercy). Finally, Alma exclaims that Corianton should not deny the justice of God, and should not be troubled by seeming injustices--he (Alma) has just explained the 'justness' of the plan. He summarizes his response to the original concern like this: Don't be troubled by the justice of God, be troubled by your own sins.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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. →

  • Alma 42:2: Why does this verse apparently quote from Gen 3:23, which says "the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken," but change the noun from Adam to "our first parents" and the pronoun from "him" to "they"?
  • Alma 42:2: Why does this verse apparently quote from Gen 3:24, which says "he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life," but change "drew" to "drove," eliminate "end" from "east end," make "cherubims" singular, and add "the way of"?
  • Alma 42:3: Why does this verse apparently quote from Gen 3:22, which says "lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever," but change the order of the quotations in Genesis 3 and eliminate the word "should"?
  • Alma 42:5: Why would partaking of the tree of life have meant that Adam could not have had a space for repentance? What is the connection between mortality and an ability to repent?
  • Alma 42:5: What might it mean that God could "cease to be God" (vs. 13)?
  • Alma 42:20: Does this verse make it sound like our obedience should be out of fear? Does it sound like this verse assumes people operate according to a sense of preconventional morality?

Resources[edit]

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  • Alma 42. The Plan of Salvation, Gerald N. Lund follows the chronology of God's plan for his children from the Premortal Existence through the Three Degrees of Glory.

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.



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D&C 19:16-20

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 19
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Summary[edit]

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Historical setting[edit]

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  • Received: March 1830 at Manchester-Palmyra, New York
  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 17
  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 21

The Book of Mormon translation was completed, and the angel Moroni appeared to the Three Witnesses, including Martin Harris, in late June or early July 1829. Joseph Smith afterward spent most of his time at home in Harmony, Pennsylvania while Oliver Cowdery and Hyrum Smith oversaw the printing at Palmyra, New York.

About nine months later the Book of Mormon became available for purchase at Palmyra on Friday, March 26, 1830, and the Church was organized eleven days after that at Fayette, New York on Tuesday, April 6, 1830.

In late March 1830, shortly before these last two two events, Joseph Knight Sr. took Joseph Smith by wagon from his home at Harmony to his parents' house at Manchester-Palmyra. Upon arriving at Palmyra they found Martin Harris crossing the street with several copies of the Book of Mormon. Martin had previously pledged his farm as security for the cost of printing, and he was therefore worried about losing his farm if the books did not sell. Martin told Joseph Smith three or four times that he must have another revelation or "commandment." Joseph put him off each time and told him to "fulfill what you have got." That night Joseph Smith, Joseph Knight Sr. and Martin Harris all slept at the Smith home.

The next morning Martin again insisted that he must have a commandment and then returned to his own home at Palmyra. That afternoon Joseph Smith received D&C 19, and Oliver Cowdery wrote it down.

For a brief overview of D&C 19 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 4 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 5.

Discussion[edit]

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  • D&C 19:6.' It is not clear what is going on in this verse. From reading this section we might come up with the following reading (called "first reading" hereafter). Other places in the scriptures say that those who don't repent (see verse 4), or in other words those found on his left hand in the day of judgment (see verse 5), will receive endless torment. And readers may have presumed that this meant that there would be no end to their torment. However, the Lord explains here that "endless" is another name for himself. Thus what reads "endless torment" can be understood as "God's punishment"--which may have an end. This section (following this same reading) explains that if one fails to repent one can suffer as Christ suffered but still inherit a kingdom of glory after.
Of course, this first reading, goes beyond the text in explaining how someone who suffers as God suffers can inherit a kingdom of glory after "paying" for their sins. But, not without some cause. For the text's stress that "endless torment" does not mean there will be no end to the torment, seems to only have a point if in fact there can be an end to this torment. And in our concept of 3 degrees of glory and outer darkness, the only place left is in one of the degrees of glory.
This first reading though is not without its problems.
First, it seems minor, but it is strange that after explaining how "endless" is a name for God, the phrase "endless torment" is replaced with "God's punishment." See further discussion of this point here.
More importantly this view doesn't fit all scriptures that mention endless torment. Consider those cases where "endless torment" is mentioned in the scriptures (2 Ne 9:19-26, 2 Ne 28:23, Jacob 6:10, Mosiah 3:25, Mosiah 28:3, Moro 8:21). We can categorize these in three sets: (a) those which fit well within the interpetation given in the first reading, (b) those which the first interpretation of D&C 19:6 is irrelevant, and (c) those which seem to contradict the first reading.
(a) Mosiah 28:3 and Moro 8:21 work well with the intepretation given in the first reading.
(b) For 2 Ne 9:19-26, 2 Ne 28:23, Jacob 6:10 the first interpretation makes little difference. In these verses endless torment is not used to describe the torment received by someone but rather a place some will go as punishment. Since these verses don't tell us that someone who goes there cannot return, the place can be a place forever of torment without any particular person ever having to stay there forever.
(c) Mosiah 3:25 is at odds with the first reading. In the previous verse King Benjamin tells the people that at the judgment day people will be judged according to their works, either good or evil. Then in verse 25, King Benjamin says that those who are judged evil will "shrink ... into a state of misery and endless torment, from whence they can no more return." The difficulty here is that substituting "endless torment" for God's punishment is insufficient to suggest (as needed for the first reading) that this punishment can end because we still have the clause "from whence they can no more return."
We must also consider D&C 76:44, given two years after this revelation. Though it doesn't specifically use the phrase "endless torment," it does use the phrase "endless punishment" and identifies that with torment. The D&C 76 revelation is prompted by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon meditating on the meaning of John 5:29. John 5:29 says that those who have done good are resurrected "unto the resurrection of life" while those who have done evil are resurrected "unto the resurrection of damnation." It seems the question in their mind was something like "what is a resurrection of damnation" or maybe "who will receive this resurrection of damnation." If we look at verse 44 as an answer to those question we get: All except the sons of perdition receive the resurrection of life and only the sons of perdition receive the resurrection of damnation.
But if we take this section to be telling us that at least some who receive "endless punishment" can have an end to their punishment and we assume that D&C 76:44 tells us that the sons of perdition cannot have an end to their punishment and then we are left with the odd idea that those discussed in this section as not repenting are those who are resurrected to a resurrection of life. This is odd because John is suggests that in the good from evil division John makes those who do evil and do not repent fall in the good bucket.
Another possibility is that the sons of perdition do not receive a punishment with no end. That is what this verse (verse 6) is saying. Though this seems to contradict D&C 76:44, a closer reading reveals that D&C 76:44 never explicitly says that there will be no end to their punishment only that the place of punishment has no end--just like the verses discussed in the paragraph above labeled (b).
Another possibility is that the resurrection of damnation is not a resurrection only the sons of perdition receive, but rather, all who do not repent. It is a resurrection of damnation because, as is explained in this section, those who receive it will have to suffer as Christ suffered. This is explained in this section. What D&C 76 teaches us is that in the group of those who receive a resurrection of damnation the sons of perdition hold a special place because they are not saved after their sufferings.
Another possibility is that the sons of perdition do receive a torment that has no end and that King Benjamin was referring to the sons of perdition when he says that says that they cannot return from their torment.
Another possibility is that King Benjamin was wrong when saying that those whose works are judged evil will suffer a torment that has no end. In verse 8 of this section Christ tells us that he is going to explain a mystery known by his apostles. The mystery is that endless torment doesn't mean no end to torment. King Benjamin did not know this mystery. Given what he did know, it was reasonable for him to say that there would not be an end to people's torment whose works had been judged evil. But in light of the knowledge we have from this section, we know that this was wrong.
[Note these are not mutually exclusive possibilities. This needs further work to clarify the relationship between these possibilities].

Outline and page map[edit]

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  • Section 19 can be outlined as follows:
A. Teachings about the atonement and punishment for sin (1-20)
  • all men must suffer for their sins on the day of judgment if they do not repent (3-5)
  • the length of punishment for sin is not endless, but is instead the punishment meted out by an endless God (6-12)
  • the Lord commands Martin Harris, in order to avoid that punishment, to repent and obey the commandments received through Joseph Smith (13-15, 20)
  • the intensity of punishment is that same exquisite pain suffered by Christ during his atonement, the smallest portion of which Martin Harris tasted at the time the Lord withdrew his Spirit (15-20)
B. Instruction to Martin Harris regarding conduct (21-41)

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 19:8: Even as mine apostles. What apostles does this verse refer to? Is this referring to a particular mystery that the apostles knew about, or is this referring more to a general kind of knowing mysteries—for example, understanding the parables Jesus taught (cf. Matt 13:11; Mark 4:11; Luke 8:10)?
  • D&C 19:11-15: What does this passage teach about the Savior’s suffering for us?
  • D&C 19:11-15: Why was Jesus willing to experience such great suffering for us?
  • D&C 19:21: What do "these things" refer to?
  • D&C 19:28: Is there a difference between praying before the world and praying in public? Or praying in secret and praying in private?

Resources[edit]

This heading is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving partial copy of D&C 19 (verses 20-41) is the one copied by John Whitmer into Revelation Book 1, p. 27-28, presumably during the summer of 1830. The oldest complete surviving copy of D&C 19 is ______.
  • D&C 19 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 19.

  • D&C 18 and D&C 19 can be read as a pair in which D&C 18 to two of the Three Witnesses emphasizes the joy available through mercy, while D&C 19 to the other Witness emphasizes the dread of justice. In addition, D&C 18:10-18 provides the clearest statement of why missionaries preach, and D&C 18:21-22, 41-45 provides the most detailed instruction so far regarding what they are to preach: repentance, baptism and endurance to the end. D&C 19:21-22, 30-31 likewise instructs Martin Harris, the other of the Three Witnesses, to preach only faith, repentance, and baptism by water and the Holy Ghost, to not preach new doctrines, and to not contend.

Doctrinal references cited on this page.

Historical references cited on this page.

Other resources.

  • D&C 19:16-20: Keith R. Edwards, "That They Might Know Thee," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 99–101. Elder Edwards said: "The great and exquisite suffering of the Savior was for us, to keep us from having to suffer as He suffered. However, suffering is a part of life, and few will escape its grasp. Since it is something that each of us has gone through, is going through, or will go through, there is scriptural suggestion that we can learn spiritual lessons if we can approach suffering, sorrow, or grief with a focus on Christ."

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.



Previous section: D&C 17                         Next section: D&C 20

D&C 29:36-40

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 29
Previous section: D&C 28                         Next section: D&C 30


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Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Historical setting[edit]

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  • Received:
  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 28
  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 30

For a brief overview of D&C 29 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 6 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 7.

Discussion[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 29:1: Atone. The word “atone” is an interesting English word, coming into English rather late (late 16th century), when it replaced the earlier verb “to one,” in other words “to join or unite.” (But “to one” was also not particularly old, first showing up in the 14th century.) In the King James translation of the Old Testament, the word “atonement” usually translates the Hebrew word kaphar, also translated “reconciliation,” “pacification,” “mercy,” “purging,” “cleansing,” and so on. In the New Testament (where the word occurs only once–Romans 5:11) it translates the Greek word katallage: “reconciliation,” “exchange.”
  • D&C 29:5: Advocate. The Latin roots of “advocate” are suggestive: ad ("to") + vocare ("call"). An advocate is one who has been called to speak for someone.
  • D&C 29:22: When men again begin to deny their God. See the discussion of this passage and related concepts at 1 Ne 22:26.
  • D&C 29:32: Spiritual and physical creations. This verse and surrounding passages seem closely related to 1 Cor 15:45-46. There, Paul writes about two Adam's, the first as "a living soul" and the second as "a quickening spirit." If the first Adam is taken as temporal/historical, and the second Adam as spiritual/liturgical, then this suggests suggests parallels with the Adam who fell and brought about temporal creation (as related in Gen 2) and Christ who brought about spiritual creation (with parallels to Genesis 1, which might be read as the pre-fallen and post-atonement state of things).
If this sketches how Joseph would've read the first natural/temporal then spiritual of 1 Cor 15:46, then perhaps the four spiritual-temporal chiastic events described here might be read as follows:
(1) The first spiritual creation corresponds to the pre-history, pre-mortal, pre-temporal order of things.
(2) The first temporal creation is the fall, the beginning of history, the giving and breaking of the commandment in the Garden of Eden. (It seems that D&C 29 does not really address these first two creations which are described in Genesis 1-2, Moses, and Abraham.)
(3) The second temporal creation corresponds to physical gathering of Israel, eschatological judgment, and physical resurrection (the Rapture?). This is what seems to be described in vv. 1-22.
(4) The second spiritual creation is Final Judgment described in vv. 27-29 (though possibly starting with the "old things shall pass away and all things shall become new" bit starting in v. 23).
Note also that this outline puts Christ's life and atonal suffering in between these two doubled creation events---that is, in the "meridian of time" as several passages in the D&C and Moses phrase it.
  • D&C 29:36: Honor as power. In Hebrews, Paul says that God created the earth through the power of faith. (Heb. 11:3). But in scriptures received through the Restoration, God’s power is described as honor.
The clearest statement is in D&C 29:36. This passage recounts that in premortality Satan 'rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; ...' This passage equates honor and power, just as in the phrase 'Shakespeare, the great English playwright, ...' This concept is also found in Moses 4:1-4, received three months earlier as part of the Joseph Smith Translation. Verse 1 recounts that Satan claimed he could save everyone in mortality, 'wherefore give me thine honor.' Verse 3 says 'Wherefore, because that Satan .. sought ... that I should give unto him mine own power; ...' These two statements makes sense if requesting God’s honor in verse 1 is the same thing as seeking God’s power in verses 3. Both of these passages thus equate God's power with his honor.
Other passages shed light on this concept of honor as power. In Alma 42, Alma says three times in the space of a dozen verses that if God were to act unjustly then he would cease to be God. 'Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.' (Alma 42: 13, 22, 25). Thus a necessary element of God’s honor is that he never acts contrary to justice. We also learn that God’s power is dependent upon his honor, suggesting that honor comes first, and then power follows.
This causal relationship between honor and power is also described at the end of Section 121. The instruction against unrighteous dominion in Section 121 includes the explanation that: 'No power ... can ... be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion' and other methods that respect agency. (D&C 121:41-45). The reward for those who learn to govern in this manner includes the following: '... thy scepter [shall be] an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.' (D&C 121:45-56). A reward that includes a scepter of righteousness and an everlasting dominion is exaltation. We thus learn here that another element of the honor that enables an exalted being to rule is respect for agency. We also learn that, just as the power of honor can be lost through dishonor, the power of honor flows naturally to those who do possess honor.
The relationship between honor and power is also illustrated by the experience of Enoch during the vision recounted in Moses 7: 'And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Enoch, and told Enoch all the doings of the children of men; wherefore Enoch knew, and looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook.' (Ms. 7:41). All eternity responding to what happens inside the heart of one person sounds like the kind of power that flows without compulsory means to exalted beings who possess honor. It does not say here that Enoch had authority to issue any instructions, or that he tried to do so, but it does sound like Enoch had the power to make things happen. (Also see the Abraham account of the creation in Abr. 4:9-12, 18, 21, 25). We also learn here that a third element of honor is love.
This idea that God’s power derives from his honor helps us to understand what God is (D&C 93:19-20) and what we must also become if we are to be like him. (Mt. 5:48 discussion). One of the ways in which the purpose of mortality can be summarized is that we are here to develop honor. It can also be more powerful to ask oneself, not merely if something is a sin, but whether it will increase or decrease one's honor.

Complete 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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  • D&C 29:36: Honor as power. Wen faced with a difficult choice, how is our answer different if we ask, not whether something is a sin, but whether it will increase or decrease our honor.

Prompts for further study[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 29:1: Arm. What does the use of “arm” to indicate mercy instead of strength suggest?
  • D&C 29:2: How does the metaphor of this verse compare to that of the previous verse? What does it mean, in this context, to call on the Lord in mighty prayer?
  • D&C 29:4: What does it mean to be chosen “out of the world"? How does that occur?
  • D&C 29:5: What does it mean to say that Christ is in our midst? How is that related to the gathering? How is the fact that he is our advocate with the Father relevant here?
  • D&C 29:5: Why does the Lord describe himself as an advocate?
  • D&C 29:5: Is his advocacy on our behalf related to the Father’s gift of the kingdom? If so, what does it mean to say that giving us that kingdom is the Father’s good will?
  • D&C 29:6: Notice how this verse differs from the same idea expressed in many other scriptures by adding “being united in prayer according to my command.” What is the significance of that addition?
  • D&C 29:6: Where are we commanded to be united in prayer? What does it mean to be united in prayer?
  • D&C 29:6: To whom is this addressed? In other words, who is called to bring the gathering to pass?
  • D&C 29:6: Does this verse define what it means to be elect?
  • D&C 29:8: At the time of this revelation, the gathering was to a particular location. Now it is to any of the stakes. How does that difference change our understanding of what it means to gather together?
  • D&C 29:8: The gathering is “to prepare their hearts.” How does the gathering do that? It is also “to [. . .] be prepared in all things against” the day of tribulation. What is that day?
  • D&C 29:8: How does the gathering prepare us for that day?
  • D&C 29:12: The Twelve which were with me in my ministry at Jerusalem. Who are these twelve? Would Judas Iscariot count as one of these? Might other, subsequent apostles—like Mathias (Acts 1:23-26) and Paul—be included?
  • D&C 29:36: Which is my power. Is this part of the devil's quote or is it God talking again? How does the answer to this question affect the meaning of the verse?

Resources[edit]

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Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 29 is __.
  • D&C 29 was first published in __.
  • D&C 29 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.

Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 29.

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.



Previous section: D&C 28                         Next section: D&C 30

D&C 29:41-45

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Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Historical setting[edit]

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  • Received:
  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 28
  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 30

For a brief overview of D&C 29 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 6 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 7.

Discussion[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 29:1: Atone. The word “atone” is an interesting English word, coming into English rather late (late 16th century), when it replaced the earlier verb “to one,” in other words “to join or unite.” (But “to one” was also not particularly old, first showing up in the 14th century.) In the King James translation of the Old Testament, the word “atonement” usually translates the Hebrew word kaphar, also translated “reconciliation,” “pacification,” “mercy,” “purging,” “cleansing,” and so on. In the New Testament (where the word occurs only once–Romans 5:11) it translates the Greek word katallage: “reconciliation,” “exchange.”
  • D&C 29:5: Advocate. The Latin roots of “advocate” are suggestive: ad ("to") + vocare ("call"). An advocate is one who has been called to speak for someone.
  • D&C 29:22: When men again begin to deny their God. See the discussion of this passage and related concepts at 1 Ne 22:26.
  • D&C 29:32: Spiritual and physical creations. This verse and surrounding passages seem closely related to 1 Cor 15:45-46. There, Paul writes about two Adam's, the first as "a living soul" and the second as "a quickening spirit." If the first Adam is taken as temporal/historical, and the second Adam as spiritual/liturgical, then this suggests suggests parallels with the Adam who fell and brought about temporal creation (as related in Gen 2) and Christ who brought about spiritual creation (with parallels to Genesis 1, which might be read as the pre-fallen and post-atonement state of things).
If this sketches how Joseph would've read the first natural/temporal then spiritual of 1 Cor 15:46, then perhaps the four spiritual-temporal chiastic events described here might be read as follows:
(1) The first spiritual creation corresponds to the pre-history, pre-mortal, pre-temporal order of things.
(2) The first temporal creation is the fall, the beginning of history, the giving and breaking of the commandment in the Garden of Eden. (It seems that D&C 29 does not really address these first two creations which are described in Genesis 1-2, Moses, and Abraham.)
(3) The second temporal creation corresponds to physical gathering of Israel, eschatological judgment, and physical resurrection (the Rapture?). This is what seems to be described in vv. 1-22.
(4) The second spiritual creation is Final Judgment described in vv. 27-29 (though possibly starting with the "old things shall pass away and all things shall become new" bit starting in v. 23).
Note also that this outline puts Christ's life and atonal suffering in between these two doubled creation events---that is, in the "meridian of time" as several passages in the D&C and Moses phrase it.
  • D&C 29:36: Honor as power. In Hebrews, Paul says that God created the earth through the power of faith. (Heb. 11:3). But in scriptures received through the Restoration, God’s power is described as honor.
The clearest statement is in D&C 29:36. This passage recounts that in premortality Satan 'rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; ...' This passage equates honor and power, just as in the phrase 'Shakespeare, the great English playwright, ...' This concept is also found in Moses 4:1-4, received three months earlier as part of the Joseph Smith Translation. Verse 1 recounts that Satan claimed he could save everyone in mortality, 'wherefore give me thine honor.' Verse 3 says 'Wherefore, because that Satan .. sought ... that I should give unto him mine own power; ...' These two statements makes sense if requesting God’s honor in verse 1 is the same thing as seeking God’s power in verses 3. Both of these passages thus equate God's power with his honor.
Other passages shed light on this concept of honor as power. In Alma 42, Alma says three times in the space of a dozen verses that if God were to act unjustly then he would cease to be God. 'Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.' (Alma 42: 13, 22, 25). Thus a necessary element of God’s honor is that he never acts contrary to justice. We also learn that God’s power is dependent upon his honor, suggesting that honor comes first, and then power follows.
This causal relationship between honor and power is also described at the end of Section 121. The instruction against unrighteous dominion in Section 121 includes the explanation that: 'No power ... can ... be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion' and other methods that respect agency. (D&C 121:41-45). The reward for those who learn to govern in this manner includes the following: '... thy scepter [shall be] an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.' (D&C 121:45-56). A reward that includes a scepter of righteousness and an everlasting dominion is exaltation. We thus learn here that another element of the honor that enables an exalted being to rule is respect for agency. We also learn that, just as the power of honor can be lost through dishonor, the power of honor flows naturally to those who do possess honor.
The relationship between honor and power is also illustrated by the experience of Enoch during the vision recounted in Moses 7: 'And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Enoch, and told Enoch all the doings of the children of men; wherefore Enoch knew, and looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook.' (Ms. 7:41). All eternity responding to what happens inside the heart of one person sounds like the kind of power that flows without compulsory means to exalted beings who possess honor. It does not say here that Enoch had authority to issue any instructions, or that he tried to do so, but it does sound like Enoch had the power to make things happen. (Also see the Abraham account of the creation in Abr. 4:9-12, 18, 21, 25). We also learn here that a third element of honor is love.
This idea that God’s power derives from his honor helps us to understand what God is (D&C 93:19-20) and what we must also become if we are to be like him. (Mt. 5:48 discussion). One of the ways in which the purpose of mortality can be summarized is that we are here to develop honor. It can also be more powerful to ask oneself, not merely if something is a sin, but whether it will increase or decrease one's honor.

Complete outline and page map[edit]

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Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 29:36: Honor as power. Wen faced with a difficult choice, how is our answer different if we ask, not whether something is a sin, but whether it will increase or decrease our honor.

Prompts for further study[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 29:1: Arm. What does the use of “arm” to indicate mercy instead of strength suggest?
  • D&C 29:2: How does the metaphor of this verse compare to that of the previous verse? What does it mean, in this context, to call on the Lord in mighty prayer?
  • D&C 29:4: What does it mean to be chosen “out of the world"? How does that occur?
  • D&C 29:5: What does it mean to say that Christ is in our midst? How is that related to the gathering? How is the fact that he is our advocate with the Father relevant here?
  • D&C 29:5: Why does the Lord describe himself as an advocate?
  • D&C 29:5: Is his advocacy on our behalf related to the Father’s gift of the kingdom? If so, what does it mean to say that giving us that kingdom is the Father’s good will?
  • D&C 29:6: Notice how this verse differs from the same idea expressed in many other scriptures by adding “being united in prayer according to my command.” What is the significance of that addition?
  • D&C 29:6: Where are we commanded to be united in prayer? What does it mean to be united in prayer?
  • D&C 29:6: To whom is this addressed? In other words, who is called to bring the gathering to pass?
  • D&C 29:6: Does this verse define what it means to be elect?
  • D&C 29:8: At the time of this revelation, the gathering was to a particular location. Now it is to any of the stakes. How does that difference change our understanding of what it means to gather together?
  • D&C 29:8: The gathering is “to prepare their hearts.” How does the gathering do that? It is also “to [. . .] be prepared in all things against” the day of tribulation. What is that day?
  • D&C 29:8: How does the gathering prepare us for that day?
  • D&C 29:12: The Twelve which were with me in my ministry at Jerusalem. Who are these twelve? Would Judas Iscariot count as one of these? Might other, subsequent apostles—like Mathias (Acts 1:23-26) and Paul—be included?
  • D&C 29:36: Which is my power. Is this part of the devil's quote or is it God talking again? How does the answer to this question affect the meaning of the verse?

Resources[edit]

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Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 29 is __.
  • D&C 29 was first published in __.
  • D&C 29 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.

Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 29.

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.



Previous section: D&C 28                         Next section: D&C 30

D&C 76:36-40

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 76 > Verses 76:25-49
Previous page: Verses 76:1-24                      Next page: Verses 76:50-70


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Section 76. The relationship of Verses 76:25-49 to the rest of Section 76 is discussed at D&C 76.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 76:25-49 include:

Discussion[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 76:37: Second death. The phrase "second death" isn't used much in the scriptures. In the bible the phrase is used only 4 times--all in Revelations. There it is defined as "the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" (Rev 21:8) where those not found written in the book of life are cast into (Rev 20:14-15) at the final judgement. Revelations tells us that the fearful, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters, and liars will all have some part in this second death (Rev 21:8).
  • D&C 76:40-45. If we look back at verse 40 we see that the Lord has introduced these verses by saying "This is the gospel...--" These verses are an explanation of what the gospel is, or in other words, what the glad tidings are. What are these glad tidings? We learn about an eternal punishment in Revelations, "the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" (Rev 21:8) where the wicked are cast in. This punishment is the second death spoken of in verse 37. The glad tidings of the gospel, the point of these verses, is that very few will suffer this punishment, this second death. Instead, through the atonement, Christ will save all but the sons of perdition from this awful state. He will even save those who have committed serious sin: liars, sorcerers, adulterers, etc. (Note that in verse 108 we are told that these sinners will inherit the telestial kingdom. This assumes of course that they neither receive the testimony of Jesus (and thus inherit a better kingdom) or deny openly Christ (and become a son of perdition).

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 76:29. What is Satan's work and glory? Does he focus on the world at large, or is he focused on making "war with the saints"?
  • D&C 76:29. What does it mean for Satan to encompass the saints round about?
  • D&C 76:30. Why does this vision of the degrees of glory start with a vision of Satan and the sons of perdition?
  • D&C 76:31. What are the exact requirements for becoming a son of perdition? How much power does one have to know and partake of and then deny?
  • D&C 76:31. What is the power of the LORD that sons of perdition know, partake of, then deny?
  • D&C 76:33. What does it mean to be a "vessel of wrath"?
  • D&C 76:33. What does it mean for sons of perdition to suffer with the devil and his angels "in eternity"?
  • D&C 76:34. Why is there no forgiveness for sons of perdition?
  • D&C 76:34. What does it mean to have no forgiveness "in this world nor in the world to come"? What is "the world to come? Does this mean that they can never ever, ever, ever, ever be forgiven or only that they can't be forgiven in this life and the spirit world? What happens to them after that?
  • D&C 76:35. How do sons of perdition deny the Holy Spirit?
  • D&C 76:35. How do sons of perdition deny the Only Begotten Son of the Father?
  • D&C 76:35. What does it mean to crucify the LORD unto themselves?
  • D&C 76:35. What does it mean to put the LORD to an open shame? What is an "open shame"?
  • D&C 76:36. What does it mean that the sons of perdition will "go away" with the devil and his angels?
  • D&C 76:36. Who are the "angels" of the devil? Why are they called angels?
  • D&C 76:36. What is "the lake of fire and brimstone" where the devil and his angels will go?
  • D&C 76:37. Why are the sons of perdition the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power (verse 37)? If we think of the second death as being removed from the presence of God due to sin, then we might think this second death still has some power over those who live in the telestial or terrestial worlds. What does it mean to say that the second death doesn't have any power over those people?
  • D&C 76:38. What does it mean to "not be redeemed"?
  • D&C 76:38. What does "the due time of the Lord" mean?
  • D&C 76:38. What are "the sufferings of his wrath"?
    • D&C 76:38. Does this explain how the sons of perdition differ from those in the Telestial Kingdom, who are eventually redeemed from the second death after paying the price for their sins?
  • D&C 76:39. What does it mean that the LORD was "in the bosom of the Father"?
  • D&C 76:39. What are the "worlds" that were made? Does this refer to the creation of other earths?
  • D&C 76:41. What does it mean to come into the world?
  • D&C 76:41. How was Christ crucified "for the world"?
  • D&C 76:41. ow does Christ "bear the sins of the world"? Is this different from "paying the price" of sin?
  • D&C 76:41. What does it mean to "sanctify the world"?
  • D&C 76:41. How does the atonement "cleanse" the world "from all unrighteousness"?
  • D&C 76:42. How many are "saved" by Christ? What does it mean to be "saved"?
  • D&C 76:42. Who are those "whom the Father had put into his power"? How can we be "put into his power"?
  • D&C 76:43. How does Christ glorify the Father?
  • D&C 76:43. What are "all the works of his hands"? Is this just people, or the rest of creation? What do "hands" have to do with work? What is this "work"? Is it the same as creation?
  • D&C 76:43. What does it mean to "deny the Son after the Father has revealed him"? How is the Son revealed by the Father?
  • D&C 76:44. What does it mean that Christ saves all except the sons of perdition? Does this mean that being saved is the same as inheriting one of the three kingdoms of glory, or just that all eventually escape "the second death" and "the lake of fire and brimstone"?
  • D&C 76:44. What is "everlasting punishment"? Are everlasting, endless, and eternal all synonyms here, or do the represent different aspects of this punishment?
  • D&C 76:44. What does it mean for the sons of perdition to "reign" with the deveil?
  • D&C 76:44. What does it mean that "their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched"? How is this a torment?
  • D&C 76:45. What is the "end" mentioned here? Is it the end of the sons of perdition of just of their torment? Does this imply that their torment will eventually end?
  • D&C 76:46. Why is the end, place, or torment of the sons of perdition not revealed except "to them who are made partakers thereof"?
  • D&C 76:47. Since the LORD just said that he doesn't reveal the end, place, or torment of the sons of perdition, how is it that "many" are shown "it" in a vision? What is it that isn't revealed in that vision? Is it the feeling associated with the torment? The "place" of the torment? The "end" of those tormented?
  • D&C 76:47. What does it mean for a vision to be shut up?
  • D&C 76:48. Does this help explain what isn't revealed in the vision of the sons of perdition?
  • D&C 76:48. What is the "end" or the "height" or the "depth" mentioned here?
  • D&C 76:48. What does it mean to be "ordained" to this condemnation? Is it literally an ordination, or does this mean something else?
  • D&C 76:49. Why are the sons of perdition considered "ungodly"?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • In lesson 19, The D&C and Church History Class Member Study Guide asks in reference to these (v 41-45) and other verses "Why is the Atonement central to the plan of salvation?" (See exegesis above.)

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.



Previous page: Verses 76:1-24                      Next page: Verses 76:50-70

D&C 76:41-45

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 76 > Verses 76:25-49
Previous page: Verses 76:1-24                      Next page: Verses 76:50-70


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Section 76. The relationship of Verses 76:25-49 to the rest of Section 76 is discussed at D&C 76.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 76:25-49 include:

Discussion[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 76:37: Second death. The phrase "second death" isn't used much in the scriptures. In the bible the phrase is used only 4 times--all in Revelations. There it is defined as "the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" (Rev 21:8) where those not found written in the book of life are cast into (Rev 20:14-15) at the final judgement. Revelations tells us that the fearful, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters, and liars will all have some part in this second death (Rev 21:8).
  • D&C 76:40-45. If we look back at verse 40 we see that the Lord has introduced these verses by saying "This is the gospel...--" These verses are an explanation of what the gospel is, or in other words, what the glad tidings are. What are these glad tidings? We learn about an eternal punishment in Revelations, "the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" (Rev 21:8) where the wicked are cast in. This punishment is the second death spoken of in verse 37. The glad tidings of the gospel, the point of these verses, is that very few will suffer this punishment, this second death. Instead, through the atonement, Christ will save all but the sons of perdition from this awful state. He will even save those who have committed serious sin: liars, sorcerers, adulterers, etc. (Note that in verse 108 we are told that these sinners will inherit the telestial kingdom. This assumes of course that they neither receive the testimony of Jesus (and thus inherit a better kingdom) or deny openly Christ (and become a son of perdition).

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 76:29. What is Satan's work and glory? Does he focus on the world at large, or is he focused on making "war with the saints"?
  • D&C 76:29. What does it mean for Satan to encompass the saints round about?
  • D&C 76:30. Why does this vision of the degrees of glory start with a vision of Satan and the sons of perdition?
  • D&C 76:31. What are the exact requirements for becoming a son of perdition? How much power does one have to know and partake of and then deny?
  • D&C 76:31. What is the power of the LORD that sons of perdition know, partake of, then deny?
  • D&C 76:33. What does it mean to be a "vessel of wrath"?
  • D&C 76:33. What does it mean for sons of perdition to suffer with the devil and his angels "in eternity"?
  • D&C 76:34. Why is there no forgiveness for sons of perdition?
  • D&C 76:34. What does it mean to have no forgiveness "in this world nor in the world to come"? What is "the world to come? Does this mean that they can never ever, ever, ever, ever be forgiven or only that they can't be forgiven in this life and the spirit world? What happens to them after that?
  • D&C 76:35. How do sons of perdition deny the Holy Spirit?
  • D&C 76:35. How do sons of perdition deny the Only Begotten Son of the Father?
  • D&C 76:35. What does it mean to crucify the LORD unto themselves?
  • D&C 76:35. What does it mean to put the LORD to an open shame? What is an "open shame"?
  • D&C 76:36. What does it mean that the sons of perdition will "go away" with the devil and his angels?
  • D&C 76:36. Who are the "angels" of the devil? Why are they called angels?
  • D&C 76:36. What is "the lake of fire and brimstone" where the devil and his angels will go?
  • D&C 76:37. Why are the sons of perdition the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power (verse 37)? If we think of the second death as being removed from the presence of God due to sin, then we might think this second death still has some power over those who live in the telestial or terrestial worlds. What does it mean to say that the second death doesn't have any power over those people?
  • D&C 76:38. What does it mean to "not be redeemed"?
  • D&C 76:38. What does "the due time of the Lord" mean?
  • D&C 76:38. What are "the sufferings of his wrath"?
    • D&C 76:38. Does this explain how the sons of perdition differ from those in the Telestial Kingdom, who are eventually redeemed from the second death after paying the price for their sins?
  • D&C 76:39. What does it mean that the LORD was "in the bosom of the Father"?
  • D&C 76:39. What are the "worlds" that were made? Does this refer to the creation of other earths?
  • D&C 76:41. What does it mean to come into the world?
  • D&C 76:41. How was Christ crucified "for the world"?
  • D&C 76:41. ow does Christ "bear the sins of the world"? Is this different from "paying the price" of sin?
  • D&C 76:41. What does it mean to "sanctify the world"?
  • D&C 76:41. How does the atonement "cleanse" the world "from all unrighteousness"?
  • D&C 76:42. How many are "saved" by Christ? What does it mean to be "saved"?
  • D&C 76:42. Who are those "whom the Father had put into his power"? How can we be "put into his power"?
  • D&C 76:43. How does Christ glorify the Father?
  • D&C 76:43. What are "all the works of his hands"? Is this just people, or the rest of creation? What do "hands" have to do with work? What is this "work"? Is it the same as creation?
  • D&C 76:43. What does it mean to "deny the Son after the Father has revealed him"? How is the Son revealed by the Father?
  • D&C 76:44. What does it mean that Christ saves all except the sons of perdition? Does this mean that being saved is the same as inheriting one of the three kingdoms of glory, or just that all eventually escape "the second death" and "the lake of fire and brimstone"?
  • D&C 76:44. What is "everlasting punishment"? Are everlasting, endless, and eternal all synonyms here, or do the represent different aspects of this punishment?
  • D&C 76:44. What does it mean for the sons of perdition to "reign" with the deveil?
  • D&C 76:44. What does it mean that "their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched"? How is this a torment?
  • D&C 76:45. What is the "end" mentioned here? Is it the end of the sons of perdition of just of their torment? Does this imply that their torment will eventually end?
  • D&C 76:46. Why is the end, place, or torment of the sons of perdition not revealed except "to them who are made partakers thereof"?
  • D&C 76:47. Since the LORD just said that he doesn't reveal the end, place, or torment of the sons of perdition, how is it that "many" are shown "it" in a vision? What is it that isn't revealed in that vision? Is it the feeling associated with the torment? The "place" of the torment? The "end" of those tormented?
  • D&C 76:47. What does it mean for a vision to be shut up?
  • D&C 76:48. Does this help explain what isn't revealed in the vision of the sons of perdition?
  • D&C 76:48. What is the "end" or the "height" or the "depth" mentioned here?
  • D&C 76:48. What does it mean to be "ordained" to this condemnation? Is it literally an ordination, or does this mean something else?
  • D&C 76:49. Why are the sons of perdition considered "ungodly"?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • In lesson 19, The D&C and Church History Class Member Study Guide asks in reference to these (v 41-45) and other verses "Why is the Atonement central to the plan of salvation?" (See exegesis above.)

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.



Previous page: Verses 76:1-24                      Next page: Verses 76:50-70

D&C 76:111-115

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 76 > Verses 76:81-119
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Summary[edit]

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Relationship to Section 76. The relationship of Verses 76:81-119 to the rest of Section 76 is discussed at D&C 76.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 76:81-119 include:

Discussion[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 76:107. It makes sense that when Christ says in verse 107 that he trod the wine-press alone he is referring to his experience on the cross when he asks why he is forsaken (Matt 27:46). But there may be another meaning here related to the second coming. Note that this verse (as in D&C 88:106 and D&C 133:50) is part of Christ's report to the Father about the second coming. In D&C 133:51 the treading of the wine press seem to refer not to the atonement, but to the the Lord's day of vengeance when he does terrible things (D&C 133:42) to his adversaries (D&C 133:41). It seems then that the Lord works alone in two parallel cases: when he saves us through the atonement and when he takes out vengeance upon his enemies.
That the Lord works alone in the day of vengeance is consistent with other scriptures. Rom 12:19 and Morm 3:15 tell us that vengeance is the Lord's--we are not to participate in taking vengeance on the wicked.
The Lord explicitly tells us that he will work alone in taking vengeance. Contrast this with who he will bring with him when he comes to rule over the earth D&C 76:63.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 76:94. What is the church of the Firstborn?
  • D&C 76:94. What does it mean to see as you are seen and know as you are known? (See related exegesis on Isa 64:4.)
  • D&C 76:94. What does it mean to receive of God's "fulness"?
  • D&C 76:103. What does it mean to love and make a lie?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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.



Previous page: Verses 76:71-80                      This is the last page for Section 76

D&C 88:11-15

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

Discussion[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 88:3: 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.
  • D&C 88:15: Soul. 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.
  • D&C 88:15. 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.
  • D&C 88:22: Abide. "Abide" means "wait for," "be prepared for," "endure," or "sustain."
  • D&C 88:32. 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 88:47. 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.

D&C 88:69-84: What the elders who attend the school of the prophets are to do[edit]

D&C 88:85-116: Signs of the times[edit]

D&C 88:117-126: Kirtland Temple[edit]

D&C 88:127-141: Order of the School of the Prophets[edit]

  • D&C 88:127-141: Later receipt. Verses 127-141 were received two weeks later than the rest of D&C 88.

Complete outline and page map[edit]

This heading contains an outline for the entire section. Items in blue or purple text indicate hyperlinked pages that address specific portions of this section. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 88:3. The verse ends "as is recorded in the testimony of John." Is this a reference to John 14:16?
  • D&C 88:4. How is the comforter the promise of eternal life?
  • D&C 88:15. What are some of the ways that we forget that the spirit and the body are one?
  • D&C 88:17. 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?
  • D&C 88:21-22. 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?
  • D&C 88:21-22. Why do you suppose the Lord speak of abiding a law rather than obeying a law?
  • D&C 88:31. 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?
  • D&C 88:32. 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?
  • D&C 88:35: 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)?
  • D&C 88:67-68. 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?
  • D&C 88:69. What is the "great and last promise" we are to remember? Is it the promise found in verse 68?
  • D&C 88:78. 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.)
  • D&C 88:114. 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?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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.

Historical references cited on this page.

Other resources.

  • D&C 88:22. 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!"
  • D&C 88:33. 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."

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.



Previous section: D&C 87                         Next section: D&C 89

D&C 88:16-20

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 88
Previous section: D&C 87                         Next section: D&C 89


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Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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

Discussion[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 88:3: 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.
  • D&C 88:15: Soul. 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.
  • D&C 88:15. 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.
  • D&C 88:22: Abide. "Abide" means "wait for," "be prepared for," "endure," or "sustain."
  • D&C 88:32. 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 88:47. 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.

D&C 88:69-84: What the elders who attend the school of the prophets are to do[edit]

D&C 88:85-116: Signs of the times[edit]

D&C 88:117-126: Kirtland Temple[edit]

D&C 88:127-141: Order of the School of the Prophets[edit]

  • D&C 88:127-141: Later receipt. Verses 127-141 were received two weeks later than the rest of D&C 88.

Complete outline and page map[edit]

This heading contains an outline for the entire section. Items in blue or purple text indicate hyperlinked pages that address specific portions of this section. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 88:3. The verse ends "as is recorded in the testimony of John." Is this a reference to John 14:16?
  • D&C 88:4. How is the comforter the promise of eternal life?
  • D&C 88:15. What are some of the ways that we forget that the spirit and the body are one?
  • D&C 88:17. 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?
  • D&C 88:21-22. 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?
  • D&C 88:21-22. Why do you suppose the Lord speak of abiding a law rather than obeying a law?
  • D&C 88:31. 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?
  • D&C 88:32. 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?
  • D&C 88:35: 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)?
  • D&C 88:67-68. 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?
  • D&C 88:69. What is the "great and last promise" we are to remember? Is it the promise found in verse 68?
  • D&C 88:78. 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.)
  • D&C 88:114. 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?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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.

Historical references cited on this page.

Other resources.

  • D&C 88:22. 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!"
  • D&C 88:33. 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."

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.



Previous section: D&C 87                         Next section: D&C 89

D&C 138:51-55

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 138
Previous section: D&C 136                         This is the last section in the Doctrine & Covenants


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Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Historical setting[edit]

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  • Received:
  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 136
  • This is the last section in chronological order

Discussion[edit]

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. →

Complete outline and page map[edit]

This heading contains an outline for the entire section. Items in blue or purple text indicate hyperlinked pages that address specific portions of this section. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 138:56: First lessons. What is the purpose of having lessons in the pre-earthly life if (due to the veil) this special group has no chance to remember and use them in mortal life?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 138 is __.
  • D&C 138 was first published in __.
  • D&C 138 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.
  • Changes to the text of D&C 138:

Historical references cited on this page.

Other resources.

  • D&C 138:3. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests five ways—in addition to consistent prayers, scripture study, and Church and temple attendance—to change our thoughts and heart to more fully feel the tender love of God.
  • Paulsen, David L., Judson Burton, Kendel J. Christensen, and Martin Pulido. "Redemption of the Dead: Continuing Revelation after Joseph Smith." In Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, 20/2 (2011): p. 52-69. Provo, Utah: BYU University: Neil A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. Fourth article in the series.

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.



Previous section: D&C 136                         This is the last section in the Doctrine & Covenants

D&C 138:56-60

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Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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  • Received:
  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 136
  • This is the last section in chronological order

Discussion[edit]

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. →

Complete outline and page map[edit]

This heading contains an outline for the entire section. Items in blue or purple text indicate hyperlinked pages that address specific portions of this section. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

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. →

  • D&C 138:56: First lessons. What is the purpose of having lessons in the pre-earthly life if (due to the veil) this special group has no chance to remember and use them in mortal life?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 138 is __.
  • D&C 138 was first published in __.
  • D&C 138 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.
  • Changes to the text of D&C 138:

Historical references cited on this page.

Other resources.

  • D&C 138:3. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests five ways—in addition to consistent prayers, scripture study, and Church and temple attendance—to change our thoughts and heart to more fully feel the tender love of God.
  • Paulsen, David L., Judson Burton, Kendel J. Christensen, and Martin Pulido. "Redemption of the Dead: Continuing Revelation after Joseph Smith." In Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, 20/2 (2011): p. 52-69. Provo, Utah: BYU University: Neil A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. Fourth article in the series.

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.



Previous section: D&C 136                         This is the last section in the Doctrine & Covenants

Moses 4:1-5

Home > The Pearl of Great Price > Moses > Chapters 3-4 / Verses 3:4-4:32
Previous page: Chapter 2                      Next page: Chapter 5


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Moses. The relationship of Chapters 3-4 to the rest of Moses is discussed at Moses.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 3-4 include:

Moses 3:4-4:32 is the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 2:3-3:24. This page is not intended, however, to address Genesis. It is intended only to address the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis. It is therefore suggested that readers consult the page that does address Genesis 2:3-3:24 before viewing this page. Contributors are likewise asked to respect this distinction. The idea is that a reader should be able to find content about an original passage from Genesis on the wiki page addressing that passage.

Verses 3:4-4:32 are the Joseph Smith Translation account of the Fall. The relationship of this account to the rest of the book of Moses is discussed at Moses, and its relationship to the rest of Genesis is discussed at Genesis.

This account can be outlined as follows:

a. Adam placed in Garden, commanded not to eat tree of knowledge (3:4-17)
b. Lord says not good to be alone, Eve, unaware naked (3:18-25)
c. serpent induces Eve to transgress by eating fruit(4:1-11) (4:1-4 new content)
d. Adam & Eve eat and discover nakedness (4:12-13)
c. where art thou? Adam & Eve admit eating fruit (4:14-19)
b. Lord pronounces curses, ground cursed for man’s sake, coats (4:20-27)
a. Adam and Eve know good from evil, driven from Garden, prevented from eating of tree of life (4:28-32)

Discussion[edit]

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. →

  • Moses 3:20: Meet. "Meet" means proper, or fitting.
  • Moses 3:20: Woman. "Woman" The English word "woman" does not, in fact, have a meaning of one being taken out of man. See Related links for a proper etymology.
Throughout this chapter, all the trees, animals, and even Adam himself are brought forth out of the earth/ground/dust. There are two exceptions. One (perhaps) is that the tree of life was planted, rather than brought forth. The second, more striking exception is Eve: perhaps excepting the tree of life, she is the only living thing not brought forth out of the earth. She comes out of man, already a living thing.
  • Moses 4:1-4: Two plans and agency. The 1828 Webster's defines "agency" (verse 3) as "the quality of moving or of exerting power; the state of being in action; action; operation; instrumentality; as, the agency of providence in the natural world."
The first four verses of this chapter describe a time when there are competing plans for the redemption of humankind. Verse 3, by indicating the Satan had rebelled, suggests that the plan as originally envisioned by the Lord God involved human agency, and that Satan's plan would destroy that, although little else is stated about the plans here. It is also suggested here that Satan was attempting to change the Lord God's plan about what approach to take; in other words, the plan adopted wasn't developed by the Beloved Son but had been the Lord God's beforehand.
This section specifies three differences between the plans: 1) In Satan's plan, all people would be redeemed, and "one soul shall not be lost." The implication here is that under the Lord God's plan some souls would indeed be lost. 2) In Satan's plan, full credit for human redemption would belong to Satan. But in the original plan, the one supported by the Beloved Son, glory would belong to the Lord God. 3) In Satan's plan, he would be seen as the son of the Lord God, apparently replacing the Beloved Son in that role.
It is interesting to note that even though Satan was "cast down," a term not defined here, Satan still retained agency, if agency is understood to mean "quality of moving or of exerting power" (1828 Webster's). Verse 4 indicates he retained a great deal of power, although it was limited to influencing only those who "would not hearken unto" the voice of the Lord God.
  • Moses 4:32: The Lord's voice. This note is of the same form as Moses 1:42 excepting that the voice here is clearly the Lord's.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

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. →

  • Moses 3:9: And it became also a living soul. In what sense is "it" ("every tree") a living soul? (See also: verse 7 and Abr 5:7.)
  • Moses 3:9. What is the meaning of the sentence "For it was spiritual in the day that I created it, for it remaineth in the sphere in which I, God, created it"? What does it mean to say it remained in the sphere in which God created it? And what does this have to do with being spiritual?
  • Moses 4:6. It would seem that Satan is aware of many things regarding the Lord's plan. What does it mean that he did not know the mind of God?
  • Moses 4:6. Did he not know, then, that he was acting in accordance with the plan in tempting Eve?
  • Moses 4:6. Does this fact have any application for us today?
  • Moses 4:23. The Lord said that he should curse the ground for Adam's sake? How was this curse of benefit to Adam? What ill effects might have resulted had the Lord not cursed the ground?
  • Moses 4:25. Why does this verse mention the sweat of the face as opposed to simply sweat, or perhaps the sweat of one's back, etc.?
  • Moses 4:25. What application does this verse have for us today? (Does it tell us what type of work we should do (physical versus less physical)? Does it tell us how to give or receive gifts from others? Can it be used to guide welfare systems in their formation or administration? Does it suggest how we should teach our children to work? Does it tell how we can use other's thoughts and inventions?)
  • Moses 4:32. If the Lord is speaking here, then is he also the voice of the narrator in chapter 1?
  • Moses 4:32. Who is the Lord speaking to here? (Joseph, the saints, both, or some other entity?)

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Moses 4:6. James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 69 -- Talmage suggests that Satan did not realize that God's plan required the Fall to occur.
  • Moses 4:25. J. Reuben Clark, "Private Ownership under the United Order and the Gaurantees of the Constitution", Improvement Era, Nov. 1942 (Address given in the October General Conference of the same year.)

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.



Previous page: Chapter 2                      Next page: Chapter 5

Abr 3:21-25

Home > The Pearl of Great Price > Abraham > Chapters 3-5 > Chapter 3 > Verses 3:22-28
Previous page: Verses 3:1-21                              Next Page: Chapter 4


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Chapters 3-5. The relationship of Verses 3:22-28 to the rest of Chapters 3-5 is discussed at Chapters 3-5.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 3:22-28 include:

Discussion[edit]

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. →

  • Abr 3:21: Declare or deliver. This verse read differently until the 1981 edition of the scriptures. Of the several manuscripts of the Book of Abraham (none of which were written in Joseph's hand), one has an alternate reading that was (in 1981) replaced with the more common reading. The text used to read "deliver" instead of "declare" in the first part of this verse: "I now, therefore, have come down unto thee to deliver unto thee the works which my hands have made...." While "declare" certainly seems to make more sense, if "deliver" is the correct reading, there may be an entirely different way of understanding this verse (and its implications for the whole of Abraham 3). (It might well be noted that "deliver" appears in verse 20. This may be a reason on the one hand to reject the alternate reading, and on the other hand to accept it. It may be that, on the one hand, some scribe copying accidently glanced at verse 20 rather than at verse 21 while copying, thus producing the alternate text. It may be that, on the other hand, the Lord used deliver in two very different senses to tie them together, and this may suggest a powerful literary tie in these two verses. If this were the case, the more common rendering might be explained as a later "cleaning up" that became quickly adopted by other scribes who worked on the Book of Abraham.)
If, then, "deliver" is the correct reading, Abraham's experience here might be similar to Enoch's experience as described in Moses 7, one in which he is exalted and receives the right to sit on the very throne of God.
  • Abr 3:23: These souls. Is God drawing a distinction between the "noble and great ones" and "those that were spirits"? Are they synonymous groups or is the latter all-inclusive? How do we reconcile this verse with the statement in Moses 2:21 wherein God "saw that all things which [he] had created were good"?
  • Abr 3:23: Stood in the midst. Is this a scriptural way of saying the Lord already considered these individuals his disciples?
  • Abr 3:23: Rulers. Should we find any discomfort in being told that we should be rulers, given that Nephi and the sons of Mosiah struggled with the expectation they should be kings?
  • Abr 3:23: Chosen before thou wast born. How do square this statement with the concept that many were called in the premortal existence (see Alma 13:3) but relatively few are chosen in this life to minister in the Lord's kingdom (see D&C 121:34-40)? Or is this verse more compatible with scriptures such as Alma 7:10?
  • Abr 3:22-23: Noble and great ones. What does it mean to be a "noble and great" one (v. 22)? Variants of "noble" show up 33 times in the Old Testament, and the word seems most closely associated with ruling, as nobles are listed alongside rulers, governors, princes, and kings (although in one instance, Neh 2:16, priests, nobles, and rulers are listed consecutively). This makes sense, since in verse 23 God decides to make the noble spirits He sees His rulers. Does this mean that a noble spirit is simply a spirit that is fit to be a ruler (of other spirits? of something else?)? Does being noble and being a ruler have anything to do with rights to the Priesthood? How are these two verses related to Abr 1:28, where Abraham tells us he plans on presenting a chronology showing Abraham's personal right as an heir to the Priesthood (cf. Abr 1:27 & Abr 1:31)?
The same questions, put a bit differently: Abraham seems to be establishing his right to kingship (or at least rulership, and at least preliminarily) here in verses 22-23, and later one he'll be establishing his complementary right to the Priesthood, and all of this seems to be in order to contrast (and show the superiority of) his rights and powers with Pharaoh's purported, but ultimately self-made and unauthorized, kingdom and Priesthood (cf. Abr 1:25-27). Why is it that in Abr 1:28-31 Abraham only clues the reader in to the future portion of his record dealing with Priesthood, and that strictly in terms of possessing and expounding records and having a lineage? What is the relationship between Priesthood and kingship? Why is obtaining and keeping records an essential part of a right to the Priesthood? What is the relationship between kingship and being shown a massive revelation concerning "a knowledge of the beginning of creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers"?
  • Abr 3:24: These may dwell. Why didn't the Lord say instead "whereon we may dwell" or "whereon all of us may dwell"? Are the future earth dwellers, who are labeled "these," a group that is separate from "those who were with" the Lord at this planning meeting?
  • Abr 3:24: One among them that was like unto God. Does this just mean Jesus was the firstborn? If so, how did that make him like God? Is this saying nobody else was like God in the premortal existence? Should we read Moro 7:48 as saying that Jesus Christ was the only person capable of becoming like God prior to our mortal probation?
  • Abr 3:24: Space there. Weren't they presumably already surrounded by empty space in the universe? Or was there something particularly fitting about the galaxy our planet ended up in?
  • Abr 3:24: Take of these materials. Is this saying spirit beings transported physical matter to our galaxy to fashion a planet whereon God's children could dwell?
  • Abr 3:24: An earth. If this is the only verse in scripture that talks of "an earth," as opposed to hundreds of scriptures that make reference to "the earth," then should we assume that the Lord and those who helped him followed a pattern or template in putting together a planet for us?
  • Abr 3:24: Michael is the One Like Unto God? I know that we traditionally identify the "one among [those that were spirits cf vs. 23] that was like unto God as Jehovah or Jesus, or perhaps even Elohim, but might it not make more sense to identify that person as Michael (Heb. "who is like God"). Is it possible that the one "like unto God" here is not the same as the one "like unto the Son of Man" we read about in vs. 27? At minimum we seem to be dealing with four individuals here:
  • God (Elohim?) who looks over the good souls and declares Abraham to be among them.
  • Abraham as one of the noble and great ones.
  • One "like unto God" (Michael/Adam) who declares the intention to create and people the earth.
  • The "Lord their God" mentioned in vs. 25 who will be in charge--perhaps this is the call that is extended to Jehovah/Jesus in vs. 27?
  • The Lord (Elohim again?) who asks "whom shall I send" in vs. 27.
  • One "like unto the Son of Man (Jehovah/Jesus) who is sent down, though it isn't really explicitly declared for what purpose.
  • A challenger (Satan) who kept not his first estate.
I like this a lot, especially in light of a discourse by Brigham long about, say, 1852. I'd like to look at this more closely.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

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. →

  • Abr 3:22: Intelligences. If these are not "created or made" (D&C 93:29), then what exactly happened when they were "organized"?
  • Abr 3:22: Organized. Why does this word not appear in the Bible or Book or Mormon? What did community organizing look like in the premortal existence?
  • Abr 3:27: Like. Why does this passage say "like unto the Son of Man" instead of just the Son of Man?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 3:23: Thou wast chosen before thou wast born. Compare Gen 11:26 where Abraham was the tenth generation patriarch from Noah, the prior major patriarch mentioned in the old testament, just as Noah was the tenth generation patriarch from Adam (cf. Gen 5:29). This similarity suggests both Abraham and Noah were foreordained to become great patriarchs.
  • Abr 3:27: Like. In "Abraham's Creation Drama", Hugh Nibley suggests this is evidence that these passages are describing a reenactment of these events (as in modern temple endowments).

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.



Previous page: Verses 3:1-21                              Next Page: Chapter 4

Abr 3:26-28

Home > The Pearl of Great Price > Abraham > Chapters 3-5 > Chapter 3 > Verses 3:22-28
Previous page: Verses 3:1-21                              Next Page: Chapter 4


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This section should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Chapters 3-5. The relationship of Verses 3:22-28 to the rest of Chapters 3-5 is discussed at Chapters 3-5.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 3:22-28 include:

Discussion[edit]

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. →

  • Abr 3:21: Declare or deliver. This verse read differently until the 1981 edition of the scriptures. Of the several manuscripts of the Book of Abraham (none of which were written in Joseph's hand), one has an alternate reading that was (in 1981) replaced with the more common reading. The text used to read "deliver" instead of "declare" in the first part of this verse: "I now, therefore, have come down unto thee to deliver unto thee the works which my hands have made...." While "declare" certainly seems to make more sense, if "deliver" is the correct reading, there may be an entirely different way of understanding this verse (and its implications for the whole of Abraham 3). (It might well be noted that "deliver" appears in verse 20. This may be a reason on the one hand to reject the alternate reading, and on the other hand to accept it. It may be that, on the one hand, some scribe copying accidently glanced at verse 20 rather than at verse 21 while copying, thus producing the alternate text. It may be that, on the other hand, the Lord used deliver in two very different senses to tie them together, and this may suggest a powerful literary tie in these two verses. If this were the case, the more common rendering might be explained as a later "cleaning up" that became quickly adopted by other scribes who worked on the Book of Abraham.)
If, then, "deliver" is the correct reading, Abraham's experience here might be similar to Enoch's experience as described in Moses 7, one in which he is exalted and receives the right to sit on the very throne of God.
  • Abr 3:23: These souls. Is God drawing a distinction between the "noble and great ones" and "those that were spirits"? Are they synonymous groups or is the latter all-inclusive? How do we reconcile this verse with the statement in Moses 2:21 wherein God "saw that all things which [he] had created were good"?
  • Abr 3:23: Stood in the midst. Is this a scriptural way of saying the Lord already considered these individuals his disciples?
  • Abr 3:23: Rulers. Should we find any discomfort in being told that we should be rulers, given that Nephi and the sons of Mosiah struggled with the expectation they should be kings?
  • Abr 3:23: Chosen before thou wast born. How do square this statement with the concept that many were called in the premortal existence (see Alma 13:3) but relatively few are chosen in this life to minister in the Lord's kingdom (see D&C 121:34-40)? Or is this verse more compatible with scriptures such as Alma 7:10?
  • Abr 3:22-23: Noble and great ones. What does it mean to be a "noble and great" one (v. 22)? Variants of "noble" show up 33 times in the Old Testament, and the word seems most closely associated with ruling, as nobles are listed alongside rulers, governors, princes, and kings (although in one instance, Neh 2:16, priests, nobles, and rulers are listed consecutively). This makes sense, since in verse 23 God decides to make the noble spirits He sees His rulers. Does this mean that a noble spirit is simply a spirit that is fit to be a ruler (of other spirits? of something else?)? Does being noble and being a ruler have anything to do with rights to the Priesthood? How are these two verses related to Abr 1:28, where Abraham tells us he plans on presenting a chronology showing Abraham's personal right as an heir to the Priesthood (cf. Abr 1:27 & Abr 1:31)?
The same questions, put a bit differently: Abraham seems to be establishing his right to kingship (or at least rulership, and at least preliminarily) here in verses 22-23, and later one he'll be establishing his complementary right to the Priesthood, and all of this seems to be in order to contrast (and show the superiority of) his rights and powers with Pharaoh's purported, but ultimately self-made and unauthorized, kingdom and Priesthood (cf. Abr 1:25-27). Why is it that in Abr 1:28-31 Abraham only clues the reader in to the future portion of his record dealing with Priesthood, and that strictly in terms of possessing and expounding records and having a lineage? What is the relationship between Priesthood and kingship? Why is obtaining and keeping records an essential part of a right to the Priesthood? What is the relationship between kingship and being shown a massive revelation concerning "a knowledge of the beginning of creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers"?
  • Abr 3:24: These may dwell. Why didn't the Lord say instead "whereon we may dwell" or "whereon all of us may dwell"? Are the future earth dwellers, who are labeled "these," a group that is separate from "those who were with" the Lord at this planning meeting?
  • Abr 3:24: One among them that was like unto God. Does this just mean Jesus was the firstborn? If so, how did that make him like God? Is this saying nobody else was like God in the premortal existence? Should we read Moro 7:48 as saying that Jesus Christ was the only person capable of becoming like God prior to our mortal probation?
  • Abr 3:24: Space there. Weren't they presumably already surrounded by empty space in the universe? Or was there something particularly fitting about the galaxy our planet ended up in?
  • Abr 3:24: Take of these materials. Is this saying spirit beings transported physical matter to our galaxy to fashion a planet whereon God's children could dwell?
  • Abr 3:24: An earth. If this is the only verse in scripture that talks of "an earth," as opposed to hundreds of scriptures that make reference to "the earth," then should we assume that the Lord and those who helped him followed a pattern or template in putting together a planet for us?
  • Abr 3:24: Michael is the One Like Unto God? I know that we traditionally identify the "one among [those that were spirits cf vs. 23] that was like unto God as Jehovah or Jesus, or perhaps even Elohim, but might it not make more sense to identify that person as Michael (Heb. "who is like God"). Is it possible that the one "like unto God" here is not the same as the one "like unto the Son of Man" we read about in vs. 27? At minimum we seem to be dealing with four individuals here:
  • God (Elohim?) who looks over the good souls and declares Abraham to be among them.
  • Abraham as one of the noble and great ones.
  • One "like unto God" (Michael/Adam) who declares the intention to create and people the earth.
  • The "Lord their God" mentioned in vs. 25 who will be in charge--perhaps this is the call that is extended to Jehovah/Jesus in vs. 27?
  • The Lord (Elohim again?) who asks "whom shall I send" in vs. 27.
  • One "like unto the Son of Man (Jehovah/Jesus) who is sent down, though it isn't really explicitly declared for what purpose.
  • A challenger (Satan) who kept not his first estate.
I like this a lot, especially in light of a discourse by Brigham long about, say, 1852. I'd like to look at this more closely.

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

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. →

  • Abr 3:22: Intelligences. If these are not "created or made" (D&C 93:29), then what exactly happened when they were "organized"?
  • Abr 3:22: Organized. Why does this word not appear in the Bible or Book or Mormon? What did community organizing look like in the premortal existence?
  • Abr 3:27: Like. Why does this passage say "like unto the Son of Man" instead of just the Son of Man?

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Abr 3:23: Thou wast chosen before thou wast born. Compare Gen 11:26 where Abraham was the tenth generation patriarch from Noah, the prior major patriarch mentioned in the old testament, just as Noah was the tenth generation patriarch from Adam (cf. Gen 5:29). This similarity suggests both Abraham and Noah were foreordained to become great patriarchs.
  • Abr 3:27: Like. In "Abraham's Creation Drama", Hugh Nibley suggests this is evidence that these passages are describing a reenactment of these events (as in modern temple endowments).

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.



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Summary[edit]

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Historical setting[edit]

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Discussion[edit]

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. →

Outline and page map[edit]

This section contains an outline for the entire book. Items in blue or purple text indicate hyperlinked pages that address specific portions of the book. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

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. →

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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.



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