Learning to Love the Doctrine and Covenants


The Doctrine and Covenants didn’t seem to speak to me, but then I actually read it.

For a long time, whenever I searched the Topical Guide or the index of the scriptures to write a talk, I preferred finding scriptures in the Book of Mormon, the New Testament, and even the Old Testament over scriptures in the Doctrine and Covenants. Sure, a lot of the information in the Old Testament has old book names and seems hard to understand, but the Doctrine and Covenants has just numbers—no interesting book names at all.

My feelings about the Doctrine and Covenants changed when we studied it in seminary. I had already tried to read through the entire standard works during my personal scripture study, which I had started when I was eight, but I had skipped the Doctrine and Covenants. The Doctrine and Covenants seemed to be just tedious numbers and instruction—no storylines, no main characters, no wars, no challenges. How could it mean something to me?

So the Church history and Doctrine and Covenants year of study came. During my previous two years of seminary, I had fulfilled my goal to read the entire book of study (the New Testament and then Book of Mormon) as we studied it in seminary throughout the school year. I couldn’t skip that goal just because of a bunch of boring numbers, so I took up the challenge.

Throughout the year, my seminary teacher taught us the historical context of each section in the Doctrine and Covenants. This instruction really helped me understand what I read on my own. The greatest thing I learned that year in seminary was that I was wrong—the Doctrine and Covenants is not a book of boring numbers that doesn’t apply to me. On the contrary, I found that I connected to this book of scripture in a special way because the people the Lord talks to in the Doctrine and Covenants are a lot closer to me in lifestyle and time period than the people in any other book of scripture.

My experience with the Doctrine and Covenants taught me that if, for whatever reason, I feel uninterested in any type of gospel instruction, I’m usually missing out on something great. With patience and a sincere desire to learn, I came to appreciate the Lord’s revelations to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Doctrine and Covenants, as well as all the writings of ancient and modern prophets. Through this experience the Holy Ghost touched me and the gospel blessed my life every day.

Watch a Video

Elder David A. Bednar answers the question, “Why is it so important to study the Doctrine and Covenants in seminary?” at lds.org/go/425.