Doctrine and Covenants 104: "In Mine Own Way"

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 118–120

In 1832, two years before He gave the revelation inDoctrine and Covenants 104, the Lord organized Church leaders in Ohio and Missouri into a “united order” (D&C 82:11–12). The united order was not the same as the law of consecration. It was one way to put the law of consecration into practice.Economic difficulties in Kirtland, Ohio, and persecutions in Missouri made it increasingly difficult to continue the united order as it was originally organized. As Church leaders considered what to do, the Lord gaveDoctrine and Covenants 104. In this revelation, He reviewed some important principles of the law of consecration and reorganized the united order to meet the challenges the Church faced at that time—including separating the Missouri and Ohio leaders into separate orders, or organizations. Church leaders who participated in this first united order learned much from their experience and were prepared to apply the law of consecration in new ways. The Church does not currently organize united orders as it did in those early days. Today we meet the financial needs of the Church through the payment of tithes and other offerings, including fast offerings. We aid others through the humanitarian efforts and funds provided by the members. The principles taught inDoctrine and Covenants 103apply to our day as we pay our tithes and offerings “in [the Lord’s] own way” (D&C 104:16).

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 104

Immutable(v. 2)Unchangeable 
Nigh(vv. 3, 59)Close, nearby 
Covetousness(vv. 4, 52)Selfishness, greed 
Feigned(vv. 4, 52)Insincere, false 
Buffetings(vv. 9–10)Torments, persecutions 
Steward(vv. 13, 56–57, 74, 77, 86)Person having responsibilities for something 
Stewardship, stewardships(vv. 11–12, 20, 22, 24, 30, 32, 37, 40–41, 44, 54, 63, 68, 72–73, 75)What a steward has responsibilities for 
Accountable(v. 13)Responsible and answerable for what happens 
Handiwork(v. 14)Creation 
Abundance(v. 18)Large amount, great plenty 
Tannery(v. 20)Place for processing animal skins into leather 
Mercantile establishment(vv. 39–41)General store 
Reckoned(v. 45)Counted 
Treasury(vv. 60–62, 64–69, 71)A place where money or other valuables are kept 
Exclusive of(v. 63)Except 
Avails(vv. 64–65)Income, profits 
Token(v. 75)Sign 
Dictated(v. 81)Communicated, spoken 
Pledge(v. 85)Offer as security for repayment of the loan 

Doctrine and Covenants 104:13–18, 55–56—All Things Belong to the Lord

Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, told the following story that demonstrates how we sometimes forget that everything we have comes from and belongs to the Lord:

“One day a friend wanted me to go with him to his ranch. He opened the door of a new automobile, slid under the wheel, and said, ‘How do you like my new car?’ We rode in luxurious air-conditioned comfort out through the countryside to an elegant landscaped home, and he said with no little pride, ‘This is my home.’ …

“… With a wide sweeping gesture, he boasted, ‘From the clump of trees, to the lake, to the bluff, and to the ranch buildings and all between—all this is mine. And the herd of cattle in the meadow—those are mine, too.’ …

“That was long years ago. I later saw my friend lying in death among luxurious furnishings in his palatial home. … I spoke at his funeral, and I followed the cortege [funeral procession] from the good piece of earth he had claimed to his grave, a tiny, oblong area the length of a tall man, the width of a heavy one.

“Recently I saw that same estate, yellow in grain, green in lucerne [alfalfa], white in cotton, mingly unmindful of him who had claimed it” (Faith Precedes the Miracle[1972], 281–84).

Doctrine and Covenants 104:78–83—“Pay All Your Debts”

President Heber J. Grant said: “If there is any one thing that will bring peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is to live within our means, and if there is any one thing that is grinding, and discouraging and disheartening, it is to have debts and obligations that one cannot meet” (address at Relief Society conference [April 6, 1932], inRelief Society Magazine,May 1932, 302).

Studying the Scriptures

Do three of the following activities (A–D) as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 104.

Activity A iconSelect Key Words

InDoctrine and Covenants 104:1–10, the Lord gave a stern warning to those who break their covenants. Choose five words from those verses that you think are important to what the Lord taught. Write each word in your notebook and explain why you think it is important.

Activity B iconThe Lord’s Way, Part 1

Many people suffer from a lack of food, shelter, and medical attention—among other things. And there are many ideas about how to solve these problems. InDoctrine and Covenants 104:11–18, the Lord said that He had a way to solve these problems.

  1. 1.

    Carefully read these verses and, in your notebook, list:

    1. a.

      Truthsthat the Lord said are important to understand in caring for those in need.

    2. b.

      Attitudesthat, if adopted by more of us, would make an important difference to current problems.

    3. c.

      Actionsthat would solve the problems.

  2. 2.

    List at least three ways the Church gives us opportunities to do what the Lord counseled in these verses.

Activity C iconComplete a Chart

Although the Lord reorganized the original united order, He did not change the eternal principles of consecration and stewardship. InDoctrine and Covenants 104:19–46, the Lord gave several brethren specific instructions concerning their stewardship. Inyour notebook, make a chart similar to the following and complete it from what you read inDoctrine and Covenants 104.

Doctrine and Covenants 104




vv. 20–23


vv. 24–26


v. 27


vv. 28–33


vv. 34–38


vv. 39–42


vv. 43–46


Activity D iconThe Lord’s Way, Part 2

When people get into debt, they sometimes look for an easy, quick, or miraculous way to get out of that bondage. They might also feel depressed, realizing that paying off large debts is difficult and can take many years. InDoctrine and Covenants 104:78–83, the Lord gave His way for getting out of debt—not necessarily the easy way or the quick way but the sure way. In your notebook, explain the Lord’s counsel for getting out of debt and how we can apply it today.