In September 1832, after revealing truths about the priesthood and the importance of hearkening to His word, the Lord emphasized the commission for Apostles and other priesthood holders to preach the gospel throughout the world. This revelation places greater emphasis on preaching the gospel and gives instructions similar to those Jesus Christ gave to the Apostles after His Resurrection. The Lord also explained how this work was to be accomplished, including how those engaged in His work would be supported and sustained in their efforts.
Invite students to think of someone they know who recently received a mission call or has recently departed on a mission. Ask students to tell the class where these missionaries have been called to serve. Consider using a globe or map to help students see where the Lord has called these missionaries.
Explain that each person needs to have the opportunity to learn the gospel. Mention the current population of the earth (approximately 7 billion people) and explain that it would be impossible for the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the Seventy, all of whom have the charge to declare the gospel to all nations, to preach everywhere and teach everyone.
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 84:62 aloud. Ask the class to look for the direction the Lord gives to those who have the responsibility to preach the gospel.
According to verse 62, where are the Lord’s servants supposed to preach the gospel?
In addition to the priesthood leaders, who else has the responsibility to share the gospel throughout the world? (Help students understand that even though much of the full-time missionary service is done by young men, young women, and seniors, all Latter-day Saints have a responsibility to take the gospel to the whole world.)
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Spencer W. Kimball:
“The scriptures are abundantly clear in stating that all members of the Church are responsible to do missionary work. …
“The prophets of this dispensation also have clearly taught the concept that missionary service is the responsibility of all members. President David O. McKay taught the principle with the challenging words, ‘Every member a missionary!’ (See Conference Report, April 1959, p. 122.)” (“It Becometh Every Man,” Ensign, Oct. 1977, 3).
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 84:64 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and identify what those who believe and are baptized can receive. Invite students to report their answers.
Why is it important for people to accept the gospel, be baptized, and receive the Holy Ghost? (We must be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost to enter the kingdom of God.)
Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 84:65–73 silently and identify what the Lord promises those who believe His servants and are baptized. Ask students to report their findings to the class.
Why do you think these gifts would be important for those who preach and for those who believe the gospel?
What caution did the Lord give in verse 73?
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 84:74–76 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and identify what happens to individuals who choose not to believe the gospel and be baptized.
What happens to those who choose not to believe and be baptized?
Based on what you have learned from Doctrine and Covenants 84, how would you summarize the importance of teaching others the gospel of Jesus Christ?
What might cause a person to be reluctant to serve the Lord as a missionary? (Answers may include the fear of leaving home and family, the sacrifice of time and opportunities, financial obstacles, the challenge of speaking to strangers about the gospel, and anxiety about learning a new language.)
Explain that Doctrine and Covenants 84:77–88 records the Lord’s reassurance to the missionaries that He would care for their needs. He also promised them other blessings if they would fulfill their responsibility to preach the gospel.
Copy the following chart on the board, and ask students to copy it in their class notebooks or scripture study journals:
Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 84:80, 85, 87–88 and look for responsibilities and blessings of missionary service. (You may want to write this scripture reference on the board.) You could suggest that students read in pairs, with one student looking for the responsibilities and the other student identifying the blessings. Ask students to write their findings in the appropriate columns in their charts.
After sufficient time, ask the following questions:
What did you learn about the responsibilities of missionary service? (You may need to explain that missionaries “reprove the world” (D&C 84:87) by teaching others the doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ and by inviting them to repent and live in harmony with those doctrines.)
How will the Lord bless us as we share the gospel with others? (Students may use other words, but their answers should reflect the following principle: The Lord will strengthen us and be with us as we share the gospel with others. You may want to write this principle on the board.)
How can the promises stated in Doctrine and Covenants 84:80, 85, and 88 influence an individual’s desire and ability to share the gospel?
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency:
“We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up. (See D&C 84:88.) And He always keeps His word” (“Mountains to Climb,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 26).
Testify that the Lord will strengthen us and be with us as we share the gospel with others. You may also want to share an experience from your life that illustrates this principle.
Write the following incomplete statement on the board: I will fulfill my responsibility to share the gospel by …
Invite students to complete the statement in their class notebooks or scripture study journals. After sufficient time, invite a few students to share what they wrote.
Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 84:89–97 by explaining that the Lord affirmed that those who accept His missionaries also accept Him and will be blessed. On the other hand, those who reject God’s servants and His word will forfeit blessings and be cursed.
Explain that Doctrine and Covenants 84:98–102 contains the words of a song of joy and praise associated with the redemption of Zion. The phrase “redemption of Zion” refers to the conditions that God’s covenant people will one day enjoy because they have chosen to come unto Him and receive all of the ordinances and blessings of the gospel. Ask a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 84:98 aloud. Point out that the song of the redemption of Zion will be sung after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, when all people who remain on the earth will come to know Him.
Display a picture of a missionary companionship. (If you have served as a missionary, you may want to show students a picture of yourself with a companion who was a source of strength to you.)
Why do you think the Lord calls missionaries to serve in companionships?
What are some other callings in the Church in which we serve with another person? (Answers may include presidencies, home teaching and visiting teaching companionships, and committees.)
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 84:106 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and identify what the Lord instructed Church members to do to strengthen one another.
What did the Lord tell Church members to do to strengthen one another? (Students should identify the following principle: Those who are strong in the Spirit are to edify those who are weak.)
What do you think it means to be “strong in the Spirit”? When have you been uplifted by working with someone who is strong in the Spirit? (After students respond, you may also want to share an experience. If you have displayed a picture of yourself and a missionary companion, you may want to explain how this companion strengthened you.)
Ask students to ponder their current spiritual condition. Invite those who consider themselves to be spiritually weak to think of someone they know who is spiritually strong and seek out opportunities to learn from this person. Invite those who consider themselves to be spiritually strong to seek out ways to encourage and strengthen others.
Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 84:109–110 silently and look for something else members of the Church can do to strengthen one another.
In these verses, what do the different parts of a body represent? (Members of the Church.) What can this analogy teach us about strengthening one another? (We need to remember the value and importance of each member of the Church.)
Affirm that the Lord loves each of us and has given each of us different talents that we can use to serve others.
Explain that after giving some instructions to Bishop Newel K. Whitney and other priesthood leaders (see D&C 84:111–117), the Lord made a promise to His servants who go forth in faith. Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 84:118–119 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord promised.
According to these verses, what did the Lord promise that His faithful servants would see? How have you seen the Lord exerting the powers of heaven in our day?
Testify that although some in the world cannot see the Lord’s power, the day will come when all shall see Him and know that He is.