Lesson 50: Doctrine and Covenants 43–44

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual, 2013


Introduction

In February 1831, Joseph Smith arrived in Kirtland, Ohio. Upon his arrival, he found that the Saints in Kirtland had been deceived by false revelations. For example, a woman named Mrs. Hubble claimed to be a prophetess and to receive revelations for the Church. Concerned about the influences that had come among the Kirtland Saints, Joseph inquired of the Lord about what should be done. In response, he received the revelation that is now recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 43. In that revelation, the Lord instructed the Saints in what they needed to do to avoid being deceived. The revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 44 was also received in February 1831, giving instruction to the priesthood to preach the gospel and administer to the poor.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants 43:1–7

The Lord declares that revelations and commandments come only through His appointed prophet

Select two hymns for the class to sing. To help students understand the difficulty of following two different leaders at the same time, ask two students to stand at the front of the class and lead the class in singing the two hymns at the same time. After a few lines of both hymns, stop the singing and ask the following question:

  • Why is it difficult to follow two different leaders and songs at the same time?

Explain that in February 1831, a woman named Mrs. Hubble came among the Saints in Kirtland, Ohio. She claimed that she was a prophetess, that she received revelations for the Church, that she knew the Book of Mormon was true, and that she should become a teacher in the Church. She was able to deceive some of the Saints. Joseph Smith and others were concerned about her influence and about other false revelations among the Saints. The prophet decided to inquire of the Lord about what should be done, and he received a revelation. John Whitmer, who had also recently arrived in Kirtland, wrote, “The Lord gave [this] Revelation that the saints might not be deceived” (Documents, Volume 1: July 1828–June 1831, vol. 1 of the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers [2013], 257).

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Doctrine and Covenants 43:1–5. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the Lord’s explanation about who can receive revelation for the entire Church.

  • Who was appointed at that time to receive commandments and revelations for the entire Church? (Joseph Smith.) Who is appointed to that position today? (The President of the Church.)

  • What do we learn from these verses? (Students may use different words, but they should identify the following doctrine: Only the President of the Church can receive revelations for the entire Church. You may want to suggest that students write this truth in their scriptures next to verses 3–4. To emphasize the importance of this doctrine, invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 21:4–6; 28:2–7.)

Point out that like Mrs. Hubble and others in the early days of the Church, some people in our day seek to convince others to follow them and accept their teachings. Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 43:6–7 aloud. Ask the class to identify the pattern the Lord revealed to protect us from being deceived by those who are not authorized to lead the Church.

Doctrine and Covenants 43:8–16

The elders are commanded to instruct and edify one another and to become sanctified

Ask students to list on the board some meetings they attend as members of the Church. Then invite students to divide into pairs and discuss the following question:

  • What are some purposes of these meetings?

After students have discussed this question, you may want to ask a few of them to share their responses with the entire class. Then ask a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 43:8 aloud, and invite the class to identify what this verse teaches about the purposes of Church meetings.

  • What did the Lord say the elders of the Church are to do when they assemble? What does it mean to edify each other? (To build each other up and to strengthen each other.)

  • According to verse 8, what will we learn as we instruct and edify each other? (Students’ answers may vary, but they should express the following principle: When we assemble together, we are to instruct and edify one another so we can learn how to act and direct the Church.)

Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 43:9, 11 silently and identify what we are to do after we learn how to act.

  • What are we to do after we have been instructed in our Church meetings? (Students should identify the following principle: We are to bind ourselves to act on the knowledge we receive. You may want to suggest that students mark this principle in verse 9.)

  • According to these verses, how are we blessed as we receive knowledge and act on it? (As students discuss this question, be sure to emphasize the following principle: We become sanctified as we act on the truths we learn. You may also want to explain that to be sanctified is to be made holy, cleansed from sin.)

Draw the accompanying diagram on the board.

action from knowledge
  • What do you think it means to “bind [ourselves] to act”?

  • How does the knowledge we receive at Church meetings help us become sanctified?

Invite the class to think of the blessings they have received when they have acted on what they have learned in Church meetings. Ask a few students to share these experiences and to explain how they have been blessed for acting on what they have learned.

Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 43:12–14 by explaining that the Lord told the Saints that if they wanted to receive the truths of the gospel, they needed to sustain Joseph Smith in his calling.

Explain that the Lord revealed the truths in Doctrine and Covenants 43:15–16 to Latter-day Saints who were preparing to serve as missionaries. Then invite a student to read these verses aloud.

  • How do you think these verses apply to the work of full-time missionaries?

Doctrine and Covenants 43:17–35

God’s servants are to preach repentance in preparation for the Second Coming and the Millennium

Ask students to list activities or events that require careful preparation. Students may share several examples, such as full-time missions, sporting events, musical productions, assignments to teach at church, and tests at school.

  • How do you think people feel if they are unprepared when the time comes for them to participate in such activities?

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 43:17–18 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for an event that requires our preparation. (“The great day of the Lord,” or, in other words, the Second Coming.)

Divide students into pairs. Ask each pair to read Doctrine and Covenants 43:17–22 together, looking for what the Lord instructed the elders to do to help people prepare for the Second Coming. When the groups have had time to read, ask the class the following questions:

  • What did the Lord instruct the elders to teach? What truth can we learn from these verses? (Students should express that to prepare ourselves for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, we must repent. You may want to write this principle on the board.)

Remind students that the Lord has promised to gather His people like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings but that many people refuse to repent or prepare themselves for the Second Coming (see D&C 43:23–24; see also D&C 29:1–2 and lesson 35 in this manual).

Ask the pairs of students to read Doctrine and Covenants 43:25–27 together, looking for the different “voices” that the Lord has used to call people to come unto Him. After they have finished reading, ask the following questions:

  • What “voices” did you identify? Why do you think these different voices are needed?

Invite students to ponder the specific things they need to do to repent and prepare for the Second Coming. Then invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 43:28–31 aloud, and ask the class to look for the great event prophesied about in these verses.

  • What is the great event prophesied about in these verses? (The Millennium.)

  • What will happen during the Millennium? (Students should identify the following doctrine: During the Millennium, Satan will be bound and Jesus Christ will reign with His people on the earth. You may want to suggest that students mark words or phrases that teach this truth in verses 28–31. To help students better understand how Satan will be bound, consider inviting them to read 1 Nephi 22:26.)

Read aloud the following statement by President George Q. Cannon of the First Presidency, explaining how Satan will be bound during the Millennium:

President George Q. Cannon

“We talk about Satan being bound. Satan will be bound by the power of God; but he will be bound also by the determination of the people of God not to listen to him, not to be governed by him” (Gospel Truth: Discourses and Writings of President George Q. Cannon, comp. Jerreld L. Newquist, 2 vols. [1957–74], 1:86).

  • How can we prepare now to be counted among the righteous when the Savior comes again? (As students respond to this question, you may want to review and testify of the truths discussed in this lesson.)

Doctrine and Covenants 44

The Lord commands His servants to assemble together

Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 44:1–6 by explaining that the Lord directed the elders to gather for a conference. The Lord promised the elders that if they would be faithful and exercise faith in Him, He would pour out His Spirit upon them and bless them so their enemies would not have power over them. The Lord directed them to preach repentance, administer relief to the poor, and organize themselves according to the laws of the land.

scripture mastery icon Scripture Mastery Review

On the board, write the list of Basic Doctrines (see the appendix at the end of this manual). Also list some of the Doctrine and Covenants scripture mastery passages. You might consider writing references to the 11 passages that students have learned so far in this course. Invite students to draw lines from the references to Basic Doctrines that are related to those verses. (For example, they might draw lines from Joseph Smith—History 1:15–20 to “Godhead” and “Dispensation, Apostasy, and Restoration.”) Invite students to explain the connections they have made. Encourage them to continue to watch for how they can use scripture mastery passages to teach the basic doctrines of the gospel.

Note: You may use this activity as part of this lesson or on another day, when you have more time.

Commentary and Background Information

Doctrine and Covenants 43:6–7. “Him whom I have appointed”

President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged us to follow the counsel of the President of the Church and to not be led away by deceivers:

“‘I say unto you, that it shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church.’ (D&C 42:11.)

“There are some among us now who have not been regularly ordained by the heads of the Church who tell of impending political and economic chaos, the end of the world. …

“Those deceivers say that the Brethren do not know what is going on in the world or that the Brethren approve of their teaching but do not wish to speak of it over the pulpit. Neither is true. The Brethren, by virtue of traveling constantly everywhere on earth, certainly know what is going on, and by virtue of prophetic insight are able to read the signs of the times.

“Do not be deceived by them—those deceivers. If there is to be any gathering, it will be announced by those who have been regularly ordained and who are known to the Church to have authority.

“Come away from any others. Follow your leaders who have been duly ordained and have been publicly sustained, and you will not be led astray” (“To Be Learned Is Good If … ,” Ensign, Nov. 1992, 73). (See also Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, 2nd ed. [Church Educational System manual, 2001], 87.)

Doctrine and Covenants 43:7. “Come in at the gate”

The Lord said, “He that is ordained … shall come in at the gate” (D&C 43:7). President Joseph Fielding Smith explained this declaration:

“The Lord would have us know that he does all things in order, and whenever he calls one to lead the Church, that one will come in at the gate and be ordained by those who hold authority. It has been so from the beginning and will continue so to the end” (Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 1:138).

Doctrine and Covenants 43:22–31. The Second Coming, the Millennium, and “a little season”

The Lord said that toward the end of the Millennium, Satan will be “loosed again” but “shall only reign for a little season” (D&C 43:31). The following diagram is a visual organizer to help place “a little season” in context.

1000 years diagram

Supplemental Teaching Idea

Doctrine and Covenants 44:1–6. God commands His children to assemble together

Show students a picture of the Conference Center. Remind students that every six months in this building and other buildings throughout the world, Church members gather to hear from prophets and apostles and other Church leaders.

  • Why are general conference talks important to you?

Invite one or two students to share experiences they have had when conference talks have had an impact on their lives.

Write the following question on the board: Why has the Lord commanded us to hold conferences?

Invite a student to read the section introduction to Doctrine and Covenants 44, and ask the class to identify what the Lord told the elders to do. (The Lord commanded them to gather for a conference.)

Write the following scripture references on the board:

Assign each student one of these passages. Have them read their verses to find answers to the question written on the board, and then invite them to write their findings on the board next to their assigned scripture reference. Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 44:1–3 aloud, and ask students to look for additional reasons why the Lord wanted the Church to hold a conference.

  • What are some additional reasons why the Lord wants the Church to hold conferences?

To help students understand the importance of Church conferences, invite a student to read the following statement by President Spencer W. Kimball, given at the end of a general conference:

“We hope that the leaders and the members of the Church who have attended and listened to the conference have been inspired and uplifted. We hope you have made copious notes of the thoughts that have come to your mind as the Brethren have addressed you. Many suggestions have been given that will help you as leaders in the perfection of your work. Many helpful thoughts have been given for the perfection of our own lives, and that, of course, is the basic reason for our coming.

“While sitting here, I have made up my mind that when I go home from this conference this night there are many, many areas in my life that I can perfect. I have made a mental list of them, and I expect to go to work as soon as we get through with conference” (“Spoken from Their Hearts,” Ensign, Nov. 1975, 111).