Episode 188: D&C 87 – Section 110 and 111

December 30, 2017


Episode 188: D&C 87 – Sections 110 and 111

Oliver and Joseph “see Jesus”, then Joseph bugs out of town to find treasure, cleverly avoiding a potential sex scandal by doing so. Fannie Alger has entered the timeline!

Drink count – 6!


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8 Comments on “Episode 188: D&C 87 – Section 110 and 111”

  1. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    Emma gave birth on June 29, 1836 to a son, Frederick Granger Williams Smith. Joseph left Kirtland to go treasure hunting in Salem less than a month later on July 25, 1836. Yes sir, Joseph Smith was 1836’s Father of the Year, no doubt.

    As fun as Marie’s mental image is of a tiny Lord standing on the pulpit, the church prefers its Jesus to be life-size, sadly. The depiction of Jesus with flaming eyes, white hair, and a watery voice is straight out of Revelation 1:13-15, though I’d like to know what ever happened to that golden girdle he was wearing around his nipples on that occasion.

    One also wonders why the resurrected Jesus is usually portrayed with brown hair when his hair color is only ever described in scripture as being white. Well, if brown hair dye is good enough for Thomas S Monson, I suppose it’s good enough for God. Anyway, it’s nice to know that Jesus coordinates his sandals to match whatever hair color he’s sporting on any given day:


    • My Book of Mormon Says:

      Bigger question, how tall is Jesus? Average height would have been around 5’6″ back then, 5’10” now. Does Jesus grow with the average American male population, or does he always do a towering 6’4″ thing?


  2. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    OK, so all the keys restored by the Old Testament prophets are pretty vague in their description here in D&C 110. In application, the LDS church speaks of these keys as the authority under which they perform their temple ordinances, though they seem to have connected the temple to this vision event after the fact. Since the Community of Christ doesn’t share the same temple doctrines, I’m not surprised they didn’t feel the same necessity as the LDS to canonize this vision.

    For the LDS, most particular of the keys received by Joseph Smith on this occasion was the “sealing power” held by Elijah, though Elijah himself never uses that phrase. Of course, when 1 Kings chapter 17 refers to Elijah’s power to seal (and when Helaman chapter 10 talks of Nephi’s similar sealing power), it’s all about making it not rain for a while. There’s no suggestion there of sealing having anything to do with binding family members together after death, as LDS doctrine has it. More on that later.

    Also, I should offer that if the “gospel of Abraham” mentioned here had anything to do with polygamy (as suggested by Ben Wilcox’s comment on the D&C 27 episode, where he cites the church’s mental gymnastics concerning that Elias/Elijah slip up: https://mybookofmormonpodcast.com/2016/04/11/episode-110-dc-15-section-27-28/#comments), then it’s a bit inconvenient that Joseph’s “marriage” to Fanny Alger seems to have predated his receiving the keys to engage in such a relationship with God’s sanction.

    I guess it’s worth mentioning now that for all the talk of endowment associated with the Kirtland Temple, the current LDS endowment ceremony didn’t exist yet in 1836, and it’s not discussed in the D&C, being a later, secret innovation in Nauvoo, incorporating Masonic elements. The endowment spoken of in the D&C is apparently supposed to be the experience of that Pentecostal outpouring of the Spirit described during the Kirtland Temple dedication.

    However, washing and anointing ceremonies at least were performed in the Kirtland Temple, involving a head-to-toe washing with soap and water, and rinsing off with clear water and perfumed whiskey. I’m still unclear on what degree of privacy the Kirtland saints were afforded during this washing.

    The washing and anointing still exists as the “initiatory” portion of the endowment ceremony, though it’s been changed over time. Thankfully, the initiatory no longer involves sitting naked under an open, poncho-like sheet, and being dabbed with water and oil by a temple worker on various body parts (not any private parts, at least, but uncomfortably close enough), as many of us experienced prior to 2005. Now participants get to wear a closed jumpsuit, and only the top of the head gets dabbed.

    Incidentally, I find it interesting that the LDS church considers changes made to the rite of baptism by the Catholic church, such as use of sprinkling instead of immersion, to be a sign of their long ago apostasy from the true gospel, yet the LDS church can change any aspect of the temple ordinances any time it wants to without suffering the disapproval of God for it?


  3. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    And one more comment today, I think, of the technical and somewhat boring variety…

    On this podcast, the question is always being asked, who wrote this section or that section of the D&C? D&C 110 was taken from the “Sketch Book for the use of Joseph Smith, jr.,” which you could call his journal, though he didn’t usually write in it personally, but dictated it to scribes, or at least had it ghostwritten to be in his first-person voice. The entry for April 3, 1836 is in the handwriting of Warren Cowdery, Oliver’s older brother, who unlike some other scribes, referred to Joseph Smith in third-person. This segment of the journal was later revised into first-person for inclusion in the History of the Church, to match the other scribes, before becoming D&C 110.


    As for Oliver Cowdery, I think it’s interesting that his own “Sketch Book” journal he kept around this time ends abruptly after the Kirtland Temple dedication, a good week before the April 3, 1836 vision. The rest of the book, starting on that same page, contains minutes from High Council meetings held in Nauvoo three or more years later, in other people’s handwriting.

    See file 28 and file 109: https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE4802683

    I’m left wondering whether Oliver simply stopped keeping a journal at this point, which doesn’t speak highly for the personal value this vision had for him (or even the fact of its occurrence, dare I suggest such a thing), or whether he discontinued using this particular unfinished sketch book and started immediately writing in another for some reason. If that’s the case (as such a subsequent journal doesn’t seem to be available; please correct me if I’m wrong), either the LDS church never got its mitts on it, and it’s missing, or the church has it and is withholding it…


    • Gottfried TheHirsute Says:

      Hey Duke,

      Just wanted to let you know that I, for one, greatly appreciate your “boring…technical” comment. I was unaware of the fact of the abrupt cessation of Oliver’s journal entries. Interesting.

      If “the Devil is in the details,” then discussion of said details is all the more important. 🙂



  4. Jacob Says:

    So if I understand correctly the con man Joe was coned by someone else with the same con of buried treasure. What comes around goes around round.

    You stated if you saw god you would convert to Mormon as a ex Mormon and now learning about all the crazy things that are David Might Michael read. For me if God exists and I come to find myself in front of this creature I would say. “I will never worship an creature that is self centered and evil that created racism,sexist,bigotry that kick out his son and then 1/3 of his children to the curb. Then let’s them cause pain and suffering.
    Then to show your power that you are the Almighty God you go and kill countless of your children because 1) they are not following you rules, 2) to scare other to follower your rule. 3) your just pissed of because your only begotten was killed on the other Side of the world Which you plan and okayed for it to happen.”
    I would then turn around and walk/float away

    This is why some of my family sad because I will not be in heaven not even hanging out with Hitler or Manson in the lowest kingdom of heaven I will be in outer darkness


  5. Rick Hansen Says:

    Joseph Smith Jr. never referred to the vision recorded in LDS Doctrine and Covenants Section 110 (the vision in which Jehovah, Moses, Elias, and Elijah appeared to Joseph and Oliver Cowdery) in his lifetime. There is no mention in this revelation of sealing keys or any reference to the prophet Elijah being associated with the keys. Joseph explained in a revelation given on 6 Aug 1833: “Seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children; And again, the hearts of the Jews unto the prophets, and the prophets unto the Jews; lest I come and smite the whole earth with a curse, and all flesh be consumed before me” (LDS Doctrine and Covenants 98:16-17). Later, in November 1835, Joseph wrote a letter addressed “To the elders of the church of the Latter Day Saints,” which was published in the Messenger and Advocate. In it, he expounded on what was meant by “turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers.”

    “I now proceed, at the close of my letter, to make a few remarks on the duty of elders with regard to their teaching parents and children, husbands and wives, masters and slaves, or servants, &c. As I said I would in my former letter. And firstly, it becomes an elder when he is travelling through the world, warning the inhabitants of the earth to gather together, that they may be built up an holy city unto the Lord, instead of commencing with children, or those who look up to parents or guardians, to influence their minds, thereby drawing them from their duties, which they rightfully owe to such, they should commence their labors with the parents, or guardians, and their teachings should be such as are calculated to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers. And no influence should be used, with children contrary to the consent of their parents or guardians. — But all such as can be persuaded in a lawful and righteous manner, and with common consent, we should feel it our duty to influence them to gather with the people of God. But otherwise let the responsibility rest upon the heads of the parents or guardians, and all the condemnation or consequences, be upon their heads, according to the dispensation which he hath committed unto us: for God has so ordained, that his work shall be cut short in righteousness, in the last days: therefore, first teach the parents, and then, with their consent, let him persuade the children to embrace the gospel also.” (Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate,Vol. 2, pp. 210-211. http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/NCMP1820-1846/id/7308 )

    It had nothing to do with binding families together in the afterlife. It was about the manner in which Joseph thought the elders should be teaching the gospel.

    In 1840, Joseph Smith Jr. gave instructions on priesthood and mentioned that Elijah would restore the keys of the priesthood in the last dispensation. He seems to be referring to a future event. If this restoration of keys occured on 3 Apr 1836, as the modern LDS Church claims, why did JS speak of the event in 1840 as if it was still to come?

    Joseph Smith Jr.’s Instruction on Priesthood, 5 October 1840
    “We frequently have mention made of the offering of Sacrifice by the servants of the most high in antient days prior to the law of moses, See [blank] which ordinances will be continued when the priesthood is restored with all its Authority power and blessings. Elijah was the last Prophet that held the keys of this priesthood, and who will, before the last dispensation, restore the Authority and delive[r] the keys of this priesthood in order that all the ordinan[c]es may be attended to in righteousness. <It is true that the Savior had authority and power to bestow this blessing >
    And I will send Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord &c &c.
    Why send Elijah because he holds the keys of the Authority to administer in all the ordinances of the priesthood and without the Authority is given the ordinances could not be administered in righteousness.”


  6. warwick9 Says:

    “Be ye as wise as serpents and yet without sin” (D&C 111:11) is a paraphrase of Matthew 10:16 —”Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Which, curiously, the Joseph Smith Translation changed to: “Be ye therefore wise SERVANTS…”


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