Commentary on Doctrine & Covenants 48

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Find helpful commentary on the verses below to better understand the message of this revelation.

Verses 1-3

Casey Paul Griffiths (LDS Scholar)


In this revelation we see an early practical implementation of the law of consecration. With the Saints from the Eastern states expected to begin arriving in Kirtland, the Lord asked the Saints there to share their property to help those in need. One of the basic principles of consecration is that the resources of a group of people can make more of a difference than those of a single individual or family. While individual acts of charity are commendable, organized consecration among the Saints can help far more people.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson taught that one of the major reasons “the Savior works through a church, His Church, . . . is to achieve needful things that cannot be accomplished by individuals or smaller groups. One clear example is dealing with poverty. It is true that as individuals and families we look after the physical needs of others, ‘imparting to one another both temporally and spiritually according to their needs and their wants’ (Mosiah 18:29). But together in the Church, the ability to care for the poor and needy is multiplied to meet the broader need, and hoped-for self-reliance is made a reality for very many.”[1]


[1] “Why the Church,” October 2015 General Conference.


(Doctrine and Covenants Minute)

Verses 4-6

Casey Paul Griffiths (LDS Scholar)


At this point, the location of the city of Zion was unrevealed. The location was given a few months later in Doctrine and Covenants 57:1–2. Nevertheless, the Lord gave the Saints a commandment to begin laying up reserves in anticipation of the sacrifices necessary to build the city. The Saints at this time could not have known the trials they would experience as they worked to build Zion and were driven from place to place.


In a similar manner, prophets and apostles in our time have advised the Saints to be careful with their spending and to keep a reserve in anticipation of future needs. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin counseled,


During times of prosperity, save up for a day of want. Too often, people assume that they probably never will be injured, get sick, lose their jobs, or see their investments evaporate. To make matters worse, often people make purchases today based upon optimistic predictions of what they hope will happen tomorrow. The wise understand the importance of saving today for a rainy day tomorrow. They have adequate insurance that will provide for them in case of illness or death. Where possible, they store a year’s supply of food, water, and other basic necessities of life. They set aside money in savings and investment accounts. They work diligently to reduce the debt they owe to others and strive to become debt free.

Brothers and sisters, the preparations you make today may one day be to you as the stored food was to the Egyptians and to Joseph’s father’s family.”[1]

[1] “Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts,” April 2004 General Conference.


(Doctrine and Covenants Minute)