Lectures on Faith

Lectures on Faith is the DOCTRINE of the Doctrine and Covenants. When the Lectures on Faith were removed, in 1921 for the LDS / Brighamite church and in 1897 for the RLDS / Community of Christ church, they removed the DOCTRINE of the Doctrine and Covenants without restoring the proper name Book of Commandments as it was in 1833 when it did not include the DOCTRINE but only including the covenants aka commandments.

The first part [Lectures on Faith] of the book [1835 Doctrine and Covenants] will be found to contain a series of Lectures [on Faith] as delivered before a Theological class in this place, and in consequence of their embracing the important doctrine of salvation, we have arranged them into the following work.
The second part [revelations/covenants/commandments] contains items or principles for the regulation of the church, as taken from the revelations which have been given since its organization, as well as from former ones.
Preface, 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, The Joseph Smith Papers

There are lots of theories of who wrote the Lectures on Faith. From looking at lots of quotes, which I include many in The Holy Spirit and The Holy Ghost are the Same, I personally believe Joseph Smith had a principle part on contributing to it and shaping it. Ultimately I do not believe it matters if Joseph Smith helped write them or not as he taught them and stated he will be held accountable for what it contains and signed his name to it.

We do not present this little volume with any other expectation than that we are to be called to answer to every principle advanced, in that day when the secrets of all hearts will be revealed, and the reward of every man’s labor be given him.
Preface, 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, The Joseph Smith Papers

“Unlike now publishing and distributing books back in 1835 was hard and expensive. And one thing that was done in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants to show the high importance of Lectures on Faith was to use a larger font for the Lectures on Faith than the rest of the book. It is much easier to see the different font sizes with a 1835 Doctrine and Covenants replica than these two scanned pages, but you can still see it.” The Holy Spirit and The Holy Ghost are the Same

(These two scans can be found on The Joseph Smith Papers, left page 13 the first page of Lectures on Faith, and right page 259 which is the first page of the section 101 on marriage.)

Lectures on Faith

One thing that LDS / Brighamite apologist claim is that the Lectures on Faith were not voted on. That is simply not the case. Here is one quote from the General Assembly, at end of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, showing that the whole 1835 Doctrine and Covenants was voted on, and describes both parts of it, the Lectures on Faith and the Covenants aka Commandments.

After a hymn was sung, President Cowdery arose and introduced the “[1835] Book of doctrine [Lectures on Faith] and covenants [commandments] of the church of the Latter Day Saints,” in behalf of the committee: he was followed by President Rigdon, who explained the manner by which they intended to obtain the voice of the assembly for or against said book: the other two committee, named above, were absent. According to said arrangement W. W. Phelps bore record that the book [1835 Doctrine and Covenants] presented to the assembly, was true. President John Whitmer, also arose, and testified that it [1835 Doctrine and Covenants] was true. Elder John Smith, taking the lead of the high council in Kirtland, bore record that the revelations in said book [1835 Doctrine and Covenants] were true, and that the [L]ectures [on Faith] were judiciously arranged and compiled, and were profitable for DOCTRINE; whereupon the high council of Kirtland accepted and acknowledged them as the doctrine [Lectures on Faith] and covenants [commandments] of their faith, by a UNANIMOUS VOTE. Elder Levi Jackman, taking the lead of the high council of the church in Missouri, bore testimony that the revelations in said book [1835 Doctrine and Covenants] were true, and the said high council of Missouri accepted and acknowledged them as the doctrine [Lectures on Faith] and covenants [commandments] of their faith, by a UNANIMOUS VOTE.
General Assembly, 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, page 255, The Joseph Smith Papers

The LDS / Brighamite church claim they removed the Lectures on Faith because it was not a revelation. That simply is not true. The LDS / Brighamite church left sections in the Doctrine and Covenants which were not revelations. Showing that there are deeper reasons for removing the Lectures on Faith, namely the LDS / Brighamite church contradicts what Joseph Smith taught in the Lectures on Faith. Such as LDS / Brighamite D&C 130 which is a transcription of a talk from Joseph Smith which had two scribes. And those two scribes disagree on what Joseph Smith said on multiple points, including what is proposed in LDS / Brighamite D&C 130:22 which contradicts Lectures on Faith 5: The Godhead on multiple points, see Iron Rod 018 – The Holy Ghost and The Words of Joseph Smith?. Not to mention many other doctrines of the LDS / Brighamite church that contradict the Lectures on Faith.

D&C (LDS 130:22) The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

Lectures on Faith 5:2 There are two personages [exterior appearance] who constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things … They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit … The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle … possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son, and these three are one, or in other words, these three constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things … and these three constitute the Godhead, and are one: The Father and the Son possessing the same mind … the Son being filled with the fulness of the Mind, glory and power, or, in other words, the Spirit … being filled with the fulness of the Mind of the Father, or, in other words, the Spirit of the Father: which Spirit is shed forth upon all who believe on his name and keep his commandments: and all those who keep his commandments shall grow up from grace to grace, and become heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ; possessing the same mind, being transformed into the same image or likeness, even the express image of him who fills all in all …
Lectures on Faith 5:2

1828 Webster’s Dictionary, PERSONAGE:
1) EXTERIOR APPEARANCE; stature; air; as a tall personage; a stately personage

2 Nephi (LDS 33:2) (RLDS 15:2) But behold, there are many that DARDEN their HEARTS against the HOLY SPIRIT, that IT hath no place in them; wherefore, they cast many things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught.
2 Nephi (LDS 31:8-9) (RLDS 13:10-11)
8 Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the HOLY GHOST DESCENDED upon him in the form of a DOVE. 9 And again, IT showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he [Jesus] having set the example before them.
2 Nephi (LDS 32:5) (RLDS 14:6) For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and RECEIVE the HOLY GHOST, IT will SHOW unto you all things what ye SHOULD DO.
Alma (LDS 34:38) (RLDS 16:237-238) That ye CONTEND no more against the HOLY GHOST, but that ye RECEIVE IT, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.
Alma (LDS 39:6) (RLDS 19:8-9) For behold, if ye DENY the HOLY GHOST when IT once has had place in you, and ye know that ye deny IT, behold, this is a sin which is unpardonable; yea, and whosoever murdereth against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness; yea, I say unto you, my son, that it is not easy for him to obtain a forgiveness.
Moroni (LDS 2:2) (RLDS 2:2) And he called them by name, saying: Ye shall call on the Father in my name, in mighty prayer; and after ye have done this ye shall have power that to him upon whom ye shall lay your hands, ye shall GIVE the HOLY GHOST; and in my name shall ye give IT, for thus do mine apostles.
The Holy Spirit and The Holy Ghost are the Same

Not to mention that the LDS / Brighamite church has added two declarations to their Doctrine and Covenants which were not revelations.

Below is the edition I bought while on mission, which I had to brake the mission rules to do so. It is sad to know that while Joseph Smith was alive, missionaries were told to memorize parts of it, and now missionaries are told it’s a sin to read it. When looking into buying an edition of these important lectures, be careful you don’t buy some that have changed it or add notes to the effect of Joseph Smith said this, but he really meant that. Joseph Smith spent considerable amounts of time working on the Lectures on Faith, to claim Joseph Smith said this but meant that, is saying Joseph Smith does not know what he is talking about after spending substantial amount of his busy life on it.

Lectures on Faith (Red Hardcover) Amazon

I’ve listened to this recording of Lectures on Faith on audible hundreds of times, and it’s pretty good. I will admit I don’t like the introduction in the beginning of it.

Posts I have written that deal with the Lectures on Faith

(see also Holy Spirit)