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Switch to Forum Live View The Doctrine and Covenants
6 years ago  ::  Feb 19, 2009 - 9:46AM #1
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,178
This years Sunday School Gospel Doctrine class is on the Doctrine and Covenant. I think a lot of non Mormons have no idea we have a third book of scripture and so if you are a non Mormon you might find this study a little interesting.

Many people can say they have read the Book of Mormon but not many the D&C.

You can read an on line version here;

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/contents

The Doctrine and Covenants is composed of revelations given to Joseph Smith beginning in the early 1820s to his death in 1844, plus one section dedicated to Joseph and Hyrum written by John Taylor, one section from Brigham Young, one from Joseph F. Smith and a couple of declarations.

I’m going to use two sources for our study here and of course anyone can add anything they would like. I’ll be using the class guide which can be found here;

[SIZE=4]http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=d7561b08f338c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=191a9207f7c20110VgnVCM100000176f620a[/SIZE]

[SIZE=4]This study guide is not in chronological order but more of a topic kind of discussion; if it discusses faith then it will draw from the whole of the D&C.


There is a companion guide which is a very condensed history of the Church but there doesn’t seem to be a link to it.

My second source is a book I’m crawling through by Joseph Fielding McConkie and Craig J. Ostler called Revelations of the Restoration. It’s 1158 pages long plus notes. They bring up bits of history and insight which has opened my mind a great deal. It’s like I’m seeing the larger picture.



I would like to keep this thread free from contention so I’m going to start a second thread for any negative feels, questions, concerns and derogatory debate which might come up.

But if you have any doctrinal question you would like to clarify or discuss please feel free to converse, speculate and broaden our discussion.
[/SIZE]
Wise men still seek him.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 19, 2009 - 9:51AM #2
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,178
To start with we need a little historical outline;

Joseph Smith was born in 1805 in Sharon Vermont and after a few moves his family bought some land in Palmyra New York in 1816. In the spring of 1820 in his fourteenth year he had his first vision of the Father and Son.

You can read more about this first vision here;

[SIZE=4]http://scriptures.lds.org/en/js_h/1[/SIZE]

[SIZE=4]And a number of articles about it here;[/SIZE]
[SIZE=4]http://www.fairlds.org/apol/ai063.html[/SIZE]

[SIZE=4]On Sept 21 1823 at the age of 17 Joseph has his first vision of the Angel Moroni.

Br. McConkie in his book points out to believe in the Bible is to believe in the ministering of angels. From Genesis to Revelations angels appeared unto chosen prophets of God and they declared God’s will to mankind.

John in Revelations 14 wrote;
[/SIZE]“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlastinggospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worshiphim that made heaven, and earth”


[SIZE=4]We Mormons feel that prophecy came to pass with the coming of the Angel Moroni to Joseph Smith and that is why you will see him atop our temples.

Over the next four years Moroni visited Joseph 3 more times that we know of. Each year he retuned to where the plates were hidden and was instructed further about the Gospel and what his role would be.

Then in Sept of 1827 he was given the plates and began his translation. With the help of Oliver Cowdrey and others the Book of Mormon was publish March of 1830.

The next 14 years of his life was full of trials and hardships. He was persecuted and reviled by the world but at the same time he was loved and honored by those who knew him best.

[/SIZE][SIZE=4]After his martyrdom John Taylor who was with him and wounded at Carthage wrote of him; [/SIZE]

[SIZE=4][/SIZE]Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. …he has brought forth the Book of Mormon … has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel…to the four quarters of the earth… has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, …for the benefit of the children of men;

….He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!”

It is this statement “has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.” which many non Mormons find puzzling and irritating.

[COLOR=black]As we go along here I hope to convey what Taylor’s point is but please focus on the “save Jesus only”. [/COLOR]
Wise men still seek him.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 19, 2009 - 9:55AM #3
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,178
Like the Book of Mormon is another witness of Christ so too is the Doctrine and Covenants.


D&C 76
“And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fulness … And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father…”


It is centered around Christ and teaches us of the covenants and promises of the New and Everlasting Covenant promised Jer 31

I will make a newcovenant with the house of Israel….. After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

McConkie writes;
“Of particular importance is the understanding that ours is a restored Church and as such binds us in faith and practice to the peoples of the Bible. Indeed, we are the true old-time religion”

We believe there was an apostasy or falling away as Paul put it in 2 Thess 2 from the truths and covenants taught by Christ and taught in the Bible. And we believe that through Joseph Smith the “restitution of all things” which Peter spoke of in Acts 3 came to be.

We also see ourselves as the gathering of Israel and the re-establishment of the covenant. The Old Testament teaches of a scattering of Israel and then a gathering in from the four quarters of the earth. The “Church” is that gathering in.

McConkie goes on;
“…we can not truly be a student of the Doctrine and Covenants without being a students of the Old and New Testament. In the Doctrine and Covenants many of the words of the prophets find fulfillment. As the New Testament is replete with prophecy from the Old Testament, is rendered in the language of the Old Testament, and stands in fulfillment of the Old Testament, so the revelations of the Doctrine and Covenants stand in relationship to the Bible. These revelations witness that the Bible is true and that all that has been spoken by God’s prophets will find fulfillment.”

The first section of the D&C is considered the “preface” and was given to Joseph Nov 1, 1831.

“O ye people, for what I the Lord have decreed in them shall be fulfilled. ….Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments; And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets— …my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled,…” D&C 1

So we are going to find a lot of quoting from both the Old and New Testaments within the D&C.
Wise men still seek him.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 19, 2009 - 9:58AM #4
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,178
This first section of the D&C is a good example

In Isa 49 Israel as a nation is speaking with quotes from Yahweh.

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; …And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified…the Lord that formed me .. to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength. …thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

There is announcement of fulfillment in at the very beginning of the D&C

Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the voice of him who dwells on high, and whose eyes are upon all men; yea, verily I say: Hearken ye people from afar; and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen together. For verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men…”

In vers 8 of Isaiah 49 the Lord makes this promise;
“Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;”


This promise says that although Israel feels forsaken and forgotten, (see vs. 14) the Lord will once again re-establish his covenant with them.


D&C 1 declares that although they have “strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant”, the situation is about to change.

“I the Lord, ….called upon my servant Joseph Smith… And …to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets….That faith also might increase in the earth; That mine everlasting covenant might be established; That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed ….” D&C 1
Wise men still seek him.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 21, 2009 - 12:00AM #5
Mattscar75
Posts: 559
This is one of my favorite passages in scripture and is found in Section 19 of the Doctrine and Covenants.  I think it truly gives a unique insight to the suffering that Jesus the Christ suffered to atone for our sins and how important it is to repent.

15 Therefore I command you to repent =repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by
my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to
bear you know not.
 
16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
 
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
 
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might bnot drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
 
19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and afinished my preparations unto the children of men.

20 Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power; and that you confess your sins, lest you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit.
"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice."   Black Elk
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 21, 2009 - 12:00AM #6
Mattscar75
Posts: 559
This is one of my favorite passages in scripture and is found in Section 19 of the Doctrine and Covenants.  I think it truly gives a unique insight to the suffering that Jesus the Christ suffered to atone for our sins and how important it is to repent.

15 Therefore I command you to repent =repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by
my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to
bear you know not.
 
16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
 
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
 
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might bnot drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
 
19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and afinished my preparations unto the children of men.

20 Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power; and that you confess your sins, lest you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit.
"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice."   Black Elk
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2009 - 10:03AM #7
Lookbeyond
Posts: 578
In light of the present turmoil in the world today, I am always encouraged by the scriptures. In particular I find optimism in D & C 1:30-39. How wonderful that the Lord is aware of our needs, the need for the restoration of truth in its fullness regarding the gospel and what is required of those who desire forgiveness. In these verses I feel the power of the Lord in His determination to bring about the salvation of each of us, and to help us avoid the suffering for our sins if we would repent!

In a world of religious confusion there is great confidence in knowing that the Lord is ultimately in charge, and all that He has spoken will come to pass and that we through our obedience and ability to recognize the Spirit of the Lord speaking, will be blesses and comforted in these troubled times. My faith is renewed and my confidence waxes strong in light of revealed truth in these last days!

It is wonderful to know there is a living Prophet upon the earth who leads and guides the Church of Jesus Christ, just as it was so anciently; and to know God has not forgotten us, even as it appears there are many who now deny or who have forgotten Him! As we study to learn truth and allow the Light of Christ within each of us begin to ignite, we can see more clearly as we enlarge upon our understanding the things of God......it requires our diligence in study, pondering and praying concerning the things we seek to understand!
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2009 - 4:14PM #8
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,178
As I read D&C 1 I was struck by this passage;

Unto the day when the Lord shall come to recompense unto every man according to his work, and measure to every man according to the measure which he has measured to his fellow man.

It corresponds with Mosiah 41

"Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.

For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all."

Kind of makes ya stop and think more about how we treat each other day in and day out.



“And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth”

That is in a sense a prophecy come true. The Church is not in obscurity any more.

In Isa 60 it says;
“For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.”

One of the question which came up in our Sunday school class was what does it mean by “true and living church”.

I crossed referenced to Tim 3

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth
Wise men still seek him.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2009 - 4:21PM #9
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,178
Matt
That is one of the passages which helped me finally gain a testimony of Christ. I was able to put the idea that mercy can not rob justice with this passage.

“For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer

Then I understood it was vicarious work which he did for us, sort of just put it together for me.
Wise men still seek him.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 27, 2009 - 3:21PM #10
Mattscar75
Posts: 559

Withwonderingawe,


Thank you for your post.  I really like those verses also. 


Here are some other verses that also that hold a special place to me. A few years ago these verses really hit me hard. I was not spiritually where I needed to be. I was kind of going through the motions, attending church and what not. I was not praying and reading scriptures and I didn't feel that the spirit was with me. I was reflecting on my life and where I was and where I wanted to be. I knew I needed to repent and do better and so forth. I had not been to the Temple in a couple of years. But I knew that I wanted to be a better example to my kids and my wife. I wanted to live up to the covenants I had made and I wanted to be a better instrument in the hands of Lord. So I was doing a lot of thinking and I read these verses and they really hit me. I remember this profoundly, I was in the shower and I was thinking about the part in these verses that talks about the salt that has lost its savor is thenceforth good for nothing and to cast out and trodden under foot. I felt like that was me if I didn't make an improvement and repent and become closer to God. I have always had a strong conviction of Temple work and genealogy work and missionary work for that matter. So I committed myself that I would do the things I needed to do to make my goals a reality. This and other things have really been really good help to me.

Doctrine & Covenants section 103: 9-12
9 For they were set to be a light unto the world, and to be the saviors of men;

10 And inasmuch as they are not the saviors of men, they are as salt that has lost its savor, and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.

11 But verily I say unto you, I have decreed that your brethren which have been scattered shall return to the lands of their inheritances, and shall build up the waste places of Zion.

12 For after much tribulation, ... cometh the blessing.

"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice."   Black Elk
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