Talk:D&C 132:1-5

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Law vs. covenants[edit]

Joe, I like the question. Any thoughts on the answer? --Matthew Faulconer 05:08, 5 March 2007 (CET)

I've got a rough idea of how to approach these verses, but I'm not quite settled yet with them. I'm going to do some work right now on them. --71.115.204.114 15:08, 5 March 2007 (CET)
I would read "law" in general terms and "covenant" as a more specific case. Blessings come by obedience to laws, generally. Not all laws involve covenants, but all covenants are governed by laws (the "terms" of the covenant).--Rob Fergus 23:06, 5 March 2007 (CET)
Interesting thoughts, Rob. I actually came to this section in hopes of finding something like that, since in the OT it is the other way around (the covenant comes to Abraham, and the Law of Moses then works within that covenant, which is fulfilled in Christ, though the covenant remains open for a time; see 3 Ne 15:1ff), and I have the sense that something like what you're describing is at work here. I'm still wrestling with the language here, and, as you can see, I'm trying first to do some contextual work so that I know exactly how to approach the language. Any help on these verses from anybody would be quite helpful. Thanks. --Joe Spencer 15:37, 6 March 2007 (CET)

Bibliography for D&C background[edit]

Joe, what sources are you finding most helpful in doing contextual work? My library is very poor in terms of church history, what would you recommend looking at? Surely there are some books that are esp. helpful in terms of getting context for reading the D&C.

What's most interesting to me (rght now) is how the word covenant seems to be used differently here (or at least slightly differently) than in Genesis where God's promse to Abraham and extended specifically to Isaac (and not Ishmael) in a way that doesn't seem to imply conditionality (although it does seem that circumcision was a condition imposed early on in Gen 17).... --RobertC 18:47, 6 March 2007 (CET)

Robert, for contextual work.... Bushman's Rough Stone Rolling is a beautiful introduction to the history behind the D&C, and his bibliography is an almost inexhaustible resource: I use it constantly. But for a particular verse, I usually go to Lyndon Cook's The Revelations of Joseph Smith or Robert Woodford's Historical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants (this latter is a CD-ROM BYU Studies puts out for about $20). This is a very good site for background and primary sources. After that, you have to go into particular works. I've found it helpful to use LDS Gospel Library and The New Mormon Studies CD-ROM as searchable resources (for example, I searched in both of these for "1831" and "132" to find resources on the claim in the section heading, etc.). The latter of these is really a great source on history, because it has most of the important LDS books published by either Signature or the University of Illinois, up through... 1998 I believe. One must take what one finds there with a grain of salt, but it is certainly helpful.
At some point, I wrote up a bibliography of what I thought were the most important titles in studying the historical background of the D&C. I'll have to see if I can find it. --Joe Spencer 00:28, 7 March 2007 (CET)
Thanks Joe, this is very, very helpful. --RobertC 03:44, 7 March 2007 (CET)
I found the bibliography I had written up (buried on the desk). So here's brief list (with *'s by books that need to be read with an understanding that they are not necessarily favorable to the Church):
Sydney Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People
Harold Bloom, The American Religion
Richard Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling
Waterman, The Prophet Puzzle *
Kent Brown, The Historical Atlas of Mormonism
Michael Quinn, Origins of Power *
Jan Shipps, Mormonism (I very highly recommend this book!)
Scott Faulring, An American Prophet's Record
Dean Jessee, Personal Writings of Joseph Smith
Leonard Arrington, The Mormon Experience
Milton Backman, The Heavens Resound
Robison, The First Mormon Temple
Welch & Shipps, The Journals of William E. McLellin
The Book of Commandments
Andrew Ehat, The 1844 Succession Crisis, etc.
Leonard Arrington, Brigham Young
Ehat & Cook, Words of Joseph Smith
Don Colvin, The Nauvoo Temple
Lyndon Cook, The Revelations of Joseph Smith
Milton Backman, Joseph Smith and the Doctrine and Covenants
Robert Woodford, The Historical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants
Richard Anderson, Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses
Richard Anderson, Joseph Smith's New England Heritage
Regional Studies (a series of books by BYU)
Parley Pratt, Autobiography
Kirtland Revelation Book
Revelations in Addition to Those Found in the Doctrine and Covenants
Marvin Hill, Quest for Refuge
Grant Underwood, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism
Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magin Worldview *
B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History
And so on. There are obviously many, many more books than this. But this was the basic bibliography that I worked up for studying the three "periods" of Joseph Smith's prophetic "career" (1820-1830, 1830-1835, 1835-1844; or if you will, The Book of Mormon, The JST, and The Book of Abraham).

This list is great Joe, it'll keep my family, friends, and relative busy for several Christmases and birthdays to come (esp. b/c I have so few friends!). Another quick question that I keep wondering about that I think affects how we should read the JST and citations of the Bible: do we have any sense of how much Greek and Hebrew Joseph learned, and when? --RobertC 17:45, 8 March 2007 (CET)

Joseph began to study Hebrew and Greek (much more Hebrew than Greek) in January of 1836, two and a half years after he had "finished" the JST. Quite simply, original languages had nothing to do with it (he didn't even have Greek or Hebrew texts to work from until late 1835). That should help. --Joe Spencer 00:10, 9 March 2007 (CET)