Doctrine and Covenants 58-59: “Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause” (May 24-30)

Opening of Doctrine & Covenants 59 as it appeared in the Book of Commandments, published in 1833

Agency doesn’t mean doing what you want. It means being proactive in doing good: making decisions, taking initiative, and acting for ourselves instead of being acted upon.

Lehi taught this principle to his sons soon after arriving in their promised land. (See 2 Nephi 2:16, 26-30.) Likewise, as members of the church began arriving in their Zion—Independence, Missouri—in August, 1831, the Lord reinforced this principle in two revelations six days apart.

There are so many quotable passages in sections 58 and 59 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Let me share a few of my favorites with links to some relevant blog posts.

1. “After much tribulation come the blessings” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:4).

The Lord reassured church members that great blessings were in store for them: greater blessings than they could imagine. But He also made it clear that the blessings would only come “after much tribulation.”

2. “Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:21).

Eleven years before Joseph Smith wrote the Articles of Faith, the Lord revealed a key principle relating to earthly governments: His disciples respect and follow the law of the land.

3. “It is not meet that I should command in all things.” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:26-29).

Because we are agents, we shouldn’t have to be micromanaged.

4. “He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:42-43).

Repentance and forgiveness are key principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

5. “Crowned with blessings from above…and with commandments not a few” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:4).

We should be grateful when we receive instructions from God.

6. “That thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world…” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:9)

Sabbath worship helps us grow closer to God.

7. “In nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:21).

God expects His children to be grateful.

8. “He who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive…peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:23).

When we obey God’s commandments, we are blessed today and in the future.

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