Question: Why are revelations no longer published on an ongoing basis?

Table of Contents

Question: Why are revelations no longer published on an ongoing basis?

It was only necessary to publish revelations in an ongoing fashion as the foundational doctrines and procedures of the Church were being established

In the early days of the Church, revelations used to be printed in Church periodicals such as the Times and Seasons and the Evening and Morning Star on an ongoing basis. However, the Doctrine and Covenants contains foundational revelations establishing core doctrines, the organization of the Church and the priesthood, and the manner of ordinances. Prophets after Joseph Smith have and continue to receive revelation, but only in a few circumstances have these revelations been foundational enough to necessitate them being added to the LDS canon and published.

This pattern is reflected in the Bible as well. Moses, the founding prophet of that dispensation, produced five books of scripture, which were the basis of religious instruction for the next several centuries. The books that followed Moses for the next couple centuries were mostly historical accounts (Joshua, Judges, Ruth), with only occasional revelations recorded by subsequent prophets.

Joseph Smith received fewer revelations after the Church was established

Joseph himself stopped receiving so many revelations as the government of the church was established. At this point in his life he said that the Lord should not be petitioned for every little thing, especially if revelations on the same subject had already been given or information "about the things the knowledge of which men ought to obtain in all sincerity before God for themselves." After the 12 apostles were organized the number of revelations that Joseph received decreased dramatically. Around 1835 Joseph stopped receiving revelations as people remember him to have done, nine years before his martyrdom.[1]

Notes

  1. Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Knopf, 2005), 257.