Data on the Doctrine and Covenants

The Doctrine and Covenants is one of my favorite books of scriptures. I think it is fascinating and compeltely awesome that we keep adding scripture to our canon.

Recently a friend and I were talking, and I became curious about what some of the data would look like in regards to this book. To begin, I wanted to find out on average how often a new section is added, the longest time we’ve gone without adding to it, and which years we added the most to it.

I found that I really should split this into two different perspectives: including Joseph Smith Jr.’s revelations and not including his revelations. His era skews a lot of the data, and I’ll go over why in just a moment.

With Joseph Smith Jr. Era

Side note: If a year had multiple sections canonized, I am considering it 0 years between canonization for those.

Average length between sections: 3.016666667 years

Longest time between sections: 37 years, 7 months, 24 days (excluding the end date) (Between most of Joseph Smith Jr’s revelations and D&C 117)

Most sections in a year: 1835 with 104 (most of Joseph Smith Jr’s original revelations)

Prophet who gave the most sections: Joseph Smith Jr.

The reason I am splitting this article into 2 sections is because 104 sections were canonized on August 17th, 1835. That alone represents about 65% of the D&C. In order to view things with a little less skewing, I think tis important to have a perspective that omits this era.

Without Joseph Smith Jr. Era

Average length between sections: 2.423728814 years

Longest time between sections: 6 years, 11 months, 27 days (excluding the end date) (between D&C 135 and 136) However, unless a new section is added in 2023 then the longest it will be between D&C 165 and 166.

Most sections in a year: 1970 with 6 (See World Conference Resolution #1080 which formally canonized sections that previously had not undergone the proper canonization process)

Prophet who gave the most sections: Joseph Smith III (17 sections) (excluding sections added via the WCR #1080)

Other data I’ll get around to

This article will definitely be a work in progress, so check back every once in a while! Here some things I’d like to find out:

  • Average length between a section first being documented and it being canonized
  • Average date a section is first documented
  • Average date a section is canonized
  • Most unique place a section has been given
  • Most unique place a section has been canonized
  • Most common place a section has been given
  • Most common place a section has been canonized
  • Longest section
  • Shortest section
  • Most unique word
  • Most common word

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