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2 Ne 9:26-30

Home > The Book of Mormon > Second Nephi > Chapters 6-10 > Chapter 9
Previous page: Chapters 6-8                      Next page: Chapter 10


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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. →

The relationship of Chapter 9 to the rest of Chapters 6-10 is discussed at Chapters 6-10.

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. →

  • 2 Ne 9:7: Infinite. The word "infinite" appears in the King James Version of the Bible just three times, and in each case it is the translation of a different Hebrew word or words. ("Infinite" does not appear in the KJV New Testament.) In Job 25, the Hebrew qets means "without end" and refers to the iniquity of the wicked. In Psalm 147:5, the word micpar means basically "innumerable" and refers in that instance to the understanding or wisdom of the Lord. In Nahum 3:9 a pair of words is used that literally mean "without border" to refer to the limitless strength of Ethiopia (land of Cush) and Egypt.
  • 2 Ne 9:9: Combination. Webster’s 1828 dictionary says that a combination is an intimate union of several persons that has the purpose of bringing something about together.
  • 2 Ne 9:13. The end of verse 13 says that after the resurrection people will have "a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh." This suggests that our knowledge is currently perfect. But it isn't, as affirmed by the following clause "save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect." An alternate punctuation might make the meaning more clear:
"...having a perfect knowledge; like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect."
  • 2 Ne 9:21. Verse 21 can be usefully cross referenced with Alma 7:11-13.
  • 2 Ne 9:26. Verse 26 tells us that the atonement removes the guilt of those who don't obey the law because they don't know the law. We might have thought that such a transgression of the law doesn't require an atonement because the transgressor is not culpable. But it seems from the way Jacob understand the atonement that without the atonement such people would be guilty for transgressing laws they did not know.
  • 2 Ne 9:45. Notice how the command to shake off our chains resonates with the previous verse (and its reference to other verses) to tie these things together.

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. →

  • 2 Ne 9:1-3: Why has Jacob read this passage from Isaiah to the Nephites? How will it help them to know that Israel will be restored in the last days? How could they apply this passage to themselves? How can we apply it to ourselves?
  • 2 Ne 9:4ff: How is a discussion of the atonement an explanation of the passage from Isaiah? How are the two related? How does the prophecy of Isaiah typify the atonement? (Such things as bondage and redemption from bondage occur in both discussions. Thinking about how those are alike can help us understand the atonement better and thinking about the atonement can help us understand Isaiah better.)
  • 2 Ne 9:7: What does Jacob mean by an "infinite atonement"?
  • 2 Ne 9:7: Why is it that if we weren't resurrected we would become subject to the devil? What is the connection between Jesus' conquering of physical death and his conquering of spiritual death?
  • 2 Ne 9:8-9: What would happen to us if there were no resurrection? Since there is a resurrection, what do we learn from v. 9? Does that teach us anything about the traditional Christian understanding of hell, where those not saved are punished by being eternally in the presence of Satan?
  • 2 Ne 9:9: What are “secret combinations"? Does secrecy make a combination bad? If so, why? If not, why is it the modifier used here? How are secret combinations antithetical to the gospel? (2 Ne 26:22-28 discusses this.) What kinds of things might count as secret combinations today? beyond the things that we sometimes hear mentioned in very conservative political discussions? Given the definition cited in Webster's 1828 dictionary (see lexical notes below), can we be part of a secret combination without knowing that we are? How do we avoid such combinations? How did the Book of Mormon people avoid them, when they did?
  • 2 Ne 9:10: When Jacob mentions “death and hell,” he seems to mean two things. (This doesn’t seem to me to be a repetition for emphasis.) What does he mean by “death"? What does he mean by “hell"? What does he mean by “death of the body"? by “death of the spirit"? How are these pairs of terms related to each other?
  • 2 Ne 9:13: What is the paradise Jacob is talking about? What do we usually call it?
  • 2 Ne 9:14: What kind of symbolism do you see in the contrast between guilt, uncleanness, and nakedness on the one hand, and enjoyment and the clothing of purity and the robe of righteousness on the other hand? Does reference back to 2 Ne 4:33 add any meaning to this verse? Why does Jacob identify himself with the wicked at the beginning of the verse ("we shall have a perfect knowledge of our guilt")?
  • 2 Ne 9:18: What are the crosses of the world? Who are those who have endured those crosses? Does this verse and those that follow have any connection to the passage from Isaiah that Jacob read? Why is the cross an important symbol in the Book of Mormon?
  • 2 Ne 9:21-22: Does this prophecy help us understand better the promises made to Israel by Isaiah? What does “hearken” mean? How do we hearken to the voice of the Lord? Is it possible to have faith but not to hearken or to hearken but not to have faith?
  • 2 Ne 9:22: We often consider the Atonement to consist of two almost separate parts--the suffering for our sins to make possible repentance, and the resurrection to make possible immortality. However, v. 22 links the two by stating that the suffering of sins took place to make possible the resurrection. How does Christ's suffering make the resurrection possible?
  • 2 Ne 9:23: This implies that we are commanded to have "perfect faith" in Chist--how do we obtain "perfect faith"?
  • 2 Ne 9:24: What reason does this verse give for the damnation of those who refuse to repent? Why is that the appropriate explanation for this discussion? In fact, what are we to make of an explanation like that?
  • 2 Ne 9:25-26: We sometimes speak as if the atonement is required because there is a law that God must obey. Does Jacob speak that way? What does he say? Who has given the law? Whose justice is it that must be satisfied?
  • 2 Ne 9:28-33: What part of Isaiah’s prophecy do these refer to and amplify?
  • 2 Ne 9:28-29: What kind of “wisdom” does Jacob warn against? What makes that supposed wisdom foolishness?
  • 2 Ne 9:29: What does it mean to "hearken unto the counsels of God"?
  • 2 Ne 9:30: How might a wealthy person "despise the poor"? How might a wealthy person "persecute the meek"? How might wealthy people have their hearts "upon their treasures"?
  • 2 Ne 9:30: What does it mean to make treasure your god?
  • 2 Ne 9:30: Why doesn't Jacob give the rich an out here in the same way he does the learned in v. 29? --Why doesn't he say here "to be rich as to the things of the world is good if they ..."
  • 2 Ne 9:30: Why does Jacob warn the rich? Does he warn all of those who are rich or only some? What does it mean to be “rich as to the things of the world"? How much does one have to have to be described that way? Does this verse give us any understanding of such scriptures as Matt 19:21-26 and Mark 10:21-27? Together, vv. 29-30 seem to connect learning with riches. Why might they do so? What is the connection?
  • 2 Ne 9:34-37: Does Jacob’s warning turn to a different kind of sin here? If so, what is the difference? What is the similarity of the sins of these verses to those of 28-33?
  • 2 Ne 9:37: In what sense is this verse the culmination of the list that began in v. 28?
  • 2 Ne 9:38: What does it mean to die in one’s sins? How do we avoid that?
  • 2 Ne 9:40: When Jacob asks us to remember the greatness of The Holy One of Israel, what kinds of things does he want us to remember? What kinds of things which show that greatness did he mention in the quotation from Isaiah? What other things has he mentioned?
  • 2 Ne 9:41-43: What do the various types or symbols Jacob use show us? How do they connect his prophecy to other prophecies, specifically to what he has quoted from Isaiah? Notice that Jacob once again connects learning and wealth in v. 42, as he did in vv. 29-30.
  • 2 Ne 9:42: Where in LDS practice do we knock to enter into the presence of the Lord?
  • 2 Ne 9:47-48: What does Jacob imply about our feeling that we mustn’t ever say harsh things to one another? Under what circumstances would such harshness be permitted? How do we avoid using verses like this as an excuse for unnecessary and unkind harshness?
  • 2 Ne 9:50: Jacob quotes Isaiah again (Isa 55:1-2). Isaiah’s words seem never to be far from his thoughts as he delivers his sermon. Why might that be? The connection between the two seems to demand that we think about the relation of what he says to what Isaiah says if we are to understand fully Jacob’s message.
  • 2 Ne 9:50: What is the point of this verse? How does it relate to such things as Paul’s letter to the Romans where he teaches us that salvation comes by grace?
  • 2 Ne 9:51: How does v. 50 help explain this verse? What is of value? What is free? What is of no worth?
  • 2 Ne 9:52: What is the relation of this verse to the two that immediately precede it?
  • 2 Ne 9:52: "pray unto him continually by day, and give thanks unto his holy name by night. Do you think that the day or night reference is task specific? Meaning, that we should be more "pray-oriented" ("ask-oriented?") in the day and then be more "thankful-oriented" at night?
  • 2 Ne 9:53: In what sense is this a repetition of everything that has been said in the last several chapters? Does thinking in terms of types and shadows throw any light on this verse? Is Jacob drawing a parallel between covenants and condescensions? If so, what does that parallel teach us?

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. →

  • 2 Ne 9:7. Shayne M. Bowen, "The Atonement Can Clean, Reclaim, and Sanctify Our Lives," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 33–34. Elder Bowen taught: "The Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to each of us. His Atonement is infinite. It applies to everyone... It can clean, reclaim, and sanctify even you. That is what infinite means–total, complete, all, forever."

Notes[edit]

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



Previous page: Chapters 6-8                      Next page: Chapter 10

D&C 6:6-10

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


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Summary[edit]

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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 19:21-25

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


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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: 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.



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D&C 88:76-80

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 88
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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 88:116-120

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 90:11-15

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 90
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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 89
  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 91

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Complete outline and page map[edit]

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

Unanswered questions[edit]

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

Prompts for life application[edit]

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

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

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 90 is __.
  • D&C 90 was first published in 1835.
  • D&C 90 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 1835 edition.
  • Changes to the text of D&C 90:

Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 90.

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 89                         Next section: D&C 91

D&C 93:36-40

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 93 > Verses 93:21-40
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Summary[edit]

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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?

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D&C 93:51-53

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Relationship to Section 93. The relationship of Verses 93:41-53 to the rest of Section 93 is discussed at D&C 93.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 93:41-53 include:

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  • D&C 93:49: Pray always. See this post by RobertC at the Feast blog for a discussion of this verse as cited by Spencer W. Kimball in the RS-MP manual.

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D&C 131:6-8

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  • D&C 131:1-4. These verses are often cited in General conference addresses. These verses are often cited within the context of teaching that a men and women cannot be exalted alone--each needs the other. As Elder Nelson put it in a November 1989 address "Men and women receive the highest ordinance in the house of the Lord together and equally, or not at all." To see other citations look at theLDS General Conference Scriptural Index.
  • D&C 131:4. Verse 3 tells us that one who does not enter into "this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]" cannot obtain the highest heaven or degree of the celestial glory. Here in verse 4 we read that such a person "may enter into the other" two heavens or degrees, "but that is the end of his kingdom, he cannot have an increase." This last statement may seem to support the view that once assigned to a degree one cannot move to another. In fact, this verse works well under both views; it doesn't support one view or the other.
If one believes that one cannot move to a higher degree once assigned to a lower degree, then to say that a person "may enter into the other" is to give them a fixed position. Under this reading for a person assigned to a lower kingdom, the phrase "he cannot have an increase" supports their already held view that such an assignment is permanently fixed.
On the other hand, if one believes that one may be able to move to a higher degree once assigned to a lower degree, then the phrase "he cannot have an increase" is read within the context of a person who does not enter into this order of the priesthood. Or in other words, verse 4 mainly becomes a restatement of verse 3, which itself is a restatement of verse 2. In that case all three verses say thee same thing: someone who doesn't enter into the order of the priesthood cannot obtain the highest degree in the celestial glory. In that case, these verses don't comment on whether or when there will be an opportunity later to enter into this covenant and progress to the highest degree.
  • D&C 131:5. The phrase "through the power of the Holy Priesthood" has reference to certain priesthood ordinances performed in the temple as promised to those who are true and faithful to the covenants entered into in the endowment.

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  • D&C 131:4. What does it mean to say that someone in the Celestial Kingdom "cannot have an increase"? Does this mean that they do not progress eternally? How might this be related to the ability to have eternal posterity?

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D&C 136:31-35

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  • D&C 136:37. This verse begins telling the people not to marvel that the ungodly have killed the prophets. Next the Lord gives the audience a reason not to marvel--because they are not pure. The next phrase "ye can not bear my glory" could be read as a consequence of not being pure, or it could be meant as support for the claim that the audience is not yet pure. In the second case the fact that the audience has not yet beheld the glory of the Lord is used as evidence that the people are not yet pure.
  • D&C 136:40. See the Webster's 1828 definition of only. Note there seems to be a typo in the first definition given which presumably should read "Single; one alone; as, John was the only man present."
  • D&C 136:40. Given the surrounding verses, it seems that the purpose of the rhetorical question in this verse is to a) support the previous verses where the Lord explains Joseph Smith's role and explains why Joseph Smith was allowed to die; and b) prepare for the next verses which say something like, "therefore, keep the commandments." One way to interpret this verse, which accomplishes these objectives looks like this:
  • only mean something like "single" or "one alone."
  • the question ends after the word enemies
  • the "in that" in the next phrase refers back to the previous discussion about Joseph Smith's death.
  • "witness of my name" refers to the death of Joseph Smith (and maybe Oliver?) when Joseph sealed his testimony with his name.
Translating all of this, we get something like "You have marveled that Joseph died. It isn't because I didn't have power to save him. Haven't I always delivered you from your enemies? It is only in this case that I let Joseph die that I could have a witness of my name."

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  • D&C 136 was first published in __.
  • D&C 136 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.
  • Changes to the text of D&C 136:

Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 136.

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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