(November 28, 2015)
Sometimes I believe the Lord includes language in His revelations to us just to bring things to our attention so we can consider them and acquire more light and understanding. One such example is found in this Section. The Lord presents it as an immutable and unchangeable promise, which is powerful language, but we also know that this is a revelation later changed by Joseph Smith (changing terminology).
So which is it? Is it an immutable and unchangeable promise, or is it subject to revision by Joseph Smith? The answer, of course, is that it is both. Joseph Smith changed the terminology, not the covenant. We have examples of this frequently throughout history (including the major changes to the temple endowment in my lifetime). Terminology isn’t important – the meaning of words change through time anyhow, and a misplaced word here or there is just part and parcel with dealing with imperfect vessels. These sorts of things really should not worry us.