Doctrine and Covenants 91: The Apocrypha

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 105

Some versions of the Bible have a section of books known as the Apocrypha, a word that means “hidden.” Generally, it is thought that these books are called the Apocrypha because it is not known whether or not they are true and accurate scripture. When the Prophet Joseph Smith was working on his translation of the Bible, he wanted to know if he should translate and include the Apocrypha.Doctrine and Covenants 91is the Lord’s response. It gives helpful information if you want to read the Apocrypha, and the counsel may also apply to other good books that interest you.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 91

Interpolations(v. 2)Additions not in the original writings 
Manifesteth(v. 4)Makes known 

Doctrine and Covenants 91—The Apocrypha

The Apocrypha is a collection of Hebrew writings from Old Testament times. They were not included in the scriptures of that period written in the Hebrew language but were in the scriptures written in the Greek language at the time of the Savior’s mortal ministry. Even then, however, there were many questions regarding who wrote them and if they were inspired writings. The books in the Apocrypha can help us understand some of the history of the Jewish people between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A or B as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 91.

Activity A iconRespond to a Friend

Imagine you and a friend are talking about religion and you show him or her your Bible. Your friend says that something is missing from it and asks why your Bible does not include the Apocrypha. Using what you learn inDoctrine and Covenants 91, answer your friend’s question.

Activity B iconMake a Comparison

  1. 1.

    What did the Lord reveal inDoctrine and Covenants 91about how to find the truth in the Apocrypha?

  2. 2.

    How might this counsel apply to books other than those related to the scriptures, such as school textbooks?