Learning to Love
Doctrine and Covenants

Section 92: The United Firm By Michael J. Preece

Section 92: The United Firm

See the commentary for sections 78 and 82. In this section, given March 15, 1833, the Lord directs that Frederick G. Williams be admitted into the United Firm. Recall that in section 90, Brother Williams was ordained a counselor to Joseph in the First Presidency, replacing Jesse Gause who apostatized and had been excommunicated three months earlier. As a member of the First Presidency, Brother Williams is virtually automatically admitted into the United Firm which is the mini-united order comprised of the leading brethren of the Church.

For many years the code name for Frederick G. Williams was Shederlaomach which was used for the reasons stated in the background materials for sections 78 and 82. The code names are removed from our current 1981 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.

1 Verily, thus saith the Lord, I give unto the united order, organized agreeable to the commandment previously given, a revelation and commandment concerning my servant Frederick G. Williams, that ye shall receive him into the order. What I say unto one I say unto all.

verse 1 “the united order” We have previously defined the expression “united order” as a group of people who are living the law of consecration and stewardship. Thus the term united order is perfectly appropriate here in referring to the leading brethren in the Church who belonged to the United Firm.

“organized agreeable to the commandment previously given” That is, D&C 78:11 and 82:11-20. See these verses and their commentary.

“What I say unto one I say unto all.” Though the revelation is given by the Lord and received only through the Prophet Joseph, the Lord’s counsel to receive Frederick G. Williams into the United Firm applies to all members of that order.

2 And again, I say unto you my servant Frederick G. Williams, you shall be a lively member in this order; and inasmuch as you are faithful in keeping all former commandments you shall be blessed forever. Amen.

verse 2 “you shall be a lively member in this order” In 1828 the term lively was an exact equivalent to our term active. It would not be enough for Brother Williams merely to be a member of the Church or of the United Firm. He was to be a “lively member,” that is, one active and involved. Since this is the “only true and living Church” (D&C 1:30) on the earth, its members (or its component parts) must be not only “true” but also “living”—or “lively.”

Brief Historical Setting

1833 May

One of the most important doctrinal revelations given in this generation was received in May 1833. It dealt with the great plan of salvation and the origin, nature, and destiny of man [D&C 93 -The Origin and Destiny of Man].

- Michael J. Preece