Doctrine and Covenants 67: The Test of Scripture

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 79–80


During a special conference in Hiram, Ohio, the Prophet Joseph Smith proposed that the revelations he had received from the Lord be published in a book. During the conference, the Lord gave His approval for the publication by revealing what is now Doctrine and Covenants section 1, which the Lord called “my preface unto the book of my commandments” (D&C 1:6). It is His introduction to, and testimony of, the revelations.Oliver Cowdery read the revelation in section 1 to those assembled at the conference, after which several of the brethren rose to their feet to testify of the truthfulness of the revelation and expressed their support for the proposed printing of the book. A few expressed the opinion that the language of the revelation should be improved. As a result of this concern, Joseph received the revelation that is nowDoctrine and Covenants 67, in which the Lord challenged those who found fault with the revelations to produce anything equal to what they considered to be the least of the revelations the Prophet had received (D&C 67:6–8).
William McLellin
The Prophet Joseph Smith wrote: “After the foregoing [D&C 67] was received, William E. M’Lellin [McLellin], as the wisest man, in his own estimation, having more learning than sense, endeavored to write a commandment like unto one of the least of the Lord’s, but failed; it was an awful responsibility to write in the name of the Lord. The Elders and all present that witnessed this vain attempt of a man to imitate the language of Jesus Christ, renewed their faith in the fulness of the Gospel, and in the truth of the commandments and revelations which the Lord had given to the Church through my instrumentality; and the Elders signified a willingness to bear testimony of their truth to all the world” (History of the Church, 1:226). Because of the limits of our understanding, we may at times be tempted to question our leaders. As you studyDoctrine and Covenants 67, give special attention to what the Lord taught about why we should have faith in His chosen leaders.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 67

Endeavored(v. 3)Tried, attempted 
Express beyond his language(v. 5)Write the revelations using words he felt would express the text of the revelations better 
Strip yourselves from(v. 10)Get rid of, remove 
Carnal(vv. 10, 12)Worldly, mortal 

Doctrine and Covenants 67:10–12—The Privilege of ing God

The statement inJohn 1:18and1 John 4:12, “no man hath n God at any time,” has caused some confusion because we know that prophets, such as Moses, have n God “face to face” (Exodus 33:11; alsoIsaiah 6:5;Joseph Smith—History 1:17). InDoctrine and Covenants 67:11, the Lord clarified that in order to be in the presence of God a mortal person must be “quickened by the Spirit of God,” meaning changed in a way that will allow that person to endure His glory. Moses described it as being “transfigured” (Moses 1:11). (JST, John 1:19;JST, 1 John 4:12.)

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A or B as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 67.

Activity A iconWhat Do These Revelations Mean to You?

Doctrine and Covenants 1was received shortly before section 67. Both of these revelations deal with the proposed publication, in book form, of the revelations the Prophet Joseph Smith received from the Lord ( the study guide’s introduction toD&C 67).

  1. 1.

    ReviewDoctrine and Covenants 1:17–24and 67:4–9 and summarize what the Lord said about the revelations Joseph Smith received.

  2. 2.

    How do these scriptures help us understand the form in which the revelations are written?

  3. 3.

    Write a paragraph expressing how you feel about the revelations you have studied so far this year. Tell about at least one passage that has touched your heart and made a difference in your life.

Activity B iconOutline the Process

Sometimes we do not receive blessings the Lord would like to give us because we are not ready for those blessings. From what the Lord said inDoctrine and Covenants 67:1–3, 10–14, outline what we must do to receive His promised blessings.