Doctrine and Covenants 47: A Call to Be a Historian

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 58


From the day the Church was organized, the Lord has commanded that records and histories be kept (D&C 21:1). The scriptures teach that we will be judged out of the books and records that are kept (Revelation 20:12;D&C 128:7). Accurate histories have been an important source of teaching the gospel and building testimony since the days of Adam (Moses 6:5–6, 45–46;1 Nephi 3:19–20;Mosiah 1:2–5). As you readDoctrine and Covenants 47, John Whitmer’s call to be the Church historian, think about how it might apply to you in keeping important histories.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 47

Capacity(section heading)Calling or position 
Expedient(vv. 1–2)Appropriate, desirable 
Regular(v. 1)Consistently maintained, exact 

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 47.

Activity A iconKnowing What to Write

  1. 1.

    According toDoctrine and Covenants 47, how would John Whitmer know what to write in the history?

  2. 2.

    In what ways have you been blessed because someone kept a historical record?

  3. 3.

    In what ways might a record you write be a blessing to others?