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This page allows you to see in one place all the commentary pages for the reading assignment for this Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine lesson. Click on the heading to go to a specific page. Click the edit links below to edit text on any page.


D&C 6:16-20

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 6
Previous section: D&C 5                         Next section: D&C 7


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


Summary[edit]

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

D&C 6 is addressed to Oliver Cowdery.

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: April 1829 at Harmony, Pennsylvania
  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 5
  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 7

Oliver Cowdery taught school at Manchester, New York during the 1828-1829 school year. A portion of his compensation was received in the form of free lodging at the homes of his students. During his stay with the Joseph Smith Sr. family he obtained a testimony that Joseph had been called of God and that he (Oliver) had a role to play in assisting Joseph.

Once school let out for the spring planting season, Oliver traveled with Samuel Smith to Harmony, Pennsylvania. They arrived, and Oliver first met Joseph, on April 5. Two days later they began translating as a team on April 7. Almost all of what we have today as the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph and Oliver during the months of April to June 1829.

During the first month of April 1829 Joseph received three revelations directed to Oliver Cowdery. In D&C 6 Oliver was told that he had a gift to translate. In D&C 8 he received permission to translate. After Oliver's attempt to translate ended in failure, D&C 9 explained why.

For a brief overview of D&C 6 in historical relation to the rest of the Doctrine & Covenants, see Historical Overview of the Restoration Scriptures. For lengthier discussions of the historical setting, see Historical Context of the Doctrine & Covenants, chapter 3 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 5.

Discussion[edit]

This heading 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 6:2: Dividing Asunder. This phrase seems to come from Heb 4:12, where the word of God "is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Outline and page map[edit]

This heading is for an outline of 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. →

  • D&C 6 can be outlined as a chiasm:
a. the willing are called to labor in the vineyard, the Lord's word is powerful (1-4)
b. keep the commandments, preach repentance, and bring forth Zion (5-9)
c. Oliver's gift to find out mysteries, the greatest gift is salvation (10-13)
d. first witness of truth of the work: enlightenment (14-17)
e. exhortation to diligence and humility (18-21)
d. second witness of truth of the work: hidden knowledge (22-24)
c. Oliver's gift to assist in translating (25-28)
b. you are blessed whether your word is accepted or rejected (29-31)
a. fear not, for the wicked cannot prevail against the righteous (32-37)

Unanswered questions[edit]

This heading 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 heading 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 heading 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 6:2: What does it mean to say that the word of the Lord can divide asunder both joints and marrow?
  • D&C 6:3: Does this imply that anyone who wants to do the Lord's work is called? Or does "reaping" imply that one has to first be authorized to perform saving ordinances?

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 copy of D&C 6 is ___________.
  • D&C 6 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 6.

  • Several sections addressed to Joseph Smith's early supporters share similar language beginning with "A great and marvelous work is about to come forth ..."
  • D&C 4 directed to Joseph Smith Sr. and D&C 11 to Hyrum Smith of Manchester-Palmyra, New York,
  • D&C 6 to Oliver Cowdery at Harmony, Pennsylvania,
  • D&C 12 to Joseph Knight Sr. of Colesville, New York, and
  • D&C 14 to David Whitmer of Fayette, New York.
This language is thus circulated to all four centers of activity in New York-Pennsylvania. Although D&C 4 was received first and is today the best known of these revelations, D&C 6:1-6 is repeated in the later sections almost word for word. And D&C 6 is placed closer to the front of the 1835 and 1844 editions of the Doctrine & Covenants than those other sections. It thus appears that D&C 6 was the most prominent of these sections in the early days of the Church.
  • D&C 6, D&C 8, and D&C 9 comprise a group of three revelations all directed to Olivery Cowdery during April 1829 regarding his participation in the Book of Mormon translation. In D&C 6 Oliver was told that he had a gift to translate. In D&C 8 he received permission to translate. After he tried to translate but was unable, D&C 9 explained why.

Doctrinal references cited on this page.

Historical references cited on this page.

Other resources.

  • D&C 6:36: Doubt Not. See "On the value of doubt" by Nate Oman at the T&S blog for a discussion of the role doubt has played in modern philosophy and the possible tension of this verse with the asking "if these things are not true" in Moro 10:4.

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 5                         Next section: D&C 7

D&C 6:21-25

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 6
Previous section: D&C 5                         Next section: D&C 7


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


Summary[edit]

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

D&C 6 is addressed to Oliver Cowdery.

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: April 1829 at Harmony, Pennsylvania
  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 5
  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 7

Oliver Cowdery taught school at Manchester, New York during the 1828-1829 school year. A portion of his compensation was received in the form of free lodging at the homes of his students. During his stay with the Joseph Smith Sr. family he obtained a testimony that Joseph had been called of God and that he (Oliver) had a role to play in assisting Joseph.

Once school let out for the spring planting season, Oliver traveled with Samuel Smith to Harmony, Pennsylvania. They arrived, and Oliver first met Joseph, on April 5. Two days later they began translating as a team on April 7. Almost all of what we have today as the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph and Oliver during the months of April to June 1829.

During the first month of April 1829 Joseph received three revelations directed to Oliver Cowdery. In D&C 6 Oliver was told that he had a gift to translate. In D&C 8 he received permission to translate. After Oliver's attempt to translate ended in failure, D&C 9 explained why.

For a brief overview of D&C 6 in historical relation to the rest of the Doctrine & Covenants, see Historical Overview of the Restoration Scriptures. For lengthier discussions of the historical setting, see Historical Context of the Doctrine & Covenants, chapter 3 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 5.

Discussion[edit]

This heading 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 6:2: Dividing Asunder. This phrase seems to come from Heb 4:12, where the word of God "is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Outline and page map[edit]

This heading is for an outline of 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. →

  • D&C 6 can be outlined as a chiasm:
a. the willing are called to labor in the vineyard, the Lord's word is powerful (1-4)
b. keep the commandments, preach repentance, and bring forth Zion (5-9)
c. Oliver's gift to find out mysteries, the greatest gift is salvation (10-13)
d. first witness of truth of the work: enlightenment (14-17)
e. exhortation to diligence and humility (18-21)
d. second witness of truth of the work: hidden knowledge (22-24)
c. Oliver's gift to assist in translating (25-28)
b. you are blessed whether your word is accepted or rejected (29-31)
a. fear not, for the wicked cannot prevail against the righteous (32-37)

Unanswered questions[edit]

This heading 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 heading 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 heading 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 6:2: What does it mean to say that the word of the Lord can divide asunder both joints and marrow?
  • D&C 6:3: Does this imply that anyone who wants to do the Lord's work is called? Or does "reaping" imply that one has to first be authorized to perform saving ordinances?

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 copy of D&C 6 is ___________.
  • D&C 6 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 6.

  • Several sections addressed to Joseph Smith's early supporters share similar language beginning with "A great and marvelous work is about to come forth ..."
  • D&C 4 directed to Joseph Smith Sr. and D&C 11 to Hyrum Smith of Manchester-Palmyra, New York,
  • D&C 6 to Oliver Cowdery at Harmony, Pennsylvania,
  • D&C 12 to Joseph Knight Sr. of Colesville, New York, and
  • D&C 14 to David Whitmer of Fayette, New York.
This language is thus circulated to all four centers of activity in New York-Pennsylvania. Although D&C 4 was received first and is today the best known of these revelations, D&C 6:1-6 is repeated in the later sections almost word for word. And D&C 6 is placed closer to the front of the 1835 and 1844 editions of the Doctrine & Covenants than those other sections. It thus appears that D&C 6 was the most prominent of these sections in the early days of the Church.
  • D&C 6, D&C 8, and D&C 9 comprise a group of three revelations all directed to Olivery Cowdery during April 1829 regarding his participation in the Book of Mormon translation. In D&C 6 Oliver was told that he had a gift to translate. In D&C 8 he received permission to translate. After he tried to translate but was unable, D&C 9 explained why.

Doctrinal references cited on this page.

Historical references cited on this page.

Other resources.

  • D&C 6:36: Doubt Not. See "On the value of doubt" by Nate Oman at the T&S blog for a discussion of the role doubt has played in modern philosophy and the possible tension of this verse with the asking "if these things are not true" in Moro 10:4.

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 5                         Next section: D&C 7

D&C 6:31-37

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 6
Previous section: D&C 5                         Next section: D&C 7


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


Summary[edit]

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

D&C 6 is addressed to Oliver Cowdery.

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: April 1829 at Harmony, Pennsylvania
  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 5
  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 7

Oliver Cowdery taught school at Manchester, New York during the 1828-1829 school year. A portion of his compensation was received in the form of free lodging at the homes of his students. During his stay with the Joseph Smith Sr. family he obtained a testimony that Joseph had been called of God and that he (Oliver) had a role to play in assisting Joseph.

Once school let out for the spring planting season, Oliver traveled with Samuel Smith to Harmony, Pennsylvania. They arrived, and Oliver first met Joseph, on April 5. Two days later they began translating as a team on April 7. Almost all of what we have today as the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph and Oliver during the months of April to June 1829.

During the first month of April 1829 Joseph received three revelations directed to Oliver Cowdery. In D&C 6 Oliver was told that he had a gift to translate. In D&C 8 he received permission to translate. After Oliver's attempt to translate ended in failure, D&C 9 explained why.

For a brief overview of D&C 6 in historical relation to the rest of the Doctrine & Covenants, see Historical Overview of the Restoration Scriptures. For lengthier discussions of the historical setting, see Historical Context of the Doctrine & Covenants, chapter 3 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 5.

Discussion[edit]

This heading 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 6:2: Dividing Asunder. This phrase seems to come from Heb 4:12, where the word of God "is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Outline and page map[edit]

This heading is for an outline of 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. →

  • D&C 6 can be outlined as a chiasm:
a. the willing are called to labor in the vineyard, the Lord's word is powerful (1-4)
b. keep the commandments, preach repentance, and bring forth Zion (5-9)
c. Oliver's gift to find out mysteries, the greatest gift is salvation (10-13)
d. first witness of truth of the work: enlightenment (14-17)
e. exhortation to diligence and humility (18-21)
d. second witness of truth of the work: hidden knowledge (22-24)
c. Oliver's gift to assist in translating (25-28)
b. you are blessed whether your word is accepted or rejected (29-31)
a. fear not, for the wicked cannot prevail against the righteous (32-37)

Unanswered questions[edit]

This heading 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 heading 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 heading 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 6:2: What does it mean to say that the word of the Lord can divide asunder both joints and marrow?
  • D&C 6:3: Does this imply that anyone who wants to do the Lord's work is called? Or does "reaping" imply that one has to first be authorized to perform saving ordinances?

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 copy of D&C 6 is ___________.
  • D&C 6 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 6.

  • Several sections addressed to Joseph Smith's early supporters share similar language beginning with "A great and marvelous work is about to come forth ..."
  • D&C 4 directed to Joseph Smith Sr. and D&C 11 to Hyrum Smith of Manchester-Palmyra, New York,
  • D&C 6 to Oliver Cowdery at Harmony, Pennsylvania,
  • D&C 12 to Joseph Knight Sr. of Colesville, New York, and
  • D&C 14 to David Whitmer of Fayette, New York.
This language is thus circulated to all four centers of activity in New York-Pennsylvania. Although D&C 4 was received first and is today the best known of these revelations, D&C 6:1-6 is repeated in the later sections almost word for word. And D&C 6 is placed closer to the front of the 1835 and 1844 editions of the Doctrine & Covenants than those other sections. It thus appears that D&C 6 was the most prominent of these sections in the early days of the Church.
  • D&C 6, D&C 8, and D&C 9 comprise a group of three revelations all directed to Olivery Cowdery during April 1829 regarding his participation in the Book of Mormon translation. In D&C 6 Oliver was told that he had a gift to translate. In D&C 8 he received permission to translate. After he tried to translate but was unable, D&C 9 explained why.

Doctrinal references cited on this page.

Historical references cited on this page.

Other resources.

  • D&C 6:36: Doubt Not. See "On the value of doubt" by Nate Oman at the T&S blog for a discussion of the role doubt has played in modern philosophy and the possible tension of this verse with the asking "if these things are not true" in Moro 10:4.

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 5                         Next section: D&C 7

D&C 18:6-10

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 18
Previous section: D&C 15-16                         Next section: D&C 17


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


Summary[edit]

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

  • D&C 18 is directed at first to Oliver Cowdery, then jointly to Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer, and also to the Twelve who will be selected.

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: June 1829 at Harmony, Pennsylvania
  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 16
  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 17

Oliver Cowdery began serving as Joseph Smith's scribe for the Book of Mormon translation on April 7, 1829. About the end of May, Joseph and Oliver left Harmony because of rising persecution to stay with the Whitmer family at Fayette, arriving probably not earlier than June 3. On June 14 Oliver Cowdery wrote a letter from Fayette to ____ at Manchester-Palmyra in which he quoted portions of D&C 18. The Book of Mormon translation was then completed about the end of June.

Little is known about the circumstances under which D&C 18 was received except that it was received at Fayette during June 3-14 while the Book of Mormon translation was progressing rapidly at the Whitmer home.

For a brief overview of D&C 18 in historical relation to the rest of the Doctrine & Covenants, see Historical Overview of the Restoration Scriptures. For lengthier discussions of the historical setting, see Historical Context of the Doctrine & Covenants, chapter 3 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 5.

Discussion[edit]

This heading 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 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. →

D&C 18 can be outlined as follows:

• to Oliver (1-8)
• to Oliver & David: worth of souls is great, so preach (9-25)
• Twelve will be sought out (26-30)
• duties of the Twelve (31-36)
• Three Witnesses will select the Twelve (37-40)
• to Oliver & David: worth of souls is great, so preach (41-45)

Unanswered questions[edit]

This heading 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 heading 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 heading 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 18:20: What does it mean to "Contend against no church," in verse 20?

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 copy of D&C 18 is ______.
  • D&C 18:10-14, 21-25 is paraphrased in a letter from Oliver Cowdery to Hyrum Smith dated 14 June 1829, so it is likely that the content of at least those verses is soon known to many of the Saints at Manchester-Palmyra.[1]
  • D&C 18 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 18.

  • 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.

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.

  1. Letter from Oliver Cowdery to Hyrum Smith (14 Jun 1829). Reprinted in Cook, Lyndon W. The Revelations of Joseph Smith, 29. Provo, Utah: Seventy's Mission Bookstore, 1981.

Previous section: D&C 15-16                         Next section: D&C 17

D&C 18:11-15

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 18
Previous section: D&C 15-16                         Next section: D&C 17


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


Summary[edit]

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

  • D&C 18 is directed at first to Oliver Cowdery, then jointly to Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer, and also to the Twelve who will be selected.

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: June 1829 at Harmony, Pennsylvania
  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 16
  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 17

Oliver Cowdery began serving as Joseph Smith's scribe for the Book of Mormon translation on April 7, 1829. About the end of May, Joseph and Oliver left Harmony because of rising persecution to stay with the Whitmer family at Fayette, arriving probably not earlier than June 3. On June 14 Oliver Cowdery wrote a letter from Fayette to ____ at Manchester-Palmyra in which he quoted portions of D&C 18. The Book of Mormon translation was then completed about the end of June.

Little is known about the circumstances under which D&C 18 was received except that it was received at Fayette during June 3-14 while the Book of Mormon translation was progressing rapidly at the Whitmer home.

For a brief overview of D&C 18 in historical relation to the rest of the Doctrine & Covenants, see Historical Overview of the Restoration Scriptures. For lengthier discussions of the historical setting, see Historical Context of the Doctrine & Covenants, chapter 3 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 5.

Discussion[edit]

This heading 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 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. →

D&C 18 can be outlined as follows:

• to Oliver (1-8)
• to Oliver & David: worth of souls is great, so preach (9-25)
• Twelve will be sought out (26-30)
• duties of the Twelve (31-36)
• Three Witnesses will select the Twelve (37-40)
• to Oliver & David: worth of souls is great, so preach (41-45)

Unanswered questions[edit]

This heading 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 heading 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 heading 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 18:20: What does it mean to "Contend against no church," in verse 20?

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 copy of D&C 18 is ______.
  • D&C 18:10-14, 21-25 is paraphrased in a letter from Oliver Cowdery to Hyrum Smith dated 14 June 1829, so it is likely that the content of at least those verses is soon known to many of the Saints at Manchester-Palmyra.[1]
  • D&C 18 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 18.

  • 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.

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.

  1. Letter from Oliver Cowdery to Hyrum Smith (14 Jun 1829). Reprinted in Cook, Lyndon W. The Revelations of Joseph Smith, 29. Provo, Utah: Seventy's Mission Bookstore, 1981.

Previous section: D&C 15-16                         Next section: D&C 17

D&C 19:1-5

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 19
Previous section: D&C 17                         Next section: D&C 20


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


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: 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]

This heading 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 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]

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. →

  • 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]

This heading 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 heading 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 heading 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 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 19:16-20

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 19
Previous section: D&C 17                         Next section: D&C 20


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


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: 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]

This heading 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 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]

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. →

  • 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]

This heading 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 heading 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 heading 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 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 19:21-25

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 19
Previous section: D&C 17                         Next section: D&C 20


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


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: 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)

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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]

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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.



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D&C 29:1-5

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 29
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Summary[edit]

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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]

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  • 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.

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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.



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D&C 34:1-5

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  • D&C 34 is addressed to Orson Pratt.

Historical setting[edit]

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  • Received:
  • Prior section in chronological order D&C 33
  • Next section in chronological order D&C 35

For a brief overview of D&C 34 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]

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  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 34 is __.
  • D&C 34 was first published in __.
  • D&C 34 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.

Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 34.

Doctrinal references cited on this page.

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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 33                         Next section: D&C 35

D&C 38:1-5

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D&C 38 is addressed to __

D&C 38 can be outlined as follows:

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  • Received:
  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 37
  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 39

For a brief overview of D&C 38 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 8.

Discussion[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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  • D&C 38:24-25. What does it mean to value (esteem) another as oneself?
  • D&C 38:24-25. What does it mean to practice virtue and holiness?
  • D&C 38:24-25. Why does the Lord add “before me” to “practice virtue and holiness"?
  • D&C 38:26. What is the point of this parable?
  • D&C 38:27. What does a parable about the equality of God’s mercy and gifts have to do with the need for our unity?
  • D&C 38:29-31. How would “the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness"?
  • D&C 38:38. What things was the Lord speaking of that needed to be preserved?
  • D&C 38:38. How might this commandment to preserve all things apply to us today?
  • D&C 38:38. What are the things that will be “gathered unto the bosom of the church"?
  • D&C 38:39. To what riches is the Lord referring here?
  • D&C 38:39. How would you decide whether those riches are material or spiritual or both?

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Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 38 is __.
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Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 38.

Doctrinal references cited on this page.

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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 45:1-5

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For a brief overview of D&C 45 in historical relation to the rest of the Doctrine & Covenants, see Historical Overview of the Restoration Scriptures. For lengthier discussions of the historical setting, see Historical Context of the Doctrine & Covenants, chapter 7 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 8.

Discussion[edit]

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  • D&C 45:3-5: Courtroom setting. Verse 3-5 is understood in the setting of a court room. We stand on trial, the Savior is our defense attorney, Satan is our prosecutor, and the Father oversees our judgment.
  • The Savior stands for up for us and pleads our case, "It is my recommendation that ________ be admitted into the Celestial Kingdom."
  • "I OBJECT," cries Satan.
  • "On what grounds?" asks the Father.
  • "On the grounds that he has broken commandments," Satan replies. "See look, I have evidence."
  • Then the Savior stands and presents His evidence. This is verses 4 and 5.
  • Exhibit A: "Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed..."
  • Exhibit B: "...these my brethren...believe on my name..."
  • We are acquitted not on the grounds that we always do what we are commanded to do; we are acquitted because of Jesus Christ's Atonement and our faith in Him.
In verses 4-5 the Lord shares with us his pleadings for our sake with God the Father. It seems that the reason for Him to share this sacred prayer with us is that He hopes that hearing His love and remembering His sacrifice will help us to listen--to really listen, i.e. listen without hardening our hearts to what the Lord says. The Lord makes this purpose explicit in verse 6.
  • D&C 45:17. Hey Sean, Interesting question on verse 17. Though I'm not sure if the same is true of the way the phrase is used in D&C 138:50, here there seems to be the idea that the apostles are wrong in their view. It is as though Jesus is saying something like "you think that the long separation of your spirits from your bodies is bondage" D&C 45:17 but ... "if you sleep in peace, blessed are you, for you will rise triumphant" D&C 45:46. At this point it isn't surprising that they might have a wrong view of how things will be since they haven't died yet. (Again this seems different from the way the phrase is used in D&C 138:50.)
This reading though fails to explain why Jesus chooses to explain how the second coming will work in such detail as that amount of detail seems unrelated to the point he makes in verse 46. But hopefully, this start is helpful.
Yes, I think I can see what you are pointing out. He's not pointing to a current state of things so much as a future expected state of things and showing how that state will come to an end. Thus, when their spirits are separated from their bodies, they will also have cause to rejoice in recognizing the signs of the second coming. Thanks, that was helpful.

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  • D&C 45:8. In verse 8 the Lord tells us that he gives "power to become the sons of God" to "as many as received" Him. In the same verse the Lord tells us that he gave "power to obtain eternal life" to "them that believed on [His] name." Is the Lord essentially saying the same thing twice using different words? In this reading "power to obtain eternal life" and "power to become the sons of God" would mean pretty much the same thing and receiving Christ and believing on Christ's name would mean pretty much the same thing. Or, is the Lord making a distinction between those who receive Him and those who believe on him by showing us the different blessings each receives.
  • D&C 45:17. What is this about a long absence of spirits from bodies? Why is this here in this context?
  • D&C 45:66-70. What does that mean that it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another. Does that refer to our day? Where is the zion they are referring too.

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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 50:41-46

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For a brief overview of D&C 50 in historical relation to the rest of the Doctrine & Covenants, see Historical Overview of the Restoration Scriptures. For lengthier discussions of the historical setting, see Historical Context of the Doctrine & Covenants, chapter 7 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 8.

Discussion[edit]

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

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

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  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 50 is __.
  • D&C 50 was first published in __.
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  • Robert D. Hales, "To Act for Ourselves: The Gift and Blessings of Agency," Ensign, May 2006, pp. 4–8. "Agency is strengthened by our faith and obedience. Agency leads us to act: to seek that we may find, to ask that we may receive guidance from the Spirit, to knock on that door that leads to spiritual light and ultimately salvation. I bear special witness that our Savior Jesus Christ is the source of that light, even the Light and Life of the World. As we use our agency to follow Him, His light will grow within us 'brighter and brighter until that perfect day' when we are welcomed into the presence of our Father in Heaven for all eternity."

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 58:41-45

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For a brief overview of D&C 58 in historical relation to the rest of the Doctrine & Covenants, see Historical Overview of the Restoration Scriptures. For lengthier discussions of the historical setting, see Historical Context of the Doctrine & Covenants, chapter 8 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 9.

Discussion[edit]

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  • D&C 58:6-9. In verse 6 the Lord says that the purpose for them (those gathered in Jackson County Missouri) to be sent (we assume that what is meant here is sent to Jackson County Missouri) is so that they can be obedient and be prepared to bear testimony of things which are to come. From this, we might ask, "what are they to bear testimony of?" or in other words, "what is to come?"
At first we might interpret verse 8 as an answer to this question. There the Lord prophecies that there will be a feast of the fat thing for the poor. Then in verse 9 the Lord explains that this is to be "a supper of the house of the Lord . . . unto which all nations shall be invited." But verse 11 tells us that this feast is not the end in itself that we should be looking forward to. This feast is prepared "for the great day." We interpret this great day to be the second coming. In other words, the Saints are to testify of the fact that the second coming is on its way.
If we think of this feast in contrast to the famine that Amos prophecies about in Amos 8:11, then just as that was a famine for the words of the Lord, we can interpret this as a feast upon the words of the Lord.
Verse 9 tells us that "all nations shall be invited." But verses 10 & 11 tell us that not everyone is to be invited at that the same time. First the rich, the learned, the wise and the noble are invited. Then the poor.
Compare this with Luke 14:12-14. There the Lord tells the lawyers and Pharisees that when they throw a feast they ought not to invite the rich. Rather they should invite the poor, maimed and blind.
Compare also Luke 14:16-24. In that parable of a feast, the poor, the maimed, the halt and the blind are also invited after the guests of priviledge. And there it specifically tells us that those that were invited first, made excuses and did not come to the feast.
One could ask why it it is that the day the Lord invites the poor is what he calls the day of his power. Why not choose the day he first invites the rich as the day of his power? One possible answer is that the Lord may be implying that just like in the parable in Luke 14:16-24, the people he invites first reject the invitation. The day of the Lord's power would be identified then as the day when the Lord has triumphed.
  • D&C 58:8: Feast of fat things. This phrase also occurs in Isa 25:6. Interestingly, the modifying phrase "might be prepared for the poor" does not occur there. This modifying phrase might be read as a check against reading Isaiah as supporting, say, unchecked capitalist consumerism.

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  • D&C 58:2. What is meant here by keeping the commandments "in death"? Does it mean something like accepting the gospel when you are dead? Or is it refers to someone who keeps the commandments and pays for this with their own life?
  • D&C 58:10. Why are the rich, learned, wise and noble invited first? Is the Lord saying that this is who he invites first? Or, is he saying that this is who we should invite first? --Is this meant to be prescriptive? In other words, if we apply this scripture to today, if we are missionaries opening up a new city, should we teach first the rich, the learned, the wise and the noble before we go to teach the poor?

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Previous editions.

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Verse 8[edit]

  • "Feast of fat things." See this post by Rosalynde at the T&S blog for thoughts on Christmas, consumerism and (extreme) Puritanism, as it relates to the phrase "feast of fat things."

Verses 26-27[edit]

  • M. Russell Ballard, "O Be Wise," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 17–20. Elder Ballard encourages members of the church to be innovative in their callings. "Because the eternal principle of agency gives us the freedom to choose and think for ourselves, we should become increasingly able to solve problems. We may make the occasional mistake, but as long as we are following gospel principles and guidelines, we can learn from those mistakes and become more understanding of others and more effective in serving them."

Verse 42[edit]

"Choose to believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Accept the Savior's forgiveness, and then forgive yourself. Because of His sacrifice for you, He has the power to 'remember [your sins] no more.' You must do likewise."

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 76:61-65

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Summary[edit]

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Relationship to Section 76. The relationship of Verses 76:50-70 to the rest of Section 76 is discussed at D&C 76.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 76:50-70 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 76:51: The testimony of Jesus. This phrase is found four times in the KJV of Revelations (Rev 1:2, Rev 1:9, Rev 19:10, Rev 12:17, and once in Alma 6:8. Joseph F. Smith also uses it in what appears to be a paraphrase of a verse in this section D&C 138:12. The phrase as used in these scriptures seems to refer to more than just a belief in Jesus, but a spiritual power referred to as "the spirit of prophecy" (Rev 19:10; Alma 6:8. There are many references to the "spirit of prophecy" in the Book of Mormon, where it is related to obtaining a foreknowledge of Christ's mission and sacrifice--but also seems to be an authorizing power that backs up gospel teaching.
  • D&C 76:53: Who overcome by faith. The phrase "overcome by faith" does not appear anywhere else in ancient or modern scripture. The English word "overcome" does occur over 20 times in the KJV of the bible, where it is often the translation of the Greek verb nikao which also means to conquer or vanquish (see discussion here).

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  • D&C 76:50. What is the "testimony of the gospel of Christ"? What does testimony mean in this case? What does it mean that the testimony is "concerning" those of the resurrection of the just?
  • D&C 76:51. What does it mean to "receive the testimony of Jesus"?
  • D&C 76:51. What does it mean to believe "on his name"?
  • D&C 76:51. What does it mean to be "buried in the water in his name"? Why do we have to be buried?
  • D&C 76:52. Why is authority necessary for baptism and confirmation?
  • D&C 76:53. What does it mean to "overcome by faith"?
  • D&C 76:53. What does it mean to be "sealed" by the Holy Spirit of promise? What is the Holy Spirit of promise? How does this sealing occur?
  • D&C 76:56. Is there a difference between these kinds of priests and those ordained as priests in the Aaronic priesthood?
  • D&C 76:56. How do we become priests and kings? How might this relate to temple worship?
  • D&C 76:56. How do priests and kings receive "his fulness, and...his glory"?
  • D&C 76:57. Is there a difference between these priests and those ordained as High Priests in the Melchizedek Priesthood in this life?
  • D&C 76:57. What does it mean for the priesthood to be referred to here as an "order"?
  • D&C 76:59. What does it mean that Celestial beings have all things, including "whether life or death"? Does this imply that Celestial beings have power to choose death after receiving Celestial glory?
  • D&C 76:59. How might "things present, or things to come" be given to Celestial beings? What does this mean?
  • D&C 76:60. What does it mean that Celestial beings "shall" overcome all things? Does that mean that they still have things to overcome after they reach the Celestial Kingdom?

Resources[edit]

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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 76:66-70

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Summary[edit]

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Relationship to Section 76. The relationship of Verses 76:50-70 to the rest of Section 76 is discussed at D&C 76.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 76:50-70 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 76:51: The testimony of Jesus. This phrase is found four times in the KJV of Revelations (Rev 1:2, Rev 1:9, Rev 19:10, Rev 12:17, and once in Alma 6:8. Joseph F. Smith also uses it in what appears to be a paraphrase of a verse in this section D&C 138:12. The phrase as used in these scriptures seems to refer to more than just a belief in Jesus, but a spiritual power referred to as "the spirit of prophecy" (Rev 19:10; Alma 6:8. There are many references to the "spirit of prophecy" in the Book of Mormon, where it is related to obtaining a foreknowledge of Christ's mission and sacrifice--but also seems to be an authorizing power that backs up gospel teaching.
  • D&C 76:53: Who overcome by faith. The phrase "overcome by faith" does not appear anywhere else in ancient or modern scripture. The English word "overcome" does occur over 20 times in the KJV of the bible, where it is often the translation of the Greek verb nikao which also means to conquer or vanquish (see discussion here).

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 76:50. What is the "testimony of the gospel of Christ"? What does testimony mean in this case? What does it mean that the testimony is "concerning" those of the resurrection of the just?
  • D&C 76:51. What does it mean to "receive the testimony of Jesus"?
  • D&C 76:51. What does it mean to believe "on his name"?
  • D&C 76:51. What does it mean to be "buried in the water in his name"? Why do we have to be buried?
  • D&C 76:52. Why is authority necessary for baptism and confirmation?
  • D&C 76:53. What does it mean to "overcome by faith"?
  • D&C 76:53. What does it mean to be "sealed" by the Holy Spirit of promise? What is the Holy Spirit of promise? How does this sealing occur?
  • D&C 76:56. Is there a difference between these kinds of priests and those ordained as priests in the Aaronic priesthood?
  • D&C 76:56. How do we become priests and kings? How might this relate to temple worship?
  • D&C 76:56. How do priests and kings receive "his fulness, and...his glory"?
  • D&C 76:57. Is there a difference between these priests and those ordained as High Priests in the Melchizedek Priesthood in this life?
  • D&C 76:57. What does it mean for the priesthood to be referred to here as an "order"?
  • D&C 76:59. What does it mean that Celestial beings have all things, including "whether life or death"? Does this imply that Celestial beings have power to choose death after receiving Celestial glory?
  • D&C 76:59. How might "things present, or things to come" be given to Celestial beings? What does this mean?
  • D&C 76:60. What does it mean that Celestial beings "shall" overcome all things? Does that mean that they still have things to overcome after they reach the Celestial Kingdom?

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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D&C 88:11-15

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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 88:16-20

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


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


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 93:1-5

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 93 > Verses 93:1-5
Previous page: Section 93                      Next page: Verses 93:6-20


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 93. The relationship of Verses 93:1-5 to the rest of Section 93 is discussed at D&C 93.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 93:1-5 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 93:1-20: Outline. The key to understanding these verses may be verse 19 (discussion), which provides a basic outline for the first twenty verses of this revelation, and indicates that these first twenty verses teach us three things: (a) "how" to worship (93:1), (b) "what" we worship (93:2-18), and (c) "why" we worship (93:19-20).
  • D&C 93:1: How to worship. This first verse describes five things that one does in worship, five things that describe "how" one worships. Each deserves careful attention.
(1) Forsake sin. To forsake is to totally abandon, leave behind, renounce, move away from. The first step in worshiping is to renounce our sins and to leave them behind.
(2) Come unto Christ. We often read this as meaning something like "be good" or "do His will," etc., but it can also be read quite literally: to come unto Christ by personally, physically, and really approaching him and entering his presence. We most obviously do this through partaking of sacred ordinances--such as baptism, the sacrament, and temple worship--all of which require us to forsake sin before fully participating. When we abandon or forsakes our sins, we turn away from them and move toward Christ. These first two parts of worship, then, constitute a kind of movement away from sin and towards Christ.
(3) Call on His name. This can simply refer to the act of prayer, but might more explicitly refer to the act of citing or summoning someone's authority: in an argument, one can call on the name of this or that thinker or scholar. If calling on the name of Christ refers to an act of prayer, it might be understood as a prayer spoken in Christ's name, rather than to Him. In our worship we worship the Father in the name of the Son, and that seems to be what it means to "call on His name."
At the same time, there is certainly merit in understanding "call on His name" as a direct summons. After we leave sin and physically come to Christ, we call on His name as we arrive. This second way of reading this phrase need not oppose the first: might one come to Christ and address Him directly so as to approach the Father in/as the Son? That is, might one call on His name (summon Him) by calling on His name (praying as authorized by Him)? Ultimately, it seems one does precisely this in many acts of worship: in the sacrament, one physically experiences Christ and calls on Him for salvation, but only by addressing "God, the Eternal Father" in the name of His "Son, Jesus Christ."
A third and related way to read this might be to call on His name as an authorized servant performing saving ordinances in His name. In this sense, we worship Him by helping to perform saving ordinances for others.
(4) Obey His voice. Is there a difference between obeying His voice and that which follows--keeping His commandments? Obeying the Lord's voice seems to evoked here an actual encounter, the reality of communing with the Savior--either directly in person, or through the Spirit. Obeying His voice would seem to refer to obeying the whisperings of the Spirit, which is promised to us after baptism, and which Nephi taught would teach us all things what we should do.
(5) Keep His commandments. Rather than obeying the whisperings of the Spirit, keeping the commandments may refer to the day to day living of those commandments that have been recorded for us through the scriptures or through the teachings of the prophets. While we worship by doing what the Lord tells us personally through the Spirit, we also do so by walking uprightly in obedience to the commandments, and treasuring them in our lives (see lexical note above). In Judaism, each commandment (mitzvah) is an obligation or responsibility that forms the basis for maintaining a relationship with God. We worship by keeping the commandments, by living in a way that maintains our relationship with the Lord. Sacred ordinances form the foundation for this worship by requiring us to commit to keep the commandments. By doing so, we follow through on that personal commitment and maintain our relationship with to the Lord.
Conclusion. In the end, these five points convey a story: one leaves off sin in order to come physically to Christ, where one calls upon His name, hears His voice in response, and then leaves the worship experience with specific commandments to obey. This pattern is present in most any worship experience in the LDS tradition. To participate in the sacrament of the Lord's supper, one begins by forsaking one's sins in advance, and then one comes to the table to experience Christ physically through the tokens of the bread and water/wine, where one calls upon His name (even takes His name); then through the Sacrament Meeting speakers who are, ideally, blessed with the promised Spirit one hears His voice, before leaving the meeting with specific commandments to obey. The same can be read into the temple experience: certainly one must forsake sin to enter the temple, and there one comes to experience Christ quite directly, and even to call on His name (to take upon His name in the most amazing way possible, but also to learn to pray for the first time); finally, at the veil and in the celestial presence, one hears His voice, and then one leaves the temple with very specific commandments (covenants) to keep.
In short, these five points beautifully describe the process of worship.
  • D&C 93:1: Two promises. Finally, this first verse also makes two promises to those who worship this way: they will see His face, and know that He is.
The first promise points to the manifest "power of Godliness" in the ordinances of worship, especially in the temple where this phrase might be taken quite literally (D&C 84:22). Since the glory of the Lord is so bright, it can be difficult to actually see His face. To see His face we have to share the same glory or have Him unveil it to us (D&C 88:68). Otherwise his countenance is so bright (Rev 1:16), that we can't actually see His face.
The second promise is a bit more nuanced, but it might be read in terms of the Old Testament name for Jesus: YHWH ("He is"). It is one thing to see the face of the Lord, it is another to know that he is YHWH ("He is"). The following seventeen-verse stretch outlines some of what that means, by describing characteristics of the Lord--the "what" of worship.
  • D&C 93:2. The double promise of verse 1 is extended and clarified in this and the following verse. This is ultimately quite important to the structure of the first twenty verses, because verses 4-18 function almost as a parenthetical explanation of verse 3. Thus verses 19-20 ultimately pick up from verse 3, continuing the discussion that is at work in the extended promise of verse 1.
It is of course significant that this extension of the promise (and the second extension in verse 3) is a fleshing out of the same second promise of the first verse: to know that He is. That His "being" is now clarified and extended is doubly important because it confirms the importance of the "I am" of verse 1: His "is-ness" is of the utmost importance. But the point of the present verse is to take things beyond that simple "is-ness": He is "the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world." This certainly calls for comment.
This verse undeniably echoes John 1:9: "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." But as soon as one draws the connection, one recognizes how suddenly such a rich statement is thrust upon the reader in the present revelation: the "light" business in John 1 is built up over the course of several verses, giving it a richer context and meaning. This suddenness could be read in two different ways: on the one hand, it may be that the Lord is simply highlighting the Johannine text, perhaps suggesting that the present verse should be read as approval of the Johannine text, though as will become obvious only a few verses later in the revelation, the Lord seems to be alluding to or quoting a text still more original or primary than the text in the KJV of John 1; on the other hand, the suddenness might be connected—and this seems to be the better reading—to the future fact of the promised revelation, or, in other words, because one is only to know that He is the true light inasmuch as one worships, the present verse is hardly meant to be some kind of definitive statement of what it means to say that He is the "true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world."
But if the second of these two readings is the better, it nonetheless presents a difficulty: if this promised revelation is, for the moment, simply unreadable, why would the Lord bother to say anything about it all, especially in light of verse 19, where the Lord explains that there is some purpose to explaining all of this. But perhaps it is precisely verse 19 that opens up the possibility of interpreting the present verse: verses 19-20 make worship (in its purpose) a question of grace. In other words, there may be reason to read this verse in terms of grace, rather than in terms of John 1.
And as soon as this is said, it becomes clear how this verse might well be a curious way of stating the very idea of grace: the light comes as a gift, and one that seems here to be universally given. But, in light of the above, if it is universally given, it is nonetheless not universally known: only those who worship in truth and Spirit will know that the Lord is this light. In other words, only in worship can one come to know how universal and how broad the grace of Christ is. This sets up a kind of irony: the light by which one sees is something one can only grasp in the act of worship. But even to state things this way is to begin to clarify the meaning of this verse: worship is essentially an act that allows one to see, for the first time, how it is that one sees.
Perhaps here then the word "true" ought to be highlighted: the occurrence and placement of this word in this verse makes it sound as if one must come, in the act of worship, to recognize that light has always been, to that point, misunderstood. In a sense, there seems to be implied that in worship one forgoes the "scientific" for the "religious," the "temporal" for the "spiritual": in worship one recognizes how limited one's take on the world has been.
It might be worth mentioning, then, in all of this that a rather pre-scientific (or simply non-scientific) understanding of light may well be at play here: in the Bible (as in other ancient cultures), the eye was believed to be the "light of the body," often called a lamp (the seven burning lamps of the menorah were refered to, in fact, as Jehovah's seven eyes). If this way of thinking is read into this verse, one can recognize in it the difference expressed elsewhere in the scriptures between one's "natural eyes" and one's "spiritual eyes." In worship (which must be in truth and in Spirit), one sees for the first time with one's spiritual eyes, and so seeing, one is able at last to recognize what the light really is, and that that light is available to all, that it "lighteth every man that cometh into the world."

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D&C 93:6-10

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Summary[edit]

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Relationship to Section 93. The relationship of Verses 93:6-20 to the rest of Section 93 is discussed at D&C 93.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 93:6-20 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 93:19. This verse is absolutely vital for understanding everything in the first twenty verses, primarily because here the Lord explains what he has been doing, and what it amounts to. The verse can be summed up basically to say that these first twenty verses are about (1) how to worship, (2) what one worships, and (3) why one worships. Roughly speaking, the "how" of worship is taught in verse 1, the "what" of worship is taught in verses 2-18, and the "why" of worship is taught in verses 19-20. Once one passes beyond these verses into verse 21, this "how-what-why" business becomes a foundation for further revelation, rather than the subject matter being discussed (signaled in the structuring "And now."

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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. →

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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 93:11-15

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Summary[edit]

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Relationship to Section 93. The relationship of Verses 93:6-20 to the rest of Section 93 is discussed at D&C 93.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 93:6-20 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 93:19. This verse is absolutely vital for understanding everything in the first twenty verses, primarily because here the Lord explains what he has been doing, and what it amounts to. The verse can be summed up basically to say that these first twenty verses are about (1) how to worship, (2) what one worships, and (3) why one worships. Roughly speaking, the "how" of worship is taught in verse 1, the "what" of worship is taught in verses 2-18, and the "why" of worship is taught in verses 19-20. Once one passes beyond these verses into verse 21, this "how-what-why" business becomes a foundation for further revelation, rather than the subject matter being discussed (signaled in the structuring "And now."

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. →

Resources[edit]

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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 93:16-20

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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 93. The relationship of Verses 93:6-20 to the rest of Section 93 is discussed at D&C 93.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 93:6-20 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 93:19. This verse is absolutely vital for understanding everything in the first twenty verses, primarily because here the Lord explains what he has been doing, and what it amounts to. The verse can be summed up basically to say that these first twenty verses are about (1) how to worship, (2) what one worships, and (3) why one worships. Roughly speaking, the "how" of worship is taught in verse 1, the "what" of worship is taught in verses 2-18, and the "why" of worship is taught in verses 19-20. Once one passes beyond these verses into verse 21, this "how-what-why" business becomes a foundation for further revelation, rather than the subject matter being discussed (signaled in the structuring "And now."

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[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. →

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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D&C 93:31-35

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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 93. The relationship of Verses 93:21-40 to the rest of Section 93 is discussed at D&C 93.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 93:21-40 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 93:21. This verse marks a decided shift in the revelation. Before this point, the revelation works through part of "the record of John," concluding with the promise that the Saints can travel a path not unlike the one Christ is said to have followed in John's account: "For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace" (verse 20). Marking the textual break and transition to a new discussion is this verse's "And now, verily I say unto you." Of course, at the same time, there is a good deal of thematic continuity. The largest change in tone seems to be that now it is Christ Himself talking "autobiographically" about what before only John had talked about by way of testimony. In the end, this block of text beginning with verse 21 seems to continue through verse 40.
  • D&C 93:23. After the not entirely surprising content of verses 21-22, verse 23 introduces what must, to the Saints in 1833, have been a real theological shocker: "Ye were also in the beginning with the Father"! These words make up, importantly, the earliest reference in Church history to the idea of a premortal existence. The language of course refers back to verse 21: "I was in the beginning with the Father" is parallel to "Ye were also in the beginning with the Father."
Next, though, verse 23 suddenly becomes grammatically obscure (if not incoherent): "Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth." What is happening with the last two clauses of verse 23? They might be taken as qualifications of "the Father" ("the Father, namely, that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth."). Or perhaps they might be taken as the beginning of a new sentence that never gets off the ground ("That which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth—And truth is, etc...."). Or again, they might be connected grammatically with verse 26 ("That which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth—and truth is, etc....—Getting back to the Spirit of truth, it is of God. I am the Spirit of truth").
  • D&C 93:24. It seems likely that verses 24-25 are a kind of aside meant to clarify "the Spirit of truth," introduced in verse 23 and returned to in verse 26.
  • D&C 93:24: Modern reading. From a modern philosophical perspective, this verse might be read as defining truth as a type of knowable proposition that is true in the past, present and future. A problem with this reading is that verse 30 becomes very difficult to make sense of: in what sense can propositional truth be said to "act for itself"?
  • D&C 93:24: Knowledge. Another way to read this verse is to consider truth as a way of relating to things. The very mention of the word knowledge seems to suggest something more than a propositional-type definition. If truth can be understood as a proposition, what does it have to do with knowledge? Knowledge here seems to imply, even emphasize, the knower of the truth. The Hebrew word for knowledge, yada, has a relational connotation which is most obvious when sexual relations are described as knowing someone ("in the Biblical sense").
  • D&C 93:24: Things. The word "things" here seems to emphasize the specific as opposed to abstract nature of the knowledge being described here. This may be related to the distinction between "all things . . . compound in one" vs. "one body" in 2 Ne 2:11. In this sense, the plural form of "things" is important: truth is not knowledge of one thing, but a knowledge of a plurality of things that, according to Lehi, are "compound in one." At any rate, the word "things" gets a good deal of play in uniquely Mormon scripture. (It is interesting, for instance, that by far the most common way of referring to the Book of Mormon, within the Book of Mormon itself, is with the phrase "these things.") But the word appears so often that it is difficult to pin down any kind of consistent definition—it seems to be an all-purpose word. Here, there is no necessary implication that "objects" or even "substantial things" are meant. That said, it is important that the word "things" appears here, since it ruptures what might be taken to be a knowledge of "the past" or "the present" or "the future" as some kind of abstract historical schema. Whatever it means to say that truth is knowledge, it is clear that it is not knowledge of "the past," for example, but knowing of "things as they were." It is significant, also, that there is no triple repetition of the word "things." It is apparently not that truth is a knowledge of "things as they are" and of "things as they were" and of "things as they are to come," as if one could classify things in three distinct categories (present things, past things, future things). Rather, "things" appears only once, and truth is a question of knowing those things according to all three temporal modes. Whatever comprehensiveness is at work in truth/knowledge, it is a comprehensiveness of the things (triply) known more than it is a comprehensiveness of the (triply distributed) temporal horizon in which things to be known fall.
  • D&C 93:24: As they are, as they were, and as they are to come. This description seems to echo the progressive "grace to grace" description of the Son of God's obtaining a fulness in previous verses. In this sense, truth seems to be a knowledge that relates to things in the past in the present and the future, not the way the knower may wish things to be, but the way things "really are" (cf. Jacob 4:13). In this sense, it seems that things can act upon the knower independently of the knower. Perhaps it is in this way that sense can be of the notion in verse 30 that truth can "act for itself." Moreover, it is interesting that all three modes of temporality appear here. Only four other passages in scripture seem somewhat similar to this passage, but none of them includes all three modes. (In 2 Ne 6:4 and Jac 4:13, only the present and the future are mentioned; in Mosiah 8:17, only the past and the future are mentioned; and in D&C 5:13, only the present is mentioned. It is possible also that there is a connection with Rev 11:17 and Rev 1:8; in these two passages, all three modes of temporality are present, but the wording is less like the present passage.) At any rate, there seems to be something more comprehensive at work in the present passage than in other similarly worded passages. Another curious detail is the order of the modes presented. Why present, then past, then future—especially when Western moderns are more likely to expect past, then present, then future? If the ordering is significant, it is possible that truth is a question first of knowing things as one experiences them in the present, then of tracing these things into the past, and only then of seeing how these things look out onto the future. Yet another curious detail: the verse does not actually have a strict distribution of present, past, and future. The present and past are couched in terms of being ("things as they are"; "things as they were"), but the future is couched in terms of coming ("things as they are to come"). More strictly, the future is couched in terms of being to come. It thus entangles itself with the present: the future is a question of things "as they are to come." There is, here, no strong notion of "knowing the future," but of knowing things both "as they are" and "as they are to come," as if there were two ways of knowing things "as they are." (Notice the difference here from Jacob 4:13: "it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be.")
  • D&C 93:24: As. Why is truth a knowledge of "things as they are/were/are to come" and not simply a knowledge of "what is/was/is to come" or of "the present/past/future"? Or again, why is truth not a knowledge of "things that are/were/are to come"? Why this "as" structure in the definition? This structure introduces a minimal gap into the things known, keeping them from complete self-identity. It signals, perhaps, that there is nothing like an immediate knowing of things: things have to be known as something, even if that something is their being (as they are). Things—whatever those things are—can only be known as they are. It perhaps follows that truth is dialectical, that it is always mediated, never a question of self-evidence, always worked out in an unfolding through which things pass through various "as-stages" until one comes to know things as they are/were/are to come. It seems, in other words, that things can be known as they are not, or perhaps must so be known on the way to knowing them as they are. If there is no "knowing the thing itself," then one must work through so many "things as x" on the way to knowing "things as they are." Of course, this suggests that it is necessary to ask what is meant by being here. Westerners are inclined to read "things as they are" to mean something like "the essence of things." But this is already problematized by the triple are/were/are to come business: it is not that one is simply to come to know things as they really are or as they are eternally/atemporally; one is to come know things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come. Though it may at first seem like the dialectics of the previous paragraph means that there is a process of learning before one comes to "essences," that the "as-stages" are so many mistaken moments on the way to learning what really is the case, there may be reason to read this passage otherwise.
  • D&C 93:26. This verse marks an important departure from what was said in verses 1-20. Though this verse apparently quotes from the same record of John, nothing before was said about Christ receiving "a fulness of truth," only "the fulness" plain and simple (see verses 12-14) and "a fulness of the glory of the Father" (see verse 16). It seems, then, that Christ here introduces still more of the record of John than can be found in verses 1-20. (It should be noted that verse 18 included a promise that "if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John.")
Crucially, though, while verses 1-20 never have John say that Christ received the fulness of truth, they do have John say things about the Spirit of truth (see verses 9 and 11). Unfortunately, though, neither of the earlier passages clarifies the meaning of the phrase "the Spirit of truth."
  • D&C 93:28. Given the larger claims made by this revelation (or, at least, in verses 1-40), verse 28 seems to lay out the pathway for human beings that lies parallel (but is also folded within) Christ's own already-traveled pathway to the fullness. It makes four very interesting moves: (1) truth comes only through "keeping his commandments"; (2) truth is paired with light; (3) truth is said to be something in which one "is glorified"; and (4) glorification is made to be a question of "know[ing] all things."
  • D&C 93:29: Intelligence. Apart from an obscure reference in Daniel, the only appearance of the word "intelligence" in scripture before this point is in D&C 88:40: "For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence." (The word would become central to the Book of Abraham, but Joseph wouldn't be looking at that project two years after section 93 was given.) What few instances of the word are to be found in Joseph Smith's pre-1835 letters and diaries are all pretty banal ("intelligence" meaning either "information about goings on elsewhere" or "mental capacity or ability"). Webster's 1828 dictionary gives the following definitions in the following order: (1) "Understanding; skill." (2) "Notice; information communicated; an account of things distant or before unknown." (3) "Commerce of acquaintance; terms of intercourse." (4) "A spiritual being; as a created intelligence." Note that the first two of these definitions seem to be the standard ones usually employed by Joseph before 1835. And of course note that the last definition, obviously the one at work in the translation of the Book of Abraham, is strikingly contradicted by the passage in D&C 93: "A spiritual being; as a created intelligence"; "Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be." In the end, it seems best to take "intelligence" here to follow something like Webster's first definition. (The fourth is intriguing, but the revelation does not speak of "an intelligence"; only of "intelligence.") Something like the first definition, at any rate, seems to be implied by the clarification of the term offered by "or the light of truth."
  • D&C 93:29. Suddenly, with verse 29, the revelation becomes strikingly abstract—abstracted, that is, from the concrete dialogical voice that otherwise characterizes verses 21-40. This can be sensed simply by comparing "Man was also in the beginning with God" here in verse 29 with "I was in the beginning with the Father" (verse 21) and "Ye were also in the beginning with the Father" (verse 23). The personal pronouns have been replaced with "man," and "the Father" has been replaced with "God." This abstraction continues through about verse 39 (with verse 40, there is a return to the wonted conversational tone: "But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth"). Is there anything besides a rhetorical difference between verse 23's "Ye were also in the beginning with the Father" and verse 29's "Man was also in the beginning with God"? The change perhaps makes clearer in retrospect that the "ye" business of verse 23 addressed the earlier statement to a specific group of people, not to whoever happens to read the revelation—and that the addressed group of people are in some sense privileged because they were in the beginning with the Father rather than, more abstractly, with God.
Much more difficult is the statement about intelligence. There are two difficulties here (in addition to the clarification of "intelligence" in the lexical notes above): (1) What is to made of the shift from "light and truth" to "light of truth"? (2) What does it mean to say that intelligence "was not" and indeed cannot be "created or made"?
The first question calls for two obvious interpretations. On the one hand, the light in question might be taken to be something like an effect of truth, as if truth brings with it a kind of light. On the other hand, the light in question might be taken to be instrumental in the process of receiving truth, as if light opens up a space for truth. Thus, it seems, the light in question could come either before or after truth. That the passage (a) equates "the light of truth" with "intelligence" and (b) goes on to say that "intelligence"/"the light of truth" cannot be created suggests that the "before" interpretation makes the most sense: it isn't at all clear why the revelation would bother to make a claim about the non-createdness of a light that comes after truth. It would seem, in short, that intelligence is, in this verse, something that opens up a space or otherwise paves the way for the reception of truth.
Second, to claim that intelligence cannot be created or made means what? It should be noted that verse 33 goes on to say: "For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy." Latter-day Saints tend, perhaps, to read this latter passage as a kind of revelatory reference to Newtonian physics: nothing comes from nothing. Perhaps such can be read into the word "eternal," but there is a real gap between "neither created nor destroyed" and "eternal"—and there is thus a gap between verse 33's "eternal" and verse 29's "was not created or made, neither indeed can be." Indeed, there is no claim in verse 29 that intelligence cannot be destroyed, only that it cannot be created. Thus, whatever verse 33 means when it says that "the elements are eternal," there is no such claim in verse 29. Of course, whether that means that intelligence can be destroyed is an open question, so far as verse 29 is concerned.
Taking the whole of verse 29 together, one seems to have something like the following. To say that "man was also in the beginning with God" is, apparently, to say that "intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be." Whatever it means to say that human beings were with God in the beginning—whether, that is, this should be interpreted in "individualistic" terms or in "collective" terms—the point is simply, it seems, that the very enabling light of truth could not have been produced. Whether human beings somehow "come into" that light or not, that light was always, apparently, there. At the very least, the intelligent part of humankind was in the beginning with God.
  • D&C 93:30. This verse makes three "claims" that must be dealt with. (1) "All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself." (2) Apparently "all intelligence also" is of the same nature. (3) Crucially, if things were "otherwise," then "there is no existence."
There are several difficulties at work in the first "claim." (a) How is the "all" of "all truth" to be interpreted? (b) What does "independence" mean here? (c) What does "sphere" mean in this connection? (d) What is truth such that God can "place" it? (e) What does it mean to say that truth can "act"? (f) What does it mean to say that truth can "act for itself"? (g) How is independence connected with what I'll loosely call agency?
Perhaps the fact that the same statement can be made about intelligence ("as all intelligence also") is a clue to interpretation. In verse 29, it is made clear that "intelligence" cannot be created. Verse 30 thus suggests that God does something with an already existent intelligence, placing it in spheres so that it can act for itself. In terms of intelligence, this idea is not terribly surprising. That God would take this apparently uncreated intelligence, place it in spheres and so render it independent, and thus set it up with a strong notion of agency—that seems, at least in some sense, to describe the creation of human beings. Should something like the same picture be simply translated over into the question of truth? That is, is one here to assume that (i) truth is uncreated/uncreatable; (ii) God distributed truth into differentiable "spheres"; and (iii) truth was thus given some kind of agency?
Still more crucial is the fact that intelligence and truth, each apparently uncreated and each undergoing a kind of distribution among "spheres," are more closely connected, in light of verse 29, than verse 30 seems to suggest: "intelligence" is the "light of truth." The picture provided in verse 30, then, is one in which God distributes among spheres both the light of truth and then truth itself, this double distribution allowing for the possibility of some kind of (active!) engagement between the two. To some extent, this is a reinterpretation of the creation: it was, it might be said, first and foremost a question of this double distribution. "Otherwise," apparently, "there is no existence."
(D&C 93:31 is interesting on this account, because it seems to suggest that human agency is bound up within this complex entanglement between truth and intelligence—and it seems that condemnation is a question precisely of the uniquely human capacity to reject intelligence.)

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  • D&C 93:30: Truth is independent. Can truth be neutral? Does no one control it? Does it stand on its own? Is it never relative?
  • D&C 93:30: Sphere. Why does truth lose its independence outside of certain realms? Does that mean it is not absolute?
  • D&C 93:30: Placed. Does truth not exist until God introduces it? Does this mean truth is whatever God says it is? Does God have the power to determine what is truth?
  • D&C 93:30: Act for itself. How can truth act? Is this verse saying that truth can act? If so, in what sense can truth be understood to act? Does truth have agency because of what it shares in common with intelligences?
  • D&C 93:30: There is no existence. Should this verse in combination with Alma 42:22, since they both discuss how a violation of divine nature leads to death?
  • D&C 93:31: Agency. Is this verse saying that people have freedom to choose because of the intelligence that is within them? Has that intelligence been independent enough to give us agency even when we were not enticed by evil, notwithstanding what 2 Ne 2:16 says? Why is the word agency found only in latter-day scriptures?
  • D&C 93:31: Condemnation. Is it our words, works, and thoughts that will condemn us (see Alma 12:14), or is it declining to admit light into our soul that will most definitely damn us?
  • D&C 93:32: Receive not the light. If "whatsoever is light is Spirit" (D&C 84:45), then is the opposite also true? If so, how does a human spirit that is made of light repel the very substance from which it is made?
  • D&C 93:36: What exactly is the "glory" of God? How is it related to intelligence, light, and truth? Does this have something to do with eternal intelligences as seen by Abraham?
  • D&C 93:31: What is truth as used here? How might it be related to light?

Resources[edit]

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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 133:41-45

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For a brief overview of D&C 133 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 9 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 10.

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 133:51. In verse 51 the Lord tells us that he "tramples them" in his fury on the day of vengeance. "Them" here seems to refer to "all people" in the previous verse. It may mean all people who are his enemies. Earlier verses 42-44 makes a distinction between what will happen to those who work righteousness versus the Lord's adversaries. To the Lord's adversaries the Lord will do "terrible things" (v. 43) but those who work righteousness shall rejoice and be met by the Lord (v 44).

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  • D&C 133:51. Can anyone help with my question? I'd like to understand better whether Christ treading the wine press alone refers only to the atonement or what Christ does at the second coming, or both. If just the former, why does it seem to keep coming up prophecies about the second coming (see my commentary on D&C 76:107). If both, what does treading the wine press alone have to do with the second coming? It makes sense to think understand Jesus on the cross treading alone Matt 27:46. But it is harder to understand what this means related to the second coming.

Prompts for life application[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. →

  • D&C 133:51. It is interesting that the imagery used for verse 51, which seems to refer to part of the second coming, seems related to the imagery often used for the atonement. What is the relation between the atonement and the Lord's vengeance? Notice that the sacrament also represents both the atonement and the bridegroom's supper at the Second Coming.

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Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 133 is __.
  • D&C 133 was first published in __.
  • D&C 133 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.
  • Changes to the text of D&C 133:

Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 133.

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.



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D&C 133:46-50

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For a brief overview of D&C 133 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 9 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 10.

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 133:51. In verse 51 the Lord tells us that he "tramples them" in his fury on the day of vengeance. "Them" here seems to refer to "all people" in the previous verse. It may mean all people who are his enemies. Earlier verses 42-44 makes a distinction between what will happen to those who work righteousness versus the Lord's adversaries. To the Lord's adversaries the Lord will do "terrible things" (v. 43) but those who work righteousness shall rejoice and be met by the Lord (v 44).

Complete outline and page map[edit]

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  • D&C 133:51. Can anyone help with my question? I'd like to understand better whether Christ treading the wine press alone refers only to the atonement or what Christ does at the second coming, or both. If just the former, why does it seem to keep coming up prophecies about the second coming (see my commentary on D&C 76:107). If both, what does treading the wine press alone have to do with the second coming? It makes sense to think understand Jesus on the cross treading alone Matt 27:46. But it is harder to understand what this means related to the second coming.

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 133:51. It is interesting that the imagery used for verse 51, which seems to refer to part of the second coming, seems related to the imagery often used for the atonement. What is the relation between the atonement and the Lord's vengeance? Notice that the sacrament also represents both the atonement and the bridegroom's supper at the Second Coming.

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 133 is __.
  • D&C 133 was first published in __.
  • D&C 133 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.
  • Changes to the text of D&C 133:

Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 133.

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 68                         Next section: D&C 107b

D&C 133:51-55

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  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 68
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For a brief overview of D&C 133 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 9 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 10.

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 133:51. In verse 51 the Lord tells us that he "tramples them" in his fury on the day of vengeance. "Them" here seems to refer to "all people" in the previous verse. It may mean all people who are his enemies. Earlier verses 42-44 makes a distinction between what will happen to those who work righteousness versus the Lord's adversaries. To the Lord's adversaries the Lord will do "terrible things" (v. 43) but those who work righteousness shall rejoice and be met by the Lord (v 44).

Complete outline and page map[edit]

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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. →

  • D&C 133:51. Can anyone help with my question? I'd like to understand better whether Christ treading the wine press alone refers only to the atonement or what Christ does at the second coming, or both. If just the former, why does it seem to keep coming up prophecies about the second coming (see my commentary on D&C 76:107). If both, what does treading the wine press alone have to do with the second coming? It makes sense to think understand Jesus on the cross treading alone Matt 27:46. But it is harder to understand what this means related to the second coming.

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 133:51. It is interesting that the imagery used for verse 51, which seems to refer to part of the second coming, seems related to the imagery often used for the atonement. What is the relation between the atonement and the Lord's vengeance? Notice that the sacrament also represents both the atonement and the bridegroom's supper at the Second Coming.

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 133 is __.
  • D&C 133 was first published in __.
  • D&C 133 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.
  • Changes to the text of D&C 133:

Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 133.

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.



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