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Isa 53:6-12

Home > The Old Testament > Isaiah > Chapter 53
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Summary[edit]

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Discussion[edit]

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  • Isa 53:1. This verse seems to be a sort of response to Isa 52:10, which says "The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God." Isa 52:8-10 seems to describe a day of triumph, jubilation and, especially in context, revelation. It seems that it is precisely the process of bringing about this triumph and jubilation that seems to be the concern of the Isa 52:11ff, for the very notion of triumph presupposes a process. That is, if things always seem to be going well, it would be unnatural to describe the situation as triumphant. Rather, the triumphant joy and singing of Isa 52:9 takes on meaning precisely because of the change that occurs. Although 52:9 mentions the change that takes place in Jerusalem, the change discussed does not involve only Jerusalem. Rather, there is a change that, at least in some sense, seems to involve the LORD. That is, the LORD "makes bare his holy arm" (52:9), and this baring takes place "in the eyes of all the nations."
Isaiah then seems to go on in describing the how this process of change takes place. Verse 11 describes how the people will make an exodus out of Babylon (toward Zion, presumably). The beginning of Isa 52:12 qualifies this exodus, but the last part of verse 12 seems to shift the narrative(/poetic) focus from the people's actions to the LORD's actions: "the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your [rearguard]." In verse 13, Isaiah begins to discuss the role that the servant will play in this process of "redeem[ing] Jerusalem (52:9) and "bring[ing] again Zion" (52:8). Like Jerusalem itself, it seems the servant's role in bringing about Zion will also be significantly defined in terms of a triumph which brings about a dramatic change of situation.
In this context, Isa 52:14-15 introduce another aspect of this bringing about of triumph--namely, that this will occur in a manner that seems to catch many off guard. It is this "astonishment" (52:14), in particular, that seems to set the stage for this question in 53:1, "Who hath believed our report?" This question thus marks the beginning of several passages which will discuss why this servant's role will be so unexpected and astonishing. That is, this question seems to be posed largely because what has been described is not only hard to hear as a prophecy for Isaiah's current listeners to believe, but because the events that will occur will also be difficult for those amongst whom the events taking place occur. The question then, suggest a sort of collapse in time and distance, and perhaps identity, between those who hear Isaiah's message and those who witness the events that Isaiah is prophesying about. This sets the stage for the second question: "to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?"
  • Isa 53:2: A root out of dry ground. This may be a figurative expression for "one of parentage not in line for succession to the throne" (see Watts, p. 230). Possibly the dry ground could refer to the apostasy of Israel. Christ uses "ground" as a metaphor for the reception of the Gospel as in parable of the sower and allegory of the olive tree.
  • Isa 53:2: Tender plant. The Hebrew word here, yowneq, means "sucker or suckling," most literally. The LXX uses the word paidion here, which means infant or child. The Messiah is referred to in several other books of scripture as a branch (e.g. Jer 23:5; Jer 33:15; Zech 3:8).
  • Isa 53:10: Offering for sin. Although most translations are similar to the KJV for this phrase, others think that "offering" has too much of a sacrifice connotation. The NET suggests translating this verse as follows, "Though the Lord desired to crush him and make him ill, once restitution is made, he will see descendants and enjoy long life, and the Lord’s purpose will be accomplished through him" (empahsis added). Bernd Janowski (see reference below) argues that equating the Servant of this passage with a sacrificial animal (per the guilt offering of Lev 5:14-26 or the scapegoat of Lev 16:10, 20-22) leads to a dead end for the following reasons: there is no mention of blood or a priest official; the terminology in this passage ("to bruise" in particular) is not sacrificial; the scapegoat ritual for the elimination of disaster is not comparable with the Servant's vicarious surrender of life and the scapegoat gets rid of Israel's guilt whereas the Servant bears it. Janowski proposes an alternative interpretation based on "contexts in which—as in Gen 26:10 and 1 Sam 6:3-4, 8, 17, etc.—guilt-incurring encroachments and their reparation are the theme." The idea is that when the we of verse 6 recognize that the Servant is bearing our sins (vv. 4-6), we will be changed and blessed as his seed. (Notice, however, that in Mosiah 14:10 Abinadi's quotation of Isaiah is given with the exact same wording and the "offering of sin" phrase is also used in Mosiah 15:10.)
  • Isa 53:11: Bear. Here, the Hebrew word cbl ("bear") is not the same word translated bear in Lev 16:22 (nsa). The connotation in Lev 16:22 seems to be more of a "taking away" sense of bear whereas the connotation of cbl here seems to be more the "carrying a load" sense of bear, which also seems more consistent with verse 4 (Cf. Mosiah 14:4, 11; other suffering and sin contexts for the word bear in modern scripture also seem more consistent with the cbl sense than the nsa sense).

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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Resources[edit]

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  • Watts, John D. W. Word Biblical Commentary, Vol. 25: Isaiah 34-66." Word Books, Publisher: Dallas, Texas (ISBN 084990224X).
  • Isa 53: Alternate translation. A less beautiful translation that attempts to better communicate the poetic structure of the chapter is here
  • Isa 53:10. See Janowski, Bernd, "He Bore Our Sins: Isaiah 53 and the Drama of Taking Another's Place" in The Suffering Servant: Isaiah 53 in Jewish and Christian Sources (ISBN 080280845X), pp. 48-74.

Notes[edit]

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Heb 2:16-18

Home > The New Testament > Hebrews > Chapter 1-2
Previous page: Hebrews                      Next page: Chapter 3-4


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Discussion[edit]

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  • Heb 1:1: Sundry times and in divers manners. In Greek, the beginning of this verse reads "Polumeros kai polutropos palai" (In many parts and in many ways of old). The emphatic polu- prefix on two of these opening words is a somewhat common literary device for texts of this period. Here these words seem to be emphasizing either the extent of the Old Testament prophecies or the fragmentary or varied natures of these writings. If the former, this can be taken as pointing to how the prophecies are incomplete until the coming of Christ; if the latter, this can be taken as pointing toward the way in which Christ unifies these various prophecies, or how Christ is yet another of these diverse prophets. (Cf. the NET notes for this verse).
  • Heb 1:5-14: Overview. Verses 5-14 begin include a series of seven Old Testament quotations. First, Ps 2:7 is quoted in vese 5a establishing divine sonship of Christ. This passage is interpreted as messianic by others as well (e.g. Acts 4:25-26; Acts 13:33; Rev 12:5; Rev 19:15). Second, 2 Sam 7:14 is quoted in verse 5b, also in establishing the sonship of Christ. This passage also seems to be interpreted or at least applied messianically in John 7:42; Acts 13:23; Luke 1:32-33 (interestingly, 2 Sam 7:14 is applied to the sonship of believers in 2 Cor 6:18 and Rev 21:7). Third, Ps 97:7 is (seemingly) quoted in verse 6 (or, this might be a quotation of the LXX version of Deut 32:43 which is longer than the MT and has an interesting parallelism between "sons of God" and "angels of God"). This passage depicts the angels worshipping the son. Fourth, Ps 104:4 is quoted in verse 7, again following the LXX instead of the MT which has God making the natural elements into servants rather than the reverse which we read here and in the LXX. Fifth, Ps 45:6-7 is quoted in verse 8, although here God is speaking to the Son promising him an everlasting kingdom whereas in the psalm the psalmist is addressing the king as God. Sixth, in Ps 102:25-27 is quoted in verses 10-12 describing God's role in creation and endlessness (again, the psalmist is addressing God whereas here the words are applied to Christ). Seventh, Ps 110:1 is quoted in verse 13, a passage commonly applied messianically, here establishing the sonship of Christ once again, with an emphasis on the "right hand," sitting position of the son relative to God.

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  • Heb 1:1. Though this does not reflect the Greek, the English text begins with "God," set off from the remainder of the sentence by a comma. What does this accomplish in feel and tone as one begins to read? Why would the translators do this?
  • Heb 1:1. The language of this first verse is generally exalted in English, with a rhetorical flair. How well does this style reflect the oratorical nature of the Greek? Is this translation justified? What does this rhetorical style accomplish?
  • Heb 1:1. Why does the author mention "the fathers" instead of "our fathers"? Does this reflect the cultural orientation of the author? Does it rather suggest that "the fathers" here are not the general ancestors of the Jews at the time of the writing/speaking of this text? What might one read into the phrase?
  • Heb 1:1. If "the fathers" does not mean "the ancestors of the Jews," but something more specialized, which "prophets" spoke to "the fathers"? Is there a set of particular stories in mind here?
  • Usually time is paired with place in the scriptural idiom. Why is "times" paired with "manners" in this opening of the story? Is there some uniformity of place to be posited here?
  • Heb 1:1. If "God" is the subject of the first sentence, the verb that describes the action God performs does not appear at all until verse 2. What does this relativization do to the material of verse 1? Why would the author postpone the action? Why would the author at once make parenthetical and yet give priority to the contents of this first verse?
  • Heb 1:2. Why would the author call his times the "last days"?
  • Heb 1:2. Verse 1 mentions "the fathers," while this verse mentions "his Son." Though verse 1 marks "the fathers" as the ones being taught and this verse marks the "Son" as the one teaching, is there meant to be any implicit connection between these terms?
  • Heb 1:2. What does "heir of all things" entail for the "Son"? Is it significant that the Son was "appointed heir" and not born to be heir?
  • Heb 1:2. Why would the author bother to mention the creation in this verse at all, especially when the theme seems to be so completely unconnected with the other themes of the verse?
  • Heb 1:2. The word translated "worlds" in verse 2 is literally the word "eons." What does it mean to make eons? How is it that the Son was involved in making eons?
  • Heb 1:2. Is it significant at all that the "he" who appoints and who takes up the Son in making the worlds is only called "God" and not at all "the Father"? Does this suggest a different understanding in Hebrews of the relation between Christ and God?
  • Heb 1:3. Why is the Son called "the brightness of his [God's] glory"? What sort of a relationship does this imply between the Son and God?
  • Heb 1:3. If the "his" that is italicized in the first phrase of the verse does not reflect the Greek, the phrase might be read "Who being the brightness of glory." How does this change the meaning of this phrase?
  • Heb 1:3. What does the author of Hebrews mean by glory? Where else does this author use the term, and do any other instances provide a basis for understanding what the term means here?
  • Heb 1:3. The phrase "express image" is a translation of a single Greek word: character, obviously the word behind the English "character." How should this word be understood here?
  • Heb 1:3. Is it important that the Son is said here to be the "character" of God's person, rather than the icon? Does this imply something besides physical appearance or representation?
  • Heb 1:3. The Greek word translated "person" is also rather difficult, and is a word that was involved in the hottest theological debates about Trinitarianism anciently. It could be translated "person," "substance," or even "reality." How is this term best read here?
  • Heb 1:3. How does the Son uphold all things by the word of his power? Is it significant that "word" here reflects a different Greek word from John's famous "In the beginning was the Word"? What is "the word of his power"? Whose power is it?
  • Heb 1:3. Does "by himself" imply that the author believes Jesus to have completed the atonement without the help of the Father? Why would the author bother to add this emphatic "by himself"? Might it emphasize lack of help from other sources, perhaps the angels mentioned in the next verse?
  • Heb 1:3. What is the significance of the right hand? Does Ps 110:1 help here?
  • Heb 1:3. Does this act of being seated by God imply some kind of return? Is it significant that the author of Hebrews seems to have understood Jesus to have been first a man and then a God, rather than a God, then a man, and then a God?
  • Heb 1:4. What does it mean to be "so much better than the angels"? Why is this important to the author?
  • Heb 1:4. It seems clear that "inheritance" is key to understanding the distinction between Jesus and the angels. But how should this be read against the Old Testament tradition of calling the angels the "sons of God"?
  • Heb 1:4. How is the name the Son inherits "more excellent" than the name the angels inherit? Does "more excellent" ultimately imply that the angels also inherit names? Was this author familiar with Phil 2:9-10?
  • Heb 1:4. Why is the "name" so important here? What kind of a name could the author have in mind? Might this be connected with the Old Testament traditions about the tetragrammaton (YHWH)?
  • Heb 1:5. Is the direct relation of begetting of great importance here? Is it this begetting literal? If it is, does the author understand this to be the difference between this "Son" and the angels or "sons of God"?
  • Heb 1:5. The phrase the author reports God as saying to the Son is a quotation of Ps 2:7. Why would the author focus on that verse specifically? What is so significant about the psalms for the author? Is his reading of the psalm justified in modern terms? What is the relation--even at this early point--between Hebrews and the Old Testament?
  • Heb 1:5. Only in this verse is God first called a "Father" to the "Son." Why does the author wait so long to draw this point out?
  • Heb 1:5. The latter part of the verse (following "And again") is a quotation of 2 Sam 7:14. Why would the author take that text as referring to the Son/Jesus? Is this a justified reading? How does this second quotation in a single verse adjust one's understanding of the relationship between Hebrews and the Old Testament?
  • Heb 1:5. The language of the second quotation seems to imply a covenant that comes later, rather than something implicit in birth, as does the language of the first quotation on closer inspection. What is the significance of taking up these verses for the Son when they seem to imply that He only became the Son, only came to be begotten?
  • Heb 1:5. Both of the quotations in this verse come from royal settings in the Old Testament. How does this royalty theme play into the theme the author is addressing here?
  • Heb 1:5. What is the relation between "the angels" in this verse and "the prophets" in the first verse?
  • Heb 1:6. What is the rhetorical function of "And again"? In the scriptures translated/dictated by Joseph Smith, this phrase seems to mark breaks in the text. Does it do so here?
  • Heb 1:6. What is the significance of calling the Son the "firstbegotten," which constitutes something of a departure from the theme to this point (simply "begotten")?
  • Heb 1:6. The quotation the author draws on here does not appear in the Masoretic text (Deut 32:43), though it does appear in both the (Greek) Septuagint and the Qumran manuscripts (the Dead Sea Scrolls). Does this suggest anything about the theological position of the author?
  • Heb 1:6. The quotation is lifted from the "Song of Moses." Is it significant that the author draws on that most important piece of Old Testament literature?
  • Heb 1:6. Why does the author attribute the phrase to a situation of bringing "the firstbegotten into the world"? What does such an event have to do with the "Song of Moses"?
  • Heb 1:6. What is the significance of the image presented here as a whole (the firstbegotten being presented before so many angels who sing and shout praises to him)? How might this be connected with other scriptures?
  • Heb 1:6. Why would God make an announcement to the angels if He is introducing the Son to the world?
  • Heb 1:6. Might this be connected with the angelic chorus visiting the shepherds?
  • Heb 1:7. This verse quotes Ps 104:4. Why would the author choose to take up that psalm in particular?
  • Heb 1:7. The point of this verse (when it is read against the next verse) is to suggest a difference between the angels and the Son. How is the word "ministers" significant in this comparison?
  • Heb 1:7. Is it significant that the author quotes God as saying something "of" the angels, but (in the next verse) something "unto" the Son?
  • Heb 1:7. The verse from Psalm 104 sets up two parallelisms: "angels" is parallel to "ministers," and "spirits" is parallel to "a flame of fire." What can be drawn from these parallelisms?
  • Heb 1:7. Wouldn't one assume that God makes spirits into angels, not angels into spirits? And wouldn't one assume that God makes flames of fire into ministers, not ministers into a flame of fire? What does it mean for the author of the psalm to put the other way around?
  • Heb 1:7. How does this verse (and the next as well) relate to verse 6? Might these two verses be read as fleshing out the worship scene described there?
  • Heb 1:7. What does this verse suggest about the author's attitude towards the Old Testament?
  • Heb 1:8. This verse and the next quote Ps 45:6-7, where the psalmist is quite clearly the speaker. Why would the author attribute these words to God Himself?
  • Heb 1:8. What is the difference (implied by the "But") between the one on the throne and the angels? What does it mean that these angels or ministers would worship Him?
  • Heb 1:8. Is it significant that the throne of the Son is here described as being "for ever and ever"? Does this contradict the earlier implication that the Son had only become the Son?
  • Heb 1:8. How might the tenor of this verse suggest a connection with D&C 121:45-46? What might the content of that cross reference suggest for the meaning of this verse?
  • Heb 1:8. Why, in this quoted psalm, does the song address the nature of the throne and of the sceptre, but not of "God" (the Son?) Himself?
  • Heb 1:8. Why is this the first time the Son is specifically called "God"? What is the significance of that naming? Should it be understood strictly? Is there any other way to understand it (especially in light of the following verse)?
  • Heb 1:9. If the former verse only addresses the royal accoutrements, this verse addresses the nature of "God" directly. What is significant about this shift or about the order in which these addresses are made?
  • Heb 1:9. Why would the psalmist bother to point out what "God" loves and hates? What is meant here by righteousness? Is it significant that the sceptre described in the last verses was a "sceptre of righteousness"?
  • Heb 1:9. How might this language be connected with Mount Sinai (cf. Ex 20:5-6?
  • Heb 1:9. The author gets some mileage out of the word "therefore." Should it be read so strictly? What does its presence here ultimately signify? How else might this psalm be read? Could there be two different singing parts at work in the original?
  • Heb 1:9. t appears that the author reads "thy God" to imply that "God" has a "God." Is this a justified reading of the original psalm? What does this reading suggest about the author's relation to the Old Testament?
  • Heb 1:9. What would it mean for a God to have a God? How is the Son a God and the Father a God also? Did the author of Hebrews have as brought a theology as Latter-day Saint do today?
  • Heb 1:9. Why would one God anoint another? How is this anointing connected with the throne and sceptre of the previous verse?
  • Heb 1:9. Why does the psalmist call the oil "the oil of gladness"? What does this phrase mean?
  • Heb 1:9. How does anointing set one "above [one's] fellows"? Who would the Son's "fellows" have been? What relation obtains between angels and gods here? Might this have been an influence on Joseph Smith's thinking?
  • Heb 1:10. The word "And" here is meant to mark a leap from one quotation to another (this and the following two verses quote Ps 102:25-27). Why doesn't the author make this leap clearer? Would the author be content with a conflation of two very different psalms?
  • Heb 1:10. How does this near conflation of two psalms affect one's reading of them? Does one sense a disruption in flow? Is there any way to read them as a continuous thought? Is this what the author intended?
  • Heb 1:10. Is one to assume that the author understands these words also to be spoken by God to the Son (as God)? Why would God call the Son Lord?
  • Heb 1:10. This quotation imputes to the Son the work of creation. Where else might such an idea be found in the Bible? Does the apparent split between Father and Son imply a kind of division of labor here?
  • Heb 1:10. The author picks up the psalmist's parallel of "earth" and "heaven," a double structure the author uses over and over again through the text. This same double structure is very prevalent in the JST. What significance is there to the pairing of heaven and earth? Why would it appear so much in the JST? Why does the author take the pair up so thoroughly in his own text?
  • Heb 1:10. What does it mean to lay "the foundation of the earth"? Should this be understood in physical terms or in spiritual terms? What kind of a cosmological picture is being drawn here?
  • Heb 1:10. Is it significant that the psalmist, and hence the author, takes the Son back to "the beginning"? How might this point be read?
  • Heb 1:10. The psalmist mentions the "hands" of the Son. How should one read this anthropomorphism?
  • Heb 1:10. How might this creation business be read against the apparent becoming of the Son?
  • Heb 1:10. How might the phrasing of this verse generally be connected up with the content of Moses 1?
  • Heb 1:11. This verse (and the next as well) continues a quotation of Ps 102:25-27. How does the author's quotation of these verses reveal his relation to the Old Testament in general?
  • Heb 1:11. If the previous verse revealed the Son to be the creator, this verse compares that creation to Him and to the detriment of the creation. Why would the author make that comparison? Why would the author spend more time describing the creation and the dissolution of that creation and so little time on the relative permanence of the Creator?
  • Heb 1:11. If the pair of heaven and earth are so prevalent in Hebrews (and in the JST), how should the fact that this verse declares that "they shall perish" be read? Does this mark a kind of devaluation of one of Hebrews' most important themes?
  • Heb 1:11. What does it mean to say "but thou remainest"? It is clearly set in parallel to "they shall perish." Does this offer any insight into what this phrase means?
  • Heb 1:11. hat kind of a relation is implied between the Creator and His creation here? Might this be a source for traditional theological understandings of that relation?
  • Heb 1:11. hat does it mean to say that the heaven and the earth will "wax old as doth a garment"? What does this metaphor accomplish? Is it a good comparison? Might there be allusions in this metaphor (to ancient temple clothing perhaps)?
  • Heb 1:12. The first part of this verse sets up a parallelism to the last phrase of the previous verse. How does this phrase expand on the former? How should one think about the differences in imagery?
  • Heb 1:12. Again the heaven and the earth are pictured as clothing. Why would the author choose to employ this imagery? What would it mean to "fold... up" or to "roll... up" (NRSV) the heaven and the earth? Does this imply some kind of intertwining or continuity between the heaven and the earth?
  • Heb 1:12. Why does this phrase suggest action on the part of the Lord, whereas the former seems to suggest something beyond the will of the Lord? Might the former be related to space while this phrase is related to time?
  • Heb 1:12. What does it mean to say that the Son is "the same"? How is this phrase related to the phrase "but thou remainest"? Can this phrase be understood temporally, or does it imply some kind of non-temporality?
  • Heb 1:12. Parallel to the last phrase is "thy years shall not fail"? If the first part of the parallel suggests some kind of non-temporality, why does this suggest temporality? What does it mean to say the Son's "years shall not fail"?
  • Heb 1:12. This verse concludes a five-verse stretch meant to set up the Son as over against the angels (who are described in quotation as well in verse 7). Why would the author have quoted especially these last three verses, when they seem to have little relation to the author's assertions about the angels?
  • Heb 1:12. How do verses 10-12 expand verses 8-9? If the earlier verses present the exaltation of an earthly figure, these last three verses present an unchangeable God from all eternity. How can these be reconciled? Why would the author choose to put these side by side?
  • Heb 1:12. What can all of these verses together tell us about the theological presuppositions of the author? Why can they tell us about the author's relationship to the Old Testament?
  • Heb 1:13. After five verses on the Son, the author returns to question of the angels. Why would the author come back to the lesser? Is there a need to make a stronger case still?
  • Heb 1:13. Why does the author make this verse a question rather than an assertion? Does this weaken the argument or strengthen it? Should this question be understood to be rhetorical? What effect do rhetorical questions have on thinking? What appeal does a rhetorical question make, and what presuppositions guide it?
  • Heb 1:13. How should one read the particularity of the question asked here? That is, why does the author put the question in terms of "to which of the angels" rather than something like "Has He ever said to an angel"? What does this particularity accomplish? Why is it significant that the reader is called on to identify? Might there be a positive answer? Might that answer be the Son Himself (an angel exalted)?
  • Heb 1:13. he saying that concludes the verse is a quotation of Ps 110:1, and that psalm will become central to the argument of the whole book. Why would the author introduce this most central psalm in a question, and an ambiguous one at that? What effect does this have on the argument that will come?
  • Heb 1:13. Taking up a quotation of the Old Testament within so particular a question is really a unique literary device. How does this further articulate the author's relationship to the Old Testament? What else might this tell us about the author's thinking?
  • Heb 1:13. There may be an allusion to this same verse in the psalms in verse 3. What connection is there between this verse and that one? Why would there be a connection made here? Does this full-blown quotation strengthen the possibility of verse 3 being an allusion?
  • Heb 1:13. What is the significance, again, of the right hand? What would it mean to sit there?
  • Heb 1:13. If verse 3 mentions the right hand, it does not mention this question of enemies. How should one interpret the saying about the enemies? What would it mean for enemies to become a footstool?
  • Heb 1:13. If God (apparently the Father) is the one who will put the enemies of the Son under His feet, what is the work of the Son? Does this verse suggest a kind of absolute exaltation without any effort on the Son's part?
  • Heb 1:13. Because of the question-structure of this verse, the author seems to assume that angels would have enemies. What would an angel's enemy be? Might this be connected with Joseph Smith's teachings about spirits seeking power over one another?
  • Heb 1:14. This verse adds a second question to the first, this one phrased negatively. What is the difference between the negative and positive questions? Does this follow-up with a negative question affect the foregoing positive question? Does it function in any way as a kind of answer? If it does, how can an author answer a positive question with a negative question? What are the literary consequences of this?
  • Heb 1:14. f the previous verse focuses on particularity, this verse moves to universality. Does this question answer the first question by making that shift? Does this verse amount to a denial of any kind of particularity amongst angels?
  • Heb 1:14. This verse is the first since verse 4 that does not contain a quotation of the Old Testament. Why would the author leave off the Old Testament here? How does a question without quotation differ from a question with quotation? Why would the author choose to place the quotation within the positive question?
  • Heb 1:14. That this verse leaves off quotation highlights how lengthy a stretch of varied quotations there are in this chapter. Why would the author string so many together at the very beginning of the book (something the author never does again so continuously)? How do these quotations strengthen the argument? How might they weaken it? What is the significance of quotation or allusion?
  • Heb 1:14. What does it mean to speak of "ministering spirits"? Why would this title apply to "all" angels?
  • Heb 1:14. If the angels are all "sent forth," does this verse imply that God does say something to the angels, though none of them is chosen to sit on the throne?
  • Heb 1:14. Who are the "heirs of salvation"? What kind of a theology is implied in this statement? Is it significant that this phrase is introduced within a rhetorical question? How does the question format of the verse alter the nature of that theology?
  • Heb 1:14. Is there any significance in the phrase "who shall"? Why are the heirs displaced to the future? How might this affect the theology behind the phrase "heirs of salvation"?
  • Heb 1:14. What kind of a worldview (view, perhaps, of the plan of salvation) is behind this question? What is the function of angels? How do they relate to the Son in these terms?

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 are preferable to footnotes.




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Alma 7:11-15

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 4-7 > Chapter 6-7
Previous page: Verses 5:33-62                      Next page: Chapters 8-16


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  • Alma 7:11: Isaiah. This verse is a quote of Isa 53:4 (cf. Matt 8:17) that is a more faithful translation of the Masoretic Hebrew text than the KJV translation (see the Thomas Wayment article below for an in depth analysis of this issue).
  • Alma 7:11: Affliction. The 1828 Webster dictionary defines affliction as “the cause of continued pain of body or mind, as sickness, losses, calamity, adversity, persecution.”
The use of the word affliction here suggests some of the things Christ suffered, namely sickness, losses, calamity, adversity, and persecution. In verse 12, Christ's taking upon himself afflictions (viz. death and infirmities) leads to a strength (viz. overcoming death and konwing how to succor others in their infirmities). Compare Paul's words, “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10).
  • Alma 7:11: Temptations of every kind. By suffering "temptations of every kind," the Savior seems particularly qualified to credibly promise that he will not tempt us above that which we can bear (cf. D&C 64:20 and 1 Cor 10:13). Because Christ did not yield to temptation he is able to lead, guide, and protect us from falling into temptation if we will hearken to the words of Christ via the Spirit (cf. 2 Ne 32:3).
  • Alma 7:11: Pains and sicknesses of his people. In taking upon himself the pains and sicknesses of the people, Christ is exemplifying the covenant in Mosiah 18:8 and establishing a personal relationship with the people. The use of the possessive in the phrase "his people" also helps to establish this personal relationship (contrast this with Ex 17:4).
  • Alma 7:12. Christ suffered death to save us from bondage from Satan, and allow us to return to our Heavenly Home. Because of sin and mortality we could not return to our Father in Heaven, unless Christ came down on earth and gave his life as a ransom. Because Christ came down to Earth and suffered all these things, even death, we can break the bands of death both spiritually, from sin, and physically, from death of the body.
The word infirmity has always intrigued me because it is all encompassing. Infirmity covers a wide range of things mainly, “unhealthy state of body, weakness, feebleness, weakness of mind, failing, fault, foible,” and others (1828 Webster’s dictionary). The reason the Savior took upon Him our infirmities is so that he can know us individually and know our problems because he suffered the same things. He also did this so that he could know what we need to do to overcome all of our infirmities. This knowledge allows the Savior to succor or to deliver and relieve His people. The word succor is used because it means a fast response, not merely a response (1828 Webster’s Dictionary).
For me, this scripture brings an added measure of feeling loved by the Savior and His Father. The Savior and His Father are so willing to aid us that they will run to our support if we will only let them. The key to these passages is that although the Savior knows exactly what we need, to overcome anything in our lives, we still need to ask for the help. After asking we then must have the courage to move forward with faith and trust in the Savior.
  • Alma 7:13: Blot. The word blot means to “erase, to cause to be unseen, or forgotten,” by the Father and the Son. Because of the Atonement of Christ we can all return to our Father in Heaven in all His celestial glory. If we are willing to trust in the Savior and let Him be our light through tough times we will be saved at the last day.
I want to add my testimony to Alma’s that Jesus Christ did suffer afflictions, temptations, and all things so that we can live with Him and our Father in Heaven again. This is the main message of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, Another Testament of the Savior Jesus Christ. Christ lives and we too can live if we have faith in him, repent of our sins, and come unto Christ through baptism and all of the other ordinances necessary to return to our Father in Heaven.
  • Alma 7:27: All that you possess. Perhaps many scriptures make a distinction between owning and just possessing (what is really the Lord’s.) Notice that Alma interjected the phrase "all that you possess" before it went on to add 'your women and your children' highlighting the different relationship we have to them.

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  • Alma 7:3, 6: Gideonites. Are the Gideonites different than the people of Zarahemla, or is Alma’s hope that they are different vain?
  • Alma 7:7-12: Does Alma’s message to the Gideonites differ from his message to those of Zarahemla? Verse 12 teaches a doctrine that hidden from most of the rest of the world, that Christ suffered so that he will know how to succor his people? What does “succor” mean? How does Christ succor us?
  • Alma 7:14: Baptism and faith. This verse commands the Gideonites to be baptized not only that they be washed of their sins, but also that they may have faith in Christ. How does baptism make faith in Christ possible?
  • Alma 7:22: If the Gideonites were living righteously, why did they have to be awakened to a sense of their duty to God? As Alma uses the phrase here, what is “the holy order of God"? Is that different from “the order of the church” in Alma 8:1? Is he using the word “order” here in the same way he used it in Alma 5:49?
  • Alma 7:23: How does what Alma says here correlate with what he told those of Zarahemla in Alma 5:6, 13-15, 27-30, and 53-55? How does it correlate with Mosiah 4? What themes recur in each of these sermons about salvation?
  • Alma 7:24: Alma says “if you have faith, hope, and charity, then you will always do good works.” Do faith, hope, and charity guarantee good works? If so, how? Can we do good works without them? If not, why not?

Resources[edit]

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"When Jesus took upon Himself the heavy, atoning yoke in order to redeem all mankind by paying the agonizing price for our sins, He... also volunteered to take upon Himself additional agony in order that He might experience and thus know certain things 'according to the flesh,' namely human sicknesses and infirmities and human griefs, including those not associated with sin. Therefore, as a result of His great Atonement, Jesus was filled with unique empathy and with perfect mercy" (emphasis added).
  • D&C 19:16-20 gives additional insight to the depth of the atonement.

Notes[edit]

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



Previous page: Verses 5:33-62                      Next page: Chapters 8-16

D&C 19:16-20

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


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Summary[edit]

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Historical setting[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

For a brief overview of D&C 19 in historical relation to the rest of the Doctrine & Covenants, see Historical Overview of the Restoration Scriptures. For lengthier discussions of the historical setting, see Historical Context of the Doctrine & Covenants, chapter 4 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 5.

Discussion[edit]

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

Outline and page map[edit]

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

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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

Resources[edit]

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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.



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

D&C 58:1-5

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 58
Previous section: D&C 57                         Next section: D&C 59


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Historical setting[edit]

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  • Received:
  • Prior section in chronological order: D&C 57
  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 59
  • Click the edit link above and to the right to add historical setting

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]

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 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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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 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?

Resources[edit]

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Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 58 is __.
  • D&C 58 was first published in __.
  • D&C 58 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.
  • Changes to the text of D&C 58:

Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 58.

Doctrinal references cited on this page.

Historical references cited on this page.

Other resources.

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 88:6-10

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 88
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  • 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.

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  • 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]

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Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 88 is __.
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  • 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.



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D&C 98:11-15

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 98 > Verses 98:11-22
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  • D&C 98:11-15. After setting clear and unambigous standards for civil laws and the selection of leaders, the Lord sets forth the standards of behavior expected of those who seek to be "worth of [the Lord]" (verse 15). These standards require not only a willingness to lay down one's life to follow the word of the Lord, but to live "by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God" (verse 11).
  • D&C 98:11. This verse sets forth the standard of living for all Saints. First, we are expected to "forsake all evil." Some of the things that come of evil, such as bad laws and wicked rulers, were outlined in previous verses. Here we are told to forsake all evil. And more than that, we are told to "cleave unto all good." It isn't enough to avoid evil, we have to actively embrace that which is good.
Beyond forsaking evil and cleaving unto the good, the ultimate standard of behavior for Latter-day Saints is living by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God." This implies following the words of living prophets, as well as trying to best apply scriptural counsel given to Saints in past dispensations.
  • D&C 98:12. After proving his standard for our behavior, the Lord explains his purpose in setting this standard--to try us and prove us. While the Lord expects us to do everything he commands, he here reminds us that he doesn't expect us to do everything at once, but that if we are faithful, we will be given hiw word "line upon line." As we are faithful in living by his word, he gives us more of his word, to "prove us" or test how much we are willing to accept.
  • D&C 98:13. Here the Lord shows us how far this testing may go--all the way to our potentially being called to lay down our lives. While many Saints may be willing to lay down their life, it appears here that this is only expected in extreme cases as an ultimate test. What seems to be more important here is to make the sacrifices needed to "live by every word" as we are given it "line upon line." We can't short cut the process of gradual and increasing obedience by a one-time sacrifice or martyrdom. What is important are the day to day trials and tests.
Those that are called to lay down their lives, or lose their lives while following the Lord, are promised eternal life. Not as a call to self-sacrifice oneself, but as a comfort, a reminder, to ease the hearts of those who might be suffering.
  • D&C 98:14. Here the Lord seems to shift the focus of the revelation. While the prior verses are explaining the importance of obedience, here he takes that promise of eternal life for those who lose their lives while following him, and uses it to give peace of heart to those worried about their enemies. Here he says, don't worry about your enemies. If we are killed while "abiding" in his covenant, then we will have proven ourselves worthy. So, true Saints aren't to be afraid if they follow the Lord. The worst that enemies can do to them is to kill them and send them to their eternal reward.
  • D&C 98:15. While the Saints shouldn't fear death or their enemies, here the Lord outlines the true nature of the test, and perhaps something to be more afraid of: if we don't abide in the covenent, if we don't live by every word, then we will not be found worthy of him. This is the true test. Will we do whatever he says, even if it means laying down our life, or will we fail to do that and be found unworthy.
  • D&C 98:16-22. After explaining the true nature of our test as Latter-day Saints--will we live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, even to the laying down of our lives, or will we set other lower standards and be found not worthy--the Lord here sets out the political application of this principle. This political standard would seem to offer a challenge to Latter-day Saints, since it differs in many ways from that of modern governments.
  • D&C 98:16. After being told not to fear our enemies, and that we should be more willing to die than to disobey the word of the Lord, the Lord here outlines the political mission of Latter-day Saints. We are told to renounce war and proclaim peace. Rather than fear our enemies and attack them, we are to forsake this evil and cleave unto the good, which in the Lord here states to be diligently turning the hearts of the children to the fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children. Modern Saints do not have time for warfare, because they need to be spending their time saving the world by performing holy priesthood ordinances.
  • D&C 98:17. In addition to the saving ordinances of baptism for the living and the dead, Saints are to spend their time as missionaries. This involves not just the Gentile nations, but specifically working to turn the hearts of the Jews unto the prophets. Rather than fear our enemies, and supporting warfare, the Latter-day Saint mission to the Jews is to help them more fully embrace the words of the prophets.
The Lord states that if we don't do this, if we do not forsake and renounce war to perform the holy ordinances needed by the world, the whole earth will be cursed. As Latter-day Saints, the political and moral outcomes of our failure to follow every word of the Lord, appears to be global pain and suffering.
  • D&C 98:18. However, the Lord doesn't want us to dwell on this negative vision. He doesn't want our hearts to be troubled. He wants us to be anxiously engaged in the work that he has outlined for us, and for us to have faith in him and the eternal kingdom that he will establish, where there is a place for all of us.
  • D&C 98:20. While we are to take comfort in our relationship to the Lord and his promises, we shouldn't take comfort in our status as members of the Church. Here the Lord expreses his displeasure with Church members who have not forsaken their sins as required in the above verses. The Lord is displeases with their pride and covetousness. He had given the Saints "words of wisdom and eternal life" in Kirtland, including initial temple ordinances, and many had refused to follow these additional words as they proceeded from his mouth.
  • v 21-25: After outlining standards of personal righteousness and a political vision for the Saints, the Lord gives more explicit counsel on how to defend our families. The standards of personal defense outlined here would appear to differ from the legal standards of many modern societies, and offers perhaps a higher way of dealing with personal enemies and attacks.
  • D&C 98:21. After telling the Saints that he is displeased with many who did not follow his "words of wisdom and eternal life" offered in Kirtland (verses 19-20), the Lord seems to imply that some of the suffering experienced by the Saints in Missouri is a result of this disobedience. Here the Lord reminds them that if they will not obey his counsels, he will "chasten" them in an attempt to get them to repent. In this case, it would appear that by not following his counsel, he was unable to protect the Saints in Missouri, so the Saints may have brought some of the "chastening" upon themselves by denying the Lord the opportunity to protect them.
  • D&C 98:22. While the Saints were buffeted by their enemies in Missouri because they wouldn't follow the revelations given to them in Kirtland, here the Lord reminds them that if they will follow him, he will protect them by turning "away all wrath and indignation from you" to such a degree that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against you." The Lord will protect the Saints if they follow his words. If they do not follow his words, they are left to depend upon their own strength, and will suffer the consequences.

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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  • D&C 98:11. What challenges face Latter-day Saints seeking to obey the commandment to "forsake all evil and cleave unto all good" in our modern world?
  • D&C 98:11, 14. Does the Lord really expect us to do whatever it takes to obey his word, even to the laying down of our lives, if we are to be found worthy?
  • D&C 98:13-14. In what ways might we be willing to lay down our lives, but not willing to otherwise "live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God"?
  • D&C 98:14. Why shouldn't Latter-day Saints be afraid of our enemies? What application might this have for Saints living in a world filled with wars and terrorism?
  • D&C 98:16. How can Latter-day Saints renounce war and proclaim peace?
  • D&C 98:16. How does this commandment to renounce war and proclaim peace relate to our expectation to support "honest and wise" rulers (verse 10) or to being subject to our political leaders?
  • D&C 98:16. Could one of the evils that comes from not choosing and upholding "honest and wise" rulers be that dishonest or unwise rulers may lead us to war without justification from the Lord?
  • D&C 98:17. How might the whole earth be cursed if Latter-day Saints do not renounce war and proclaim peace?

Resources[edit]

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Notes[edit]

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D&C 101:1-5

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 101
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  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 102

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  • D&C 101:11: Cup of their iniquity. The cup of their iniquity" is a strange phrase, not found elsewhere in the scriptures. In Rev 17:4, the "great whore" is depicted as "having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication." In D&C 103:3 the Lord allows enemies of the Church to persist, "that they might fill up the measure of their iniquities, that their cup might be full."
  • D&C 101:12. In verse 12 the Lord explains that all found "upon the watch-tower" will be saved. He explains that this group of people are "mine Israel." It seems that the Lord is saying that though he is chastening his people now (because of their transgressions (see verse 2)) he will save all that endure these chastenings--those that haven't denied him (see verse 5). For those saints who recognize their own failings these verses can be comforting. They suggest that they Lord will try us with affliction, but that if we endure them by denying him not and continuing to be a part of Israel, he will save us.
  • D&C 101:32-34. D&C 101:32-34 says the Lord will "reveal all things" during the Millennium, including "things which have passed" [history], "hidden things which no man knew" [new revelations and surprises to us], "things of the earth" [science], and on and on. It's fascinating to think that there is so much more to learn, and exciting to know that if we're faithful we'll be able to learn all these things. Or rather, we'll be able to remember all these things, since we may have known some of them in our pre-earth life.
It is fascinating to gain new knowledge about any topic. Learning a little bit here and a little bit there, about "things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven" is one of the most enjoyable things about life. It's exciting to make a new discovery, either first hand or second hand. But what will be even more enjoyable, the Lord says here, will be to experience this new knowledge in the next life, while in God's presence. Two verses later he says "In this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full." How wonderful that joy will be. And how we should strive in this life to find joy each day that will prepare us, little by little, to receive that fulness of joy.

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  • D&C 101:4. How should one interpret the comparison between the loss of Zion and the sacrifice of Abraham?
  • D&C 101:4. Loss of Zion? Is the reference in vs. 4 to losing Zion, or to the Saints getting their teeth kicked in by mobs in Missouri? Is it the existential loss of Zion or the physical abuse that is comparable to the suffering of Abraham here? At any rate, an interesting way to read this.
  • D&C 101:11. What is the "cup of their iniquity"? Is it related to the cup depicted in Rev 17:4?
  • D&C 101:12. In verse 12 it says that all the Lord's Israel shall be saved. Who is the Lord's Israel? What is this a promise of? What does it mean to be saved? (See also D&C 76:42.)
  • D&C 101:12. Note that the promise in verse 12 isn't just a promise to be saved, but it is a promise to be saved at a certain time. The verse starts with "in that day." When is that day? Is that the first resurrection, the resurrection of the just (D&C 76:17, D&C 76:64-65), or is that last resurrection, the resurrection of the unjust (D&C 76:85) or is it somewhere in between?
  • D&C 101:23. Verse 23 instructs us to "prepare for the revelation which is to come". Wouldn't we welcome new revelation? Why would we need to prepare for it, unless the new information is difficult to accept and that our faith may be tested at the second coming (assuming that's the timing of the revelation). I've often thought of the second coming as a pass/fail test, but this makes me question that and wonder if we need to be sufficiently prepared for those times, not to just avoid failing (burning in the molten earth of mount Doom), but to stay faithful even when new revelations tempt us to do otherwise.
  • D&C 101:78. Verse 78 Is there a significant tie between this verse and Mosiah 29:38? What does it say about democracy and monarchy? Is democracy a righteous progression from monarchy? (This is the situation in both cases) Does this refute the idea of "corporate guilt" (As C.S. Lewis calls it)?

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Historical references cited on this page.

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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 121:1-5

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Sections 121-123 > Verses 121:1-33
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  • D&C 121:28: One God or Many Gods. The Lord indicates in verse 28 that in these Latter-days it will be revealed "whether there be one God or many gods". That revelation was delivered, at least in part, in verse 32, where we are introduced to the concept of a "Council of the Eternal God of all other gods". Joseph Smith expounded on this concept at length in later sermons, revealing some of the most profound teachings on this subject in the last few months of his life during a "meeting in the Grove east of the Temple on June 16, 1844" (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370).

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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 121:11: Hope shall be blasted. What kind of hope is this talking about? Why does God mention this particular form of punishment for the accusers? How is this related to the other forms of punishment and the reasons for that punishment described here and in the following passages? (See also v. 14.)
  • D&C 121:16: Lift up the heel. What does it mean to "lift up the heel against mine anointed"?
  • D&C 121:26: What does "unspeakable gift" mean when talking of the Holy Ghost?
  • D&C 121:28: Has this great outpouring of knowledge already occured? Is it in the process of occurring?
  • D&C 121:28: What must we do as individuals, and as a church, to be ready for or continue to receive this great outpouring of spiritual truth when "nothing will be withheld"?
  • D&C 121:28: What are we to make of the phrase "whether there be one God or many gods"? Why is the phrase tentative? Did Joseph Smith understand at this time whether there was one God or many gods?

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 "edit" link 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 121:6-10

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Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this headng. →

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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 121:28: One God or Many Gods. The Lord indicates in verse 28 that in these Latter-days it will be revealed "whether there be one God or many gods". That revelation was delivered, at least in part, in verse 32, where we are introduced to the concept of a "Council of the Eternal God of all other gods". Joseph Smith expounded on this concept at length in later sermons, revealing some of the most profound teachings on this subject in the last few months of his life during a "meeting in the Grove east of the Temple on June 16, 1844" (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370).

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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 121:11: Hope shall be blasted. What kind of hope is this talking about? Why does God mention this particular form of punishment for the accusers? How is this related to the other forms of punishment and the reasons for that punishment described here and in the following passages? (See also v. 14.)
  • D&C 121:16: Lift up the heel. What does it mean to "lift up the heel against mine anointed"?
  • D&C 121:26: What does "unspeakable gift" mean when talking of the Holy Ghost?
  • D&C 121:28: Has this great outpouring of knowledge already occured? Is it in the process of occurring?
  • D&C 121:28: What must we do as individuals, and as a church, to be ready for or continue to receive this great outpouring of spiritual truth when "nothing will be withheld"?
  • D&C 121:28: What are we to make of the phrase "whether there be one God or many gods"? Why is the phrase tentative? Did Joseph Smith understand at this time whether there was one God or many gods?

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 "edit" link 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 121:11-15

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Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this headng. →

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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 121:28: One God or Many Gods. The Lord indicates in verse 28 that in these Latter-days it will be revealed "whether there be one God or many gods". That revelation was delivered, at least in part, in verse 32, where we are introduced to the concept of a "Council of the Eternal God of all other gods". Joseph Smith expounded on this concept at length in later sermons, revealing some of the most profound teachings on this subject in the last few months of his life during a "meeting in the Grove east of the Temple on June 16, 1844" (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370).

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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 121:11: Hope shall be blasted. What kind of hope is this talking about? Why does God mention this particular form of punishment for the accusers? How is this related to the other forms of punishment and the reasons for that punishment described here and in the following passages? (See also v. 14.)
  • D&C 121:16: Lift up the heel. What does it mean to "lift up the heel against mine anointed"?
  • D&C 121:26: What does "unspeakable gift" mean when talking of the Holy Ghost?
  • D&C 121:28: Has this great outpouring of knowledge already occured? Is it in the process of occurring?
  • D&C 121:28: What must we do as individuals, and as a church, to be ready for or continue to receive this great outpouring of spiritual truth when "nothing will be withheld"?
  • D&C 121:28: What are we to make of the phrase "whether there be one God or many gods"? Why is the phrase tentative? Did Joseph Smith understand at this time whether there was one God or many gods?

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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

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



Previous page: Sections 121-123                      Next page: Verses 121:34-46

D&C 121:16-20

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Sections 121-123 > Verses 121:1-33
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This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this headng. →

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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 121:28: One God or Many Gods. The Lord indicates in verse 28 that in these Latter-days it will be revealed "whether there be one God or many gods". That revelation was delivered, at least in part, in verse 32, where we are introduced to the concept of a "Council of the Eternal God of all other gods". Joseph Smith expounded on this concept at length in later sermons, revealing some of the most profound teachings on this subject in the last few months of his life during a "meeting in the Grove east of the Temple on June 16, 1844" (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370).

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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 121:11: Hope shall be blasted. What kind of hope is this talking about? Why does God mention this particular form of punishment for the accusers? How is this related to the other forms of punishment and the reasons for that punishment described here and in the following passages? (See also v. 14.)
  • D&C 121:16: Lift up the heel. What does it mean to "lift up the heel against mine anointed"?
  • D&C 121:26: What does "unspeakable gift" mean when talking of the Holy Ghost?
  • D&C 121:28: Has this great outpouring of knowledge already occured? Is it in the process of occurring?
  • D&C 121:28: What must we do as individuals, and as a church, to be ready for or continue to receive this great outpouring of spiritual truth when "nothing will be withheld"?
  • D&C 121:28: What are we to make of the phrase "whether there be one God or many gods"? Why is the phrase tentative? Did Joseph Smith understand at this time whether there was one God or many gods?

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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

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



Previous page: Sections 121-123                      Next page: Verses 121:34-46

D&C 121:21-25

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Sections 121-123 > Verses 121:1-33
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This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this headng. →

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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 121:28: One God or Many Gods. The Lord indicates in verse 28 that in these Latter-days it will be revealed "whether there be one God or many gods". That revelation was delivered, at least in part, in verse 32, where we are introduced to the concept of a "Council of the Eternal God of all other gods". Joseph Smith expounded on this concept at length in later sermons, revealing some of the most profound teachings on this subject in the last few months of his life during a "meeting in the Grove east of the Temple on June 16, 1844" (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370).

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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 121:11: Hope shall be blasted. What kind of hope is this talking about? Why does God mention this particular form of punishment for the accusers? How is this related to the other forms of punishment and the reasons for that punishment described here and in the following passages? (See also v. 14.)
  • D&C 121:16: Lift up the heel. What does it mean to "lift up the heel against mine anointed"?
  • D&C 121:26: What does "unspeakable gift" mean when talking of the Holy Ghost?
  • D&C 121:28: Has this great outpouring of knowledge already occured? Is it in the process of occurring?
  • D&C 121:28: What must we do as individuals, and as a church, to be ready for or continue to receive this great outpouring of spiritual truth when "nothing will be withheld"?
  • D&C 121:28: What are we to make of the phrase "whether there be one God or many gods"? Why is the phrase tentative? Did Joseph Smith understand at this time whether there was one God or many gods?

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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

Notes[edit]

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



Previous page: Sections 121-123                      Next page: Verses 121:34-46

D&C 121:26-30

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Sections 121-123 > Verses 121:1-33
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This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this headng. →

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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 121:28: One God or Many Gods. The Lord indicates in verse 28 that in these Latter-days it will be revealed "whether there be one God or many gods". That revelation was delivered, at least in part, in verse 32, where we are introduced to the concept of a "Council of the Eternal God of all other gods". Joseph Smith expounded on this concept at length in later sermons, revealing some of the most profound teachings on this subject in the last few months of his life during a "meeting in the Grove east of the Temple on June 16, 1844" (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370).

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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 121:11: Hope shall be blasted. What kind of hope is this talking about? Why does God mention this particular form of punishment for the accusers? How is this related to the other forms of punishment and the reasons for that punishment described here and in the following passages? (See also v. 14.)
  • D&C 121:16: Lift up the heel. What does it mean to "lift up the heel against mine anointed"?
  • D&C 121:26: What does "unspeakable gift" mean when talking of the Holy Ghost?
  • D&C 121:28: Has this great outpouring of knowledge already occured? Is it in the process of occurring?
  • D&C 121:28: What must we do as individuals, and as a church, to be ready for or continue to receive this great outpouring of spiritual truth when "nothing will be withheld"?
  • D&C 121:28: What are we to make of the phrase "whether there be one God or many gods"? Why is the phrase tentative? Did Joseph Smith understand at this time whether there was one God or many gods?

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 "edit" link 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 121:31-35

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


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this headng. →

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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 121:28: One God or Many Gods. The Lord indicates in verse 28 that in these Latter-days it will be revealed "whether there be one God or many gods". That revelation was delivered, at least in part, in verse 32, where we are introduced to the concept of a "Council of the Eternal God of all other gods". Joseph Smith expounded on this concept at length in later sermons, revealing some of the most profound teachings on this subject in the last few months of his life during a "meeting in the Grove east of the Temple on June 16, 1844" (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370).

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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 121:11: Hope shall be blasted. What kind of hope is this talking about? Why does God mention this particular form of punishment for the accusers? How is this related to the other forms of punishment and the reasons for that punishment described here and in the following passages? (See also v. 14.)
  • D&C 121:16: Lift up the heel. What does it mean to "lift up the heel against mine anointed"?
  • D&C 121:26: What does "unspeakable gift" mean when talking of the Holy Ghost?
  • D&C 121:28: Has this great outpouring of knowledge already occured? Is it in the process of occurring?
  • D&C 121:28: What must we do as individuals, and as a church, to be ready for or continue to receive this great outpouring of spiritual truth when "nothing will be withheld"?
  • D&C 121:28: What are we to make of the phrase "whether there be one God or many gods"? Why is the phrase tentative? Did Joseph Smith understand at this time whether there was one God or many gods?

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 "edit" link 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 122:1-5

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


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this headng. →

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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 122:6. Why does the Lord make reference to things that had just happened to Joseph? Why does he say "if" these things happen if they've already happened?
  • D&C 122:7. What does it mean that the heavens would gather blackness?
  • D&C 122:9. Whose bounds are set? The men who hold him or the men of the priesthood?

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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 122:7-8.Keith R. Edwards, "That They Might Know Thee," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 99–101. Elder Edwards states: "As we are called upon to endure suffering, sometimes inflicted upon us intentionally or negligently, we are put in a unique position—if we choose, we may be allowed to have new awareness of the suffering of the Son of God. While Alma tells us that Christ suffered all that any of us will ever have to suffer that He might know how to succor us (see Alma 7:11-12), the reverse may also be true: that our suffering may allow us insight into the depth and magnitude of His atoning sacrifice."

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 122:6-9

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


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this headng. →

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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link 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 "edit" link to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • D&C 122:6. Why does the Lord make reference to things that had just happened to Joseph? Why does he say "if" these things happen if they've already happened?
  • D&C 122:7. What does it mean that the heavens would gather blackness?
  • D&C 122:9. Whose bounds are set? The men who hold him or the men of the priesthood?

Resources[edit]

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  • D&C 122:7-8.Keith R. Edwards, "That They Might Know Thee," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 99–101. Elder Edwards states: "As we are called upon to endure suffering, sometimes inflicted upon us intentionally or negligently, we are put in a unique position—if we choose, we may be allowed to have new awareness of the suffering of the Son of God. While Alma tells us that Christ suffered all that any of us will ever have to suffer that He might know how to succor us (see Alma 7:11-12), the reverse may also be true: that our suffering may allow us insight into the depth and magnitude of His atoning sacrifice."

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 136:31-35

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 136
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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 135
  • Next section in chronological order: D&C 138

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 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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Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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

Prompts for further study[edit]

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

Resources[edit]

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Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 136 is __.
  • 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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