Doctrine and Covenants
The Doctrine and Covenants is a compilation of documents that the church accepts as representing "the mind and will of God" and as a standard of church law and practice. In it are contained descriptions of the various priesthood offices and the methods for administering the ordinances of the church. The documents date back to 1828 and cover the period from then until the present.
With only a few exceptions, each section of the book was authored by one of the presidents of the church. One of the functions of the president is to present in written form what he considers to be God's will for the church. The documents are presented to the various councils and quorums of the church and to the World Conference (a meeting with a body of delegates sent from congregations all over the world) for their consideration. After a formal vote of the Conference, sections are printed as additional sections to the Doctrine and Covenants.
The various sections of the Doctrine and Covenants include several different kinds of material. The early sections of the book, presented by Joseph Smith, Jr., contain much personal instruction directed to individuals who were prominent in the church at the time. These same sections also include details of church government and organization. Other matters of major significance in these sections include the topics of Zion and Stewardship. Most sections added after 1860 by successors to Joseph Smith, Jr. have been presented in answer to specific concerns.
The Doctrine and Covenants, like the Bible and Book of Mormon, affirms Jesus Christ as the cornerstone of the church, the Only Begotten Son of God, our Savior, and the central element of the Gospel. The joint witness of all three books is that God is unchanging and has been actively engaged and involved in Human History throughout the ages, and still reveals Himself today to mankind. All three books affirm that God has an eternal purpose for all of us and will not abandon His creation. In fact, God so loves the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life!
For an on-line version of the Doctrine and Covenants, go to Scripture Search.
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