It is critical to grasp that basing our faith in God not men including, the Pope, a priest, a bishop etc. is the path to achieve salvation. When I began diligently studying and praying about my lifetime religion of Mormonism, one of the most disturbing pieces of information I discovered was that scriptures about faith unto salvation from the Doctrine & Covenants had been deleted. In 1921, a committee of men deleted the first 70 pages of the Doctrine and Covenants, the first 70 pages were also referred to as the Lectures on Faith. These pages are and have been needed to help us develop more faith in God not men.
Many copies of the Lectures on Faith state in the preface…. “they were never presented to nor accepted by the church as being otherwise than theological lectures or lessons.” This is a false statement. I include documentation and sources to support that statement is false:
“On 17 August 1835, a general assembly of the church met for the purpose of examining a book of Commandments and Covenants (the book officially became titled the Doctrine and Covenants) that had been compiled and written by the publication committee (a committee that Joseph Smith headed). This committee having finished the said book according to the instructions given them, it was deemed necessary to call the General Assembly of the Church to see if the book be approved or not by the authorities of the Church. That it may, if approved, become a law of the church, and a rule of faith and practice of the same.” – Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations and Translations Vol 2, pg 307
Sidney Rigdon, a presidency member, and committee member stood and explained to the assembly to vote for or against the said book. Everyone present was given the opportunity to vote first by quorums (designated smaller groups). After all the quorums had accepted the said book (I repeat, the first 70 pages were the Lectures on Faith), the General Assembly voted, including everyone that was present. They all sustained the book as Doctrine of the Church.
There have been arguments that the Lectures on Faith were not handwritten by Joseph Smith. It doesn’t matter that someone else wrote down the lectures, Joseph Smith headed the publications committee that compiled and recorded this important scripture. Joseph Smith wrote in his journal that he spent days editing the lectures.
In the Joseph Smith Papers Vol. 2, Revelation and Translations page 313, Joseph Smith also vouched for and supported all pages of the said book:
“We deem it to be unnecessary to entertain you with lengthy preface to the following volume, but merely to say that it contains in short the leading items of the religion which we have professed to believe. The first part of the book (the book became titled the Doctrine and Covenants) will be found to contain a series of lectures as delivered before a theological class in this place. And I consequence of their embracing the important doctrines of salvation, we have arranged them into the following work. We do not present this little volume with any other expectation than that. We are to be called the answer to every principle advanced.”
Additionally, Joseph Smith, Jr. recorded that he was engaged in preparing the Lectures on Faith prior to the publication of the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.
In January 1835, Joseph said:
“During the month of January, I was engaged in the school of the elders and in preparing the lectures on theology for publication in the book of Doctrine and Covenants” (History of the Church, Volume 2 pg. 180
Brief Summary of the Contents of the Lectures on Faith
Joseph understood the importance for those who desire salvation to clearly understand the Lectures on Faith that state the importance of developing faith in God not men. Below is a brief summary of the contents of the Lectures on Faith that teach the importance of faith in God not men.
- What faith is
- The object on which faith rests
- How we know that God exists
- The effects which flow from faith
- A correct idea of God’s character, perfections, and attributes
- Having assurance that the course one is pursuing is agreeable to God
- It is by faith that Deity works
Best Version Available of Lectures on Faith at this Time
I feel this link offers the best version, but yet affordable (not hardback), of the Lectures on Faith.
Another man named Joseph with a message to put your trust or faith in God not men
Another man named Joseph shares a short, wonderful message about the importance of trusting God not man. I also share my thoughts about faith in God not men in the last paragraph of my “About Me” page.