The Lord Challenges the Wisest Person to Duplicate the Least of His Revelations

Doctrine and Covenants 67:1–9

1 Behold and hearken, O ye elders of my church, who have assembled yourselves together, whose prayers I have heard, and whose hearts I know, and whose desires have come up before me.
2 Behold and lo, mine eyes are upon you, and the heavens and the earth are in mine hands, and the riches of eternity are mine to give.
3 Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you; but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive.
4 And now I, the Lord, give unto you a testimony of the truth of these commandments which are lying before you.
5 Your eyes have been upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and his language you have known, and his imperfections you have known; and you have sought in your hearts knowledge that you might express beyond his language; this you also know.
6 Now, seek ye out of the Book of Commandments, even the least that is among them, and appoint him that is the most wise among you;
7 Or, if there be any among you that shall make one like unto it, then ye are justified in saying that ye do not know that they are true;
8 But if ye cannot make one like unto it, ye are under condemnation if ye do not bear record that they are true.
9 For ye know that there is no unrighteousness in them, and that which is righteous cometh down from above, from the Father of lights.

The Prophet Joseph Smith said:

“After the above [D&C 67] was received, [William] E. McLellin, as the wisest man in his own estimation, having more learning than sense, endeavored to write a commandment like unto one of the least of the Lord’s, but failed; it was an awful responsibility to write in the name of the Lord. The elders, and all present, that witnessed this vain attempt of a man to imitate the language of Jesus Christ, renewed their faith in the fulness of the gospel and in the truth of the commandments and revelations which the Lord had given to the Church through my instrumentality; and the elders signified a willingness to bear testimony of their truth to all the world.”

(“History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834],” page 162, josephsmithpapers.org; see also History of the Church, 1:226.)

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