Doctrine and Covenants

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The Prophet Joseph Smith not only translated the Book of Mormon, but he also compiled other revelations that he received from God. Most of these revelations are found in two other books of modern-day scripture: The Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price.

The Doctrine and Covenants is a standard work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its main purpose is to instruct members and leaders about how the Mormon Church should be organized and directed in order to be in harmony with Christ's kingdom. It also contains many revelations about important doctrines. Most of the revelations were received by the Prophet Joseph Smith (133). The seven remaining sections (including 2 declarations) were received and written by other leaders of the Mormon Church.

Most passages in the Doctrine and Covenants have a specific historical setting and they were received in answer to specific prayers. Many sections were the result of a request by a specific member, but their words have universal application, and this makes Doctrine and Covenants’ revelations still relevant today.

These revelations are recognized by members of the Mormon Church as "the will of the Lord,…the mind of the Lord,…the word of the Lord,…the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation" (D&C 68:4).

The first edition of these revelations was printed in 1833 and was called the Book of Commandments, for the Government of the Church of Christ and it contained only sixty-five chapters. After the first edition, other revelations were received and earlier materials were deleted until it reached the current format.

It’s important to realize that not all the revelations received by Joseph Smith are contained in the Doctrine and Covenants, but some of them are included in the History of the Church.

The decision about which revelations need to be included in the Doctrine and Covenants is made by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Mormon Church.

To the members of the Mormon Church the Doctrine and Covenants is the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ. This powerful book of scriptures confirms the teaching of the Book of Mormon, reveals new principles, explains them in more detail, and gives more instruction about the government of His Church. It also warns individuals and nations about the destructions that lay ahead if they will not repent.