Why James Covel Failed to Obey the Word of the Lord
Doctrine and Covenants 40:1–3
1 Behold, verily I say unto you, that the heart of my servant James Covel was right before me, for he covenanted with me that he would obey my word.
2 And he received the word with gladness, but straightway Satan tempted him; and the fear of persecution and the cares of the world caused him to reject the word.
3 Wherefore he broke my covenant, and it remaineth with me to do with him as seemeth me good. Amen.
President Joseph Fielding Smith said:
“The Lord will reveal the truth once; then when this testimony has been given, the person should accept the truth and receive the gospel by baptism and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. . . . Cornelius received a manifestation in strict conformity to the instruction given by Moroni, and had he turned away there would have been no further light or direction for him. The Spirit of the Lord will not argue with men, nor abide in them, except they yield obedience to the Lord’s commandments.”
(Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. [1957–66], 3:29.)