Home-Study Lesson: Doctrine and Covenants 88–89 (Unit   19)

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 88–89 (unit 19) 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 88:1–40)

As students studied a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith and a group of high priests, they learned that God gives light and life to all things through the Light of Christ. They also learned that the spirit and body are the soul of man, which is redeemed in the Resurrection through Jesus Christ, and that in the Resurrection we will receive glory according to the law we obey.

Day 2 (Doctrine and Covenants 88:41–69)

In this lesson, students learned that they can see the majesty and power of God as they view His creations. Students studied verses about how the Lord will visit each of His kingdoms and their inhabitants in His time. Students also learned that as they draw near to the Lord, He will draw near to them. They discovered that Heavenly Father answers their prayers in ways that He knows are best for them and that if they will have an eye single to God’s glory, they will be filled with light.

Day 3 (Doctrine and Covenants 88:70–141)

As students studied the Lord’s instructions for establishing the School of the Prophets, they learned that if they teach each other and seek learning by study and by faith, their faith in Jesus Christ will increase. They identified righteous behaviors that will help them learn and be edified and unrighteous actions that the Lord has commanded that we cease from doing. They also learned that showing friendship and love to those with whom they learn the gospel invites the Spirit as they study together.

Day 4 (Doctrine and Covenants 89)

From the Lord’s counsel to the brethren attending the School of the Prophets, students learned that because of evil designs of conspiring men in the last days, the Lord warned us not to use harmful substances. They identified the Lord’s warning about misusing certain substances and learned that they should eat healthful foods wisely and thankfully. Students learned that if we follow the Word of Wisdom, the Lord will bless us with health, wisdom, strength, and protection.

Introduction

This lesson can help students recognize the value in teaching the gospel to others. As they teach each other some of the principles they studied during the week, they will have a chance to experience some principles that the Lord taught to those who attended the School of the Prophets.

Suggestions for Teaching

Note: As students studied the scripture mastery passage in Doctrine and Covenants 88:124 this week, they were invited to memorize it and recite it when they attend seminary and other Church classes. This invitation was meant to help them remember that doing righteous actions and ceasing unrighteous ones will help us to learn and be edified. You may want to remind students of this and invite them to recite the passage together. You could also encourage them to live the counsel given in the passage.

Doctrine and Covenants 88:70–117

The Lord commands the elders of the Church to prepare for their ministry and reveals events surrounding His Second Coming

Invite a student to come to the front of the class and teach another student how to do a simple task, such as tying a necktie (or a different task that the second student does not know how to do). Ask students to raise their hands if they have helped teach a lesson or skill to someone else recently. Ask a few of those who raised their hands to describe what they taught and to whom. Follow up by asking the following questions:

  • What did you learn by preparing to teach and by teaching someone else?

  • Why do you think we often learn more from preparing to teach than from being taught by others?

Remind students that the Lord gave the revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 88 over several days at the end of December 1832 and the beginning of January 1833 to a group of priesthood holders who had prayed to know the Lord’s will concerning the establishment of Zion. In this revelation, the Lord referred to this group of priesthood holders as “the first laborers in this last kingdom” (D&C 88:70, 74) and commanded them to organize and attend a school to prepare themselves to preach the gospel among the nations of the earth (see D&C 88:74, 84, 127).

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 88:73–76 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord commanded these priesthood holders to do to prepare to teach others.

  • What were these “first laborers” commanded to do to prepare to teach others as missionaries? (You may want to ask a student to act as scribe and write students’ answers on the board.)

  • What could we do to “organize,” “prepare,” and “sanctify” ourselves to become more effective at sharing the gospel?

  • How does being cleansed from sin influence our ability to share the gospel?

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 88:77–80 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord commanded these priesthood holders to do as they met together. Ask students to report what they found.

  • What did the Lord promise those who teach diligently? (He promised that His grace would attend them and they would be taught more perfectly in all that they needed to understand pertaining to the kingdom of God.)

  • What does it mean that the Lord’s “grace shall attend you” (D&C 88:78)? (The Lord will help us as we seek diligently to teach and learn the gospel.)

  • From what you learned in verses 77–78, how would you state a principle about teaching? (Students may identify a number of principles. After they respond, you may want to write the following principles on the board: As we teach one another diligently, the Lord will help us understand His truths more perfectly. By teaching one another, we can prepare to share the gospel with others.)

  • In what ways has teaching the gospel to others helped you to better understand it?

  • According to verse 79, what other topics are important for us to understand? How can gaining such broad knowledge help us teach the gospel to others?

Note: The following activity is written for groups of four students to prepare and teach each other in pairs. If your class is small, you could have the students prepare and teach individually, or you could have the class teach you one of the lessons and then you could teach them the other lesson.

Explain to the students that you want to help them feel the importance of and apply the two principles of teaching they identified. Divide the class into groups of four students. Ask two students in each group to work together using their scriptures and scripture study journals to prepare to teach Doctrine and Covenants 88:63–68 to the other two students. Ask the other two students to work together to prepare to teach the scripture mastery passage in Doctrine and Covenants 89:18–21 to the first two students.

Give copies of the following instructions to each of the groups. Ask them to read through the instructions and scripture verses and then decide how they will teach each lesson. (Encourage both of the students in each pair to participate in the teaching.) Explain that each pair will have about 8–10 minutes to prepare and about 5 minutes to teach their lessons.

    Instructions to students who will be teaching:

  1. 1.

    Read through the scripture passage assigned to you. You may also want to have a prayer in your heart that the Holy Ghost will help you as you prepare and as you teach.

  2. 2.

    Look through any notes or markings you have made in your scriptures and your scripture study journal to help you remember what you learned from your study of the passage during the week.

  3. 3.

    Write down or mark a doctrine or principle you would like to teach.

  4. 4.

    Decide how to teach the doctrine or principle. Consider using the following ideas as you create an outline:

    1. a.

      Think of a simple question to ask or an object lesson you could use to gain the interest of those you teach and to introduce the subject.

    2. b.

      Explain what you know about the background and content of the revelation, and invite those you teach to read a portion or all of the passage you were assigned.

    3. c.

      Ask questions to help those you teach identify the doctrine or principle, and then ask more questions to see if they understand it.

    4. d.

      Share an experience you have had with the doctrine or principle and testify of its importance and truth. You might also invite those you teach to share an experience they have had with the doctrine or principle.

After students have had sufficient time to prepare, invite the pair assigned Doctrine and Covenants 88:63–68 to teach the other students in their group. Then ask the students to switch roles, and invite the companionship assigned Doctrine and Covenants 89:18–21 to teach.

After the students have taught each other, point to the following principle on the board: “As we teach one another diligently, the Lord will help us understand His truths more perfectly.” Then ask the class the following questions:

  • How was your understanding of these scriptures deepened as you taught them to someone else today?

  • In what ways did you feel that the Lord helped you?

Encourage students to find opportunities to teach others the gospel. Testify of the blessings they will receive for doing so.

Next Unit (Doctrine and Covenants 90–97)

To prepare students for their study during the coming week, you may want to invite them to consider the following: What has the Lord set forth as the qualifications for seeing His face? What are the blessings of being “pure in heart” (D&C 97:16) when you attend the temple? Have you ever wondered what it means to worship God? In your study this next week, watch for whom we worship and how we worship.