The year 2017 promises to be a very exciting year for readers of BYU Studies Quarterly. With many challenges as well as positive developments happening around the world, we expect that our readers are on the constant lookout for solid information and commendable perspectives. The carefully written and rigorously peer-reviewed pages of this journal continue to offer new insights into old problems and to bring old wisdom to bear on new issues. With this in mind, my thoughts returned to the frequently cited section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
In December 1832, Joseph Smith and the Saints in the fledgling Church were faced with great perplexities shortly after Andrew Jackson had been elected to his second term as president of the United States. Among those perplexities were social and economic upheavals that would culminate in the Civil War, as Joseph prophesied on December 25, 1832 (see D&C 87). Not to be discouraged or dissuaded, Joseph revealed only two days later, on December 27, 1832, one of his most impressive and valuable revelations (see D&C 88). Offered to the Saints as an "olive leaf . . . plucked from the Tree of Paradise," this profound instruction was offered as "the Lord's message of peace to us" (introduction to D&C 88).