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What is the Doctrine and Covenants?


Doctrine and Covenants

Doctrine and Covenants

Rachel Bruner
Question: What is the Doctrine and Covenants?
Where did this Mormon book of scripture come from and of what value is it?
Answer: The Doctrine and Covenants, abbreviated to D&C, is a book of modern scriptures. These revelations and inspired documents were given of the Lord to His chosen prophets as part of the restoration of His church- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Each document in The Doctrine and Covenants is numbered by section (with exception to the two Official Declarations at the back) for a total of 138 sections. Each paragraph within each section, called a verse, is also numbered. The majority of the sections contained within The Doctrine and Covenants were given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, while sections 135, 136, 138, and Official Declarations 1 and 2 were received by other latter-day prophets.

Unique Book of Scripture
The Doctrine and Covenants is a unique book of scripture because it was not translated from an ancient document, like The Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price were. In the Church's student institute manual for the D&C it says:
"These revelations contain the truths necessary to save you. They reveal the doctrines of salvation, the principles that will bring men to a fulness of joy.... Within the 138 sections of this work you can find the doctrine and the covenants that are more important than all the treasures of the earth" (Introduction).
Several sections of The Doctrine and Covenants are revelations in answer to specific prayers. This book of modern scripture also contains many basic truths and gospel doctrines, instructions related to the translation of the Bible, guidance regarding the pioneer migration west, the administrative and organizational structure of the Church of Jesus Christ, and many other inspired words of the Lord.

Modern Prophets Testify of Jesus Christ
One of the reasons why the Doctrine and Covenants is an important book of scripture is because Latter-day prophets testify of the reality and divinity of Jesus as God's only Begotten Son. In the Explanatory Introduction of the D&C it says:
"Finally, the testimony that is given of Jesus Christ—his divinity, his majesty, his perfection, his love, and his redeeming power—makes this book of great value to the human family and of more worth than the riches of the whole earth" (paragraph eight).
Also in The Doctrine and Covenants we read these words from the prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon:
"And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

"For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father" (D&C 76:22-23).
I know The Doctrine and Covenants is the word of God, given to us in this day and age to lead us unto God and Jesus Christ- that we may be saved.

You can read the Doctrine and Covenants online or listen to an audio version of this inspired book of scripture.
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