Episode 99: D&C 4 – Section 4-5

November 9, 2015


Episode 99: D&C 4 – Section 4-5

This one is almost 2 hours long (hopefully that’s a blessing and not a curse). It’s like 2 episodes in 1! Anyway, we start out with a message to Ol’ Joe’s dad, and then Martin Harris orders his own revelation from on-demand. And then we find out that the LDS church didn’t really like everything god originally told Joe and had to make some “updates”.

“Drink” Count – 22

Let’s call it 4 beers


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18 Comments on “Episode 99: D&C 4 – Section 4-5”

  1. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    D&C 4 is one of those bits of scriptures that I hate, not because the content itself is offensive (in this case, it’s pretty benign), but simply because it reminds me of my mission. ln the infamous Missionary Training Center (or as Elder Cunningham of the Book of Mormon musical referred to it, “Mission Control Center”,) this entire section was used as a daily recitation. After leaving the MTC, missionaries enter the “mission field”, whatever little corner of the world they’re supposed to do their work in, which takes its name from this white field which is already to harvest.

    In the mission field, again, many missionaries start their day every morning for two years by quoting this out loud, from memory, as it’s essentially all about the attributes you need to have in order to be successful as a missionary. And if you don’t have a ton of success, it’s probably because you didn’t have enough faith, or enough love. You didn’t put your whole heart, might, mind and strength into it, and that’s too bad, because if you had, God would have guaranteed you a hall pass at Judgment Day.

    I laughed out loud hearing your commentary on the “etc.” Just to play apologist for a minute, I have to wonder if the original dictation of the revelation read pretty much like the modern version of D&C 4 (in all its repetitiveness), and perhaps the editor preparing the first edition thought God was being a bit long winded, and whittled down the list himself. Then later on, Joseph and buddies said, “We have to fix this jerk’s mistake. Etc.? In a revelation from God. Etc. Really?” Maybe I’m being too generous, but that would make sense.

    Wow. This is a long podcast! It feels like Christmas came early! I’ll maybe listen to D&C 5 tomorrow.


  2. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    Wow, I had no idea the changes in D&C 5 were so extensive! I was ready to chide you guys for missing half a verse at one point, but that was right before you ran headlong into that ridiculously labyrinthine mess of missing verses that got replaced by something entirely different, where instead of getting the sword of justice falling on our heads, we now get the eradication of life on Earth by the brightness of Jesus’ coming. So instead I say, for making sense of all that, well done!

    In case you’re wondering, the half verse you missed was the last half of verse 14 (current version): “…among this generation, in this the beginning of the rising up and the coming forth of my church out of the wilderness – clear as the moon, and fair as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” This is mainly notable in that it seems to be a prophetic pronouncement that these stirrings of God’s work leading up to publication of the Book of Mormon are just the beginning of the rise of The Church, (and indeed, the church IS “terrible”…), but since this bit was added 5 years after the church got started, the prophecy sounds less impressive.

    Actually, the church has tried to give some official explanation for why the Doctrine and Covenants, as we have it, has differences from the Book of Commandments, which you wouldn’t expect if God was giving it all in the first place. Marlin Jensen, a former Church Historian and emeritus Seventy, gave the following explanation in the church magazine a few years ago:

    One of Joseph Smith’s tasks in reviewing the manuscripts prior to their publication was to “correct those errors or mistakes which he may discover by the Holy Spirit.” Joseph knew from experience that the human process of writing down revelations, copying them into manuscript books, and then passing them through various hands in preparation for publication inevitably introduced unintentional errors. Sometimes changes were required to clarify wording. Occasionally, later revelations would supersede or update previously received revelations, necessitating the editing of documents to alter previous versions. Various other changes were also made from time to time. Most of these, such as dividing the text into verses or clarifying meaning, did not involve substantive corrections.

    Joseph seemed to regard the manuscript revelations as his best efforts to capture the voice of the Lord condescending to communicate in what Joseph called the “crooked, broken, scattered, and imperfect language” of men.” The revealed preface to the published revelations also seems to express this principle: “I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language”

    So that clears up all the issues, right? Nothing to see here! Or, a bunch of people fell asleep halfway through the paragraph, and Jensen successfully dissuaded them from actually reading the text of Book of Commandments, and seeing what all the fuss is about. Because there’s a doozy or two coming right up…


  3. Phonin' It In From Kolob Says:

    I can’t say why, but I still enjoy hearing the whole thing, old contrasted and compared to new. We wouldn’t know of the use of “etc.” in a divine revelation otherwise (which is effing classic!). The Brethren might wish we still didn’t know, but hey, whadder ya gonna do?

    Like I’ve said before, the D&C itself is a window into Divine Revelation that you simply don’t get with other religions, where they’ve had hundreds, if not thousands, of years to refine and polish their “word of God,” away from the prying eyes of academics and thrill-seekers alike. Add in the ΔD&C (the difference over time) and we can see not only that it was polished, but how, as well.

    In the immortal words of Arte Johnson . . .


  4. help3434 Says:

    Talk about the Manti Pageant for the 100th episode


  5. Matt Stiles Says:

    Wonderful! So much better this time. Great balance of scripture and commentary from both of you. I really enjoyed the long episode too since we only get them every other week. I wouldn’t change ANYthing about this episode.


  6. Mr. H Says:

    This was by far the best D&C episode thus far (until next episode at least)!

    Thank you two!!

    I was so happy when we got to meet Faith, Hope, Charity and love again!!


  7. David Sheppard Says:

    I’m only half an hour in so am excited to listen to the rest of it.
    I LOVE the show, I’ve been an invisible mymo for a while now, and I wanted to say how great it is that you’re taking the time to go through these books of Mormon scripture.

    I just had a question (not so much a criticism, and I’m hoping it doesn’t sound like one). I think it’s great having Brice there as well to add historical context. Something about Brice confuses (and kind of irritates, but mostly confuses) me. Brice was a member for a good while, and is also incredibly well read re church history – but very often he makes it seems like he doesn’t have the faintest idea what the book could possibly be saying, cause its so dumb yada yada. I would have thought his time/experience in the Mormon church would allow him to be the “TBM whisperer” so to speak, and putting on the TBM cap, talk about what the average member would believe. A lot of times to me it just seems like he’s playing dumb and just taking pot shots where he can – where as this book is completely new to David, his confusion/oversimplifying and taking shots seems more justifiable as it’s based on ignorance of church history. Is this part of those, working out the dynamics thing?

    Anyway don’t get me wrong, LOVE the show, Love David, Love having Brice on board. It’s just something that confused me. Looking forward to the next episode!


    • jwartena Says:

      To be fair to Bryce, he openly admitted that he’s never read the D&C, and his background in Church history is just his podcast, so it’s really not too deep.

      I think Bryce is a bit under-qualified to really be a TBM whisperer or offer in-depth commentary on a text he’s never read.


      • David Says:

        Thanks so much for the context, I really like Bryce, I misunderstood his background I thought he’d read it already and was a TBM back in the day. Thanks for clarifying!


      • David Says:

        Thanks for the context, I thought Bryce had more experience than I’d realised. Thanks for clarifying!


      • gfitzner Says:

        Totally agree. It is really frustrating when I know the answers to the questions you are asking him and he has no clue. I like the banter back and forth most of the time but it would be nice if he was a little more helpful explaining some of the more confusing elements.


  8. Darleen Says:

    I thought the new guy was the expert? “Born of the water” refers to baptism.


  9. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    Martin Harris and his gnarly chin beard:


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