Desire and the Long Game
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.
- Oliver Cowdery and the “rod of nature”
- How was the wording of the “rod of nature” revelation that became Doctrine and Covenants 8:6–8 altered over time?
- Can Satan read our minds?
- Putting Doubt in Perspective
- Recognizing the Voice of the Spirit
- The Translation of Moses and John
- Since John the Apostle and the three Nephites did not die, then how could there have been a “complete apostasy” on the earth?
- Urim and Thummim
- What is the best way to define Latter-day Saint epistemology?
- Can a person “feel the spirit” while watching movies?
- The “burning in the bosom” as a method of determining truth