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D&C Origins


rureal.2

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I'm not sure what lecture you are speaking of, but as to 'what happened to the doctrine part of the D&C,' the answer is "nothing, it's still very much in there".

Some thoughts on the changes that were made to the D&C over the years from articles on FAIR-

"The Saints have never believed in inerrant prophets or inerrant scripture. The editing and modification of the revelations was never a secret; it was well known to the Church of Joseph's day, and it has been discussed repeatedly in modern Church publications, as well as extensive studies in Masters' and PhD theses at BYU.

If Joseph could receive the Doctrine and Covenants by revelation, then he could also receive revelation to improve, modify, revise, and expand his revelatory product. The question remains the same—was Joseph Smith a prophet? If he was, then his action is completely legitimate. If he was not, then it makes little difference whether his pretended revelations were altered or not.

and

"Many Revelations Were Later Revised by Joseph Smith through Inspiration. Over the course of the first five years of the Church, Joseph and others under his direction made changes and corrections to some of the early revelation texts in an attempt to more closely portray the intent of the revelation. Other times, especially as the revelations were being prepared for publication, Joseph was inspired to update the contents of the revelations to reflect a growing Church structure and new circumstances. At times this process resulted in substantial additions to the original text. As early as November 1831, a Church conference resolved that “Joseph Smith Jr. correct those errors or mistakes which he may discover by the Holy Spirit while reviewing the revelations and commandments and also the fullness of the scriptures.”

—Gerrit Dirkmaat, "Great and Marvelous Are the Revelations of God," Ensign (January 20130"

Hopefully that helps in your search for truth.

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I'm not sure what lecture you are speaking of, but as to 'what happened to the doctrine part of the D&C,' the answer is "nothing, it's still very much in there".

The Lectures on Faith were included as part of the D&C until the 1921 edition. I believe that the churches reasoning for removing them was that, although they were beneficial for study, they were not revelation like the rest of the D&C and had never been officially canonized by the church. I have also heard it said that they contain a few errors. Someone please check me on this.

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The Lectures on Faith were included as part of the D&C until the 1921 edition. I believe that the churches reasoning for removing them was that, although they were beneficial for study, they were not revelation like the rest of the D&C and had never been officially canonized by the church. I have also heard it said that they contain a few errors. Someone please check me on this.

Ah, got it.

This is what FAIR says on that subject-

"The Church removed the Lectures from the Doctrine and Covenants in the 1921 edition with an explanation that the Lectures "were never presented to nor accepted by the Church as being otherwise than theological lectures or lessons". [5] This is in contrast to the remaining pages of the original Doctrine and Covenants which are officially recognized as divine revelation given specifically to the church.

Joseph Fielding Smith said the following concerning their removal:

a) They were not received as revelations by the prophet Joseph Smith.

b) They are instructions relative to the general subject of faith. They are explanations of this principle but not doctrine.

c) They are not complete as to their teachings regarding the Godhead. More complete instructions on the point of doctrine are given in section 130 of the 1876 and all subsequent editions of the Doctrine and Covenants.

d) It was thought by Elder James E. Talmage, chairman, and other members of the committee who were responsible for their omission that to avoid confusion and contention on this vital point of belief, it would be better not to have them bound in the same volume as the commandments or revelations which make up the Doctrine and Covenants. [6]

Even hostile readers in 1838 understood that there was a distinct difference between the Lectures and the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants:

The first part [of the D&C] contains seven lectures on Faith, but the second is of most importance, containing what are termed, “Covenants and Commandments of the Lord, to his servants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.” This part includes one hundred and two sections, ninety-seven of which are occupied by as many professed revelations.[7]

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To be fair, the Lectures on Faith did make up the "Doctrine" specifically referred to in the title, with the revelation texts being the "Covenants", or as they were referred to in 1833, the "Commandments". (the revelation texts are generally referred to as both covenants and commandments, as well as revelations). It is sort of ironic that the title was changed partly to note the presence of the doctrinal lectures, only to have them removed, but the title remain!

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To be fair, the Lectures on Faith did make up the "Doctrine" specifically referred to in the title, with the revelation texts being the "Covenants", or as they were referred to in 1833, the "Commandments". (the revelation texts are generally referred to as both covenants and commandments, as well as revelations). It is sort of ironic that the title was changed partly to note the presence of the doctrinal lectures, only to have them removed, but the title remain!

That is a little ironic.

It seems likely that those involved with the change believed that the lectures were not the ONLY doctrine contained in the book, so believed that the name could safely remain the same, even with the lectures removed.

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Did they remove Lectures because it notes that God is spirit?

"We here observe that God is the only supreme governor and independent being in whom all fullness and perfection dwell; who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; without beginning of days or end of life; and that in him every good gift and every good principle dwell; and that he is the Father of lights; in him the principle of faith dwells independently, and he is the object in whom the faith of all other rational and accountable beings center for life and salvation."

"We have now shown how it was that the first thought ever existed in the mind of any individual that there was such a Being as a God, who had created and did uphold all things: that it was by reason of the manifestation which he first made to our father Adam, when he stood in his presence, and conversed with him face to face, at the time of his creation.

"Let us here observe, that after any portion of the human family are made acquainted with the important fact that there is a God, who has created and does uphold all things, the extent of their knowledge respecting his character and glory will depend upon their diligence and faithfulness in seeking after him, until, like Enoch, the brother of Jared, and Moses, they shall obtain faith in God, and power with him to behold him face to face.

"We have now clearly set forth how it is, and how it was, that God became an object of faith for rational beings; and also, upon what foundation the testimony was based which excited the inquiry and diligent search of the ancient saints to seek after and obtain a knowledge of the glory of God; and we have seen that it was human testimony, and human testimony only, that excited this inquiry, in the first instance, in their minds. It was the credence they gave to the testimony of their fathers, this testimony having aroused their minds to inquire after the knowledge of God; the inquiry frequently terminated, indeed always terminated when rightly pursued, in the most glorious discoveries and eternal certainty."[2]

"But it is equally as necessary that men should have the idea that he is a God who changes not, in order to have faith in him, as it is to have the idea that he is gracious and long-suffering; for without the idea of unchangeableness in the character of the Deity, doubt would take the place of faith. But with the idea that he changes not, faith lays hold upon the excellencies in his character with unshaken confidence, believing he is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever, and that his course is one eternal round."

"...no sooner are the minds of men made acquainted with the truth on this point, that he is no respecter of persons, than they see that they have authority by faith to lay hold on eternal life, the richest boon of heaven, because God is no respecter of persons, and that every man in every nation has an equal privilege.

"And lastly, but not less important to the exercise of faith in God, is the idea that he is love;"[3]

"As the Son partakes of the fullness of the Father through the Spirit, so the saints are, by the same Spirit, to be partakers of the same fullness, to enjoy the same glory; for as the Father and the Son are one, so, in like manner, the saints are to be one in them. Through the love of the Father, the mediation of Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, they are to be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ."[4]

"It is in vain for persons to fancy to themselves that they are heirs with those, or can be heirs with them, who have offered their all in sacrifice, and by this means obtained faith in God and favor with him so as to obtain eternal life, unless they, in like manner, offer unto him the same sacrifice, and through that offering obtain the knowledge that they are accepted of him."

"But those who have not made this sacrifice to God do not know that the course which they pursue is well pleasing in his sight; for ...where doubt and uncertainty are there faith is not, nor can it be. For doubt and faith do not exist in the same person at the same time; so that persons whose minds are under doubts and fears cannot have unshaken confidence; ...and where faith is weak the persons will not be able to contend against all the opposition, tribulations, and afflictions which they will have to encounter in order to be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ Jesus; and they will grow weary in their minds, and the adversary will have power over them and destroy them."[5]

"...the glory which the Father and the Son have is because they are just and holy beings; and that if they were lacking in one attribute or perfection which they have, the glory which they have never could be enjoyed by them, for it requires them to be precisely what they are in order to enjoy it; and if the Saviour gives this glory to any others, he must do it in the very way set forth in his prayer to his Father—by making them one with him as he and the Father are one. In so doing he would give them the glory which the Father has given him; and when his disciples are made one with the Father and Son, as the Father and the Son are one, who cannot see the propriety of the Saviour's saying—'The works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.' (John 14:12)

"These teachings of the Saviour most clearly show unto us the nature of salvation, and what he proposed unto the human family when he proposed to save them—that he proposed to make them like unto himself, and he was like the Father, the great prototype of all saved beings;"[6]

Notes[edit source]

1.^ Noel Reynolds, “Case for Sidney Rigdon as Author of the Lectures on Faith,” Journal of Mormon History

Lectures on Faith: Delivered to the School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio, 1834-35

by Joseph Smith Jr., Sidney Rigdon

Other commentators have theorized that the Lectures represented official church doctrine in 1835, but that by 1897 or 1921 when the work was decanonized by the major Latter Day Saint denominations, the doctrine concerning the Godhead had changed, and the Lectures were no longer generally consistent accepted doctrines. For instance, in Lecture 5, paragraph 2, it defines the Father as a "personage of spirit, glory and power." Whereas in section 130 of the Doctrine and Covenants, verse 22 states that "the Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's." In addition, the Father and Son are said to possess the same mind, "which mind is the Holy Spirit" (Lecture 5, paragraph 2). The Holy Spirit is not a personage, as defined at the beginning of paragraph 2: "There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things...They are the Father and Son." This could cause confusion when compared with Section 130 of the Doctrine and Covenants: "The Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit." Section 130 of the Doctrine and Covenants was added in the 1876 edition and hence co-existed with the Lectures on Faith.

One theologian in the LDS Church praised the Lectures as follows:

"In my judgment, it is the most comprehensive, inspired utterance that now exists in the English language - that exists in one place defining, interpreting, expounding, announcing, and testifying what kind of being God is. It was written by the power of the Holy Ghost, by the spirit of inspiration. It is, in effect, eternal scripture; it is true." (Bruce R. McConkie, lecture at Brigham Young University).

Me: I've c/p the above, to show that the Lectures of Faith were given to the prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon and say God is Spirit. Is that why they were taken out of the D & C. Or am I being naïve in my thinking. Was it more? I don't think they should have been taken out. Nor do I think the words "Son of " should have been inserted into the original scripture in Nephi 13:40!

Nephi 13:40 "And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved."

The original 1830 BofM doesn't have "Son of" inserted. Why has the church gone and changed that? Since now we do believe Jesus was a God? I'm not liking the correlated stuff in the church, it has changed the history in scripture and taken important writings out. It would be fine if we'd left the scripture as it was. Maybe a subject for another topic. EDIT TO ADD: If memory serves, maybe it was JS that changed it. Probably the case, if so, please disregard my statement.

Edited by Tacenda
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Me: I've c/p the above, to show that the Lectures of Faith were given to the prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon and say God is Spirit.

One possible interpretation:

“The ‘Lectures on Faith’ . . . declared the father to be ‘a personage of Spirit.’ The ‘Lectures’ were incorporated into Mormon scripture in 1835.”

  1. In referring to God being “a personage of spirit” the “Lectures on Faith” did not mean “only” spirit, but were merely emphasizing the separateness of God’s personage from Christ’s personage. Nowhere does the Bible say God is only spirit, but John 4:24 says, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him moat worship him in spirit and in truth.” Humans who worship God do so while possessing mortal bodies. Yet if persons must worship God in spirit, we cannot conclude God is only spirit any more than we can say man is only spirit. The full statement in the lectures seems to support this: “They are the Father and the Son—the Father being a personage of spirit, glory, and power, possessing all perfection andfullness.” The Bible makes clear that Christ had a resurrected body when he ascended into heaven and that Christ is in “the express image of [the Father's] person” (Luke 24:39; Heb. 1:13). It certainly is logical that when the lectures state God the Father possessed all “perfection and fullness,” they are not describing God as having less than Christ with his resurrected body.

http://www.fairlds.org/authors/scharffs-gilbert/the-truth-about-the-god-makers/c15

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I just don't like people correlating things out of our canon that they think is going to look bad or wrong. Like the "Son of" insertions. When we do believe that "a" God is Jesus. But that was Joseph right? So I guess that was his call to make. But the lectures of faith was praised by Bruce R. McConkie below...

"In my judgment, it is the most comprehensive, inspired utterance that now exists in the English language - that exists in one place defining, interpreting, expounding, announcing, and testifying what kind of being God is. It was written by the power of the Holy Ghost, by the spirit of inspiration. It is, in effect, eternal scripture; it is true." (Bruce R. McConkie, lecture at Brigham Young University).

Edited by Tacenda
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...

The original 1830 BofM doesn't have "Son of" inserted. Why has the church gone and changed that? Since now we do believe Jesus was a God? I'm not liking the correlated stuff in the church, it has changed the history in scripture and taken important writings out. It would be fine if we'd left the scripture as it was. Maybe a subject for another topic. EDIT TO ADD: If memory serves, maybe it was JS that changed it. Probably the case, if so, please disregard my statement.

What was "revelation" at the time of first publication became "revised revelation", and whether under the hand of JS or another makes no difference to me. Either the exclusive doctrine is true or it is not. The later "clarification" is unnecessary if the first doctrine was true. JS's theology was undergoing continual change, and it is easy enough to see where his latest outside influences altered his current view on Godhead. In 1833/5 he had the same view for the most part that he did when he brought out the BoM. But by 1843 his view of the Godhead was more like the cabalist with a physical God in the place of a spiritual one.

The parts of the 1833 BoC changed two years later for the first edition of the D&C are more examples of problematic text being revised/removed. I don't buy the apologetic defense of JS receiving "more insight" later, especially since the "more insight later" is contradictory to the original "revelations"....

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It would be expected from a false gospel. But not from tbe true gospel.

No.

However, debate is not allowed in the social hall, so if this is something you want to pursue, you'll have to wait until you can start threads in the other forum, or hope someone does it for you.

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