Episode 1: “Hearken, O Ye People”

Are you giddy with excitement about studying the Doctrine and Covenants this year in the Come, Follow Me course of study for 2020? Dr. Anthony Sweat is! Join Hank, John and Dr. Sweat for our inaugural episode of the Follow Him Podcast with Hank Smith & John Bytheway as they discuss the origins of the Doctrine and Covenants, why the Doctrine and Covenants is the “Capstone of our religion,” and introduce the “Sweat Who, What, When, Why, Wherefore, and That Method” for understanding D&C–the Lord’s preface,

Follow along in your Come, Follow Me manual for the 2021 year of study.

This week’s lesson is found:


    • 00:00 Welcome
    • 00:26 Show Intro
    • 01:13 Dr. Sweat Introduction.
    • 02:10 Doctrine & Covenants is the capstone of our religion and the “Lord’s preface to the Doctrine and Covenants.
    • 04:48 Doctrine and Covenants has more direct words from the Savior than any other book of scripture–learn to recognize His voice.
    • 06:12 D&C is the “capstone” of our religion and brings you to the temple and the Father.
    • 07:06 Section 1.
    • 13:41 D&C was malleable. Joseph clarifies by changing text.
    • 15:20 The talk about how the Lord speaks differently to different people, in their language and style.
    • 16:57 Dr. Sweat shares a personal story of hearing the Lord’s voice in his life after work, prayer, and hearing the “best youth talk he’s ever heard.” How his original notes varied from when he fleshed them out for his wife–just like how some sections of the D&C were received and edited.
    • 19:58 The Lord speaks to Dr. Sweat like a basketball coach and may speak to you through Pinterest or Twitter.
    • 20:50 Why the D&C resembles the King James Bible style and language
    • 21:43 Lessons on how to translate the scriptures for family members or students. Includes writing exercise ideas.
    • 24:18 Three step process to studying D&C: Learn context (Come Follow Me manual and section headings, “Revelations in Context” in gospel library app), original intent (who was involved and why) and then personal application.
    • 26:12 How the first section comes about.
    • 27:40 John discusses how the maxim “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them” applies.
    • 28:44 Hank applies what we’ve learned about how the preface (Section 1) was written.
    • 32:40 The inaugural podcast featuring “Dr. Sweat’s Who, What, When, Wherefore, and That Method” for breaking down Section 1.
    • 38:27 They discuss teaching ideas for teaching the “do you want the good news or do you want the bad news first” found in verses 1-39. The Lord chose the bad news first. The Lord restored His gospel to help us face the challenges of the latter days.
    • 39:05 Joseph’s Promise (much like Moroni’s Promise).
    • 41:16 They discuss the idea of the Church being true or true and living.
    • 49:55 Dr. Sweat shares a personal story about the Priests in his quorum being able to perform baptisms in the temple.
    • 51:24 John shares a story of his mission call being issued for 18-months. Why do these things change and what does it mean about the Church and revelation?
    • 52:27 Dr. Sweat shares a story about a who gets to decide who has made a mistake in the Church.
    • 53:48 Dr. Sweat discusses how his kids have changed their mind about his rules about cell phones.
    • 58:19 Was Joseph a fraud or a genius–they discuss.
    • 01:02:10 Richard Bushman (correction: It is Truman Madsen) is quoted about Joseph cutting “theological Gordian Knots.”
    • 01:03:43 Hank shares his favorite quote about competence and faith.
    • 01:50:42 Dr. Sweat shares his testimony.

    Referenced Works

    Bednar, D., 2020. Your Whole Souls As An Offering Unto Him. [online] Www2.byui.edu. Available at: <https://www2.byui.edu/Presentations/transcripts/devotionals/1999_01_05_bednar.htm> [Accessed 27 December 2020].

    Benson, E., 2020. The Book Of Mormon And The Doctrine And Covenants. [online] Churchofjesuschrist.org. Available at: <https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/1987/04/the-book-of-mormon-and-the-doctrine-and-covenants?lang=eng> [Accessed 27 December 2020].

    Madsen, T., 2020. Joseph Smith Lecture 2: Joseph’S Personality And Character | BYU Speeches. [online] BYU Speeches. Available at: <https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/truman-g-madsen/joseph-smiths-personality-and-character/> [Accessed 27 December 2020].

    Maxwell, N., 2020. “Lest Ye Be Wearied And Faint In Your Minds”. [online] Churchofjesuschrist.org. Available at: <https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/1991/04/lest-ye-be-wearied-and-faint-in-your-minds?lang=eng> [Accessed 27 December 2020].

    Miller, A., 2020. Adam S. Miller – Fairmormon. [online] FairMormon. Available at: <https://www.fairmormon.org/testimonies/scholars/adam-s-miller> [Accessed 27 December 2020].

    Uchtdorf, D., 2020. Come, Join With Us. [online] Churchofjesuschrist.org. Available at: <https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2013/10/come-join-with-us?lang=eng> [Accessed 27 December 2020].

    Additional Resources

    For more about the history behind the Doctrine and Covenants 1, see Saints, 1:140-143


    Joseph’s Promise

    D&C 1:37 “Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.”

    “Search the Scriptures—search the revelations which we publish, and ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, to manifest the truth unto you, and if you do it with an eye single to His glory, nothing doubting, He will answer you by the power of His Holy Spirit. You will then know for yourself and not for another. You will not then be dependent on man for the knowledge of God; nor will there be any room for speculation.” (History of the Church, 1:282.)

    Guest Bio

    Anthony Sweat is an Associate Professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. He received his bachelor’s degree in painting and drawing and his PhD in curriculum and instruction. He is the author of several books, most recently Repicturing the Restoration. Anthony is a regular speaker at Latter-day Saint events and conferences. He and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of seven children.

    To see Dr. Sweat’s artwork, published work and more, please find it at:



    The Follow Him Podcast with Hank Smith and John Bytheway is not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nor Brigham Young University. The opinions expressed on episodes represent the views of the guest and podcasters alone. While the ideas presented may vary from traditional understandings or teachings, they in no way reflect criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day leaders, policies, or practices.

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