D&C 133:1-21 “Go Ye Out from Babylon”
This section was given in November 1831, two days after Section 1 had been received. Section 1 is the Lord’s “preface” or introduction to the Book of Commandments (the first version or edition of what became the Doctrine and Covenants) and Section 133 was given by the Lord as an appendix (ending or conclusion).
In the section heading Joseph Smith expressed the desire to “walk by the true light, and be instructed from on high.” Look for things in this revelation that are a “true light” for you. For example:
- List the things in verses 2-3 that the Lord said He will do among all nations. (Regarding the Lord making “bare” his arm in the eyes of all, see also 1 Nephi 22:10-12.)
- List the things in verses 4-8, 11 that the Lord commands us to do to prepare for the Second Coming.
- In the scriptures, “vessels” (verse 5) refers to the items used in the ancient tabernacle and temple (bowls, cups, and so forth), and sometimes refers to our mortal bodies. The Lord commands us to be clean as we bear His vessels (the things we carry or take upon ourselves; the things we perform or do, and so forth).
- List the things in verses 9-10, 12-16 that we are to call upon the rest of the world to do.
- Note that the Lord commands all to flee from Babylon three times (verses 5, 7, 14). This reminds us of the Lord’s command to His people in the Old Testament to avoid the sinful practices of the inhabitants of ancient Babylon. We are to commanded to have no fellowship with the world’s sinful combinations, abandon its wicked and filthy systems, flee its defilements, and be clean from all its ways.
- As we “flee” from the Babylonish ways of the world, the Lord also tells us three times where we are to go; see verses 4, 9, 12. (The Lord uses the words “go” or “flee” in verses 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19. He calls upon us to move!)
- Note the use of the word all in verses 2, 3, 8, 10, 16, 21. What message do you get from this?
- What do you see in the Lord’s use of the word prepare in verses 4, 10, 15, 17, 19? Clearly, the Lord commands us to flee Babylon in a hurry, but to go to Zion in a careful, prepared, unhasty, deliberate fashion.
D&C 133:17-56 “The Hour of His Coming Is Nigh”
After instructing us about preparing for the Second Coming, the Lord reveals in verses 17-56 many details of the events and conditions before and attendant to His return in glory, as well as the Millennium:
- Angels will announce His coming (verses 18, 36).
- The Savior will appear in multiple locations, including Mount Zion (verse 18, referring to the New Jerusalem; see D&C 84:2); He will be accompanied by 144,000 high priests out of every nation (verse 18; see also D&C 77:11); He will appear on the Mount of Olives (verse 20, this being in old Jerusalem); on the islands of the sea (verse 20); as well as upon the land of Zion (verse 20, this being in Missouri).
- Jesus’s voice will be heard among “all people” (verses 21-22).
- The earth’s land masses will reunite as one large continent (verses 23-24).
- Jesus will become King over all the earth (verse 25).
- The Lost Tribes will return, joining with Ephraim and others of the House of Israel (verses 26-34).
- Those of the tribe of Judah “shall be sanctified in holiness before the Lord” (verse 35).
- The gospel will be preached to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people (verses 37-39; see also Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:31).
- Before His coming, the Lord’s servants will be calling on the Lord “day and night” that He will come (verse 40; see also “Come, O Thou King of Kings, Hymns, 1985, #59).
- He will come, put down the Saints’ adversaries, and reward their faithfulness (verses 41-45; note the Lord’s mention of “terrible things” in verse 43 and “great things” in verse 45).
- All the righteous Saints will be resurrected, stand with the Savior, and worship Him (verse 56).
- Find in verses 46-51 what the Lord said about how He will be clothed at His coming, and why.
- Also, find in verses 52-53 what the Savior’s followers will most remember and say about Him.
As members of Christ’s restored Church, we believe in the literal coming of the Savior in glory, to cleanse the earth from wickedness and to bring in a thousand years of peace, glory, and of laboring in His great redemptive work.
In the April 2019 general conference, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Twelve taught: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is uniquely empowered and commissioned to accomplish the necessary preparations for the Lord’s Second Coming; indeed, it was restored for that purpose…. First, and crucial for the Lord’s return, is the presence on the earth of a people prepared to receive Him at His coming…. We build up Zion in our homes, wards, branches, and stakes through unity, godliness, and charity [and by doing] our part in the gathering of the Lord’s elect and the redemption of the dead…. It is the Lord’s work and He is doing it…. He bids us labor in the vineyard with our might…. This great and last dispensation is building steadily to its climax.”
D&C 133:57-74 “The Lord Sent Forth the Fulness of His Gospel”
- In verse 57 the Lord said that His gospel would be preached in plainness (the opposite of the world’s insidious deceit) and in simplicity (opposite of the worlds’ complication, confusion, and contention).
- According to verses 58-59, on whom is the Lord focusing and relying? Note the miraculous things the Lord said would happen as a result of preaching to all the world. What do you learn about “the weak” from these verses? How does this apply to you—in positive ways?
- Note in verse 60 the Lord’s reference to “these commandments”—meaning the revelations comprising the Book of Commandments/Doctrine and Covenants—and His desire that they “go forth unto all flesh.”
- What is the “bottom line” of the Lord’s work, as stated in verse 62?
- The Lord’s sad, lamenting message to those who refuse to listen and repent is forcefully communicated in verses 63-74.
D&C 134 “Governments Were Instituted of God”
What basic principles and laws do you think should be most important for all governments? Section 134 was most likely written by Oliver Cowdery, declaring our “belief regarding governments and laws,” in order that the Church “may not be misinterpreted nor misunderstood” (section heading). The many difficulties experienced by the Saints in relation to state and national governments contributed to the need for such a document. With the vote of leading brethren and the approval of the Prophet Joseph Smith, this section was added to the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.
- Go through verses 1-7 and make a list of the many appropriate purposes of government, as “instituted of God” (verse 1).
- What roles do God and religion fulfill in these purposes of government? (verses 1, 4, 6, 9-10).
- What are the responsibilities and rights of citizens? (verses 4-7; see also Articles of Faith 1:11-12).
- According to verses 7, 9, 10, 12, what are the things that people, governments, and religions should not do?
- See also President Dallin H. Oaks’s message in the April 2021 general conference, “Defending Our Divinely Inspired Constitution.”