Doctrine and Covenants 69-70: The Revelations of God—a Sacred Stewardship

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 81–82

During the Church conference held November 1–2, 1831, it was decided to send the collection of revelations to Missouri, where they would be published as the Book of Commandments in the printing shop set up by W. W. Phelps. The revelation inDoctrine and Covenants 69was received to clarify how the revelations and consecrated Church funds were to be transported to Missouri. As you read this revelation, notice why the Lord did not want Oliver Cowdery to go alone. Notice also the additional insight John Whitmer received about what the Lord expected of him.Under the principles of the law of consecration, members are given a stewardship as a way for them to earn a living and serve the community. Their stewardship could include, for example, land for a farmer, a store for a businessman, or a print shop for a printer.Doctrine and Covenants 70is a revelation about the special stewardship assigned to some of the brethren in the Church. As you study this revelation, look for what the Lord said that could help you be more faithful in the duties and responsibilities you have been given.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 69

Compilation(section heading)Collection 
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 
Raiment(v. 16)Clothing 

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.

Activity A iconWhat 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).

  1. 1.

    Select and write in your notebook one of the truths taught inDoctrine and Covenants 69–70that you think is particularly valuable to the Church.

  2. 2.

    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.

Activity B iconHow Does It Work?

InDoctrine and Covenants 70is an example of how the law of consecration worked.

  1. 1.

    List the six men mentioned in this revelation and explain what their stewardship was (vv. 1–5and the “Understanding the Scriptures” section forD&C 70:5–8).

  2. 2.

    What did the Lord tell them to do with the income from their stewardship? (vv. 6–12).

Activity C iconExplain 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.