Doctrine and Covenants

Week 27: Doctrinal developments in Nauvoo

D&C 129–131

13 May 2021


Additional reading and links

  • This week’s lesson notes include a comparison of the sources used to compile D&C 130. (See notes, pp. 14–29.)

  • Joseph Smith’s teachings about the Holy Ghost in D&C 130:22 were emended in 1854 under the direction of Brigham Young. For an explanation of what happened and why, see Ronald E. Bartholomew, “The Textual Development of D&C 130:22 and the Embodiment of the Holy Ghost,” BYU Studies Quarterly 52, no. 3 (2013): 4–24.

  • Stan Larson, “The King Follett Discourse: A Newly Amalgamated Text,” BYU Studies 18, no. 2 (Winter 1978): 193–208. Joseph’s 7 April 1844 sermon, delivered at the funeral of his friend, Elder King Follett, is arguably the most important of his published discourses. In it, Joseph explained his understanding of the nature of God, including the doctrine that God the Father is an exalted Man who once had a mortal existence. Four different individuals took notes during Joseph’s sermon. Their accounts were synthesized into a single text in 1855 by Church scribe Jonathan Grimshaw; Grimshaw’s version was published by B.H. Roberts in his six-volume History of the Church (6:302–17) and in many other Church publications. Stan Larson’s 1978 amalgamated text attempted to remove Grimshaw’s textual emendations and provide proper weight and balance to the various accounts.

  • On 16 June 1844, only eleven days before his death, Joseph gave his “Sermon in the Grove” that expanded on the nature of God and other ideas he had presented in the King Follett Discourse. The most complete account of his sermon was made by Thomas Bullock; you can read his handwritten notes on the website of the Church History Library or a parallel comparison of his and two other accounts on the website of the Book of Abraham Project.