Doctrine and Covenants 83: Responsibility for Women and Children

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 94


It is difficult for a mother to raise her children by herself. InDoctrine and Covenants 83, the Lord explained how the Church was to help under the law of consecration. The principle works much the same today.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 83

Maintenance(vv. 2, 4)Support, sustenance 

Doctrine and Covenants 83:6—“Widows and Orphans Shall Be Provided For”

President Joseph F. Smith said: “It is intended that the widows shall be looked after when they are in need, and that the fatherless and the orphans shall be provided for from the funds of the Church; that they shall be clothed and fed, and shall have opportunity for education, the same as other children who have parents to look after them. When a child is fatherless and motherless the Church becomes the parent of that child, and it is obligatory upon the Church to take care of it, and to that it has opportunities equal with the other children in the Church. This is a great responsibility” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1899, 39).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 83.

Activity A iconWrite a News Article

Suppose you are a reporter for a small local paper and you are assigned to write about a family whose father was killed in an accident. As you interview the widow and ask her how she is going to manage without the income and support of her husband, she explains that she is a Latter-day Saint. From your reading ofDoctrine and Covenants 83, write an article on what she might say about what the Church did to help her and her children during this difficult time. (Ask for help from your parents or a Church leader, if needed.)