D&C 10:1-9 “It Is Now Restored”
Section 10 (along with Section 3) addresses the loss of the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon translation. Read the section heading and Words of Mormon 1:3-7. An important theme we can draw from Section 10 is that the Lord is able to detect and solve problems, even centuries or millennia before those problems arise.
Verses 1-9 tell us more about the loss of the manuscript and the events that followed, including these important points:
- After the loss of the 116 pages and Moroni’s retrieval from Joseph Smith of the plates and the Urim and Thummim, Joseph’s mind “became darkened” (verse 2). This was also during the time period when Joseph and Emma’s firstborn child died, and it was a time of great difficulty; as referred to in D&C 19:20.
- After Moroni returned the plates and the Urim and Thummim, the Lord instructed Joseph to “continue on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work of translation” (verse 3); indicating that Joseph was not to go back and start over at the beginning (see also verse 30).
- At this time, Joseph would likely have felt anxious to do well and please the Lord, but the Lord counseled him, “Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means … but be diligent unto the end” (verse 4). Considering our “strength and means” is significant counsel for us in all our endeavors. We should also take into account the “wisdom and order” enjoined by the Lord in Mosiah 4:27, wherein nonetheless—as in D&C 10:4—He also counsels us to “be diligent.”
- “Pray always … that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan” (verse 5). What does it mean to “pray always”? (For one example, see Alma 34:27.)
- The Lord again refers to Martin Harris as being “wicked” and of having “sought to destroy” Joseph (verses 6-7). We do not know how the 116 pages were taken from Martin, nor by whom, but we can mercifully consider Martin’s role in the plan to destroy Joseph Smith as being inadvertent and through lack of care.
D&C 10:8-32 “Satan Hath Put It into Their Hearts”
Many people today consider the devil to be a simple cartoon character or a myth or legend that is not based in reality. In Section 10 (as well as in numerous other latter-day scriptures) the Lord teaches us of Satan’s reality and of his evil designs and works. For example, in this section the word destroy is used thirteen times, and the word hearts is used eleven times; both in relation to how Satan operates among mankind as he seeks to influence us in our hearts and to destroy us and the work of God. Look for the following:
- According to verses 8-19, 31-32, what were the details of Satan’s plan to destroy Joseph Smith and the Lord’s work? Note the irony in this plan; if the wicked men knew that Joseph’s second translation would be identical to the first, does that not prove to them that he truly was a prophet of God?
- What does verse 19 say were the four objectives of the men who were working as Satan’s servants?
- What else do you learn about Satan and his ways from verses 20-27? (See also 2 Nephi 28:3-31.)
What helps do you employ (such as scriptures, hymns, and so forth) to overcome the influence of the adversary when he tries to influence your heart, or to “destroy” you?
D&C 10:33-70 “Here Is Wisdom”
The Lord said to Joseph Smith, “Satan thinketh to overpower your testimony in this generation, that the work may not come forth…. But behold, here is wisdom.…” What wisdom and commandments did the Lord give in the following verses?
- Verses 34-37: What did the Lord tell Joseph about the translation of the Book of Mormon?
- Verses 39-45: What did the Lord say about “the [small] plates of Nephi” (which now comprise 1 Nephi through Omni)?
- Verses 46-52: What did He say about His “holy prophets” and “disciples” in the Book of Mormon?
- Verses 53-56: What did He say about His church and its members, and about the “kingdom of the devil”?
- Verses 57-59, 67-70: What did He say about Himself and His doctrine?
- Verses 60-66: What are some of the purposes of the Book of Mormon, as revealed in these verses?
In the October 2017 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson gave a talk entitled, “The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It?” Doctrine and Covenants 10 helps us see a little of what Satan and his servants did to try to prevent the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and what the Lord did to defeat their attempt. He declared, “Verily, I say unto you, that I will not suffer that Satan shall accomplish his evil design in this thing” (verse 14). As encouraged by President Nelson, think about the importance of the Book of Mormon in your life, and what your life might be like without it.
D&C 11:6-10 Hyrum Smith and You
In May 1829, as Joseph and Oliver continued the translation of the Book of Mormon, the Lord gave a revelation for Hyrum Smith, Joseph’s older brother. Hyrum firmly believed in Joseph’s calling as a prophet of God and he asked what he should be doing (see verse 6). The Lord’s answers apply to our work today:
- Keep the commandments and to seek to build Zion (verses 6, 9).
- Do not seek riches, but seek wisdom and the Lord will unfold His mysteries (verse 7).
- The Lord will fulfill our desire to do “much good” (verse 8).
- We are to share the message of repentance (verse 9).
- We can be blessed with spiritual gifts, according to our faith and desires (verse 10).
Which of the foregoing counsel do you consider the most important for you at this time in your life? Why?
D&C 11:11-26 “Deny Not the Spirit of Revelation”
Section 11 provides many truths pertaining to spiritual knowledge and learning from God. Find the following:
- What powerful blessings did the Lord promise in verses 12-14 for those who “put [their] trust” in Him? Think about times when such blessings have been given to you.
- Make a list of the things in verses 15-26 that the Lord told Hyrum to do (and not do) in preparation for sharing the gospel message with others. What things on this list could be most helpful to you?
- Moses 1:39 tells us that the Lord’s work is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life. According to Doctrine and Covenants 11:20, what is our “work”?
- In verse 21 the Lord promised that after obtaining His word, Hyrum’s tongue would be loosed and through the Spirit and power of God people would be “convinced.” Have you experienced this gift in your life, or seen it in the lives of others?