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


2 Thes 3:11-15

Home > The New Testament > Second Thessalonians


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Chapter 1[edit]

Chapter 2[edit]

  • 2 Thes 2:1-3: Second Coming. Paul's teaching about the Second Coming in these verses seems incongruent with his words in 1 Thes 5:2-3. In one case he tells the Thessalonians to watch carefully because Christ will come suddenly when you least expect it. On the other hand, he says that the Great Apostasy has to happen first and that they should not be troubled by those who say that the day of Christ is at hand.
When Paul warned the saints in Thessalonica that the day of Christ would come suddenly as a thief in the night and that they should be prepared, they seem to have misunderstood. While he probably meant that they should watch their lives to be “children of the day… not of the night” (1 Thes 5:5) so that they would always be ready for Christ’s coming (if you're always ready, you won't be caught off-guard, if it's always day-time then a thief can't come in the night) some of the Thessalonians took him more literally. They thought that the day of Christ’s coming was imminent. Some even stopped working (see 2 Thes 3:11-12).
So it is that Paul had to reassure the Thessalonians that they should not be soon shaken by spirit, word, or letter as that the day of Christ is at hand. He tells them of one of the things that must happen before the second coming is that there must be a falling away. Since that hadn’t happened yet, it's implied that the second coming has not yet occurred, and may be a ways off yet.
  • 2 Thes 2:2: At hand. The Greek phrase os oti enesteken ("at hand" in the KJV) is rendered "already here" in the NET and NRSV translations, with a similar connotation given by other contemporary translations. If this is the case (though that several modern scholars still defend the meaning given by the KJV), then this verse doesn't eliminate the possibility that Paul believes the Second Coming is imminent, but is clarifying that it has not already happened.

Chapter 3[edit]

Complete outline and page map[edit]

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Points to ponder[edit]

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I have a question[edit]

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Resources[edit]

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Translations[edit]

These are still pointed at Matthew

  • Amplified • The Amplified Bible, 1987 update
  • NASB • New American Standard Bible, 1995 update
  • NIV • New International Version
  • NRSV • New Revised Standard Version
  • RSV • Revised Standard Version

Joseph Smith Translation[edit]

The Joseph Smith Translation made changes to the following verses in 2 Thessalonians. This list is complete:[1]

  • 2 Thes 1:1, 9
  • 2 Thes 2:2-3, 7-9

Cited references[edit]

  • Wayment, Thomas A., ed. The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the New Testament. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2005. (ISBN 1590384393) BX8630 .A2 2005.

Other resources[edit]

  • 2 Thes 2:3. Russell M. Nelson, "The Gathering of Scattered Israel," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 79–82. "All previous dispensations were limited in time and location. They were limited in time because each ended in apostasy. They were limited in location to a relatively small segment of planet earth... This dispensation of the fulness of times would not be limited in time or in location. It would not end in apostasy, and it would fill the world" (see D&C 128:18).

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.

  1. Wayment, The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the New Testament, p. 288.


                                                                 Return to The New Testament

D&C 38:26-30

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 38
Previous section: D&C 37                         Next section: D&C 39


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Summary[edit]

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D&C 38 is addressed to __

D&C 38 can be outlined as follows:

Historical setting[edit]

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

For a brief overview of D&C 38 in historical relation to the rest of the Doctrine & Covenants, see Historical Overview of the Restoration Scriptures. For lengthier discussions of the historical setting, see Historical Context of the Doctrine & Covenants, chapter 6 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 8.

Discussion[edit]

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. →

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Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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

Resources[edit]

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Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 38 is __.
  • D&C 38 was first published in __.
  • D&C 38 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.

Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 38.

Doctrinal references cited on this page.

Historical references cited on this page.

Other resources.

Notes[edit]

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




Previous section: D&C 37                         Next section: D&C 39

D&C 42:26-30

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 42 > Verses 42:18-29
Previous page: Verses 42:11-17                      Next page: Verses 42:30-42


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Summary[edit]

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Relationship to Section 42. The relationship of Verses 42:18-29 to the rest of Section 42 is discussed at D&C 42.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 42:18-29 include:

Discussion[edit]

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

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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

  • D&C 42:18. Why start the list of "10 Commandments" half way through the list? Why start with not killing, but leave out the commandments before it? (Including the Sabbath Day, which will be mentioned in section 68 as a commandment for those in Zion.)

Resources[edit]

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Notes[edit]

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



Previous page: Verses 42:11-17                      Next page: Verses 42:30-42

D&C 42:31-35

Home > Doctrine & Covenants > Section 42 > Verses 42:30-42
Previous page: Verses 42:18-29                      Next page: Verses 42:43-55


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Summary[edit]

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Relationship to Section 42. The relationship of Verses 42:30-42 to the rest of Section 42 is discussed at D&C 42.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 42:30-42 include:

Discussion[edit]

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

  • D&C 42:39: Structure of the verse. Attempting to uncover the structure of the verse is perhaps a bit difficult, given that the text has taken two distinct canonical shapes. As it turns out, the two distinct texts seem best to be understood as bearing two distinct structures:
For it shall come to pass,
that which I spake by the mouths of my prophets shall be fulfilled;
for I will consecrate the riches of the Gentiles,
unto my people which are of the house of Israel. (1831)
For it shall come to pass,
that which I spake by the mouths of my prophets shall be fulfilled;
for I will consecrate of the riches of those
who embrace my gospel among the Gentiles
unto the poor of my people
who are of the house of Israel. (1835)
What seems to change, in terms of structure, between 1831 and 1835 is that the addition of "those who embrace my gospel among" and "the poor of," as well as the change from "which" to "who," sets up a parallelism between the phrases "who embrace my gospel among the Gentiles" and "who are of the house of Israel." This change seems to add an amelioratory inflection to a potential and ongoing conflict to the Gentiles and Israelites. This might also be read as being analogous to the relation between the rich and the poor more generally.
  • D&C 42:39: For it shall come to pass, that which I spake by the mouths of my prophets shall be fulfilled. The revelation here draws on a relatively common phrase, one that appears both in the New Testament and the Book of Mormon before making its several appearances in the Doctrine and Covenants. All three of the New Testament instances are Lucan, the first appearing in Zacharias' words of praise he shouts when his dumbness is removed (Luke 1:70), the second and third appearing in Peter's speech in the temple shortly after the Pentecostal outpouring (Acts 3:18, 21). Taken together, all three references attribute to the collective prophets the teaching: first, that Christ would come into the world; second, that Christ would suffer; and third, that Christ would be received into heaven until all things have been restored. The phrase seems to be genericized in the Book of Mormon, being used to summarize what is written in the brass plates (1 Ne 3:20), what has been said by the Old World prophets about the Abrahamic covenants (2 Ne 9:2), what should be taught by ordained priests in the Nephite church (Mosiah 18:19), what Nephite prophets had taught about "restoration" (Alma 40:22, 24), what the prophets had claimed about Jesus' mortal ministry (3 Ne 1:13), and what the Jaredite prophets had told Coriantumr would happen if he did not immediately repent (Ether 15:3).
If any overarching usage could be said to unite the New Testament and Book of Mormon employments of the phrase, it would be that the phrase serves to indicate that whatever is under discussion should be made sense of in light of some available prophetic text (and that one can trust the prophetic texts to be fulfilled). The phrase certainly serves this purpose in its several appearances in the Doctrine and Covenants. References elsewhere in the Doctrine and Covenants are, with one exception (D&C 109:45), concerned (as the phrase is in D&C 42) particularly with the eventual building of Zion (D&C 58:8; 84:2; 86:10; 109:23, 41). Of course, in D&C 42:39, it seems clear—especially because of the specificity of the text that follows this mention of the prophets—to indicate that there are particular prophetic texts that are in mind. And, given especially the reference in the verse to the "riches of the Gentiles" (if the phrase is taken in its pre-clarified form), it seems clear which prophetic text that revelation indicates: Isaiah 60-62.
  • D&C 42:39: Economics in revelation. This verse, situated in the text as a kind of conclusion to the law of consecration, forces one to think carefully about the role of economics in the revelations. It is perhaps far too common to talk about consecration as a kind of revealed economic order or revealed political system, but this verse in particular suggests that such an approach is oversimplistic in that it ignores a major facet of the Lord's intentions with consecration. Consecration is a question, at the very least, of (1) fulfillment of prophecy and (2) the relationship between the Gentiles and Israel. These somewhat surprising facets of consecration (as revealed in the Doctrine and Covenants) call for careful interpretation of verse 39.
From the Book of Commandments. First, it should be noted that the text here differs in a few points from the "original" version of the text as published in the 1833 Book of Commandments:
"For it shall come to pass, that which I spake by the mouths of my prophets shall be fulfilled; for I will consecrate the riches of the Gentiles, unto my people which are of the house of Israel." (Book of Commandments 44:32)
What are the differences between the two texts?
(1) The Doctrine and Covenants version adds the word "of" after the word "consecrate": "for I will consecrate of the riches of the Gentiles...."
(2) The Doctrine and Covenants version adds the phrase "those who embrace my gospel among" between "of" and "the" (just before the word "Gentiles"): "I will consecrate of the riches of those who embrace my gospel among the Gentiles...."
(3) The Doctrine and Covenants version adds the phrase "the poor of" between "unto" and "my people": "I will consecrate of the riches of those who embrace my gospel among the Gentiles unto the poor of my people...."
(4) The Doctrine and Covenants replaces the word "which" with "who": "unto the poor of my people which are of the house of Israel."
All four of these changes seem, on close analysis, to be clarifications rather than modifications of the text, made in order to forestall drastic misinterpretations of the text's intentions (though it should be noted that changes in the preceding nine verses seem often enough to be genuine modifications rather than clarifications, made in light of the change in the Saints' situation with respect to Zion). A brief analysis of each change might be profitable:
(1) The addition of the word "of" might seem minor, but it softens what might be called the "violence" implied in the "original" text: whereas the 1831-33 version of the text might be read to imply that everything the Gentiles have will be taken from them and handed over to Israel, the "of" makes it clear that the Gentiles will retain something of their substance, even as their riches are used to outfit Israel in whatever ways are needed.
(2) The addition of the phrase "those who embrace my gospel among" is more drastic a change, and it alters the significance of the verse more substantially. Though one might presume from the 1831-33 text, if it were read in abstract from the surrounding text, that the Gentiles were to be impoverished with or without their consent, the change makes it quite clear that the riches to be consecrated are to be those specifically belonging to the Gentiles who embrace the gospel.
(3) The addition of the phrase "the poor of" is also more substantial. While the 1831-33 text might be taken to suggest that the Gentiles are to be impoverished while Israel is to be made rich, this change makes it clear that the shift of goods from the Gentiles to Israel is a question of transferring the excess of the Gentiles to the impoverished of Israel.
(4) The change from "which" to "who" seems only to be a simple grammatical correction, of no particular importance.
Isaiah 60-62: the riches of the Gentiles. It seems relatively obvious that the phrase (from the "original" version of the revelation) "the riches of the Gentiles" is drawn from Isaiah 60-62, where the phrase appears several times (see especially Isaiah 60:5, 11; 61:6). Some scholars, it should be pointed out, believe that these three chapters (Isaiah 60-62) form something like the kernel of Isaiah 56-66: the remainder of these eleven chapters are thematically built on the text of Isaiah 60-62. This kernel is in turn basically a commentary on a passage from Isaiah 49: "Lift up thine eyes round about and behold; all these gather themselves together, and they shall come to thee.... And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their face towards the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet" (verses 18 and 23). Taken together, Isaiah 49 and Isaiah 60-62 paint a picture of the eschatological relationship between Israel and the Gentiles that is central to the way the Lord presents the purpose of the law of consecration in D&C 42.
Summarized, the relationship between Israel and the Gentiles is one of benefaction: the Gentiles, "blessed" with riches and excess, eventually recognize that Israel has been the chosen, covenant people of the one true God, and so they use their substance to establish the poor and downtrodden of Israel, placing them in their land of inheritance and ensuring that they have the means they need to subsist. When the same passage from Isaiah 49 is taken up in the Book of Mormon (especially in 1 Ne 22 and 2 Ne 6), it is further noted that the Gentiles will be given an inheritance with Israel for their generosity (whereas the Isaiah passages might be interpreted to suggest that the Gentiles will—in a reversal of history—be given a place in Zion only as servants or slaves). This particularly Nephite interpretation of the Isaianic texts seems to be at work in the Doctrine and Covenants, at least at the time D&C 42 was originally received: the Saints understood themselves to be (as Europeans) the Gentiles who had been called to restore the Indians (understood then as the Lamanites, and hence, as Israel) to their rightful inheritance in Zion. The relevance of this early Mormon understanding of the Gentile-Israelite relationship for making sense of D&C 42 will have to be spelled out below in more detail.
Consecration and the spoils of war. In the Bible, forms of the word consecration are not often used in an economic context. Rather, people or offerings are what are consecrated unto God. There are, however, two significant exceptions: (1) in Josh 6:19 where "silver, and gold of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the Lord" so that, roughly, the curse of Jericho does not infect the Israelites; and (2) in Micah 4:13 where the daughter of Zion is promised redemption and victory over her enemies and the spoils of war will be consecrated to the Lord. Both of these occurrences are in a military context, but the Joshua uses the Hebrew verb qodesh whereas Micah uses the verb charam. Nevertheless, the idea seems to be the same: the Lord will help his people, not to continue the economic, might-is-right logic of war, but in order to establish a new order.
A similar contrast between the logic of war and the logic of consecrated offerings occurs in Genesis 14 when Abraham pays tithing to Melchezidek. Since D&C 42 was given during the period when Joseph Smith was working through his new translation of Genesis, further study of this thematic might be quite productive.
The poor of my people. When the wording of the revelation was altered for the 1835 publication of the Doctrine and Covenants, the phrase "the poor of my people" was first introduced into the text. It is not without significance, since it draws on at least two other Isaianic texts, both of which are quoted by Nephi in the Book of Mormon: Isaiah 10:2 (see 2 Ne 20:2) and Isaiah 14:32 (see 2 Ne 24:32). In both of these texts—as in so much of both the Old and the New Testaments—it is specifically the poor of the people who will be exalted, while the rich will be destroyed for their pride. In the former of the two texts, in fact, Isaiah rails specifically against the manner in which the rich use even the law to further impoverish the poor; while in the latter of the two texts, it is to be told to the "messenger of the nations (or Gentiles)" that the poor of Israel are those who will inherit Zion.
Moreover, the same phrase ("the poor of my people") appears twice more in the Doctrine in Covenants, both times in revelations that are particularly concerned with the connection between the law of consecration and the fulfillment of ancient promises and covenants: D&C 78:3 comes from the revelation that ties consecration to Adam-ondi-Ahman, while D&C 124:21 comes from the revelation that calls (very much in the spirit and at times even the words of Isaiah 60-62) for the kings and queens of the Gentiles to come and outfit the Saints in Nauvoo with their riches (it should be noted that by the time D&C 124 was revealed, the Saints understood themselves—again, as Europeans—to be Ephraimites, and so they had become, in the language of D&C 42, "the poor of my people who are of the house of Israel"). (There are a number of ways in which D&C 124 can be read as a kind of Nauvoo repetition of D&C 42.)
From all of this, it seems clear that D&C 42:39 follows in suit with other scripture in its focus on Israel's poor being exalted by the benevolent charity of the Gentiles.
My people who (which) are of the house of Israel. Except for the present text and a passing reference in D&C 39:11, it seems this phrase is a uniquely Nephite locution: 1 Ne 14:17; 2 Ne 25:4; 29:1, 2, 14; 3 Ne 16:8, 9, 14; 23:2; 29:3; 30:2. The phrase itself can, of course, be understood in at least two ways. On the one hand, "who (which) are of the house of Israel" can be understood to be offering a kind of clarification of "my people," such that "my people" is equivalent to "those who are of the house of Israel." On the other hand, "who (which) are of the house of Israel" can be understood to be specifying a particular part of "my people" that is implicated in the statement being made, such that "my people" is broader than "those who are of the house of Israel" and "those who are of the house of Israel" make up a subset of "my people."
A look at the Book of Mormon instances of the phrase shows quickly that both of these ways of utilizing the total phrase appear in the text. At times, it seems clear from the context that the one is meant; and at times, it seems clear from the context that the other is meant. Here, however, things are less than simple. One might argue that the 1831 version of the text employed the phrase according to one understanding, while the 1835 version of the text employed the phrase according to the other understanding. In 1831, that is, it seems best to understand "my people" and "those who are of the house of Israel" to be equivalent: the riches of the Gentiles will be consecrated to the Lord's people, that is, to Israel. In 1835, however, it seems best to understand "my people" to be a broader category within which "those who are of the house of Israel" fall: the riches of the converted Gentiles will be used to outfit the poor of the Lord's people who happen to be Israelites (though the Lord's people embraces a larger group).
An alternative interpretation would read the clause "of the house of Israel" as simply modifying "my people" in a way that conceives as the Gentiles and the Israelites as overlapping groups, following the parallel structure of the 1835 text. That is, those who embrace the gospel among the Gentiles are parallel, and in at least some sense synoymous with (perhaps through a linguistic kind of adoption), those who are of the house of Israel.
In Context. If all of the above comments situate this verse with regard to the various texts that came before and after it, it is also necessary to situate it with regard to the history surrounding it (in both versions of the text). The law of consecration (as laid out in verses 30-38) is apparently best understood as the crux of the law of the Church (which D&C 42 "embraces," according to Joseph Smith). That is, when the Lord announced in D&C 38:32 that the Saints were to be given both the law and the endowment in "the Ohio," preparatory to their being told where to build up Zion, He seems to have been announcing that in Kirtland He would give the Saints the law of consecration, to be paired with the endowment of the highest order of the priesthood, that would organize them in Zion.
Further, given the relatively clear Book of Mormon understanding of the role of the New Jerusalem, it seems clear that the early Saints (should have) recognized their gathering to Zion as part of the task of exalting the remnant of the Lamanites: the New Jerusalem was to be a place where the Gentiles who embraced the gospel could exalt the remnant of Israel and so involve themselves in the covenants given anciently to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This understanding of the broader purposes of Zion should have been drastically reinforced by this verse (39) in particular: the law of consecration, in its concluding words, is described as being first and foremost a question of ensuring that the wealth of the Gentiles is used to outfit the poor of Israel, a reference that would—especially in light of the Book of Mormon usage of the phrase "my people who (which) are of the house of Israel"—seem to point directly to the Lamanites.
In other words, this verse might be most important because it calls for a recognition that the law of consecration is not merely an economic order: any attempt to understand consecration as the Lord's revealed way of breaking the deadlock between capitalism and communism is far too narrow. Rather, it must be understood as a system designed to fulfill the prophecies concerning the Abrahamic covenant in the last days, as a way of ensuring that the promises that undergird the entirety of the Book of Mormon will be brought to pass. The law of consecration is, or at least was in 1831, a way of sorting out the prophesied relation between the Gentiles and Israel.
Of course, though, much happened between 1831 and 1835. Whereas in 1831, the Saints had not yet been told that the New Jerusalem was to be built in Jackson County, Missouri, by 1835, the Saints had been to, built up, been driven from, attempted to recover, and more or less definitively lost Jackson County. Moreover, a good deal of legal and economic history made up the months and years between February 1831 and the revisions of the revelations in 1835. And again, the Saints' self-understanding with relation to the categories of Israelite and Gentile had gone through major changes (in light especially of D&C 86:8-10). And yet again, the endowment had been redefined along with the reorganization of the priesthood into quorums. In short, the fabric of Mormonism had—through revelation—changed drastically between 1831 and 1835. Thus, even as the changes made to the text of the present verse were relatively minor (all of them can be understood as clarificatory rather than revisionary), the immeasurably different circumstances in which the clarified text was presented to the Saints inevitably made for its being understood differently.
That said, it is perhaps necessary to say that the critical importance of this particular verse became much easier to overlook: the New Jerusalem was less and less a focus for the Saints; the identification of the Lamanites did not appear to be as easy as it had been in 1831-33; the very notion of "Israelite" had changed so much that it was no longer clear how a verse like this would have be understood, etc. By 1835, this verse, rather than being a straightforward confirmation of what the early Saints most likely understood by the inauguration of the law of consecration, had become a trace of an earlier understanding. That the text of the revelation has not changed in the many years since the alterations in 1835 suggests that it still serves the same purpose today: it remains a trace of an earliest assumed understanding of the revelation, one that today is perhaps more obscure than ever.
One way to way to make sense of all of this might be to understand the earlier, 1831 understanding as being flawed so that the 1835 revisions represent a kind of repentance. Whereas the 1831 text might suggest a strong differentiation between the Gentiles and the Israelites with clearly demarcated lines of culture or genetics, and a consequently simplistic understanding of the Isaianic revelations, the 1835 text seems to complexify things. If read in light of passages such as D&C 86:8-10, where the weeding process of judgment is delayed until he harvest is fully ripe, then the 1835 revision might be read as an admonition against over-simplifying the interdependence of the Gentiles and the Israelites, and the world as Zion, as having interconnected roots whose development cannot be as cleanly distinguished as the early Saints might have wanted to believe.
  • D&C 42:42: Idleness. According to the 1828 Websters, "idle" meant "unemployed" and "unoccupied with business" as well as "slothful." In fact, "slothful" is the second definition and the other meanings are first.

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  • D&C 42:30-31. In speaking of consecrating of our substance “with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken,” verse 30 clearly has reference to the Law of Consecration, which we are not presently under obligation to practice in the way it was to be practiced in the nineteenth century. But does this verse have a meaning for us anyway?
  • D&C 42:30-31. How do we consecrate of our properties to support the poor?
  • D&C 42:42. If this verse doesn’t refer to the idle poor (see the lexical notes), to whom does it refer? In the early nineteenth century and in earlier times, what kinds of people would have been idle? How might we “translate” the meaning of this scripture for our own understanding and circumstances? (To see a warning to the poor, see D&C 56:17.)

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D&C 42:41-45

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Relationship to Section 42. The relationship of Verses 42:43-55 to the rest of Section 42 is discussed at D&C 42.

Story.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Verses 42:43-55 include:

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  • D&C 42:43, 48, 52: The sick. Here are some half-done thoughts if someone wants to take them up. Verse 43, 48, and 52 set up some clues as what D&C 42 is explaining about the sick:
  • Verse 42 explains that the idle won't receive the same blessings. Then we move directly into 43's discussion of the sick. This suggests that those who are sick-and-idle aren't grouped into those who are idle (see verse 52 as well).
  • Verse 43 begins discussion of those who are sick, but have not faith to be healed. The point of calling the elders here seems to be to consecrate their illnesses or their deaths to God. Even if they are sick, and have not faith, they with their illnesses will "live unto God," and remain a part of the community (see again verse 52).
  • Verse 48 begins discussion of those who do have faith to be healed.
  • The focus of verses 49-51 is on those who are afflicted, not sick.
  • Verse 52 echoes verses 43-44: even if they have not faith, in Zion we bear their infirmities with them.
  • D&C 42:44. In context, this verse, like the one before it (and the end of verse 52), is specifically explaining how the church should deal with those who believe and are sick but have not faith to be healed. It is for them that the elders of the church are to be called. Why isn't this direction to call the elders given for all who are sick? It may be that these verses suggest that "all the sick" and "the sick without faith to be healed" are really the same group because everyone with faith is already healed. But is that right--does everyone with faith get healed?
When much the same thing is repeated in verse 48 an additional caveat is added "and is not appointed unto death." This possibility is then recognized--that one may have faith, but be sick because one is appointed unto death. But what of those who are sick, but not with something that leads to death? Is this verse suggesting that all of them are sick because they lack the faith to be healed?
Given how verse 44 ends, we might assume that such sick people aren't at issue. That what is under discussion are those with grave sicknesses--the type where we would expect one to die and this is why the end of verse 44 ends by talking about whether the person lives or dies--not about whether they are healed.
Verses 49-53, however, suggest this isn't so. All of the sicknesses used as examples are specifically not the type we would expect someone to die from (being blind, being deaf, being lame). What then do we make of the end of verse 44, the discussion of living and dying rather than of being healed or not? One interpretation of this is that healing is not spoken of because, in the previous verse, it has already been established that this is a group of people who have not faith to be healed. The problem with this interpretation is that it leaves no place for healing by the laying on of hands. It sees people as either faithful and therefore already healed with no need to call the elders or faithless and beyond hope of being healed. This interpretation goes against both other scriptures and common experience which suggests that healing is provided through the laying on of hands.
In any case, what is clear from the ending of verse 44, is that the important point in this context isn't that the elders are called to heal (though they may do that) but rather that they are called to seal the sick to Christ. Or, to put it another way, to re-affirm the sick's commitment to Christ through prayer and the laying on of hands. As is made clear here, verses 45-47 and 52, this is more important than whether or not one is healed.
We might see these verses as providing some answers to the questions that arise from the facts that on the one hand we have scriptures which promise that those who ask with faith will receive, but on the other hand we see so many good people who ask to be healed but remain sick. In this context these verses a) reaffirm the truth of the statement generally that they would be healed with sufficient faith b) add an additional caveat that some are appointed unto death c) reassure us that not having faith to be healed doesn't mean that one can't become Christ's sons d) remind us that we have a responsibility to care for those who are sick.
  • D&C 42:45: Weeping for the dead. The Lord makes it clear that it is appropriate that we weep for them that die. It is natural that we weep for those who we love and God makes it clear that we are to love. The command here is to love so much that we weep when a friend dies.
Interestingly we are specifically told to weep especially for "those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection." What does this criteria mean?
The meaning changes depending on whether we take the wording "those that have not" to suggest (a) that the person who died, themselves, didn't have hope of a glorious resurrection, or whether we think it means (b) the person who died isn't justified in hoping for a glorious resurrection.
(a) is interesting in its emphasis on someone's own hope. We presume that we are to mourn more for those who do not hope for a glorious resurrection than those who do because, in each case, their lack of hope is actually correct. In contrast, we might compare this with Matt 25:31-46 which talks specifically about those who misjudge their approaching judgment. (b) is also interesting because it assumes we are in a position to judge whether someone has any hope of a a glorious resurrection.
It also isn't clear how this verse's interpretation should be influenced by the fact that the Lord will provide a way to accept the gospel to all after death who didn't have a chance to receive it in this life.

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D&C 44:1-6

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D&C 52:36-40

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  • D&C 52:2. Why is it important that the people of the Church are "a remnant of Jacob"?
  • D&C 52:2. To what covenant are they heirs?
  • D&C 52:11-16. Is the pattern that the Lord sets forth in verse 14 useful for Latter-day Saints today? In other words, is this section principally of historical interest, or is there something here that we can liken unto us?
What is the pattern? Is this a fair summary: If someone has a contrite spirit and obeys God's ordinances (Does this mean they are baptized, married in the temple, etc.?), then he is of God. He that has God's power brings forth fruits; he that does not bring forth fruits, is not of God? (verses 17 and 18). It is fairly easy to judge whether someone obeys God's ordinances, but much harder to judge whether that person has a contrite spirit. How would we do this?
Further, when would it be appropriate to employ this "pattern?" Verse 14 suggests that we need to judge according to the pattern so that we are not deceived, because Satan is abroad in the land. But counterbalanced against this counsel is the fact that we are not supposed to judge unrighteous judgment. Also, we have been taught not to be critical and find fault with our leaders. So, it seems that we would not employ this pattern to decide when our leaders are leading us astray. Consider: "Well, I just don't think Bishop So and So has a contrite spirit" seems obviously wrong. As does: "Well, hometeaching hasn't improved at all in the Elder's Quorum. Brother Smith isn't bringing forth fruit as Elder's Quorum president, he must not be of God.
Verses fifteen and sixteen suggest that the pattern allows us to judge those we hear praying or speaking. But when do we need to discern whether someone is deceiving us in the way that they are praying? Perhaps these verses relate more specifically to events and struggles the Saints had during Joseph Smith's era. The need to discern whether a speaker seeks to deceive us (see verse 16) is more clear. Can we flip the pattern around and conclude that he whose language is not meek or doesn't edify is not of God?
  • D&C 52:43. The Lord said "I ... will hasten the city in its time." What does that mean?
  • D&C 52:43. Given the promise that the Lord will "hasten the city," and similar promises, what do you make of the fact that the city of Zion was not established in Missouri?
  • D&C 52:43. What does it mean to be crowned with joy and with rejoicing?
  • D&C 52:43. What does that crowning have to do with the gathering of Israel and the establishment of the City of Zion?

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D&C 56:16-20

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D&C 58:26-30

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

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

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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 88:121-125

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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?

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  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 88 is __.
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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 104:11-15

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  • D&C 104. The United Order was established by covenant to accomplish two things (1) provide for the temporal affairs of Zion and (2) care for the poor.

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  • D&C 104:11. What does this verse mean to us today, given that we are not presently required to live the Law of Consecration?
  • D&C 104:13. What are our stewardships and how do we account for them?
  • D&C 104:16. We must provide for the poor in the Lord’s way. What is that way as he describes it here?
  • D&C 104:16. What does it mean to exalt the poor and make the rich low?
  • D&C 104:17. If there is enough in the earth to spare, why are so many people impoverished?
  • D&C 104:17. How do we decide when we have imparted enough of our portion of the Lord’s abundance to the poor?
  • D&C 104:18. This verse makes it obvious that we must impart our portion to the poor. How do we decide what that portion is?

Resources[edit]

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  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 104 is __.
  • D&C 104 was first published in __.
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Notes[edit]

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



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D&C 104:16-20

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  • D&C 104. The United Order was established by covenant to accomplish two things (1) provide for the temporal affairs of Zion and (2) care for the poor.

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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 104:11. What does this verse mean to us today, given that we are not presently required to live the Law of Consecration?
  • D&C 104:13. What are our stewardships and how do we account for them?
  • D&C 104:16. We must provide for the poor in the Lord’s way. What is that way as he describes it here?
  • D&C 104:16. What does it mean to exalt the poor and make the rich low?
  • D&C 104:17. If there is enough in the earth to spare, why are so many people impoverished?
  • D&C 104:17. How do we decide when we have imparted enough of our portion of the Lord’s abundance to the poor?
  • D&C 104:18. This verse makes it obvious that we must impart our portion to the poor. How do we decide what that portion is?

Resources[edit]

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Previous editions.

  • The oldest surviving copy of D&C 104 is __.
  • D&C 104 was first published in __.
  • D&C 104 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.
  • Changes to the text of D&C 104:

Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 104.

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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