Sunday Evenings With The Doctrine and Covenants. Section 130. Part I. The Manuscript Source of D&C 130.

In honor of the Doctrine and Covenants study this year, this begins a short series on one of the sections that doesn’t get too much play in the Gospel Doctrine course this year.

Sunday posts are generally doomed to obscurity. That is the conventional wisdom. And Super Bowl Sunday posts? They must be sucked into an internet black hole. That being said, enjoy: you two readers in Botswana!

Section 130 of the Doctrine and Covenants consists of excerpts of sermons by Joseph Smith. It found its way into the Doctrine and Covenants in 1876, 34 years after the date attached to the heading of the section.

Elder Orson Pratt (a founding member of the LDS Quorum of Twelve Apostles) had the assignment to deliver a new edition of the Doctrine and Covenants in the 1870s. The eight preceding editions published after 1844 were essentially copies of the 1844 edition. One of Orson’s initial plans for the project was to delete the “Doctrine” from the Doctrine and Covenants. The Doctrine in the title of the book referred to seven lessons destined for the 1835 Kirtland School of the Elders (at this point, a kind of MTC). Pratt judged the seven lessons as taking up space that might be devoted to teachings and revelations of Joseph Smith delivered after 1835. Some of the these had been added to the Doctrine and Covenants in the 1844 edition, but more were available–besides,

That Adam thing is just wrong.  And I want to get rid of that Rigdon stuff.

That Adam thing is just wrong. And I want to get rid of that Rigdon stuff.

Pratt saw the lessons as retrogressive–and stamped with the imprimatur of Sidney Rigdon–and he held a bit of a grudge against those texts for leading him astray on some issues. Ditching the lectures could make room for other items. Among other things, Pratt wished to add the Book of Abraham, and what we know now as the Book of Moses, to the Doctrine and Covenants. No deal (the wheels of church decision making turn slowly).
Well, Go to Hell, Orson.  You'll never be an Adam. And by the way, no on your good but inflammatory idea. /raspberry/

Well, Go to Hell, Orson. You’ll never be an Adam. And by the way, NO on your good but inflammatory idea. /raspberry/

But Pratt was allowed to pursue other items for the book and he gathered a significant number of texts for it, including letters and journal entries that detailed certain parts of Joseph Smith’s public and private teaching. One of these bits is found in the manuscript history of the church[1] and it goes like this:
[Reader Note: Joseph Smith went on a short tour of communities near Nauvoo in 1842. A report of the expedition is found in the manuscript history of the church. The manuscript history has a fair number of erasures and insertions in its account of Joseph Smith’s visit to his sister and then one of his plural wives. Joseph’s remarks during this trip form a part of D&C 130. A transcription of the manuscript history entry (pages 1509-1511, volume 5) follows:]

At 10 A. M. went to meeting, heard Elder O. Hyde preach comparing the sectarian preachers to crows living on carrion, as they were more fond of lies about the Saints than the truth, and alluding to the coming of the Saviour, he said, “when he shall appear we shall be like him &c. he will appear on a white horse as a warrior, and maybe we shall have some of the same spirit; our God is a Warrior John 14 ch. 2 and 3 v. It is our privilege to have the Father and Son dwelling in our hearts &c.”

We dined with my Sister Sophronia McCleary; when I told Elder Hyde^that I was going to offer some corrections to his sermon this morning, he replied they shall be thankfully received. When the Saviour shall appear, we shall see him as he is; we shall see that he is a man like ourselves, and that same sociality which exists among us here, will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy 14 John 2. 3 v. the appearing of the Father and the Son in that verse, is a personal appearance, and the idea that the Father and the Son dwells in a man’s heart, is an old Sectarian notion and is false. In answer to the question “Is not the reckoning of God’s time, angels’ time, prophets’ time and man’s time according to the planet on which they reside?” I anser yes, but there are no angels who minister to this Earth, but^those who do belong, or have belonged to it. The Angels do not reside on a

Orson Pratt didn't use this manuscript source for D&C 130.  Instead he used an imprint.  Got any guesses about which one? No? Well, see part 2.

Orson Pratt didn’t use this manuscript source for D&C 130. Instead he used an imprint. Got any guesses about which one? No? Well, see part 2.

Planet like this earth, but they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things^for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord. The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim. The Urim and Thummim is a small representation of this Globe. This Earth in its sanctified and immortal State will be made like unto Crystal, and will be a Urim and Thummim,^to the inhabitants who dwell thereon whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it, and this Earth will be with Christ’s Then the white stone mentioned in Revelations ch. 2 v 17 is the^will become a Urim and Thummim^to each individual who receives one whereby all things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms, even all kingdoms will be made known, and a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth wave he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word

He also repeated his dream of March 10th, when Elder Hyde gave this interpretation, “The Old man represents the Government of the United States, who will be invaded by a foreign foe, probably England. The United States government will call on the Saints to defend probably all this Western Territory, and will offer their leader any amount of men he shall desire, and put them under his command for that purpose.”

I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, that the commencement of^the difficulties which will cause much bloodshed, as preparatoryprevious to the coming of the Son of Man, will commencebe in South Carolina, (it probably may arise through the Slave Trade,Question) this a voice declared to me, while I was praying earnestly on the subject: December 25th. 1832

I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following, “Joseph my son, if thou livest until thou art 85 years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man, therefore let this suffice and trouble me no more on this matter.” I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the Millennium, or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face, I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.

At 1 P. M. Attended meeting, I read the 5th chapter of Revelations, referring particularly to the 6th verse, shewing from that, the actual existence of beasts in heaven, probably those were beasts which had lived on another planet, and not ours. God never made use of the figure of a beast to represent the kingdom of heaven; when it is made use of, it is to represent an Apostate Church. This is the first time I have ever taken a text in Revelations, and if the young elders would let such things alone, it would be far better.

Then corrected Elder Hyde’s remarks,^the same as I had done to him privately.

At the close of the meeting, we expected to start for Carthage, but the bad weather prevented, so I called another meeting in the evening.

Between meetings I read in revelations with Elder Hyde, and expounded^the same, during which time several persons came in, and expressed their fears that I had come in contact with the old scriptures.

At 7 o’clock meeting, I resumed the subject of the beast, shewed very plainly that John’s vision was very different from Daniel’s prophecy- one referring to things actually existing in Heaven, the other being a figure of things which are on Earth.

Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection, and if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life thro’ his dilegence and obedience than another; he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. There is a law irrevocably decreed in Heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated; and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; The Son also; but the
Holy Ghost^has not a body of flesh and bones but is a personage of Spirit; were it not so the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

A man may receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and – – – – it – – – – may descend
upon him and not – tarry with him.

What is the meaning of the Scriptures, he that is faithful over a few things shall be made ruler over many, and he that is faithful over many, shall be made ruler over many more? What is the meaning of the parable of the ten talents? Also the conversation with Nicodemus, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit? Were questions put to one which I shall not answer at present.

Well, everyone knows that the manuscript history is not a primary source and the first-person setting is an editorial artifact. So the question is, where did *it* come from (I mean of course, the selection above), and why? Find a little satisfaction on this in part 2. Complete understanding comes later. Tune in next Sunday!

[Part 2 is here.]


  1. J. Stapley says:

    I love the textual history of this section. I’m guessing on the Star…or the News.

  2. J. Stapley says:

    …also awesome BY paraphrase.

  3. Sharee Hughes says:

    Interesting. Looking forward to Part 2. And not EVERYONE watches the Super Bowl.

  4. Lamplighter says:

    Sharee is right, nor or do I live in Botswana. Now I have to go read 130 again. Thanks for something interesting to read on this particular Sun.

  5. Good guesses, J.

  6. Love these posts.

  7. JennyP1969 says:

    Watching Superbowl, but my guess is it comes from Emma! Love this section….looking forward to…..the rest of the story.

  8. At BCC, we don’t stop with two stinking parts! This thing doesn’t finish up until the end of March people.

  9. Central Standard says:

    Re: “Commencement of difficulties…” We tend to view this passage through the lens of the Civil War that began some 30 years later. I wonder if Joseph inquired of the Lord based on the constitutional nullification effort by the state of South Carolina in 1832. Andrew Jackson ordered troops to reinforce two garrisons and revenue cutters to Charleston Harbor. December of 1832. It was a precarious time for the Union.

  10. I says part of this section comes from this trip but where does the rest of it come from?

  11. whizzbang– patience, patience.

  12. Central Standard, you’re absolutely right. We tend to divorce the prediction from its context.

  13. Geoff - A says:

    The superbowls must be like the world series. Only for USA. We in other parts of the world find it funny that there can be a world series where the rest of the world is not invited. Does america play in any international sporting competitions. Like cricket, soccer or rugby, that are international sports?

    The actual post was very informative.

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