Integrity of the Doctrine and Covenants

All who fight against God and Zion will come to naught.

I recently came across a site, claiming to be a “progressive and meticulous work”, that railed against the LDS Church regarding the Doctrine and Covenants and the fact that it’s predecessor, the Book of Commandments, contained many of the same revelations and they did not “match up”. The author does not reveal his name. Other anti-Mormon websites and blogs jump to the same wrong conclusions. In particular, Section 10 is said to have been changed and corrupted when later placed in the Doctrine and Covenants. From there, the accusation is made that Presidents of the Church who said the Doctrine and Covenants was faithfully recorded are lying, and since they are lying the Church cannot be true, and further accusations follow, etc, ad nauseam. And all because the Book of Commandments and the Doctrine and Covenants do not match up.

As I have so often found out, anti-Mormon writers basically fall into two camps: A) the non-scholarly ignorant; and B) the intentional deceivers. Type A is the clearly the most prevalent. I have personally known many Type A’s. In fact, I have them in my own family. I have never actually known a Type B, personally. Either way, most people just believe what they want to believe. It comes from the heart, not the head.

It usually doesn’t take long to pop these balloons for the truth is just as readily available online as is the falsehood. I soon found a blog by “Dave P” who is affiliated with the Community of Christ (formerly RLDS) church. He shows how Section 10 was initially recorded in 1829 and then sent to press in 1833 to be published in the Book of Commandments. The publication was never completed because the press was destroyed by a mob — which Dave P saw as providential because the revelations in the Book of Commandments were later found to be not faithfully copied from the originals. Dave P blamed this on William E McLellin. Difficult circumstances at the time did not allow for proper review and so it was never even considered for acceptance as official scripture. However, McLellin was more than just sloppy. He apparently decided to copy the revelations to his own preference and style without the approval of Joseph Smith.

That is an interesting observation because, according to accounts, McLellin was one who tried to write his own revelation in 1831 when challenged by the Lord, in Doctrine and Covenants 67, to reproduce like scriptures, from scratch, without inspiration. He failed totally.

One of the great resources we have now is the where original documents are made available online. It is now a small matter to check how the published Doctrine and Covenants 10 matches up with the original handwritten version of the revelation. And what does it show? It proves the canonized version of D&C 10 is faithful to the original document and the never-approved Book of Commandments version is bad copy.

Not many years ago, if you googled Joseph Smith, you would see nothing but anti-Mormon sites. Now, the first page of links shows only one negative article and zero sites devoted to anti-Mormonism. Better SEO helps with this I think but also it appears, at least on the surface, that there are fewer anti-Mormon sites because they get less attention and their falsehoods are now so much easier to refute with a simple web link to original documents. I see this trend as a fulfillment of prophecy.

The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.  [Joseph Smith Jr., History of the Church, 4:540]

Daniel 2 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

Doctrine and Covenants 65 2 The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.

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