Commentary on Doctrine & Covenants 62

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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)


This revelation presents an interesting contrast with the revelation received only the day before (D&C 61). While the elders in Doctrine and Covenants 61 were exhorted to “rid their garments” to become spotless (D&C 61:34), the elders at Chariton were blessed and promised forgiveness of their sins because of the testimonies they had shared. Missionary work is an act of salvation for both the testifier and the hearer. As James taught, “He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).


President Joseph F. Smith taught that “a testimony of truth is more than a mere assent of the mind. It is a conviction of the heart, a knowledge that fills the whole soul of its recipient” (Gospel Doctrine, 364). For a testimony to be powerful, it must remain centered on the Savior and the fundamentals of the gospel. President M. Russell Ballard gave the following counsel regarding testimonies:


My experience throughout the Church leads me to worry that too many of our members’ testimonies linger on “I am thankful” and “I love,” and too few are able to say with humble but sincere clarity, “I know.” As a result, our meetings sometimes lack the testimony-rich, spiritual underpinnings that stir the soul and have meaningful, positive impact on the lives of all those who hear them. Our testimony meetings need to be more centered on the Savior, the doctrines of the gospel, the blessings of the Restoration, and the teachings of the scriptures. We need to replace stories, travelogues, and lectures with pure testimonies. (“Pure Testimony,” October 2004 General Conference)

(Doctrine and Covenants Minute)

Verses 4-9

Casey Paul Griffiths (LDS Scholar)


The elders that were blessed in this revelation continued their journey to Independence together. John Murdock was still so ill that the other elders pooled their money to purchase a horse for him to ride on (John Murdock Journal). When the elders arrived in Zion, they held a sacrament meeting (D&C 62:4) as directed by the Lord (the conference was misdated as August 2 in the Minute Book; it was likely held on August 24). Hyrum Smith, again sharing his testimony, read a portion of Psalm 102, which reads in part, “When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord” (Psalm 102:16–18). David Whitmer also shared his testimony with the assembled group, exhorting them to perform “acts of righteousness” and to “sacrifice all for Christ” (Minute Book 2, 6–7, JSP).


William McLellin, who attended the sacrament meeting, noted in his journal that the purpose of the meeting was to “offer a sacrament to the Most High to fill the commandment which they had received at Chariton.” McLellin also noted that the same day, he retired to a nearby grove to consider if he should be ordained to the priesthood. When his prayer ended, the question entered into his mind, “What is your motive?” In response to this, the Spirit whispered to his heart, “The glory of God, the salvation of my own soul, and the welfare of the human family.” He then went to the meeting without telling anyone of his experience. When he was called upon the by the leaders of the meeting, McLellin told them, “I was resigned to the will of God in the matter and I believed that God would make my duty known to them if they would inquire.” Hyrum Smith immediately arose and said he had received a witness of the Spirit that McLellin should be ordained an elder. After a sustaining vote, Hyrum Smith and Edward Partridge then ordained McLellin an elder, and he was later called as one of the original members of the Quorum of the Twelve in this dispensation (The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1994, 35).


(Doctrine and Covenants Minute)