027: Doctrine & Covenants Lesson 1: Introduction

Introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History

Student and Teacher Reading: Explanatory Introduction to the D&C; D&C 1; Introduction to Our Heritage


We have a lot to introduce in this introductory lesson!

1) Structure and Resources. The selective, thematic approach of the Gospel Doctrine student and teacher’s manuals necessitates two Sunday School podcasts this year.

The two podcasts are:

Engaging Gospel Doctrine: EGD will continue to follow the schedule and reading of the standard curriculum (working to get a week or two ahead), modeling a “best version” of Sunday School and providing supplementary resources.

Text and Context. This companion podcast T&C will explore all the sections of the Doctrine and Covenants in sequential order modified for chronology and topic, and provide further historical context. It will fall under our “ward library” category Excavating Scripture.

The teacher’s manual states “because this year’s lessons are thematic, some sections of the Doctrine and Covenants are not included in the reading assignments. Nevertheless, class members should plan to read the entire Doctrine and Covenants during the year”, but doesn’t provide any suggestions as to how to accomplish this reading. This podcast fills this void. Think of it like a “special features” project. Most importantly, it models a contextually sensitive, thorough approach to scripture.

This introductory podcast will explain and outline all three resources and approaches–the manuals, EGD, and T&C.

For both Engaging Gospel Doctrine and Text and Context,  Go to the Resource Page for a list of recommended books, articles, and websites. These will be updated as new content becomes available.

2) Doctrine and Covenants and Church History. This episode will give a brief overview of the pre-history of the D&C, the contents of the current version, and the Church history we will be covering this year.

3) Terms, Methods, and Approaches. Understanding the framework and approaches to studying scripture and history are at least as important as the facts and details covered. This episode will conclude with a discussion of terms such as Past, History/Historical, Accurate, True, Myth, Theology, Revelation, and Critical. We will also review approaches to the text including literary, theological, historical, ethical, and critical.

Recurring Donation:

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One Time Donation:

$10   $25   $50   $100

Post your comments and questions here, in the facebook group, or email them to me at MormonSundaySchool at gmail.


You can find my Lesson Notes here.

You can access my Reading Notes here.

Latest Comments

  1. Brian T says:

    I think this you’ll probably find the manuscript discussion in the Revelations volume(s) from the JSPP.


    • michael says:


      Thanks. Now I have another question. I just finished reading Robert Woodford’s Ensign article.

      1) Was there a vote by the LDS membership for the 1981 edition of D&C?

      2)Was the Book of Commandments never published?

      3)It appears Section 132 was compile from other previous sections for the 1876 edition. Am I reading Woodford correctly?




  2. Robbie says:

    Robert Woodford’s dissertation at BYU titled “Historical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants” pieces together the sources for the sections of the D&C. It’s almost 40 years old now, so there may be something more recent, but it is a good source. The Lyndon Cook book you listed above is helpful too.


    • michael says:


      Is that dissertation available on line? If so, where do I find it?



      • Robbie says:


        I got it through BYU studies on a DVD for $20 several years ago, but I can’t find it on their website anymore. Might try them or the BYU Bookstore. Let me know if you can’t find it.



  3. Jon says:


    One thing that is important from a marketing perspective, is to make it as easy as possible to get people to contribute your project. One idea is to always include a link to a place for donating on every page you produce. I’m sure there are other marketing ideas but that is the only one I have. I know SS is a non-profit organization so that might make it harder to implement other ideas for marketing.

    Just a thought. Now, off to contribute to your project! Not much since I’m not earning much right now and living off savings, but hopefully enough to keep the podcast going!


    • Jared Anderson says:

      Thank you so much for the support Jon! I don’t want anyone to give more than they feel they can, of course. I see a “Donate” button on every page. Do you not? I do think it would be better if the “Monthly Donation” button were first and the “One-Time Donation” were second…


  4. michael says:


    I enjoyed your discussion about the differences between fact, evidence, and conclusion. I think many people, including ex-Mormons and active Mormons get this all screwed up.


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