Joseph Fielding McConkie recalled that when the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve were discussing adding the documents that are now Sections 137 and 138 that Elder Bruce R. McConkie had a few other suggestions. One was to add two Articles of Faith about the restoration of the Gospel and the Plan of Salvation (to which Thomas S. Monson good-naturedly responded: “We all know there are only thirteen Articles of Faith, not fifteen”). McConkie also suggested adding several excerpts from the Joseph Smith Translation to the Pearl of Great Price, the entire Wentworth Letter, and the Lectures on Faith. While these weren’t accepted into the official canon of the Church, Joseph Fielding McConkie indicated that these, along with the official expositions from the early 20th century known as the Origin of Man and Father and the Son, Joseph Smith’s King Follett Discourse, and Joseph Smith’s Sermon in the Grove, were still regarded as scripture by Elder McConkie.
I agree with some (though not all) of these suggestions, which dovetails nicely into my hypothetical series about what I would do if I were asked to update the Doctrine and Covenants. Reviewing from last time, the goals I have in mind in this theoretical project are that updates to the scriptures must do the following:
- Increase faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.
- Teach core doctrines with power and clarity.
- Comfort the weary and inspires members to endure in faith.
- Unify members throughout the Church.
- Strengthen faith that leaders of the Church are guided by revelation from God
In approaching this topic, I’m breaking the approach into three main areas, which means that the series will flow as follows:
- Editing of documents
I plan to go through this section of things I would add to the Doctrine and Covenants by the divisions I outlined in the initial post of this series. In approaching this part of the series, I have made an effort to include women’s voices, though it will likely be apparent that I still have a ways to go in familiarizing myself with the materials that can be used and probably should be included.
The doctrinal documents I would add are sermons and statements that explain the doctrines and policies of the Church. There is a massive wealth of material available in the Church that could be added that would fall under this category, and I recognize that if you get four members of the Church together in one room, they would probably have ten different opinions on what could or should be done in this area (which is only slightly less than the number of opinions raised if the section being discussed were hymns to canonize). This is also related to a previous post about important documents from Latter-day Saint history, though the lists are not exactly the same. Here are the doctrine documents I would propose adding:
- 1838, Joseph Smith, Questions and Answers
- Specifically, I would add the famous section where Joseph Smith states that: “The fundamental principles of our religion is the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, ‘that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended up into heaven;’ and all other things are only appendages to these, which pertain to our religion.
- “But in connection with these, we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of faith, the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts according to the will of God, the restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth.”
- This statement would be included to increase faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ and to teach core doctrines with power and clarity.
- Emma Smith’s Sermons
- Excerpts from the sermons of the first Relief Society president in the Church. It outlines some objectives of the Nauvoo Relief Society, seeking unity in the Church, and doing good.
- Excerpts from Meetings of the Nauvoo Lyceum
- One of the places where doctrines about the Godhead and the creation are taught with power and clarity.
- Joseph Smith Remarks to Relief Society, 30 March 1842
- Joseph Smith talks some of his objectives for the Relief Society, including turning the Relief Society into “a kingdom of priests an in Enoch’s day.”
- Editorial, 15 April 1842, Baptism for the Dead
- This document, issued not long after baptisms for the dead was announced, lays out the doctrinal rationales for proxy work for the dead. It teaches core doctrines with power and clarity and can increase faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
- 1842 Joseph Smith Remarks to Relief Society, 28 April 1842
- This lecture includes discussion about Relief Society sisters and spiritual gifts.
- Joseph Smith Remarks to Relief Society, 9 June 1842
- This sermon is the one where the statement that “by union of feeling we obtain pow’r with God” comes from. The subjects covered include unifying members throughout the Church and inspiring members to endure in faith.
- 1843 Joseph Smith, Discourse 21 May 1843 (Howard Coray edition)
- This sermon talks about prophets not being better than any one else and Joseph Smith’s definition of righteousness as justice, mercy, and kindness. The subjects covered include unifying members throughout the Church.
- Joseph Smith Sermon, 9 July 1843
- One of the more ecumenical of Joseph Smith’s sermons, this one is where he made the statement that “one of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from where it may.”
- Joseph Smith Sermon, 23 July 1843
- This sermon is focused around building a heavenly community during a time of persecution, and includes the statement that: “friendship is the grand fundamental principle of Mormonism.”
- 1844 Joseph Smith’s King Follett Discourse
- This is generally considered the most important sermon given by Joseph Smith, it covers a lot about the Plan of Salvation through a uniquely Latter-day Saint lens. I would use the Stan Larson amalgamated text but edit out the section about children resurrection.
- 1844 Brigham Young on Succession Crisis
- These sermons were given by Brigham Young when the Quorum of the Twelve was at odds with Sidney Rigdon over who would follow Joseph Smith in leading the Church and outlines their claim to authority.
- 1847, John Taylor, “On Priesthood”
- The excerpts presented in the link are from a letter by John Taylor teaches about the doctrines of revelation and priesthood organization.
- 1851 Brigham Young’s Statement on the Word of Wisdom
- Whether it was the intention at the time or not, this moment was used at the turn of the twentieth century as the time when the Word of Wisdom was adopted as a commandment by general vote of the Church membership.
- 1853, Brigham Young Remarks at Cornerstone Ceremony for the Salt Lake City Temple
- This is the document where we get Brigham Young’s definition from the endowment from. I’m not sure how much of the full sermon I would keep, but I would include at least the definition of the endowment.
- 1856 Brigham Young Sermon, “Go and bring in those people now on the Plains”
- This is the famous sermon after Brigham Young found out about the Martin and Willie handcart companies and told Church members that: “That is my religion; that is the dictation of the Holy Ghost that I possess, it is to save the people. We must bring them in from the Plains.” This can lead to actions that comfort the weary and inspires members to endure in faith and also help to unify members throughout the Church.
- 1857, Wilford Woodruff, “On Journaling”
- Discourse recorded by Wilford Woodruff on the subject of keeping a journal
- 1860, John Taylor, discourse: “Man”
- This is a discourse from the third president of the Church where he discusses the idea that humans are “a God in embryo, and possesses within him a spark of that eternal flame which was struck from the blaze of God’s eternal fire in the eternal world, and is placed here upon the earth that he may possess true intelligence, true light, true knowledge—that he may know himself.” This has the potential to comfort the weary and inspires members to endure in faith through teaching core doctrines with power and clarity.
- 1865, Proclamation of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles
- Written in response to some publications by Elder Orson Pratt that proposed controversial understandings of the nature of God, this document outlined the order of the Church that new doctrines need to be established by the First Presidency. Since most of this is specific to circumstances of the time, I would only include the penultimate paragraph (presented in the link).
- 1868, Eliza R. Snow, “Female Relief Society”
- Written by Eliza R. Snow when she was traveling throughout Utah Territory to oversee the reestablishment of the Church-wide Relief Society, this provided an explanation of the society’s basic organizational patterns and objectives and tied the institution to the Nauvoo Relief Society and the New Testament Church.
- 1869 Brigham Young, “The Lord’s Supper, Etc.”, 11 July 1869
- This is a very doctrinally rich sermon from President Brigham Young, talking about the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, miracles, creation, the Fall, etc. It teaches core doctrines with power and clarity and can increase faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.
- 1869, Eliza R. Snow, “Let Us Cultivate Ourselves”
- This is an example of the addresses President Snow gave as she traveled around to reestablish the Relief Society, advocating for cultivating themselves as part of the society and caring for those in need.
- 1869, Zina D. H. Young, “We Serve a Just God”
- This short talk from the future third president of the Relief Society focuses on enduring in faith serving God.
- 1893 Mattie Horne Tingey, “The School of Experience”
- This document is significant as a presentation from a member of the Church to the World’s Congress of Representative Women and as an example of introducing significant beliefs of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to an audience of people from a variety of faith traditions. It teaches core doctrines about the Plan of Salvation with power and clarity.
- 1894, Wilford Woodruff Sermon on The Law of Adoption
- This discourse included the disclosure of a revelation to focus temple sealings on uniting biological families rather than sealing oneself to significant leaders of the Church. It led directly to the formation of the Church’s renowned genealogical research system. In directly expressing the will of God based on a revelation, this can strengthen faith that leaders of the Church are guided by revelation from God and also teaches core doctrines with power and clarity.
- 1899, Discourse on Tithing by President Lorenzo Snow
- This is a record of the famous discourse of President Lorenzo Snow in St. George where he announced that the word of the Lord was that Latter-day Saints needed to return to paying tithing. This launched a church-wide campaign on tithing that laid the foundation for the Church to resolve debts and other financial concerns caused by anti-polygamy legislation in the United States of America. In directly expressing the will of God, this can strengthen faith that leaders of the Church are guided by revelation from God and also teaches core doctrines with power and clarity.
- 1901, Lorenzo Snow Sermon, “The Grand Destiny of Man”
- This is one of the most-often cited documents for a description of the Latter-day Saint view of apotheosis, including the famous couplet “As man now is, God once was; / As God now is, man may be.” I could do without the victim blaming for domestic abuse towards the end, though as well as some of the less-relevant sections, so I would only include excerpts, like the version linked here.
- 1901, Heber J. Grant Sermon
- This is a great example of Heber J. Grant’s famous stories about persistence leading to learning, which can inspire members to endure in faith.
- 1906 Bathsheba W. Smith, “We Have Still a Greater Mission”
- In this sermon, the fourth president of the Relief Society reflects on her history in the Church since the early days of the Church and encourages Saints to endure in faith and serve each other.
- 1908, Orson F. Whitney, “The Gospel of Salvation”
- This sermon is the source of some well-known stories and phrases about the Atonement of Jesus Christ that would later be used by Bruce R. McConkie, including “Adam’s fall was a step downward, but it was also a step forward–a step in the eternal march of human progress.” This sermon has the potential to increase faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ through teaching core doctrines with power and clarity.
- 1910, Joseph Fielding Smith, “Salvation Universal”
- At the time, this was one of the best outlines of doctrine of salvation for the dead that undergirds temple work
- 1913, Relief Society Motto and Resolution
- The year 1913 saw the Relief Society make two decisions that helped to outline and reinforce its purpose and mission – the establishment of the Relief Society motto on July 3, 1913 and the creation of an official resolution in October of the same year.
- 1916, Joseph F. Smith Address
- This sermon was given at a time of intense change for the Church and reflected a subtle approach to affirming that the Church in 1916 was indeed a continuation of the same religion that members had been a involved with since the time of Joseph Smith. It also includes some important thoughts about the afterlife, thus both teaching core doctrines with power and clarity and strengthening faith that leaders of the Church are guided by revelation from God.
- 1917 Epistle to the Relief Society Concerning These War Times
- This is a statement by the Relief Society presidency during WWI, incorporating elements of a statement by President Joseph F. Smith into a general statement on war and how members should conduct themselves during martial conflicts.
- 1925, First Presidency Treatise, The Mormon View of Evolution
- As the Scopes Trial drew national attention to the debates over evolution in religion, the Church issued a new statement on evolution. It is essentially an update to the “Origin of Man” document, but it is less overtly opposed to organic evolution as an idea. This document focuses on teaching core doctrines with power and clarity.
- 1931, First Presidency Statement to General Authorities on Evolution
- Made in the midst of a public argument between Joseph Fielding Smith and B. H. Roberts about evolution, this small document still stands as the official stance of the Church on evolution—basically that we don’t have a stance.
- 1954, J. Reuben Clark, Jr. Sermon, “When are Church Leader’s Words Entitled to the Claim of Scripture?”
- In an effort to mitigate the impact of written works by Joseph Fielding Smith that advocate anti-evolution views, President David O. McKay asked J. Reuben Clark, Jr. to go to BYU and give an address that made it clear that apostles do not determine Church doctrine. This address still forms a basis of how doctrine is determined in the Church today. Thus, it teaches core doctrines with power and clarity.
- 1972, Bruce R. McConkie, “The House of Israel”
- This address was the full explanation of a new doctrine of gathering for the Church–not one of physically relocating to a central location, but one of gathering into the Church itself. This is influential in how we speak of the gathering today and provides the doctrinal undergirding of that view. It can help to unify members throughout the Church.
- 1974, Eldred G. Smith, “Opposition in Order to Strengthen Us”
- This address is aimed at comforting the weary and inspiring members to endure in faith
- 1976, Spencer W. Kimball, “The False Gods We Worship”
- This is an influential message about putting the things of God first in our lives, encouraging Saints to endure to the end in faith
- 1978, First Presidency Statement on God’s Love for All Mankind
- An official statement of the First Presidency about love and respect for all of humankind, regardless of religious affiliation. It teaches core doctrines with power and clarity, unifies members throughout the Church, and can increase faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.
- 1986, Ezra Taft Benson, “The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion”
- This was one of the more important addresses in Ezra Taft Benson’s campaign to get Latter-day Saints to read the Book of Mormon more frequently. This effort, in turn, increased faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.
- 1989, Ezra Taft Benson, “Beware of Pride”
- A notable talk that has influenced membership culture in the Church
- 1990, Bruce C. Hafen, “Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Jesus Christ”
- This was an important talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, encouraging people to make it more central to their lives and to view repentance in a positive light. It is designed to increase faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ and teach core doctrines with power and clarity.
- 1994, Howard W. Hunter, “Being a Righteous Husband and Father”
- 1994, Howard W. Hunter, “The Great Symbol of Our Membership”
- This temple-oriented sermon includes the statement that all members should be worthy to hold a current temple recommend.
- 1995, The Family Proclamation
- Undoubtedly, including this document will spark some controversy. While it’s not my favorite document on this list, it is still important in summarizing the Church’s doctrinal understanding of the family and has continued to shape that culture in the 27 years that it’s been around.
- 1996, Chieko N. Okazaki, “Baskets and Bottles”
- This was a significant message about working with diverse cultures within the Church. As such, it can work to unify members throughout the Church.
- 1999, Gordon B. Hinkley, “Find the Lambs, Feed the Sheep”
- This address is the one that includes the oft-discussed idea “every new convert needs three things” and is important for its focus on retention after conversion.
- 2000, The Living Christ
- This document is a brief summary of the Church’s beliefs about Jesus Christ and thus can increase faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.
- 2000, Dallin H. Oaks, “The Challenge to Become”
- This is a personal favorite talk about the idea of learning to be more godlike. It teaches core doctrines with power and clarity.
- 2001, David A. Bednar, “In the Strength of the Lord”
- This talk was a discussion about the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and grace. It increases faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ
- 2002, Bonnie D. Parkin, “With Holiness of Heart”
- This address talks about covenants and drawing closer to God, among other things. It teaches core doctrines with power and clarity and can comfort the weary and inspires members to endure in faith.
- 2003, Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Grandeur of God”
- This general conference address focuses on the nature of God and the need to develop a relationship with Him. It increases faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.
- 2006, Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Need for Greater Kindness”
- This important talk encouraged members of the Church to treat each other better and directly addressed some forms of racism.
- 2010, Thomas S. Monson, “Charity Never Faileth”
- President Monson was well-known for encouraging Latter-day Saints to love and care for those around them, which this talk captures well.
- 2010, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Seeing Christmas through New Eyes”
- This is one of my favorite Christmas Devotional talks of all time, introducing and explaining some ideas related to the Christian season of Advent
- 2015, D. Todd Christofferson, “Why the Church”
- This general conference address is significant as one of the foremost efforts to explain why the Church is necessary in an era that questions that idea. It teaches core doctrines with power and clarity and can unify members throughout the Church.
- 2015, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Gift of Grace”
- This address is one of the more significant discussions of grace in the Church in recent years. It increases faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ and comforts the weary and inspires members to endure in faith.
- 2020, Jean Bingham, “United in Accomplishing God’s Work”
- This general conference address from the current Relief Society president addresses working towards unity in the home and at Church.
- 2020, Russell M. Nelson, “Let God Prevail”
- This talk includes the most straightforward denunciations of racism by a president of the Church. It can unify members throughout the Church and teaches core doctrines with power and clarity.
- “The Endowment,” General Handbook
- This the first time that the Church has allowed a portion of the endowment ceremony to be printed to help people prepare for the temple. It teaches core doctrines with power and clarity.
- 2022, Reyna I. Aburto, “We Are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”
- This talk explains more doctrines of the Church, its purpose and how it functions
Written revelations that are presented in the voice of the Lord
- Brigham Young Revelation, 3 February 1846
- I kind of think this one is funny, but the reason I would include it is to show that Brigham Young did receive more than one revelation, thus strengthening faith that leaders of the Church are guided by revelation from God. It’s also not that different from some revelations we already have in the Church.
- 1882, John Taylor 28 June Revelation
- This is a revelation received by John Taylor while he led the Church, this revelation focused on reassuring the leaders of the Council of Fifty and of the Church that the Lord controls the destiny of nations, His Church and His Kingdom.
- 1882 John Taylor 13 Oct 1882 Revelation
- One of several revelations received by John Taylor while he led the Church, this is one of only two that were published. It dealt with Church organizational matters, particularly the call of three men to fill vacancies in the leading quorums of the Church. It can strengthen faith that leaders of the Church are guided by revelation from God.
- 1883, Relation published in “To the Seventies”
- The full text of the document that updates procedures for the Seventies wouldn’t need to be included (it’s outdated, even though the same could be said about some revelations on priesthood we currently have in the Doctrine and Covenants). It could be explained in the introduction as context for the revelation. But the revelation itself is a nice one comforting members of the Church, thus it both strengthens faith that leaders of the Church are guided by revelation from God and comforts the weary and inspires members to endure in faith.
- 1884, Revelation to John Taylor in May
- This revelation is a confirmation that the Lord accepted the dedication of the Logan Temple. It’s a nice section that reinforces some temple-based doctrine. Thus, it strengthens faith that leaders of the Church are guided by revelation from God and teaches core doctrines with power and clarity
Records of visionary experiences
- 1847 Brigham Young’s Dream of Joseph Smith
- This dream where Brigham Young asks Joseph Smith about the practice of adoption sealings of that time includes the memorable quote about listening to the Holy Ghost. It also led to a lesser focus on adoption sealings.
- Wilford Woodruff’s Vision of Brigham Young
- This is somewhat of a follow-up to the previous vision, with Brigham Young visiting Wilford Woodruff to pass on a similar message.
- Wilford Woodruff’s Vision of Jesus Christ
- This was a vision Wilford Woodruff shared to confirm that the Lord had accepted the dedication of the Salt Lake City Temple. It strengthens faith that leaders of the Church are guided by revelation from God and can increase faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.
- LeRoy Snow, “An Experience of My Father”
- Specifically the section quoting Allie Young Pond relating the vision of Jesus Christ that Lorenzo Snow experienced in the Salt Lake Temple. It strengthens faith that leaders of the Church are guided by revelation from God and can increase faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.
- 1922 David O. McKay, “A Beautiful Vision”
- This is an account of a vision where David O. McKay saw the Lord and the city of God. It strengthens faith that leaders of the Church are guided by revelation from God and can increase faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.
- 1944, Heber J. Grant, “Responsibility in the Church Brings Humility”
- An account of a vision Heber J. Grant had about his calling to the Quorum of the Twelve and the council in heaven that led to that call. It strengthens faith that leaders of the Church are guided by revelation from God.
Declarations put out by the Church
- 1896 Political Manifesto
- As the Church distanced itself somewhat from politics and joined into national political parties in the United States of America, there was some discord, particularly over the efforts of Democrats Apostle Moses Thatcher and Seventy B. H. Roberts to run for political office in congress. These disagreements frequently centered on acrimony between Church leaders who were Republicans (often trying to curtail the activities of Democrats in the Church hierarchy) and those who were Democrats (who resented efforts to curtail their activities). This document was a resolution for leaders of the Church to not run for political office without approval from their superiors and for the Church to not interfere in the choices of individual Church members in political matters.
- 1904, The Second Manifesto
- After the original Manifesto, members of the Church continued to practice plural marriage in secret. Faced with a national investigation during the Reed Smoot Hearings, though, Church leaders were forced to take action to end plural marriage. This document added teeth to the previous Manifesto by making performing or entering new plural marriages an excommunicable offense.
- 1963, Statement on Civil Rights
- This was an official statement by the Church in support of some aspects of civil rights. It teaches core doctrines with power and clarity and can help to unify members throughout the Church (hopefully).
Prayers and Poetry
This section is what the name implies (somewhat analogous to the poetry section of the Hebrew Bible). The prayers are mostly dedicatory prayers that are relevant (and as a note, I would also include a local link to the dedicatory prayer of whichever temple district you are living in as part of a digital edition of the Doctrine and Covenants). I’m not going to go through the reasons for each individual hymn that I’ve listed for the poetry, but I tried to focus on hymns that had historic significance, praise and testify of God and Christ, comfort the weary, or which provide a good text on which to ponder.
- 1867, Brigham Young’s Dedicatory Prayer for the Salt Lake Tabernacle
- 1884, John Taylor’s Dedicatory Prayer for the Logan Temple
- This is the prayer for the dedication of the Logan Temple and would be included in connection with John Taylor’s May 1884 revelation.
- Salt Lake City Temple Dedicatory Prayer
- The Salt Lake Temple represents the culmination of decades of work during the early settlement of Utah by Latter-day Saints. The prayer to dedicate this temple is a nice counterpoint to the Kirtland Temple dedicatory prayer and addresses some of the major concerns of the time. It has a lot of great things going for it.
- 2000, Gordon B. Hinckley’s Dedicatory Prayer for the Conference Center
- Parley P. Pratt, “The Morning Breaks”
- William W. Phelps, “The Spirit of God”
- William W. Phelps, “Now Let Us Rejoice”
- William W. Phelps and Joseph Swain, “Redeemer of Israel”
- Mary Ann Morton, “Sweet Is the Peace the Gospel Brings”
- William Clayton, “Come, Come, Ye Saints”
- Isaac Watts, “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”
- John A. Widtsoe, “Lead Me into Life Eternal”
- Francis of Assisi, “All Creatures of Our God and King”
- James Allen, “Glory to God on High!”
- Theodulph of Orleans, “All Glory, Laud, and Honor”
- Russell M. Nelson, “Our Prayer to Thee”
- Johann J. Shultz, “Sing Praise to Him”
- Tracy Y. Cannon, “Praise the Lord with Heart and Voice”
- Eliza R. Snow, “Great Is the Lord”
- “How Firm a Foundation”
- Isaac Watts, “From All Who Dwell Below the Skies”
- Annie S. Hawks, “I Need Thee Ev’ry Hour”
- Sarah F. Adams, “Nearer My God to Thee”
- Orson F. Whitney, “Savior, Redeemer of My Soul”
- Edward L. Hart, “Our Savior’s Love”
- Eliza R. Snow, “Though Deepening Trials”
- Emma Lou Thayne, “Where Can I Turn for Peace?”
- Bruce R. McConkie, “I Believe in Christ”
- Gordon B. Hinckley, “My Redeemer Lives”
- Samuel Medley, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”
- Bernard of Clairvaux, “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee”
- Paul L. Anderson, “In Fasting We Approach Thee”
- Gordon B. Hinckley, “What Is This Thing That Men Call Death?”
- William W. Phelps, “Gently Raise the Sacred Strain”
- Henry F. Lyte, “Abide with Me!”
- William W. Phelps, “O God, the Eternal Father”
- Parley P. Pratt, “Father in Heaven, We Do Believe”
- Richard Alldridge, “We’ll Sing All Hail to Jesus’ Name”
- Vilate Raile, “Upon the Cross of Calvary”
- Edward P. Kimball, “God Loved Us, So He Sent His Son”
- Frank I. Kooyman, “Thy Will, O Lord, Be Done”
- Eliza R. Snow, “Behold the Great Redeemer Die”
- Charles H. Gabriel, “I Stand All Amazed”
- Eliza R. Snow, “How Great the Wisdom and the Love”
- Isaac Watts and William W. Phelps, “Joy to the World”
- Susan Evans McCloud, “Lord, I Would Follow Thee”
- “Know This, That Every Soul is Free”
- John Taylor, “Go, Ye Messengers of Glory”
- Louis F. Monch, “Hark! All Ye Nations”
- Paul L. Anderson, “Turn Your Hearts”
- Eliza R. Snow, “My Father in Heaven” (AKA “O My Father”)
- Naomi W. Randall, “I Am a Child of God”
- Emily H. Woodmansee, “As Sisters in Zion”
- Jan Underwood Pinborough, “A Key Was Turned in Latter Days”
- Andrés C. González, “Placentero nos es trabajar”
- José V. Estrada G., “La Proclamación”
- Edmund W. Richardson, “¿Por qué somos?”
Documents that are meant to function as historical presentations
- Joseph Smith’s 1832 History
- The earliest effort on Joseph Smith’s part to write down a history, it is the account closest to the events of the First Vision and the visit of the angel to introduce the Book of Mormon. It can increase faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ and strengthen faith that leaders of the Church are guided by revelation from God.
- 1842, The Wentworth Letter
- A brief history and summary of Church doctrine that includes the Articles of Faith and the Standard of Truth statements. It can increase faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ and strengthen faith that leaders of the Church are guided by revelation from God.
- 1842, Minutes of the First Meeting of the Relief Society
- This is the record of the organization of the Relief Society on 17 March (happy birthday to the Relief Society this Thursday!) and forms a sort of charter document for the organization.
- 1845 Statement of the Twelve on Joseph Smith’s Charge to the Quorum of the Twelve
- This is the closest to contemporary document to record what Joseph Smith told the Quorum of the Twelve when he “roll[ed] the burthen and responsibility of leading this church off from my shoulders on to yours.”
- 1868 Eliza R. Snow’s Commission to Reorganize the Relief Society
- The recollection documents the president of the Church’s vision for the reorganized Relief Society as communicated to the society’s president.
- 1997, “Los Primeros: Mexico’s Pioneer Saints”
- This is a brief history focused on several important figures in the Church in Mexico.
- 2020 Restoration Proclamation
- This is as good of a brief summary of the Church’s official origin story as any currently available.
Documents that come from various projects that Joseph Smith referred to as translations
- Melchizedek’s Blessing and Ministry (JST, Genesis 14:25-40)
- This is the most detailed account of Melchizedek’s ministry within the sacred literature of Latter-day Saints.
- Prophesy of Joseph (JST, Genesis 50:24-38)
- This is the document that is presented as the original prophesy about Joseph that Lehi references in 2 Nephi 3.
So, there you have it—this is what I would add to the Doctrine and Covenants if I were to prepare the next edition (which we all know will not happen).
 His suggestions were published in a later work. See Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness to the Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1985), 16.
 Joseph Fielding McConkie, “Bruce R. McConkie: A Special Witness,” Mormon Historical Studies 14/2 (Fall 2013): 199-201, https://ensignpeakfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Bruce-R.-McConkie.pdf. The main excerpts from the Joseph Smith Translation he suggested were JST Genesis 9:15-25, JST Genesis 14:26-40, JST Genesis 17:1-14, JST Genesis 48:3-11; and JST Genesis 50:24-38.
 Joseph Fielding McConkie, The Bruce R. McConkie Story (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003), 391.
Chad, there’s great material here, most of which is new to me. Thanks for putting it here in one place.
But I don’t see how you can leave out “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” from the doctrinal section. It’s a clear statement of church teachings that has been prominently discussed and taught for nearly 30 years and is highly relevant to the church today. The authority of the family proclamation already makes it parascripture in the here and now.
This is a remarkable collation of documents, all of which are going on my to-read list. Thank you!
That was actually an oversight on my part during editing, Jonathan. I think I accidentally overwrote it when I added the Hafen talk. I’ll fix it when I get the chance.
Alright, it’s back in where it was meant to be. Thanks for catching that, Jonathan.
To Doctrine, I would add Spencer W. Kimball, “The False Gods We Worship,” from the June 1976 Ensign.
That’s a good one, Jim. I think I’ll add it.
One member’s doctrine is another member’s folklore. And, one member’s carefully-balanced doctrine to guide his or her own life can become unbalanced dogma to control others. I am okay with folklore and doctrinal ambiguity.
But for anyone wanting to behold the vast and varied breadth and depth of the tapestry of Mormon thought, your listing is wonderful! Thank you for the links.
I am surprised not to see “O My Father” in the poetry section. Whatever you think of it as poetry, it has almost single-handedly kept Mother in Heaven on the lips of even the most orthodox members for decades.
(Personally, I’d skip the whole poetry section, but that’s just me.)
You should check the “My Father in Heaven” link
This is great Chad. I thought President Benson’s Beware of Pride was also being considered.
I would personally add all of the suggested JST passages suggested by Elder McConkie. Those in Genesis 9 deal particularly with covenants and tie in with the story of Enoch and bridge to Melchizedek. Genesis 17 is an expansion of the Abrahamic covenant which is fundamental. If we were going to drop one of those, Genesis 48 is where the cut line would be for me.
Still, this is awesome and I’ll be checking this post out for some time to come.
Beware of Pride was considered. I was having a hard time figuring out which of the five guiding principles it fit exactly, which was why I’ve been on the fence on that one, but I’ve now included it.