Orson Pratt and the Expansion of the Doctrine and Covenants

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Orson Pratt and the Expansion of the Doctrine and Covenants, Is A Well-Researched Topic, It Is To Be Used As A Guide Or Framework For Your Research.

ABSTRACT

In 1874, Orson Pratt was asked to expand and chronologize the Doctrine and Covenants. When he completed his work two years later, Pratt had added an additional twenty-six sections to the book. Pratt’s project changed the way in which “canon,” “revelation,” and “scripture,” were understood within the Church by adding sections to the Doctrine and Covenants that were deliberately extracted from letters and personal journal entries, even though many of them may not have been considered binding on the Church at the time of their conception. He also expanded the prophetic voice and shored up the succession claims of Brigham Young and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by inserting the first revelation received by someone other than Joseph Smith – Brigham Young.

This is the first study that seeks to analyze the entirety of Orson Pratt’s canonical insertions and uncover his rationale for adding and excising the sections that he did. Due to the scarcity of information regarding his decision-making, I have sought to contextualize his emendations to the Doctrine and Covenants by revealing the historical context of the 1870s and providing a thorough analysis of the text of the revelations that he inserted and deleted. By so doing, I am able to uncover the possible motivations that drove his project. I assert that Pratt’s project was influenced by three major factors: (1) his relationship with Brigham Young, (2) his desire to craft the revelatory history of Joseph Smith and further the priorities of the Church, and (3) to use the expansion project to respond to the external circumstances that were then effecting the Saints, namely, anti-polygamy sentiment, schismatic groups, and severe economic hardships.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
ABSTRACT ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. iii
PUBLIC ABSTRACT ……………………………………………………………………………………………v
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ………………………………………………………………………………….. vii
CHAPTER
I. Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………….1
Thesis and Chapter Outline ……………………………………………………………………3
Methods ………………………………………………………………………………………………9
Definition of Terms and Literature Review …………………………………………….10
Orson Pratt …………………………………………………………………………………………15
Publishing and Canonizing the Doctrine and Covenants ………………………….17
Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………22
II. Orson Pratt and Brigham Young ……………………………………………………………….24
A Conflicted Relationship ……………………………………………………………………25
The Nature of Leadership …………………………………………………………………….30
The Doctrine of God ……………………………………………………………………………37
Canon and Continuing Revelation …………………………………………………………42
Brigham Young’s Status in Church History ……………………………………………46
Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………50
III. Internal Factors …………………………………………………………………………………….. 52
Joseph Smith as Inspired Exegete ………………………………………………………….54
Joseph Smith as a Prophet ……………………………………………………………………60
Participation in Sacred History and Sacred Space ……………………………………67
Filling in the Gaps: The Priesthood and the Temple ………………………………..74
Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………86
IV. External Factors ……………………………………………………………………………………87
Responding to the Reorganized Church …………………………………………………90
Responding to the Godbeites ………………………………………………………………100
Order of Enoch …………………………………………………………………………………105
Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………….112
Epilogue …………………………………………………………………………………………………..113
Bibliography ……………………………………………………………………………………………..116

Additional information

Author

Brian C. Passantino

No of Chapters

4

No of Pages

133

Reference

YES

Format

PDF

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