The New Testament in the Doctrine and Covenants
Nicholas J. Frederick, "The New Testament in the Doctrine and Covenants," in New Testament History, Culture, and Society: A Background to the Texts of the New Testament, ed. Lincoln H. Blumell (Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2019), 719-752.
The Doctrine and Covenants and the King James Bible share an undeniable relationship. Canonized in 1835, the Doctrine and Covenants consists chiefly of a written record of Joseph Smith’s revelations, most of which were received and recorded between 1828 and 1838. Like the Book of Mormon, the revelations and other texts canonized in the Doctrine and Covenants do not simply mimic King James language, adopting a familiar idiom to express innovative ideas. Rather, the revelations frequently quote from or allude to specific passages from the King James Bible, carefully integrating the words of Old and New Testament prophets into the revealed words of a modern one. As one scholar has observed, Joseph Smith’s revelations “are full of biblical phrases and images, and they echo KJV idiom. The biblicism is sometimes deliberate, with direct allusions to biblical prophecy or concepts, and sometimes (apparently) unconscious—biblical words woven into the fabric of a new narrative having its own coherence.” The purpose of this essay is to examine how the Doctrine and Covenants has adopted the language of the New Testament and adapted it into a nineteenth-century religious, specifically Latter-day Saint, context. This essay will proceed as follows: I will begin by examining the three New Testament texts that make the largest contribution to the text of the Doctrine and Covenants, namely the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of John, and the book of Revelation. I will then offer a short, heavily descriptive, discussion of how the remaining New Testament texts are used in the Doctrine and Covenants. Following this examination, I will offer some concluding observations on the place of the New Testament as a whole in the Doctrine and Covenants.
Along with the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation, the Gospel of Matthew is one of the most frequently alluded to texts in the Doctrine and Covenants, with the total number of allusions surpassing well over one hundred. Interestingly, the majority of these allusions come from Matthew’s five prominent sermons. Matthew’s Gospel is conveniently constructed around five lengthy discourses (the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5–7, the charge to the apostles in Matthew 10, the discourse on the kingdom in Matthew 13, the discourse on the church in Matthew 18, and the Olivet discourse in Matthew 24–25), likely intended to link the Gospel with Moses and his five books. The Matthean sermon that gets the most attention is the Olivet discourse in Matthew 24–25. Not only is it alluded to about forty times throughout the Doctrine and Covenants, it plays a prominent role in the construction of at least two key eschatological revelations, Doctrine and Covenants 29 and 45. The Olivet discourse is Matthew’s rendition of Jesus’s teachings to the twelve apostles on the Mount of Olives shortly before his crucifixion (compare Mark 13; Luke 21:5–37). In Matthew 24 Jesus lays out the signs preceding the destruction of Jerusalem and his eventual return. Matthew 25 contains parables of judgment, including the familiar stories of the ten virgins, the parable of the talents, and the parable of the sheep and the goats. It is fitting, then, that in two revelations (29 and 45) heavily concerned with future events such as the gathering of Israel, the Second Coming, the Millennium, and the Resurrection and Judgment, the language of Matthew 24–25 would play a significant role.
The allusion to Matthew 24:6 in Doctrine and Covenants 45:35 provides a useful example of how the Doctrine and Covenants utilizes the language of the New Testament.
And I said unto them: Be not troubled, for, when all these things shall come to pass, ye may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled. (Doctrine and Covenants 45:35)
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (Matthew 24:6)
There are two important observations to be made here. First, the insertion of the phrase “And I said unto them” links this revelation, given in 1831, with Jesus’s Olivet discourse, given about eighteen hundred years earlier. These two discourses are being explicitly coupled together. Second, very rarely does the Doctrine and Covenants simply insert allusions to the New Testament in a word-for-word manner. The revelations maintain a careful balance between maintaining enough of the New Testament’s language to preserve the phrasal link with it, while at the same time changing enough of the language so that the allusion works within its new context almost seamlessly. Doctrine and Covenants 45:35 moves the “ye” farther into the phrase while changing “must come” to “shall come.” Additionally, the entire last phrase of Doctrine and Covenants 45:35, “ye may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled” is completely changed from Matthew’s version.
An additional layer of complexity is revealed two verses later, in Doctrine and Covenants 45:37–38. At first glance, these two verses appear to continue the Matthean appropriation observed in Doctrine and Covenants 45:35:
Ye look and behold the fig trees, and ye see them with your eyes, and ye say when they begin to shoot forth, and their leaves are yet tender, that summer is now nigh at hand. Even so it shall be in that day when they shall see all these things, then shall they know that the hour is nigh. (Doctrine and Covenants 45:37–38)
Now learn a parable of the fig tree: When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh. (Matthew 24:32)
The sharing of language such as “tender,” “leaves,” and “that summer is nigh,” in addition to the explicit allusions to Matthew 24 in Doctrine and Covenants 45:35, initially indicate that this is another example of the Doctrine and Covenants’s allusion to Matthew 24. But consider these verses from Luke’s Gospel:
And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. (Luke 21:29–31)
It is clear from a comparison of Doctrine and Covenants 45:37–38 that Luke’s Gospel is evoked even more than Matthew’s:
Ye look and behold the fig trees, and ye see them with your eyes, and ye say when they begin to shoot forth, and their leaves are yet tender, that summer is now nigh at hand. Even so it shall be in that day when they shall see all these things, then shall they know that the hour is nigh. (Doctrine and Covenants 45:37–38)
This allusion to Luke 21 in the text of Doctrine and Covenants 45 is a striking one. The revelation explicitly alludes to Jesus’s speaking on the Mount of Olives and then appropriates Matthew’s language from that sermon. But where Doctrine and Covenants 45 could simply maintain Matthew’s language from Matthew 24:32 in Doctrine and Covenants 45:37–38, instead the revelation alludes to Luke’s Gospel, drawing both Gospels and their language into the context of Doctrine and Covenants 45. This high level of adoption and adaption from multiple sources in a single pericope is not unique to Doctrine and Covenants 45. This type of allusivity is present throughout the Doctrine and Covenants.
Two other Matthean stories that play an important role in the Doctrine and Covenants are John the Baptist’s words in Matthew 3 and Jesus’s discussion with Peter in Matthew 16. Matthew 3 narrates John the Baptist’s fiery denunciation of the arrogance of the Jews and their presumption of salvation simply because of their lineage. John warns that a change is coming, that God’s judgment is imminent: “And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” (Matthew 3:10). John’s opening declaration of “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. . . . Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” (Matthew 3:2–3) is alluded to several times in the Doctrine and Covenants (33:10; 39:19; 42:7; 65:1; 133:17). The phrase “in whom thou wast well pleased” (45:4) or “in/
The significance of Matthew 16 is that it represents the only chapter in the Gospels that explicitly mentions a church and thus becomes a useful text to draw upon when discussing the restored Church. Matthew 16 finds Jesus questioning the twelve apostles as to his identity, a question that is answered through Peter’s declaration of Jesus as “the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus subsequently bestows the “keys of the kingdom” (16:19) upon Peter, accompanied by the promises that “upon this rock I will build my church” (16:18) and “whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” (16:19). All of these phrases are alluded to in the Doctrine and Covenants. In Doctrine and Covenants 1, the Lord states that “power is given” to his servant in order to “seal both on earth and in heaven” (1:8). In two early revelations, the Lord promises that “if ye are built upon my rock, they [earth and hell] cannot prevail” (6:34) and “whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them” (10:69). Perhaps most significantly, when the Lord formally introduces himself in Doctrine and Covenants 42:1, he does so using the same title Peter uses for Jesus in Matthew 16:16: “Hearken, O ye elders of my church, who have assembled yourselves together in my name, even Jesus Christ the Son of the living God, the Savior of the world; inasmuch as ye believe on my name and keep my commandments.”
The second of the three most prominent New Testament texts in the Doctrine and Covenants is the Gospel of John. Although there are not necessarily as many allusions to John’s Gospel as there are to Matthew’s, the Doctrine and Covenants appropriates John’s Gospel in a complex and fascinating way. Two revelations in particular, Doctrine and Covenants 7 and 93, focus specifically on the text of the Gospel of John itself. Doctrine and Covenants 7, received in April 1829, claims to be part of a record written by John himself and serves to clarify one of the more enigmatic elements of John 21, namely the fate of the “beloved disciple.” In John’s Gospel, Peter asks Jesus what will happen to the “beloved disciple,” a title that is generally, although not universally, seen as referring to John. Jesus responds, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me” (John 21:22). This saying is the biblical source for the tradition that John is still on the earth. While translating the Book of Mormon, Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith debated the meaning of Jesus’s words to Peter, and “they mutually agreed to settle it by the Urim and Thummim.” Accordingly, Joseph received Doctrine and Covenants 7, a first-person text that was “translated from parchment, written and hid up by himself,” referring to John. Doctrine and Covenants 7, then, is positioned as a record that predates the Gospel of John and contains a lengthier version of Jesus’s discussion with Peter and John than that preserved in the Gospel of John.
While Doctrine and Covenants 7 offers an expanded treatment of the ending of John’s Gospel, Doctrine and Covenants 93, a revelation received in May 1833, deals with the beginning of John’s Gospel. Doctrine and Covenants 93 begins by evoking Johannine language such as “I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one” and “I was in the world and made flesh my tablernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men” (93:3–4). After this brief explication on the divinity of Jesus Christ, John and his record are explicitly mentioned: “And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed” (93:6). Notably, much of the Johannine language in Doctrine and Covenants 93:7–17 parallels specific language from the prologue of John’s own Gospel (John 1:1–18). Phrases such as “in the beginning the Word was,” “the world was made by him,” “in him was the life of men and the light of men,” and “full of grace and truth” are quite familiar to readers of John’s Gospel. As with Doctrine and Covenants 7, Doctrine and Covenants 93 presents a portion of John’s Gospel that seems to predate the current “Gospel of John.”
However, Doctrine and Covenants 93 goes one step further and, instead of using the earlier text of John to answer a question, Doctrine and Covenants 93 uses the earlier text of John to present new theological insights into the nature of Jesus Christ himself. In the Gospel of John, Jesus was seen as God himself (John 1:1–5), as Jehovah come down from heaven (John 8:58), a pillar of fire that “dwelt” or “tented” in a fleshy form among humanity. The Trinitarian Christianity of Joseph Smith’s time that saw no significant distinction between the Father and Son was based on certain passages in John. Doctrine and Covenants 93, however, uses language from John’s Gospel to teach just the opposite idea. According to Doctrine and Covenants 93, Jesus was not always God, because he “received not of the fulness at first,” but in fact progressed “grace to grace,” until he “received a fulness” (93:12–13). Using this innovative Christology constructed from the language of John’s Gospel, the remainder of Doctrine and Covenants 93 tackles topics such as the premortal life, the essence of spirits, and the eternal nature of elements. The point of Doctrine and Covenants 93 is that humanity, which had a beginning similar to Jesus, can progress as he did, grace to grace, until they themselves may “receive of the fulness.”
In addition to its focus on the text of John’s Gospel, the Doctrine and Covenants also utilizes John’s Gospel in another unique manner, namely as a voice for Jesus. In several of the revelations, when Jesus speaks, he speaks using the language and verbiage of John’s Gospel. For example:
Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto mine own, and mine own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. (Doctrine and Covenants 6:21; compare John 1:5, 11)
Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I came unto mine own, and mine own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. I am he who said—Other sheep have I which are not of this fold—unto my disciples, and many there were that understood me not. (Doctrine and Covenants 10:57–59; compare John 1:5, 11; 10:16)
My son Orson, hearken and hear and behold what I, the Lord God, shall say unto you, even Jesus Christ your Redeemer; The light and the life of the world, a light which shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not; Who so loved the world that he gave his own life, that as many as would believe might become the sons of God. Wherefore you are my son. (Doctrine and Covenants 34:1–3; compare John 1:4–5, 12; 3:16)
John’s unique language and nuanced portrayal of Jesus provided an ideal voice for Jesus Christ, a voice that illustrated the depth of Jesus’s mission and the breadth of his realm.
While the language and imagery of the book of Revelation is prominent throughout the Doctrine and Covenants, there are four sections in particular—Doctrine and Covenants 29, 76, 77, and 88—in which the book of Revelation plays a more significant role. The first of these, Doctrine and Covenants 29, carefully explores the reality and purpose of individual agency. Received in September 1830, this section is a particularly stunning eschatological text, carefully exploring the reality and purpose of agency and how the exercising of that agency affects the fate of humanity at the Resurrection and the Judgment. A large part of the revelation is devoted to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and includes, in intense and stunning language, the events and signs preceding his arrival. The signs of Jesus’s coming include the sun being “darkened,” the moon turning to “blood,” and stars falling from the heaven (Doctrine and Covenants 29:14; compare Revelation 6:12–13). A “great hailstorm” will destroy the “crops of the earth” (29:16; compare Revelation 8:7; 11:19), and the wicked will receive their just punishment, for “the cup of mine indignation is full” (29:17; compare Revelation 14:10). Doctrine and Covenants 29 describes, in gruesome detail, how flies and maggots will feast upon the flesh of the wicked, until “their flesh shall fall from off their bones, and their eyes from their sockets” (29:19). Afterward, the “fowls of the air shall devour them up” (29:20; compare Revelation 19:21). The source of this wickedness upon the earth, Doctrine and Covenants 29 reveals, is the “great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth” (29:21; compare Revelation 17:1; 19:2). This section then describes the eventual fate of the earth, including the Millennium (29:22; compare Revelation 20:3, 7) and the creation of a “new heaven and a new earth” (29:23; compare Revelation 21:1). Finally, Doctrine and Covenants 29 turns to the role played by agency in the premortal life and in the Garden of Eden. The revelation describes how Satan managed to sway “a third part of the hosts of heaven” (29:36; compare Revelation 12:4) and then “was thrust down, and thus came the devil and his angels” (29:37; compare Revelation 12:9). Naturally, the language of an apocalyptic text such as the book of Revelation would provide valuable imagery and language for Joseph Smith’s own eschatological revelations.
Unique among all of Joseph Smith’s canonized revelations, Doctrine and Covenants 77 serves as a question and answer session between Joseph Smith and the Lord. The setting for the reception of Doctrine and Covenants 77 is Joseph’s continuing work on the translation of the Bible. Joseph Smith’s history states that “about the first of March, in connection with the translation of the scriptures, I received the following explanation of the Revelations of Saint John.” Perhaps Joseph read through Revelation and gathered together a series of questions, or perhaps Doctrine and Covenants 77 represents a collation of questions and answers Joseph received as he was translating. Among other things, Joseph is instructed about the possible meanings of the “sea of glass” (77:1; compare Revelation 4:6), the book “sealed with seven seals” (77:6–7; compare Revelation 5:1), the sealing of the 144,000 (77:11; compare Revelation 7:4), and the identity of the two witnesses who lie dead in the streets of Jerusalem for three and a half days (77:15, compare Revelation 11:8). The information Joseph receives reveals a very pragmatic approach to the book of Revelation, one that demystifies one of the Bible’s most mystical texts. Rather than being a text full of abstruse imagery, ambiguous events, and language that seems to hazily recede the harder it is studied, Doctrine and Covenants 77 suggests a text that has distinct answers to its questions and a clear reality behind its symbols. The twenty-four elders who surround God’s throne are simply Christian missionaries who lived during the first century AD and then dwelt in paradise. The events described in Revelation are literal, played out during one of the thousand-year periods of time symbolized by the seven “seals.” From this perspective, it is not surprising that Joseph would later claim that “Revelation is one of the plainest books God ever caused to be written,” while at the same time expressing frustration that the book of Revelation was “a constant source of speculation amongst the elders, causing a division of sentiment and opinion in relation to it.”
Doctrine and Covenants 76 and 88 are, in the words of historian Richard L. Bushman, two of the “revelations of exaltation.” Doctrine and Covenants 76 records the account of a vision shared by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon in 1832 in which they beheld different kingdoms of glory and received additional insights on the fates of both the righteous and the wicked. Doctrine and Covenants 88 is primarily a revelation aimed at establishing a setting for educating and instructing missionaries. Yet the revelation goes far beyond these practicalities, yielding “a cohesive compound of cosmology and eschatology united by the attempt to link the quotidian world of the now to the world beyond.” The language and imagery present in the book of Revelation was utilized in both Doctrine and Covenants 76 and 88 in order to describe revelations. In Doctrine and Covenants 76, the language of the book of Revelation was used largely to discuss Satan and the fate of those who follow him:
And while we were yet in the Spirit, the Lord commanded us that we should write the vision; for we beheld Satan, that old serpent, even the devil, who rebelled against God, and sought to take the kingdom of our God and his Christ. (76:28)
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:2; compare 12:9)
Wherefore, he maketh war with the saints of God, and encompasseth them round about. (76:29)
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. (Revelation 13:7)
These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels. (76:36)
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are. (Revelation 20:10; compare 19:20)
These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie. (76:103)
For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (Revelation 22:15)
Part of Doctrine and Covenants 88 is a description of events that will precede the Second Coming. Again, the book of Revelation provides much of this language.
And angels shall fly through the midst of heaven, crying with a loud voice, sounding the trump of God, saying: Prepare ye, prepare ye, O inhabitants of the earth; for the judgment of our God is come. Behold, and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. (88:92)
And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound! (Revelation 8:13).
And another angel shall sound his trump, saying: That great church, the mother of abominations, that made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, that persecuteth the saints of God, that shed their blood. (88:94)
And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. (Revelation 14:8)
And there shall be silence in heaven for the space of half an hour; and immediately after shall the curtain of heaven be unfolded, as a scroll is unfolded after it is rolled up, and the face of the Lord shall be unveiled. (88:95)
And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. (Revelation 8:1)
The book of Revelation provided a valuable vocabulary for Joseph Smith to draw upon as he composed his revelations—several of them outline a detailed eschatological vision shared by John’s apocalypse. The importance of the book of Revelation is further suggested by Doctrine and Covenants 77, the only biblical book to receive its own question and answer revelation.
Having considered these texts, I will, in the remainder of this paper, provide shorter glimpses of the New Testament documents that are not integrated into the Doctrine and Covenants as thoroughly as Matthew, John, and Revelation.
Perhaps the clearest use of the Gospel of Mark in the Doctrine and Covenants comes in the form of several passages taken from Mark 16:
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)
And if they desire to take upon them my name with full purpose of heart, they are called to go into all the world to preach my gospel unto every creature. (Doctrine and Covenants 18:28)
For, verily, the sound must go forth from this place into all the world, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth—the gospel must be preached unto every creature, with signs following them that believe. (Doctrine and Covenants 58:64)
Go ye into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature, acting in the authority which I have given you, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (Doctrine and Covenants 68:8)
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:16)
And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned. And he that believeth shall be blest with signs following, even as it is written. (Doctrine and Covenants 68:9–10)
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17–18)
Require not miracles, except I shall command you, except casting out devils, healing the sick, and against poisonous serpents, and against deadly poisons. (Doctrine and Covenants 24:13)
For, verily, the sound must go forth from this place into all the world, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth—the gospel must be preached unto every creature, with signs following them that believe. (Doctrine and Covenants 58:64)
But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe. (Doctrine and Covenants 63:9)
And these signs shall follow them that believe. (Doctrine and Covenants 84:65)
And these signs shall follow him—he shall heal the sick, he shall cast out devils, and shall be delivered from those who would administer unto him deadly poison. (Doctrine and Covenants 124:98)
This usage of Mark 16:15–18 is noteworthy because these verses make up part of what is commonly referred to as the “long ending” of Mark. Some scholars believe that Mark’s Gospel ended at 16:8: “And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.” This ending may have been viewed as too ambiguous, so another ending was added by later copyists using an assortment of phrases from Matthew, Luke, and John. This ending is the current Mark 16:9–20 in the King James Bible. There are at least two possible ways to view the inclusion of this ending of Mark’s Gospel in Joseph Smith’s revelations: Mark 16:9–20 is, contrary to scholarly arguments, actually part of Mark’s Gospel and not a later addition, or more likely, the presence of parts of the long ending of Mark in Joseph Smith’s revelations is due to adopting the language of the King James Bible, of which Mark 16:9–20 is a part.
There are fewer specific chapters or themes from Luke’s writings that are repeatedly incorporated into the revelations than there are with Matthew, John, and Revelation. One possible exception to this is Luke 16, the parable of the unjust steward. Allusions to Luke 16 appear in revelations associated with stewardship and the law of consecration:
And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. (Luke 16:2)
And also, my servants who are abroad in the earth should send forth the accounts of their stewardships to the land of Zion. (Doctrine and Covenants 69:5; compare 70:4; 72:3)
And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. (Luke 16:9)
And now, verily I say unto you, and this is wisdom, make unto yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, and they will not destroy you. (Doctrine and Covenants 82:22)
There are also a couple of significant allusions to Luke 21, Luke’s version of Matthew’s Olivet discourse:
And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (Luke 21:27)
For behold, verily, verily I say unto you, the time is soon at hand, that I shall come in a cloud with power and great glory. (Doctrine and Covenants 34:7)
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28)
Lift up your hearts and be glad, your redemption draweth nigh. (Doctrine and Covenants 35:26)
The promise that the Saints will be endowed “with power from on high” in Doctrine and Covenants 38 adopts the same language the resurrected Jesus used when making the same promise to his apostles:
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. (Luke 24:49)
Wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment that ye should go to the Ohio; and there I will give you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high; . . . see that all things are preserved; and when men are endowed with power from on high and sent forth, all these things shall be gathered unto the bosom of the church. (Doctrine and Covenants 38:32, 38)
Significantly, Jesus follows up this promise that his apostles will be “endued with power from on high” with the instruction “that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me” (Acts 1:4). Although Luke says nothing further about what the “promise of the Father” might be, Doctrine and Covenants 95 provides some clarification, one that links it with temple ritual:
Yea, verily I say unto you, I gave unto you a commandment that you should build a house, in the which house I design to endow those whom I have chosen with power from on high; For this is the promise of the Father unto you; therefore I command you to tarry, even as mine apostles at Jerusalem. (Doctrine and Covenants 95:8–9)
In both Doctrine and Covenants 6 and 35 the Lord poignantly addresses his followers as his “little flock,” a phrase borrowed from Luke 12:
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. (Doctrine and Covenants 6:34)
Fear not, little flock; the kingdom is yours until I come. Behold I come quickly; even so. Amen. (Doctrine and Covenants 35:27)
The warning that “unto whom much is given much is required” in Doctrine and Covenants 82 is an allusion to Luke 12:
But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:48)
For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation. (Doctrine and Covenants 82:3)
Finally, the description of John the Baptist given in Doctrine and Covenants 84 alludes to the words Gabriel uses when he addresses Zacharias about John’s birth:
For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. (Luke 1:15)
Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb. (Doctrine and Covenants 84:27)
The language of the book of Acts is used in a similar fashion. Doctrine and Covenants 38 serves as God’s introduction to the Saints in Fayette and includes the instruction that they be gathered to Ohio in order that the Abrahamic covenant could begin to be fulfilled. Woven into this revelation is a phrase from Peter’s address to Cornelius:
Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34)
And for your salvation I give unto you a commandment, for I have heard your prayers, and the poor have complained before me, and the rich have I made, and all flesh is mine, and I am no respecter of persons. (Doctrine and Covenants 38:16)
Doctrine and Covenants 45, the Lord’s latter-day restatement of the Olivet discourse, contains a phrase from Paul’s sermon on Mars’ Hill:
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. (Acts 17:28)
Hearken, O ye people of my church, to whom the kingdom has been given: hearken ye and give ear to him who laid the foundation of the earth, who made the heavens and all the hosts thereof, and by whom all things were made which live, and move, and have a being. (Doctrine and Covenants 45:1)
Doctrine and Covenants 45:41 is noteworthy, as it is indicative of restoration scripture’s tendency to quote a New Testament (or perhaps Book of Mormon) quotation of an Old Testament passage (Acts 2:19), rather than the Old Testament passage itself (Joel 2:30):
And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke. (Acts 2:19)
And they shall behold blood, and fire, and vapors of smoke. (Doctrine and Covenants 45:41)
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. (Joel 2:30)
Finally, one of the longer allusions to the book of Acts comes in Doctrine and Covenants 86, a revelation in which the Lord explains the parable of the wheat and the tares. The language of 86:10 clearly draws upon Peter’s sermon before the Sanhedrin in Acts 3:
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:21)
Therefore your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began. (Doctrine and Covenants 86:10)
Paul’s epistle to the Roman church may be his longest and most theologically complex, but its language is given very little attention in the Doctrine and Covenants, with only a few allusions strewn through the revelations. Doctrine and Covenants 24 contains the injunction to “magnify thine office,” a short allusion that could come from Romans 11.
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office. (Romans 11:13)
Magnify thine office; and after thou hast sowed thy fields and secured them, go speedily unto the church which is in Colesville, Fayette, and Manchester, and they shall support thee; and I will bless them both spiritually and temporally. (Doctrine and Covenants 24:3; compare 24:9; 66:11)
One of the more significant New Testament allusions appears in Doctrine and Covenants 54, a revelation addressing Leman Copley’s violation of his covenant in refusing to yield his land to the Saints. Part of the revelation contains an allusion to Romans 4, Paul’s explanation on why covenant promises cannot be gained through adherence to Jewish lineage alone, removed from faith. That both passages discuss the implications of covenant adherence suggests that the use of a New Testament passage can be determined by similar contexts as much as by the appropriate language:
For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, the promise made of none effect. (Romans 4:14)
And as the covenant which they made unto me has been broken, even so it has become void and of none effect. (Doctrine and Covenants 54:4)
A similar awareness of context is present in Doctrine and Covenants 52, a revelation concerning twenty-four elders who are called as missionaries and each pair is instructed to go their own separate way:
Yea, verily I say, let all these take their journey unto one place, in their several courses, and one man shall not build upon another’s foundation, neither journey in another’s track. (Doctrine and Covenants 52:33)
The language is similar to that of Paul in Romans 15, who stated that he made an effort not to establish churches or baptize converts where another missionary had already begun to work:
Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation. (Romans 15:20)
Again, this passage demonstrates a contextual awareness that goes beyond simply adopting language.
At least three sections of the Doctrine and Covenants, Doctrine and Covenants 46, 74, and 76, rely heavily upon the language of 1 Corinthians. Doctrine and Covenants 46, a revelation concerning the proper conduct of church meetings, includes the lengthiest description of spiritual gifts found in the Doctrine and Covenants:
And again, to some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know the differences of administration, as it will be pleasing unto the same Lord. . . . And again, it is given by the Holy Ghost to some to know the diversities of operations, whether they be of God, that the manifestations of the Spirit may be given to every man to profit withal. And again, verily I say unto you, to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of wisdom. To another is given the word of knowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge. And again, to some it is given to have faith to be healed. And to others it is given to have faith to heal. And again, to some is given the working of miracles; And to others it is given to prophesy; And to others the discerning of spirits; And again, it is given to some to speak with tongues; And to another is given the interpretation of tongues. And all these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God. (Doctrine and Covenants 46:15–26)
This lengthy description is modeled after Paul’s description of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians:
And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues; But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. (1 Corinthians 12:5–11)
Like Doctrine and Covenants 77, Doctrine and Covenants 74 is a section constructed around a question regarding a New Testament text, in this case 1 Corinthians 7:14, and the question of the spiritual status of children. After quoting 1 Corinthians 7:14, the Lord reveals to Joseph that when Paul wrote that “the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean, but now are they holy,” what he meant was that “a believer should not be united to an unbeliever; except the law of Moses should be done away among them” (1 Corinthians 7:1, 5). In other words, children who have not reached the age of accountability have need neither of circumcision (Paul’s world) nor infant baptism (Joseph Smith’s world).
Finally, Doctrine and Covenants 76 contains Joseph Smith’s and Sidney Rigdon’s majestic vision of the heavens. Doctrine and Covenants 76 terms the three kingdoms of glory “celestial,” “terrestrial,” and “telestial,” comparing them to the glory of the “sun,” “moon,” and “stars”:
These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:70)
Wherefore, they are bodies terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the moon differs from the sun. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:78)
And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:98)
Doctrine and Covenants 76 adopts the language and imagery of Paul’s discussion of resurrected bodies in 1 Corinthians 15:
There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. (1 Corinthians 15:40–41)
This similarity in language and imagery tends to affect how Latter-day Saints read 1 Corinthians today, viewing Paul as also speaking about three kingdoms of glory rather than about two different types of bodies (incorruptible bodies in heaven and corruptible bodies on the earth).
The language of 2 Corinthians does not appear as frequently in the text of the Doctrine and Covenants as does 1 Corinthians, but there are a couple of notable allusions, particularly to 2 Corinthians 11–12. In these two chapters Paul defends his apostolic calling against a group of challengers he refers to as the “very chiefest apostles” (2 Corinthians 11:5). Nowhere else in his epistles is Paul as exposed as he is in these two chapters, opening up about everything from his struggles as a missionary to his personal encounter with Jesus. At least three allusions from this part of 2 Corinthians appear in the Doctrine and Covenants. The first comes from part of Joseph Smith’s poignant letter penned while in Liberty Jail.
In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren. (2 Corinthians 11:26)
If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea. (Doctrine and Covenants 122:5)
The second allusion comes from Joseph’s vision of the afterlife that he received in January 1836, now canonized as Doctrine and Covenants 137:
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. (2 Corinthians 12:2)
The heavens were opened upon us, and I beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out I cannot tell. (Doctrine and Covenants 137:1)
The third allusion comes much earlier in two revelations from 1829, Doctrine and Covenants 17 and 18:
And he [Jesus] said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
And if you do these last commandments of mine, which I have given you, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; for my grace is sufficient for you, and you shall be lifted up at the last day. (Doctrine and Covenants 17:8)
And now I speak unto you, the Twelve—Behold, my grace is sufficient for you. (Doctrine and Covenants 18:31)
Here the Lord repeats the words he spoke to Paul almost two thousand years earlier to the Three Witnesses (Doctrine and Covenants 17) and to the future twelve apostles (Doctrine and Covenants 18). The language of 1 and 2 Corinthians contributes language to some key doctrinal elements while also providing Joseph with a text he can draw upon to make sense of his own personal struggles.
The language of the Doctrine and Covenants hardly draws upon Paul’s letter to the Galatians, with the exception of Galatians 6, which appears three times:
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)
Any member of the church of Christ transgressing or being over taken in a fault, shall be dealt with according as the scriptures directs. (Doctrine and Covenants 20:80)
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7)
Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap. (Doctrine and Covenants 6:33)
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9)
Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33)
The same is true for Philippians and Colossians, which both appear only sparingly:
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:21)
I, having accomplished and finished the will of him whose I am, even the Father, concerning me—having done this that I might subdue all things unto myself. (Doctrine and Covenants 19:2)
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. (Colossians 1:16)
All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Doctrine and Covenants 121:29)
And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God. (Doctrine and Covenants 132:13)
Of these four epistles, Ephesians receives the most representation in the Doctrine and Covenants. A few short quotations come from Ephesians 1 and 4:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. (Ephesians 1:5)
And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:7)
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him. (Ephesians 1:10)
Unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fulness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth. (Doctrine and Covenants 27:13)
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12)
The above offices I have given unto you, and the keys thereof, for helps and for governments, for the work of the ministry and the perfecting of my saints. (Doctrine and Covenants 124:143)
Doctrine and Covenants 27:15–18 contains one of the lengthiest and clearest adoptions of a New Testament passage, in this case Paul’s discussion of the armor of God from Ephesians 6:13–17:
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13–17)
Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, which I have sent mine angels to commit unto you; Taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked; And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of my Spirit, which I will pour out upon you, and my word which I reveal unto you, and be agreed as touching all things whatsoever ye ask of me, and be faithful until I come, and ye shall be caught up, that where I am ye shall be also. Amen. (Doctrine and Covenants 27:15–18)
As with Galatians, Philippians, and Colossians, Paul’s two epistles to the Thessalonian church receive little attention in the Doctrine and Covenants, with only a few allusions to 1 Thessalonians and none to 2 Thessalonians:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
That when the trump shall sound for the dead, we shall be caught up in the cloud to meet thee, that we may ever be with the Lord (Doctrine and Covenants 109:75)
1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus, often known collectively as the “Pastoral” epistles due to the emphasis upon ecclesiology, appear sparingly throughout the Doctrine and Covenants, with only a few clear allusions to 1 and 2 Timothy and perhaps one to Titus:
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (1 Timothy 2:8)
And in this place let them lift up their voice and declare my word with loud voices, without wrath or doubting, lifting up holy hands upon them. For I am able to make you holy, and your sins are forgiven you. (Doctrine and Covenants 60:7)
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1)
But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils. (Doctrine and Covenants 46:7)
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (1 Timothy 4:3)
And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man . . . and whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God. (Doctrine and Covenants 49:15, 18)
But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. (2 Timothy 3:9)
Let such beware and repent speedily, lest judgment shall come upon them as a snare, and their folly shall be made manifest, and their works shall follow them in the eyes of the people. (Doctrine and Covenants 63:15; compare 35:7; 136:19)
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8)
For a trump shall sound both long and loud, even as upon Mount Sinai, and all the earth shall quake, and they shall come forth—yea, even the dead which died in me, to receive a crown of righteousness, and to be clothed upon, even as I am, to be with me, that we may be one. (Doctrine and Covenants 29:13; compare 25:15)
That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. (Titus 2:2)
Admonish him in his faults, and also receive admonition of him. Be patient; be sober; be temperate; have patience, faith, hope and charity. (Doctrine and Covenants 6:19)
The Epistle to the Hebrews plays a much larger role in the Doctrine and Covenants than most of the New Testament epistles, in terms of both how often Hebrews is alluded to as well as how clear the allusions are:
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? (Hebrews 1:14)
Therefore I will make him as flaming fire and a ministering angel; he shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation. (Doctrine and Covenants 7:6)
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and the marrow. (Hebrews 4:12)
Behold, I am God; give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow. (Doctrine and Covenants 6:2; compare 11:2; 12:2; 14:2; and 33:1)
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (Hebrews 11:13)
And confessed they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (Doctrine and Covenants 45:13)
Doctrine and Covenants 76 in particular draws extensively upon the language of Hebrews, suggesting that Joseph Smith found in Hebrews a vocabulary he could use to describe what he viewed in his vision of the afterlife and the three degrees of glory:
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:6)
Having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:35)
Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (Hebrews 6:20)
And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:57)
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. (Hebrews 12:22)
These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:66)
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:23–24)
These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:69)
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? (Hebrews 1:14)
And also the telestial receive it of the administering of angels who are appointed to minister for them, or who are appointed to be ministering spirits for them; for they shall be heirs of salvation. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:88)
Unlike some of the other shorter letters, the Epistle of James does have a fair amount of representation in the Doctrine and Covenants:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)
Therefore, he that lacketh wisdom, let him ask of me, and I will give him liberally and upbraid him not. (Doctrine and Covenants 42:68; compare 46:7)
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)
For ye know that there is no unrighteousness in them, and that which is righteous cometh down from above, from the Father of lights. (Doctrine and Covenants 67:9)
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)
And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up they sacraments upon my holy day. (Doctrine and Covenants 59:9)
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 4:3)
For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts. (Doctrine and Covenants 46:9)
Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. (James 5:4)
That the cry of the saints, and of the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies. (Doctrine and Covenants 87:7)
The clearest example of text from the two epistles of Peter comes from two allusions made to 2 Peter 1:5–7, Peter’s discussion of how to make one’s calling and election sure.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (2 Peter 1:5–7)
And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work. Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence. (Doctrine and Covenants 4:5–6)
The decisions of these quorums, or either of them, are to be made in all righteousness, in holiness, and lowliness of heart, meekness and long-suffering, and in faith, and virtue, and knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity. (Doctrine and Covenants 107:30)
There are a few more subtle allusions to 1 and 2 Peter as well:
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13)
Now I give no more unto you at this time. Gird up your loins and be sober. Even so. Amen. (Doctrine and Covenants 73:6)
The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. (1 Peter 5:1)
Verily I say unto you, blessed are you for receiving mine everlasting covenant, even the fulness of my gospel, sent forth unto the children of men, that they might have life and be made partakers of the glories which are to be revealed in the last days, as it was written by the prophets and apostles in days of old. (Doctrine and Covenants 66:2)
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (2 Peter 3:10)
And also that of element shall melt with fervent heat; and all things shall become new, that my knowledge and glory may dwell upon all the earth. (Doctrine and Covenants 101:25)
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. (2 Peter 3:14)
And that ye might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people; without spot and blameless. (Doctrine and Covenants 38:31)
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18).
Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. (Doctrine and Covenants 50:40)
The language of the Johannine epistles appears briefly in the Doctrine and Covenants, with a couple of allusions to 1 John, one possible allusion to 2 John, and no allusions to 3 John:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:41)
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 2:1)
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; compare 45:3; 62:1)
The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth. (2 John 1:1)
Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady, whom I have called. (Doctrine and Covenants 25:3).
Jude, itself a very short letter, appears only a couple of times in the Doctrine and Covenants:
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. (Jude 1:9)
Not with railing accusation, that ye be not overcome, neither with boasting nor rejoicing, lest you be seized therewith. (Doctrine and Covenants 50:33)
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (Jude 1:23)
Crying repentance, saying: Save yourselves from this untoward generation, and come forth out of the fire, hating even the garments spotted with the flesh. (Doctrine and Covenants 36:6)
In his study of the book of Revelation, David A. deSilva noted how carefully John adopted Old Testament language and imagery throughout the book of Revelation:
By recontextualizing the content of authoritative prophecy, John subtly invites these Scriptures to lend their authority to his own visions. If the words of the prophets and psalms were inspired in their original contexts, they remain recognizable as inspired material in the new context. . . . John gives the texts new shape, referents, and direction, but the older texts lend their power to that new shape. His frequent weaving in of small phrases and descriptions known from Daniel or other prophetic or apocalyptic literature . . . enhances the hearers’ impression that they are hearing another authoritative vision, another species of the same genre, as it were.
This description could just as easily apply to Joseph Smith’s use of the New Testament within the revelations canonized as the Doctrine and Covenants. By adopting the language of a familiar scriptural text, Joseph invites the New Testament texts to “lend their authority” to his nineteenth-century scripture. Additionally, Joseph, like John, does not merely copy the New Testament into his revelations. He also gives the New Testament “new shape, referents, and direction” in fascinating ways that open up entirely new methods of interpretations. Rather than being surprised or even turned off by how much of the New Testament appears in the Doctrine and Covenants, Latter-day Saints should actively seek out and study these types of biblical interactions, recognizing that this type of biblical deconstruction and reconstruction is exactly what inspired prophets tend to do. Nephi’s statement that the Lord speaks “the same words unto one nation like unto another” (2 Nephi 29:8) suggests that similarity in language between scriptural texts may be ultimately attributable to the same God using the same language to instruct different people in different times.
On a more technical level, while much more could be done regarding how the language of the New Testament impacted the verbiage of the Doctrine and Covenants, this brief examination does allow us to draw some preliminary observations: (1) Of the twenty-seven New Testament texts, twenty-four are clearly and identifiably present in the Doctrine and Covenants––only 2 Thessalonians, 3 John, and Philemon are absent. (2) It is clear that the New Testament plays a significant role in the language of the Doctrine and Covenants, as there are hundreds of clear, indisputable allusions to the New Testament strewn throughout. (3) Some New Testament texts are used more than others, with some barely appearing at all. While length could be one factor, it is not the only factor (see Acts or Romans) as the familiarity of certain New Testament texts or passages to a nineteenth-century audience must also be considered. (4) In some cases, the purpose of the integration of New Testament texts is to provide a familiar language or idiom to the revelations, with the original context of the New Testament passage being of little importance. (5) However, some New Testament texts, such as Matthew, Revelation, and John provide more than just a familiar idiom, but also play a role in how key doctrinal ideas are described, even providing a voice for Jesus Christ. In the case of these three texts (and likely Hebrews as well, because of its prominent role in Doctrine and Covenants 76), the language and context of the New Testament should be part of any exegetical study of the Doctrine and Covenants.
Matt 16:18/ D&C 6:34; 10:69; 17:8; 18:5; 21:6; 33:13; 98:22; 128:10
Matt 24:43/ 104:86
Romans 11:36: D&C 93:10
1 Cor 1:12/
1 Cor 1:27/
1 Cor 3:2/
1 Cor 3:17/
1 Cor 3:21/
1 Cor 3:22/
1 Cor 4:5/
1 Cor 6:19/
1 Cor 7:14/
1 Cor 9:17/
1 Cor 10:13/
1 Cor 12:5-11/
1 Cor 12:7-8/
1 Cor 12:21/
1 Cor 12:31/
1 Cor 13:13/
1 Cor 15:25/
1 Cor 15:29/
1 Cor 15:40-41/
1 Cor 15:40/
1 Cor 15:44/
1 Cor 15:46-48/
1 Cor 15:51-52/
1 Cor 16:7/
1 Cor 16:9/
2 Cor 4:17/
2 Cor 5:17/
2 Cor 6:6/
2 Cor 11:14/
2 Cor 11:26/
2 Cor 12:2-3/
2 Cor 12:9/
2 Cor 13:1/
1 Thess 1:9/
1 Thess 4:16-17/
1 Thess 4:17/
1 Thess 5:2/
1 Thess 5:4/
1 Tim 2:8/
1 Tim 3:16/
1 Tim 4:1/
1 Tim 4:3/
1 Tim 6:10/
2 Tim 3:9/
2 Tim 4:8/
Heb 5:6 (see also 6:20, 7:11, 17, 21)/
1 Peter 1:13/
1 Peter 1:19/
1 Peter 1:22/
1 Peter 3:18/
1 Peter 3:18-20/
1 Peter 3:19/
1 Peter 3:19-20/
1 Peter 4:6/
1 Peter 4:13/
1 Peter 5:1/
2 Peter 1:5-7/
2 Peter 1:8/
2 Peter 2:4/
2 Peter 3:12/
2 Peter 3:14/
2 Peter 3:16/
2 Peter 3:18/
1 John 1:9/
1 John 2:1/
1 John 3:2/
2 John 1:1
2 John 1:1/
Rev 1:14-16: D&C 110:3
 This list is not meant to be all-inclusive of every single allusion to the New Testament in the Doctrine and Covenants. Rather, it is intended to give readers a more specific sense of how interconnected these two texts are and provide substantial textual references for those desiring further study.
 Philip Barlow, Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 25.
 The technical name for the study of how two or more texts interact is “intertextuality.” It has become common in biblical studies to use intertextuality in studying the impact of the Old Testament on the New Testament. Important to this type of intertextual study are the works of Richard Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989); and The Conversion of the Imagination: Paul as Interpreter of Israel’s Scripture (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2005), as well as the recent publication of G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson’s massive work, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007). While the majority of intertextual studies that address Latter-day Saint scripture centers on the Book of Mormon and its relationship to the Bible, some intertextual work has been done involving the Bible and the Doctrine and Covenants. Two important master’s theses exploring the textual connections are Ellis T. Rasmussen, “Textual Parallels to the Doctrine and Covenants and Book of Commandments as Found in the Bible” (master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1951), and Lois Jean Smutz, “Textual Parallels to the Doctrine and Covenants (Sections 65–133) as Found in the Bible” (master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1971). Other works include Eric D. Huntsman, “The King James Bible and the Doctrine and Covenants,” in The King James Bible and the Restoration, ed. Kent P. Jackson (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2007), 182–96; Terry B. Ball and Spencer S. Snyder, “Isaiah in the Doctrine and Covenants,” in You Shall Have My Word: Exploring the Text of the Doctrine and Covenants, ed. Scott C. Esplin, Richard O. Cowan, and Rachel Cope (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2012), 108–33; Nicholas J. Frederick, “Using the Gospel of John to Understand the Text of the Revelations,” in You Shall Have My Word, 205–19; and Lisa Olsen Tait, “Gathering the Lord’s Words into One: Biblical Intertextuality in the Doctrine and Covenants,” in You Shall Have My Word, 92–107.
 It is not my intent to pinpoint and analyze every single location in the Doctrine and Covenants where there might be an intertextual connection with the New Testament. Rather, I will focus on the places in the Doctrine and Covenants where there is a clear and established quotation or allusion to the New Testament. In other words, this paper does not focus on themes or words but on connections on the phrasal level. In order to determine which possible passages fit these requirements, I employed a series of criteria similar to the ones I outlined in my article “Evaluating the Interaction between the New Testament and the Book of Mormon: A Proposed Methodology,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 24 (2015): 1–30.
 For convenience sake, this essay will use “allusion” or “alluded to” to refer to intertextual connections between the Doctrine and Covenants and the New Testament.
 In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus is the “new Moses,” and much of Matthew’s Gospel is constructed around parallels between the two figures. See Dale C. Allison Jr, The New Moses: A Matthean Typology (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2013).
 The same phrase appears three times in the Book of Mormon (Mosiah 2:38; Alma 5:52; and Mormon 9:5), suggesting another possible source for the phrase in the Doctrine and Covenants, although it could be argued that the source for all three Book of Mormon passages is Matthew 3:12 anyway.
 It is also possible that the source for this passage is Luke 3:9.
 This uncertainty stems from the fact that the Gospel of John never reveals the identity of the “beloved disciple.” Notably, Doctrine and Covenants 7 solves this mystery as well, as John is identified as “my beloved” in verse 1.
 Michael Hubbard MacKay et al., eds., Documents, Volume 1: July 1828–June 1831, Vol. 1 of the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers, ed. Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, Richard Lyman Bushman, and Matthew J. Grow (Salt Lake City: The Church Historian’s Press, 2013), 48.
 See Book of Commandments 6. While the entirety of Doctrine and Covenants 7 is generally understood as having come from the parchment of John, the phrase “and for this cause the Lord said unto Peter” seems out of place in John’s narrative. I would suggest that this phrase could be read as a parenthetical insertion made by the translator of the parchment or by Joseph Smith himself as a means of indicating that the remainder of Doctrine and Covenants 7:4 is the answer to the question posed by Smith and Cowdery.
 This description is likely also informed by Joel 2:31 and Matthew 24:29.
 The direct source for Doctrine and Covenants 29:21 is likely 1 Nephi 22:13/
 Joseph Smith History, vol. A-1, 192.
 See discourse delivered on 8 April 1843, recorded in The Words of Joseph Smith, ed. Lyndon W. Cook and Andrew F. Ehat (Orem: Grandin Book, 1991), 183–88.
 Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005), 206.
 One exception to this is Doctrine and Covenants 76:119, which appropriates language from Revelation 5:13 to describe a benediction to God.
 “Thus, on the basis of good external evidence and strong internal considerations it appears that the earliest ascertainable form of the Gospel of Mark ended with 16:8.” Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 2nd ed. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2002), 105. For a fuller discussion of the issues involved with Mark’s ending, see Robert H. Stein, Mark (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 733–37; R. T. France, The Gospel of Mark (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002), 685–88.
 Moreover, the long ending of Mark appears on at least two occasions in the Book of Mormon: Mormon 9:22–24 and Ether 4:18. The former, Mormon 9:22–24, is an exact quotation of Mark 16:15–18. It is possible that the Doctrine and Covenants is drawing upon the language of the Book of Mormon, but the Book of Mormon is clearly drawing upon Mark 16.
 The direct source of this allusion could be 1 Nephi 22:18: “Behold, my brethren, I say unto you, that these things must shortly come; yea, even blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke must come; and it must needs be upon the face of this earth; and it cometh unto men according to the flesh if it so be that they will harden their hearts against the Holy One of Israel.” However, 1 Nephi appears to be drawing upon Acts 2:19 for its language, so the ultimate source of the language in Doctrine and Covenants 45:41 would indirectly be Acts 2:19 anyway.
 The only other places where “magnify” and “office” appear together are Jacob 1:19 and 2:2.
 Coincidentally or not, another allusion to 2 Corinthians appears prominently in Doctrine and Covenants 121:41 (compare 2 Corinthians 6:6), the first part of Joseph’s Liberty Jail correspondence.
 This allusion could also be to Ether 12:26–27 and Moroni 10:32, but, again, those three would be alluding to 2 Corinthians 12:9.
 Galatians 5:1 does appear in Doctrine and Covenants 88:86.
 This statement does not take into account Doctrine and Covenants 138, which explicitly quotes 1 Peter 3:18–20 and 4:6 in 138:7–10. It was a reading of these verses from 1 Peter that led to Joseph F. Smith’s vision of the spirit world on 3 October 1918.
 This could also be from 2 Peter 2:11. There is significant overlap between Jude and portions of 2 Peter.
 David A. deSilva, Seeing Things John’s Way: The Rhetoric of the Book of Revelation (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009), 148–49.