Doctrine and Covenants Commentary - Section 86

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
         SECTION 86

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, December 6, 1832. HC 1:300. This revelation was received while the Prophet was reviewing and editing the manuscript of the translation of the Bible.

This revelaiton sets out that the right to the priesthood comes by that patriarchal order of the fathers, the very covenant of the fathers of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph to the very fulfilling of that covenant. Thus did the priesthood first come to those of Ephraim in the latter-days, as they were they ordained to it fulfillment.
The Power of God given to men whereby they may act and perform in the name of God, by and through the power of God having that authority from God.
      1—7, The Lord gives the meaning of the parable of the wheat and tares;
      8—11, Priesthood blessings to those who are lawful heirs according to the flesh.
 1 VERILY, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, concerning the aparable of the bwheat and of the tares;

 2 Behold, verily I say, the field was the world, and the apostles were the asowers of the seed;

 3 And after they have fallen asleep the great persecutor of the church, the apostate, the awhore, even bBabylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign—behold he soweth the ctares; wherefore, the tares choke the wheat and drive the dchurch into the wilderness.

 1a D&C 101:65 (64-75)
    b Matt. 13:36 (6-43)
 2a Matt. 13:36 (6-43); Mark 4:3
      TG Mission of Early Saints
 2a TG Whoredom
    b Rev. 17:5 (1-9); TG Babylon
    c TG Apostasy of the Early
      Christian Church
    b Rev. 12:6 (6, 14)

 4 But behold, in the alast days, even now while the Lord is beginning to bring forth the word, and the blade is springing up and is yet tender—

 5 Behold, verily I say unto you, the aangels are crying unto the Lord day and night, who are ready and waiting to be sent forth to breap down the fields;

 1a Isa. 11:1 (1-5);
      2 Ne. 21:1 (1-5);
      TG Jesus Christ, Davidic Descent

 6 But the Lord saith unto them, pluck not up the tares while the blade is yet tender (for verily your faith is weak), lest you destroy the wheat also.

 7 Therefore, let the wheat and the atares grow together until the harvest is fully ripe; then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares, and after the gathering of the wheat, behold and lo, the tares are bound in bundles, and the field remaineth to be bburned.

To Joseph Smith and/or To All Who Are of Ephraim/Israel?

   It has been applied to Joseph Smith directly as the founding prophet of the latter-days, but in its reading today, it may be well applied to all who are of Ephraim, that is Israel, in its application to those of the Church today. When given as revelation to Joseph Smith, it was taken by Joseph Smith to apply to himself. As heirs of Ephraim and by baptism into the LDS Chruch, it does also apply to us today as well. Read it from both perspectives, from being to Joseph Smith when it was given to him, and then as to all of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ today who have also been or have become of the House of Israel, as being of Joseph and his companions of the latter-day.(D&C 86:8-11)

 8 Therefore, thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the apriesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathersa

 9 For ye are lawful aheirs, according to the flesha, and have been bhid from the world with Christb in God—

The Root of Jesse 
In the Revelation of John, Jesus Christ himself state who it is that he was when he stated, "I am the root and offspring of David." (Rev. 22:16) And David was the son of Jesse. King David had been promised that the Messiah was to come of his descendants and Christ was and is the long awaited 'Son of David'. Now David was not a righteous vessel having sinned grieviously before God, thus when one speaks of the Messiah's 'rights of heirship' through his ancestral linage of the 'flesh', the righteous 'Jesse' is put in place of his son David and the Lord in Isaiah chapter 11 is there referred to as the 'root of Jesse'. This is well recognized in the Christian world that the terms 'root of Jesse' and 'root of David' are interchangable and both do have reference to the Messiah.

Now does the distinction of being of the 'root of Jesse' solely belong to the Savior? The answer is an obvious no. Jesse had much posterity, David had much posterity and there are many who do and may qualify to being within the scope of the 'root of Jesse'. Yet both Isaiah chapter 11 and even D&C 113 does first and foremost relate to Christ first and then to others of this latter-day who do also so qualify to being heirs of the priesthood through Jesse and thence back through Joseph of Egypt, the covenant promised line. Christ was of this heritage, Joseph Smith was of this heritage as were and are many of the leaders of the Church have been and are accroding to the covenant of the father, the Covenant of Abraham to the end of its fulfillment. We of this right and covenant today do not work separate from Christ but in the order, even the 'earthly' order after the order of the flesh, do work through, by and under the direction of Jesus Christ who was and is of this same promised linage of the priesthood right through the proper linage of Ephraim and Joseph of Egypt.

 8a the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers It is through the seed of Joseph, primarily through the linage of Ephraim, that the blessings of the everlasting gospel come forth to the world to the fulfillment of the Covenant of Abraham. It is by this right and linage that the 'priesthood hath continued through the linage of our fathers', the fathers back through Ephraim and Joseph of Egypt and thence through Jacob, Isaac and Abraham. This is our ancient linage of right to the priesthood and which today has come first to Ephraim and the seed of Joseph and then to the world, Joseph Smith is correctly stated to be a 'pure Ehraimite', being of that linage and right of the flesh entitled to the priesthood of God of the covenant of the Firstborn to the fulfilling of the Coveant of Abraham. In D&C 27:10 where it has been speaking of these 'fathers' of this patriarchal order of linage right to the priesthood it states, "And also with Joseph and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, your fathers, by whom the promises remain;".
 9a lawful heirs, according to the flesh By the lines of earthly genealogical descent is the legal right to the priesthood come. This is the meaning of being 'lawful heirs, according to the flesh'. Joseph Smith's genealogy would be traceable directly back to Joseph of Egypt. And it is this prophecy of promise which Joseph of Egypt did receive from the Lord as recorded in the JST Genesis 50: and 2 Nephi 3:. And it was through Joseph's son of the promise, Ephraim, that Joseph Smith did descend and thus he was a 'pure Ephraimite' entitled to the priesthood. Yet many early elders of the restored church, including Joseph Smith did also lay claim to a joint descent from the linage of Jesse by which they shared lineage with Jesus Christ. And thus were they 'hidden from the world with Christ', being of this hidden 'royal' lineage of right of descendancy.
 9b hid from the world with Christ How is it that Joseph Smith, as well as we who are of Ephraim, have been hidden from the world with Christ? The traditional genealogies of the royalty of England and Europe have laid some claim to being of the 'royal descent' of the house of David, being of that same linage of the 'root of Jesse'. And any who have traced genealogical lines back to the multitude of ancestral lines soon discovers that a great number of us can so trace various of our own lines back into the same royal lines of the kings of England and of Europe. In D&C 113:5-6, it presents the concept that the 'root of Jesse' is 'a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.' Now being of the 'root of Jesse', as well as of Joseph, is not as being of two separate lines, but of the same line. Jesse was son of Obed, who was legally and lawfully according to the Law of God, born as the seed of the dead Mahlon and Elimelech; Boaz being but 'near kinsman' surrogate 'brother husband' of Ruth. Thus David was heir of the covenant through Jesse, Obed, Mahlon and Elimelech back to Ephraim, they being Ephrathites/Ephraimites. And also David/Obed being genetically the son of surrogate Boaz, was of the 'blood line' of Judah. Now the Jewish Bible has emphasized Judah over Joseph/Ephraim, and thus we have learned the Jewish preferred concept that David was of the tribe of Judah over his covenant birthright received as legal heir of Joseph/Ephraim. And thus HE, Jesus Christ, as well as we, have been so 'hid' from the world in our being of the seed of the covenant through Joseph/Ephraim.

Hidden With Christ
'Our Dual Ancesntry' 
Hid as the 'Lion of Judah' through the blood of Boaz, Christ's legal and rightful ancestry of heirship is rather through Mahlon and his father Elimelech, Ephrathites, meaning Ephraimites of the tribe of Epharim. If Joseph Smith is both of the linage of Jesse and of Joseph through Ephraim, how is it that he is a 'pure Ephraimite'? Is that linage of Jesse and Joseph two separate lines of ancestry or is it one and the same and in the same manner that Jacob was the descendant of Issac and also of Abraham? Jesse is stated to be an Ephrathite by the prophet Samuel who is credited with the writing of the major portion of the contents of the books of First and Second Samuel. Samuel was a Levite of the ancestry of Korath assigned to one of the cities of the Levites in the land of the tribe of Ephraim to serve. Thus Samuel's father is also called an Ephrathite just as elsewhere another Levite is named as being of the tribe of Judah. Samuel was an Ephraimite by association though his tribal linage was that of Levi. Mahlon, Elimelech, the rightful heirs Obed and then Jesse and David, were all Ephrathites of Bethlehem-Judah. Many have attempted to explain this away, but what it says is that they were of the descent of the tribe of Ephraim though living in Bethlehem, the site of the burial of their ancestral mother, Rachel.

It is by this linage of 'right' by which Christ and those of Joseph and Jesse, who are the stated 'root of Jesse' come, including Christ and Joseph Smith. Boaz was but the surrogate vicarious parent of Obed. Obed was legally the heir of the house of Elimelech and his wife Naomi. Elimelech would have been a likely descendant of the heirship line of Ephraim which traces back through Joshua and Nun, both stated as Ephrathites in the book of Jasher. Thus Obed was of the blood of Judah, by which King David selected Judah over Israel menaing Ephraim. Though his right by ancestry to Jesus Christ was through Obed's legal and rightful genealogy through Mahlon, Elimelech; Joshua and Nun, and Ephraim and Joseph. And therein lies Jesus claim by right of the flesh to the priesthood of the fathers, not through Judah but through Joseph.

For a more complete discussion of Jesus being Messiah ben Joseph, the rightful heir of Jospeh of Egypt through his son Ephraim click the connecting link above.
 8a D&C 113:8; D&C 113:5-6;
      TG Priesthood, History of
 9a Abr. 2:9 (9-11); D&C 113:5-6;
      TG Abrahamic Covenant;
      TG Birthright;
      TG Seed of Abraham;
   b Col. 3:3 (3-4); D&C 113:5-6

To Fulfill All Righteousness 
As per the order of heaven, Christ was the Firstborn spirit son of the Father. He was the heir of the Father. And the Father anointed and consecrated him to act in behalf of man in the stead of the Father (Leviticus 16:32). Yet despite his divine position of heirship in heaven, Christ as the condescending son come to earth of this mortality, still met all the requirements after the order of man, after the order of the flesh to also so qualify to fulfill all righteousness in all things. He was named and presented at the temple, he was circumcized, He, at the age of 12 was again presented at the temple in what amounted to be his 'barmitzpha'. He attended all the required feast convocations of the temple and it is why he would be at the passover each year despite the growing tension between his ministry and the Jewish hierarchy. It is why he was baptized of John though he was sinless and did not need baptism for that purpose but for the purpose to meet all the earthly requirments required of such in mortality and to show the way. It is also in this respect that Christ, though Son of God, heir of God, and after whose order the priesthood was, did also need to so qualify according to the flesh, according to the earthly requirements, as he was now of this mortal earth, in his right and attainment to the high priesthood. True he had been so ordained to such in heaven and was even at the elevated position of being God, the Son of God, the Redeemer and Savior, God's anointed and consecrated administrator of all things concerning this earth in behalf, for, as and in the stead of the Father. Yet ro fulfill all righteousness, Christ would also quailify himself as the earthly heir to not only the throne of Israel, but also to the high patriarchal priesthood of the order of the fathers which was also so required of all living to also so qualify for the bestowal of this priesthood in the flesh. And that right of the Fathers came down to Christ from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and then to Joseph, not Judah as Judah was the the heir and 'firstborn' of the covenant as Joseph and then Joseph's son Ephraim was.

So how is it that Christ was the priesthood heir of the 'firstborn' of Israel, that is Ephraim, as it is required of all those who first held that priesthood in the cause of the fulfilment of the Covenant of Abraham in our own day? We know that Christ was of the blood of Judah. That is well set out and established in the book of Ruth which is presented very much from the Jewish perspective, as they are they who prepared and compiled that record? But Boaz was not the 'legal' and 'rightful' heirship father of the covenant of God to his first born son Obed by Ruth. Boaz was acting as the surrogate vicarious parent according to the Law of God, the Law of Moses as contained and explained in Deuteronomy 25:5-10. Boaz was performing the as the redeeming kinsman to both redeem the property of the family of Elimelech and Mahlon as set out in Leviticus chapter 25, but he was doing it that it might be conveyed to the legal and rightful heir of the family of Elimelech and Mahlon by providing that legal and rightful heir as the first born son of Ruth by him in his vicarious surrogate performance under the Law of God. Obed was that legal and rightful heir of the family of Elimelech and Mahlon. Obed was that legal and rightful seed which was raised up to the dead, Mahlon being the first husband of Ruth and the first born son of Boaz and Ruth was that rightful heir under the earthly law, after the order of man, after the order of the flesh, and Jesse the son of Obed was even so further so stipulated by the record of Samuel when he wrote that Jesse was that Ephrathite who was the father of David. Thus the Savior had the blood of Judah and all that has been so stated to pertain unto him in that respect is true. But Christ was also the rightful heir and legal heir genealogically of the descendancy of Joseph of Egypt and Ephraim through Nun and Joshua and thence through Elimelech and Mahlon, Ephrathites meaning of the descend and right of Ephraim, the son of Joseph.

It is by this right and order of genealogical and patriarchal descent that Jesus Christ through both his adoptive carpenter father Joseph as son of David and his mother Mary, also a descendant of the linage of David. And from David to Jesse that Ephrathite. And from Jesse to Obed who was the legal and rightful heir of the house of Elimelech and Mahlon, those Ephrathites. And we may presume that being of the legal and rightful heirship line of Ephraim that Elimelech and Mahlon's genealogy would trace back through Joshua and Nun the stated heirship line from Ephraim and Joseph of Egypt. It is through this Joseph of Egypt that the promises and blessings of the fathers, of the covenant where preserved both to Christ and to those of the latter-days. Both being hid from the world as to their true identity and heirship from Joseph through his son Ephraim who was the firstborn of Israel and the bearer of the covenant of the fathers to man as assisted by those of the seed of his brother Manasseh.

 10 Therefore your life and the apriesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the brestoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began.

 11 Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my agoodness, a blight unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a csavior unto my people dIsrael. The Lord hath said it. Amen.