Doctrine And Covenants

Written by Beth Hrusch
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Doctrines and Covenants is one of the four books of Mormon scripture which contain the divine revelations regarding the establishment of the true Christian Church on Earth. It is studied alongside the other three books--the Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, and the King James Bible. This document is different from the others in that it is not an ancient work, but modern in its origins. In contrast, Mormons believe the other two books of their faith to be written and inspired by ancient peoples.

The Contents of Doctrines and Covenants

The Doctrines evolved from situations faced by Joseph Smith in the early days of the Mormon Church. Smith routinely prayed for divine guidance to answer the questions of his growing flock and to help steer the Church in the right direction. These revelations, which the Mormons claim were made to Smith by God Himself, are the basis for the Doctrines. Part of the Doctrines recounts the westward spread of the Church in America and the early struggles of its members.

Another matter of concern in Doctrines and Covenants is the translation and publication of the Book of Mormon. The process of organizing this work consumed much of Smith's time, as it provides the background for the Mormon belief system. The revelations in the Doctrines address the nature of godhead, the way to salvation and the origins of man. Dictated by its content, the Doctrines were originally referred to as a Book of Commandments, but its title was later changed.

In importance to the Mormon Church, Doctrines and Covenants keeps company with the most sacred volumes of the faith. It contains much of what today's Mormons believe to be indelible truths, and it also provides guidance for the direction of the Church by referencing its past. It is a work that is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the Mormon community.

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