Commentary on Doctrine & Covenants 32

/ Doctrine & Covenants 32 / Commentary

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

Verses 1-3

Casey Paul Griffiths (LDS Scholar)


Parley P. Pratt was among those early converts who were sincerely touched by the teachings of the Book of Mormon. During his travels through the region around Palmyra, he had heard tales “of a book, a STRANGE BOOK, a VERY STRANGE BOOK!” He recalled that when he was loaned a copy and read the book himself, “For the first time, my eyes beheld the ‘BOOK OF MORMON’ that book of books—that record which reveals the antiquities of the ‘New World’ back to the remotest ages, and which unfolds the destiny of its people and the world for all time to come; that Book which contains the fulness of the gospel of a crucified and risen Redeemer; that Book which reveals a lost remnant of Joseph, and which was the principal means, in the hands of God, of directing the entire course of my future life.”


Parley later wrote:


I opened it with eagerness, and read its title page. I then read the testimony of several witnesses in relation to the manner of its being found and translated. After this I commenced its contents by course. I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep. As I read, the spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I knew and comprehended that the book was true, as plainly and manifestly as a man comprehends and knows that he exists. My joy was now full, as it were, and I rejoiced sufficiently to more than pay me for all the sorrows, sacrifices and toils of my life. (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 2000, 30–31)


During his lifetime, Parley was instrumental in helping convert a number of important figures, including Sidney Rigdon, Edward Partridge, and future Church president John Taylor. He was ordained a member of this dispensation’s original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1835. He also authored Voice of Warning (1837) and Key to the Science of Theology (1855), two of the most important missionary and theological texts of the early Church. He suffered a martyr’s death when he was murdered in 1857. According to one observer, his final words were, “I die a firm believer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and I wish you to carry this my dying testimony. I know that the Gospel is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the Living God. I am dying a martyr to the faith” (cited in Terryl L. Givens and Matthew J. Grow, Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism, 2011, 383).


(Doctrine and Covenants Minute)

Verses 4-5

Casey Paul Griffiths (LDS Scholar)


Ziba Peterson was the last of the four missionaries called on the fifteen-hundred-mile journey to the boundary of the United States. Along with the other missionaries, he arrived in Independence, Missouri, in early 1831 and was able to preach briefly to the American Indians. In August 1831 the Lord later chastened him for trying to hide his sins, with a revelation declaring, “Let that which has been bestowed upon Ziba Peterson be taken from him; and let him stand as a member in the church, and labor with his own hands, with the brethren, until he is sufficiently chastened for all his sins; for he confesseth them not, and he thinketh to hide them” (D&C 58:60).


Later in May 1833 Ziba withdrew from the Church, and on June 25, 1833, he was excommunicated. A letter from the First Presidency to Church members in Missouri stated, “We deliver Bro Ziba [Peterson] over to the buffetings of Satan in the name of the Lord, that he may learn not to transgress the commandments of God. We conclude our letter by the usual salutation in token of the new and everlasting covenant” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, 25 June 1833, p. 3, JSP).


(Doctrine and Covenants Minute)