Home-Study Lesson: Doctrine and Covenants 84–87 (Unit   18)

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 84–87 (unit 18) 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 84:1–42)

Students studied a revelation about the temple to be built in the New Jerusalem, and they also read about Moses’s efforts to prepare his people to enter the presence of God. Students learned the following principles: To become like God and dwell in His presence, we must receive the ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood; and if those who receive the priesthood magnify their calling, God will sanctify them and give them all that He has.

Day 2 (Doctrine and Covenants 84:43–120)

In this lesson students learned two principles that can help them return to the presence of God: If we give diligent heed to the word of God, then we will be enlightened through the Spirit of Christ; and if we hearken to the Spirit of Jesus Christ, we will come unto the Father. Students also learned that our minds will be darkened and we will be brought under condemnation if we treat the word of God lightly. The counsel to study the scriptures faithfully and live what they teach was also reiterated in this lesson. Additionally, students learned that all Latter-day Saints have a responsibility to do their part in helping the gospel go to the whole world.

Day 3 (Doctrine and Covenants 85–86)

In this lesson students considered the importance of Church records. They learned that if we live the laws of God, our names will be written upon the records of the Church as faithful members. Students also gained further insight into the parable of the wheat and the tares and discovered that the Lord will gather the righteous during the last days and then destroy the wicked at His Second Coming. In addition, students learned that we can bring salvation to others by helping them receive the blessings of the gospel.

Day 4 (Doctrine and Covenants 87)

Students studied the Prophet Joseph Smith’s prophecy concerning war in the last days and learned that the Lord can reveal the future to us through His prophets. Students also learned that the Lord’s words through the Prophet Joseph Smith had been fulfilled and of ways they were fulfilled. They also contemplated the importance of standing in holy places and not being moved until the Lord comes.

Introduction

This lesson will help students further understand and explain the doctrine of the priesthood. It also allows students an opportunity to share what they learned this week from their studies on how we can better act as instruments of God and magnify the priesthood.

Suggestions for Teaching

Note: In preparation for this lesson, invite a student to bring a copy of a priesthood line of authority to class (a family member’s or perhaps their own). A copy of a member’s personal Melchizedek Priesthood line of authority can be obtained from the Member and Statistical Records of the Church by emailing a request to lineofauthority@ldschurch.org with PLA in the subject line. An automated reply will send a form to fill out and return.

Doctrine and Covenants 84

The Lord identifies Moses’s priesthood lineage

Help students review some terminology they learned this week by dividing students into pairs. In each pair, ask one student to turn away from the board so he or she cannot see it. Explain that you are going to write on the board a key word or phrase relating to a basic doctrine of the gospel. The students who are looking at the board will define or describe that key word or phrase quietly to their partners, and their partners will guess the word or phrase. The students will then switch roles, and you will continue the activity by writing a new word or phrase on the board.

Begin the activity and write the word priesthood on the board. After students have identified this word, continue the activity using the following words and phrases: ordinance, Aaronic Priesthood, covenant, Melchizedek Priesthood, saving ordinances. (If you feel it would be helpful, you may want to pause after each key word or term is identified and briefly review its definition as a class. Short definitions for some of them are available in the matching activity in Unit 18: Day 1 in the study guide for home-study seminary students. For more in-depth explanations, see “Priesthood and Priesthood Keys” or “Ordinances and Covenants” in the Basic Doctrines section of the appendix at the end of this manual.) After the activity is finished, ask the following question:

  • Which ordinances of the gospel are saving ordinances? (As students respond, write the following ordinances on the board: baptism, confirmation, conferral of the Melchizedek Priesthood [for men], the temple endowment, and the temple sealing.)

Explain that Doctrine and Covenants 84 teaches that Moses’s desire was to help other people draw nearer to God through the saving ordinances of the priesthood. Invite students to scan Doctrine and Covenants 84:6–17 to discover how Moses could trace his priesthood authority to Adam, who received it from God.

  • What do you learn about the priesthood from these verses? (Students may identify a variety of principles, but be sure to emphasize the following: The priesthood comes from God and is conferred by the laying on of hands by those in authority.)

At this point in the lesson, invite the student to show the example of a line of authority, either by reading it or writing it on the board. Help students understand that a priesthood line of authority shows how priesthood authority has been conferred from one priesthood holder to another, from Jesus Christ to a priesthood holder today.

  • Why do you think it is important that priesthood holders are able to trace their priesthood authority back to God? (See Hebrews 5:4.)

  • What experiences have you had that strengthened your testimony of the priesthood?

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud the oath and covenant of the priesthood in Doctrine and Covenants 84:33–44.

  • What does the Lord promise to those who receive the priesthood and magnify their calling? (Students should identify the following principle: If those who receive the priesthood magnify their callings, God will sanctify them and give them all that He has.)

  • What are some ways Aaronic Priesthood holders magnify their callings in the priesthood?

  • When have you been blessed because a priesthood holder has magnified his calling?

To help students share some of the insights they gained during their study this week, you may want to ask some or all of the following questions. (Note: As you prepare for this part of the lesson, you may want to review day 2 of this unit in the study guide for home-study seminary students.)

  • What did you learn about the importance of giving diligent heed to the word of God? (See D&C 84:43–45, 54–58.)

  • What difference has faithfully studying and applying the word of God made in your life?

  • What responsibility do we have to the people of the earth? (See D&C 84:61–62, 85–88.)

  • How can you help fulfill the obligation to take the gospel to the whole world?

Doctrine and Covenants 87

Joseph Smith prophesies that war will be poured out upon all nations

Ask students to summarize what they learned about the prophecy contained in Doctrine and Covenants 87.

  • How did your study of this revelation strengthen your faith that the Lord can reveal future events through His prophets?

  • How does Doctrine and Covenants 87 strengthen your testimony that Joseph Smith is a true prophet?

Affirm that every prophecy in Doctrine and Covenants 87 has been or will be fulfilled. Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 87:8 to learn what the Lord directed us to do so that we will be prepared for the wars and disasters that will be upon the earth in the last days.

  • What does the Lord command us to do? (Help them identify the following principle: We are to stand in holy places and be not moved until the Lord comes.)

  • What are some holy places that can provide us with peace and safety?

  • How have you felt blessed with peace or safety by standing in one of these holy places?

Conclude this lesson by testifying of the truths you have discussed.

Next Unit (Doctrine and Covenants 88–89)

To prepare students for their study of Doctrine and Covenants 88–89, you may want to invite them to consider the following: Have you ever felt alone or worried that Heavenly Father was unaware of your personal circumstances or needs? As you study Doctrine and Covenants 88, look for the Lord’s answers to such feelings. What “evils and designs … exist in the hearts of conspiring men” (D&C 89:4) in the last days? As you study Doctrine and Covenants 89, look for counsel the Lord gave that can protect you from those evils and designs.