Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

D&C Lesson 1

Posted by cherylem on January 4, 2009

It has been some time since I have posted here but I am still teaching GD. I thought I would post some notes – my son Joe’s (who is also teaching GD) and Mack Stirling’s seminary notes from D&C 1. I will try to get these posted earlier in the week in the future.

Joe McGuire’s notes 1/03/09

I will have to work at getting more into cross-referencing scriptures, like you and Mack do. I’m more of a story-teller. For example, my lesson tomorrow has to do much more with the context of the revelation, then asking/answering many questions about the revelation itself.

Since we’re looking at section 1, but section one is not ‘the beginning’ (it falls between sections 66 and 67), I plan on giving a crash course catch-up on where Joseph and the church are, as well as a crash course in the development of the D&C.

For example, Joseph Smith was 25 when he received this revelation. He was living in John Johnson’s home in Hiram, Ohio. He and Emma had not had a home of their own. They had already buried three children (died the day they were born) and were raising twins born to a mother who died in childbirth.

The church was very small and young, and currently having to deal with Ezra Booth’s apostasy and subsequent newspaper/periodical articles slandering the prophet (who was, admittedly, very young, liked to have fun, and may have had a temper).

At the time the revelation in section 1 was received, right between section 66 and 67, most if not all of the revelations that were being compiled for the “Book of Commandments” were directed at specific people, and were not general revelations regarding the structure of the church. There was no sealing power (yet) and there were no temples. Also, there were no apostles or first presidency. This changes the meaning of the section in 1831 subtly in many ways. The fact that is still relevant to us, today, is a testament of living scriptures. There is a great post on feast upon the word blog (feastuponthewordblog.org) about the makeup of the D&C then and now, and how it may have been viewed differently in different eras.

I find it ironic that: even though we aren’t going to teach the D&C chronologically or systematically, we do start from the beginning (section 1). But section 1 isn’t the beginning, really…

In D&C 1, I will touch on the intro (a warning), focus on 17-23 (purposes of restoration), and then the Lord’s own testimony.

If I have time, I will finish by talking about v24, and the weaknesses of the servants emphasizing the truthfulness of the message. I would love to have a brief look at section 67, where some folks complained about the language in the revelations, and thought they could do it better. The Lord issued a challenge to do it better in section 67, and in History of the Church (do you have access to the HC volumes?), Joseph writes how William McLellan tried and failed, and the other brethren present bore testimony. Joseph has a great line where he says that William ‘has more learning than sense’. :)

Also, closing with more history, you may recall what happened to Joseph while at the John Johnson farm, just a couple of months after this revelation in section 1 is given – he was dragged from the home in the middle of the night, tarred and feathered, beaten. This came as a direct result (more or less) of Ezra Booth’s getting the area into an uproar. Joseph walked home naked, covered in tar and feathers, spent the night getting the tar scraped off, then preached a sermon from John Johnson’s step the following morning. Truly, he was physically weak, unable to fend off his attackers, or prevent one of his adopted infants from dying soon after due to exposure (compounded with measles). He must have been the image of a pitiful wretch. Barely 26, persecuted, beaten within an inch of his life, no home to call his own, barely able to care for his wife and adopted children. I can see how folks would question his message, for how could God send a chosen prophet this way? But truly, his message came from God, I know that
it did.

Dad once told me of an experience he had standing on that stone outside John Johnson’s back door. I’ve been there too, and while my experience at the time isn’t what Dad’s was, I’ll never forget it, nor will I ever forget Dad telling me how he received a testimony of the prophet while he stood there.

Mack Stirling’s notes are as follows:

D&C 1

 

“Lord’s Preface” to Book of Commandments à Doctrine and Covenants

Received 11/1/1831 at a special conference of elders at Hiram, Ohio

Note: D&C 133: the “appendix” to the Book of Commandments was received at the same conference 11/3/1831.

 

v. 1-4

v. 1

Who is the primary target of the D&C?

Who is the secondary target?

    What are “the islands of the sea?” Is. 49:1; 1 Ne. 19:13-17; 1 Ne. 22:2-4

v. 2

Ultimately all men shall be penetrated by the voice of God. What is the voice of God? D&C 88:66; 1 Ne. 17:45

How do the righteous respond to the word of God?

v. 3

How do the wicked respond to the word of God? Acts 5:33; Acts 7:54; 1 Ne. 16:2; Mosiah 13:7

When will the secret acts of the wicked be revealed “upon the housetops?” D&C 88:108-110

Is this literal?

v. 4

How will the voice of God be carried to all men? D&C 63:36-36; D&C 88:74-82

How does this relate to D&C 88:66?

v. 5-6

The certainty that God’s word will go forth to all men

The Doctrine and Covenants is true

Why is section 1 called the “Lord’s preface?”

v. 7

What does it mean to fear and tremble before God?

    Phil. 2:12; Alma 36:7; Mark 5:28-34: Mosiah 12:30

Is it good to “fear and tremble” in this sense?

What does “fear and trembling” lead us to?

(Note: the righteous fear God during probation; the wicked “run” from God during probation and fear and tremble only when he comes for judgment.)

v. 8-9

To what are the wicked sealed?

How do the messengers of the Gospel help to bring about this sealing?

How is this seal portrayed in Revelation? Rev. 13:15-17; Rev. 14:9-11

Wrath of God poured upon the wicked without measure = fullness of the

   wrath of God. 1 Ne. 22:16-17; II Thess 1:7-9; D&C 43:23-26

How is this represented in Revelation? Rev. 15:1 (chptrs 15-16)

v. 10-14

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deut. 18:15, 18

1 Ne. 22:20

Acts 3:22-23

The certainty of upcoming judgment on the world

Upon what basis are we judged?

What does it mean to “will to hear?” Alma 10:5-6; Alma 32:28

What is the “sword?” Eph. 6:17 (Rev. 19:15; Is. 49:2)

    What does this sword do? 1 Ne. 14:7; 1 Ne. 12:18; 1 Ne. 15:30

    How does this relate to judgment?

What is the arm of the Lord?

    What does it mean that his arm is revealed?

  1. Mosiah 15:28-31; 1 Ne. 22:11-12
  2. wicked destroyed

What happens to those who “will not hear?”

What is “the people?” (Acts 15:14; Ex. 3:16)

v. 15-16

The state of the world = Babylon: Apostasy and Idolatry.

Compare Is. 24:5

The fall of Babylon: D&C 133:14; Rev. 18:26

     What is Babylon called in 1 Ne. 11-14

Idolatry   Rom. 1:21-23

  1. To give priority to any goal other than pursuit of the nature of Christ
  2. To desire the works/desires of other men

v. 17-18

What calamity (and why) would come upon the whole earth if the Gospel were not destroyed?

Romans 1:24-32; D&C 63:33; Mormon 4:5, 1 Ne. 22:15-19

Who will this calamity come upon?

v. 19-23

 

Luke 1:51-53

D&C 35:13

1 Sam 2:7-8

Ps. 89:11

God’s purposes with the restoration of the Gospel

1.     Weak things of the world overcome the strong. Who are “the weak?”

2.     Man learns to not trust in the arm of flesh? What does this mean?

3.     Every man speaks in the name of God. How and when does this happen? Is. 11:9; Jer. 31:31-34

4.     Increase faith in the earth

5.     Establish the everlasting covenant

6.     Gospel proclaimed to all

v. 24

God himself is speaking here

What is the nature of revelation/scripture?

   2 Ne. 33:4; 2 Ne. 31:3; Book of Mormon – preface

Is revelation “perfect?”

   Why?

   Why not?

v. 24-28

Are prophets necessarily morally perfect?

Do they immediately possess perfect understanding?

v. 29

Book of Mormon is True

v. 30

Church of Jesus Christ is True

What is the darkness/obscurity the Church is brought out of? Moses 7:61-63

What else is brought out of darkness and obscurity? 1 Ne. 22:11-12

What does it mean that the Church is “true?”

  1. Authorized to offer covenants on behalf of God
  2. Gives us complete access to God à re-enter his presence

What does “the Church is true” not necessarily mean?

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  

What does it mean that the Church is “living?” D&C 63:23

v. 31-33

 

both dependent on the Grace of God

Since God cannot look upon sin with any degree of allowance, how can any person be saved? D&C 20:30-31; 3 Ne. 27:19-20

1.     Justification: legal acquittal, declared legally righteous

2.     Sanctification: overcome sin, become like God

Why are both these processes necessary?

v. 33

 

Alma 34:31-34

What have we all received? D&C 1:2; Moroni 7:16-17; D&C 88:8-13

How long will it strive with us?

Lose the light we receive if we don’t repent. Alma 12:9-11; Matt. 25:14-29, esp. v. 29

v. 34-36

 

 

D&C 76:80-113

Alma 40:11-14

What does it mean that God is not a respecter of persons?

How will peace be taken from he earth?

What is the devil’s dominion?

The Kingdom of the Devil is composed of those who submit to his rule.

1.     On earth? Apocalypse of increasing violence

2.     In the spirit world? Hell, outer darkness

3.     After the resurrection? Sons of perdition

 

What is the kingdom of God?

The Kingdom of God is composed of those who are willing to be ruled by God.

1.     On earth.  D&C 45:66-71  Spiritual Israel; spiritually alive

2.     Millennium. Rev. 20:1-7 Participate in the kingdom of God.

3.     Spirit World. Paradise.

4.     Celestial kingdom. (as well as the lower kingdoms) In the presence of God.

When is God in our midst? D&C 6:32.

v. 37-39

Final declaration that the D&C is true

What is the significance of the phrase “my word shall not pass away though the heavens and the earth pass away?” Alma 12:13

 

God’s word is equally valid whether spoken directly by Himself – or by servants speaking in his name as his representatives.

 

 

2 Responses to “D&C Lesson 1”

  1. Joe M said

    I blantantly plagiarized this paragraph from Joe Spencer’s lesson:

    At the time the revelation in section 1 was received, right between section 66 and 67, most if not all of the revelations that were being compiled for the “Book of Commandments” were directed at specific people, and were not general revelations regarding the structure of the church. There was no sealing power (yet) and there were no temples. Also, there were no apostles or first presidency. This changes the meaning of the section in 1831 subtly in many ways. The fact that is still relevant to us, today, is a testament of living scriptures. There is a great post on feast upon the word blog (feastuponthewordblog.org) about the makeup of the D&C then and now, and how it may have been viewed differently in different eras.

  2. robf said

    I ended up subbing and teaching this lesson today. We started with a brief historical intro to D&C 1, then jumped right in. Spent a lot of time on the first word–hearken, and talked a lot (maybe 15 minutes) about what it means to hearken. Are we really listening? Also how it entails a relationship between us and the Lord. Then we got on to how the Lord’s voice/Spirit reaches everyone, but we don’t hear it, and how not listening constitutes rebellion (vs. 3). Finally got to talking about warning and how it is our job to warn. Lots of good give and take–and in the end we only got through the first four verses or so–with a node to vs. 15-16 with walking after the image of your own god. Wanted to really dig into what it means to hearken, our relationship to the Lord, and how we may or may not be taking it very seriously.

    Spirit was most palpably manifest when we talked about what the Lord wants us to do during the sacrament,and how if we aren’t doing that, if we aren’t concentrating and listening to the Spirit, we are in rebellion. Ouch!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
%d bloggers like this: