This year members of the Church worldwide are studying the Doctrine and Covenants in their Sunday gospel doctrine classes. President Gordon B. Hinckley — whose teachings are also being studied this year in Relief Society and priesthood quorums — called the Doctrine and Covenants “a glorious book replete with words of heavenly wisdom. It contains the word of God to us of this generation” (“The Order and Will of God,” Ensign, January 1989, p. 2).
He explained that all the standard works are indispensable to understanding the things of God: The Bible provides a foundation for faith. The Book of Mormon stands as another testament of Jesus Christ. The Pearl of Great Price supplies details missing from the book of Genesis and contains remarkable accounts of early events in the life of Joseph Smith.
The Doctrine and Covenants, however, is unique. “It is the constitution of the Church. While the Doctrine and Covenants includes writings and statements of various origins, it is primarily a book of revelation given through the Prophet of this dispensation.
“These revelations open with a thundering declaration of the encompassing purposes of God in the restoration of His great latter-day work:
“ ‘Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the voice of him who dwells on high, and whose eyes are upon all men; yea, verily I say: Hearken ye people from afar; and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen together.
“ ‘For verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated’ (D&C 1:1–2).
“From that majestic opening there unfolds a wondrous doctrinal panorama that comes from the fountain of eternal truth. Some is direct revelation, with the Lord dictating to His prophet. Some is the language of Joseph Smith, written or spoken as he was moved upon by the Holy Ghost. Also included is his narrative of events that occurred in various circumstances. All brought together, they constitute in very substantial measure the doctrine and the practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
President Hinckley later concluded with his testimony that this “remarkable book ... sets forth 'the order and will of God' to this generation. Ours is the opportunity to read it, ponder it, and enjoy its words of counsel and promise.”
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