Doctrine and Covenants 58: The Will of the Lord Concerning Zion

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 67–69


If you had been a Church member in Missouri when the Lord revealed it was the place of the latter-day Zion and New Jerusalem, what else might you want to know from the Lord?Church members at that time anxiously sought counsel through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the Lord gave the revelations inDoctrine and Covenants 57and 58, containing specific counsel concerning the newly revealed land of Zion. What are you doing to help bring about the “cause of Zion” (D&C 6:6;11:6;12:6) today? As you readDoctrine and Covenants 58, think about how you might apply the Lord’s counsel.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 58

Tribulation(vv. 2–4)Trials and troubles 
Nigh(v. 4)Near 
The city of the heritage of God(v. 13)The place of God’s chosen people 
Hither(v. 14)Here 
Take heed(v. 15)Pay attention, be cautious 
Lands of the heritage of God(v. 17)God’s chosen land (Zion) 
Meet(v. 26)Proper, appropriate 
Compelled(v. 26)Forced 
Slothful(v. 26)Lazy, idle 
Are agents unto themselves(v. 28)Have moral agency to make choices and act 
Revoke(v. 32)Withdraw or change the commandment 
Lurketh(v. 33)Lies concealed and unexpected 
Excel(v. 41)Set himself above others in a prideful way 
Forsake(v. 43)Stop doing, abandon 
Residue(vv. 44, 58, 61)Remainder, rest 
Agent(vv. 49, 51, 55)A person authorized to act for others 
Epistle(v. 51)Letter 
Subscription(v. 51)A signed document requesting money 
Bestowed(v. 60)Given 

Doctrine and Covenants 58:8–11—“A Feast of Fat Things, of Wine on the Lees Well Refined”

The images of the feast referred to inDoctrine and Covenants 58:8–11are symbols of the very finest of food and drink. Ancient prophets compared the times when the gospel would not be available in its fulness to a famine (Amos 8:11). The Restoration of the gospel brings a feast that can satisfy every spiritual hunger. Furthermore, one of the great purposes of the Restoration is to prepare people for “the supper of the Lord” that occurs at the “marriage of the Lamb” (D&C 58:11), or in other words, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Doctrine and Covenants 58:26–29—“It Is Not Meet That I Should Command in All Things. … Be Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause”

When he was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Ezra Taft Benson taught: “Sometimes the Lord hopefully waits on his children to act on their own, and when they do not, they lose the greater prize, and the Lord will either drop the entire matter and let them suffer the consequences or else he will have to spell it out in greater detail. Usually, I fear, the more he has to spell it out, the smaller is our reward” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1965, 122).

A positive example of following this counsel inDoctrine and Covenants 58:26–29is found in an experience Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, a member of the Seventy, shared:

“When I was about ten or eleven, many of our relatives came to visit. There must have been 35 or 40. Mother had invited them all to dinner. After dinner everyone went in the other room and sat down to visit. There were piles of dirty dishes and silverware everywhere. The food had not been put away, and there were dirty pots and pans from all the preparations.

“I remember thinking that later on everyone would leave, and my mother would have all the cleaning up to do. An idea struck me. I started cleaning up. It was in the days before electric dishwashers. Mother had always been very clean, and she taught us how to wash and wipe dishes correctly. I started in on this mountain of work. Finally, about three hours later, I had finished drying the last dish. I had put away all the food, cleaned off all the counters, the sinks, and the floor. The kitchen was spotless.

“I will never forget the look on Mom’s face later on that night when all the guests had left and she came into the kitchen to clean up. I was wet from my chest to my knees. It was worth every particle of effort I had put into it just to the look on Mom’s face. It was a mixture of emotion, relief, and pride. I made a decision then that I would try to put that look back on her face over and over and over again” (“We Love Those We Serve,”New Era,Mar. 1988, 19).

Doctrine and Covenants 58:43—Confessing and Forsaking Our Sins

Elder Spencer W. Kimball, when he was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught: “No one can ever be forgiven of any transgression until there is repentance, and one has not repented until he has bared his soul and admitted his intentions and weaknesses without excuses or rationalizations. He must admit to himself that he has grievously sinned. When he has confessed to himself without the slightest minimizing of the offense, or rationalizing its seriousness, or soft-pedaling its gravity, and admits it is asbigas it reallyis,then he is ready to begin his repentance” (Love versus Lust,Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [Jan. 5, 1965], 10).

In addition, when our sins offend and affect others, we should confess and k forgiveness from those persons. Certain sins, such as violations of the law of chastity, physical or sexual abuse, and other sins that would affect our Church membership, must be confessed to a proper Church authority. The bishop or branch president can then determine a person’s standing in the Church and assist the person in the process of repentance. If you have any questions about whether confession to a Church authority is required, discuss it with your bishop or branch president.

Doctrine and Covenants 58:57—Consecrating and Dedicating the Land and a Spot for the Temple

Sidney Rigdon, in a general way, dedicated the temple site, which is located in the land of Missouri; the Prophet Joseph Smith dedicated the specific site for the temple on August 3, 1831. Sidney Rigdon, Edward Partridge, W. W. Phelps, Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and Joseph Coe were in attendance. The Prophet wrote that “the scene was solemn and impressive” (History of the Church,1:199).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity B and activity A or C as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 58.

Activity A iconTake a Closer Look

It must have been a great thrill to be in Missouri at the time the Lord revealed it to be the place for the city of Zion and the temple. Of course, the next task for the Saints was to work on the building of Zion. They did not the fulfillment of that goal, however; but the Lord had not told them that they would Zion fully established in their day. Using what you read inDoctrine and Covenants 58, answer the following questions:

  1. 1.

    When would Zion be crowned with glory? (vv. 1–5, 44–46, 56).

  2. 2.

    Why did the Lord send the first group to Zion? (vv. 6–13, 44–46).

  3. 3.

    How would Zion be built up? (vv. 8–13, 44–46, 50–56).

  4. 4.

    How does this revelation help answer the first two questions the Prophet Joseph prayed about as recorded in the heading toDoctrine and Covenants 57?

Activity B Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—Doctrine and Covenants 58:26–27

After reading the example in the “Understanding the Scriptures” section forDoctrine and Covenants 58:26–27, write about two examples you have n of how people fulfill that counsel from the Lord. If you cannot think of any examples, write about how you think a person might live that counsel.

Activity C Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—Doctrine and Covenants 58:42–43

List two important principles of repentance that the Lord taught inDoctrine and Covenants 58:42–43.