The Book of Commandments vs. The Doctrine and Covenants – Part 6

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Book of Commandments Doctrine and Covenants
24:44 And each priest or teacher, who is ordained by a priest, is to take a certificate from him at the time, which when presented to an elder, he is to give him a license, which shall authorize him to perform the duty of his calling. 20:64 Each priest, teacher, or deacon, who is ordained by a priest, may take a certificate from him at the time, which certificate, when presented to an elder, shall entitle him to a license, which shall authorize him to perform the duties of his calling, or he may receive it from a conference.

20:65 No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that church;

20:66 But the presiding elders, traveling bishops, high councilors, high priests, and elders, may have the privilege of ordaining, where there is no branch of the church that a vote may be called.

20:67 Every president of the high priesthood (or presiding elder), bishop, high councilor, and high priest, is to be ordained by the direction of a high council or general conference.

Oliver Cowdery wrote the original version of this section which Smith adapted and it was not a revelation at all but a set of rules written by men for their church. David Whitmer said the following about the above changes:

The heading over it in the Book of Commandments is as follows: “The Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ, given in Fayette, New York, June, 1830.” Two paragraphs have been added to it, having been thrust into the middle of it: Paragraphs 16 and 17 [D&C 20:65-67 in todays version] is the part added, which part speaks of high priests and other high offices that the church never knew of until almost two years after its beginning: As if God had made a mistake in the first organization of the church, and left out these high important offices which are all above an elder; and as if God had made a mistake and left these high offices out of that revelation when it was first given. Oh the weakness and blindness of man! This revelation as it is in the Book of Commandments, speaks of the duties of all the spiritual officers in the church; of elders, priests and teachers; but does not mention a word about the office of high priest, president of the high priesthood, high counselors, etc. The part added to this revelation was put there to give the duties of these high officers in ordinations. I repeat that the church never heard of or thought of having in it any of these offices, until we moved to Kirtland, Ohio, in the days of Sidney Rigdon. The Church of Christ upon either continent had no such offices in it, and Christ told us through the stone that he would establish his church “LIKE UNTO THE CHURCH WHICH WAS TAUGHT BY MY DISCIPLES IN THE DAYS OF OLD.”….”If the people of this generation harden not their hearts.” (Chap. 4., Par. 5, Book of Commandments).

Now brethren, the Church of Christ of old had in it only elders, priests and teachers; but the Church of Latter Day Saints, with its many new offices, doctrines, and ordinances which were not in the Church of Christ of old, is a very different church — a different order throughout. This is plain to be seen. Why, oh why will you continue to trust in the man who has erred and introduced doctrines of error into the Church of Christ? Why will you continue in blindness? But modern Israel is no better than ancient Israel. Man will not walk humbly before God and abide in his ordinances, although he has given them his word in great plainness. You are in spiritual blindness and you know it not.

I will now quote the two paragraphs which have been added to the revelation above mentioned:

“No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that church; but the presiding elders, traveling bishops, high counselors, high priests and elders, may have the privilege of ordaining, where there is no branch of the church, that a vote may be called. Every president of the high priesthood (or presiding elder), bishop, high counselor and high priest, is to be ordained by the direction of a high council, or general conference.”

In all the teachings of Christ, these high offices are not even mentioned as being in the Church of Christ.

Book of Commandments Doctrine and Covenants
28:6 Behold this is wisdom in me, wherefore marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you, on the earth, and with all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world: 27:5 Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore, marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fulness of my everlasting gospel, to whom I have committed the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim;

27:6 And also with Elias, to whom I have committed the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, concerning the last days;

27:7 And also John the son of Zacharias, which Zacharias he (Elias) visited and gave promise that he should have a son, and his name should be John, and he should be filled with the spirit of Elias;

27:8 Which John I have sent unto you, my servants, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Oliver Cowdery, to ordain you unto the first priesthood which you have received, that you might be called and ordained even as Aaron;

27:9 And also Elijah, unto whom I have committed the keys of the power of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, that the whole earth may not be smitten with a curse;

27:10 And also with Joseph and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, your fathers, by whom the promises remain;

27:11 And also with Michael, or Adam, the father of all, the prince of all, the ancient of days;

27:12 And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry and of the same things which I revealed unto them;

27:13 Unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fulness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth;

27:14 And also with all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world.

This section was not received through the stone. This was given in August 1830 and as can be seen, there is a lot added to the D&C that was not in the original BOC. The most interesting part for our study is about Peter, James, and John ordaining them to be apostles.

Historian D. Michael Quinn said “men were first ordained to the higher priesthood over a year after the church’s founding. No mention of angelic ordinations can be found in original documents until 1834-35” (The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, p.15).

B.H. Roberts writes that “there is no definite account of the event in the history of the Prophet Joseph, or, for matter of that, in any of our annals…” (History of the Church, 1:40fn).

This addition seems consistent with what we have seen elsewhere about adding offices and ordinations etc.  More revisionist history to give the appearance of events occurring that just doesn’t seem to be valid. Please read these two very important posts on priesthood: The Contrivance of Aaronic Priesthood and the Fraud of Baptism: Reinventing The Law of Moses Veiled as Mormonism and The Contrivance of Melchizedek Priesthood and the Fraud of Peter James and John.

 

Book of Commandments Doctrine and Covenants
6:1 And the Lord said unto me, John my beloved, what desirest thou? and I said Lord, give unto me power that I may bring souls unto thee.–And the Lord said unto me: Verily, verily I say unto thee, because thou desiredst this, thou shalt tarry till I come in my glory:

6:2 And for this cause, the Lord said unto Peter:–If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? for he desiredst of me that he might bring souls unto me: but thou desiredst that thou might speedily come unto me in my kingdom: I say unto thee, Peter, this was a good desire, but my beloved has undertaken a greater work.

7:1 And the Lord said unto me: John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you.

7:2 And I said unto him: Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee.

7:3 And the Lord said unto me: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people.

7:4 And for this cause the Lord said unto Peter: If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? For he desired of me that he might bring souls unto me, but thou desiredst that thou mightest speedily come unto me in my kingdom.

7:5 I say unto thee, Peter, this was a good desire; but my beloved has desired that he might do more, or a greater work yet among men than what he has before done.

7:6 Yea, he has undertaken a greater work; therefore I will make him as flaming fire and a ministering angel; he shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation who dwell on the earth.

7:7 And I will make thee to minister for him and for thy brother James; and unto you three I will give this power and the keys of this ministry until I come.

These additions about Peter, James, and John having the keys of this ministry seem to fit in with the changes we saw in D&C 27.

The Book of Commandments vs. The Doctrine and Covenants - Part 5
The Book of Commandments vs. The Doctrine and Covenants - Part 7