Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class Doctrine and Covenants Sections 6
9, 13 Week 4, Page 2© 2012, Mike Parker http://bit.ly/ldsarc For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
Joseph Smith wrote:
Two days after the arrival of Mr. Cowdery (being the 7th of April) I commenced totranslate the Book of Mormon, and he began to write for me, which havingcontinued for some time, I inquired of the Lord through the Urim and Thummim,and obtained the following [revelation].
A great and marvelous work is about to come forth unto the children of men.
Behold, I am God; give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful,sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints andmarrow; therefore give heed unto my words.
The word of God is compared to a sword several times in the scriptures.
This wording of this revelation is similar to Hebrews 4:12:
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedgedsword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of thejoints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
―Quick,‖ in this instance, means ―
alive; living; [as] opposed to dead orunanimated
The sword referred to is not a one-handed foil or saber, but a long, heavy, two-
handed broadsword that is sharpened on both edges. This kind of sword ―cuts both ways.‖
Why the sword as a metaphor?
…[T]he word of God, like a sword, can be used in two diffe
rent ways, as an
weapon that can wound or kill or as a
weapon to ward off blows from the enemy. If we ignore the word of God, it can destroy us, while if we
obey his word, it can save us. For this reason, the Lord counsels us to take up ―
thesword of my Spirit, which I will pour out upon you, and my word which I revealunto you
D&C 27:18). The passage paraphrases Ephesians 6:17, which advises
the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
.‖ Both scriptures remind
us that the word of God comes through the Spirit, to both prophets and others whoneed divine guidance.
Just as a sword ―divid[es] asunder…
both joints and marrow
,‖ so does the word of God penetrates to ―
oughts and intents of the heart‖ (Hebrews 4:12).
Behold thou hast a gift, and blessed art thou because of thy gift. Rememberit is sacred and cometh from above
And if thou wilt inquire, thou shalt knowmysteries which are great and marvelous; therefore thou shalt exercise thy
History of the Church
). Elden Watson dates D&C 6 on 21 April1829, prompted by the translation of Alma 37 (
See, for example, Ephesians 6:17; D&C 33:1.
American Dictionary of the English Language
, 1828 ed., s.v. ―Quick,‖ def. 1 (
The Greek word in Hebrews 4:12 is ζων (
), which means
to live, be active, or have vitalpower.
It’s in this sense that the New Testament describes God as the judge of both ―the quick [
living] and the dead‖ (Acts
10:42; 2 Timothy 4:11; 1 Peter 4:5).
John Tvedtnes, email to Mike Parker, 23 September 2008. Tvedtnes is a Latter-day Saints scholar of Middle East studies(