- Doctrine and Covenants 67-70: “Worth…the Riches of the Whole Earth” (June 21-27)
In November 1831, church leaders in Kirtland decided to publish a collection of revelations received by Joseph Smith. This new publication would be called The Book of Commandments. During that month, church leaders met multiple times and Joseph received several new revelations related to the project:
- On Tuesday, November 1, the Lord provided a preface for the new book (Doctrine and Covenants 1).
- The same day, the Lord affirmed that words inspired by the Holy Ghost are scripture. He encouraged church leaders to share His words with the world and with their own families (Doctrine and Covenants 68).
- On November 3, the Lord provided another revelation to complete the book, which they called the Appendix (Doctrine and Covenants 133).
- Early in the month, in response to some criticism about the text of the revelations, the Lord reaffirmed that these words were from Him. He challenged critics to write something comparable if they could (Doctrine and Covenants 67). William E. McClellan reportedly made an attempt, failed miserably, and subsequently acknowledged that the revelations were true. (See Revelations in Context: William McLellin’s Five Questions.)
- On Tuesday, November 8, Sidney Rigdon explained to church leaders that there were multiple ways errors could be introduced into the written text of the revelations. Joseph Smith agreed to review the written text and “correct those errors or mistakes which he may discover by the Holy Spirit” (“Minute Book 2,” p. 16, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed June 20, 2021, https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/minute-book-2/18).
- On Friday, November 11, the Lord instructed John Whitmer to accompany Oliver Cowdery to Missouri with the manuscript, where it would be printed. The Lord said that it was better for Oliver not to bear this responsibility alone (Doctrine and Covenants 69).
- The following day, the Lord referred to church leaders as “stewards over the revelations and commandments” which He had given. He said, “An account of this stewardship will I require of them in the day of judgment” (Doctrine and Covenants 70).
- At a special conference that same day, church leaders collectively referred to the new book as “the foundation of the Church, and the salvation of the world, and the keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom, and the riches of Eternity to the church.” They further stated that they considered these revelations to be “worth to the Church the riches of the whole earth” (“Minute Book 2,” p. 18, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed June 20, 2021, https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/minute-book-2/20, spelling normalized).
Here are some lessons I have learned from these revelations, with relevant blog posts:
- When you make a commitment or set a goal, “continue in patience” until you have accomplished the goal (Doctrine and Covenants 67:13-14): 1 Nephi 3:15 We Will Not Go Down…Until We Have Accomplished the Thing Which the Lord Commanded Us.
- The words of Christ are any words spoken by the power of the Holy Ghost (Doctrine and Covenants 68:4): Feast Upon the Words of Christ – 2 Nephi 32:3.
- Parents have the privilege and the responsibility to teach the gospel by example and by testimony to their children (Doctrine and Covenants 68:25): Ye Have Grieved Their Hearts – Jacob 3:10.
- We should avoid becoming too attached to our possessions and instead focus on obtaining “the riches of eternity” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:31): The Lord Had Blessed Them So Long – Helaman 6:17.
Shortly after encouraging us to seek wisdom from God, James explains why He is the best source of truth: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17 With the twin imagery of gifts and light, James emphasizes that God is the ultimate source of… Continue Reading →
There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches. Proverbs 13:7 The prophet Jacob counseled his people to prioritize heavenly blessings over earthly ones: “Before ye seek for riches,” he said, “seek ye for the kingdom of God” (Jacob 2:18). The Savior urged us all not to spend time and energy accumulating “treasures upon earth,… Continue Reading →
Isaiah prophesied of a time when the children of Israel would be delivered from bondage and would gather to Zion. This would not only be a day of joy; it would be the beginning of an eternity of joy: The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness,… Continue Reading →
At the Last Supper, when the meal was finished, Jesus washed the feet of each of His apostles, apparently without explaining why. When it was Peter’s turn, he refused to allow the Savior to wash his feet. Jesus responded, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” Peter responded impulsively: “Lord, not my feet… Continue Reading →
When 25-year-old William E. McLellin asked Joseph Smith for guidance in October of 1831, his life was in transition. His wife of two years, Cynthia Ann, had died. He had met some missionaries and joined the church just two months earlier. Now, he wanted to know what was next. In the revelation Joseph received in… Continue Reading →
Yesterday, I wrote about King David’s final sermon, in which he acknowledged God’s power and glory. Earlier in that sermon, he had a message for his son, Solomon, who was to succeed him as king: And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a… Continue Reading →
Near the end of King David’s life, he called together all the leaders of his people, announced that his son Solomon would be king, and urged them to build the temple under Solomon’s leadership. The people willingly donated the materials required to construct it. While the congregation was still together, David offered a prayer which… Continue Reading →
In the Sermon on the Mount, the Savior gave us an example of an effective prayer. Today, we refer to it as the Lord’s Prayer. It was recorded by Matthew (Matthew 6:9–13) and by Luke (Luke 11:1–4), with some differences between the two versions. Jesus also delivered this sermon on the American continent, and so… Continue Reading →
Immediately after prophesying of the destruction of the wicked and the gathering of Israel, Isaiah proclaims the coming of the Messiah: And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: Isaiah 11:1, 2 Nephi 21:1 Isaiah often writes in synonymous parallelisms, saying the same thing twice using different words. Jesus… Continue Reading →
Jesus said, “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36). The word “idle” in this passage suggests carelessness or thoughtlessness. The speakers may not have intended to cause harm, but should have known better than to say what they did. A little more caution and restraint could have prevented the damage…. Continue Reading →
The ancient prophet Jeremiah bemoaned the spiritual state of his people, which he attributed to two poor decisions: Forsaking “the fountain of living waters” Building for themselves “cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13, Jeremiah 17:13) Lehi, who was a contemporary of Jeremiah, had a dream in which he saw the tree… Continue Reading →
In March, 2019, I studied 20 different names or titles of Jesus Christ which appear in the Book of Mormon. I was particularly interested in the way each name was used, both in the Book of Mormon and in the Bible.
In 2018, I wrote summaries of many of the sermons in the Book of Mormon. Each summary describes the setting, the purpose, an outline of the sermon’s content, and my takeaways from the sermon.
In 2019, I used the Book of Mormon to study 365 questions—one per day. Here is a list of those questions, grouped by category, with a link to the blog post for each question.