You are here

Doctrine and Covenants 21: Metanarrative of the Restoration

TitleDoctrine and Covenants 21: Metanarrative of the Restoration
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsOlsen, Steven L.
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship
KeywordsRecordkeeping; Restoration; Smith, Joseph, Jr.

Joseph Smith dictated Doctrine and Covenants 21 at the inaugural meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ on April 6, 1830. The present study examines the literary craftsmanship of the revelation to plumb the depths of its role in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The analysis explores the meaning of patterns of usage in the text from the most specific (diction, syntax, figures of speech) to the most general (tone, rhetoric, and structural logic). The hypothesis of this study is that Doctrine and Covenants 21 provides a metanarrative of the Restoration — that is, a set of governing principles and guidelines for keeping the official record of the gospel’s final dispensation.