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Doctrine and Covenants 109-110

by S. Michael Wilcox

Section 109 is the dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland Temple. Joseph Smith records that he received this prayer under the spirit of revelation (HC 2:420). The prayer contains some temple language repeated from Doctrine and Covenants 88 (see, e.g., 88:119-21), and some passages in it pertaining to the redemption of Jerusalem are paralleled in the Orson Hyde prayer given on the Mount of Olives five years later.

Section 109 is Hebraic in tone and reminiscent of the Solomonic dedication of the first temple and the temple-related benedictions of Jewish tradition (cf. 1 Kgs. 8).

It begins with thanksgiving, "Thanks be to thy name, O Lord God of Israel, who keepest covenant and showest mercy"; seeks divine acceptance and visible manifestation of divine glory upon the temple and the faithful; petitions that God accept what has been done in the spirit of sacrifice; designates the building as a house of God, of prayer, fasting, faith, learning, glory, and order (verse 8; cf. verse 16), where the divine name may be put upon his servants; asks forgiveness and the blotting out of sin; pleads for emissaries of truth to go forth in power and seal their witness with power; pleads for protection from enemies and deliverance from the calamities in Missouri; and prays for mercy on the nations of the earth, for expansion of stakes, for the gathering of scattered Jacob and Judah, for the redemption of Jerusalem "from this hour" (verse 62), and finally for blessings on the homes and families of the leaders of the Church. It ends with "O hear, O hear, O hear us, O Lord…that we may mingle our voices with those bright, shining seraphs around thy throne" and an "Amen, and Amen" (verses 78, 80).

Section 110 is the record of events following the temple dedication on April 3, 1836. The account (not canonical in the RLDS church) was recorded by Joseph's scribe Warren Cowdery, and first published one week after the events it describes in the Messenger and Advocate, and later was included in the 1876 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (see headnote). After partaking of the Sacrament and bowing in "solemn and silent prayer," Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received a shared vision. The Savior appeared and accepted the temple, saying, "My name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house" (verse 7). Moses next appeared to restore the "keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth" (verse 11) preparatory to the renewal of temples and temple worship (see Israel: Gathering of Israel; Temple Ordinances). Elias "committed the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham" (verse 12) to restore the covenant promise made to Abraham that through him and his seed all generations would be blessed (see Covenant of Abraham; Gospel of Abraham). Finally Elijah appeared and bestowed the keys of sealing for all priesthood ordinances, including the sealing of families, and announced the imminence of the second coming of the Messiah (verses 13-16). This was in keeping with the final prophecy of Malachi that Elijah would come to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers before the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Mal. 4:5-6; see Elijah, Spirit of).

(See Basic Beliefs home page; Doctrines of the Gospel home page; Scriptual Writings home page; Doctrine and Covenants home page; Overview of the Doctrine and Covenents home page)

Bibliography

Sperry, Sidney B. Doctrine and Covenants Compendium. Salt Lake City, 1960.

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, Doctrine and Covenants Section 109

Copyright 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company

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