Doctrine and Covenants 23 to 26 – “Strengthen the Church”

Joseph Smith’s family and friends were eager to learn how they could help the Lord’s work. These sections are revelations directed to several people who were blessed and called to specific duties. Emma Smith’s call to select hymns resulted in two published hymn books.   

Doctrine and Covenants 23-26, Historical Resources 

This website provides background on these sections and links to Revelations in Context, including Joseph Smith’s Support at Home, on D&C 4, 11, 23, and “Thou Art an Elect Lady,” on D&C 24, 25, 26, 27. 

A Collection of Sacred Hymns, for the Church of the Latter Day Saints, 1835, Selected by Emma Smith, Joseph Smith Papers 

See the 1835 hymnbook, with a historical note explaining the history of the book and its printing. 

A Collection of Sacred Hymns for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1841, Selected by Emma Smith

See the 1841 hymnbook, with hymns selected by Emma Smith, containing 304 hymn texts, including “Amazing Grace” (hymn 118, page 126) and “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” (hymn 76, page 85). 

“Doctrines of Faith and Hope Found in Emma Smith’s 1835 Hymnbook,” Mary D. Poulter, BYU Studies, Vol. 37, no. 2

Emma Smith was assigned to compile hymn texts for the first Latter-day Saint hymnbook. The texts she chose provide a window through which we can view the hopes, beliefs, and convictions of the early Latter-day Saints. Featured doctrines are agency, evangelism, baptism by immersion, the Second Coming and the Millennium, the Creation, the Restoration, and the City of Enoch and the establishment of Zion.

“Emma Smith’s 1841 Hymnbook,” Michael Hicks, Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture 21, 1 (2012).  

After Emma Smith received the Lord’s instruction in 1830 to select sacred hymns, she gradually made her selection. Installments were published in the Evening and the Morning Star beginning in 1832. A hymnbook was dated 1835 but actually printed in 1836 containing ninety hymn texts selected by Emma Smith, mostly not original to this book. This article tells about the many complications that arose before a second hymnbook with hymns selected by Emma Smith was printed in 1841. It also discusses the character of Emma’s selections, which dwell on revivalist themes such as grace and redemption.