Home-Study Lesson: Doctrine and Covenants 24–29:30 (Unit 7)

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual, 2013


Preparation Material for the Home-Study Teacher

Summary of Daily Home-Study Lessons

The following summary of the events, doctrines, and principles students learned about as they studied Doctrine and Covenants 24–29:30 (unit 7) is not intended to be taught as part of your lesson. The lesson you teach concentrates on only a few of these doctrines and principles. Follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit as you consider the needs of your students.

Day 1 (Doctrine and Covenants 24–26)

Through the Lord’s counsel to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery about responding to trials, students learned that we should be patient and endure our afflictions because the Lord is with us. As students studied the Lord’s counsel to Emma Smith about her role in the Church, they identified several principles and chose one to focus on that they felt would be applicable in their own lives. Finally, students studied the Lord’s declaration that all things are to be done by common consent in the Church and considered how they can better fulfill their commitments to support those who have been called and sustained to serve in their wards or branches.

Day 2 (Doctrine and Covenants 27)

As students studied Doctrine and Covenants 27, they learned that as we partake of the sacrament, we are to remember the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. They also learned that we are living in the dispensation of the fulness of times, which brings together all gospel keys, ordinances, and truths of past dispensations. In order to be able to withstand evil in our day, students were encouraged to take upon themselves the whole armor of God.

Day 3 (Doctrine and Covenants 28)

From the Savior’s counsel to Oliver Cowdery, students learned that in the Church of Jesus Christ, individual members do not receive revelation to direct someone who presides over them and that only the President of the Church will receive revelation for the whole Church. However, we may receive revelation for our own benefit and to help us in the callings and assignments we are given. Students also learned that Church leaders have the responsibility to correct those who are leading others astray and that in the Church of Jesus Christ, all things must be done in order.

Day 4 (Doctrine and Covenants 29:1–30)

From the Savior’s instruction about the Second Coming and the events following the Millennium, students learned that those who come to the Savior will be prepared for the trials and tribulations of the last days and will receive eternal life. This lesson also helped students understand that because Jesus Christ atoned for our sins and is our advocate with the Father, we can lift up our hearts and be glad.

Introduction

This lesson provides students with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the importance of putting on the whole armor of God. As students learn about each piece of the armor of God, they will have an opportunity to evaluate the strength of their armor and make changes as prompted by the Holy Ghost.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants 27:15–18

The Lord commands His people to put on the whole armor of God

Bring some type of protective equipment to class, such as protective sports equipment, safety glasses, medical gloves, a construction helmet, or a protective vest. Ask students to explain the purpose of the equipment and how it works to protect the wearer. Explain that while these things protect us physically, the Lord gave counsel to help protect us spiritually.

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 27:15 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord said we must do to be protected spiritually.

  • What do we need to do in order to be protected spiritually?

  • According to this verse, what did the Lord promise those who put on the whole armor of God?

Write the following principle on the board: If we take upon ourselves the whole armor of God, we will be able to withstand evil.

  • Why do you think it is important to put on the whole armor of God and not just a part of it?

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 27:16–18 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and identify each piece of spiritual armor we need to put on to be able to withstand evil. Invite a student to serve as scribe and list (or draw) the pieces of armor on the board as the class identifies them. (You may want to point out that the Apostle Paul also taught about the whole armor of God [see Ephesians 6:11–17].)

To help students understand the significance of the spiritual protection described in these verses, divide the class into small groups and assign each group one of the pieces of armor. Give each group a copy of the following statement by President Harold B. Lee and the following information and questions pertaining to their assigned piece of armor. Invite students to work within their groups to answer the questions for their assigned piece of armor and be prepared to share their answers with the class.

President Harold B. Lee

“We have the four parts of the body that the Apostle Paul said [are] the most vulnerable to the powers of darkness. The loins, typifying virtue, chastity. The heart typifying our conduct. Our feet, our goals or objectives in life and finally our head, our thoughts” (Harold B. Lee, Feet Shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [Nov. 9, 1954], 2).

“Loins girt about with truth” (see D&C 27:15–16):

President Lee said, “The loins is that part of the body between the lower rib and the hip into which you will recognize are the vital organs which have to do with reproduction” (Feet Shod, 2). To gird implies tying firmly with a belt.

  • Why do you think Satan attacks our purity, virtue, and chastity?

  • How do you think knowing God’s standard of morality can help us stay pure, virtuous, and chaste?

Scripture study helps gird us in truth and helps protect truth and chastity.

“Breastplate of righteousness” (D&C 27:16):

  • According to President Lee, what does the breastplate protect?

  • How do you think the righteousness of our hearts (our desires) influences our ability to fight our spiritual battles?

“Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (D&C 27:16):

Having your feet “shod” means wearing shoes or protection on your feet.

  • According to President Lee, what do our feet represent?

  • How does Satan attack our goals and objectives in life?

  • What has God given us to “hold to” in order to help us keep our feet moving along the path of life toward our goals? (See 1 Nephi 8:24.)

  • How can focusing on righteous goals and objectives help us overcome temptation?

“The shield of faith” (D&C 27:17):

  • What do you think it means to “quench all the fiery darts [temptations] of the wicked”?

  • How has your faith shielded and protected you?

“The helmet of salvation” (D&C 27:18):

  • According to President Lee, what is protected when our head is covered?

  • Why is it important to protect our thoughts?

  • How does Satan attack our thoughts?

  • What specific things can we do to protect our thoughts?

“The sword of my Spirit” (D&C 27:18):

  • How can the Spirit help us overcome Satan’s attacks?

  • What advantage does having the Spirit give us in our fight against evil?

  • How does the word of God help us use the sword of the Spirit?

  • What can you do to invite the Spirit into your life more?

After students have reported their answers, read the following statement by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and ask students to listen for how we put on and strengthen the armor of God:

Elder M. Russell Ballard

“I like to think of this spiritual armor not as a solid piece of metal molded to fit the body but more like chain mail. Chain mail consists of dozens of tiny pieces of steel fastened together to allow the user greater flexibility without losing protection. I say that because it has been my experience that there is not one great and grand thing we can do to arm ourselves spiritually. True spiritual power lies in numerous smaller acts woven together in a fabric of spiritual fortification that protects and shields from all evil” (“Be Strong in the Lord,” Ensign, July 2004, 8).

  • What are some small acts that, combined in their strength, will help protect us against temptation and evil?

Invite students to look back at the opening lines of Doctrine and Covenants 27:15.

  • What attitude should we have as we put on the armor of God? (We should “lift up [our] hearts and rejoice.”) Why should we have this attitude?

  • What scripture mastery passage did you learn about this week that also counsels us to lift up our hearts and rejoice? (D&C 25:13. Consider inviting students to repeat it together or recite it from memory.)

  • How can following the command in Doctrine and Covenants 25:13 to cleave to our covenants with Heavenly Father protect us from Satan?

Ask students to consider what they have learned in today’s lesson, and invite them to choose one specific thing they can do to better put on the armor of God. Encourage them to write what they will do on a piece of paper that they can refer to often as a reminder of their commitment.

To conclude this lesson, invite a few students to share their testimonies of the truths taught in the lesson.

Next Unit (Doctrine and Covenants 29:31–50; 30–35)

How many of Heavenly Father’s children were cast out of heaven in the pre-earth life? Why were they cast out? What does it mean to “thrash [thresh] the nations”? In the next unit, students will learn the answers to these questions. They will also learn about early Church members who were called to “thrash [thresh] the nations by the power of [the] Spirit” (D&C 35:13).