Section 76 as Literature in the Doctrine and Covenants
Brigham Young University
Master of Arts
This project attempts to demonstrate the value of literary approaches to the Doctrine and Covenants, using a predominantly formalistic approach. To establish a foundation, the first chapter discusses the rich literary content of the Doctrine and Covenants, providing examples of the various literary genres represented in it, such as narrative, saga, parable, and poetry. The second chapter presents portions of Section 76 that contain features characteristic of Hebrew poetry, such as figures of speech and parallelism. The third chapter analyzes ways in which Section 76's poetic dimensions are illuminated by "The Vision," a 312-line poem attributed to Joseph Smith. The poetic version closely parallels the revelation and reveals insights into the poetic quality of Section 76. This study includes a line-by-line comparison of both the scriptural and poetic versions, and notes both textual similarities and differences between them.