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Stone Cut Out Without Hands - Insight Into D&C 65

TitleStone Cut Out Without Hands - Insight Into D&C 65
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsBlack, Susan Easton
Book TitleRestoration Voices Volume 2: Insights and Stories of the Doctrine and Covenants
Number of Volumes2
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

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Stone Cut Out Without Hands

D&C 65:2

In October 1831, while residing in the John Johnson home in Hiram, Ohio, Joseph received this revelation, which he designated as a “prayer.” In the revelation, the Prophet was told, “The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountains without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth” (D&C 65:2).

The reference to “the stone which is cut out of the mountains without hands” has been spoken of by every prophet in this dispensation in relation to the growth of the Church. The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “I calculate to be one of the instruments of setting up the kingdom of Daniel by the word of the Lord, and I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world” (Daniel 2:34).[1]

In reminiscing over his lifetime in the Church, President Spencer W. Kimball said in his April 1976 general conference address,

We now have members of the Church in sixty-six countries, and we teach the gospel in most of these lands. We have 23,000 plus missionaries, over 2,000 of them local boys and girls from the nations which they teach.

When I was made president of a stake in 1938, it was the 124th stake in the world, whereas now we have 750 stakes; and whereas we had only a little more than a score of missions when I filled my mission, we now have 134.

We envelop much of the vast world which we inhabit with congregations in South America, the Orient, the South Seas, South Africa, Europe, and many other places. There are numerous tens of thousands of people who find each year that the gospel is satisfying to their spiritual needs, and we bring in great numbers of people. ...

Our work for the dead has greatly increased, and with 16 temples the work continues unabated and ever increasing. New temples have been announced for São Paulo, Brazil; Tokyo, Japan; Seattle, Washington. There will be additional edifices built for the continuation of this great work for the living and for the dead.[2]

Then President Kimball went on to tell the story of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and Daniel’s interpretation of “a stone was cut out without hands” (Daniel 2:34).

President Gordon B. Hinckley said in his general conference address in October 2007:

The Church has become one large family scattered across the earth. There are now more than 13 million of us in 176 nations and territories. A marvelous and wonderful thing is coming to pass. The Lord is fulfilling His promise that His gospel shall be as the stone cut out of the mountain without hands which would roll forth and fill the whole earth, as Daniel saw in vision (see Daniel 2:31–45; D&C 65:2). A great miracle is taking place right before our eyes. ...

When the Church was organized in 1830 there were but six members, only a handful of believers, all residing in a largely unknown village. Today, we have become the fourth or fifth largest church in North America, with congregations in every city of any consequence. Stakes of Zion today flourish in every state of the United States, in every province of Canada, in every state of Mexico, in every nation of Central America and throughout South America.

Congregations are found throughout the British Isles and Europe, where thousands have joined the Church through the years. This work has reached out to the Baltic nations and on down through Bulgaria and Albania and other areas of that part of the world. It reaches across the vast area of Russia. It reaches up into Mongolia and all down through the nations of Asia into the islands of the Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand, and into India and Indonesia. It is flourishing in many of the nations of Africa.

Our general conferences are carried by satellite and other means in 92 different languages. And this is only the beginning.[3]

In 2019 the Church reported a membership of 16,565,036. There were 3,437 stakes; 67,021 full-time missionaries; 31,333 Church-service missionaries; and 167 temples in operation.

Elder James E. Faust explained how the stone was able to roll forth in such a majestic wonder:

It has been said that this church does not necessarily attract great people but more often makes ordinary people great. Many nameless people with gifts equal only to five loaves and two small fishes magnify their callings and serve without attention or recognition, feeding literally thousands. In large measure, they make possible the fulfillment of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream that the latter-day gospel of Christ would be like a stone cut out of the mountains without hands, rolling forth until it fills the whole earth (see Daniel 2:34–35; D&C 65:2). These are the hundreds of thousands of leaders and teachers in all of the auxiliaries and priesthood quorums, the home teachers, the Relief Society visiting teachers.[4]

[1] History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844], Document Transcript. Joseph Smith Papers.

[2] Spencer W. Kimball, “The Stone Cut without Hands,” General Conference, April 1976.

[3] Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain,” Ensign (November 2007).

[4] James E. Faust, “Five Loaves and Two Fishes,” Ensign (May 1994), 5.


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Scripture Reference

Doctrine and Covenants 65:2