Doctrine and Covenants 110: The Lord Appears and Keys Are Restored in the Kirkland Temple

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 127–128


Lord appears in Kirtland Temple
In his dedicatory prayer, the Prophet Joseph Smith said the Saints had built the Kirtland Temple so the Lord would have a place “to manifest himself to his people” (D&C 109:5).Doctrine and Covenants 110records a fulfillment of that request; the Lord appeared and said that He accepted the temple as His. Three other heavenly messengers appeared shortly after the Savior. They restored important priesthood keys to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 110

Sacred desk(section heading)Sacrament table 
Veils(section heading)Curtains (the temple was set up with curtains that could be brought down from the ceiling and separate the temple into rooms for classes or private meetings) 
Veil(v. 1)Covering, something that keeps something hidden 
Countenance(v. 3)Appearance, face 
Advocate(v. 4)Defender, person pleading the cause of another 
Endowment(v. 9)Spiritual gift 
Dispensation(vv. 12, 16)Period of time when the gospel is given to mankind 

Doctrine and Covenants 110:2—The Pulpits of the Temple

The accompanying drawing shows the interior of the Kirtland Temple. Note that the Savior appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery over the pulpits at the west end of the temple. The drawing shows the pulpits and their unique structure. These were seats for the presiding officers of the Church. They sat there during special meetings, including the temple dedication.

Drawing of Kirtland Temple

Doctrine and Covenants 110:11—Moses and the Gathering of Israel

From time to time the Lord has scattered or moved members of the house of Israel away from the Holy Land and throughout the world. The ten tribes, who lived mostly in the northern kingdom of Israel, were carried into captivity by the Assyrians in 721 B.C.The tribes of Judah and Benjamin in the southern kingdom of Judah, along with remnants of other tribes who were living there, were taken captive to Babylon in Lehi’s time and were scattered again by the Romans after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Elder Bruce R. McConkie, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, explained that Israel was scattered “because they rejected the gospel, defiled the priesthood, forsook the church, and departed from the kingdom. … Israel was scattered for apostasy. The Lord in his wrath, because of their wickedness and rebellion, scattered them among the heathen in all the nations of the earth” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith,515).

Following the Savior’s appearance to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple, the Old Testament prophet Moses appeared. He restored the keys of the gathering of Israel, including the ten lost tribes, to the blessings of the restored gospel. President Spencer W. Kimball taught that “the gathering of Israel consists of joining the true church and … coming to a knowledge of the true God” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball,439).

Doctrine and Covenants 110:12—Who was Elias? What Keys Did He Bring?

“Elias” is a title given to a messenger who prepares the way ( Bible Dictionary,“Elias,” p. 663). It is not clear who Elias was inDoctrine and Covenants 110.

The keys Elias brought concern the blessings the Lord promised Abraham—which can only be fully received through temple ordinances. Thus, he “committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham” (D&C 110:12).

Doctrine and Covenants 110:13–15—The Coming of Elijah

The last verses of the Old Testament record the Lord’s promise to send Elijah to restore the power that binds families (Malachi 4:5–6; also3 Nephi 25;D&C 2). Furthermore, He stated that if this did not occur, it would have serious consequences for everyone. Remembering this promise as part of their celebration of the Passover, many Jews set a place at their tables for Elijah and, ata certain part of the service, open their doors to symbolically allow Elijah to return and enter. Interestingly, April 3, 1836, when Elijah appeared in the Kirtland Temple, was during Passover.

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that the keys Elijah restored allow the Saints to become saviors on Mount Zion: “How are they to become saviors on Mount Zion? By building their temples, erecting their baptismal fonts, and going forth and receiving all the ordinances, baptisms, confirmations, washings, anointings, ordinations and sealing powers upon their heads, in behalf of all their progenitors who are dead, and redeem them that they may come forth in the first resurrection and be exalted to thrones of glory with them; and herein is the chain that binds the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, which fulfils the mission of Elijah” (History of the Church,6:184).

President Joseph Fielding Smith taught: “Through the power of this priesthood which Elijah bestowed, husband and wife may be sealed, or married for eternity; children may be sealed to their parents for eternity, thus the family is made eternal, and death does not separate the members. This is the great principle that will save the world from utter destruction” (Doctrines of Salvation,2:118).

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–D) as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 110.

Activity A iconMake a Chart

Organize the four visitations found inDoctrine and Covenants 110into a chart similar to the following. Fill it in with what you learn in the section.

Verses

Who appeared?

What did he say and do?

Why is what he said and did important?

    
    
    
    

Activity B iconImportant Words and Phrases

Explain the importance of each of the following phrases from the vision of the Savior inDoctrine and Covenants 110:1–10:

  1. 1.

    “The veil was taken from our minds” (v. 1)

  2. 2.

    “I am your advocate” (v. 4)

  3. 3.

    “Lift up your heads and rejoice” (v. 5)

  4. 4.

    “I will manifest myself to my people” (v. 7)

  5. 5.

    “Do not pollute this holy house” (v. 8)

  6. 6.

    “Thousands shall greatly rejoice” (v. 9)

Activity C iconThe Fulfillment

Explain how the prophecy inDoctrine and Covenants 110:9–10has been fulfilled in our time. Include how its fulfillment has blessed your life.

Activity D iconOpening Doors to What?

Moses, Elias, and Elijah gave priesthood keys to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. The termkeyssymbolizes the idea that with that authority certain blessings are unlocked or opened. As a result of the keys restored in the Kirtland Temple (D&C 110), what blessings and opportunities were made available to the Church and the world?