D&C 29 A Perfect Plan
Section 29 is delightfully packed with doctrine and prophecy. Among other questions, Joseph Smith was praying for further information regarding the Fall of Adam and Eve, and this revelation followed. In the first verse the Savior makes reference to His Atonement, which cannot be separated from the doctrine of the Fall.
The verses may be grouped into an orderly list of sacred topics. Find what the Lord teaches about the following:
- The gathering of Israel (and the Lord’s other related activities; verses 1-8).
- The Second Coming of Jesus Christ (which can be considered His culmination of the gathering; verses 9-13).
- Terrifying events and signs prior to the Second Coming (verses 14-21).
- Events to occur at the end of the Millennium (verses 22-28).
- Knowledge relating to the devil, his plans, and his works (verses 36-40).
- The Fall of Adam and Eve (verses 39-41).
- The redemption of Adam and Eve and all mankind, including little children who die before the age of accountability (verses 42-47; a little over a year later the Lord revealed the age of accountability to be age 8; see D&C 68:25).
D&C 29 There Is Always More to Glean
Additionally, we can draw the following from Section 29:
- The Lord’s people (and His “elect”) may be defined as those who hearken to Him, humble themselves before Him, call upon Him in “mighty prayer,” hear His voice, do not harden their hearts, and truly believe in Him (verses 2, 7, 43).
- Some of our perils in life are due to our own sins (verse 3).
- D&C 29:7-8 could be interpreted to mean that the latter-day city of Zion will be built in Jackson County, Missouri before the Second Coming. However, others have drawn different conclusions. (Other scriptures that address this question are Doctrine and Covenants 45:64-71; 49:24-25; 57:1-2; 101:17-22; 103:15, 18-20; Moses 7:60-62; Articles of Faith 1:10.)
- At the time of the Second Coming there will be a world-wide earthquake (verse 13; see also Revelation 16:18).
- The wicked may be defined as those who will not repent, will not hear God, deny Him, love darkness rather than light, perform evil deeds, and obey Satan (verses 17, 22, 44-45).
- The abominations that now reign upon the earth shall all be cast down (verse 21).
- All God’s creations—the heaven, the earth, men, beasts, fowls, and fishes—will become new and resurrect to immortal glory (verse 24-25).
- The Lord created all things first in a spiritual (or spirit) state, then in their temporal (or physical) state (verses 31-32).
- In one sense, the power of God is a result of the honor given to Him. All things (elements) honor (obey) God and His word. However, mortals—who have the gift of agency—do not always honor and obey God (verses 30, 36; see also D&C 38:3; Helaman 12:7-17).
- The devil sought to take away the Lord’s honor (which can only be earned, anyway), but he failed. Satan and his followers have been cast down to earth, where they make war against the Saints of God. The devil’s temptations actually allow us to be agents unto ourselves (verses 30, 36-39; see also D&C 76:25-29; 2 Nephi 2:16).
- The Lord will never interfere with our agency, which is our freedom to choose, even if we sin to the point of becoming subject to the will of the devil (verses 36, 40).
- Since the days of Adam, the Lord has mercifully sent angels to declare His plan of redemption, which raises us from spiritual death and grants us immortality and eternal life (verses 41-43).
What verses or teachings in Section 29 can help you as you participate in the Lord’s work of gathering Israel, and as you prepare for the Second Coming? What might you share with others?
In the October 2020 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson taught, “The Lord is gathering those who will choose to let God be the most important influence in their lives. For centuries, prophets have foretold this gathering, and it is happening right now! As an essential prelude to the Second Coming of the Lord, it is the most important work in the world! … As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or ‘latter-day covenant Israel,’ we have been charged to assist the Lord with this pivotal work. When we speak of gathering Israel on both sides of the veil, we are referring, of course, to missionary, temple, and family history work. We are also referring to building faith and testimony in the hearts of those with whom we live, work, and serve. Anytime we do anything that helps anyone—on either side of the veil—to make and keep their covenants with God, we are helping to gather Israel.” (“Let God Prevail,” Ensign, Nov. 2020.)