2021 Study Summary 12: All Things Must Be Done In Order
Doctrine and Covenants 27–28
“All Things Must Be Done In Order”
Doctrine and Covenants 27. Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, August 1830. In preparation for a religious service at which the sacrament of bread and wine was to be administered, Joseph set out to procure wine. He was met by a heavenly messenger and received this revelation, a portion of which was written at the time and the remainder in the September following. Water is now used instead of wine in the sacramental services of the Church. 1–4, The emblems to be used in partaking of the sacrament are set forth; 5–14, Christ and His servants from all dispensations are to partake of the sacrament; 15–18, Put on the whole armor of God.
Doctrine and Covenants 28. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Oliver Cowdery, at Fayette, New York, September 1830. Hiram Page, a member of the Church, had a certain stone and professed to be receiving revelations by its aid concerning the upbuilding of Zion and the order of the Church. Several members had been deceived by these claims, and even Oliver Cowdery was wrongly influenced thereby. Just prior to an appointed conference, the Prophet inquired earnestly of the Lord concerning the matter, and this revelation followed. 1–7, Joseph Smith holds the keys of the mysteries, and only he receives revelations for the Church; 8–10, Oliver Cowdery is to preach to the Lamanites;11–16, Satan deceived Hiram Page and gave him false revelations.
When is water used instead of wine for the Jews?
Various Rabbis have expressed that using “living” water when wine is not available or cannot be used is appropriate for the Kiddush before bread (Motzi), before Sabbath meals and at the Passover Seder. As previously mentioned, The present Jewish Passover feast is in fact an annual event to remember Israel’s deliverance. In a religious Jewish home, a weekly reminder of the first Passover is done with a “Kiddush.” The master of the house always pours the wine with an appropriate blessing, sips first, followed by everyone else sipping the wine. He breaks a piece of bread and after the appropriate blessing, eats the first piece with everyone following his example. The prayers said include a promise that in the future another deliverance would occur greater than the first Passover. Weekly, Latter-day Saints take a “sacrament” that consists of bread that is broken, blessed and the presiding Elder partakes first, then water (nowadays, water instead of wine) is blessed. Again the presiding authority partakes first and then everyone follows. This is done in “remembrance” of the greater deliverance provided by the Savior’s atonement.
How does the sacrament remind me of life, death, and resurrection?
There is a certain symbolism to covering the emblems of bread and water with a white sheet in remembrance of His death and resurrection. That is similar to many customs of covering the deceased with a white sheet. The religious Jews empty all containers holding water in symbolism of the life having left the body. The sacrament using water represents the “Fountain of Living Waters,” who lives! (1 Nephi 11:25)
How can I appreciate the meaning of the sacrament being an eternal ordinance?
There is a lesson in going back to the “learning of the fathers.” The Hebrew word for “to go back” or “to return” is la-shuv, is the same as “repent.” The sacrament is a covenant of repentance. “Say nothing but repentance unto this generation; keep my commandments and assist to bring forth my work, according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed.” (Doctrine & Covenants 6:9) The eternal aspect is reflected in the word “everlasting.” “Everlasting is also used to signify the eternal, lasting, and enduring nature of some particular thing. For instance: the ‘everlasting covenant’ (D&C 1:15), ‘the everlasting gospel’ (D&C 36:5), ‘songs of everlasting joy’ (D&C 45:71), ‘an everlasting inheritance’ (D&C 57:5), ‘the everlasting hills.’ (D&C. 133:31.)” (Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie, Pg.243) Moreover, combining an understanding of the “Learning of the Jews” and realizing the “mysteries” of the Lord, can help us understand the eternal nature of covenants “For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.” (Nephi 10:19)
How does the term “Armor of God” protect me from head to toes?
The helmet (Ephesians 6:17; D&C 27:18) is to protect our brain, the source of our thought process, our memories. The breastplate protects our heart (2 Nephi 33:1), and lungs so we can breathe in thought and body. The sash or belt is there to hold our loin cloth, to protect our posterity in purity. The sword (Hebrews 4:12), to wield against Satan, the adversary, and the shoes to help us walk in the paths of truth, the walk-with-God. We should have our “feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15; D&C 27:16). Shod means wearing shoes. Your feet . . . represent your goals or objectives in life . . . Preparedness is the way to victory, and ‘eternal vigilance is the price of safety . . . The tide of victory rests with him who is prepared” (President Harold B. Lee [1899–1973], “Message from the First Presidency,” Ensign, Jan. 1971, 2). “The scriptures teach us that we are engaged in a conflict against evil and that we can protect ourselves to be victorious (Ephesians 6:11–17; D&C 27:15–18). They speak of the “armor of God,” which will fortify us to “stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). Here are some of the ways this armor protects us, as well as some ways we can secure it. “Examine your armor. Is there an unguarded or unprotected place? Determine now to add whatever part is missing . . . Through the great principle of repentance you can turn your life about and begin now clothing yourself with the armor of God through study, prayer, and a determination to serve God and keep his commandments.” (President N. Eldon Tanner (1898–1982), First Counselor in the First Presidency, Put on the Whole Armor of God, Ensign May 1979, 46) “In the Church we can teach about the materials from which a shield of faith is made: reverence, courage, chastity, repentance, forgiveness, compassion. In church we can learn how to assemble and fit them together. But the actual making of and fitting on of the shield of faith belongs in the family circle. Otherwise it may loosen and come off in a crisis.” (President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Shield of Faith,” Ensign, May 1995, 8.)
How am I protecting the “Body of Christ” as I care for my mind and body?
Remember, there are two things necessary to understand the scriptures – the learning of the Jews and the Holy Spirit that reveals the subtleties. One beautiful attribute is His being, His body that he gave for us. Could Isaiah have been suggesting that everything around us can remind us of him, even “body language” refers to him? The Lord was called from the womb, a perfect body with attributes as eyes, ears, mouth, tongue, neck, heart, shoulder, hands, arms, belly, leg, knee, and feet. “Lift up your eyes on high,” (Isaiah 40:26); “To open the blind eyes,” (Isaiah 42:7); “Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.” (Isaiah 43:8); Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.” (Isaiah 42:20); “thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;” (Isaiah 48:4); “for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 40:5); “the hand of the LORD hath done this.” (Isaiah 41:20); “Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.” (Isaiah 42:18); “for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.” (Isaiah 44:18); “Thou hast heard, see all this.” (Isaiah 48:6); “Kings shall see.” (Isaiah 49:7); “And they shall be made perfect notwithstanding their blindness,” (JST Isaiah 42:20); “formed me from the womb . . . glorious in the eyes of the LORD,” (Isaiah 49:5); “Lift up thine eyes round about,” (Isaiah 49:18); “say again in thine ears,” (Isaiah 49:20); “for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 40:5); “the word is gone out of my mouth . . . every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” (Isaiah 45:23); “I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them . . . and they came to pass.” (Isaiah 48:3); “my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me,” (Isaiah 49:2); “their tongue faileth.” (Isaiah 41:17); “yet he laid it not to heart.” (Isaiah 42:25); “considereth in his heart.” (Isaiah 44:19); “a deceived heart . . . my right hand.” (Isaiah 44:20); thou didst not lay these things to thy heart,” (Isaiah 47:7); “Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children,” (Isaiah 49:21); “He hath no hands.” (Isaiah 45:9); “and concerning the work of my hands.” (Isaiah 45:11); “my hands, have stretched out the heavens.” (Isaiah 45:12); “I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:16); “make bare the leg, uncover the thigh.” (Isaiah 47:2); “the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him:” (Isaiah 40:10); “he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom.” (Isaiah 40:11); “his arm shall be on the Chaldeans.” (Isaiah 48:14); “with the strength of his arms.” (Isaiah 44:12); “I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.” (Isaiah 49:22); “with his feet.” (Isaiah 41:3); “And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet;” (Isaiah 49:23); “called him to his foot,” (Isaiah 41:2). This constant use of body language can be seen as a metaphor of the “Body of Christ.” “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)
How have revelatory tools been used in the past?
“On the breastplate were embedded 12 precious stones, one for each of the tribes of Israel, and the Talmud speculates that the oracular message was miraculously spelled out by the protruding of letters out of the tribal names inscribed on the stones.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) As we studied in a previous section, since the Urim and Thummin were revelatory tools, it is possible that they represent or operate on a simple principle of revelation, study then ask. The answer, if we are ready, will be yes or no. Think of it as one answer points up and the other points down. This is as simple as the most complicated computer which works on one and zero, yes and no. “But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.” (Doctrine & Covenants 9:8) From the “topical guide” we read, “For millennia, many people throughout the world have accepted the idea that physical objects can be used for sacred purposes. The Bible affirms that God worked through objects such as the rod of Aaron, a brass serpent, and the ark of the covenant. Jesus later healed a blind man by applying spittle to the man’s eyes. The Book of Mormon describes a sacred purpose for specially designated stones. In one passage, the brother of Jared asked the Lord to touch 16 small stones, which were “white and clear, even as transparent glass” (Ether 3:1). After the Lord’s finger touched the stones, they provided light for the Jaredites as they journeyed across the ocean. Another verse speaks of sacred stones that “shall magnify to the eyes of men these things which ye shall write” (Ether 3:24). In the Book of Mormon, the functional Liahona led the righteous descendants of Lehi. Its presence was a reminder that the Lord would lead his people. In the Bible, the cloud and pillar (as well as the raised serpent) was a reminder that God would lead Israel through the wilderness. “The Tabernacle stood in the center of the Israelite camp and a cloud rested over it. When the cloud lifted, it was considered a divine signal to move the camp. A silver trumpet was sounded, the Levites dismantled the Tabernacle and transported it to its next resting place.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) “To typify Christ and point attention to the salvation which would come because he would be lifted up on the cross, Moses (as commanded by the Lord) made a brazen serpent and lifted it up on a pole. Then those of the children of Israel who were bitten by poisonous serpents were healed by looking upon the serpent, while those who refused to look died of the poisonous bites. (Num. 21:4-9) This performance was a ceremony in Israel which was intended to show the people that by looking to Christ they would be saved with eternal life, but by refusing to look to him they would die spiritually (John 3:14-15; Alma 33:19-22); (Hela. 8:14-15) The brazen serpent was kept as a symbol in Israel until the time of Hezekiah, who broke it in pieces to keep apostate Israel of his day from burning incense to it. (2 Kings 18:4)” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.104)
How can I better understand the term “mysteries?”
The pattern of directional tools is a metaphor to have us turn and “look up” in order to be “lifted up.” As with all prophets of God, the message is: improving, changing, and turning toward God (“to turn” is the word “repentance” in Hebrew). Various metaphors were used by various prophets, and Hosea chooses the tender subject of marriage and moral fidelity to emphasize the nurturing and forgiving nature of our Father in Heaven. Nephi wrote, “highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, (1 Nephi 1:1-2). Nephi uses a synonym for mysteries as the “subtle understanding” of God’s word. This is available through the Gift of the Holy Ghost. (1 Nephi 10:19)
How can I discern the differences of revelations for me and for the Church?
“(There was) often such opposition on the part of the prophet when called on to prophesy? Why, too, such an outpouring of divine encouragement? The prophetic office was not an easy one to bear. The distinction of being chosen by God was matched by rejection on the part of the people. The prophet was a solitary individual whose life was marked by loneliness and bitterness. The description of the prophet’s emotional experience upon receiving a ‘stern vision’ is at times overwhelming and frightening: his body filled with anguish; his pain is comparable to birth pangs; he is tormented and terror-stricken. “A prime function of the prophet was to defend his people and to act as a mediator on their behalf. He constantly pleaded with Israel to seek God that they might live. He prayed that repentance might have the desired effect of invoking mercy. A prophet was not charged with religious innovation: his function was to clarify the teachings of the Bible. Moses was the ‘master of the prophets.’ No prophet after him succeeded as he did in penetrating the nature of the Divine.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) “The true Church of Jesus Christ has been restored and is on the earth today. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always been led by living prophets and apostles, who receive constant guidance from heaven. That divine pattern was also true anciently. We learn in the Bible: “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7) “. . . In our day, living prophets and apostles are authorized to speak, teach, and direct with authority from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Savior said to the Prophet, “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38). “The Lord loves every person who might hear His message, and He knows the hearts and circumstances of each one. He knows what correction, what encouragement, and what gospel truth will best help each person to choose his or her way along the path to eternal life.” (Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency) “When we convene as a Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, our meeting rooms become rooms of revelation,” he said. “The Spirit is palpably present. As we wrestle with complex matters, a thrilling process unfolds as each apostle freely expresses his thoughts and point of view. Though we may differ in our initial perspectives, the love we feel for each other is constant. Our unity helps us to discern the Lord’s will for His Church.” (Russell M. Nelson, President, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
Beyond a traditional sense of “approval,” the principle of common consent in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shows a member’s willingness, acquiescence, and compliance to the will of the Lord – expressed through His servants – and individually confirmed through the power of the Holy Ghost.