Doctrine and Covenants 43: Ways the Lord Speaks to Us

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 52–53


The Church was less than one year old when the Prophet Joseph Smith received the revelation inDoctrine and Covenants 43. Many members did not understand the process and order by which revelation is received. The Lord had earlier taught about revelation (D&C 21; 28; 42), but those revelations had not yet been published and were not widely available. Consequently, mistakes were made that occasionally caused confusion and even deception. For example, just before this revelation was given, a woman in Kirtland, Ohio, claimed to be a prophetess and attempted to get many in the Church to follow her teachings and supposed prophecies. As you readDoctrine and Covenants 43, look for what the Lord said about how revelation is given to the Church and about the duties of each member. Notice also what the Lord said about ways He speaks to the world in addition to speaking through prophets and the reasons why He wants us to hear His message.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 43

Polity(section heading)Government 
Stead(v. 4)Place 
Come in at the gate(v. 7)Be baptized and follow the other commandments of the Lord 
Edify(v. 8)Build up 
Sanctified, sanctify(vv. 9, 11, 16)Made pure and holy 
Bind yourselves(v. 9)Covenant 
Purge(v. 11)Cleanse 
Raiment(v. 13)Clothing 
Endowed(v. 16)Blessed, given a gift 
Utter(vv. 18, 21–23)Speak 
Sleeping nations(v. 18)The many people who have died 
Gird up your loins(v. 19)Prepare yourselves 
Both bond and free(v. 20)Both slaves and free people 
Tempests(v. 25)Destructive storms 
Pestilences(v. 25)Plagues 
The wrath of mine indignation(v. 26)My anger 
Millennium(v. 30)Thousand-year period of time when Christ shall reign on the earth 
Be changed(v. 32)Die and be resurrected 
Solemnities(v. 34)Sacred things 

Doctrine and Covenants 43:2–5—Only the President of the Church Receives Revelation for the Whole Church

Regarding the principles of revelation in the Church, President James E. Faust, a counselor in the First Presidency, explained:

“Continuing revelation and leadership for the Church come through the President of the Church, and he will never mislead the Saints.

“… Individual members of the Church may receive revelation for their own callings and areas of responsibility and for their own families. They may not receive spiritual instruction for those higher in authority.

“… Those who claim direct revelation from God for the Church outside the established order and channel of the priesthood are misguided. This also applies to any who follow them” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1996, 6; orEnsign,May 1996, 7).

Revelation

Revelation to the Church always comes through those whom God has called to lead His Church.

Doctrine and Covenants 43:31—Satan Shall Be Bound During the Millennium

President George Q. Cannon, who was a counselor in the First Presidency, taught: “We talk about Satan being bound. Satan will be bound by the power of God; but he will be bound also by the determination of the people of God not to listen to him, not to be governed by him” (Gospel Truth: Discourses and Writings of President George Q. Cannon,sel Jerreld L. Newquist, 2 vols. [1957–74], 1:86).

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–D) as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 43.

Activity A iconWhat Would You Say?

Suppose you met a man who said that he read the Book of Mormon and believed it was true. He also said that he had some special spiritual experiences and received important revelations that the whole Church needed to know. In your notebook, record at least three principles found inDoctrine and Covenants 43:1–7that could keep you from being deceived in a situation like that. What would you say to that person?

Activity B iconHow to Have Effective Church Meetings

  1. 1.

    InDoctrine and Covenants 43:8–10, the Lord taught what ought to happen when we are “assembled together” in meetings and classes in the Church. List what He said we should do.

  2. 2.

    Concerning the purpose of sacrament meetings, President Spencer W. Kimball taught: “If you sing and pray and partake of the sacrament worthily, you could sit through the next hour in worshipful contemplation with profit even if the speaker is poor. It is your responsibility to make the meeting worthwhile by your individual contribution” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball,ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 514–15). Considering President Kimball’s counsel, describe three things you could do more often to ensure that what the Lord described inDoctrine and Covenants 43:8–10happens for you in the Church meetings you attend.

Activity C iconMany Ways of Speaking

  1. 1.

    SearchDoctrine and Covenants 43:17–25and list the ways the Lord said He speaks to the people of the earth. The wordsutter, call,andvoiceshould help you find these different ways.

  2. 2.

    Why do you think the Lord uses so many ways to speak to people? From your experiences or from the experiences of others, what additional ways could you add to the list?

Activity D iconList Some Treasures

Thinking about the Lord’s counsel to “treasure these things up in your hearts” (D&C 43:34), list three teachings fromDoctrine and Covenants 43that you would like to remember. Explain why you chose each teaching. Share them with a family member or friend.