During this lesson students will study primarily from Doctrine and Covenants 10, which was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith after the loss of the 116 Book of Mormon manuscript pages. Prior to this revelation Moroni had taken the plates and the Urim and Thummim from Joseph Smith and the Prophet had lost the power to translate for a season. After the plates were returned, the Lord commanded Joseph not to retranslate the portion of the plates corresponding to the lost manuscript pages. The Lord also revealed Satan’s plot to destroy the work and taught how we can overcome Satan.
Invite a student to explain the circumstances surrounding the loss of the 116 manuscript pages. Then discuss the following questions:
From what you learned studying Doctrine and Covenants 3, why do you think Joseph Smith persisted in asking God the same question even after receiving a clear answer?
What do you think Joseph Smith learned from this experience?
What truths did you learn from Joseph’s experience that can help you when you experience pressure from others to do something that is not right?
Display a snare or trap (or draw a picture of one on the board). Ask a few students to summarize what they learned from their study of Doctrine and Covenants 10 about how Satan intended to trap Joseph Smith with the 116 lost manuscript pages.
Explain that in Doctrine and Covenants 10:20–29 the Lord described those who gave in to Satan’s influence to take the 116 pages of manuscript and how Satan was able to trap them.
Divide students into pairs. Ask one student in each pair to read Doctrine and Covenants 10:20–29 silently, looking for what these verses teach about Satan’s aims. Ask the other student to read the same verses, looking for how Satan seeks to accomplish his aims. When they have finished, invite the students in each pair to report to each other. After sufficient time, ask the class the following questions:
What can we learn from Doctrine and Covenants 10:20–29 about Satan’s purposes? (Students may identify a variety of principles, but make sure they understand that Satan desires to destroy the work of the Lord and our souls. You may want to write this doctrine on the board. You may also want to suggest that students mark the words and phrases that teach this truth in verses 22–23 and 27.)
From what you read in these verses, how does Satan seek to destroy the work of the Lord and our souls? (He uses tools such as deception, anger, flattery, and lying. You may want to suggest that students mark these tools of the adversary in their scriptures.)
To help students understand and feel the importance of this truth, invite them to discuss the following questions with their partners (you may want to write these questions on the board or prepare a handout before class):
What evidence have you seen that Satan still uses deception, anger, flattery, and lying to destroy the work of the Lord and the souls of men?
How can being aware of Satan’s intentions and methods help us avoid and escape his traps?
Invite students to ponder which methods of the adversary listed in Doctrine and Covenants 10:20–29 they have felt or seen, as well as what they can do to avoid or escape Satan’s traps.
Explain that in this revelation, the Lord gave a commandment and a promise regarding our efforts to avoid Satan’s influence. Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 10:5 aloud, and ask the class to look for both the Lord’s commandment and His promise.
Write the following on the board: As we , we will have power to .
Ask students: How would you complete this principle according to verse 5? (Students may identify a variety of principles, but be sure to emphasize that as we pray always, we will have power to overcome Satan and those who serve him.)
Ask students to review Doctrine and Covenants 10:38–45. Then invite a student to explain how the Lord compensated for the loss of the 116 manuscript pages.
Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 10:43 silently, looking for an important truth the Lord wanted Joseph Smith to understand. (As students share their ideas, write the following doctrine on the board: The wisdom of God is greater than the cunning of the devil. You may need to explain that cunning refers to the use of tricks to deceive people.)
Ask the following questions:
How does the Lord’s plan to replace the lost manuscript illustrate this truth?
How does it help you to know that God’s wisdom is greater than Satan’s cunning?
Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 10:44–45, looking for further evidence of the truth written on the board.
According to Doctrine and Covenants 10:44–45, why were the small plates of greater worth than Mormon’s abridgment of the large plates that was in the lost 116 pages? (The small plates contained a firsthand account of spiritual things. The lost 116 pages contained an abridged account of historical events.)
How does knowing that God prepared a way to compensate for the 116 lost manuscript pages help you more fully trust in Him?
Invite students to briefly report some of the truths about personal revelation that they learned while studying Doctrine and Covenants 6. Invite them to ponder experiences when they have felt their minds enlightened and felt peaceful about something they were praying about. Invite a few students to share their experiences with the class.
Remind students that as part of their study of the scripture mastery passage in Doctrine and Covenants 6:36, they wrote a short talk describing ways to live the counsel the Lord gave in that verse. Invite them to read aloud in unison Doctrine and Covenants 6:36. You could repeat this to help them memorize it. Then ask a few students who feel comfortable sharing their talks to do so. You may want to share your testimony about how the Lord has helped you overcome doubt or fear in the past.
What is the spirit of revelation? How do you recognize when you are receiving revelation from God? Explain that in the next unit, students will learn about principles of revelation that will bless them as they seek guidance from God in their lives.