Neal A. Maxwell Institute
“Embracing the Law: Reading Doctrine and Covenants 42” is edited by Jeremiah John and Joseph M. Spencer.

"EMBRACING THE LAW: Reading Doctrine and Covenants 42,” edited by Jeremiah John and Joseph M. Spencer, Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, $15.95, 140 pages (nf)

In 1831, the Lord instructed Joseph Smith, "Go to the Ohio and there I will give unto you my law" (Doctrine and Covenants 38:32). Doctrine and Covenants 42 is the fulfillment of that promise, where the early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were instructed to preach the gospel, keep the commandments, care for the poor, live the law of consecration and live together in love and righteousness. The law of the LDS Church as given in Doctrine and Covenants 42 contained temporal and spiritual implications for the early Saints.

While life inside and outside the LDS Church has changed immensely since 1831, an understanding of Doctrine and Covenants 42 is still essential for modern Latter-day Saints.

"Embracing the Law: Reading Doctrine and Covenants 42," a collection of essays by LDS scholars, analyses both the historical and modern implications of the section as a legal, theological, pedagogical and social justice text.

Nathan B. Oman, professor at William & Mary Law School, discusses the paradox of religious law in a secular society. Jeremiah John, associate professor of politics at Southern Virginia University, analyzes the role of spiritual law in the relationship between humanity and God. Karen E. Spencer, independent scholar and BYU alumnus, expounds on the directive to teach the gospel at home and abroad.

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Russell Arben Fox, professor of political science at Friends University, reflects on the social justice aspects of Doctrine and Covenants 42 and the law of consecration. Robert Couch, assistant professor of finance at Earlham College, examines how the law of consecration separates Latter-day Saints from the world. Finally, Joseph M. Spencer, visiting assistant professor of ancient scripture at BYU, discusses how the changes to Doctrine and Covenants 42 add meaning to the text.

Rachel Chipman reads fewer books than she would like, but her preferred reading schedule would not leave time for much else. She lives with two little bookworms and one grown-up bookworm in Northern Virginia.