The teaching materials for the learning experience on “Prophets and Revelation” are divided into three parts. In part 2, students will study paragraphs 5.3 through 5.5 in the doctrinal topic using the information in the Doctrinal Mastery Core Document. They will learn about how we are blessed when we obey the prophets, and they will also study the doctrinal mastery passage found in Doctrine and Covenants 21:4–6. The teaching ideas in this lesson are scheduled to take only 20 minutes. For the remainder of the time, consider teaching lesson material that you felt you were not able to cover sufficiently. You could also use the time to review content from Doctrinal Mastery lessons or move ahead in your sequential scripture lessons.
Show the photograph Sustaining in Conference, available at lds.org/media-library. Invite students to explain what is happening in the picture.
What do you think it means to sustain the prophet?
Invite a student to read the following statement by President Russell M. Nelson. Ask the class to listen for what President Nelson taught about sustaining prophets.
“Our sustaining of prophets is a personal commitment that we will do our utmost to uphold their prophetic priorities. Our sustaining is an oath-like indication that we recognize their calling as a prophet to be legitimate and binding upon us” (Russell M. Nelson, “Sustaining the Prophets,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 75).
What did President Nelson teach about sustaining prophets?
Invite a student to read aloud paragraph 5.3 in the Doctrinal Mastery Core Document. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what this paragraph teaches about sustaining the prophet. Ask students to report what they find.
What do we sustain the President of the Church as?
Which sentence in this paragraph explains the blessings we receive from sustaining the prophet?
Invite students to mark the following key statement of doctrine in their copies of the Doctrinal Mastery Core Document: If we faithfully receive and obey the teachings of the President of the Church, God will bless us to overcome deception and evil.
What do you think it means to “receive and obey the teachings of the President of the Church”?
Which doctrinal mastery passage helps teach this truth? (Invite students to consider marking D&C 21:4–6 in a distinctive way so they will be able to locate it easily.)
To help students understand the context of this scripture, explain that Doctrine and Covenants 21 was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith on April 6, 1830—the day the Church was officially organized. Those present at the organization of the Church voted to accept, or sustain, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery as the presiding officers of the Church.
Invite several students to take turns reading Doctrine and Covenants 21:4–6 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how this doctrinal mastery passage helps teach the key statement of doctrine they marked in paragraph 5.3. Ask students to report what they find.
How should we receive a prophet’s words? (As if they are from God’s own mouth.)
How will this help us overcome deception and evil?
Why do you think patience and faith are required to receive the blessings the Lord promises to those who obey a prophet?
What do you think it means that the Lord will “disperse the powers of darkness from before [us]” (D&C 21:6) as we follow His prophet?
To help students understand what it might mean to “disperse the powers of darkness,” show them a small flashlight, or draw one on the board.
If you were somewhere very dark, such as inside a cave, what difference would having even a small flashlight make?
How can following a prophet help us remove spiritual darkness from our lives?
Consider asking students to record in their study journals some blessings they have received by sustaining the prophet. You may also consider inviting them to write in their study journals about what they are currently doing to sustain and follow the prophet and how they might do that better. Invite a few students to share what they wrote with the rest of the class, if they feel comfortable doing so.
Note: The following review activities are not intended to be taught during the same class session as this lesson—“Prophets and Revelation, Part 2.” Please present these activities during seminary class sessions that take place after you have taught this lesson, but before you teach “Prophets and Revelation, Part 3.” These short reviews can be taught at the beginning or end of classes in which you teach a regular sequential scripture lesson from the Doctrine and Covenants. Be sure that these reviews take no longer than five minutes each, so as not to take away from the scripture block students will be studying in class.
Write the following key statement of doctrine on the board: If we faithfully receive and obey the teachings of the President of the Church, God will bless us to overcome deception and evil.
What doctrinal mastery passage helps teach this statement? (After students locate D&C 21:4–6, write this reference on the board.)
Invite students to turn to Doctrine and Covenants 21:4–6, and ask the class to recite these verses aloud. Ask students for ideas they have about how they can remember the content and reference for this doctrinal mastery passage.
Invite the class to recite the key statement of doctrine and the scripture reference that you wrote on the board. When you feel that students are familiar with both the key statement of doctrine and the scripture reference, erase several words and ask them to recite these again. Continue to erase words and have students recite the statement of doctrine and the scripture reference until the majority of the words have been erased.
Write Doctrine and Covenants 1:37–38 and Doctrine and Covenants 21:4–6 on the board. Divide the class into two groups, and assign each group one of these doctrinal mastery passages. Invite both groups to look in doctrinal topic 5, “Prophets and Revelation,” in their Doctrinal Mastery Core Document for the key statement of doctrine that their assigned passage helps teach. When all of the team members have found that key statement of doctrine, invite one of them to write it on the board under the correct doctrinal mastery passage scripture reference.
Invite students to turn to Doctrine and Covenants 1:37–38 in their scriptures, and ask them to look for words or phrases that might help them remember what the scripture says. Invite a student to come to the front of the class to act as a scribe, and ask the class to share what words or phrases they find that might help them remember Doctrine and Covenants 1:37–38. Invite the scribe to write students’ responses on the board. Do this same activity with Doctrine and Covenants 21:4–6.