Articles and Covenants, circa April 1830, as Recorded in Gilbert, Notebook [D&C 20]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

The of the agreeable to the of God——
The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days being One thousand eight hundred & thirty years Since the Coming of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ in the flesh; it being regularly organized & established agreeable to the laws of our by the will & commandments of God in the fourth month & sixth day of the month which is called April which commandments were given to Joseph Smith who was called of God and an of Jesus Christ an of the Church and also to who was called of God an Apostle of Jesus Christ and Elder of the Church and ordained under his hand & this according to the great grace of God the Father & our Lord Jesus Christ [p. [1]] [to] whom be all glory both now & ever
Amen
For after it truly was manifested unto the first that he had received a remissio[n] of his sins he was entangled again in the vanities of the world— But after truly repenting God visited him by a holy whose Countenance was as lightning & whose garments were pure & glittering <​white​> above all whiteness & gave unto him Com [illegible] Commandments which inspired him from on high and gave unto him power by <​the​> mea[ns] of which <​as​> was before prepared, that he should a Book which book Contained a record of a fallen people and also the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles & also to the Jews proving unto them the be true also that God dot[h] inspire men and call them to his holy work in the last days as well as in days of old that he may be the same God forevermore whic[h] book given by inspiration is called the book of Mormon & is confirmed by the ministering of Angels & declaring unto the world by them wherefore having so great witnesses by them shall the world be judged [p. [2]] even as many as shall hereafter receive [this] work either to faith and righteousness or to the hardness of hearts in unbelief to their own condemnation for the Lord God hath spoken it for we the of the Church have heard and bear witness to the world of the glorious majesty on high to whom be glory forever, Amen.
Wherefore by these things we know there is a God in heaven who is Infinite & eternal from Everlasting to Everlasting, the same unchangeable God the maker of Heaven & Earth & all things that in them is & that he has all power & all s & all understanding & that he created man male & female & after his own image & in his own likeness created he them and that he gave unto the children of men a that they should love & serve him, the only being whom they should worship, but by the transgression of these holy laws men became sensual & devilish & became fallen men, therefore the Almighty God gave his only begotten son as it is written in those which has been given of him that he suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them, that he was crucified & raised again the third day. [p. [3]]
[A]nd that he ascendid 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 be in his name & endure 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 as they which should come after which should believe in the gifts & callings of God by the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father & of the son, which father and son and the holy Ghost is one God infinite, eternal without end, Amen,
And we know that all men must repent &believe on the name of Jesus Christ & worship the Father in his name and endure in faith on his name to the end or they cannot be saved in this the Kingdom of God, & we know tha[t] justification through the grace of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ is just & true, and we also know that sanctification through the Gospel of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ is just & true to all those who love & serve God with all their [p. [4]] mights, minds & strength, but there is a possibility that man may fall from Grace & depart from the living God therefore let the Church take heed & pray always lest they enter into temptation, yea, even he that is sanctified also, & we know that these things are true & agreeable to the Revelations of John neither adding nor diminishing to the Prophecy of his Book, neither to the , neither to the Revelations of God which shall come hereafter by the , neither by the ministering of & the Lord God hath spoken it & honor power & glory be rendered to his holy name both now & ever
Amen.
And again by the way of to the Church the manner of , behold whosoever humbleth himself before God & desireth to be baptized & comes forth with a broken heart & a contrite Spirit and witnesseth unto the Church that they truly repent of all their sins & are willing to take upon them the name of Christ having a determination to serve him unto the end & truly manifest by their works that they have received the Spirit of Christ [p. [5]] unto the remission of their Sins, then Shall they be received unto into the .— The duty of an , , & and members of the Church of Christ— An is an Elder and it is his calling to baptize & to other Elders, Priests, Teachers & deacons and to administer the flesh & blood of Christ according to the & to teach & Expound & Exhort & to baptize & to watch over the Church & to the Church by the & to the and to take the head of all the 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 & Exhort & baptize & administer the & visit the House of each member & Exhort them to pray vocally & in secret and also to attend to all family duties & to ordain other priests, Teachers & deacons & take the lead of all 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.—— [p. [6]]
The s duty is to watch over the Church always & be with them & strengthen them & see that there is no iniquity in the Church nor no hardness with each other nor no lying nor backbiting, no evil speaking, and see that the Church meet together oft & also see that every member does his duty & he is to take the lead of the meetings in the absence of the or & is to be assisted alway & in all his duties in the Church by the , but neither the Teacher nor Deacon has authority to nor administer the , but are to warn Exhort, Expound & teach & invite all to come to Christ.— Every Elder, Priest, Teacher and Deacon is to be according to the gifts & callings of God unto them by the power of the Holy Ghost which is in the one who ordains them— The several Elders composing this Church are to meet in once in three months, or as often as the Elders shall deem it necesary to do such business whatever 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 [p. [7]] [wh]en shown to an he is to give him a licence which shall authorise him to perform the duty of his calling.——
The duty of the Church members after they are received by , the Elders or are to have a sufficient time to expound all things concerning the to their understanding previous to their partaking of the & being by the of the Elders so that all things may be done in order, & the members shall manifest before the Church and also before the Elders by a godly walk & conversation that they are worthy of it that there may be works of faith agreeable to the walking in holiness before the Lord— Every member of the Church of Christ having Children, are to bring them unto the Elders before the Church also one to lay their hands on them in the name of the Lord & bless them in the name of Christ— There cannot be any one received into this Church of Christ who have not arrived to the before God and are not capable of repentance & the way of Baptism is to be administered in the following manner unto all those who repent. [p. [8]]
Whosoever being called of God & having authority of Jesus Christ shall go down into the water with them & shall say calling them by name, saying, having authority given me of Jesus Christ I thee in the name of the Father & of the Son and of the Holy Ghost— Amen.
and then shall he immerse them in the water & come forth again out of the water and it is expedient that the church meet together oft to partake of bread & wine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus, and the or shall minister it and after this manner shall he do, he shall kneel with the Church & call on the Father in mighty prayer saying O, God the Eternal Father we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ to bless & sanctify this bread to the Souls of all those who partake of it that they may eat in remembrance of the body of their Lord, & witness unto thee oh God the Eternal Father that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son [p. [9]] and always remember him & keep his which he hath given them that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen
The manner of administering the wine, behold they shall take the Cup & say, O. God the Eternal father we ask thee in the name of thy son Jesus Christ to bless & sanctify this wine to the Souls of all those who drink of it that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them, that they witness unto thee O God the Eternal Father that they do always remember him, that they may have his spirit to be with them— Amen.—
Any member of this transgressing or being overtaken in a fault shall be dealt with according as the direct &c— It shall be the duty of the Several Churches composing this Church of Christ to send one or more of their to attend the Several held by the of this Church with a list of names of the several members uniting themselves to the church [p. [10]] since the last or send by the hand of some , 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 whomsoever the other Elders shall appoint from time to time, 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 a letter certifying that he is a regular member & in good standing which certificate may be signed by any Elder or priest if the member receiving the letter is personally acquainted with the Elder or Priest, or may be signed by the & of his Church— [p. [11]]