In September 1830, a few days before the second conference of the church, a group of nine church members met with Joseph Smith to ask some doctrinal questions which had arisen from their study of the Book of Mormon. They wondered when and how Zion, or the New Jerusalem, would be established. They also wanted to know more about the Fall of Adam and the nature of spiritual death. During the meeting, in response to these inquiries, Joseph Smith received the revelation contained in Doctrine and Covenants 29. (See Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers, Doctrine and Covenants 29.) Here are some of the doctrines discussed in that revelation, along with some relevant blog posts for each:
1. Jesus Christ will gather His elect (v. 1-8).
- The Savior’s love for us is constant: How Oft Will I Gather You – 3 Nephi 10:4-6.
- We can all participate in the Savior’s work of gathering: What Is the Gathering of Israel?
2. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ will be a time of judgment (v. 9-13).
- The Book of Mormon and the temple can refine and purify us so that we will be ready to meet Him when He comes: What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
- Our mission is to help establish Zion (the kingdom of God) on the earth, so that we will be prepared to receive Zion (the kingdom of God) when it comes down from heaven: “Bring Forth My Zion” – 1 Nephi 13:37.
3. Natural disasters and other difficulties will precede the Savior’s Second Coming (v. 14-21).
- We must build our foundation on the gospel of Jesus Christ, so that we are not shaken when we experience disruptive challenges: The Sun Shall Be Darkened – 2 Nephi 23:9-11.
- Adversity can turn our hearts toward God: I Will Shake the Heavens – 2 Nephi 23:13-14.
4. After the Millennium, the earth will be replaced by a new earth (v. 22-25).
- Despite the entropy and erosion which seem to be the natural state of the world, God will one day renew the world and make it incorruptible: “A New Heaven and a New Earth” – Ether 13:9.
5. All people will be resurrected and judged (v. 26-29).
- In a world of change and decay, we can be grateful for the promise of permanence and durability: What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About the Resurrection?
- Christ has the ability to fix things that aren’t right, including physical, emotional, and spiritual conditions: Redeemed, Reunited, Restored, Resurrected – Alma 11:40-45.
- At the Final Judgment, we will be with those who have helped us prepare: Will We Be Judged by the Apostles?
6. All of God’s commandments are spiritual; none are temporal (v. 30-35).
- Our temporal decisions and activities have eternal significance: 1 Nephi 22:1-3 Things Both Temporal and Spiritual.
7. Adam transgressed God’s commandment and was cast out of the Garden of Eden (v. 36-41).
- Adam and Eve’s decision gives us the opportunity to experience joy and to progress toward our divine potential:Why Did Adam and Eve Have to Break a Commandment of God? – 2 Nephi 2:15-25
- The Fall of Adam and Eve was intended to place us in a state where we could learn to experience joy: What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Happiness?
8. His death was postponed, to give him an opportunity to learn and repent (v. 42-45).
- The Fall separated us from God’s presence, giving us an opportunity to prepare for our return: A Spiritual Death – Alma 42:9-10.
- Every day in mortality, we have an opportunity to prove ourselves and to improve ourselves: What Is a “Probationary State?”