Commentary on Doctrine & Covenants 4

/ Doctrine & Covenants 4 / Commentary

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

Verses 1-4

Casey Paul Griffiths (LDS Scholar)

Though the words in verses 1–4 were initially spoken to Joseph Smith Sr., the wording allows for application to nearly any person who is called by God to assist in the work of the Restoration. The most important requirement, the Lord teaches, is simply a desire to serve God. The Lord lays out the bright promise of the Restoration with an innumerable collection of different men and women around the world ready for the work to come forth.


These words, given in revelation after a period of intense trial for Joseph Smith and his small band of followers, showed the Lord’s perspective on the infancy of the Restoration. In the months that followed, the Lord’s words found fulfillment as a remarkable collection of individuals, including Oliver Cowdery, the Peter and Mary Whitmer family, the brothers Parley and Orson Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, and Edward Partridge, found themselves drawn to the work. This revelation is still being shown to be true in our day as demonstrated by the converts to the word who are gathering from every nation. (Doctrine and Covenants Minute)

Verses 5-7

Casey Paul Griffiths (LDS Scholar)

This list of attributes provided by the Lord parallels the qualities of charity that the Apostle Paul described as the most choice of the gifts of the spirit. Not only is charity listed twice among the virtues the Lord seeks in his servants, but the parallels are striking if verses 5–7 are placed alongside Paul’s description of the qualities associated with charity in 1 Corinthians 13:4–7. See, for example, the following list (Paul’s words are in parentheses): faith and hope (believeth all things, beareth all things), an eye single to the glory of God (seeketh not her own), virtue (thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity), temperance (is not easily provoked), patience (suffereth long), brotherly kindness (is kind), humility (vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up), and diligence (endureth all things). (Doctrine and Covenants Minute)