On January 21, 1836, the Prophet Joseph Smith saw a vision in the Kirtland Temple. He said of this experience: “I saw the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb, who are now upon the earth, who hold the keys of this last ministry, in foreign lands, standing together in a circle, much fatigued, with their clothes tattered and feet swollen, with their eyes cast downward, and Jesus standing in their midst, and they did not behold Him. The Savior looked upon them and wept” (History of the Church, 2:381). Though missionary work can be challenging, there can also be great successes.
On July 8, 1838, over two years after this vision of the Twelve, the Lord instructed the Apostles to assemble in Far West, Missouri, and “depart to go over the great waters, and there promulgate my gospel” (D&C 118:4).
“In the fall of 1839, members of the Twelve departed for England, where they arrived in early 1840. In twelve short months these stalwart missionaries were instrumental in converting literally thousands to the Church.
“On Thursday, 1 July 1841, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and John Taylor arrived in Nauvoo, Illinois, from their British Mission. Section 126, received the following week, commended Elder Young for his service in the kingdom” (Lyndon W. Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith , 283).
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
The Lord accepts the righteous offering of those who labor diligently for Him (see D&C 126).
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 313–14.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 126. The Lord accepts the righteous offering of those who labor diligently for Him.
Show a video of a returning missionary, or have students describe their family’s experience when a missionary returned home. Ask: How do you think you might feel returning to your family after serving an honorable mission? Read Doctrine and Covenants 126 and ask:
What did the Lord tell Brigham Young about his offering?
What did Brigham Young do to merit the Lord’s approval? (see the introduction to section 126 above).
How would you like to hear the Lord say this about you?
What command did the Lord give Brigham Young at this time?
How important are families to the Lord?
Show a picture of Brigham Young (see Gospel Art Picture Kit,
Why do you think Brigham Young deserved these words from the Lord?
How can you prepare yourself to serve with the same dedication as Brigham Young?
Remind students of the importance of families, and ask: Why does the Lord ask every worthy young man and many young women to leave their families to serve full-time missions? Have them read Matthew 10:37–39; Doctrine and Covenants 18:10–16 for the answer. Ask:
How can leaving your family to serve the Lord actually strengthen your family?
What counsel has the Lord given that shows His love for families? (Answers might include family home evening, family prayer, family scripture study.)
What can you do to help your father and mother fill their calling as parents?
What can you do now to prepare to be a good parent?
Testify that the Lord needs us to serve in various callings in the Church. But, as with Brigham Young, we must “take especial care” of our families. Share the following statement from “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”:
“The family is ordained of God. … By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve said:
“You are a chosen generation—saved for this special time in the history of mankind. You have so much to give to add to the growth and development of the families to which you belong. I challenge you to step forward in your family units with that special, enthusiastic spirit of your youth to make the gospel really live in your homes” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1994, 50; or Ensign, May 1994, 38).