Doctrine and Covenants 53: Sidney Gilbert's Calling

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 63


Each of Heavenly Father’s children is given a unique set of gifts and talents. When a person develops his or her talents and gifts and uses them to help others, everyone benefits. The Apostle Paul compared the variety of gifts and talents to the different parts of a human body (1 Corinthians 12). For example, if everyone were a head, who would do the work of the hands? Or if everyone were a hand, who would do the thinking?What are your gifts and talents? How can you use them to benefit your fellow beings and build the kingdom of God?Doctrine and Covenants 53is an example of the Lord calling a man to work in His kingdom according to that man’s gifts and talents.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 53

Election(v. 1)Being chosen 
The residue(v. 6)The rest 

Doctrine and Covenants 53:4—“An Agent unto This Church”

Sidney Gilbert was a partner to Newel K. Whitney in operating a store in Kirtland, Ohio. InDoctrine and Covenants 53, he was called by the Lord to be an agent for the Church, or to make business transactions for the Church. “Sidney Gilbert was an able business man. … The Lord was about to gather His Saints in a new locality, even in Missouri, and they needed men like Sidney Gilbert to transact business for them. Business talents, when consecrated to the service of mankind, are just as good and necessary as so-called spiritual gifts. It is only when they are used to serve the purposes of selfishness and greed that they become a snare and a curse. In the service of the Lord they are a blessing. As an agent he could help in building up the Church” (Smith and Sjodahl,Doctrine and Covenants Commentary,313).

Newel K. Whitney Store

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 53.

Activity A iconUse Your Talents to Help Build the Kingdom

  1. 1.

    The Lord called Sidney Gilbert to be a businessman for the Church, but what did He say he must do to qualify himself for this calling?

  2. 2.

    What difference do you think following that counsel would have on the way he did business?

  3. 3.

    Think about a talent you have. How could you use your talent to bless the Lord’s kingdom?