- Doctrine and Covenants 85-87: “Stand Ye in Holy Places” (August 2-8)
Between November and December 1832, Joseph Smith received specific revelation about multiple topics:
- CHURCH ADMINISTRATION (Doctrine and Covenants 85): How to manage inheritances for church members who refused to consecrate their properties. The Lord answered the question while clarifying the duties of the clerk, including the responsibility for accurate record-keeping.
- SCRIPTURAL INTERPRETATION (Doctrine and Covenants 86): The meaning of the parable of the wheat and tares. (See Matthew 13:24-30.) The Lord explained the meaning of the symbols in the parable, and then related those symbols to us. It is important for us to be patient. Many injustices won’t be resolved until later.
- POLITICAL TURMOIL (Doctrine and Covenants 87): What to do about the Nullification Crisis, a standoff between the state of South Carolina and the federal government of the United States which dominated headlines at the time. The Lord explained that war would come but reiterated the principle that His disciples should “stand…in holy places, and be not moved.”
Here are some blog posts relating to some of the major themes of these sections:
- Remembering spiritual experiences strengthens our faith: Record-keeping.
- A written record of our lives can help us see the hand of the Lord more clearly: What Is the “Book of Remembrance” Mentioned by Malachi?
- Taking the time and making the effort to record a spiritual experience is a way of showing that it is important to us: Bring Forth the Record Which Ye Have Kept – 3 Nephi 23:7-9.
- Waiting is a key component of discipleship: “They Shall Not Be Ashamed That Wait for Me” – 1 Nephi 21:23, 2 Nephi 6:7.
- We should be eager to do God’s work but also willing to submit to the Lord’s timing: Until the Time Should Come.
- As we share the gospel with others, we need to slow down, pay attention to their needs and abilities, and remember that learning takes time: Ye Shall Be Patient – Alma 17:11.
- Our homes can be places of refuge and peace in a troubled world: Holy Places.
- The ultimate goal of creating sacred spaces is for us to become more holy: A House of Prayer.
- Every home can be a place where the Spirit of the Lord dwells: Upon Every Dwelling Place – 2 Nephi 14:5.
- Those who recognize the importance of the temple are eager to visit: The Mountain of the Lord’s House – 2 Nephi 12:2-3.
The prophet Isaiah foretold a time when every home would be a holy place: And the Lord will create upon every dwelling-place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory of Zion shall be a defence. And there shall be… Continue Reading →
In one of the Savior’s parables, a farmer plants wheat in his field. In the middle of the night when no one is watching, his enemy plants tares in the same field. A tare is “an injurious weed resembling wheat when young” (Oxford English Dictionary). When the farmer’s servants realize what has happened, they ask… Continue Reading →
During a particularly discouraging time, the prophet Elijah traveled to Mount Horeb, the same place Moses had seen the burning bush. In a cave on that mountain, he prayed, expressing frustration for his lack of success. In response, God told him to step out of the cave onto the side of the mountain. Standing there,… Continue Reading →
In a revelation about priesthood which Joseph Smith received in 1832, there is a passage that is commonly known as the oath and covenant of the priesthood. Here is the first part of that passage: Whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies…. Continue Reading →
God can not only reveal information to us; He can also help us improve our ability to acquire knowledge and to use it wisely. The prophet Mormon indicated that we already have these abilities: “The Spirit of Christ is given to every man [and woman], that he [or she] may know good from evil” (Moroni… Continue Reading →
The Lord told Isaiah to preach the gospel whole-heartedly, holding nothing back. “Cry aloud,” He said, “spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet” (Isaiah 58:1). In another passage, he instructs the children of Israel to prepare for massive growth and prosperity: Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the… Continue Reading →
It’s good to be prepared and conscientious, but it’s also important to make room for other people to serve. When Jesus called seventy missionaries and sent them out, two by two, to preach the gospel, He instructed them to travel lightly. “Carry neither purse, nor scrip,” He said, “nor [extra pair of] shoes.” He told… Continue Reading →
The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years before they were ready to enter the promised land. God was ready to help them enter that land long before they were ready to receive His assistance. One of the psalms quotes God looking back on that time: Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people… Continue Reading →
In 1832, the Lord invited church members to receive priesthood ordinances, explaining that “the power of godliness is manifest” in them (Doctrine and Covenants 84:20). An ordinance is “a sacred, formal act or ceremony performed by the authority of the priesthood” (Gospel Topics, “Ordinances”). Some examples of ordinances are baptism, confirmation, the temple endowment, and… Continue Reading →
In April 1832, the Lord provided specific instructions to the church on caring for those “who have lost their husbands or fathers.” If they lack the resources to support themselves, the combined resources of the church—the Lord’s storehouse—is available to them. “The storehouse shall be kept by the consecrations of the church,” He said; “and widows and… 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.