Doctrine & Covenants/Church History
Lesson 42
Continuing Revelation to Latter-day Prophets


Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will show us that the Lord continues to guide the Church through revelation to latter-day prophets, seers, and revelators.

Scripture references for study:  D&C 1:38; 68:1–4; 84:109–110; 107:25, 34, 93–98; 132:8;
Official Declaration 2 (pages 293–94 in the D&C); Our Heritage, pages 117–19, 125–27
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.

Lesson 42 Handout (PDF)


The Church Continues to Be Guided by Revelation

President Spencer W. Kimball: "We testify to the world that revelation continues and that the vaults and files of the Church contain these revelations which come month to month and day to day. We testify also that there is, since 1830 when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, and will continue to be, so long as time shall last, a prophet, recognized of God and his people, who will continue to interpret the mind and will of the Lord. …
    "Expecting the spectacular, one may not be fully alerted to the constant flow of revealed communication. I say, in the deepest of humility, but also by the power and force of a burning testimony in my soul, that from the prophet of the Restoration to the prophet of our own year, the communication line is unbroken, the authority is continuous, a light, brilliant and penetrating, continues to shine. The sound of the voice of the Lord is a continuous melody and a thunderous appeal. For nearly a century and a half there has been no interruption."
(Ensign, May 1977, p78)

Revelation continues in the Church today. We see the guiding hand of the Lord in the operation of the Church in our day.


Church Correlation

WHAT IS CHURCH CORRELATION?

Historical Background. HOW HAS CORRELATION BLESSED THE CHURCH?

For additional information see the following at LDS.org:


Revelation Extending the Blessings of the Priesthood

In 1978, my wife and I, along with our two small daughters were living in Roseburg, Oregon. We had moved there from our childhood homes in Utah after accepting a job offer in southern Oregon. Because of the nature of my work, I was often at home during the day. On a sunny, June morning I learned that it had been announced that the priesthood would be extended to all worthy male members of the Church. My first thoughts were those of joy and gladness that the blessings of the priesthood would no longer be denied to any member of the Church. Tears came to my eyes and I knew in my heart that God still speaks to prophets and that we are the beneficiary of incredible blessings because of continuing revelation. It was a day of celebration for Latter-day Saints throughout the world.

Historical Background. Review D&C: Official Declaration 2.

For additional information see the following at LDS.org:


New Latter-day Saint Editions of the Scriptures

Since the Book of Mormon was first published in 1830, the Standard Works have undergone changes to make them more accurate and user friendly.

Over the years, students of the scriptures wished for a Bible that was cross-referenced to the other Standard Works. While on my mission in 1971-73, I used the Cambridge edition of the Bible which contained a separate ready-reference and other notes supplied by the Church.  These were useful, but the scriptures themselves did not have references to the contents of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. As I attempted to study specific doctrines, it would have been advantageous to have cross-references from the Bible. I was not alone. HOW ARE THESE NEW EDITIONS OF THE SCRIPTURES A MANIFESTATION OF CONTINUING REVELATION? These editions of the scriptures have now been available for several decades. Note:  In 2013 an updated/enhanced version of the previous revision was released by the Church.

Quorums of the Seventy

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a dynamic organization. The principles and doctrines are eternal, but the organization has changed to meet the needs of a growing, worldwide Church. Once again, we see the manifestation of continuing revelation addressing the changing needs of the Church. At the 1975 October General Conference, President Kimball announced the expansion of the First Quorum of the Seventy: "The First Quorum of the Seventy will be gradually organized, eventually with seventy members, the presidency of which will be made up of the seven members. Three Brethren this day will be added to the First Quorum of the Seventy." (CR, Oct 1975) President Monson announced in April 1989: "With the continued rapid growth of the Church, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve have determined that the time has come to take additional steps to provide for the expansion and regulation of the Church. We announce, therefore, the organization of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, to become effective immediately.
    "The initial membership of the Second Quorum of the Seventy will be those General Authorities presently serving under a five-year call. Additional Brethren will be added to the Second Quorum of the Seventy from time to time and will serve as Seventies and as General Authorities, also under a five-year call."
(CR, Apr 1989)

In April 1995, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced the calling of new local officers, called Area Authorities, who would serve for a period of about six years.

This evolving organization of Quorums of Seventy has been essential in guiding the Church that has exploded in growth over the past fifty years and the organization is in place to continue to serve the future needs of this dynamic church, the Lord's kingdom on earth. As President Kimball stated back in 1976: "This will make it possible to handle efficiently the present heavy workload and to prepare for the increasing expansion and acceleration of the work, anticipating the day when the Lord will return to take direct charge of His church and kingdom."


Gospel Doctrine Notebook

The inspired changes noted throughout this lesson present compelling evidence of continuing revelation to the Lord's modern prophets. Correlation was begun under the administration of President David O. McKay. The work leading up to the new LDS edition of the scriptures began under the direction of President Harold B. Lee and continued during the administration of President Spencer W. Kimball. The revelation extending the blessings of the priesthood came to Spencer W. Kimball. And the evolving structure of the Church, as noted in this lesson, has continued.

I often contemplate the amazing structure of this Church. What organization in the world has had such a continuing list of inspired leaders as we have enjoyed from Joseph Smith to Thomas S. Monson? This is not just chance at work. This is the Lord's work and he calls men as prophets who listen to his will and execute his instructions. What a testimony of this incredible work we see in the continuing revelation to and operation of the Lord's inspired prophets!

Record your thoughts on continuing revelation. How does it bless your life and the lives of your family members?


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