Doctrine and Covenants 20-22: “The Rise of the Church of Christ” (March 1-7)

Screensthot from the film “A Day for the Eternities

On April 6, 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ was organized in the home of Peter Whitmer in Fayette, New York. In preparation for this event, Joseph Smith received a revelation with detailed instructions on how to administer the church. That revelation, which has been called “the Constitution of the Church,” contains information about:

During this inaugural meeting of the church, Joseph received a revelation reaffirming his role as the first elder of the church and reaffirming some of his spiritual gifts. The Lord instructed church members to receive his words as if they came directly from the Lord, “in all patience and faith” (Doctrine and Covenants 21:5).

Within days, a controversy arose. Even though the Lord had specified that people joining the church should be baptized (Doctrine and Covenants 20:37), some people who had previously been baptized wanted to become members of the church without being baptized again. Joseph prayed and received a revelation reaffirming the requirement of baptism for entry into the church. “Enter ye in at the gate, as I have commanded” said the Lord, “and seek not to counsel your God” (Doctrine and Covenants 22:4).

Here are lessons I have learned from these revelations:

2 thoughts on “Doctrine and Covenants 20-22: “The Rise of the Church of Christ” (March 1-7)

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  1. Glad you mentioned this: “The Lord instructed church members to receive his words as if they came directly from the Lord, “in all patience and faith.”

    It’s such a great reminder that while our church is directed by Christ through revelation, He is revealing His divine will to imperfect people. We need to put our faith in Christ, especially as He works through His woefully imperfect and weak servants. I know He has patience with us and am striving to follow His example in developing patience as I seek to strengthen my faith in Christ.

    >

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    1. It’s an important reminder. We need to be patient with one another and certainly to be patient with church leaders as the Lord reveals His will to them.
      And sometimes, we need to be patient with ourselves as we adapt to the revealed will of the Lord. Change is hard and sometimes doesn’t happen overnight.
      Thanks for the comment!

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