Understanding the Scriptures
Doctrine and Covenants 69
|Abroad(v. 5)||In locations other than Zion|
|Seat(v. 6)||Central place, headquarters|
Doctrine and Covenants 70
|Exempt(v. 10)||Free, excused|
|Temporal(vv. 11–12)||Physical, earthly|
|Grudgingly(v. 14)||Reluctantly and resentfully|
Doctrine and Covenants 70:5–8—“They Shall Not Give These Things unto the Church”
The assigning of the brethren to be “stewards over the revelations and commandments” (D&C 70:3) meant that the printing and distribution of those Church books was to be their employment. They were to use the “benefits [income] thereof” (v. 5) to help support themselves and their families, just as a farmer or storekeeper would do. The income from the sale of the Church materials was not to be given directly to the Church, for “he who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is worthy of his hire” (v. 12). Any income they received that was in excess of their needs, as determined in an accounting with the bishop, was to be given to the Lord’s storehouse for the care of the poor (v. 7).
Doctrine and Covenants 70:14—What Does It Mean to Be Equal in Temporal Things?
President Joseph Fielding Smith explained: “We learn from this [D&C 70] and other revelations that all who went up, or who contemplated going up, to Zion, were bound by the law of consecration by which Zion was to be built. They were also commanded to be equal in temporal things, and not enter into the covenants grudgingly. To be equal did not mean that all should have the same amount of food, but each should have according to his needs. For instance, a man would receive in proportion to the number in his family, not according to the nature of his work” (Church History and Modern Revelation,1:268–69).
Studying the Scriptures
Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 69–70.
What Are the Scriptures Worth?
In a Church conference where the decision was made to publish the revelations the Lord had given the Prophet Joseph Smith, “the conference voted that they prize the revelations to be worth to the Church the riches of the whole earth” (History of the Church,1:235).
Select and write in your notebook one of the truths taught inDoctrine and Covenants 69–70that you think is particularly valuable to the Church.
Select and write another truth that you have learned from anywhere in the Doctrine and Covenants that is especially meaningful to you personally, and explain why.
How Does It Work?
InDoctrine and Covenants 70is an example of how the law of consecration worked.
Explain What Being Equal Means
Suppose you had a friend who, after readingDoctrine and Covenants 70:14–18, said, “I’m not sure I would like to live in Zion where everyone has exactly the same things. What if I don’t like what everyone else likes?” Using what you learn inDoctrine and Covenants 51:3;70:14–16; and the “Understanding the Scriptures” section, write a response to that friend. Be sure to correct the misunderstanding of what being equal in temporal things means, and include a paragraph explaining the advantages you to living in Zion.