Doctrine and Covenants Commentary - Section 70

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
             SECTION 70

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, November 12, 1831. HC 1:235-237. The history written by the Prophet states that four special conferences were held from the 1st to the 12th of November, inclusive. In the last of these assemblies the great importance of the Book of Commandments, later called the Doctrine and Covenants, was considered; and the Prophet refers to it as being "the foundation of the Church in these last days, and a benefit to the world, showing that the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom of our Savior are again entrusted to man."

    1-5, Stewards are appointed to publish the revelations;
    6-13, Those who labor in spiritual things are worthy of their hire;
    14-18, The saints should be equal in temporal things.

The Foundation of the Church

You do not commonly on a daily basis alter of effect the foundation of a building. Once the foundation is laid, unless there is a major renovation which requires such foundational effect, the foundation remains as first given. Such is seen in the Doctrine and Covenants. Only when a major alteration or renovation is given is the foundational scripture ammended to indicated such. The Doctrine and Covenants IS NOT a record of all revelations. It is the record of those revelations which have a foundational effect. There are other records and many more revelations which come daily in the church at various levels and upon various matters, yet the foundation is solidly set and only upon the word of the Lord so infrequently altered or inovated.

 1 BEHOLD, and hearken, O ye inhabitants of Zion, and all ye people of my church who are afar off, and ahear the word of the Lord which I give unto my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and also unto my servant Martin Harris, and also unto my servant Oliver Cowdery, and also unto my servant John Whitmer, and also unto my servant Sidney Rigdon, and also unto my servant bWilliam W. Phelps, by the way of commandment unto them.

 2 For I give unto them a commandment; wherefore hearken and hear, for thus saith the Lord unto them—

 3 I, the Lord, have appointed them, and ordained them to be astewards over the revelations and commandments which I have given unto them, and which I shall hereafter give unto thema;

 3a and which I shall hereafter give unto them We believ all that God has and does now and yet well reveal, and that those to come will be many important things pertaining unto the kingdom of God. So reads our articles of faith. That the heavens are open and that revelation does continue to come forth is one of the unique features of this latter day church. Yet it has ever been so, that God does not do anything except he reveals such to the prophets for the benefit of those who will so harken unto their words. Not all revelations that the D&C now contains were had at this time. Many were yet to come and many will still yet to come. We may be in a seeming lull, but there are revelations coming through our leaders in their conference reports, words of counsel and direction which comes to lead the church day by day, personal revelation and such revelation which occurs on regional, stake, ward and other local levels even down to such things as teaching in the classroom and in researching one's family roots. All these are revelation but which go for the most part unpublished excepting for the conference report and other offical announcements of the church. And those these stand uncannonized, they are no less scripture of the word of the Lord unto us. The D&C stands as the basic 'foundation' of these revelations and all else may be built upon them. It would seem that today only those things which effect that foundation are placed in or added to the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church. Such foundational items such as the doctrine of the after life and what it is like, the probation on keeping the law of plural marriage (the law of Sarah) and the extention of the priesthood to all worthy males are of such foundational matters. We don't daily have a such major change in our foundation, though we do have daily revelation throughout the church in its governing and administration.
 4 And an account of this astewardship will I require of them in the day of judgment.

 5 Wherefore, I have appointed unto them, and this is their business in the church of God, to amanage them and the concerns thereof, yea, the benefits thereof.

 6 Wherefore, a commandment I give unto them, that they shall not give these things unto the church, neither unto the aworld;

 7 Nevertheless, inasmuch as they areceive more than is needful for their necessities and their wants, it shall be given into my bstorehouse;

 8 And the abenefits shall be consecrated unto the inhabitants of Zion, and unto their generations, inasmuch as they become bheirs according to the laws of the kingdom.

 9 Behold, this is what the Lord requires of every man in his astewardship, even as I, the Lord, have appointed or shall hereafter appoint unto any man.

 10 And behold, none are exempt from this alaw who belong to the church of the living God;

 11 Yea, neither the bishop, neither the aagent who keepeth the Lord's storehouse, neither he who is appointed in a stewardship over btemporal things.

 12 He who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is aworthy of his hire, even as those who are appointed to a stewardship to administer in temporal things;

 13 Yea, even more abundantly, which abundance is multiplied unto them through the amanifestations of the Spirit.

 14 Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be aequal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be bwithheld.

 15 Now, this commandment I give unto my servants for their abenefit while they remain, for a manifestation of my blessings upon their heads, and for a breward of their cdiligence and for their security;

 16 For food and for araiment; for an inheritance; for houses and for lands, in whatsoever circumstances I, the Lord, shall place them, and whithersoever I, the Lord, shall send them.

 17 For they have been faithful over amany things, and have done well inasmuch as they have not sinned.

 18 Behold, I, the Lord, am amerciful and will bless them, and they shall enter into the joy of these things. Even so. Amen.