Articles and Covenants, circa April 1830 [D&C 20]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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The of the   agreeable to the will  and of God. The rise of  the Church of Christ in these last days,  being 1830 years since the coming of our  Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the  flesh, it being regularly organized and es tablished agreeable to the laws of our  country, by the will and commandments  of God, in the 4th month, and on the 6th  day of the same, which commandments  were given to Joseph Smith, jun. who  was called of God and an of Jesus Christ, an of the church,  and also to , who was al so called of God an apostle of Jesus  Christ, an elder of the church, and ordain ed under his hand, and this according to  the grace of God the Father, and our  Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be all glory  both now and ever—amen.
For after that it truly was manifested  unto the first elder that he had received  remission of his sins, he was entangled a gain in the vanities of the world, but after  truly repenting, God visited him by an  holy angel, whose countenance was as  lightning, and whose garments were pure  and white above all whiteness, and gave  unto him commandments which inspired  him from on high, and gave unto him  power, by the means of which was before  prepared that he should a book;  which book contains a record of a fallen  people, and also the fullness of the gospel  of Jesus Christ to the and also  to the Jews, proving unto them that the  holy be true, and also that God  doth inspire men and call them to his ho ly work in these last days, as well as in  days of old, that he may be the same God  forever—amen.
Which book, given by inspiration, is  called the Book of Mormon, and is con firmed to others by the ministering of an gels, and declared unto the world by them.  Wherefore, having so great witnesses, by  them shall the world be judged, even as  many as shall hereafter receive this work,  either to faith and righteousness, or to the  hardness of heart in unbelief to their own  condemnation. For the Lord God hath  spoken it, for we elders of the church have  heard and bear record to the words of the  glorious Majesty on high, to whom be  glory forever and ever—Amen. Where fore, by these things, we know that there  is a God in heaven, who is infinite and  eternal, from everlasting to everlasting  the same unchangeable God. the Maker  of heaven and earth, and all things that  in them is, and that he is all power, and  all wisdom, and all understanding, and  that he created man male and female af ter his own image and in his own likeness  created he them, and that he gave unto  the children of men a commandment that  they should love and serve him the only  being whom they should worship; but by  the transgression of these holy laws, men  became sensual and devlish, and became  fallen man—wherefore the Almighty God  gave his only begotten Son, as is written  in those scriptures which hath been given  of him, that he suffered temptations but  gave no heed unto them, that he was cru cified and died and rose again the third  day, and that he ascended into heaven to  sit down on the right hand of the Father,  to reign with almighty power according  to the will of the Father, that as many as  would believe and were into his  holy name and endured in faith to the end  should be saved; yea, even as many as  were before he came in the flesh, from the  beginning, which believed in the words of  the holy prophets, which were inspired  by the , which truly  testified of him in all things, as well they  which should come after, which should  believe in the gifts and calling of God by  the Holy Ghost which beareth record of  the Father and of the Son, which Father  and the Son, and the Holy Ghost is one  God, infinite and eternal, without end.—  Amen.
And we know that all men must repent  and believe on the name of Jesus Christ,  and worship the Father in his name, and  endure in faith on his name to the end, or  they cannot be saved in the kingdom of  God. And we know that justification  through the grace of our Lord and Saviour  Jesus Christ is just and true. And we  also know that sanctification through the  grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ  is just and true to all those who  love and serve God with all their mights,  minds, and strength. But there is a pos sibility that men may fall from grace, and  depart from the living God, therefore let  the church take heed, and pray always,  lest they enter into temptations; yea, and  he that is sanctified also. And we know  that these things are true and agreeable to  the revelations of Jesus Christ which was  signified by his angel unto John, neither  adding nor diminishing to the prophecy of  his book; neither to the holy scriptures;  neither to the revelations of God which  shall come hereafter by the gift and pow er of the Holy Ghost, neither by the  voice of God, neither by the ministering  of angels. And the Lord God hath spo ken it—and honor, power, and glory be  rendered to his holy name both now and  ever.—Amen.
And again, by way of commandment  to the church concerning the manner of  baptism, behold whosoever humbleth him self before God and desireth to be bapti zed, and comes forth with a broken heart  and a contrite spirit, and witnesseth unto  the church that they truly repent of all  their sins, and are willing to take upon  them the name of Christ, having a deter mination to serve him unto the end, and  truly manifest by their works that they  have received the gift of Christ unto the  remission of their sins, then shall they be  received unto baptism into the church of  Christ.
The duty of Elders, , ,  and , and members of the church  of Christ:—An apostle is an elder, and it  is his calling to baptize and to ordain oth er elders, priests, teachers, and deacons,  and to according to the scriptures, and to  teach, expound, and exhort, and to baptize  and to watch over the church, and to   the church by the laying on of  hands and the giving of the Holy Ghost,  and to take the lead of all meetings, &c.
The elders are to conduct the meetings  as they are led by the Holy Ghost.
The priests’ duty is to preach, teach,  expound, and exhort, and baptize, and  administer the sacrament, and visit the  house of each member, and exhort them  to pray vocally and in secret, and also to  attend to all family duties, to ordain  priests, teachers, and deacons, and to take  the lead in meetings; but none of these  offices is he to do when there is an elder  present, but in all cases is to assist the  elder, &c. The teacher’s duty is to  watch over the church always, and be with  them and strengthen them, and see that  there is no iniquity in the church, nor no  hardness with each other, nor no lying nor  backbiting, nor no evil speaking; and see  that the church meets together oft, and  also see that every member does his duty,  and he is to take the lead of the meetings  in the absence of the elder or priest, and  is to be assisted always and all his duties  in the church by the deacons. But nei ther the teacher nor the deacon has au thority to baptize nor administer the sa crament; but are to warn, exhort, expound  and teach and invite all to come to Christ.  Every elder, priest, teacher, or deacon,  is to be ordained according to the gifts  and calling of God unto them by the pow er of the Holy Ghost, which is in the one  who ordains them. The several elders  composing the church of Christ are to  meet at each of its meetings to do church  business, whatsoever is necessary, &c.  and each priest or teacher who is ordain ed by any priest is to take a certificate  from him at the time, which, when shown  to an elder, he is to give him a ,  which shall authorize him to perform the  duty of his calling. The duty of the  church members after they are received  by baptism:—The elders or priests are to  have a sufficient time to expound all things  concerning this church of Christ to their  understanding previous to their partaking  of the sacrament, and being confirmed by  the laying on of the hands of the elders,  so that all things shall be done in order;  and the members shall manifest before the  church and before the elders a godly walk  and conversation that they are worthy of  it, that there may be works and faith a greeable to the holy scriptures, walking  in holiness before the Lord. Every mem ber of this church of Christ having chil dren, are to bring them unto the elders  before the church who are to lay hands on  them in the name of the Lord, and bless  them in the name of Christ. There can not any one be received into this church  of Christ who have not arrived to the years  of accountability before God, and are not  capable of repentance. And the manner  of baptism & the manner of administering  the sacrament are to be done as is written  in the Book of Morman. Any member  of this church of Christ transgressing, or  being overtaken in a fault, shall be dealt  with according as the scriptures direct, &c  It shall be the duty of the several church es composing this church of Christ to send  one of their priests or teachers to attend  the several conferences held by the  elders of the church with a list of the  names the several persons uniting  themselves to the church since the last  , or send by the hand of some  elder, so that there can be kept a regular  list of all the names of the members of the  whole church in a book kept by one of  the elders whomsoever the other elders  shall appoint from time to time, end [and] also  if any have been expelled from the church  so that their names may be blotted out of  the general church record of names; any  member removing from the church where  he belongs, if going to a church where he  is not known, may take letter certifying  that he is a member and in good standing,  which certificate may be signed by any  elder or priest—if the person receiving  the letter is personally acquainted with the  elder or priest; or may be signed by the  teachers or deacons of his church. [p. [4]]
The of the agreeable to the will and of God. The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being 1830 years since the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established agreeable to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God, in the 4th month, and on the 6th day of the same, which commandments were given to Joseph Smith, jun. who was called of God and an of Jesus Christ, an of the church, and also to , who was also called of God an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church, and ordained under his hand, and this according to the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be all glory both now and ever—amen.
For after that it truly was manifested unto the first elder that he had received remission of his sins, he was entangled again in the vanities of the world, but after truly repenting, God visited him by an holy angel, whose countenance was as lightning, and whose garments were pure and white above all whiteness, and gave unto him commandments which inspired him from on high, and gave unto him power, by the means of which was before prepared that he should a book; which book contains a record of a fallen people, and also the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the and also to the Jews, proving unto them that the holy be true, and also that God doth inspire men and call them to his holy work in these last days, as well as in days of old, that he may be the same God forever—amen.
Which book, given by inspiration, is called the Book of Mormon, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and declared unto the world by them. Wherefore, having so great witnesses, by them shall the world be judged, even as many as shall hereafter receive this work, either to faith and righteousness, or to the hardness of heart in unbelief to their own condemnation. For the Lord God hath spoken it, for we elders of the church have heard and bear record to the words of the glorious Majesty on high, to whom be glory forever and ever—Amen. Wherefore, by these things, we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God. the Maker of heaven and earth, and all things that in them is, and that he is all power, and all wisdom, and all understanding, and that he created man male and female after his own image and in his own likeness created he them, and that he gave unto the children of men a commandment that they should love and serve him the only being whom they should worship; but by the transgression of these holy laws, men became sensual and devlish, and became fallen man—wherefore the Almighty God gave his only begotten Son, as is written in those scriptures which hath been given of him, that he suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them, that he was crucified and died and rose again the third day, and that he ascended into heaven to sit down on the right hand of the Father, to reign with almighty power according to the will of the Father, that as many as would believe and were into his holy name and endured in faith to the end should be saved; yea, even as many as were before he came in the flesh, from the beginning, which believed in the words of the holy prophets, which were inspired by the , which truly testified of him in all things, as well they which should come after, which should believe in the gifts and calling of God by the Holy Ghost which beareth record of the Father and of the Son, which Father and the Son, and the Holy Ghost is one God, infinite and eternal, without end.— Amen.
And we know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. And we know that justification through the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is just and true. And we also know that sanctification through the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is just and true to all those who love and serve God with all their mights, minds, and strength. But there is a possibility that men may fall from grace, and depart from the living God, therefore let the church take heed, and pray always, lest they enter into temptations; yea, and he that is sanctified also. And we know that these things are true and agreeable to the revelations of Jesus Christ which was signified by his angel unto John, neither adding nor diminishing to the prophecy of his book; neither to the holy scriptures; neither to the revelations of God which shall come hereafter by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, neither by the voice of God, neither by the ministering of angels. And the Lord God hath spoken it—and honor, power, and glory be rendered to his holy name both now and ever.—Amen.
And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism, behold whosoever humbleth himself before God and desireth to be baptized, and comes forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnesseth unto the church that they truly repent of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him unto the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received the gift of Christ unto the remission of their sins, then shall they be received unto baptism into the church of Christ.
The duty of Elders, , , and , and members of the church of Christ:—An apostle is an elder, and it is his calling to baptize and to ordain other elders, priests, teachers, and deacons, and to according to the scriptures, and to teach, expound, and exhort, and to baptize and to watch over the church, and to the church by the laying on of hands and the giving of the Holy Ghost, and to take the lead of all meetings, &c.
The elders are to conduct the meetings as they are led by the Holy Ghost.
The priests’ duty is to preach, teach, expound, and exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament, and visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret, and also to attend to all family duties, to ordain priests, teachers, and deacons, and to take the lead in meetings; but none of these offices is he to do when there is an elder present, but in all cases is to assist the elder, &c. The teacher’s duty is to watch over the church always, and be with them and strengthen them, and see that there is no iniquity in the church, nor no hardness with each other, nor no lying nor backbiting, nor no evil speaking; and see that the church meets together oft, and also see that every member does his duty, and he is to take the lead of the meetings in the absence of the elder or priest, and is to be assisted always and all his duties in the church by the deacons. But neither the teacher nor the deacon has authority to baptize nor administer the sacrament; but are to warn, exhort, expound and teach and invite all to come to Christ. Every elder, priest, teacher, or deacon, is to be ordained according to the gifts and calling of God unto them by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is in the one who ordains them. The several elders composing the church of Christ are to meet at each of its meetings to do church business, whatsoever is necessary, &c. and each priest or teacher who is ordained by any priest is to take a certificate from him at the time, which, when shown to an elder, he is to give him a , which shall authorize him to perform the duty of his calling. The duty of the church members after they are received by baptism:—The elders or priests are to have a sufficient time to expound all things concerning this church of Christ to their understanding previous to their partaking of the sacrament, and being confirmed by the laying on of the hands of the elders, so that all things shall be done in order; and the members shall manifest before the church and before the elders a godly walk and conversation that they are worthy of it, that there may be works and faith agreeable to the holy scriptures, walking in holiness before the Lord. Every member of this church of Christ having children, are to bring them unto the elders before the church who are to lay hands on them in the name of the Lord, and bless them in the name of Christ. There cannot any one be received into this church of Christ who have not arrived to the years of accountability before God, and are not capable of repentance. And the manner of baptism & the manner of administering the sacrament are to be done as is written in the Book of Morman. Any member of this church of Christ transgressing, or being overtaken in a fault, shall be dealt with according as the scriptures direct, &c It shall be the duty of the several churches composing this church of Christ to send one of their priests or teachers to attend the several conferences held by the elders of the church with a list of the names the several persons uniting themselves to the church since the last , or send by the hand of some elder, so that there can be kept a regular list of all the names of the members of the whole church in a book kept by one of the elders whomsoever the other elders shall appoint from time to time, end [and] also if any have been expelled from the church so that their names may be blotted out of the general church record of names; any member removing from the church where he belongs, if going to a church where he is not known, may take letter certifying that he is a member and in good standing, which certificate may be signed by any elder or priest—if the person receiving the letter is personally acquainted with the elder or priest; or may be signed by the teachers or deacons of his church. [p. [4]]
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