If you are ever bored, just pick up the Doctrine and Covenants and read something, and then try to fit it into our modern church practice. Of course sections 89 (Word of Wisdom) and 132 (polygamy) are easy targets, but lets look at section 107 today.

21 Of necessity there are presidents, or presiding officers growing out of, or appointed of or from among those who are ordained to the several offices in these two priesthoods.

22 Of the Melchizedek Priesthood, three Presiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church.

This is pretty straight forward, and what the church has today, a First Presidency. But now things get interesting.

23 The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.

24 And they form a quorum, equal in authority and power to the three presidents previously mentioned.

Equal in Authority? When was the last time the Q12 issued a proclamation, or did anything on their own without First Presidency approval? But wait, there is more!

25 The Seventy are also called to preach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.

26 And they form a quorum, equal in authority to that of the Twelve special witnesses or Apostles just named.

So, the Q70 is equal in Authority to the Q12! If we apply the transitive property of equality then the Q70 is equal in authority to the FP (a=b, b=c, then it follows that a=c)

Have you ever seen the Q70 exercise this authority? And who holds the trump card? They all do jointly!

32 And in case that any decision of these quorums is made in unrighteousness, it may be brought before a general assembly of the several quorums, which constitute the spiritual authorities of the church; otherwise there can be no appeal from their decision.

The “spiritual authorities of the church” is a general assembly of the quorums (FP, Q12, Q70), and meeting together they can resolve disputes. Maybe they had such an assembly two years ago, and they voted to overrule the FP on the LGBTQ Exclusion policy?

Keep reading, it gets better.

36 The standing high councils, at the stakes of Zion, form a quorum equal in authority in the affairs of the church, in all their decisions, to the quorum of the presidency, or to the traveling high council.

This gets a little confusing, but as I see it, the standing high councils are the ones that each Stake currently has. The traveling high council is the Q12, and the standing high council is the one that each stake has. The word council is plural, meaning there are more than one. Also section 102 tells about the organization of the standing high council, and verse 12 says “Whenever a high council of the church of Christ is regularly organized, according to the foregoing pattern,….” I understand this to mean that there will be multiple standing high councils, just like we have today.

These standing high councils are equal in authority to the quorum of the presidency (FP), and to the traveling high council (Q12). How would that even work? I mean it is in our canonized scripture, which we accept as the word of God, but there is no way every Stake High Council could be equal to the FP and Q12. Maybe when there was was a hand full of stakes this could work, but the Lord obviously didn’t foresee that there would be thousands of stakes.

What do you think of this? [1] Is it time for the D&C to be retired? Is there a mechanism in our Church to “de-canonize” something? It happened once before in 1921 when all of the “Doctrine” in the Doctrine and Covenants (i.e the Lectures on Faith) were removed. Is it time to de-canonize large portions of the D&C?

[1] To put my apologetic hat, they may all be “equal in authority”, but the FP “presides” over the Q12, and the Q12 presides over the Q70, and they all preside over the standing high councils. Just like a husband and wife are equal in authority, but the husband presides. Is this a valid argument?