Teaching with the 2013 Edition of the Doctrine and Covenants

Kenneth L. Alford and Gerrit J. Dirkmaat

Kenneth L. Alford and Gerrit J. Dirkmaat, “Teaching with the 2013 Edition of the Doctrine and Covenants,” Religious Educator 15, no. 1 (2014): 77–94.

Kenneth L. Alford (ken_alford@byu.edu) was an associate professor of Church history and doctrine at BYU when this article was published. Gerrit J. Dirkmaat (gdirkmaat@ldschurch.org) was a historian/writer for the Joseph Smith Papers Project at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City when this article was published.

ScripturesSection headings, footnotes, and other scripture aids have continued to improve since publication of the 1876 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (shown lying open on the table above). Photo by Brent Nordgren

(Section headings, footnotes, and other scripture aids have continued to improve since publication of the 1876 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (shown lying open on the table above).)

The 2013 edition of the standard works contains many adjustments to assist both teachers and gospel students. In particular, new historical findings from the Joseph Smith Papers Project have resulted in corrections, clarifications, and improvements to the introduction, Chronological Order of Contents, and numerous section headings of the Doctrine and Covenants. This article samples and highlights some of the many important changes made. [1]

Introduction Changes

The explanatory introduction added to the Doctrine and Covenants in 1921 was modified only slightly in the 1981 edition. The first thing the reader will notice about the 2013 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants is that the title “Explanatory Introduction” has been replaced by the more consistent and straightforward title “Introduction.” The 1981 explanatory introduction noted that “the testimony that is given of Jesus Christ . . . makes this book of great value to the human family and of more worth than the riches of the whole earth.” In the new introduction, the final phrase of this sentence has been replaced with the quotation “worth to the Church the riches of the whole Earth”—a statement attributed to Joseph Smith in one of the early conference meetings of the Church. (See also the 2013 heading for D&C 70). [2]

While there are several minor textual changes within the introduction, there are two major changes. The first important addition inserts four paragraphs that provide an excellent historical summary regarding receipt of the revelations, printing of the 1833 Book of Commandments, and publication of the earliest editions of the Doctrine and Covenants in 1835 and 1844. The following text has been added:

The revelations were originally recorded by Joseph Smith’s scribes, and Church members enthusiastically shared handwritten copies with each other. To create a more permanent record, scribes soon copied these revelations into manuscript record books, which Church leaders used in preparing the revelations to be printed. Joseph and the early Saints viewed the revelations as they did the Church: living, dynamic, and subject to refinement with additional revelation. They also recognized that unintentional errors had likely occurred through the process of copying the revelations and preparing them for publication. Thus, a Church conference asked Joseph Smith in 1831 to “correct those errors or mistakes which he may discover by the Holy Spirit.”

After the revelations had been reviewed and corrected, Church members in Missouri began printing a book titled A Book of Commandments for the Government of the Church of Christ, which contained many of the Prophet’s early revelations. This first attempt to publish the revelations ended, however, when a mob destroyed the Saints’ printing office in Jackson County on July 20, 1833.

Upon hearing of the destruction of the Missouri printing office, Joseph Smith and other Church leaders began preparations to publish the revelations in Kirtland, Ohio. To again correct errors, clarify wording, and recognize developments in Church doctrine and organization, Joseph Smith oversaw the editing of the text of some revelations to prepare them for publication in 1835 as the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Joseph Smith authorized another edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, which was published only months after the Prophet’s martyrdom in 1844.

The early Latter-day Saints prized the revelations and viewed them as messages from God. On one occasion in late 1831, several elders of the Church gave solemn testimony that the Lord had borne record to their souls of the truth of the revelations. This testimony was published in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants as the written testimony of the Twelve Apostles:

A second significant textual addition appears after the “Testimony of the Twelve Apostles to the Truth of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.” This one-sentence addition provides a brief explanation of the 1876 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants for the reader to better understand how the Doctrine and Covenants was created: “The 1876 edition, prepared by Elder Orson Pratt under Brigham Young’s direction, arranged the revelations chronologically and supplied new headings with historical introductions.” The 1876 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants was not mentioned in either the 1921 or 1981 explanatory introduction. Aside from reordering and providing historical introductions to the sections, the 1876 edition added twenty-six sections to the book and created the format that most Saints today are familiar with as they examine the Doctrine and Covenants. The final paragraph of the 2013 introduction summarizes many of the improvements and changes found in the 2013 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, such as better photographs from Church history sites and updated section headings.

Testimony of the Twelve Apostles(2013 Edition Testimony of the Twelve Apostles.)

Chronological Order of Contents Update

The Chronological Order of Contents is a useful, but often ignored, Doctrine and Covenants resource. The Chronological Order of Contents provides a quick snapshot of the dates when sections in the Doctrine and Covenants were received and the places where they were received. This resource also enables students to quickly identify sections—such as 1, 74, 78, 94, 99, 133, 134, and 137—that appear in the Doctrine and Covenants out of chronological order. There are several changes to the Chronological Order of Contents in the 2013 edition of the scriptures, reflecting the section heading changes whose explanations follow.

Section 74 heading(2013 heading to section 74.)

Section Heading Changes

Scriptural text throughout the 2013 edition of the scriptures is formatted the same as it appears in the 1981 edition of the scriptures. For example, Doctrine and Covenants 130:18 begins on the third line of the right column on page 265—in both editions. The requirement to keep scriptural text fixed means that all changes to section headings and footnotes had to be done within the space originally allocated for that purpose in the 1981 scriptural edition.

Changes were made to eighty section headings in the 2013 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (58 percent of the total). [3] The numerous references in the 1981 edition to the History of the Church (for example, the 1981 section heading for D&C 1 refers the reader to “HC 1:221–224”) have been removed in the 2013 edition, although some section headings now refer instead to “Joseph Smith’s history.” [4] (See, for example, the heading to section 67.) Additional historical and background information that many Doctrine and Covenants teachers have been sharing with students for decades has now been added to several of the section headings. Some of the section heading changes are minor, such as date [5] or location [6] changes. Other changes significantly increase our understanding of the circumstances surrounding receipt of that section. Many of the section heading changes resulted from two different sources of information: (1) the manuscript revelation books (which provided better historical context as well as more precise dates and locations for many revelations), and (2) intensive historical research into early Church records (much of which was connected with the ongoing work of the Joseph Smith Papers Project).

The discussion that follows illustrates several of these changes, but it is not by any means exhaustive. Teachers of the Doctrine and Covenants will find many additional insights as they study the new edition of the scriptures in the coming years.

D&C 19

The 2013 scripture edition notes that the date this revelation was received was “likely in the summer of 1829.” Earlier editions of the Doctrine and Covenants had suggested a March 1830 date, but that date raised questions surrounding the nature of the counsel Martin Harris received in verses 26 (“I command thee that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon.”) and 35 (“Pay the debt thou hast contracted with the printer. Release thyself from bondage.”), because the Book of Mormon had already been printed by March 1830. Volume 1 of the Joseph Smith Papers Documents series explains, “In June 1829, before this revelation was dictated, Harris and JS talked with several printers in Palmyra and Rochester, New York, about printing the Book of Mormon, finally settling on E. B. Grandin of Palmyra. According to John H. Gilbert, the compositor who assisted Grandin in estimating the cost of the project and later typeset the Book of Mormon, Harris initiated the negotiations and planned to pay for the printing.” According to Gilbert, Grandin would not purchase the type or print the Book of Mormon until after Martin Harris promised to ensure payment. As is well known, Martin Harris mortgaged his property to Grandin on August 25, 1829—fulfilling the Lord’s direction to pay the printer (verse 35). “The language of the revelation suggests that Harris had already agreed to Grandin's terms but had not yet arranged payment. . . . Once Harris mortgaged his property, however, Grandin considered himself paid in full.” [7]

D&C 20

In the earliest years of the Church, members frequently referred to D&C 20 as the “Articles and Covenants.” In the Book of Commandments and Revelations, for example, John Whitmer titled section 20 as the “Church Articles and Covenants.” The 2013 heading for D&C 20 explains, “Portions of this revelation may have been given as early as summer 1829. The complete revelation, known at the time as the Articles and Covenants, was likely recorded soon after April 6, 1830 (the day the Church was organized).” The phrase “church articles and covenants” appears in D&C 33:14 and 42:13, and new footnotes to those verses refer readers to section 20.

D&C 41

One of the major changes to a section heading that can be used by religious educators to teach principles of the gospel can be found in D&C 41. This, the first revelation Joseph Smith received in Ohio after he arrived from New York, had previously been introduced by a heading that related the revelation to the “strange notions and false spirits” that were manifested among the newly baptized Kirtland converts. The verses, however, did not seem to expressly correspond to the heading introducing them. In the new heading, the reader learns why Joseph received the revelation:

Joseph Smith had just arrived in Kirtland from New York, and Leman Copley, a Church member in nearby Thompson, Ohio, “requested Brother Joseph and Sidney [Rigdon] . . . live with him and he would furnish them houses and provisions.” The following revelation clarifies where Joseph and Sidney should live and also calls Edward Partridge to be the Church’s first bishop.

When Joseph arrived from New York in early February 1831, he had very little money. While many of the New York Saints would be able to sell their farms before their exodus, albeit taking enormous losses, Joseph Smith could not sell his small farm in Harmony until 1833. [8] Arriving in the dead of winter, with nowhere to live and no money to buy land or food, the offer from the eccentric Leman Copley must have been very tempting. If only Joseph would move twenty miles east of Kirtland to Copley’s extensive landholdings in Thompson, Ohio, his material wants would be supplied. But, knowing that the Lord had brought him to Kirtland, Joseph did not immediately accept the generous offer. As John Whitmer records in the Book of Commandments and Revelations, “then Joseph enquired of the lord & Received as follows.” The revelation Joseph received in response to his inquiry about Copley’s offer explained that rather than move to Thompson, he and Sidney would have houses built for them and their families in Kirtland. Rather than accepting the offer that would have provided himself and his family more immediate comfort and security, Joseph faithfully inquired of the Lord what he should do. He then dutifully followed the voice of the Lord and remained in Kirtland, living in the cramped quarters in others’ houses rather than in the one built just for him that Copley had offered. This seemingly small decision in fact had great impact on the development of the Church in Ohio. Had Joseph settled in Thompson, other migrating members naturally would have done so as well, and Thompson rather than Kirtland would have become the center of the Church in Ohio. Yet, despite his early protestations to great generosity, Copley’s devotion to the cause proved to be shallowly rooted and withered very quickly in the heat of opposition.

Only a few months after Joseph and his family settled in Kirtland, Copley pressed for missionaries to be sent among his Shaker friends in his former religious community. A revelation, contained in D&C 49, directed Parley P. Pratt and Sidney Rigdon to accompany him on a mission to North Union, Ohio, to preach the Shakers there and inform them of some of their erroneously held beliefs. [9] When the Shakers refused to be converted by the message, Copley apparently lost his own conviction. Within days, with the help of one of the Shaker leaders, Copley ordered the Colesville Saints he had invited to settle on his land to remove themselves immediately, causing much distress among those families. [10] Had Joseph accepted Copley’s offer to live in Thompson in February 1831, he likely would have been evicted along with any others that had settled near him. Instead, the Church was able to maintain its primary settlement in Kirtland, and a revelation a few months later explained the Lord’s desire to “retain a strong hold in the Land of Kirtland for the space of five years.” [11] Joseph inquired of the Lord first rather than taking the easy path, upon which the Lord knew that unforeseen circumstances would harm Joseph and the Church.

D&C 47

The 2013 heading for section 47 explains that “John Whitmer, who had already served as a clerk to the Prophet, initially hesitated when he was asked to serve as the Church historian and recorder, replacing Oliver Cowdery. He wrote, ‘I would rather not do it but observed that the will of the Lord be done, and if he desires it, I desire that he would manifest it through Joseph the Seer.’ After Joseph Smith received this revelation, John Whitmer accepted and served in his appointed office.” It is remarkable that two times Joseph Smith asked John Whitmer to serve as Church historian. In the heading to the “50th Commandment” (now D&C 47) in the Book of Commandments and Revelation, John Whitmer wrote and then partially crossed out this introductory statement to Joseph’s revelation, like this: “given to John [Whitmer] in consequenc of not feeling reconciled to write at the request of Joseph with[o]ut a commandment &c.” [12] The first time John Whitmer felt that it was just Joseph asking him, and he declined. When John was asked the second time, it was the Lord who was extending the call—even though the actual request came from Joseph Smith again. John Whitmer was able to recognize and heed the voice of the Lord.

D&C 52, 54, and 56

The new section headings additionally help educators at times sort out who is being addressed by the Lord in the revelation. For example, the previous section headings had erroneously linked D&C 54 and D&C 56 together as both being part of the controversy surrounding Leman Copley’s faithless eviction of the Colesville Saints living on his property in Thompson, Ohio. Section 56 chastised Ezra Thayre for not obeying the “former commandment which I have given him concerning the place upon which he lives. And if he will do this, as there shall be no divisions made upon the land, he shall be appointed still to go to the land of Missouri; otherwise he shall receive the money which he has paid, and shall leave the place, and shall be cut off out of my church, saith the Lord God of hosts.” Because the only other section nearby discussing a land dispute was section 54, the writers of headings naturally concluded that Thayre must have been involved with Copley somehow in his eviction of Mormons from that land. However, research in The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 1 demonstrated that in fact Thayre was unassociated with the Thompson affair. Instead, a revelation given May 15, 1831, gave Thayre very specific instructions of his calling on “the farm owned by Frederick [G. Williams] and also concerning Joseph [Smith Sr.] & Ezra [Thayre].” Although recorded in the Book of Commandments and Revelations and the Kirtland Revelation Book, this revelation was never published alongside the others in the Book of Commandments or the Doctrine and Covenants, so it was not well known or even well understood. [13]

Frederick G. Williams purchased a 144-acre farm in Kirtland that became one of the central locations of Mormon settlement. Joseph Smith Sr.’s family, for instance settled on it when they arrived from Palmyra. Lucy Mack Smith later wrote that “on this farm my family were all established with this arrangement that we were to cultivate the farm and the produce was to be applied to the support of our families and the use of persons who came to the place and had no acquaintances there.” [14] However, Williams still owed a balance on the property and the unpublished May 15 revelation instructed Ezra Thayre and Joseph Smith Sr., “Let that which belongeth to my Servent [sic] Frederick be secured unto him by deed or bond” and Thayre apparently paid some money toward this debt. Thayre was also told to “humble himself” and if he did “at the conference meeting he would be ordained with power from on high & he shall go from thence (if he be obedient unto my commandments) & proclaim my Gospel unto the western regions with my Servants that must go forth even unto the borders of the Lamanites for Behold I have a great work for them to do & it shall be given unto you to know what ye shall do at the conference meeting even so Amen.” [15]

Thayre was called on a mission, as the Lord had promised, by a revelation Joseph Smith received at the close of the June 6, 1831, conference (D&C 52). However, as he prepared to leave, Thayre apparently allowed temporal concerns to distract from his spiritual mission. He had paid money toward securing the deed to the expansive Frederick G. Williams farm just weeks earlier. Before he left for his mission to Missouri, Thayre demanded that he be given a title to the portion of the farm his money had paid for. This demand delayed his departure and necessitated the Lord calling someone else to serve as the companion of Thomas B. Marsh. Thayre was chastised, and concerning him the Lord said, “My servant Ezra Thayre must repent of his pride, and of his selfishness, and obey the former commandment which I have given him concerning the place upon which he lives. And if he will do this, as there shall be no divisions made upon the land, he shall be appointed still to go to the land of Missouri; otherwise he shall receive the money which he has paid, and shall leave the place, and shall be cut off out of my church, saith the Lord God of hosts” (D&C 56:8).

Thayre could either repent and serve his mission and obey the word of the Lord that had been given a month earlier concerning his role on the communally occupied Williams’s farm, or he could continue to demand that he receive his money back. Thayre was told by the revelation that he would be given his money, but it would cost him his membership in the Church. Faced with this prophetic censure, Thayre apparently repented and remained in the Church until apostatizing with many others after the murder of Joseph Smith in 1844.

Additional Section Heading Changes

Here are some additional historical insights, details, and background information that have been added to various section headings in the 2013 edition of the scriptures. (Quotations included are from the new section headings unless otherwise noted.)

  • D&C 18 quotes the Prophet’s explanation of the revelation, saying that it revealed the “calling of twelve apostles in these last days, and also instructions relative to building up the Church.”
  • D&C 42 informs the reader that it was a revelation received in two parts, the first on February 9, 1831, and the second on February 23, 1831. The heading informs the reader which verses were received in the first part and those that were received a few weeks later.
  • D&C 49 is now dated to May 7 rather than March 7. Though a seemingly minor change, the new date helps explain Leman Copley’s apostasy coming on the heels of his failed mission to the Shakers and the subsequent eviction of the Colesville Saints from his land in D&C 54. Copley apparently ordered the members off of his land almost immediately after he went on his missionary journey with Sidney Rigdon and Parley P. Pratt.
  • D&C 59 notes, “On the day this revelation was received, Polly Knight, the wife of Joseph Knight Sr., died, the first Church member to die in Zion” which provides additional insights regarding the opening verses of that section.
  • D&C 60 teaches that Joseph and others had recently “participated in the dedication of the land and the temple site” in Independence, Missouri (as they had been commanded in D&C 58:57).
  • D&C 65 is now identified as a “revelation on prayer” instead of suggesting that Joseph Smith designated “this revelation as a prayer” (1981 section heading for D&C 65).
  • D&C 66 makes much clearer the connection between William McLellin’s petition to the Lord “to make known through the Prophet the answer to five questions, which were unknown to Joseph Smith” and the Prophet’s receiving this revelation.
  • D&C 67 explains in greater detail what actions the November 1831 Church Conference at Hiram, Ohio took regarding publishing the Book of Commandments. The new heading explains that “William W. Phelps had recently established the Church printing press in Independence, Missouri. The conference decided to publish the revelations in the Book of Commandments and to print 10,000 copies (which because of unforeseen difficulties was later reduced to 3,000 copies).”
  • D&C 69 clarifies that D&C 133 was identified as “the Appendix” later, not at the time of the November 1831 Church Conference. The new heading also makes clear that “This revelation instructs John Whitmer to accompany Oliver Cowdery and also directs Whitmer to travel and collect historical material in his calling as Church historian and recorder.” The previous section heading had mentioned only Oliver Cowdery by name.
  • D&C 78, as well as several other sections (for example, D&C 82, 92, and 104), discusses the role of the United Firm more clearly than previous editions. As the heading explains, the United Firm managed “the Church’s mercantile and publishing endeavors . . . generating funds for the establishment of Zion and for the benefit of the poor”; it “was organized in April 1832 and disbanded in 1834.”
  • D&C 87’s heading provides additional insights into the American political climate at the time Joseph received this section.
  • D&C 98 provides a better understanding of the circumstances that Latter-day Saints in Missouri faced in 1833. It also mentions that “in July 1833, a mob destroyed Church property, tarred and feathered two Church members, and demanded that the Saints leave Jackson County.”
  • D&C 99 shares additional information regarding John Murdock’s challenging family situation. “For over a year, John Murdock had been preaching the gospel while his children—motherless after the death of his wife, Julia Clapp, in April 1831—resided with other families in Ohio.”
  • D&C 105 includes a more complete summary of the mission of Zion’s Camp by explaining that “under the leadership of the Prophet, Saints from Ohio and other areas marched to Missouri in an expedition later known as Zion’s Camp. Their purpose was to escort the expelled Missouri Saints back to their lands in Jackson County. Missourians who had previously persecuted the Saints feared retaliation from Zion’s Camp and preemptively attacked some Saints living in Clay County, Missouri.” The new heading also notes that Missouri’s governor, Daniel Dunklin, withdrew his promised support (after earlier receiving a copy of D&C 101).
  • D&C 132 now explains that the revelation relates to “the principle of plural marriage” as well as “the marriage covenant.” The heading points the reader to the fuller explanation of plural marriage found in Official Declaration 1.
  • D&C 135 explains that this section “was included at the end of the 1844 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, which was nearly ready for publication when Joseph and Hyrum Smith were murdered.” John Taylor is no longer specified as the definitive author, as this cannot be verified by historical documents.

Official Declarations 1 & 2

Perhaps the most important additions to the 2013 edition of the scriptures are the introductions to the Official Declarations. These declarations contain the mind and will of the Lord on two aspects of Church history and theology that are often misunderstood by both members and non-members alike. The introductions allow the religious educator to navigate some of the more difficult questions students may have by pointing to the explanations now contained in the scriptures that each student will have readily accessible.

In the 1981 edition, Official Declaration 1 contained several paragraphs following it that helped demonstrate and explain the divine origins of this revelation. The new introduction now situates the practice of plural marriage both theologically and historically. The reader is informed that monogamy is the rule unless the Lord otherwise directs, but that such direction was given to Joseph Smith by revelation and members began practicing plural marriage in the 1840s. Fierce opposition to plural marriage by citizens of the United States led to laws outlawing the practice that were eventually upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court. In the face of this opposition, the Lord gave Wilford Woodruff the revelation which he announced in a document now known as Official Declaration 1. Of key importance in the introduction, beyond teaching the reader that the practice originated with Joseph Smith, is the final line of the introduction that explains, contrary to what many believe, that plural marriage did not immediately cease the day the Declaration was issued. Instead, the reader learns that the Declaration “led to the end of the practice of plural marriage in the Church” (emphasis added). Plural marriage did not end immediately, especially the marriages that had already been entered into prior to the Declaration. And, for a time, some few new plural marriages were still performed, especially in areas outside of the United States.

The introduction now prefacing Official Declaration 2 similarly allows instructors to answer some of the more difficult questions from students surrounding the revelation that all worthy male members could be ordained to the priesthood, regardless of race. [16] Like the introduction to Declaration 1, this introduction starts with explaining the doctrinal truth contained in the Book of Mormon that “all are alike unto God.” Helping to answer questions about when the practice originated, the introduction explains that some black males were ordained to the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s time. At some point after that, “church leaders stopped conferring the priesthood on black males of African descent.” The introduction can end all speculative commentary in any class by the simple sentence it includes: “Church records offer no clear insights in the origins of this practice.” This statement nicely dovetails with the Church’s official statement on race, which further explains, “The origins of priesthood availability are not entirely clear. Some explanations with respect to this matter were made in the absence of direct revelation and references to these explanations are sometimes cited in publications. These previous personal statements do not represent Church doctrine.” [17] The new introduction allows an educator to have students turn to their scriptures, read the preface to the Declaration, and understand that any theories, ideas, suppositions, or rumors they have heard about the priesthood restriction were not the doctrine of the Church and should therefore not be perpetuated. Instead, explaining that there is no revealed answer as to exactly when and why the restriction came about, the educator is then allowed to focus on what is known: that the Lord gave his servant Spencer W. Kimball a revelation directing the Church to ordain all worthy males to the priesthood. We clearly see the promise that the truth would be revealed line upon line and precept upon precept to the Lord’s prophets.


These changes were made under the direction of and accepted by Church leaders in an effort to help readers of the Doctrine and Covenants better understand the origin and intent of these communications from the Lord. Before discussing with students the changes outlined here (and the many other reference resource modifications), it may be beneficial to review the fact that, while this information can be extremely helpful in placing revelations in their historical context and chronological order, introductory and heading information is not itself canonized. As they have in the past, these section headings may change in future editions of the scriptures, especially as scholars better understand the founding decades of the Church.

The 2013 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants is a wonderful step forward in providing improved scriptural resources for Church members and gospel students. The introduction, Chronological Order of Contents, section heading changes, and introductions prior to the Official Declarations can increase our understanding of the gospel and enrich our experience with the scriptures. Gaining a greater understanding of the questions that were asked which led to the revelations, or the situations and difficulties Joseph and others encountered that caused them to call upon the Lord for guidance, can better help each reader to liken the verses of these revelations unto themselves.


[1] For additional historical findings from the Joseph Smith Papers Project and possible ways to use them in the classroom, see Kenneth L. Alford, “Using The Joseph Smith Papers in the Classroom,” Religious Educator 14, no. 2 (Summer 2013): 65–95.

[2] Minutes, 12 November 1831, in The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 2: July 1831–January 1833, ed. Matthew C. Godfrey, Mark Ashurst-McGee, Grant Underwood, Robert J. Woodford, and William G. Hartley (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, forthcoming), 138.

[3] Changes were made to headings for the following sections: 1, 2, 10, 11, 13, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 32, 33, 35, 36, 39, 40, 41, 42, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 63, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 85, 87, 88, 89, 92, 94, 95, 98, 99, 101, 102, 104, 105, 107, 108, 110, 112, 113, 114, 115, 121, 122, 123, 132, 133, 134, 135, and 137. For a side-by-side comparison of section heading changes between the 1981 and 2013 editions of the Doctrine and Covenants, see “Adjustments to the Introductory Material of the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price” and (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2013), available online: http://www.lds.org/bc/content/shared/content/english/pdf/scriptures/scripture-comparison_eng.pdf and “Explanations for the Doctrine and Covenants Section Headings,” online: http://josephsmithpapers.org/site/explanations-for-the-doctrine-and-covenants-section-headings.

[4] The introduction to the 2013 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants includes this clarifying comment: “Information for the section headings has been taken from the Manuscript History of the Church and the published History of the Church (collectively referred to in the headings as Joseph Smith’s history) and the Joseph Smith Papers.

[5] The 2013 scripture edition contains section heading date changes for D&C 10, 19, 20, 22, 35, 36, 40, 42, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 63, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 74, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 88, 94, 99, 101, 107, 114, 122, and 123.

[6] The 2013 scripture edition contains section heading location changes for D&C 20, 32, 60, 66, 70, 74, 78, 82, 87, 104, and 113.

[7] See Revelation, circa Summer 1829, in The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 1: July 1828–June 1831, ed. Michael Hubbard MacKay, Gerrit J. Dirkmaat, Grant Underwood, Robert J. Woodford, and William G. Hartley (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2013), 85–92. The editors explain: “The mortgage did not require Harris to make regular payments, and for the full eighteen-month term of the mortgage Harris was entitled to occupy his property. He retained the option of selling it at any time and paying off Grandin from the profits. If Harris defaulted on the mortgage, Grandin could legally sell the property to obtain the money. If the property sold for more than $3,000, Harris would be legally entitled to the excess. Grandin sold the mortgage in October 1830 for $2,000 cash to his wife's great uncle, Thomas Rogers II, a transaction that may have been part of a larger financial deal. When Harris's property was eventually sold, Rogers collected the full $3,000 from the buyer, Thomas Lakey. (Wayne Co., NY, deed records, 1823–1904,vol. 10, 515–516, April 7, 1831, microfilm 478, 786, US and Canada Record Collection, Family History Library, Salt Lake City; Egbert B. Grandin to Thomas Rogers II, transfer, October 21, 1830, photocopy, Land Transactions Involving Martin Harris, Church History Library; Discharge, Thomas Rogers II, January 28, 1832, photocopy, Land Transactions Involving Martin Harris, Church History Library), Documents, Volume 1, 88.

[8] Newel Knight, a leader among the Colesville Saints, explained that by following the dictates of the revelation to move to Ohio, “As might be expected we were obliged to make great sacrifices of our property.” Newel Knight, Autobiography and Journal, ca. 1846, Church History Library. Deed, Joseph and Emma Smith, Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, to Joseph McKune Jr., Harmony, Susquehanna Co., PA, 28 June 1833, Joseph Smith Collection, Church History Library.

[9] See D&C 49 and MacKay, Dirkmaat, Underwood, Woodford, and Hartley, Revelation, 7 May 1831, Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 1, 297–299.

[10] See MacKay, Dirkmaat, Underwood, Woodford, and Hartley, Revelation, 15 May 1831, Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 1, 334–335.

[11] D&C 64:21; see The Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations and Translations, Volume 1, ed. Robin Scott Jensen, Robert J. Woodford, Steven C. Harper (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2009), 190.

[12] See Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations and Translations, Volume 1 (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2013), 131.

[13] See Revelation, 15 May 1831, Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 1, 309–14.

[14] Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 12, [6].) MS, Church History Library.

[15] See Revelation, 15 May 1831, Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 1, 309–14.

[16] See also the statement “Race and the Priesthood” available online at http://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-the-priesthood?lang=eng.

[17] “Race and the Church: All Are Alike unto God,” official statement, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/race-church.