Sunday Evenings With The Doctrine and Covenants. Section 130. Epilogue. Some Visuals.

[Part 6 is here.]

It has long been the case that text scholars tend to believe everyone keeps up with their nerdiness. Getting an overview of a text study is helpful and while it leaves out many of the details that lure the textually addicted, graphical summaries of the relationships between texts can be helpful in understanding how things work in the temporal and logical senses. So here are two such graphical summaries.

The first represents the way in which our present (1981 edition) Doctrine and Covenants arrived on scene. Some details are lacking (for example, foreign editions sometimes contained interesting additions to the text) and only “important” imprints are recognized, but at least you’ll get some picture of what happened.


A Doctrine and Covenents Annotated Stemma: CLICK TWICE FOR ENLARGED VIEW

Click the image twice for an enlarged view.
Legend: HC stands for History of the Church. It played a large role in the production of the 1921 edition, because B. H. Roberts went through a careful approval process for the History in terms of the revelation texts. They were therefore seen as the latest canonical texts. It also played a role in adding text to the 1981 edition, when the text of D&C 137 was added. LoF stands for the lectures mentioned in some of the preceding posts of the series. BC is Book of Commandments, RB1 = Revelation Book 1, RB2 = Revelation Book 2. OD1 first appeared in 1908 as a means of reinforcing the idea the church was letting go of polygamy. Not all editions between 1908 and 1921 incorporated OD1. “Stuff” that contributed to the 1835 edition included Oliver Cowdery’s articles on marriage and government. The one on government stuck around and is D&C 134 in the current edition. SWK is just OD2, announcement of a revelation on race and priesthood. Overlaying such mundane graphs is the interface between man and God, a quantity that defies this kind of representation.

The next graphical device applies strictly to D&C 130 and faithful readers will recognize the links between texts, I hope.

A Brief Stemma for D&C 130

A Brief Stemma for D&C 130 (Note: the 6 April tributary at the top is in question.)

Legend: DN is Deseret News (the first imprint of this portion of the manuscript history. MS is Latter-Day Saints’ Millennial Star (Liverpool, England). GAS = George A. Smith, LH = Leo Hawkins, ? = ?. JS diary = Joseph Smith diary, kept by Willard Richards at this point.

That’s it for D&C 130. Questions? I know the experts around here can answer them. Teaching the D&C is always helped by imbibing a little background. All you teachers, Bonne Chance! Perhaps my fellow bloggers will continue this series. I may even tackle another one. There are some really interesting ones out there. It might even be fun to propose some other texts of Joseph Smith for inclusion in the D&C. I can think of a few. That could make a fun post. It might be helpful to analyze Orson’s strategy of selection here as well. Why did he pick certain texts and not others? I’ve already suggested some reasons, one was perhaps to cancel out some of the lecture materials. Another has to do with the imminent dedication of the first Utah temple, the first operating temple since Nauvoo, in St. George, Utah. Think of any others? See, this is fun.


  1. Hey, you can’t post “Sunday Evenings…” this early inn the day, how am I supposed to pay attention in Sacrament meeting?

  2. I haven’t seem a good stemma in a few years. Thanks for this one!

  3. Apologies on the timing. My usual absentmindedness came to play.

    Nancy: I love me a good stemma.

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