Friend of BCC, Joe Spencer, has generously written this guest post as part of our Sunday school series. Joe blogs at the awesome ‘Feast upon the word‘ where they also post excellent lesson materials.
Notes, commentary, and questions for LDS Sunday School teachers using the ‘Doctrine & Covenants and Church History’ manual. Feel free to share your thoughts or ideas regarding the lesson in the comments.
It appears that it was D&C 42 that turned the saints’ attention to the possibility—perhaps the necessity—of publishing the revelations. Many early officers in the Church made handwritten copies of that revelation to use in going about their duties. When one of those early officers apostatized and gave his copy to a couple of newspapers to print as the “secret bylaws of the Mormonites,” the Church’s leadership had to ask whether they wanted to have more control over the circulation of God’s word to them. Plans were then made to establish a printing outfit in Zion, to issue a newspaper, and to begin to assemble the revelations thus far received into a volume to be called the “Book of Commandments.” The first revelation to come off the newly assembled press in Missouri was, however, not the Church’s authorized version of D&C 42, but the so-called “Articles and Covenants” of the Church, the revelation we know as D&C 20. [Read more…]