The Doctrine and Covenants is one of the standard books of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It contains revelations from God received mostly through the Prophet Joseph Smith. It is a record of commandments received during the early days of the church for guidance and instruction. It is regarded as the capstone of the LDS religion. Latter-day Saints consider this record 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).
What does this book contain?
The Plan of Salvation
The Doctrine and Covenants is a clear source of knowledge about the Plan of Salvation. It gives a description of man’s life before coming to earth, the creation, Adam and Eve’s transgression, the second coming of Christ, and the resurrection. The Doctrine and Covenants answers the questions, “Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where do I go after this life?”
The book also clarifies that the common term “heaven” is not just one kingdom where all the righteous may dwell. It presents that there are three degrees of glory that mankind may attain—Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial Kingdoms. The comparison of the three is recorded in the 76th section of the book.
The Priesthood: Power and Authority of God
The priesthood is the power and authority of God. It is the same power and authority that He conferred on prophets and apostles of old to act in His name. The Doctrine and Covenants recounts the restoration of the priesthood in these latter days, its functions, ordinances, offices, and the responsibilities of priesthood holders in the Church. The Aaronic priesthood was passed by John the Baptist to Joseph Smith while Peter, James, and John restored the Melchizedek priesthood to Joseph Smith.
The priesthood cannot be assumed nor given only to men who have theological training or expertise, but must be passed on from one who already holds it. This account presents a distinctive declaration that the priesthood in the LDS Church came from God, because the people who held the priesthood previously conferred it on Joseph Smith. This account can be found in the 84th section of the book.
Commandments to Church Members
The book contains commandments specifically directed to our days such as seeking an education (D&C 88:70–126; D&C 97:1–5), obeying the laws of the land (D&C 123; D&C 58:21–23), avoiding debt and materialism (D&C 117:4–9; D&C 38:39), caring for the widows and the poor (D&C 83; D&C 78), and the Word of Wisdom ( D&C 89) among many others.
Although some sections were revelations directed to specific individuals, every instruction is a piece of wisdom and a principle that can be applied even to this day. The Lord said, “What I say unto one I say unto all.”
The Doctrine and Covenants is another account that shows that Jesus Christ stands at the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that all the affairs of the church and its governance are inspired of God.