Find helpful commentary on the verses below to better understand the message of this revelation.
Casey Paul Griffiths (LDS Scholar)
Doctrine and Covenants 22 speaks of old covenants being swept away in favor of “a new and everlasting covenant.” This is the first time this phrase appears in Joseph Smith’s revelations, and it hints at a broader restoration of the covenants of the Lord, effectively making them “new” in our time. At the same time, the Lord states that this covenant existed “from the beginning,” revealing the covenant’s ancient and eternal nature. In the Articles and Covenants, it was revealed that baptism was practiced “not only [among] those who believed after he came in the meridian of time, in the flesh, but also [among] all those from the beginning” (D&C 20:25–26). Only a few months after this revelation was given, it was revealed to Joseph that Adam was baptized anciently (Moses 6:52–52).
Later, Joseph Smith taught, “Now taking it for granted that the scriptures say what they mean, and mean what they say, we have sufficient grounds to go on and prove from the [B]ible that the gospel has always been the same; the ordinances to fulfil its requirements, the same; and the officers to officiate, the same; and the signs and fruits resulting from the promises, the same” (Times and Seasons, 1 Sept. 1842, 904, JSP). However, in ancient times as well as in the latter days, gospel ordinances must be performed by an authorized servant holding the priesthood in order to be recognized by God.
(Doctrine and Covenants Minute)