Lesson 71: Doctrine and Covenants 65

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual, 2013


Introduction

On September 12, 1831, Joseph Smith and his family moved from Kirtland, Ohio, to Hiram, Ohio, about 30 miles southeast of Kirtland. They made this move in response to counsel from the Lord (see D&C 63:65). The Prophet and his family moved in with the family of John and Alice Johnson, recent converts to the Church. A major reason for moving from Kirtland was to resume work on the inspired translation of the Bible. Once in Hiram, Joseph recommenced that work. On October 30, 1831, Joseph Smith received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 65. In this revelation, the Lord taught that the gospel will go to every nation in preparation for the Second Coming of the Savior and that the Saints are to pray for the growth of the kingdom of God.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants 65

The Lord declares that the gospel will fill the whole earth

Invite students to list in their class notebooks or scripture study journals some things they regularly pray for. You might ask a few students to share what they have written if they feel comfortable doing so.

Invite a student to read the section introduction to Doctrine and Covenants 65 aloud. Explain that in this revelation, the Lord tells us something we should pray for—particularly as we witness the fulfillment of events prophesied to occur in the latter days.

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 65:1–2 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how the Lord describes the spreading of the gospel.

  • Where will the gospel of Jesus Christ go? (Students should identify the following doctrine: The gospel of Jesus Christ will go forth to the ends of the earth. Write this doctrine on the board.)

  • According to verse 2, what has the Lord “committed unto man” that enables the gospel to fill the whole earth? (The keys of the kingdom of God. You may need to remind students that the phrase “keys of the kingdom” refers to the priesthood authority to preside in the Church. With these keys, the President of the Church leads our efforts to preach the gospel. He delegates some of the keys to general and local priesthood leaders.)

Daniel Interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

Show students the picture Daniel Interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream (Gospel Art Book [2009], no. 24; see also LDS.org). Invite students to explain what they know about Daniel’s interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. (You might consider reading or summarizing Daniel 2:31–45. Help students understand that King Nebuchadnezzar had been troubled by a dream and that the Lord revealed the dream and its meaning to Daniel. In the dream, a great statue, which represented various political kingdoms, was destroyed by a stone cut without hands from a mountain. The stone started small but grew until it filled the whole earth.)

  • According to Doctrine and Covenants 65:2, what is the stone that is cut out of the mountain without hands? (The kingdom of God. Explain that in this verse, the phrase “kingdom of God” refers to the kingdom of God on the earth—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You may want to suggest that students write this explanation in their scriptures near verse 2.)

If possible, provide students with a copy of the following statement so they can place it in their scriptures. If this is not possible, you may want to write the statement on the board before class and invite students to write it in their class notebooks or scripture study journals. Invite a student to read the statement aloud.

President Gordon B. Hinckley said:

President Gordon B. Hinckley

“We are citizens in the greatest kingdom on earth—a kingdom not directed by the wisdom of men but led by the Lord Jesus Christ. Its presence is real. Its destiny is certain. This is the kingdom of which the prophet Daniel spoke—a stone, as it were, that should be cut out of the mountain without hands and roll forth and fill the earth. (See Dan. 2:34–35.)

“No mortal man created this kingdom” (“Pillars of Truth,” Ensign, Jan. 1994, 4).

  • What evidence do you see that Daniel’s prophecy is being fulfilled today?

  • How does this evidence strengthen your testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

  • What does it mean to you to be part of the kingdom of God on the earth?

Read aloud the following statement by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Before you read, tell students that you are going to stop reading in the middle of the final sentence of the statement. Ask them to listen closely and think about how they might complete the final sentence.

Elder Neil L. Andersen

“Have you ever thought about why you were sent to earth at this specific time? You were not born during the time of Adam and Eve or while pharaohs ruled Egypt or during the Ming dynasty. You have come to earth at this time, 20 centuries after the first coming of Christ. The priesthood of God has been restored to the earth, and the Lord has set His hand to prepare the world for His glorious return. These are days of great opportunity and important responsibilities. These are your days. … One of your important responsibilities is to …” (“Preparing the World for the Second Coming,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 49).

Invite a few students to say how they would complete the final sentence of Elder Andersen’s statement. Then invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 65:3 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the Lord’s command to us as members of His kingdom.

  • What does it mean that we are to prepare the way of the Lord and the supper of the Lamb and make ready for the Bridegroom? (These phrases refer to the responsibility to prepare the world for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.)

Write the following truth on the board: We have a responsibility to prepare ourselves and others for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. You may want to suggest that students write this truth in their scriptures near Doctrine and Covenants 65:3. Explain that Elder Neil L. Andersen testified of this truth. Read the complete final sentence from his statement: “One of your important responsibilities is to help prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Savior” (“Preparing the World,” 49).

  • As you think about your responsibility to prepare yourself and others for the Second Coming, what thoughts and feelings do you have?

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 65:4 aloud, and ask the class to look for what we can do to prepare ourselves and others for the Second Coming. Ask students to report what they find.

  • In what ways can we “make known [the Lord’s] wonderful works among the people”?

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 65:5–6 aloud, and ask the class to look for things we should pray for.

  • According to these verses, what should we pray for as we prepare for the Second Coming? (As students respond to this question, you may want to invite them to compare verse 6 with the words of the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:10.)

  • How might praying for these things help us prepare ourselves and others for the Second Coming?

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Thomas S. Monson, and ask the class to listen for something we should include in our prayers.

President Thomas S. Monson

“I would ask that your faith and prayers continue to be offered in behalf of those areas where our influence is limited and where we are not allowed to share the gospel freely at this time. Miracles can occur as we do so” (“Welcome to Conference,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 6).

  • According to President Monson, what should we be praying for? How will these prayers help prepare the way for the Second Coming?

Ask the class to return to Doctrine and Covenants 65:1–2, and ask a student to read these verses aloud.

  • In what ways do we participate in the Lord’s work to fill the earth with His gospel? (As students respond to this question, help them see that they may participate in this work as full-time missionaries. Also help them see that they participate in this work now, through their influence in their homes, their wards and branches, their schools, and their communities.)

Encourage students to prepare themselves and others for the Second Coming.

scripture mastery iconScripture Mastery Review

At this point in the year, students have learned 15 scripture mastery passages from the Doctrine and Covenants and Joseph Smith—History. The purpose of this scripture mastery activity is to help students remember and locate those passages. Using the Doctrine and Covenants bookmark or the Doctrine and Covenants scripture mastery cards, choose one of the first 15 scripture mastery key phrases and read it to the students. (If you do not have the bookmark or the cards, refer to the scripture mastery list in the appendix at the end of this manual and prepare key phrases of your own.) Invite students to locate the scripture mastery passage associated with the phrase. Continue this process until you have reviewed the first 15 scripture mastery passages.

To add variety to this activity, you could see how many students can locate the passage in a certain amount of time—for example, 10 seconds. Or you could see how long it takes for everyone in the class to locate a passage. A few days later, you could use the same activity to see if they can improve their time as a class. Additional ideas for scripture mastery review are found in the appendix at the end of this manual.

Commentary and Background Information

Doctrine and Covenants 65. “That the kingdom of heaven may come”

An early manuscript of the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 65 includes the following words of introduction: “A revelation of Joseph the Seer 30 October 1831 on the 6th Matthew 10 verse” (William E. McLellin copy of Revelation, Oct. 30, 1831 [D&C 65], in William E. McLellin Papers, 1831–1878, Church History Library). Matthew 6:10 contains part of the Lord’s prayer: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” The revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 65 shows different ways the Lord’s kingdom has come to the earth and will continue to go forth. And it ends with words that are similar to the final words in the Lord’s Prayer: “For thine is the honor, power and glory, forever and ever. Amen” (D&C 65:6; see also Matthew 6:13).

Doctrine and Covenants 65:2. “Until it has filled the whole earth”

Although the Church was very small for the first few years after it was organized, Joseph Smith had a prophetic sense of its grand destiny. Wilford Woodruff told of a declaration the Prophet made at a priesthood meeting in Kirtland, Ohio, in April 1834:

“The Prophet called on all who held the Priesthood to gather into the little log school house they had there. It was a small house, perhaps 14 feet square. But it held the whole of the Priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who were then in the town of Kirtland. … When we got together the Prophet called upon the Elders of Israel with him to bear testimony of this work. … When they got through the Prophet said, ‘Brethren, I have been very much edified and instructed in your testimonies here tonight, but I want to say to you before the Lord, that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and kingdom than a babe upon its mother’s lap. You don’t comprehend it.’ I was rather surprised. He said, ‘It is only a little handful of Priesthood you see here tonight, but this Church will fill North and South America—it will fill the world’” (in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 137).

Supplemental Teaching Idea

Doctrine and Covenants 65:2. “Until it has filled the whole earth”

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 65:2 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the Lord’s words about the destiny of the Church.

  • How did the Lord describe the destiny of the Church?

To help students understand the destiny of the Church, show the portion of the video Ensign to the Nations in which Joseph Smith testifies that the Church will fill the world. To show how that prophecy is being fulfilled, consider showing the portion of the same video in which the growth of the Church is illustrated by the number of stakes at different times in history. (If the video is not available, consider showing the Church’s growth statistics, which can be found in the May Ensign or Liahona each year or on mormonnewsroom.org.)