Doctrine and Covenants 88: “Establish…a House of God” (August 9-15)

Upstairs room in the Newell K. Whitney store, where the School of the Prophets met

Spiritual learning and growth don’t just happen. They require sustained effort over time, and they therefore require structure. We need to establish appropriate spaces, schedules, and habits in order to learn about God and grow closer to Him.

In late 1832 and early 1833, when many church members had returned home from missionary service, Joseph Smith received a revelation which he characterized as an “olive leaf…plucked from the tree of paradise, the Lord’s message of peace to us” (Letter to W. W. Phelps, 11 January 1833). In this revelation, God instructed church leaders to establish an educational program, called “the School of the Prophets.” Here is an outline of the revelation:

  1. Doctrinal basis: An explanation of the relationship between light (knowledge) and law (appropriate behavior), and the role of both in our sanctification (v. 1-61).
  2. Call to action: An invitation to grow closer to God and to teach one another in preparation for additional missionary service (v. 62-86).
  3. Explanation of urgency: A prophecy of events leading to the Second Coming of the Savior, and beyond (v. 87-116).
  4. Practical guidance: Specific instructions on how to organize the school (v. 117-141).

Here are some blog posts relating to this revelation:

“That which is governed by law is also preserved by law.” (v. 21-22, 33-34)

  • The trials and temptations we face strengthen us and prepare us to receive celestial glory: Ye Would Be More Miserable – Mormon 9:4 (v. 22).
  • Like all gifts, the gifts we receive from God are ours to use and enjoy, but only if we are willing to receive them: “Every Good Gift” – Moroni 10:18 (v. 33).
  • God’s law isn’t so much something to live up to as something to grow into—a description of a better way to live which will bring us happiness as we learn to follow it: “My Law” (v. 34).

“Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you.” (v. 63-67)

“After your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes.” (v. 88-90)

“Seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (v. 118)

“Retire to thy bed early… Arise early.” (v. 124)

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