Institute
Chapter 36: Doctrine and Covenants 93
Footnotes

Hide Footnotes

Theme

“Chapter 36: Doctrine and Covenants 93,” Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual (2017)

“Chapter 36,” Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual

Chapter 36

Doctrine and Covenants 93

Introduction and Timeline

On May 6, 1833, the Prophet Joseph Smith received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 93. In this revelation the Savior taught the Saints how to worship and “come unto the Father in my name, and … receive of his fulness” (D&C 93:19). He also taught how we can receive truth and light and instructed the Prophet and other Church leaders to “set in order” their homes so that their families could be strengthened and protected (see D&C 93:43–50).

February 2, 1833

Joseph Smith finished his translation of the New Testament.

March 8, 1833

Joseph Smith continued his translation of the Old Testament.

April 1833

The School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio, adjourned for the summer.

May 4, 1833

A committee was selected to raise money in order to construct a building for the School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio.

May 6, 1833

Doctrine and Covenants 93 was received.

Doctrine and Covenants 93: Additional Historical Background

In a revelation received at the end of December 1832, the Lord commanded the Saints to establish “a house of learning” and “a house of God” (D&C 88:119). Later, in January 1833, the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote to William W. Phelps in Independence, Missouri, telling him of this revelation and declaring, “The Lord commanded us in Kirtland to build an house of God, [and] establish a school for the Prophets” (in The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 2: July 1831–January 1833, ed. Matthew C. Godfrey and others [2013], 367). Soon thereafter, acting on the Lord’s directive, members of the School of the Prophets began meeting in a small room above the Newel K. Whitney store. The meetings continued until they adjourned for the summer in April 1833.

On May 4, 1833, a group of high priests met to discuss construction of a building where the School of the Prophets could hold future meetings. A committee of three men—Hyrum Smith, Jared Carter, and Reynolds Cahoon—was appointed to raise needed funds for the construction of this building. (See The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 3: February 1833–March 1834, ed. Gerrit J. Dirkmaat and others [2014], 82.) The committee sent a letter to the Saints, inviting them to contribute money for the construction, declaring that the purpose of the building was to “establish an house and prepare all things necessary whereby the Elders may gather into a school called the school of the prophets and receive that instruction that the Lord designs they should receive” (in The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 3: February 1833–March 1824, 82). The Lord later clarified that this building was also to be a house of worship (see D&C 95:8–17).

Two days after that group of high priests met, on May 6, 1833, the Prophet Joseph Smith received a significant revelation about the nature of God and man and the eternal destiny of God’s children. While it is unknown why the Lord revealed the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 93 at that specific time, it is interesting to note that just as the Saints were preparing to build a temple in which to worship the Lord and a building in which the School of the Prophets could be instructed, the Lord gave a revelation comparing the human body to “the tabernacle of God” or a “temple” (D&C 93:35) and emphasized the need for God’s children to receive truth and light (see D&C 93:28, 31–32, 42, 53). The revelation also contains specific instructions for Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams, who were members of the First Presidency, and for Bishop Newel K. Whitney.

Church History Maps: Kirtland, Ohio, 1830-1838

Doctrine and Covenants 93:1–20

The Lord teaches how we can come to know Him and obtain a fulness of glory

Doctrine and Covenants 93:1–3. “Shall see my face and know that I am”

The Lord introduced the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 93 with a glorious promise that emphasizes the purpose of His gospel and the great plan of salvation. Speaking to every faithful soul who repents of his or her sins, comes to Him, calls on Him, and obeys His commandments, the Lord declares that he or she “shall see my face and know that I am” (D&C 93:1).

Anciently, the Lord commanded Moses to bring the children of Israel to Sinai after their deliverance from Egypt and to prepare the people to meet with Him (see Exodus 19:1–17). Unfortunately, the people rebelled, and because of their sin, the Lord declared they could not see His face (see Joseph Smith Translation, Exodus 33:20 [in the Bible appendix]).

In these latter days the Lord has renewed His promise to His people that they may see His face, know Him, and “receive of his fulness” (D&C 93:20). Latter-day revelation teaches that seeing God is a blessing that is granted according to His own time and will (see D&C 88:68; 130:3) and is given only to those who have overcome the natural man, received the ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood, and come unto Jesus Christ (see Mosiah 3:19; D&C 67:10–13; 84:21–23; 93:1). For many, the promise of seeing the face of God may be fulfilled when Jesus Christ returns to earth at His Second Coming (see D&C 29:11; 35:21; 38:8; 45:44; 101:23). When the righteous are blessed to see the Lord, they come to know with certainty that He lives (see D&C 93:1), that He is “the true light” (D&C 93:2), and that “the Father and [Jesus Christ] are one” (D&C 93:3).

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) taught: “I have learned that where there is a prayerful heart, a hungering after righteousness, a forsaking of sins, and obedience to the commandments of God, the Lord pours out more and more light until there is finally power to pierce the heavenly veil and to know more than man knows. A person of such righteousness has the priceless promise that one day he shall see the Lord’s face and know that he is (see D&C 93:1)” (“Give the Lord Your Loyalty,” Ensign, Mar. 1980, 4).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:3–5. “The Father and I are one”

During the First Vision, Joseph Smith saw that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are two separate Personages (see Joseph Smith—History 1:17). Their separate natures are clarified in Doctrine and Covenants 130:22: “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also” (see also Articles of Faith 1:1). However, these revelations also illustrate the oneness and unity that exist between God the Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost (see D&C 20:28; 93:3).

Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–1985) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “The Father and the Son are one. They have the same character, perfections, and attributes. They think the same thoughts, speak the same words, perform the same acts, have the same desires, and do the same works. They possess the same power, have the same mind, know the same truths, live in the same light and glory. To know one is to know the other; to see one is to see the other; to hear the voice of one is to hear the voice of the other. Their unity is perfect” (The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ [1978], 9).

Each of God’s children who chooses to believe in Jesus Christ and overcome the world can also become “one” with the Father and the Son (see D&C 35:2; 50:40–43; see also John 17:20–23; 3 Nephi 11:27, 31–36; 19:20–23).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:6–18. What is “the record of John”?

The Gospel of John in the New Testament was written by John the Beloved, one of the ancient Apostles of Jesus Christ. In the first chapter of his writings, the Apostle John included a portion of a record written by John the Baptist (see John 1:6–34). As recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 93, the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith a portion of the writings of John the Baptist and further promised that “the fulness of the record of John” would someday be revealed (D&C 93:18; see also D&C 93:6). The references to “John” in Doctrine and Covenants 93 speak of John the Baptist.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained:

“John the Baptist [was] destined to write … the gospel of that Lord whose witness he is, but his account, perhaps because it contains truths and concepts that the saints and the world are not yet prepared to receive, has so far not been given to men. On May 6, 1833, however, the Lord did reveal to Joseph Smith eleven verses of the Baptist’s writings, and promised that ‘the fulness of the record of John’ would be revealed when the faith of men entitled them to receive it. (D&C 93:6–18.)

“… John the Apostle had before him the writings of John the Baptist when he wrote his Gospel” (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary [1979], 1:426–27).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:8. “In the beginning the Word was, … even the messenger of salvation”

Anciently, the Apostle John testified that “in the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1), and then he identified “the Word” as Jesus Christ, who “was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained what that title for Jesus Christ means: “In the Greek language of the New Testament, that Word was Logos, or ‘expression.’ It was another name for the Master. That terminology may seem strange, but it is appropriate. We use words to convey our expression to others. So Jesus was the Word, or expression, of His Father to the world” (“Jesus the Christ: Our Master and More,” Ensign, Apr. 2000, 4).

As revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, John the Baptist testified that Jesus Christ is “the Only Begotten of the Father” (D&C 93:11) and “the light and Redeemer of the world” (D&C 93:9). President Russell M. Nelson testified of the significance of these truths:

“Before the foundation of the earth, the plan of salvation was prepared. It included the glorious possibility of a divine inheritance in the kingdom of God.

“Central to that plan was the Atonement of Jesus Christ. In premortal councils, He was foreordained by His Father to atone for our sins and break the bands of physical and spiritual death. Jesus declared, ‘I … was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. … In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name’ [Ether 3:14]” (“How Firm Our Foundation,” Ensign, May 2002, 75).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:11–17. The Savior “continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness”

Jesus Christ. Doctors in the Temple

Jesus Christ “received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace” (see D&C 93:12–14).

As recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 93:16–17, John the Baptist testified that Jesus Christ “received a fulness of the glory of the Father,” or “all power, both in heaven and on earth, and the glory of the Father was with him.” President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972) testified: “The Savior did not have a fulness at first, but after he received his body and the resurrection all power was given unto him both in heaven and in earth” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith [2013], 315). In the premortal world Jesus Christ was the Great Jehovah, who had all power and represented the Father as the Creator of all things. However, when Jesus was born on the earth, “he received not of the fulness at the first” (see D&C 93:12–14; see also Philippians 2:5–7).

President Lorenzo Snow (1814–1901) explained: “When Jesus lay in the manger, a helpless infant, He knew not that He was the Son of God, and that formerly He created the earth. When the edict of Herod was issued, He knew nothing of it; He had not power to save Himself; and [Joseph and Mary] had to take Him and [flee] into Egypt to preserve Him from the effects of that edict. … He grew up to manhood, and during His progress it was revealed unto Him who He was, and for what purpose He was in the world. The glory and power He possessed before He came into the world was made known unto Him” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow [2012], 279).

Jesus Christ. Flight into Egypt

Joseph and Mary protected young Jesus, such as when they took Him into Egypt, until He had power to protect Himself.

President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:

“Our Savior was a God before he was born into this world, and he brought with him that same status when he came here. He was as much a God when he was born into the world as he was before. But as far as this life is concerned it appears that he had to start just as all other children do and gain his knowledge line upon line. …

“… Without doubt, Jesus came into the world subject to the same condition as was required of each of us—he forgot everything, and he had to grow from grace to grace” (Teachings: Joseph Fielding Smith, 314–15).

The term grace refers to “divine help and strength … given through the mercy and love of God” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Grace,” scriptures.lds.org). In mortality, Jesus Christ had to learn and grow “line upon line.” He sought Heavenly Father’s grace, or divine help and strength, daily, and He obtained greater knowledge and power until He received a fulness of His Father’s glory.

Jesus Christ. Baptism

The Holy Ghost descended upon Jesus Christ when He was baptized, and a voice from heaven declared, “This is my beloved Son” (D&C 93:15).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:19–20. The Lord invites us to become like Him and the Father

The Lord has revealed that those who inherit celestial glory will receive “of [God’s] fulness and of his grace” (D&C 76:94). This “fulness” is the promise of eternal life—to enter God’s presence and to become like the Father and the Son (see D&C 76:53–62). The Lord explained why He revealed the teachings of John the Baptist regarding Him:

“I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness.

“For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father” (D&C 93:19–20).

On April 7, 1844, the Prophet Joseph Smith (1805–1844) taught the following to the Saints in Nauvoo:

“Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, … by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, … until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power. …

“… [The righteous who have died] shall rise again to dwell in everlasting burnings in immortal glory, not to sorrow, suffer, or die any more, but they shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. What is it? To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a god, and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 221–22).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:21–39

The Lord teaches the Saints how to receive truth and light

Doctrine and Covenants 93:21–22. “The church of the Firstborn”

Jesus Christ is the Firstborn of all the spirit children of Heavenly Father. As such, He is the “appointed heir” of all the Father has (Hebrews 1:2). However, He wants all of Heavenly Father’s children to share in this inheritance. By receiving and obeying the ordinances and covenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can become “joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17) and be numbered among “the church of the Firstborn” in eternity (D&C 93:22; see also D&C 76:51–54). In this way we also can receive all that the Father has (see D&C 76:55; 84:37–38).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:21–28. “I am the Spirit of truth”

To His disciples in Jerusalem, Jesus Christ declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). In our day the Lord testified that He is “the Spirit of truth” because He “received a fulness of truth, yea, even of all truth” (D&C 93:26). In earlier revelations recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Spirit of Christ is identified as the source of all truth and light (see D&C 84:45–46; 88:6–13). In the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 93, the Lord explained that we too can grow in truth and light by keeping the commandments until we are “glorified in truth and knoweth all things” (D&C 93:28; see also D&C 50:24). This is an example of how Jesus Christ makes it possible for His followers to become like Him.

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught why we should seek to obtain truth and light: “God has created man with a mind capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and that the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker, and is caught up to dwell with Him. But we consider that this is a station to which no man ever arrived in a moment” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 210–11).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:29. “Intelligence … was not created or made”

The term intelligence can be used to describe “the spirit element that existed before we were begotten as spirit children” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Intelligence, Intelligences,” scriptures.lds.org). However, the Lord has revealed very few details concerning the nature of intelligences. President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:

“Some of our writers have endeavored to explain what an intelligence is, but to do so is futile, for we have never been given an insight into this matter beyond what the Lord has fragmentarily revealed. We know, however, that there is something called intelligence which always existed. It is the real eternal part of man, which was not created or made. This intelligence combined with the spirit constitutes a spiritual identity or individual.

“The spirit of man, then, is a combination of the intelligence and the spirit which is an entity begotten of God” (The Progress of Man [1936], 11).

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught the following concerning the eternal nature of intelligence:

“I have another subject to dwell upon, which is calculated to exalt man. … It is associated with the subject of the resurrection of the dead,—namely, the soul—the mind of man—the immortal spirit. Where did it come from? All learned men and doctors of divinity say that God created it in the beginning; but it is not so: the very idea lessens man in my estimation. I do not believe the doctrine; I know better. Hear it, all ye ends of the world; for God has told me so; and if you don’t believe me, it will not make the truth without effect. …

“I am dwelling on the immortality of the spirit of man. Is it logical to say that the intelligence of spirits is immortal, and yet that it has a beginning? The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end. …

“Intelligence is eternal and exists upon a self-existent principle. It is a spirit from age to age and there is no creation about it. …

“The first principles of man are self-existent with God. God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 209–10).

President Marion G. Romney (1897–1988) of the First Presidency explained the relationship between eternal intelligence and our identities as spirit children of God: “The spirits of men ‘are begotten sons and daughters unto God’ (D&C 76:24). Through that birth process, self-existing intelligence was organized into individual spirit beings” (“The Worth of Souls,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, 14).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:30–32. The agency to act

The premortal war in heaven occurred when Satan rebelled against God “and sought to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3) and those who followed Satan used their agency to choose evil and rebelled against God (see D&C 29:36). Here on earth we have the agency to act for ourselves (see D&C 58:26–29). Without agency and the ability to act, “there is no existence” (D&C 93:30; see also 2 Nephi 2:11–13).

God provides truth and light to help His children become aware of alternatives. Those who choose not to receive God’s light will be “under condemnation” (D&C 93:32)—even when they reject God’s light in the belief that doing so will make them happier. Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles observed: “So many have erred, thinking that freedom, included both freedom to obey or not to obey eternal laws and, wrongly, that it included freedom to change those laws. Not so. Ultimately, freedom involves choice between eternal alternatives, but not the altering of the alternatives. We can choose wickedness or happiness, but not wickedness with happiness” (“Insights from My Life” [Brigham Young University devotional, Oct. 26, 1976], 7, speeches.byu.edu).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:33–35. “Spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy”

The Lord taught that eventually the spirit body and the physical body are to be “inseparably connected,” which will bring “a fulness of joy” (D&C 93:33; see also D&C 138:16–17). President Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918) taught: “We are called mortal beings because in us are seeds of death, but in reality we are immortal beings, because there is also within us the germ of eternal life. Man is a dual being, composed of the spirit which gives life, force, intelligence and capacity to man, and the body which is the tenement of the spirit. … The two combined constitute the soul” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 88). The only way we can receive a fulness of joy like the Savior has is for our “spirit and element” to be “inseparably connected” (D&C 93:33).

Because we were created in God’s image and receive life through the Spirit of Christ, our bodies are called “tabernacle[s] of God” or “temples” (D&C 93:35; see also 1 Corinthians 6:19–20; D&C 88:12–13; Moses 2:26–27).

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reminded us of the importance of our physical bodies:

“Because the physical body is so central to the Father’s plan of happiness and our spiritual development, we should not be surprised that Lucifer seeks to thwart our progression by enticing us to use our bodies improperly. …

“Our physical bodies indeed are temples of God. Consequently, you and I must carefully consider what we take into our temple, what we put on our temple, what we do to our temple, and what we do with our temple. And we can learn a number of important lessons by comparing the Church’s temples to our physical bodies as temples” (“Ye Are the Temple of God,” Ensign, Sept. 2001, 18).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:36. “The glory of God is intelligence”

The Lord taught the Saints that “the glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth” (D&C 93:36). This intelligence is not just knowledge but the wisdom to use knowledge in a righteous manner according to God’s plan (see D&C 130:18–19). President Joseph F. Smith taught:

“If you love the truth, if you have received the gospel in your hearts and love it, your intelligence will be added upon; your understanding of truth will be expanded, larger than in any other way. Truth is the thing, above all other things in the world, that makes men free. … If you will learn the truth and walk in the light of truth you shall be made free from the errors of men … ; you will be above suspicion and above wrong-doing of every description. God will approve of you and bless you. …

“It isn’t all that is necessary, to learn the truth or to cease to be ignorant. Following that comes the application of the understanding and knowledge that we gain, to those works and things that are needful for our protection and for the protection of our children, our neighbors, our homes, our happiness.

“Search out the truth of the written word; listen for and receive the truth declared by living prophets and teachers; enrich your minds with the best of knowledge and facts. Of those who speak in his name, the Lord requires humility, not ignorance. Intelligence is the glory of God; and no man can be saved in ignorance [see D&C 93:36; 131:6]” (Teachings: Joseph F. Smith, 314, 318–19).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:37–39. “Light and truth forsake that evil one”

God’s children are born into the world “innocent before God” because they are redeemed by Jesus Christ from the consequences resulting from the Fall of Adam and Eve (D&C 93:38). The Light of Christ is given to “every [person] that cometh into the world” (D&C 84:46). Parents have a duty to “bring up [their] children in light and truth” (D&C 93:40). However, when God’s children are disobedient, the “wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth” (D&C 93:39). Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of the darkness that results when we fail to keep the commandments:

“Light dispels darkness. When light is present, darkness is vanquished and must depart. More importantly, darkness cannot conquer light unless the light is diminished or departs. When the spiritual light of the Holy Ghost is present, the darkness of Satan departs.

“Beloved young men and young women of the Church, we are engaged in a battle between the forces of light and darkness. If it were not for the Light of Jesus Christ and His gospel, we would be doomed to the destruction of darkness. But the Savior said, ‘I am come a light into the world’ [John 12:46]. ‘He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life’ [John 8:12]. …

“… In this world, the darkness is never far away. In fact, it is always just around the corner, waiting for an opportunity to come in. ‘If thou doest not well,’ the Lord said, ‘sin lieth at the door’ [Genesis 4:7].

“It is as predictable as any physical law: if we let the light of the Spirit flicker or fade by failing to keep the commandments or by not partaking of the sacrament or praying or studying the scriptures, the darkness of the adversary will surely come in. ‘That wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience’ [D&C 93:39]” (“Out of Darkness into His Marvelous Light,” Ensign, May 2002, 70–71).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:40–53

The Lord commands His servants to bring up their children in light and truth

Doctrine and Covenants 93:40. “Bring up your children in light and truth”

Christ Speaks to the Children

The Lord commanded the Saints to “bring up [their] children in light and truth” (see D&C 93:38–40).

Just as God the Father has provided light and truth for His children, parents are commanded to “bring up [their] children in light and truth” (D&C 93:40). Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:

“I have heard a few parents state that they don’t want to impose the gospel on their children but want them to make up their own minds about what they will believe and follow. They think that in this way they are allowing children to exercise their agency. What they forget is that the intelligent use of agency requires knowledge of the truth, of things as they really are (see D&C 93:24). Without that, young people can hardly be expected to understand and evaluate the alternatives that come before them. Parents should consider how the adversary approaches their children. He and his followers are not promoting objectivity but are vigorous, multimedia advocates of sin and selfishness.

“Seeking to be neutral about the gospel is, in reality, to reject the existence of God and His authority. We must, rather, acknowledge Him and His omniscience if we want our children to see life’s choices clearly and be able to think for themselves” (“Moral Discipline,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 107).

See also the commentary for Doctrine and Covenants 68:25–28 and for Doctrine and Covenants 68:25 in this manual.

Doctrine and Covenants 93:41–50. “Set in order your own house”

At the conclusion of the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 93, the Lord chastened each member of the First Presidency as well as Bishop Newel K. Whitney about the way that they were raising their families. The divine instructions given to these Church leaders are important words of counsel for all parents who seek to raise a family in righteousness (see D&C 93:41–50). Elder Robert D. Hales provided the following inspired guidance to parents:

“The First Presidency issued a call to all parents ‘to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children in gospel principles which will keep them close to the Church. The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place or fulfill its essential functions in carrying forward this God-given responsibility.’

“… The First Presidency taught that by teaching and rearing children in gospel principles, parents can protect their families from corrosive elements. They further counseled parents and children ‘to give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities. However worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform’ (First Presidency letter, 11 Feb 1999; cited in Church News, 27 Feb. 1999, 3).

“With the help of the Lord and His doctrine, all the hurtful effects from challenges a family may meet can be understood and overcome. Whatever the needs of family members may be, we can strengthen our families as we follow the counsel given by prophets.

“The key to strengthening our families is having the Spirit of the Lord come into our homes. The goal of our families is to be on the strait and narrow path” (“Strengthening Families: Our Sacred Duty,” Ensign, May 1999, 32–33).

In His counsel to Newel K. Whitney, the Lord encouraged him to “set in order his family, and see that they are more diligent and concerned at home” (D&C 93:50). Elder David A. Bednar used this passage to illustrate ways that parents can create a home filled with the Spirit of the Lord:

“We can begin to become more diligent and concerned at home by telling the people we love that we love them. Such expressions do not need to be flowery or lengthy. We simply should sincerely and frequently express love. …

“We also can become more diligent and concerned at home by bearing testimony to those whom we love about the things we know to be true by the witness of the Holy Ghost. The bearing of testimony need not be lengthy or eloquent. … Within the walls of our own homes, we can and should bear pure testimony of the divinity and reality of the Father and the Son, of the great plan of happiness, and of the Restoration. …

“Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls. … Our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results. ‘Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great’ (D&C 64:33). Consistency is a key principle as we lay the foundation of a great work in our individual lives and as we become more diligent and concerned in our own homes. …

“As we seek the Lord’s help and in His strength, we can gradually reduce the disparity between what we say and what we do, between expressing love and consistently showing it, and between bearing testimony and steadfastly living it. We can become more diligent and concerned at home as we are more faithful in learning, living, and loving the restored gospel of Jesus Christ” (“More Diligent and Concerned at Home,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 17–20).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:51–53. “Make haste”

The Lord instructed Sidney Rigdon, the Prophet Joseph Smith, and Frederick G. Williams to “make haste” and preach the gospel (see D&C 93:51–52). The Lord also directed the Prophet to “hasten to translate my scriptures” (D&C 93:53), referring to the Prophet’s inspired translation of the Bible. In demonstration of the willingness of these men to be obedient to the Lord’s counsel, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon finished the translation of the Bible on July 2, 1833, just two months after this revelation was given (see The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 3: February 1833–March 1834, 166).