Doctrine and Covenants

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Doctrine and Covenants

This page is a summary or index. More detailed information on this topic is available on the sub-pages below.



Joseph Smith and others made revisions, additions, and deletions to his early revelations when preparing them for publication. Some claim that revelations from God are inerrant and should never be changed, and that this proves that Joseph Smith did not receive revelation. (Click here for full article)

  • Why did Joseph Smith and others edit the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants?
    Brief Summary: Joseph Smith made revisions, additions, and deletions to his early revelations when preparing them for publication. Are revelations from God inerrant and thus should never be changed? Were the revelations in the Book of Commandments modified because they were "showing their age," "contained outdated information," "included erroneous statements" and "abandoned doctrines?" (Click here for full article)
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  • Oliver Cowdery and the "rod of nature"
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that a revelation received by Joseph praised Oliver Cowdery's gift of using divining talents. It is claimed that the revelation was published in the Book of Commandments in its original form, then subsequently modified in the Doctrine and Covenants in order to hide the reference to the "rod of nature." Therefore, Joseph attempted to "cover up" Oliver Cowdery's work with a divining rod by changing a revelation. (Click here for full article)
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  • Direct quotation from God?
    Brief Summary: Is the wording of the D&C revelations a direct word-for-word quotation from God? Critics note that if the Doctrine and Covenants contained quotations from God, why would Joseph Smith later edit God's words? (Click here for full article)
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  • Adam and Michael conflated in Doctrine and Covenants 137
    Brief Summary: The name "Michael" was deleted from Joseph Smith's vision of the Celestial Kingdom because Adam is Michael. Was the Church trying to hide a "slip up" by Joseph Smith, who had identified Adam as Michael on multiple occasions in the past? (Click here for full article)
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  • 1835 Doctrine and Covenants denies polygamy
    Brief Summary: The 1835 edition of the D&C contained a statement of marriage which denied the practice of polygamy. Since this was published during Joseph Smith's lifetime, why might the prophet have allowed it to be published if he was actually practicing polygamy at that time? (Click here for full article)
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  • Is the Father embodied or a spirit?
    Brief Summary: When the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants was published in 1835 it portrayed God the Father as a personage of spirit whereas Jesus Christ was portrayed as a personage of tabernacle, or one having a physical body. Yet the official LDS First Vision story portrays the Father as a physical Being. Some claim that this is evidence of an evolution of story; and that the evolution of this story is evidence of fraud. (Click here for full article)
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  • God a personage of spirit?
    Brief Summary: Lectures on Faith, which used to be part of the Doctrine and Covenants, teach that God is a spirit. Joseph Smith's later teachings contradict this. More generally, critics argue that Joseph Smith taught an essentially "trinitarian" view of the Godhead until the mid 1830s, thus proving the Joseph was "making it up" as he went along. (Click here for full article)
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  • Lectures on Faith removed from Doctrine and Covenants
    Brief Summary: Critics argue that the Lectures on Faith were "quietly" removed from the Doctrine and Covenants without general church membership consent, that the Lectures on Faith are not available to the general Church membership through Church sources, and that they can only be obtained through non-LDS sources (despite their availability at Deseret Book). (Click here for full article)
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