Tag Archives: D&C 42

Pieces put together


[WARNING: THIS IS MOSTLY OLD BLOG POSTS STUCK TOGETHER IN AN ATTEMPT TO GET AN OUTLINE OF MY NEW PAPER TOGETHER!] I’m editing it slowly 🙂 But I have a plan now! whoo-hoo! Continue reading


Full circle: Why we don’t talk about when “not” to teach


I started my research on D&C 42:14 specifically because I was curious (baffled) that no one ever talked about the fact that the verse says there are times to not teach! Searching through lds.org I couldn’t really find any references that suggested we should actually stop teaching if the Spirit wasn’t there. Any talk on teaching by the Spirit will almost inevitably quote D&C 42:14, but never addresses this sharp and unusual command to not teach.

For examples, in my original conference paper, I quoted a Church News article on teaching which quoted that verse and went right on to talk about teacher preparation. I also found a talk by Elder Oaks that was almost too perfect for what I wanted to say. He says that we use D&C 42 and D&C 50 so much that “They are so familiar they are almost slogans, yet we are in danger of using them without understanding them.”

But even Elder Oaks doesn’t suggest that we should stop teaching if the Spirit doesn’t come. As far as I looked, I could not see anyone who actually suggested anyone should “not teach.” Rather, the focus is on being worthy of the Spirit, and why teaching without it is so much less effective. I suppose you could say most talks focus on talking us into using the Spirit, and explain how and why we should be worthy to receive the Spirit.

But still, no one addresses this possibility that D&C 42:14 opens up: what if the Spirit does not come?

I wonder why no one ever addresses this? My first assumption is that we as a people (and me included!) are often unsure of what the Spirit feels like, at least to the extent that we could say for sure that the Spirit wasn’t with us.

This being the case, it would serve little purpose to address this verse in its full weight directly head on.

But in addition, after all of my recent research, I think I would add one more perspective on this. In my last post I mentioned that all three of my interpretive ideas could come down to one thing: nothing works unless you are pure, clean, and worthy. The promise of being able to pray and receive spirits unless they are not of God only comes to those who are pure and sanctified. So even if I go that route and pick D&C 50 as the interpretive key to D&C 42:14, it still comes down to being worthy of the promise. If I pick the route of interpreting through D&C 20 and Moroni, then problem is still the same: how can a leader know how to conduct a meeting by the Spirit? Only if they are worthy of the Spirit. And if we see the “not” receiving the Spirit as a lack of the faith mentioned in D&C 42:13, then the same exhortation results: seek the Spirit, be worthy of it, trust it.

So, coming full circle, I can see the wisdom and the necessity of addressing this topic in the way it is always done. Seek the Spirit, be worthy of it, and trust it.


If ye receive not


After looking at D&C 46 and D&C 50 more closely, including the allusions to James 4:3 and Mormon 9:28, I think I finally have an answer to what D&C 42:14 means when it says, “And if ye receive not, ye shall not teach.” Continue reading


The book of James


So, I did a search for “consume” and “lusts” (thinking of D&C 46’s “that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts”). It turns out it only shows up there, in Moroni 9, and James 4.  Continue reading


Working on D&C 42: Day 5 – D&C 46 and D&C 50


Okay, I swear I did a post on this a while back, but I can’t find it! And I’m wanting to get back into my D&C 42 research so it’s time to get this connection sorted out.

D&C 46 has a strong connection to Moroni 10’s list of the gifts of the Spirit. This is interesting since D&C 20 alludes and quotes so heavily from Moroni’s writings. What a book the Book of Mormon is! What a place it has in this latter-day church!

I want to show that D&C 46 builds on D&C 42 and that D&C 50 is a continuation of what is being talked about. Continue reading


Authority and the Spirit


I am constantly trying to understand verse 14 of D&C 42, where the Lord says, “if he receive not the Spirit, ye shall not teach.” I obviously understand the importance of the Spirit in teaching, and why it is so much better with the Spirit. But this verse doesn’t say “things will go better” or “you can accomplish more” – it says, “don’t teach!” without the Spirit.

Why this strong injunction? And how many people actually have enough confidence that they do or do not have the Spirit to be able to then follow this direction?

A book by Mark Lyman Staker called “Hearken O Ye People” sets up the context for what was going on in Ohio during the time the Saints were setting up the church in Kirtland. There was a lot of “spiritual manifestation” that went on there, and of course much of it was not approved and got shut down when Joseph got there. But one of the things that was going on was that people were taking what they assumed was a spiritual prompting to go and teach. There were many who felt they had received a personal revelation that it was God’s will that they dedicate themselves to go teach. There were other issues of who could receive revelation for the group of Saints, but this was something more personal: a call to go and preach.

Continue reading


Receiving the Spirit & authority to teach


One thing that Staker pointed out in his book is that there were many who took a manifestation of the spirit as authorization from God to go and teach.

D&C 42 counters this by saying that those who go forth need to be ordained by one who is already ordained.

But, on the other hand, it may somewhat support this authorization in verse 14. Perhaps it is a combination of the two: yes the spirit authorizes, but only in those who are already ordained.