Doctrine and Covenants Week 10: D&C 41–42, 44, 48, 51, 70, 72, 79

1) [SLIDE 2] Trouble in Kirtland. a) After the commandment to gather to Kirtland was received in December 1830 (37:3), Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon remained in Fayette, New York, for a time. In January 1831 Joseph sent John Whitmer1 to Kirtland to preside over the community. b) The new converts in Kirtland had been practicing a communal economic system called ―the family‖ that was patterned after the New Testament Church.2 i) This situation had numerous problems, including the assumption that ―what belonged to a brother belonged to any of the brethren, therefore they would take each other’s clothes and other property and use it without [permission].‖3 (1) For example, when Levi Hancock visited ―the family,‖ Heman Bassett, one of its members, took Levi’s pocket watch and sold it. Bassett later explained that he had thought ―it was all in the family.‖4 c) He also discovered that there was something of a ―spiritual hysteria‖ going on among the new converts, including mysterious visions and sliding around on the floor.5 d) John Whitmer wrote to the Prophet and asked that he come to Kirtland. Joseph enquired of the Lord and was told go quickly. i) Joseph, Emma, Sidney Rigdon, and Edward Partridge arrived in Kirtland around 1 February 1831. ii) [SLIDE 3] Joseph wrote:
The branch of the Church in this part of the Lord’s vineyard, which had increased to nearly one hundred members, were striving to do the will of God, so far as they knew it, though some strange notions and false spirits had crept in among them. With a little caution and some wisdom, I soon assisted the brethren and sisters to overcome them. The plan of “common stock,” which had existed in what was called “the family,” whose members generally had embraced the everlasting Gospel, was readily abandoned for the more perfect law of the Lord; and the false spirits were easily discerned and rejected by the light of revelation.6

2) [SLIDE 4] D&C 41: The calling of the first bishop. a) The Lord corrected the ideas of the ―common stock‖ of ―the family‖ by revealing the law of consecration. Before he could do so, he had to assign someone to act as his agent in administering properties according to his law:

1 We discussed John Whitmer in our last lesson. This assignment was prior to his calling as Church historian on 8 March 1831 (D&C 47). 2 See Acts 2:44–45; 4:32–35. 3 John Whitmer, The Book of John Whitmer, 10; reprinted as part of the Joseph Smith Papers in Histories, Vol. 2: Assigned Histories, 1831–1847, edited by Karen Lynn Davidson, Richard L. Jensen, and David J. Whittaker (Salt Lake City: The Church Historian’s Press, 2012), 23. 4 Levi H. Hancock, ―History of Levi W. Hancock‖ (typescript, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah), 45 ( 5 The Book of John Whitmer, 9–10; Histories, Vol. 2, 22. 6 History of the Church 1:146–47.

© 2013, Mike Parker

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class

Doctrine and Covenants Sections 41–42, 44, 48, 51, 70, 72, 79 Week 10, Page 2

D&C 41:9–10

And again, I have called my servant Edward Partridge; and I give a commandment, that he should be appointed by the voice of the church, and ordained a bishop unto the church, to leave his merchandise and to spend all his time in the labors of the church; 10to see to all things as it shall be appointed unto him in my laws in the day that I shall give them.

i) Edward Partridge had come from Kirtland to New York with Sidney Rigdon to meet Joseph Smith. The Prophet baptized Partridge there. ii) With this revelation, received 4 February 1831, Partridge was called as the Church’s first bishop to carry out the law of the Lord once it had been revealed. (1) The law was given in a revelation received five days later, on 9 February 1831. 3) [SLIDE 5] D&C 42: The law of the Lord. a) Background. i) This revelation is referred to as ―my law,‖ or sometimes simply ―the law.‖ ii) It had been previously promised as part of the gathering (38:32; 41:3–5). iii) It is now Section 42 of the Doctrine and Covenants: D&C 42:2

Again I say unto you, hearken and hear and obey the law which I shall give unto you.

iv) It was referred to often in subsequent revelations (43:8–9; 44:6; 58:19, 36; 64:13, 15; 72:9, 15; 82:4). b) 42:4–9. The ―first commandment‖: Preach the gospel, baptize, and build up the Church. D&C 42:6

And ye shall go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel, two by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump, declaring my word like unto angels of God.

i) Missionaries were specifically sent to ―regions westward‖ (42:8) between Ohio and Missouri, as well as in all directions (42:63). Those who were converted east of Ohio were commanded to gather with the Saints in the west (42:64).7 ii) This ―first commandment‖ remains one of the primary missions of the Church to this day. c) 42:30–42, 53–55, 70–73. With Edward Partridge called as the first bishop, the Lord was ready to reveal the law of consecration. i) [SLIDE 6] What does consecrate mean? (1) ―To make or declare to be sacred, by certain ceremonies or rites; to appropriate to sacred uses; to set apart, dedicate, or devote, to the service and worship of God.‖8 (2) The origin of the word is the Latin consecratus, ―to make holy, devote.‖9
7 This was in connection with the doctrine of the gathering. See lesson 9, pages 4–7 ( 8 Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828 ed., s.v. ―Consecrate,‖ def. 1 ( 9 Online Etymology Dictionary, s.v. ―consecrate‖ (

© 2013, Mike Parker

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class

Doctrine and Covenants Sections 41–42, 44, 48, 51, 70, 72, 79 Week 10, Page 3

ii) [SLIDE 7] Principles of consecration. (1) The Lord created all things; therefore all things are his (D&C 104:14–15). (2) God grants to us whatever ask that is right; therefore we ought to ―impart of the substance that ye have one to another‖ (Mosiah 4:21). (a) [SLIDE 8] Brigham Young:
The Lord has given to me all I possess; I have nothing in reality, not a single dime of it is mine…. The coat I have on my back is not mine, and never was; the Lord put it in my possession honorably, and I wear it; but if He wishes for it, and all there is under it, He is welcome to the whole. I do not own a house, or a single foot of land, a horse, mule, carriage, or wagon, nor wife, nor child, but what the Lord gave me, and if He wants them, He can take them at His pleasure, whether He speaks for them, or takes them without speaking. Should this be the feeling to animate every bosom? It should. What have you to consecrate that is actually your own? Nothing.10

(3) [SLIDE 9] Honesty, unity, and willing service required. D&C 51:9

And let every man deal honestly, and be alike among this people, and receive alike, that ye may be one, even as I have commanded you.

D&C 70:14

Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld.

(4) Idleness is a vice. D&C 42:42

Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.

(5) Gratitude a requirement of exaltation. D&C 78:19

And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.

(6) To provide for the ―wants and needs‖ of the people. D&C 51:3

Wherefore, let my servant Edward Partridge, and those whom he has chosen, in whom I am well pleased, appoint unto this people their portions, every man equal according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and needs.

(a) ―Wants‖ can only be provided for if they are just. D&C 82:17

And you are to be equal, or in other words, you are to have equal claims on the properties, for the benefit of managing the concerns of your stewardships, every man according to his wants and his needs, inasmuch as his wants are just.

Brigham Young, 3 June 1855. Journal of Discourses 2:307 (

© 2013, Mike Parker

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class

Doctrine and Covenants Sections 41–42, 44, 48, 51, 70, 72, 79 Week 10, Page 4

(7) We are accountable before the bishop and the Lord for all things that we receive— this is the principle of stewardship (42:32; 70:3–4). D&C 72:3–4

And verily in this thing ye have done wisely, for it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity. 4For he who is faithful and wise in time is accounted worthy to inherit the mansions prepared for him of my Father.

iii) [SLIDE 10] Practice of consecration. D&C 42:31–32

And inasmuch as ye impart of your substance unto the poor, ye will do it unto me; and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church and his counselors, two of the elders, or high priests, such as he shall appoint or has appointed and set apart for that purpose. 32 And it shall come to pass, that after they are laid before the bishop of my church, and after that he has received these testimonies concerning the consecration of the properties of my church, that they cannot be taken from the church, agreeable to my commandments, every man shall be made accountable unto me, a steward over his own property, or that which he has received by consecration, as much as is sufficient for himself and family.

(1) Inductees first give all their possessions to the bishop (42:31). (2) In return the bishop grants stewardships, or portions, from all the properties received. The size of the stewardship depends on the circumstances, needs, and wants of the family, as determined by the bishop in consultation with the member who received it. (42:32; 51:3.) (3) The stewardship was given with a deed of ownership so each member would be fully responsible and accountable for managing it. The stewardship, then, was treated as private property, not common or communal property. (42:54; 51:4.) D&C 51:4

And let my servant Edward Partridge, when he shall appoint a man his portion, give unto him a writing that shall secure unto him his portion, that he shall hold it, even this right and this inheritance in the church, until he transgresses and is not accounted worthy by the voice of the church, according to the laws and covenants of the church to belong to the church.

(4) Surpluses produced from each stewardship would be turned over to the bishop at the end of each year and kept in the bishop’s storehouse. The bishop used the surplus to care for the poor, to build houses of worship, and for other worthy purposes. Shortfalls would be made up for from the storehouse. (42:33–35, 55; 51:13). D&C 42:33–34

And again, if there shall be properties in the hands of the church, or any individuals of it, more than is necessary for their support after this first consecration, which is a residue to be consecrated unto the bishop, it shall be kept to administer to those who have not, from time to time, that every man who has need may be amply supplied and receive according to his wants. 34 Therefore, the residue shall be kept in my storehouse, to administer to the poor and the needy, as shall be appointed by the high council of the church, and the bishop and his council.
© 2013, Mike Parker For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class

Doctrine and Covenants Sections 41–42, 44, 48, 51, 70, 72, 79 Week 10, Page 5

(5) If the person is excommunicated or no longer wishes to participate in consecration, he or she may take with them the properties they have received, but will not get a refund of those things previously given to the bishop (42:37; 51:5). D&C 51:5

And if he shall transgress and is not accounted worthy to belong to the church, he shall not have power to claim that portion which he has consecrated unto the bishop for the poor and needy of my church; therefore, he shall not retain the gift, but shall only have claim on that portion that is deeded unto him.

iv) [SLIDE 11] Purposes of consecration. (1) To care for the poor and needy (42:30; 44:6). (2) To purchase lands, build houses of worship, and build the New Jerusalem (42:35). (3) To help the Lord’s people overcome pride (42:40). (4) To help the Lord’s people be industrious and avoid idleness (42:42). (5) To help the Lord’s people be united (51:9). (6) To make the Lord’s people equal in earthly things and help them receive a place in the celestial kingdom (78:3–7). (7) To help the Church ―stand independent above all other creatures‖ (78:14). (8) To help the Lord’s people improve their talents for the good of all, seek the interest of their neighbor, and do all things with an eye single to God’s glory (82:17–19). v) [SLIDE 12] Duties of the bishop. (1) Today, when we think of a bishop, we think of the spiritual leader of a ward, the head of the Aaronic Priesthood and the youth, etc. That local office developed as time passed, needs presented themselves, and additional revelations were received. (2) The duties described here are today vested primarily in the presiding bishop of the Church; so when we read in the D&C about ―the bishop,‖ we need to think about the bishop to the Church as a whole. (3) Note that the bishop and others who serve with him ―are to have their families supported out of the property which is consecrated…or they are to receive a just remuneration for all their services‖ (42:71–73). (a) This practice continues today, in that we give a living allowance to general authorities who are in full-time service to the Church and who are not able to support themselves. (4) Edward Partridge was called as the first bishop of the Church on 4 February 1831 (41:9). Newel K. Whitney was called as the second bishop on 4 December 1831 (72:5–8).

© 2013, Mike Parker

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class

Doctrine and Covenants Sections 41–42, 44, 48, 51, 70, 72, 79 Week 10, Page 6

vi) Although there have been additional revelations that have expanded and enhanced our understanding of consecration, the office the bishop, and the behavior of Church members, D&C 42 continues to be the foundation of ―the law of the Lord‖ to his Church in the latter days. d) 42:11–29, 43–52, 74–92. Laws regulating behavior and discipline of Church members. i) In order for the law of consecration to be lived successfully, the people must be united spiritually as well as temporally. Therefore, the law of the Lord given in this revelation includes instructions on how they should conduct themselves as individuals within a covenant community. ii) [SLIDE 13] 42:12–14. What and how to teach. D&C 42:12–14

And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the gospel. 13And they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit. 14And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.

(1) In this passage we begin to see the coming together of the ―standard works‖ as the recognized authoritative scripture: The Bible and the Book of Mormon are mentioned in verse 12, and verse 13 adds to them the ―covenants‖—meaning the revelations given to Joseph Smith11—―and church articles,‖ which is a reference to what we now call section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants.12 (2) In addition to the scriptures, we are to rely on the Spirit to direct us as we teach in the Church. (a) The directive ―if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach‖ does not mean on a per-class basis—i.e., if I don’t feel the Spirit, I should cancel the class. It’s a more general statement about having the gift of the Holy Ghost and striving to have the Spirit with us when we prepare and teach lessons. iii) 42:18–29. Prohibitions against murder, theft, lying, adultery, and evil-speaking. (1) It is common to refer to verses 18–29 as an extension of the Ten Commandments, but this is technically incorrect. The prohibitions against killing, stealing, lying, etc. are eternal laws. (a) [SLIDE 14] President Spencer W. Kimball:
Moses came down from the quaking, smoking Mount Sinai and brought to the wandering children of Israel the Ten Commandments, fundamental rules for the conduct of life. These commandments were, however, not new. They had been known to Adam and his posterity, who had been commanded to live them from the beginning and were merely reiterated by the Lord to Moses. And the commandments even antedated earth life and were part of the test for mortals established in the council of heaven.13
11 The covenants of the ―Doctrine and Covenants‖ refer to the revelations. See lesson 1, page 8 ( 12 Section 20 was originally known as ―the Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ.‖ See lesson 6, page 2 ( 13 Spencer W. Kimball, ―Why Call Me Lord, Lord, And Do Not The Things Which I Say?‖, General Conference, April 1975 (

© 2013, Mike Parker

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class

Doctrine and Covenants Sections 41–42, 44, 48, 51, 70, 72, 79 Week 10, Page 7

(b) The Law given to Moses was a specific application of God’s eternal law. Even though the Law has been fulfilled and no longer applies to us, the eternal parts of the law still apply to us today, and have been given in a new form as part of ―the law of the Lord.‖ (2) 44:22a. What are the implications of the commandment to ―love thy wife [or husband] with all thy heart‖ and to ―cleave unto her [or him] and none else‖? (a) Note that it goes beyond simply ―thou shalt not commit adultery.‖ It is not a law prohibiting certain behavior; it is a law requiring certain behavior. (b) [SLIDE 15] Elder Spencer W. Kimball:
The words none else eliminate everyone and everything. The spouse then becomes preeminent in the life of the husband or wife, and neither social life nor occupational life nor political life nor any other interest nor person nor thing shall ever take precedence over the companion spouse. …. Marriage presupposes total allegiance and total fidelity. Each spouse takes the partner with the understanding that he or she gives self totally to the spouse: all the heart, strength, loyalty, honor, and affection with all dignity. Any divergence is sin—any sharing the heart is transgression.14

iv) [SLIDE 16] 42:43–52. Instructions on healing. (1) 42:43–44 establishes the rule for blessing the sick: (a) We are to care for the sick with physical nourishment (42:43). (b) Two or more elders are to lay hands on the sick and bless them (42:44a). (c) The outcome of the blessing is in the Lord’s hands (42:44b). It is not a failure of priesthood power if a person who has been blessed subsequently dies; the blessing is a petition to the Lord, but he may have his own plans. (2) 42:46. Those who die ―in [the Lord] shall not taste of death, but it shall be sweet unto them.‖ (3) 42:45. We have an obligation to mourn with those whose loved ones have died (cf. Mosiah 18:9a). v) 42:74–92. Procedures for dealing with public and private offenses. (1) This section establishes how to deal with serious moral offenses, and where to draw the line between Church discipline and criminal law. (2) 42:74–78 sets forth rules regarding dealing with adultery: (a) 42:74. Those who have divorced because their spouse was unfaithful are innocent victims, and are not to be cast out of the Church. (b) 42:75. But those who commit adultery are to be subjected to Church discipline.

Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference, October 1962 (

© 2013, Mike Parker

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class

Doctrine and Covenants Sections 41–42, 44, 48, 51, 70, 72, 79 Week 10, Page 8

(c) 42:76. Those who have committed adultery and then married the person with whom they have violated their previous marriage vows are not exempt simply because they’re married. (―Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery.‖—Matthew 19:9a.) Likewise those who are still married but separated and living with someone other than their spouse. (d) 42:77. Those who are not married but who are sexually active shall not be received into the Church unless they genuinely repent and live the law of chastity. (3) 42:79, 84–86. Murder, robbery, theft, and deceit are to be dealt with under the laws of the land.15 (4) Why are those who commit grievous sins ―cast out‖ (42:20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 75)? ―Cast out‖ of what? (a) The phrase refers to what we now call excommunication, expelling the person from membership or participation in the Church. (b) The Church Handbook of Instructions explains:
The first purpose of Church discipline is to save the souls of transgressors by helping them repent…. Church discipline can facilitate repentance by helping transgressors recognize and forsake sin, seek forgiveness, make restitution, and demonstrate a renewed commitment to keep the commandments…. The second purpose of Church discipline is to protect the innocent. With inspiration, a priesthood leader should act to protect Church members when a transgressor poses a physical or spiritual threat to them…. The third purpose of Church discipline is to safeguard the purity, integrity, and good name of the Church. Consequently, transgressions that significantly impair the good name or moral influence of the Church may require the action of a disciplinary council.16

(c) Church disciplinary councils are to be made up of at least two Church leaders, and at least two witnesses are required to convict the individual (42:80–81). (i) This is in accordance with the scriptural law of witnesses that requires that ―in the mouth of two or three individuals shall every word be established‖ (Deuteronomy 19:15; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19). (5) 42:88–92. The Lord’s instructions on dealing with personal offenses.
Personal differences are to be taken by the inured party first to the offending party. The assumption is that brothers and sisters in Zion will act in good faith to resolve their differences and remain brothers and sisters. Saints are not to begin by working through third parties or by complaining or making accusations until the offender finally hears about it and comes to them. This approach violates the law of the Church. Instead, the injured party is to go privately to the offender, state his or her complaint, and resolve it confidentially. If the offender will not confess and repent, the injured party is to take the matter to
15 Serious legal offenses—including murder, attempted murder, and robbery—are also grounds for Church discipline. See Church Handbook of Instructions (2010), 1:56–58. 16 Church Handbook of Instructions (2010), 1:53.

© 2013, Mike Parker

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class

Doctrine and Covenants Sections 41–42, 44, 48, 51, 70, 72, 79 Week 10, Page 9

proper Church leaders, but still privately and confidentially, “not to the members” (v. 89). At this point the Church leaders can decide whether or not an injury can be proved. If the offense can be proved, then the offender will confess and repent or be subject to Church discipline with the possible loss of membership or fellowship.17

4) [SLIDE 17] Next week we’ll look at Joseph Smith’s revelations concerning the second coming of the Lord: a) D&C 43, 45, 116, 133. b) Since we skipped over the prophecies in section 29 back in lesson 8, we’ll include that section as well.

Stephen E. Robinson and H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2001), 2:31–32.

© 2013, Mike Parker

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

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