by Terryl Givens
The four sections 6-9 of the Doctrine and Covenants are thematically united by a common refrain: we receive what we desire. However, the complication comes as we learn—as did John the Beloved, Peter the apostle, Joseph the prophet and Oliver the would-be translator—that our true desires are powerful forces seldom fully known even to ourselves.
A distinctive hallmark of the Restoration is the principle of corporate salvation. LDS theology translates the metaphor of a “Father in Heaven” into literal, familial structures that are the enduring elements of a master plan to weld the entire human family into one great sociality. With virtually no Christian precedent, Latter-day Saints geographically gathered to unite their resources and energies into a literal Zion, turning the exhortation to “be one” into a concrete instance of an interdependent body of Christ. And by virtue of a baptismal covenant, enunciated in Mosiah, that emphasizes the tri-partite injunction to share burdens, mourn in solidarity, and provide mutual comfort, the Saints enact a salvation that is absolutely dependent on communal commitments. Together with the prophecy in Obadiah that multiple “saviors [we prefer ‘Healers’] on mount Zion” would arise in the latter days, we begin to more fully comprehend that we are invited—even commissioned—to be coparticipants in, rather than merely passive spectators or privileged beneficiaries of, Christ’s atoning work. A missionary force without parallel, and an astonishingly ambitious program to universalize access to salvation through world-wide family history and temple work, are but two characteristic forms by which the Saints enact that co-participation. [Read more…] about Come Follow Me Week 5 – Desire and the Long Game: Doctrine and Covenants sections 6-9