INTRODUCTION

The first attempt to publish the early revelations in book form was begun in November 1831. Before the work could be completed, a mob destroyed the press on July 20, 1833, and pages of the book as it had been reproduced in print up to that point were scattered through the streets. A high council held in Kirtland, September 24, 1834, authorized a second attempt. The committee selected at that time was instructed to "arrange the items of the doctrine of Jesus Christ for the government of the church." The committee consisted of Elders Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams.

The quorums of the church met at Kirtland in general assembly, August 17, 1835, to take under consideration the labors of this committee. The minutes of the organization meeting and of the subsequent assembly at which the first edition of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants was presented and adopted were published in the first edition as Section 103. More recently they have appeared as Section 108A and read as follows:

[Sec 108A:1a] "The assembly being duly organized, and after transacting certain business of the church, proceeded to appoint a committee to arrange the items of doctrine of Jesus Christ, for the government of his Church of the Latter Day Saints, which church was organized and commenced its rise on the 6th day of April, 1830.

[Sec 108A:1b] "These items are to be taken from the Bible, Book of Mormon, and the revelations which have been given to said church up to this date, or shall be until such arrangement is made.

[Sec 108A:2] . "Elder Samuel H. Smith, for the assembly, moved that presiding elders, Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams compose said committee. The nomination was seconded by Elder Hyrum Smith, whereupon it received the unanimous vote of the assembly. "(Signed) "Oliver Cowdery "Orson Hyde "Clerks"

[Sec 108A:3a] Wherefore Presidents O. Cowdery and S. Rigdon, proceeded and organized the high council of the church at Kirtland, and Presidents W.W. Phelps and J. Whitmer proceeded and organized the high council of the church in Missouri.

[Sec 108A:3b] Bishop Newel K. Whitney proceeded and organized his counselors of the church in Kirtland, and acting Bishop John Corrill, organized the counselors of the church in Missouri:

[Sec 108A:3c] and also Presidents Leonard Rich, Levi W. Hancock, Sylvester Smith and Lyman Sherman, organized the council of the seventy; and also Elder John Gould, acting president, organized the traveling elders;

[Sec 108A:3d] and also Ira Ames, acting president, organized the priests, and also Erastus Babbit, acting president, organized the teachers, and also William Burgess, acting president, organized the deacons,

[Sec 108A:3e] and also Thomas Gates, assisted by John Young, William Cowdery, Andrew H. Aldrich, Job S. Lewis, and Oliver Higley, as presidents of the day, organized the whole assembly.

[Sec 108A:3f] Elder Levi W. Hancock appointed chorister: a hymn was then sung and the services of the day opened by the prayer of President O. Cowdery, and the solemnities of eternity rested upon the audience.

[Sec 108A:3g] Another hymn was sung: after transacting some business for the church the audience adjourned for one hour.

[Sec 108A:4a] Afternoon.--After a hymn was sung, President Cowdery arose and introduced the "Book of Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints," in behalf of the committee:

[Sec 108A:4b] he was followed by President Rigdon, who explained the manner by which they intended to obtain the voice of the assembly for or against said book: the other two committee,* named above, were absent.

*This evidently should read, "the other two committee members."

[Sec 108A:4c] According to said arrangement, W.W. Phelps bore record that the book presented to the assembly was true. President John Whitmer also arose and testified that it was true.

[Sec 108A:4d] Elder John Smith, taking the lead of the high council in Kirtland, bore record that the revelations in said book were true, and that the lectures were judiciously arranged and compiled, and were profitable for doctrine;

[Sec 108A:4e] whereupon the high council of Kirtland accepted them and acknowledged them as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.

[Sec 108A:4f] Elder Levi Jackman, taking the lead of the high council of the church in Missouri, bore testimony that the revelations in said book were true, and the said high council of Missouri accepted and acknowledged them as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.

[Sec 108A:5a] President W.W. Phelps then read the written testimony of the Twelve, as follows: "The testimony of the witnesses to the book of the Lord's commandments, which he gave to his church through Joseph Smith, Jr., who was appointed by the voice of the church for this purpose:

[Sec 108A:5b] "We therefore feel willing to bear testimony to all the world of mankind, to every creature upon the face of all the earth, and upon the islands of the sea, that the Lord has borne record to our souls, through the Holy Ghost shed forth upon us, that these commandments were given by inspiration of God, and are profitable for all men, and are verily true.

[Sec 108A:5c] "We give this testimony unto the world, the Lord being our helper: and it is through the grace of God, the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, that we are permitted to have this privilege of bearing this testimony unto the world, in the which we rejoice exceedingly, praying the Lord always that the children of men may be profited thereby."

[Sec 108A:5d] Elder Leonard Rich bore record of the truth of the book and the council of the Seventy accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.

[Sec 108A:6] Bishop N.K. Whitney bore record of the truth of the book, and with his counselors accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.

[Sec 108A:7] Acting bishop, John Corrill, bore record of the truth of the book and with his counselors accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.

[Sec 108A:8] Acting president, John Gould, gave his testimony in favor of the book, and with the traveling elders, accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.

[Sec 108A:9] Ira Ames, acting president of the priests, gave his testimony in favor of the book, and with the priests, accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.

[Sec 108A:10] Erastus Babbit, acting president of the teachers, gave his testimony in favor of the book, and they accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.

[Sec 108A:11] William Burgess, acting president of the deacons, bore record of the truth of the book, and they accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote.

[Sec 108A:12] The venerable president, Thomas Gates, then bore record of the truth of the book, and with his five silver-headed assistants, and the whole congregation, accepted and acknowledged it as the doctrine and covenants of their faith, by a unanimous vote. The several authorities, and the general assembly, by a unanimous vote, accepted of the labors of the committee.

[Sec 108A:13] President W.W. Phelps then read an article on Marriage, which was accepted and adopted, and ordered to be printed in said book, by a unanimous vote.

[Sec 108A:14] President O. Cowdery then read an article on "Governments and laws in general," which was accepted and adopted, and ordered to be printed in said book, by a unanimous vote.

[Sec 108A:15] A hymn was then sung. President S. Rigdon returned thanks, after which the assembly was blessed by the Presidency, with uplifted hands, and dismissed. Thomas Burdick Warren Parrish Sylvester Smith Clerks

Additional sections were published in 1844 and in later editions of the book. Some of these were included without prior conference or quorum approval and have remained in the later editions on the basis of custom but with otherwise uncertain authority. This present edition is so arranged that the items of uncertain authority are included in a historical appendix and prefaced with introductions explaining the circumstances of publication and the reasons for placement in the appendix. Those sections which make up the body of the book include only those which were approved by the 1835 General Assembly or by a General or World Conference of the church. The General Conference on September 13, 1878, at Galland's Grove, Iowa, adopted a "blanket motion" (General Conference Resolution 216) which provided for the additions of Sections 114, 115, 116, 117 and established the method by which future Conferences would add new documents to editions published by the Reorganization. "Whereas, We accept the revelations heretofore given to the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, through the present presiding officer thereof, as being the word of the Lord to his church, equally with those published in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants; therefore, be it "Resolved, That the revelations received by the President of the church in 1861, 1863, and 1865, be received as from God, authoritative and binding on us as a body; and in connection with the revelation of 1873, that they be hereafter compiled with that book." The approval of the format of his edition by the 1970 World Conference specifically authorized the retention of Sections 22, 35, 100, 102, 105, and 106 which had appeared in earlier editions without Conference approval. As a record of the revelations of God and statements of basic doctrine based upon the, we present to the Saints and to the world the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. May the Holy Spirit enlighten all who study its content.

THE FIRST PRESIDENCY