1. "Introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History" | BYU Studies

1. "Introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History"

We hope BYU Studies will benefit your teaching and personal study of the Doctrine and Covenants in 2017. There are many new resources for the studying the Doctrine and Covenants that teachers and students can benefit from throughout the year, such as:

Joseph Smith Chronology, which presents Joseph's life in a sequence, with sources, created by BYU Studies. For this lesson, search

Correlation of Current Doctrine and Covenants with Earliest Sources on the Joseph Smith Papers Website, which presents early versions of the revelations, by the Joseph Smith Papers team.

Revelations in Context, with discussions of the history behind the revelations and the questions or issues that prompted the revelations, by the Church History Department.  

For this lesson, note that the title "Explanatory Introduction" was renamed "Introduction" in the 2013 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.

On the history of the creation of the Doctrine and Covenants, see "Publishing the Revelations," by the Joseph Smith Papers team.

On the Explanatory Introduction, see "The Explanatory Introduction: A Guide to the Doctrine and Covenants," by Craig K. Manscill,

On the history of Section 1 and the motif of journeys and ascension, see "The  Lord's Preface (D&C 1)," by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

On the history of Section 1, see "William McLellin's Five Questions," from Revelations in Context.

And the Historical Introduction of the 1 November 1831 revelation (Section 1), at Joseph Smith Papers.

On understanding the process of Joseph Smith receiving and recording revelations, see "That They Might Come to Understanding": Revelation as Process, by Steven C. Harper

On Church growth, here’s a chart comparing Church membership to number of temples, showing that (assuming the need of one temple per 100,000 members) the number of temples lagged until 2000. Twentieth-Century Temples, by Julia Parkinson

On the Lord being the author of the preface, see "Doctrine and Covenants as Literature," by Steven C. Walker, Encyclopedia of Mormonism. "Although a truly unique religious text, the Doctrine and Covenants contains more than 2,000 close parallels to biblical passages, and the literary manner of the book is similar to the Bible in subject matter."

On the Doctrine & Covenants being designed for the needs of our day,

"Doctrine and Covenants," by Roy W. Doxey, Encyclopedia of Mormonism

On understanding our dispensation,

"Dispensation of the Fulness of Times," by Rand H. Packer, Encyclopedia of Mormonism

For extracurricular study related to this lesson:  

On the dedication ceremony of the Salt Lake Temple, see "Photograph of Children Traveling to the Salt Lake Temple Dedication, 1893," by Richard N. Holzapfel and Marc A. Bohn

On the design of the Salt Lake Temple, see "Exterior Symbolism of the Salt Lake Temple: Reflecting the Faith That Called the Place into Being," by Richard G. Oman, with photos by John P. Snyder