The 1835 Doctrine and Covenants was the first to be voted upon as a book of scripture. This vote took place on August 17, 1835. The minutes of this vote were recorded in the now-decanonized section 108A.
The September 1844 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants was published amidst the succession crisis, and World Conference Resolution #216 specifies that the sections from this edition were not binding upon the church and left them in a sort of doctrinal state of limbo. Some sections were later specifically identified as non-revelatory through WCRs (with Section 113 it was WCR 402). These limbo sections were specifically canonized or removed from the D&C with World Conference Resolution #1080.
WCR #54 Specifically approved the 1864 edition of the D&C, which is the first edition after the reorganization.
WCR #216 specified that further revelations could be added to by the president of the church and #386 specifies that only the president can do this.
WCRs #216, 340, 392, 395, 427, 428, and 502 all show the confirmation of a revelation into the D&C.
WCR #392 and 623 show modification of revelations
WCRs #402, 1080, 1115, and 1215 show sections being specified as non-revelatory, decanonized, and removed from the D&C
#5: Scriptural Standards
Adopted June 12, 1852
Resolved, That the whole law of the Church of Jesus Christ is contained in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Book of Doctrine and Covenants.
#54: A New Doctrine and Covenants Edition
Adopted October 8, 1863.
That this conference authorize the committee of publication to publish the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, with such corrections in arrangement as may be necessary.
#107: Epitome of our Faith
Note: This WCR is rather extensive and covers a vast amount of beliefs. I am just going to re-produce section 3 and 14 of this WCR, as it is the only one relevant to the topic at hand.
Adopted April 7, 1870
3. Under the presidency of Joseph Smith, the church became a corporate body, and adopted as a constitution or form of church government and discipline, the Scriptures, the Book of Mormon and Book of Doctrine and Covenants. The Bible and Book of Mormon have ever been the foundation on which the church has rested its faith, and there has been added to them the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, first published in the year 1835, and republished in 1845; the former edition during the presidential term of Joseph Smith, the latter edition under the regime of Brigham Young, as “President of the Twelve.” This book, the “Book of Doctrine and Covenants,” was, on the seventeenth day of August, 1835, presented to each and all the quorums of officers belonging to the church, separately, and acted upon by them; it was also presented to the Church in General assembly, and was adopted unanimously. It then became a part of the law of the church, and the church became bound by its provisions, equally as by those of the Bible and Book of Mormon. The doctrines and law of the church so established must ever remain the basis of its government; the endorsement of them an endorsement of the church, the departure from or denial of them a departure from or denial of the church.
14. This organization, known as the “Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” is now being represented in conference at Plano, Illinois, by delegates and visitors from many of the eastern, southern and western States from the Pacific States, the Territories, including Utah, and Great Britain. Your memorialists are a committee appointed by this conference, and as such, would respectfully present to their Excellencies, the President and Vice President of the United States, and to each of the Honorable Members of the Senate and House of Representatives in Congress assembled our views on the questions herein set forth and accompany them with an abstract of the Faith of the true Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in relation to governments and laws in general as published in 1835 and in 1845, and affirmed by the Reorganized Church at as early a date as 1853 and again in 1864; which faith, as so affirmed, is based upon the Bible, Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants:
[Here was quoted in full section 112 of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.]
#215: Scriptural Standards Reaffirmed
Adopted September 13, 1878
Resolved, That this body, representing the church, recognizes the Holy Scriptures, the Book of Mormon, the revelations of God contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and all other revelations which have been or shall be revealed through God’s appointed prophet, which have been or may be hereafter accepted by the church as the standard to authority on all matters of church government and doctrine, and the final standard of reference on appeal in all controversies arising, or which may arise in this church
#216: Additional Doctrine and Covenants Sections
Adopted September 13, 1878.
Whereas, We accept the revelations heretofore given to the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, through the present presiding officer thereof, as being the word of the Lord to his church, equally with those published in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the revelations received by the President of the church in 1861, 1863, and 1865, be received as from God, authoritative and binding on us as a body; and in connection with the revelation of 1873, that they be hereafter compiled with that book.
#222: Further affirmation of D&C as scripture and its use as such
Adopted September 29, 1879
Resolved, That the free rendering and meaning of the resolution passed at the semiannual session of 1878 (WCR 215) is that:
Whereas, Certain rumors had obtained currency that the church had not at any time so attested the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and the later revelations given to the church, by vote and affirmation, that they should form with the Bible and Book of Mormon a standard of reference in case of controversy and difference of opinion upon questions of doctrine and practice in the church; therefore to remedy this defect, if it existed, the resolution referred to was introduced and passed; and be it
Resolved, That it is not the intent and meaning of the said resolution to make a belief in the revelations in the Book of Covenants, or the abstract doctrines possibly contained in it, a test of reception and fellowship in the church; but that the things therein contained relating to the doctrine, rules of procedure, and practice in the church should govern priesthood members as representatives of the church; and be it further
Resolved, That while it is not intended, or indeed practicable to bind, or proscribe the liberty of conscience, whereby violence is done to the honesty and integrity of the people by prescribing dogmas and tenets other than the plain provisions of the gospel, as affirmed in the New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants and set forth in the Epitome of Faith and Doctrine; it is clear to us that it is destructive to the faith of the church, and inconsistent with the calling and dignity of the ministry, to decry, disclaim, preach, or teach contrary to the revelations in said Book of Covenants, or to arraign them in such a way that the faith of the people of the church is weakened and they thereby distressed; and be it further
Resolved, That priesthood members should confine their teaching to such doctrines and tenets, church articles and practices, a knowledge of which is necessary to obedience and salvation; and that in all questions upon which there is much controversy, and upon which the church has not clearly declared, and which are not unmistakably essential to salvation, priesthood members should refrain from teaching; or if called upon, in defense of the church, or when wisdom should dictate, they should so clearly discriminate in their teaching between their own views and opinions, and the affirmations and defined declarations of the church that they shall not be found antagonizing their own and others’ views as a conflict in teaching upon the part of the church; and be it further
Resolved, That the advancing of speculative theories upon abstruse questions, a belief or disbelief in which cannot affect the salvation of the hearers, is a reprehensible practice and should not be indulged in by the priesthood members; especially should this not be done in those congregations where personal antagonisms must inevitably arise, to the hindering of the work of grace; and should be reserved for the schools of inquiry among priesthood themselves; and be it further
Resolved, That until such time as vexed questions now pending are definitely settled by the competent quorums of the church, the discussion of them should be avoided in all places where priesthood labor, in the world and in the congregations, and should only be had in solemn conclave when necessary to examine them in settlement, under proper rules of restraint.
#340: D&C 118-120 are canonized
Adopted April 14, 1890
Resolved, That the revelation received by the President of the church April 8, 1890, be compiled in future editions of the Book of Covenants, and that the Board of Publication be requested to issue the said revelation as a supplement to the Herald as section 120, of Doctrine and Covenants, and properly paged; and also the revelations of 1882 and 1887 be published in the same supplement.
#368 2D: Scriptural Standards reaffirmed
Adopted April 15, 1892
Resolved, That we recognize the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants as the only standard works of the church; and it is our opinion that every other book, pamphlet, or other publication, should simply rest upon its own merits, the church being responsible only for that which it authorized to be done, or which it accepts after it is done.
#386: Only president of the church may bring forth section of D&C
Adopted April 12, 1894
The Joint Council of the First Presidency, Twelve, and High Priests, which had been holding sessions during this Conference, presented the following report, which was thereafter adopted by the Conference:
(1) Office in the church is not conferred to distinguish, or glorify, or increase the importance of the person on whom it is conferred.
(2) Office in the church is conferred for the purpose of accomplishing certain results designed in instituting and establishing the church.
(3) All offices in the church come properly under the head of the priesthood. Under this general head all the officers are arranged, there being two orders of priesthood: the Melchisedec and the Aaronic.
(4) The scope of the present council is confined to an inquiry into the calling, duties, and prerogatives of the First Presidency, Twelve, and the Quorum of High Priests.
(5) The president of the church is primarily appointed by revelation.
(6) This appointment is confirmed by the vote of the church properly taken.
(7) The Presidency is the leading quorum in the church. That the duty of presiding over the church devolves on that quorum. That it is the prerogative of the president to preside over the whole church, to bear the responsibility of the care and oversight of the work of the church in all its different departments; and through the constituted officers of the church in their various callings, according to the laws, rules, and regulations in force and recognized by the church.
(8) It is the prerogative of the president to receive revelations from God and give them to the church for the direction and government of the affairs of the church.
(9) The members of the Presidency are the leading interpreters and teachers of the laws and revelations of God and are of right presidents of the General Assemblies of the church.
(10) The members of the Presidency are to preside over the High Council and in the exercise of this duty to render decisions on important causes submitted to that council.
(11) It is the prerogative of the Presidency to receive revelations from God through the president and present them to the church.
(12) The Presidency are the counselors of the Twelve and exercise the right of presidency by direction and council to that quorum.
(13) The calling and duties of the high priests are those of standing or local visionary leadership of which they may be called, or appointed by the constituted authorities of the church, in accordance to the law
(14) “The Twelve” is the second quorum in authority and importance in the general work of the church and is the leading missionary body of laborers, under the direction and counsel of the Presidency, whose duty it is to preach the gospel, win souls to Christ, administer in the rights of the gospel, carry the gospel to this and every other nation, take charge of and direct other missionaries; and to do any work within its calling, which the necessities of the work and general welfare of the church may demand.
#392: Verses 5-6 are added to Section 121
Adopted April 19, 1894
Presented by First Seventy: Resolved, That we request President Joseph Smith to insert in section 121 Doctrine and Covenants a statement of the instruction given to the Seventy in 1885 ── that directing them to choose presidents of Seventy and instructing the presidents thus chosen to choose other Seventy ── that it may be preserved with other important instruction given to the church and published in that section.”
#395: Section 122 is canonized
Adopted April 8, 1895
Resolved, That in the event of an order by the conference to publish the revelation of April, 1894, in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, we request the body to indorse and order published in connection therewith, the proceedings of the Joint Council which was provided for in the revelation.
#402: Section 113 is not a revelation
Adopted April 8, 1896
Resolved, That inasmuch as section 113 in Book of Doctrine and Covenants was not given by inspiration, but seems to be an individual statement relative to the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and in some degree has a tendency to do the church harm when used by the enemy as it is now published, that the President of the church and the Board of Publication be instructed to prepare and publish an explanation with said section.
#427: Section 124 is canonized
Adopted April 12, 1897
A motion providing for the publication of the revelation [of 1897] in the Doctrine and Covenants was adopted.
#428: Section 121 is canonized
Adopted April 12, 1897
A resolution providing for publication of the revelation of 1894 in the Doctrine and Covenants, was also adopted.
#502: Section 125 is canonized
Adopted April 17, 1901
Resolved, That the communication from the Lord, as presented to the assembly, Monday, April 15, by President Joseph Smith, be accepted as a revelation and instruction, and is hereby adopted as a law to govern the church; and the Board of Publication is hereby instructed to publish the same in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.
#623: Section 22 modified
Adopted April 15, 1909
The following was referred to the First Presidency and the Board of Publication for disposition, report, or otherwise:
Whereas, There is a marked difference between section 22 (Doctrine and Covenants) and the version of the same revelation as found in preface to the Holy Scriptures,
Resolved, That the Board of. Publication be instructed in future editions of the Doctrine and Covenants to make it conform to the revelation as published in the preface of the Holy Scriptures, and that a sufficient number of duplicate copies be printed to permit of insertion in books now in use. [In 1910 the committee reported that section 22 as published in the Holy Scriptures, which was the version of the original manuscript, had been ordered inserted in Doctrine and Covenants.── Compiler.]
#624: Changes to the D&C
Adopted April 16, 1909
In view of the fact that there are some typographical and clerical errors in the present edition of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants,
Resolved, That a committee consisting of the First Presidency, Quorum of Twelve, and Board of Publication be authorized to take this matter under consideration, appoint a committee from their number to reversify and proof read an authorized edition of the book.
#652: Response to #624
Adopted April 18, 1910
To the General Conference: In the matter of reference by the conference of 1909 to the Presidency, Twelve, and Board of Publication, looking to reversifying and correcting typographical and clerical errors in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, we have by instruction of the committee to report that the body to which this was referred met this morning and after consideration it was decided that under present circumstances it is unnecessary to reversify the Book of Covenants. It was further decided that all clerical and typographical errors be corrected under the supervision of the Presidency, the Board of Publication, and the Historian.
FREDERICK M. SMITH,
FREDERICK A. SMITH,
#1080: Doctrine and Covenants Format
Adopted April 7, 1970
The first attempt to publish the early revelations in book form was begun in November 1831. Before the work could be completed, a mob destroyed the press on July 20, 1833, and pages of the book as it had been reproduced in print up to that point were scattered through the streets. A high council held in Kirtland, September 24, 1834, authorized a second attempt. The committee selected at that time was instructed to “arrange the items of the doctrine of Jesus Christ for the government of the church.” The committee consisted of Elders Joseph Smith Jr., Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams.
The quorums of the church met at Kirtland in general assembly, August 17, 1835, to take under consideration the labors of this committee. The minutes of the organization meeting and of the subsequent assembly at which the first edition of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants was presented and adopted were published in the first edition as Section 103. More recently they have appeared as Section 108A.
Additional sections were published in 1844 and in later editions of the book. Some of these were included without prior conference or quorum approval and have remained in the later editions on the basis of custom but with otherwise uncertain authority. This present edition is so arranged that the items of uncertain authority are included in a historical appendix and prefaced with introductions explaining the circumstances of publication and the reasons for placement in the appendix.
Those sections which make up the body of the book include only those which were approved by the 1835 General Assembly or by a General or World Conference of the church. The approval of the format of this edition by the 1970 World Conference specifically authorized the retention of Sections 22, 36, 100, 102, 105, and 106, which had appeared in earlier editions without Conference approval.
As a record of the revelations of God and statements of basic doctrine based upon them, we present to the Saints and to the world the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. May the Holy Spirit enlighten all who study its content.
The First Presidency
2. Order of the Sections
A. All sections from 1 through 98 as appearing in the 1966 edition will remain in this same order with appropriate historical introductions. This includes Sections 22 and 36, which did not appear in the 1835 edition but were first published in 1864. They also were printed in the first edition of the “Holy Scriptures, Translated and Corrected by the Spirit of Revelation by Joseph Smith, Jr.,” in 1867. Their content suggests that they remain in the main body of the book and that the approval by the 1970 Conference of the proposed format will specifically authorize their inclusion.
B. Section 99 appeared as Section V in the first edition of the book. It is not a revelation but the official record of the organization of the Standing High Council and was selected for inclusion by the committee over which Joseph Smith Jr., presided. It was approved by the 1835 General Assembly. It will remain in its present place in the book.
C. Section 100 was not included in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, though it had been given more than a year prior to the publication of the first edition. It first appeared in the 1844 edition. It was retained in the 1860 edition and has been published subsequently by the Reorganized Church in every edition. Its form and content suggest that it should retain its present position in the book. The approval by the 1970 Conference of the proposed format specifically includes the confirmation of Section 100.
D. Section 101 was published in the 1835 edition by authority of the General Assembly. It will be retained where it is.
E. The comments concerning Section 100 apply also to Section 102.
F. Sections 103 and 104 were included in the 1835 edition and will retain their present place in the book.
G. Sections 105 and 106 were received subsequent to the publication of the 1835 edition. They appeared in the 1844 edition and have been published by the Reorganized Church in each edition since. Their form and content suggest that they should be retained in their present position in the book. The approval of the 1970 Conference of the proposed format specifically includes confirmation of these two sections.
H. Section 107 was first printed in 1844. It contains considerable controversial material, including the first references to the speculative practice of baptism for the dead, and we know of no evidence that it was ever specifically approved by a Conference or assembly. Under these circumstances we recommend that it be placed in the appendix, where it will be available because of its historical significance. A suitable note will refer the reader to its new location.
I. Section 108 was published in the 1835 edition as the “Appendix” by the authority of the approval of the 1835 General Assembly, and it will remain in its present position in the book.
J. Section 108A will be included in the introduction to the book, and in its present place a note will be inserted referring the reader to the new location.
K. Sections 109 and 110 are letters written by Joseph Smith Jr. while he was in hiding during a time of persecution and were never formally adopted by the church. The validity of their references to “baptism for the dead” was questioned on April 9, 1886, when the church declared that they would not be binding on the Reorganization unless they were reiterated. They have been neither reiterated nor referred to as a commandment.
Under these circumstances we recommend that these sections be included in the appendix for their historic value and that notes be included in the positions now occupied by these sections referring the reader to the appropriate pages in the appendix.
L. Sections 111 and 112 were adopted as part of the approval by the General Assembly of the first edition. These are important historical statements of basic doctrine and attitude prepared by the committee over which Joseph Smith Jr. presided and will be retained in the body of the book in their present position.
M. Section 113 is not a revelation, nor is there in it any statement of faith, doctrine, or religious belief. It was published in the 1844 edition in Nauvoo and in all subsequent editions. Its historical significance suggests that it should be retained in the book, but we recommend that it be relocated in the appendix and a suitable note be made on a page in the body of the book referring the reader to its new location.
N. Sections 114, 115, 116, and 117 were published by the authority of the 1878 General Conference. Section 118 was presented to the 1882 Conference and approved. These will be retained in their present positions in the book.
O. Sections 119, 120, and 121 are not in their proper order. Section 121 is a series of inspired answers to questions raised in the 1885 Conference and approved in 1894 for publication in the Doctrine and Covenants. Section 119 was approved at the 1887 Conference and Section 120 at the 1890 Conference. To avoid confusion these sections will retain their present numbering and order. A suitable note will be included in the preface to each to explain why they appear in non-chronological order.
P. Section 122 was approved by the General Conference of 1897 and will remain in its present position in the book.
Q. Section 123 is not a revelation. It contains the minutes of a Joint Council session in 1894. The publication of these minutes in the Doctrine and Covenants was authorized by action of the General Conference in 1895, when the body approved a report of the Council of Twelve, which included this paragraph along with other items:
“Resolved, that in the event of an order by the Conference to publish the revelation of April, 1894, in the Book of Doctrine and covenants, we request the body to indorse and order published in connection therewith, the proceedings of the Joint Council which was provided for in the revelation.” Approval in 1897 of the publication of the 1894 revelation therefore carried with it the order to publish the minutes of the council. We recommend that this section be located in the appendix with a suitable note following Section 122 referring the reader to the new location.
R. The sections from 124 onward all have been approved by Conference action and contain material presented by the president of the church as representing the divine will. These sections will be retained in their present order. An appropriate historical preface will be published with each section.
#1115: Section 107
Adopted April 15, 1972
Resolved, That Section 107 could not in good judgment be placed back in the Doctrine and Covenants without prophetic reevaluation and quorum approval; and be it further
Resolved, That any section placed in the historical appendage by the 1970 Conference must come before the president of the church and be considered as a document under the accepted procedure before it can be placed back in the main body of the Doctrine and Covenants.
#1215: Doctrine and Covenants Appendix
Adopted April 7, 1990
Whereas, Certain rites and practices cited in the Appendix of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants are not presently practiced in the church; and
Whereas, Some uninformed persons do not know how to make the distinction between the body of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants and the Appendix, but take certain sections of the Appendix to denigrate, accuse, or indict the doctrines of the church; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the World Conference authorize the removal of the historical Appendix of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants from all future publications of the book. (The Appendix will find its place in the historical manuals of the church.)