Not sure what’s really happening in the Doctrine and Covenants? This resource can help you put the revelations in context


This week’s Come, Follow Me begins with Doctrine and Covenants 49, a revelation given through Joseph Smith to Sidney Rigdon, Parley P. Pratt, and Leman Copley. While many Latter-day Saints are likely familiar with most of these names, Leman Copley is perhaps less frequently heard.

So who was the Latter-day Saint and what was his background?

The heading to the revelation shares a little of who Leman Copley was, explaining that he “had embraced the gospel but still held to some of the teachings of the Shakers.” It goes on to explain what the Shakers’ teachings were and states that Joseph inquired of the Lord to have a better understanding on the subject. But if the section heading isn’t enough to satisfy your curiosity, there’s more available on the topic from a resource in everyone’s Gospel Library.

Revelations in Context: The Stories Behind the Sections of the Doctrine and Covenants lives up to its name. Adding context from historians in the Church History Department that isn’t included in the section headings, its goal is to help give the backstory to revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants.

In this week’s Come, Follow Me lesson, an applicable Revelations in Context by Church historian Matthew McBride is a handy reference for readers. In the article, McBride explains essential background about the time and place of Doctrine and Covenants 49. He also talks about the similarities between the Shakers and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, their differences, and shares additional details about Leman Copley.

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But while Revelations in Context is historically based, readers need not feel daunted. Although organized to zoom in on a time period, it has a narrative feel and helps readers get a picture of what was really happening at that time. This helps Latter-day Saints see how the Doctrine and Covenants applies to them today.

Sunday School General President Mark L. Pace recently told Church News that it brings “more meaning to the sections of the Doctrine and Covenants than I’ve ever experienced before.” He also promised Latter-day Saints that as they utilize this resource, “they will be blessed with an increased understanding and with continued revelation from the Holy Ghost that will bless their lives.”

Read more about Revelations in Context at Church News. You can also access Revelations in Context on your Gospel Library app under “Restoration and Church History” in the “Doctrine and Covenants Study” section.

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