Sunday, March 28, 2021

March 22-29: D&C 29


"Be glad."

Section 29 summarizes the plan of salvation, which can be summarized with verse 5:

Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom.

(Doctrine and Covenants 29:5)

This is a fascinating contrast to the "tribulation and desolation" described in verses 8-21. These verses describe things that most people would rather not focus on, such as "there shall be weeping and wailing among the hosts of men," and "I the Lord God will send forth flies upon the face of the earth, which shall take hold of the inhabitants thereof, and shall eat their flesh, and shall cause maggots to come in upon them; And their tongues shall be stayed that they shall not utter against me; and their flesh shall fall from off their bones, and their eyes from their sockets; And it shall come to pass that the beasts of the forest and the fowls of the air shall devour them up." (Doctrine and Covenants 29:18–20)

How can we "be glad" in light of all this tribulation?

One answer is found in verse 34.

Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created.

(Doctrine and Covenants 29:34)

When we remember that everything is spiritual, we remember that mortality is a school, an essential experience for us. As I often say, the hardest thing about mortality is how real it seems.

The reality we can have faith in, the reality that endures, appears near the end of the section.

"And thus did I, the Lord God, appoint unto man the days of his probation—that by his natural death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life, even as many as would believe."
(Doctrine and Covenants 29:43)


Section 29 reaffirms the literal creation of Adam and that he was cast out from the Garden of Eden. t also emphasizes that we cannot be agents under ourselves without the temptations of the devil (verse 39), thereby reiterating the reality of the devil.

And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet—

(Doctrine and Covenants 29:39)

In the scriptures, the term agent(s) appears only in the D&C and PofGP (Moses 6:56). Jonathan Edwards used the term hundreds of times, usually in the context of moral agent(s). I see the influence of Jonathan Edwards as evidence that Joseph actually translated the plates, but it is also evidence of how the Lord gave revelations to Joseph Smith "after the manner of his language," meaning the words, phrases and concepts he had learned in his lifetime.

Here's an example:

The Scriptures are so very express in it, that all mankind, all flesh, all the world, every man living, are guilty of sin; that it must at least be understood, everyone that is come to be capable of being active, in duty to God, or sin against him, is guilty of sin. There are multitudes in the world, who have but very lately begun to exert their faculties as moral agents; and so are but just entered on their state of trial, as acting for themselves.


The combination of "lift up your hearts" with "be glad" appears only in the D&C and PofGP (Moses), but both elements are found in the scriptures.

The "be glad" message appears throughout the scriptures (see sample list below).

The idea of "lifting your hearts" may allude to Lamentations. 

Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.
(Lamentations 3:41)

More likely, it alludes to David Brainerd's journal as published by Jonathan Edwards, which used the phrase several times. (see list below) 


At ten, rode away with a heavy heart to preach to my Indians. Upon the road I attempted to lift up my heart to God;

If I attempted to lift up my heart to God, as I frequently did by the way, on a sudden, before I was aware, my thoughts were wandering "to the ends of the earth" Job 28:24

Enjoyed some sweet meditations on the road, and was enabled to lift up my heart to God in prayer and praise. 

In the evening, could not but lift up my heart to God in prayer, while riding to my lodgings: And blessed be his Name

I was enabled to " lift up my soul to God" Psalms 25:1 early this morning... I found freedom to lift up my heart to God for myself and others

"Be glad" references:

The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.
(Psalms 64:10)

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
(Psalms 118:24)

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
(Isaiah 25:9)

And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord.
(Zechariah 10:7)

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
(1 Peter 4:12–13)

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
(Revelation 19:6–8)

And Israel shall be saved in mine own due time; and by the keys which I have given shall they be led, and no more be confounded at all.
Lift up your hearts and be glad, your redemption draweth nigh.
(Doctrine and Covenants 35:25–26)

And as Enoch saw this, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted; but the Lord said unto Enoch: Lift up your heart, and be glad; and look.
(Moses 7:44)

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