Topical Guide/Scripture and Influential Writings/Doctrine and Covenants

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Doctrine and Covenants

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Textual changes in the Doctrine and Covenants

Summary: 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.

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Why and how revelations were modified in the Doctrine and Covenants

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Oliver Cowdery and the "rod of nature"

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, it is claimed that Joseph attempted to "cover up" Oliver Cowdery's work with a divining rod by changing a revelation. Critics also claim that Oliver would ask questions of his divining rod in faith and it would move in response.

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Criticism of the Doctrine and Covenants

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Alleged contradictions in the Doctrine and Covenants

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Doctrine and Covenants and Book of Mormon geography

Summary: Proponents of certain Book of Mormon geographical theories attempt to find clues in the Doctrine and Covenants.

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The Doctrine and Covenants and the Lamanites

Summary: Since in the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord refers to American Indians in North America as "Lamanites" (e.g., DC 28:8-9,14, DC 30:6, DC 32:2, DC 54:8), does this cause problems for the Limited Geography Theory (LGT) or issues of Amerindian genetic data?

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The Doctrine and Covenants and the locations in the Book of Mormon

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The Doctrine and Covenants and polygamy

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1835 Doctrine and Covenants denies polygamy—D&C 101 (original)

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?

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Scriptural references to plural marriage in the Doctrine and Covenants

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Lectures on Faith

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Lecture of Faith 5 teaches the Father is "a personage of spirit"

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.

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Removal of the Lectures on Faith from the Doctrine and Covenants

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).

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