Learn how to reconcile your doubts about revelations from the Lord’s prophets.
Revelation is often given in response to a certain question or situation. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland recounts how the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants, also known as the Lord’s Preface, was given after a man accused the Prophet Joseph of writing false revelations.
Joseph Smith gathered priesthood brethren in Hiram, Ohio, on November 1–2, 1831, for a special conference. In this conference, Joseph suggested that the revelations he had received thus far should be published as scripture. Some individuals were unsatisfied with the revelations, and one member in particular—William E. McLellin, a former schoolmaster—accused Joseph of lying.
After the incident, McLellin accepted the challenge in D&C 67:7–8: “If there be any among you that shall make one like unto it, then ye are justified in saying that ye do not know that they are true; But if ye cannot make one like unto it, ye are under condemnation if ye do not bear record that they are true.”
McLellin tried to write his own revelation in order to prove that Joseph Smith was not a real prophet. But he failed at his attempt and begged the Prophet for forgiveness.
Read Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s full article, “The Lord’s Preface (D&C 1).”
Source: Religious Studies Center
—Katie Hollingsworth, Mormon Insights
feature image by caleb george