L.E. Dahl (Jan. 1989)
Following is a listing of important dates and happenings relating to the compilation of the Doctrine and Covenants.
Included are those editions where significant changes in content and format were made.
Not included are the many printings
in between the dates listed of both American and European editions with basically the same content as the editions here
Helpful sources of information about the development of the Doctrine and Covenants are:
Lyndon W. Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith,
(Provo, Utah: Seventy
s Mission Bookstore, 1981).
John William Fitzgerald, A Study of the Doctrine and Covenants
s Thesis, BYU, 1940.
Wilford C. Wood, Joseph Smith Begins His Work
, Vol. 2 (Salt Lake City: Wilford C. Wood, 1962).
includes photo reproductions of the Book of Commandments and the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and
Robert J. Woodford, The Historical Development of The Doctrine and Covenants
, Doctoral Dissertation, BYU, 1974.
1830 - - The Articles and Covenants
What we know as D&C 20 and 22 were known in early church history as
The Articles and Covenants of The Church
and can be considered a type of forerunner of the Doctrine and Covenants.
read by Joseph Smith jr.
and received by unanimous voice of the whole congregation
on 9 June 1830 at the first general conference of the Church
after its organization.
Also, the minutes of the conference held 26 September 1830 read,
Articles and Covenants read by br.
Oliver Cowdery and remarks made by Joseph Smith, jr.
(Far West Record
, Edited by Donald Q. Cannon and Lyndon W.
Cook [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1983], pp. 1, 3).
Cook suggests they
served as a constitution for the restored
Church . . . a formal declaration of belief as well as a written modus operandi for administering the affairs of the Church . . .
Articles and Covenants
were read aloud to the congregation almost as a routine requirement at the early Church
But as Church leaders became more conversant with the revelation, an entire reading became less frequent.
(Cook, p. 31).
These two revelations were printed in the first edition of the first Church newspaper, The Evening and The
, Independence, Mo. June 1832, under the caption,
The Articles and Covenants of the Church of
They were included in the Book of Commandments as chapter 23 [section 22] and chapter 24 [section 20].
1831 - - Decision to Print a Compilation of Revelations
From the first to the twelfth of November, 1831, four special conferences were help in Ohio (HC 1:221-237), at which
the matter of printing a compilation of revelations was considered.
It was determined that 10,000 copies of such a
compilation, to be known as
The Book of Commandments
should be printed (the number was subsequently changed to
See Far West Record
During the conferences D&C 67 through 70 were received, as well as D&C 1 and