Doctrine and Covenants 2: Moroni's Visit

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 16–17

Moroni's visit
On September 21, 1823, Joseph Smith sought divine revelation concerning his standing before the Lord (seeJoseph Smith—History 1:29). In answer to his prayer, the angel Moroni appeared to him in the upstairs bedroom of his family’s log home. Moroni spent that entire night teaching the young prophet.Doctrine and Covenants 2represents only a small part of all that Moroni taught (seeJoseph Smith—History 1:30–54; the fulfillment of Moroni’s prophecy is found inD&C 110and will be studied with that section). As you study this section, think about why this revelation is included in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 2

Reveal(v. 1)Make known 
Day of the Lord(v. 1)Second Coming of Jesus Christ 
Utterly wasted(v. 3)Entirely destroyed and made desolate 

Doctrine and Covenants 2:1—“I Will Reveal unto You the Priesthood”

“Joseph and Oliver had been ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood and had been given apostolic power and commission as early as 1829. How was it, then, that Elijah would reveal the priesthood? Simply stated, Elijah was sent in 1836 [seeD&C 110:13–16] to reveal keys of the priesthood and sealing powers that had not yet been fully understood or were not fully operational in this dispensation. Elijah restored the keys whereby families, organized in the patriarchal order [of the Melchizedek Priesthood] through the powers delivered by Elias, could be bound and sealed for eternity” (Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet,Joseph Smith: The Choice Seer[1996], 187).

Doctrine and Covenants 2:1—How Will the Second Coming of Jesus Christ Be “Great and Dreadful”?

Concerning this prophecy of Malachi, which was restated by Moroni, President Joseph Fielding Smith taught: “The great and dreadful day of the Lord, this prophecy proclaims, is the day of the coming of our Lord in the clouds of heaven in great glory and when he shall take vengeance upon the ungodly. It is to be a day dreadful to all who are unrepentant and full of sin, but to the just it shall be a day of peace and salvation. However, before it comes there is to be some mighty work performed by the restoration of Elijah’s authority, which is so potent that it will save the earth from destruction, or from being smitten with a curse” (Doctrines of Salvation,2:112–13).

Doctrine and Covenants 2:2—What Are the “Promises Made to the Fathers”?

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, wrote that “this expression has reference to certain promises made to those who died without a knowledge of the gospel, and without the opportunity of receiving the sealing ordinances of the Priesthood in matters pertaining to their exaltation. According to these promises, the children in the latter days are to perform all such ordinances in behalf of the dead” (“The Promises Made to the Fathers,”Improvement Era,July 1922, 829).

Doctrine and Covenants 2:3—Why Would the Earth Be “Utterly Wasted” If Elijah Did Not Come?

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote: “Why would the earth be wasted? Simply because if there is not a welding link between the fathers and the children—which is the work for the dead—then we will all stand rejected; the whole work of God will fail and be utterly wasted [seeD&C 128:15–18]. Such a condition, of course, shall not be” (Doctrines of Salvation,2:121–22).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 2.

Activity A iconCompare the Accounts

Doctrine and Covenants 2is the angel Moroni’s restatement ofMalachi 4:5–6. We can gain some important insights by comparing the two records (see the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for help, if needed).

  1. 1.

    CompareMalachi 4:5withDoctrine and Covenants 2:1. What did Moroni say Elijah would do that is not found in Malachi? What does that mean?

  2. 2.

    CompareMalachi 4:6withDoctrine and Covenants 2:2. What would Elijah do to turn the hearts of the fathers and the children?

  3. 3.

    CompareMalachi 4:6withDoctrine and Covenants 2:3. What was the “curse”? What does that mean?

  4. 4.

    Write two or three sentences explaining the difference Elijah’s coming has made or will make to your life.