A friend recently asked me what I thought the most important revelations in the church have been. This is an interesting question considering that the last published revelation was in 1918. I categorized a quaternary response:
- First is revelations on Theology.
- Second, revelations on Policy. The distinction in policy is important as these are revelations that don’t necessarily impact theology. I have included references to the best accounts of the revelations available.
- Third, doctrinal discourses by the Prophet Joseph – here I am asserting the primacy of Joseph in the exposition of doctrine. I’m not too sure we can accept the beliefs of other prophets as necessarily stemming from revelation.
- Lastly, policy changes presumed to be executed under revelation, but for which no revelatory account is publicly extant.
Revelations on Theology
- Abraham 3 – Yes, the bit about Kolob is out there, but the preexistence and stuff on intelligence is excellent.
- D&C 124 – Not everything is great, but it explains why they needed a Temple in Nauvoo and why Hyram was important.
- D&C 76 – Three degrees.
- D&C 88 – The olive leaf.
Revelations on Policy
- The Revelation extending the priesthood to all worthy males.
- Leonard J. Arrington. Adventures of a Church Historian. pg 176-177
- Willford’s revelation convincing him to pronounce the Manifesto.
- 7 November 1891 Deseret Weekly, pg. 626-627
- Willford’s revelation ending the Law of Adoption
- April 18, 1894 The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine. vol. 13 pg. 145-152 (October, 1922). Messages of the First Presidency vol. 3 pg. 251; Collected Discourses. vol. 4 pg 67-75.
- The Savior’s appearance to Lorenzo Snow instructing him how to reorganize First Presidency
- Improvement Era (August 1933) pg. 667
Doctrinal Discourses by Joseph Smith
- The King Follett Discourse – “I would let you know that I am not a fallen prophet.”
- WoJS pg. 340-362
- 10 March 1844 sermon at the Temple. Spirit and Power of Elijah.
..the spirit power & calling of Elijah is that ye have power to hold the keys of the revelations ordinances, oricles powers & endowments of the fulness of the Melchezedek Priesthood.
- WoJS pg. 327-336
- 16 June 1844 (Morning) sermon in the Grove east of the Temple. Plurality of gods — “he laid down his life and took it up, same as his Father had done before.”
- WoJS pg. 378-383
- 28 April 1842 discourse to the Relief Society. The gift of healing – “these signs such as healing the sick, casting out devils &C. should follow all that believe whether male or female.”
- WoJS pg. 114-119
Policy changes made under the auspices of revelation
- Establishment of the Relief Society. Meetings on 17 March and 30 March 1842.
- Worthy of a post on of its own…first dibs
- WoJS pg. 104-110
- The 1877 priesthood reformation.
- Ever wondered why kids are ordained to the priesthood?
- Messages of the First Presidency pg. 283-295.
- Word of Wisdom as a test of fellowship.
- Alexander, T. G. Mormonism in Transition. Ch. 13: The Adoption of a New Interpretation of the Word of Wisdom
- The 1978, 1990 and 2005 changes in the Temple Liturgy.
So, what say you?