Doctrine and Covenants | BYU Studies

Doctrine and Covenants

Studies on Selected Sections of the Doctrine and Covenants

Author Various Authors,
This ebook contains articles from BYU Studies on a variety of topics related to the Doctrine and Covenants. Christopher C. Jones recounts research that has allowed us to identify the person addressed in D&C 39 (James Covel, not James Covill) and again referred to in section 40. Learning that Covel was a Methodist minister, not a Baptist, enabled Jones to learn a great deal about this formerly... Read more

The Bringing Forth of Modern Scriptures

Author Various Authors,
This ebook contains a variety of articles from BYU Studies on aspects of modern scripture. It begins with a series of four articles by the Joseph Smith Papers editors who were involved in publishing the Book of Commandments and Revelations, which contains the earliest version of several of Joseph Smith's revelations. Robert J. Woodford, Robin S. Jensen, Steven C. Harper, and Grant Underwood... Read more

The Great World of the Spirits of the Dead: Death, the Great War, and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic as Context for Doctrine and Covenants 138

Author George S. Tate,
Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918), sixth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, endured the sorrow of the deaths of many loved ones, including his parents and several children. Smith also felt the horror of World War I, and his sons served in American forces. In October 1918, Smith received a comforting vision of God's love and of Christ and saints ministering and preaching the... Read more

The Doctrine and Covenants by Themes: The Text of the Doctrine and Covenants Arranged Topically

Author John W. Welch,
The Doctrine and Covenants was meant to be read. It should be read often. Yet it is not easy for most people to get through. So here is a reader's edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. All of its passages have been organized by topic and formatted to enhance readability. From this thematic perspective, it is remarkable how readable this book really can be. We hope that the Doctrine and Covenants... Read more

A Study of the Text of Joseph Smith's Inspired Version of the Bible

This article examines the Inspired Version of the Bible translated by Joseph Smith, the first president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Matthews compares Joseph's Inspired Version with the Bernhisel Manuscript, which has never been published. He also illustrates how Joseph Smith's revision of the Bible was significant to the establishment of the church. Read more

The Textual Development of D&C 130:22 and the Embodiment of the Holy Ghost

The unique LDS doctrine of the embodiment of the Holy Ghost has a fascinating history. Ron Bartholomew looks at the text of Doctrine and Covenants 130: "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us." The text went through several... Read more

Dating the Birth of Christ

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has taken no official position on the exact date of Christ's birth. In his 1915 classic Jesus the Christ , Elder James E. Talmage maintained that Jesus Christ was born on April 6 in the year 1 BC. Talmage was apparently the first LDS writer to propose this particular date. Nearly a century has passed since his book appeared, and in that time it has... Read more

The Great World of the Spirits of the Dead: Death, the Great War, and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic as Context for Doctrine and Covenants 138

Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918), sixth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, endured the sorrow of the deaths of many loved ones, including his parents and several children. Smith also felt the horror of World War I, and his sons served in American forces. In October 1918, Smith received a comforting vision of God's love and of Christ and saints ministering and preaching the... Read more

Church Leaders in Liberty Jail

When war between the Latter-day Saints and "the Missouri mob" seemed inevitable in October 1838, five Church officials approached the camp of General Samuel D. Lucas, commander of the Missouri Militia, under a flag of truce to negotiate a settlement. The five were Joseph Smith, President of the Church; Sidney Rigdon, member of the First Presidency; Parley P. Pratt, member of the Council of Twelve... Read more

The Rich Man, Lazarus, and Doctrine & Covenants 104:18

Doctrine and Covenants (a scripture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) 104:13–18 explains the law of consecration by alluding to the New Testament story of Lazarus the beggar. The connection between the latter-day revelation and the New Testament parable is made more obvious by the use of the Latin word "dives" in the Kirtland Revelation Book. When the revelation was published, "... Read more

An Examination of the 1829 "Articles of the Church of Christ" in Relation to Section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants

The 1829 "Articles of the Church of Christ" is a little-known antecedent to section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants. This article explores Joseph Smith's and Oliver Cowdery's involvement in bringing forth these two documents that were important in laying the foundation for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Section 20 was originally labeled the "Articles and Covenants." It was the... Read more

Mormonism in the Methodist Marketplace: James Covel and the Historical Background of Doctrine and Covenants 39–40

Joseph Smith received two revelations in January 1831 (Doctrine and Covenants 39 and 40) directed to one "James Covill." Joseph and his scribes noted that Covill "had been a Baptist minister for about forty years." Historians discovered nothing about a Baptist minister named James Covill, but documents unearthed by the Joseph Smith Papers Project revealed that he was actually a Methodist minister... Read more

The Voice of the Prophet

Revelation is a vital and complex process and nowhere is its vitality and complexity more evident than in the Doctrine and Covenants. Steven C. Walker analyzes various forms of revelation and ways it has been received in all of scripture, particularly as received by Joseph Smith in the Doctrine and Covenants. The histories of the revelations within this powerful book of scripture in connection... Read more

Substituted Names in the Published Revelations of Joseph Smith

Until 1981, editions of the Doctrine and Covenants contained seven revelations with pseudonyms of individuals and places, thus cloaking original identities. These substituted names occur in all editions of the D&C from 1835 on, although the practice of bracketing the real names next to the substituted names began with the 1876 edition. By the 1921 edition almost all the real names had been... Read more

More Than an Index: The First Reference Guide to the Doctrine and Covenants as a Window into Early Mormonism

When the Doctrine and Covenants came off the press in Kirtland, Ohio, in September 1835, readers found two reference tools in the back of the book. The first, a three-page section titled "Index," is really more of a table of contents. It lists sequentially the seven lectures "of faith" and the 102 sections of "Part Second" found in that original edition, citing the page number where each begins... Read more

Revelations in Context: Joseph Smith's Letter from Liberty Jail, March 20, 1839

While Joseph Smith was in Liberty Jail, he wrote or dictated eight surviving letters. Four were addressed to Emma, his wife, and all of them display the sterling character of the Prophet Joseph under trials of the most extreme conditions imaginable. His letter of March 20, 1839, directed to the Saints and to Bishop Partridge in particular, is one of the most revealing and most significant letters... Read more

Revelations and Translations, Volume 1: Manuscript Revelation Books and Volume 2: Published Revelations

While the two volumes of the Revelations and Translations series of the Joseph Smith Papers should intrigue anyone interested in Church history, those particularly interested in the textual history of the Doctrine and Covenants will find them an absolute treasure. Volume 1 consists of verbatim transcriptions of the manuscript books known as Revelation Book 1 and Revelation Book 2, which contain... Read more

Textual Studies of the Doctrine and Covenants: The Plural Marriage Revelation

With the 2013 publication of the Gospel Topics essay addressing the introduction of polygamy in Nauvoo, Illinois, it was only a matter of time before commentaries would be written for mainstream Church members explicating the Joseph Smith revelation on celestial and plural marriage. William Victor Smith is the first to make the attempt in Textual Studies of the Doctrine and Covenants: The Plural... Read more

Foundations of the Restoration: Fulfillment of the Covenant Purposes

This volume is a collection of fifteen papers presented at the forty-fifth annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium, held in October 2016. The title and subject matter of the symposium were drawn from the LDS Institute course titled "Foundations of the Restoration," which explores the events surrounding the founding of the Church and early Mormonism. The editors, Craig James Ostler, Michael Hubbard... Read more

The Chronology of the Ohio Revelations

Close to one-half of the sections in the Doctrine and Covenants were given in Ohio. Many of these contained fundamental doctrines and principles which were of major importance in the development of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in its formative years. This article presents a table containing chronological information and detailed data on the Ohio revelations, as well as sections... Read more

The Newly Found Manuscript of Doctrine and Covenants Section 65

Among the papers of William E. McLellin recently discovered in the Church archives are handwritten copies of four revelations long included in the Doctrine and Covenants as sections 22, 45, 65, and 66. These texts, along with McLellin's six journals ranging from July 18, 1831, to June 6, 1836, will be published by BYU Studies in the near future in a supplementary volume. This note features... Read more