Lesson 113: Doctrine and Covenants 107:39–100

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual, 2013


This is the last of three lessons that discuss the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 107. The revelation was recorded in 1835, but “the historical records affirm that most of verses 60 through 100 incorporate a revelation given through Joseph Smith on November 11, 1831” (introduction to D&C 107). The verses discussed in this lesson contain the Lord’s words about the ancient practice of conferring the Melchizedek Priesthood from father to son. They also provide instruction concerning the duties of various priesthood leaders.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants 107:39–57

The Lord reveals that the Melchizedek Priesthood was passed down anciently from father to son

Before class, write the following question on the board: What are some circumstances you currently face, or will soon face, in which you could benefit from receiving guidance or comfort from your Heavenly Father?

At the beginning of the lesson, ask students to ponder this question. Invite a few to share their responses. As students begin today’s discussion of Doctrine and Covenants 107:39–100, encourage them to look for principles in these verses that can help them receive guidance and comfort from their Heavenly Father.

Remind students that in the previous lesson, they learned about the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the Seventy. Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 107:39 aloud, and ask the class to look for one of the duties of the Twelve. Explain that the term evangelical ministers refers to those who hold the office of patriarch in the Melchizedek Priesthood (see Guide to the Scriptures, “Evangelist,” scriptures.lds.org; Bible Dictionary, “Evangelist”).

  • According to verse 39, how are patriarchs appointed to their calling? (As students respond, help them understand the following truth: Patriarchs are called by revelation and ordained under the direction of the Twelve Apostles.)

Ask students to explain the duty of those who hold the office of patriarch. (Patriarchs give special priesthood blessings, called patriarchal blessings, to worthy members of the Church.) In addition, ask if anyone can remind the class what a patriarchal blessing is. (A patriarchal blessing contains the Lord’s counsel for an individual and declares that person’s lineage in the house of Israel. See True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference [2004], “Patriarchal Blessings,” 111–13.)

You may want to invite students who have received patriarchal blessings to share their testimonies about the service of stake patriarchs. (Caution students that patriarchal blessings are sacred and personal and that they generally should not be shared with people other than immediate family members.) Share your testimony about the blessings of receiving a patriarchal blessing and studying the counsel it provides.

Explain that the word patriarch also refers to fathers in families. President Ezra Taft Benson taught:

President Ezra Taft Benson

“The order of priesthood spoken of in the scriptures is sometimes referred to as the patriarchal order because it came down from father to son” (“What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children about the Temple,” Ensign, Aug. 1985, 9).

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 107:40 aloud, and ask the class to look for how the Melchizedek Priesthood was conferred anciently. Invite students to report what they find.

Point out that in Doctrine and Covenants 107:41–57, we read of some things Adam did as a righteous patriarch. Invite students to silently scan verses 41–50 and identify a pattern—two things Adam repeatedly did as he presided over his family.

  • What two actions did Adam repeat as he presided over his family? (He ordained his worthy male descendants to offices in the priesthood, and he blessed them.)

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 107:53 aloud, and ask the class to identify who Adam blessed in addition to his worthy male descendants. Ask students to report what they find. (Ensure that they understand that Adam blessed all his righteous posterity, including daughters.)

  • How can Adam’s example serve as a pattern for fathers? (After students respond, write the following truth on the board: Fathers who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood have authority to bless their children.)

  • In addition to ordaining a son to the priesthood, when might a father give a priesthood blessing to a son or daughter? (Answers may include that fathers can administer priesthood blessings in times of illness and to provide direction and comfort.)

Explain that in addition to blessing their children, Melchizedek Priesthood holders may give blessings to other family members and to others who ask for them. Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

President Boyd K. Packer

“Homes without the priesthood are to be watched over and ministered to by the quorums of the priesthood. In this manner no blessings will be found wanting in any dwelling within the Church” (“The Power of the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 9).

Ask students to reflect on times when they have benefited from receiving priesthood blessings from their fathers or other Melchizedek Priesthood holders. If they have not had the opportunity to receive a priesthood blessing, invite them to ponder how they could benefit from seeking such a blessing. Invite a few students to share their experiences and thoughts.

Refer to the question you wrote on the board before the lesson. Share your witness that students can seek guidance and comfort from Heavenly Father through patriarchal blessings and through priesthood blessings administered by their fathers or other Melchizedek Priesthood holders.

Doctrine and Covenants 107:58–100

The Lord reveals the duties of presidents of priesthood quorums

As a brief review, write the headings Melchizedek Priesthood and Aaronic Priesthood on the board. Invite students to list the offices of the priesthood under the appropriate headings. Ask one student to write one office of the priesthood and then pass the chalk or marker to another student, continuing this process until students have listed all the offices of the priesthood. Encourage students to help one another as needed. (The offices of the Melchizedek Priesthood are elder, high priest, patriarch, Seventy, and Apostle. The offices of the Aaronic Priesthood are deacon, teacher, priest, and bishop.)

  • What is a priesthood quorum? (An organized group of brethren who hold the same priesthood office.)

Invite a student to come to the board and circle the priesthood offices that are organized into quorums. Encourage the class to assist as needed. (The following offices have quorums: Apostle, Seventy, high priest, elder, priest, teacher, and deacon. You may want to explain that each stake has one high priests quorum, with the stake president as the quorum president. In each ward, high priests are organized into a high priests group.)

Ask a few students to take turns reading aloud from Doctrine and Covenants 107:60–63, 85–89, 93–94. Invite the class to follow along and identify what the quorums mentioned in these verses have in common.

  • According to these verses, what do these priesthood quorums have in common? (Help students identify the following truth: A president is appointed to preside over and direct the work of each priesthood quorum.)

  • According to verses 87–88, how is a priests quorum different from deacons and teachers quorums? (The bishop of the ward presides over the priests quorum. He also presides over all Aaronic Priesthood holders in the ward. In a branch, the branch president acts as the president of the priests quorum.)

  • Why do you think it is important that each priesthood quorum has a president? How can the president of a priesthood quorum help the members of his quorum?

Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 107:68–84 by explaining that these verses provide instruction concerning the office of bishop and the role of Church councils.

Ask a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 107:65–66 aloud, and invite the class to identify the Church leader who presides over all priesthood holders. Invite students to report what they find. Ensure that they understand that these verses refer to the President of the Church.

Ask a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 107:67, 91–92 aloud, and invite the class to look for words and phrases that describe the authority and responsibilities of the President of the Church.

  • Based on these verses, how would you summarize the authority and responsibilities of the President of the Church? (Although students may use different words, they should identify the following truth: The President of the Church holds the authority to administer all ordinances and blessings and presides over the whole Church. You may want to invite a student to write this truth on the board.)

Display a picture of the current President of the Church.

  • What are some ways you are blessed because of the priesthood authority held by the President of the Church?

Point out that some Church members may feel their callings or responsibilities in the Church are insignificant. Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Gordon B. Hinckley. Explain that President Hinckley said this to all members of the Church.

President Gordon B. Hinckley

“Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere. No calling in this church is small or of little consequence. All of us in the pursuit of our duty touch the lives of others” (“This Is the Work of the Master,” Ensign, May 1995, 71).

  • What do you think it means that “no calling in this church is small or of little consequence”?

  • What does President Hinckley’s statement teach you about your responsibilities in the Church?

Ask students to read Doctrine and Covenants 107:99–100 silently and ponder how President Hinckley’s statement relates to these verses.

  • According to verses 99–100, what must we do to stand worthy before the Lord? (Students should identify the following principle: To stand worthy before the Lord, we must learn our duty and act in all diligence to fulfill it. You may want to suggest that students mark this truth in their scriptures.)

Although these verses were originally directed toward priesthood holders, the principle they teach applies to all Church members.

Divide students into pairs. Invite them to discuss the following questions. Read the questions one at a time or write them on the board.

  • How have you been blessed by the service of a Church member who has diligently fulfilled his or her duty?

  • What are you doing to learn your duty and act in all diligence to fulfill it?

Give students the opportunity to testify of the importance of doing our duty in the Church and in our families. Invite them to set a goal to diligently fulfill their duties.

Commentary and Background Information

Doctrine and Covenants 107:40–57. Adam ordained his sons and grandsons and blessed his posterity

President Ezra Taft Benson wrote about the importance of asking fathers for priesthood blessings:

“A young man came to my office a short time ago for a blessing. He had problems—not moral problems, but … he was confused; he was concerned and worried. And so we talked for a few minutes and I said to him, ‘Have you ever asked your father for a blessing?’ ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘I don’t know that Dad would do a thing like that. He is not very active.’ I said, ‘But he’s your father.’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Does he hold the priesthood?’ ‘Yes, he is an inactive elder.’ I said, ‘Do you love him?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I love him. He is a good man, he’s good to the family, good to the children.’ I said, ‘Do you ever have family prayer?’ He said, ‘It has been a long time since we had family prayer.’ I said, ‘All right, would you be willing to go home and watch for an opportunity, and ask your father if he will give you a blessing? And if it doesn’t work out, you come back, and I will be glad to help you.’

“So he left, and in about three days he came back. ‘Brother Benson, this has been the sweetest thing that’s happened in our home,’ he said. ‘Mother and the children sat there, my younger brothers and sisters, with my mother wiping the tears from her eyes. She expressed her gratitude later. Father gave me a lovely blessing.’ He added, ‘I could tell it came from his heart.’

“There are a lot of fathers who would enjoy giving their own children blessings, if they had a little encouragement. As patriarchs of their families, that is one of their obligations and duties, responsibilities, and, of course, opportunities” (God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [1974], 184).

Doctrine and Covenants 107:99. “Let every man learn his duty”

President Thomas S. Monson taught:

“I love and cherish the noble word duty and all that it implies. …

“The call of duty came to Adam, to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, to Samuel, to David. It came to the Prophet Joseph Smith and to each of his successors. The call of duty came to the boy Nephi when he was instructed by the Lord, through his father Lehi, to return to Jerusalem with his brothers to obtain the brass plates from Laban. Nephi’s brothers murmured, saying it was a hard thing which had been asked of them. What was Nephi’s response? Said he, ‘I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them’ [1 Nephi 3:7].

“When that same call comes to you and to me, what will be our response? Will we murmur, as did Laman and Lemuel, and say, ‘This is a hard thing required of us’? [1 Nephi 3:5]. Or will we, with Nephi, individually declare, ‘I will go. I will do’? Will we be willing to serve and to obey? …

“As we perform our duties and exercise our priesthood, we will find true joy. We will experience the satisfaction of having completed our tasks” (“Willing and Worthy to Serve,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 66–67).

Supplemental Teaching Idea

Doctrine and Covenants 107:99–100. Video presentation—“Dayton’s Legs”

As part of the discussion of Doctrine and Covenants 107:99–100, you may want to show the video “Dayton’s Legs” (available on LDS.org) to illustrate how one quorum president fulfilled his calling.