Chad Nielsen’s Doctrine and Covenants Commentary

I spent most of 2021 writing a series of posts to follow along with the “Come, Follow Me” curriculum for the Doctrine and Covenants. I had a few reasons for doing this:

  • First and foremost, I wanted to challenge myself to look more closely at the scriptures, to really read and think about what the Doctrine and Covenants says and the context in which it says it to deepen my personal understanding. Studying the Joseph Smith Papers resources around the earliest versions of the revelations and then writing about an idea or thought that caught my attention is an approach that helped me do that.
  • Second, there were several ideas that run through the Doctrine and Covenants that I’ve been musing on for years and wanted to take the time and effort to really collect and organize my thoughts on those topics, such as the endowment of power and the development of temple ritual.
  • Third, I noticed that there was a surprising dearth of literature about the Doctrine and Covenants compared to the other sections of scriptures (that’s not to say that there isn’t literature about it out there, just not nearly as much available as the Bible or the Book of Mormon), so, for better or worse, I wanted to offer my own contribution to that literature in a format that was freely available and which drew on the scholarly analyses that I have read.

The results varied from musing on interpretation based on context, examining the ideas portrayed in the sections and how they have evolved in the Church since the time the revelations were recorded, stories from Church history that were related to the revelations or the things they taught, thinking through some of my own concerns and anxieties, etc.

Towards the third reason I gave for writing this series, now that the posts are all up, I wanted to gather them together into one place.  This page will serve as an index of the posts, as a post did in the past, with a few other posts I’ve put up over the years on relevant topics added in for good measure. That index is given below for anyone who decides they are interested in reading those posts in the future.  Enjoy! (Or don’t, whatever is your Word-of-Wisdom-approved beverage.)



Order Post D&C Sections
1 “By mine own voice or by the voice of my servants” D&C 1
2 The First Vision-A Close Reading JS-H 1:1-26
3 “Or, are they all wrong together?” JS-H 1:1-26
4 “A messenger sent from the presence of God” JS-H 1:27-54
5 “A man may have many revelations” D&C 4
6 Seer Stones and Grammar D&C 8-9
7 “You have another gift” D&C 8
8 “I will establish my church” D&C 10
9 “The keys of the ministering of angels” D&C 13
10 “You shall obtain a view of them” D&C 17
11 “It is not written, that there shall be no end to this torment” D&C 19
12 “It is expedient that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine” D&C 20
13 “All things shall be done by common consent” D&C 24, 26
14 “For he Receiveth them even as Moses” D&C 28
15 “The gathering of mine Elect” D&C 29, 45
16 “The time of my coming” D&C 31-35
17 “Endowed with power from on high” D&C 37-38
18 “Provide for him food & raiment” D&C 41-43, 24
19 “It is given to some to speak with tongues” D&C 46
20 “Whoso forbideth to abstain from meats” D&C 49, 89
21 “When moved upon by the Holy Ghost” D&C 67-68
22 “Exhortation to the churches” D&C 61, 63, 69, 73, 75
23 “They cannot come worlds without end” D&C 76, 137
24 “Bodies Terestrial and not bodies Celestial” D&C 76
25 A Scriptural Prank D&C 79-80
26 “This is Elias” D&C 76, 77, 110
27 “These two Priesthoods” D&C 84
28 “This is the light of Christ“ D&C 88
29 “A word of wisdom for the benefit of the Saints” D&C 89
30 Cores and Corollaries of the Word of Wisdom D&C 89
31 Hot Drinks and Cold Soda D&C 89
32 A Word of Wisdom or a Commandment? D&C 89
33 “That you may understand and know” D&C 93
34 “Concerning the building of mine house” D&C 94-97
35 “The constitution of this Land” D&C 98
36 “I the Lord have suffered the affliction to come upon them” D&C 101, 103, 105, 109
37 “To ordain and set in order all the other officers of the church” D&C 107
38 “They saw the Lord” D&C 110
39 “Adam shall come to visit” D&C 116, 27, 29
40 “All these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good” D&C 121-123
41 “Instituted for travelling Elders” D&C 124, 107
42 “This ordinance belongeth to my house” D&C 124, 128
43 “In the celestial glory there was three heavens” D&C 131
44 “That they may bear the souls of men” D&C 132
45 “There is never but one on the earth at a time” D&C 132
46 Fundamental Principles of Mormonism D&C 135
47 “The Word and Will of the Lord” D&C 136
48 “I saw the hosts of the dead” D&C 138
49 Embracing Jacob’s Sermon OD1
50 “The long-promised day has come” OD2
51 All Are Alike Unto God OD2
52 Reconsidering the Curse of Cain OD2
53 Reconsidering the Curse of Ham OD2
54 On the Priesthood and Temple Ban OD2
55 “All that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and … that he will yet reveal” Articles of Faith
56 “Come, Follow Me” and The Family: A Proclamation to the World Proclamation on the Family
57 “As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ” The Living Christ; D&C 25
Appendix 1 Important Documents from Latter-day Saint History
Appendix 2A What If … Chad Updated the Doctrine and Covenants? Part 1
Appendix 2B What If …. Chad Updated the Doctrine and Covenants? Part 2
Appendix 2C What If …. Chad Updated the Doctrine and Covenants? Part 3