The book originally contained two parts: a sequence of lectures setting forth basic church doctrine, followed by a compilation of important revelations, or "covenants" of the church: thus the name "Doctrine and Covenants". The remaining portion of the book contains revelations on numerous topics, most of which were dictated by the movement's founder Joseph Smith , supplemented by materials periodically added by each denomination.
Controversy has existed between the two largest denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement over some sections added to the LDS edition, attributed to founder Smith. The Doctrine and Covenants was first published in as a later version of the Book of Commandments , which had been partially printed in This earlier book contained 65 early revelations to church leaders, including Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Before many copies of the book could be printed, the printing press and most of the printed copies were destroyed by a mob in Missouri.
On September 24, , a committee was appointed by the general assembly of the church to organize a new volume containing the most significant revelations. Williams , began to review and revise numerous revelations for inclusion in the new work. The committee eventually organized the book into two parts: a "Doctrine" part and a "Covenants" part.
The "Doctrine" part of the book consisted of a theological course now called the " Lectures on Faith ". The lectures were a series of doctrinal courses used in the School of the Prophets which had recently been completed in Kirtland, Ohio. According to the committee, these lectures were included in the compilation "in consequence of their embracing the important doctrine of salvation.
These revelations were said to "contain items or principles for the regulation of the church, as taken from the revelations which have been given since its organization, as well as from former ones. Thus, the sections of the original work were numbered only to On February 17, , after the committee had selected the book's contents, the committee wrote that the resulting work represents "our belief, and when we say this, humbly trust, the faith and principles of this society as a body.
The book was first introduced to the church body in a general conference on August 17, Smith and Williams, two of the Presiding Elders on the committee, were absent, but Cowdery and Rigdon were present.
The church membership at the time had not yet seen the Doctrine and Covenants manuscript as it had been compiled and revised solely by the committee; however, various church members who were familiar with the work "bore record" of the book's truth. At the end of the conference, the church "by a unanimous vote" agreed to accept the compilation as "the doctrine and covenants of their faith" and to make arrangements for its printing. Together the LDS Church's scriptures are referred to as the " standard works ".
The LDS Church's version of the Doctrine and Covenants is described by the church as "containing revelations given to Joseph Smith, the Prophet, with some additions by his successors in the Presidency of the Church.
The following sections are not revelations, but letters, reports, statements, and other similar documents: , , —, , , and Official Declarations 1 and 2. In , the church added eight sections not included in the edition.
In the current edition, these added sections are numbered , , , , , , , and In , a new LDS Church edition renumbered most of the sections in a roughly chronological order instead of the earlier topical order, and included 26 sections not included in previous editions, now numbered as sections 2, 13, 77, 85, 87, —, —, —, , , —, and Previous editions had been divided into verses with the early versifications generally following the paragraph structure of the original text.
It was with the edition that the currently used versification was first employed. During the s, five foreign editions contained two revelations to John Taylor that were received in and ; these revelations "set in order" the priesthood, gave more clarification about the roles of priesthood offices—especially the seventy —and required "men who In , a small volume edited by apostle James E.
Talmage titled Latter-day Revelations was published, which was a highly edited selective version of the Doctrine and Covenants. Talmage wrote that the book's purpose was "to make the strictly doctrinal parts of the Doctrine and Covenants of easy access and reduce its bulk" by including only "the sections comprising scriptures of general and enduring value".
Grant ordered the withdrawal of the book from sale with the remaining copies shredded in order to "avoid further conflict with the fundamentalists". Sections and were added to the LDS Church's edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, which is the edition currently in use by the church. These were accounts of two visions, one from Joseph Smith in and the other from his nephew, Joseph F.
Smith , in The revelations were earlier accepted as scripture when added to the Pearl of Great Price in April The Official Declaration 1 ended the church-authorized practice of plural marriage, and the Official Declaration 2 announces the opening of priesthood ordination to all worthy male members without regard to race or color.
The two Official Declarations are not revelations, but they serve as the formal announcements that a revelation was received. In neither case is the revelation included in the Doctrine and Covenants.
In , section from the edition and subsequent printings was removed. Section was a "Statement on Marriage" as adopted by an conference of the church,   and contained the following text:.
Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife, and one woman but one husband, except in the case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. This section was removed because it had been superseded by section of the modern LDS edition, recorded in , which contains a revelation received by Joseph Smith on eternal marriage and plural marriage , the principles of which can be dated to as early as In , the LDS Church removed the " Lectures on Faith " portion of the book, with an explanation that the lectures "were never presented to nor accepted by the Church as being otherwise than theological lectures or lessons".
2 Nephi 30:3
Until , editions of the book used code names for certain people and places in those sections that dealt with the United Order. The LDS edition replaced these with the real names, relegating the code names to footnotes. The Community of Christ edition still uses the code names.
Officials of the Community of Christ formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints first published an edition of the Doctrine and Covenants in , based on the previous edition.
A general conference of the church in approved a resolution that declared that the revelations of the Prophet-President Joseph Smith III had equal standing to those previously included in the work. Since that time, the church has continued to add sections to its edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, containing the revelations of succeeding Prophet—Presidents.
The most recent addition was formally authorized on April 14, , after being presented to the church for informal consideration on January 17, The numbers of the sections and versification differ from the edition published by the LDS Church and both modern editions differ from the original edition numeration.
Regarding the contents of the Doctrine and Covenants, the church has stated: "As with other books of scripture, the various passages vary in their enduring quality. The following sections are not revelations, but letters, reports, statements, and other similar documents: 99, A, —, and Based on the above, the number of revelations accounting for sections that are not revelations presented by each Community of Christ president, are as follows:.
The Community of Christ removed the "Lectures on Faith" in The World Conference concluded that several sections that had been added between the and editions—mainly dealing with the subjects of temple worship and baptism for the dead —had been published without proper approval of a church conference.
As a result, the World Conference removed sections , , , , and to a historical appendix, which also includes documents that were never published as sections. Of these, only section was a revelation. The World Conference of subsequently removed the entire appendix from the Doctrine and Covenants.
Section A contained the minutes of a business meeting, which, because of its historical nature, was moved to the Introduction in the s. After , the Introduction was updated, and what was section A was removed entirely. The ongoing additions to the Community of Christ edition provide a record of the leadership changes and doctrinal developments within the denomination.
When W. Grant McMurray became Prophet-President, he declared that instruction specific to leadership changes would no longer be included, so that the focus of the work could be more doctrinal in nature, and less administrative.
The record of these leadership changes are still maintained in the form of published "letters of counsel. Veazey has conformed to this pattern. Although these letters are not formally published in the Doctrine and Covenants, they are still deemed to be inspired, and are dealt with in the same manner that revelations are that is, they must be deliberated and approved by the voting members of a World Conference.
The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants
A modern revelation that resulted in some "disaffection" and "led to intense conflict in scattered areas of the RLDS Church"  : is contained in the Community of Christ version's section , presented by Prophet—President Wallace B. Smith and added in , which called for the ordination of women to the priesthood and set out the primary purpose of temples to be "the pursuit of peace".
While some of the prose in the new revelations seems designed to guide the denomination on matters of church governance and doctrine, others are seen as inspirational.
One such example can be cited from section , presented as counsel to the church by W. Grant McMurray in "Become a people of the Temple—those who see violence but proclaim peace, who feel conflict yet extend the hand of reconciliation, who encounter broken spirits and find pathways for healing.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Strangite uses the edition that was published in Nauvoo, Illinois ; this version is virtually identical to the edition.
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Most recently a facsimile reprint was produced for the church at Voree, Wisconsin by Richard Drew in The Church of Christ Temple Lot contends that the thousands of changes made to the original revelations as published in the Book of Commandments including the change of the church's name are not doctrinal and result from Joseph Smith's fall from his original calling.
The Church of Jesus Christ Cutlerite accepts the edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, including the Lectures on Faith, which it insists are as much inspired as the revelations themselves.
It includes any sections authored by Joseph Smith.
The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion
Unless otherwise specified, the document is styled a "revelation" of the person delivering it. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Roberts ed. History of the Church 2 — Retrieved Bringhurst and Craig L. Foster eds.
The book of mormon and the doctrine and covenants benson
Harris, "Foreword" in James E. Talmage , Articles of Faith 1st ed. Ensign : May Revision by Denver Snuffer Jr. March This numbering error was corrected in the Nauvoo edition, thus changing the number of all subsequent sections.
Doctrine and Covenants
Community of Christ. Retrieved 19 December Christianity portal Latter Day Saint movement portal. Latter Day Saint movement. Latter Day Saints Portal.
President List Russell M. Category Latter Day Saint movement portal.