Section 42 of the Doctrine and Covenants is designated “The Law,” and is a composite revelation that reveals many doctrines and organizational direction from the Lord. The Lord begins the section with “Hearken,” and proceeds to counsel the church on many matters. The first “law” (4-9) concerns missionary work, saying that we should “go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel, two by two, in my name.” The next issue is how we should go about gospel teaching (11-17). In this section of the revelation, the Lord instructs that we “teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fullness of the gospel.” In the next few verses (18-29), the Lord lays out the “law” of ethics and values, addressing the commandments not to lie, steal, kill, commit adultery, etc. He ends with the claim “If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments.” Next, the Lord discusses the Law of Consecration (30-38), ending with the core principle of this concept, “For inasmuch as ye do it unto the least of these, ye do it unto me.” In verses 40-42, the Lord discusses a law concerning cleanliness and labor, touching on modesty, plainness, pride, and idleness. Next is the law of sickness and death (43-52) where the Lord talks about the powers of the Priesthood in healing and the glory of the resurrection after death. In 56-61, we learn the law of scripture and our duty to proclaim the word of God to all the ends of the earth. I love verse 61, which tells us, “If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.” The Lord even states that the scriptures, as a whole, should “be my law to govern my church.” In verses 79-87, we get the law concerning the laws of the land. Essentially, we are a church that obeys the laws of the land, and if there be any issues or discipline in the church, it must be dealt with by at least two witnesses. Lastly, the Lord speaks of the law of offense (88-93). The Lord counsels that if offense is given, we must as a church, deal very carefully with the people involved. These things should not be publicized and the person in error should be given chance to repent and confess.
I felt as if this section revealed a lot about the nature of our God and His son, and the way in which they want their kingdom to be conducted. I felt there was great emphasis on order and appropriateness, all complemented by a dose of mercy, understanding, and compassion. Things must be done in a just and upright way, but they must always be done in the context of the Atonement and the pure love of Christ.