Section 26

DC 26:1 performing your labors on the land, such as is required

One of the great blessings of the Doctrine and Covenants is to see how the Lord instructs the elders on what seem to be small matters. Early on, the Prophet asks frequently and receives frequently. The Lord's responses are often very practical. In this case, the Lord acknowledges that the elders must spend at least some time making a living, but the student can easily tell where the Lord's emphasis lies. So many latter-day saints can learn from this seemingly insignificant passage. Our careers do not define who we are. Rather, they are a means to an end. Our real goal should be the Lord and his kingdom. We should, at least at times, feel as the Lord does about making a living, "well, you can't spend all your time studying, praying, fasting, and preaching. Let's be practical, sometimes you just have to make a living."

Hugh Nibley

When Adam left the garden, he went right on with his work of cultivating the earth, himself, and his numerous posterity, engaging in the three activities that are recommended as the proper way of life to all who work in the vineyard: "Behold, I say unto you that you shall let your time be devoted to [1] the studying of the scriptures, and [2] to preaching, and to confirming the church, . . . and [3] to performing your labors on the land" (D&C 26:1). Study, the work of the kingdom, and the cultivating of the soil were Adam's calling for almost a millennium-and he never got bored. (Approaching Zion, edited by Don E. Norton [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1989], 207 - 209.)

Hugh Nibley

"What are we instructed to do in our fallen state?" The shortest and most concise section of the Doctrine and Covenants puts that to us: "Let your time be devoted to the studying of the scriptures, and to preaching, and to confirming the church, . . . and to performing your labors on the land" (D&C 26:1)-farming, church work, and study...

We have enough when we have sufficient for our needs-which is very soon, we learn in 1 Timothy-"having food and raiment let us be therewith content" (1 Timothy 6:5-11). But they who would have more-"they that will be rich fall into temptation," which means desires for things which they shouldn't have. This leads many people astray. You don't need money-"Have you any money?" Sure, sufficient for our needs.

"That's all right, but we need more."

You don't; you don't need more than you need. More than enough is more than enough...we are ready for the real work, when we have sufficient for our needs; and that is pretty soon. If we get sidetracked on supplying our needs, then we are in real trouble. (Approaching Zion, edited by Don E. Norton [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1989], 106-107.)

DC 26:1 you shall go to the west to hold the next conference

Early on, church conferences were not held on a semi-annual basis. Rather, they were held every 3-4 months as circumstances allowed. The first conference of the church occurred on June 9th, 1830 in Fayette, New York. The second conference-and the one referred to in this revelation-occurred on September 26th, 1830 in Fayette. (History of the Church, 1:84, 110).

DC 26:2 all things shall be done by common consent in the church

"In a previous revelation on Church government and organization given in April 1830 the Lord indicated that 'No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that church.' (D&C 20:65.)

"Elder Joseph Fielding Smith explained the implications of these revelations by stating: 'No man can preside in this Church in any capacity without the consent of the people. The Lord has placed upon us the responsibility of sustaining by vote those who are called to various positions of responsibility. No man, should the people decide to the contrary, could preside over any body of Latter-day Saints in this Church, and yet it is not the right of the people to nominate, to choose, for that is the right of the priesthood.' (Doctrines of Salvation, Bookcraft, 1956, 3:123.)

"The procedure of formally sustaining people in office is followed every week throughout the Church. Yet, there could be a time when a person might have questions concerning the person presented to hold office. Should a person raise his hand to sustain someone he feels does not have the ability or would not make a good officer or leader in that position? Should he sustain someone he feels is not worthy of that position?

"Elder Joseph Fielding Smith indicated that a person should be very careful in casting a negative vote, that such a vote should never be made for personal reasons. He stated, 'I have no right to raise my hand in opposition to a man who is appointed to any position in this Church, simply because I may not like him, or because of some personal disagreement or feeling I may have, but only on the grounds that he is guilty of wrongdoing, of transgressing the laws of the Church which would disqualify him for the position which he is called to hold.' (Doctrines of Salvation, 3:124.)" (H. Dean Garrett, "I Have a Question," Ensign, Feb. 1977, 52)

Charles W. Penrose

It may seem rather a dry and formal matter to some of the people to come together and lift up their hands to sustain the authorities of the Church, but it is a necessary duty and if we look at it properly, we shall take pleasure therein. It may seem a little monotonous, but as I have said, it is necessary, for it was designed by the Almighty in the organization of this Church, that the voice of the people should respond to the voice of the Lord. It is the voice of the Lord and the voice of the people together in this Church that sanctions all things therein. (Roy W. Doxey, comp., Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978], 1: 283.)