Doctrine and Covenants 49: A Message for the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing (Shakers)

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 59–60


If someone said to you, “It really doesn’t matter what you believe. It just matters that you live a good life.” What would you say? Do our beliefs affect the way we live? If those beliefs changed, in what ways would they affect behavior? In what ways has an understanding of eternal truth made a difference in the way you live?As you can read in the section heading toDoctrine and Covenants 49, the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing (Shakers) was a religious group with a large number of members near Kirtland, Ohio. The section heading also describes how some of their beliefs differed from the doctrines of the restored gospel. As you read each doctrine the Lord emphasized inDoctrine and Covenants 49, think about how knowing that particular truth can affect the way we live.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 49

Celibate(section heading)To never marry or have sexual relations 
Refuted(section heading)Disproved 
Reason with them(v. 4)Explain the truth in a way that makes sense to them 
Listed(v. 6)Desired or chose 
Exalted(vv. 10, 23)Put in a high place 
Answer the end of its creation(v. 16)Accomplish the purposes for which it was created 
Measure(v. 17)Full number or amount 
Abstain from(v. 18)Avoid eating 
Raiment(v. 19)Clothing 
Flourish(vv. 24–25)Be blessed, prosper 
Rearward(v. 27)Protection from behind 
Confounded(v. 27)Put to shame, confused 

Doctrine and Covenants 49:8—Who Are the “Holy Men”?

President Joseph Fielding Smith said that the “holy men” spoken of inDoctrine and Covenants 49:8“are translated persons such as John the Revelator and the Three Nephites, who do not belong to this generation and yet are in the flesh in the earth performing a special ministry until the coming of Jesus Christ” (Church History and Modern Revelation,1:209).

Doctrine and Covenants 49:24–25—Prophecies We Can Being Fulfilled

The Shakers believed that the Second Coming had already occurred.Doctrine and Covenants 49:24–25spoke of two prophecies that were yet to be fulfilled before the Second Coming. At the time this revelation was given, there was little evidence for the fulfillment of either prophecy. In our day, however, we have n Zion flourish in the hills and mountains of the western United States and millions of Lamanites come into the Church and flourish.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 49.

Activity A iconCorrect the False Doctrine

  1. 1.

    Divide a page in your notebook into two columns. In one column, list the Shaker beliefs explained in the section heading toDoctrine and Covenants 49. In the second column, list whatDoctrine and Covenants 49teaches that corrects each Shaker belief in your first list.

  2. 2.

    For one of those Shaker beliefs, find a scripture from the Bible that corrects the incorrect doctrine. Write it as a cross-reference next to the explanation you wrote in the second column.

  3. 3.

    What difference do you think it makes to understand the correct doctrines explained in this revelation? In other words, why does it matter what you believe? In your answer, use an example from a doctrine the Lord explained inDoctrine and Covenants 49and explain how it might affect the way you live now and in eternity.