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Doctrine & Covenants – Lesson 1

Introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History

Taught By Jeff Stone

January 4, 2009

Scriptures:

D&C 1; Our Heritage introduction

Lesson Introduction:

The whole point of this lesson is to just basically introduce the course material for the year. The three major points of the lesson are:

  • How does The D&C Apply to Us?
  • Evidence of the Divinity of the Book.
  • What’s the Purpose of The D&C?

The lessons will be in chronological order historically, and not necessarily the order of the D&C sections. Also, some of the sections will not be covered in the lessons, so it’s a good idea to stay up with the reading assignments and see what is skipped during class so that you can read the entire D&C throughout the year. This course for the year will cover 6 periods of history in this Dispensation:

  • New York Period (1820–1830)
  • Ohio-Missouri Period (1831–1838)
  • Nauvoo Period (1839–1846)
  • Pioneering the West (1846–1898)
  • Expansion of the Church (1899–1950)
  • The Worldwide Church (1951–present)
How Does The D&C Apply to Us:

Reading the Explanatory Introduction of the D&C, we learn much about the purpose of the D&C. Particularly in Paragraphs 3, 6, and 8 we learn how the book applies to us, the fact that much of the book was written as answers to prayers, and a list of some of the many doctrines that are explained and taught is given.

http://www.gospel-doctrine.com/images/ezra_taft_benson.jpgPresident Ezra Taft Benson, the 13th President of the Church, explained that the Doctrine and Covenants can be described as the capstone of our religion:

“The Doctrine and Covenants brings men to Christ’s kingdom, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ‘the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth’ [D&C 1:30].

“The Book of Mormon is the ‘keystone’ of our religion, and the Doctrine and Covenants is the capstone, with continuing latter-day revelation. The Lord has placed His stamp of approval on both the keystone and the capstone” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1987, 105; or Ensign, May 1987, 83).

Evidence of the Divinity of The D&C:

President Ezra Taft Benson said: “The Doctrine and Covenants is the only book in the world that has a preface written by the Lord Himself. In that preface He declares to the world that His voice is unto all men (see D&C 1: 2), that the coming of the Lord is nigh (see D&C 1:12), and that the truths found in the Doctrine and Covenants will all be fulfilled (see D&C 1: 37–38)” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 101; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 79).

Purpose of The D&C:

The first section of the D&C covers a variety of subjects that are part of the purpose of the Doctrine and Covenants.

  • “That every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world” (D&C 1:20).
  • “That faith also might increase” (D&C 1:21).
  • “That mine everlasting covenant might be established” (D&C 1:22).
  • “That the fullness of my gospel might be proclaimed” (D&C 1:23).
  • To help the Lord’s servants “come to understanding” (D&C 1:24).
  • “And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known” (D&C 1:25).
  • “And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed” (D&C 1:26).
  • “And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent” (D&C 1:27).
  • “And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time” (D&C 1:28).
Conclusion:

We are living in the final days… the dispensation of the fulness of times. With that gift comes a great responsibility to move the work of The Lord forward through the three-fold mission of the church:

  • Proclaim The Gospel
  • Perfect The Saints
  • Redeem The Dead

In other words, missionary work!