Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants

by Steven C. Harper

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Hardcover SKU 5005462

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Have you struggled with understanding the Doctrine and Covenants? As a collection of separate and diverse texts, it can be rather daunting to study. After all, it is the only one of the standard works that does not tell its own story.

Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants addresses this challenge in a creative new way. Rather than giving a verse-by-verse commentary, author Steven C. Harper takes readers on a guided tour through the revelations. Drawing on the earliest manuscripts of those revelations, he provides historically grounded insights into why each revelation was given, what it means, and why it matters.

Chapters on every section of the Doctrine and Covenants begin by delving into the historical record to recreate the question or problem each revelation was given to resolve and end by showing readers the outcomes for individuals and the Church.

Families and scholars alike will relish the depth and accessibility of Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants. It is an invaluable addition to any gospel library and a fascinating resource for anyone who wishes to become more closely acquainted with this marvelous book of scripture.

Download a printable 8x10 pdf map.

Download a smaller map to fit inside scriptures. Great for each member of the family to have their own copy to refer to all year or could be used as a handout for classroom use.

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About the Author

Steven C. Harper

Steven C. Harper, previously a professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University and an editor of the Joseph Smith Papers series, is a historian for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After serving a mission to Canada and graduating from BYU, he earned a Ph.D. in early American History from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and taught for two years at BYU-Hawaii before teaching for a decade at BYU. He has written award-winning articles on Church history topics and is the author of several book, including Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants: A Guided Tour through Modern Revelations (Deseret Book, 2008).

Brother Harper has served in the Church as a Sunday School teacher, high councilor, and temple ordinance worker and as branch clerk while he taught at the BYU-Jerusalem Center. He and his wife, Jennifer Sebring Harper, are the parents of five children.

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Average rating:

(based upon 10 reviews)

The Finest and Most Helpful Doctrine and Covenants Resource
By , Submitted on 2017-02-16

I’ve searched through nearly all of the Doctrine and Covenants commentary books that are currently available. I was seeking something that would help me better capture the context and setting of each section in the Doctrine and Covenants. I want to pass along that I consider this book the finest and most helpful resource on the Doctrine and Covenants that exists today.

Wonderful study companion
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

This book has made my study of the Doctrine and Covenants more meaningful. It gives the context and backgrounds of the revelations and increases one's understanding of the messages of the revelations.

Great Book, Highly Recommended
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I purchased this book as a companion book to help develop a better understanding of the Doctrine and Covenants and the history and people at the time of many of the revelations. This book was great surprise and will be a reference on my book shelf for many years to come. Great writer, dont miss this book.

By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

i was recently called as gospel doctrine teacher for my ward and this book is a wonderful aide in better understanding the context of what i am teaching. the threefold explanation of each section is exactly what i was looking for.

wonderful resource material
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I have enjoyed reading and searching this book for better understanding of the Doctrine and Covenants. I like the approach Harper takes in making the reader think about and review the scriptures. This will definitely be a great asset in teaching this year.

A truly brilliant and profound way to present the Doctrine and Covenants to those that would like to understand its deeper meanings and interpretations.
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

This is one of the greatest books I've ever owned and It has become one of my most prized posessions; Outside of the scriptures themselves. Dr. Harper was my former Professor for D&C at BYU and his presentation of the D&C in this book is the same way he originally presented it in my D&C class at BYU through powerpoint presentations. I can recall many sentences in this book from taking his class. If you desire to know further the happenings of the Prophet Joseph and the saints in the early days of the church; then this is a must read for you. My advice would be to read a section in the scriptures and then turn to Brother Harper's book for further depth and understanding of this sacred text. If you do so; you will be truly blessed I believe.

Extremely knowledgable easy to read
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

This helped me understand and learn the more about the revelations and prophecies in the D&C and the history behind them. Excellent learning tool!!!! Thank You Brother Harper!

I love this book!!!
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Can I just say Wow?! I have always been intimidated by the D&C's. Now I am excited to have some really thoughtful Sunday School discussions. This book has brought clarity to me I never expected!

I would recommend it as a wonderful Christmas gift for all your loved ones.

Think page-turner and scripture reference in the same book!
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

This one says more in a single volume than other D&C books say in 2 or 4. And it's not only comprehensive but fresh and fast-moving. Some D&C references state the obvious. This one is full of little-known storylines and characters that bring revelations to life. On every page there are new insights. The author is one of the editors of the Joseph Smith Papers and it shows. Because of his research, every page bursts forth with new information. Each chapter begins by explaining why a revelation was given, then delves into the revelation, then sums up how the early saints acted on it. It's a completely novel approach; one wonders why it's not been done before. Truly this book makes sense of the Doctrine and Covenants.

By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

What a wonderful resource! The complete Doctrine and Covenants in one book. The author does a great job of not giving the reader 'fluff', rather a real 'meat and potaoes' book to satisfy the hungriest of learner- like sitting in on one of his lectures at BYU. Couldn't recommend it any higher.

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