(September 11, 2015)
This introduction highlights a powerful benefit of the Doctrine and Covenants above all other scripture we have. With other scriptures, the stories, discourses, revelations, and so forth have been refined, edited, and massaged over centuries of retelling to make them appear (at times) superhuman. This is, of course, a good thing in that it gives us examples to live up to (and, of course, with a little bit of effort the truth becomes apparent). But it also denies us the understanding that the Lord works through imperfect vessels to accomplish His work – and a lack of understanding of that truth can cause problems for us today.
With the Doctrine and Covenants, however, we see that Joseph Smith was a imperfect man – which, interestingly enough, makes his accomplishments all the more astounding. We see the Lord working among men without the photoshopping of history that naturally takes place over the centuries. By seeing these people as they really are, we see how the Lord really operates – and we can then learn how He operates in our lives as well (seeing as how we are also imperfect).