Monday, January 4, 2010

An Appendix

Doctrine & Covenants 133

I couldn't remember why this section was called the appendix, so I went searching and found an explanation in the institute manual:

Elder John A. Widtsoe explained that “the ‘Appendix’ [ D&C 133 ], supplements the introduction [ D&C 1 ]. The two sections together encompass the contents of the book in a condensed form. An appendix is something which the writer thinks should be added to amplify that which is in the book, to emphasize it, to make it stronger or to explain the contents a little more completely.” ( Message of the Doctrine and Covenants, p. 17.)

The scriptures form a great latticework of gospel concepts. Rather than collect gospel concepts by topic, the Lord chose to scatter them throughout the sacred writings, here a little and there a little. Only by diligent searching and studying can we come to a fulness of understanding. The more we immerse ourself in the scriptures, the more familiar we become with language and concepts that trigger a host of associations.

Section 133 contains an unusual number of such concepts that presuppose a knowledge of other scriptures. If one is not familiar with such principles as the Lord coming to His temple (see D&C 133:2 ), Babylon (see vv. 4–7, 14 ), the parable of the ten virgins (see v. 10 ), the story of Lot’s wife (see v. 15 ), the Lamb standing on Mount Zion (see v. 18 ), or the time when Jesus will stand on the Mount of Olives (see v. 20 ), one will miss significant insights into what the Lord says in this section.

Well, that helped me and I hope it helped you. Here are some of the phrases that jumped out to me on this reading:

verse 3 - "make bare his holy arm" - We need to roll up our sleeves and get to work!

verse 4 - We prepare for the future by gathering together and sanctifying ourselves now.

verse 19 - It is our responsibility to GO to meet the Bridegroom. Am I always striving to be in the right place at the right time?

verses 39-40 - Prayer and worship are important.

verse 71 - We can't expect to be rescued if we're not willing to be obedient.

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