Write the word Strong on the board. Ask students what characteristics, according to worldly standards, are typically considered when describing someone who is strong. As students respond, write their answers on the board under Strong. Then write the word Weak on the board. Ask students what characteristics, according to worldly standards, are typically considered when describing someone who is weak.
In what ways does the world try to make a young man or young woman feel weak according to its standards?
In what ways might Joseph Smith have been weak when he was called to restore the gospel?
According to Doctrine and Covenants 35:1, why would the Lord call weak people to help in His work? (As students respond, summarize their answers by writing a truth similar to the following on the board: The Lord shows forth His wisdom through the weak things of the earth.)
In what ways did the Lord show forth His wisdom through the Prophet Joseph Smith?
Ask students to name some of the callings and assignments they might receive while they are still in their youth. (Answers might include home teacher, member of a class or quorum presidency, missionary, speaking in sacrament meeting, or fellowshipping someone in their ward or branch.)
How could remembering the principle written on the board help us as we receive various callings and assignments to serve in the Church?
Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 124:2–14 by explaining that the Lord commanded the Prophet Joseph Smith to write a proclamation of the gospel to the rulers of the earth.
Ask students to think of a time when someone gave them a sincere compliment. Invite a few students to share their experiences and why these compliments were meaningful to them.
Explain that the Lord addressed several individuals in this revelation and commended them by pointing out their strengths and contributions. Invite students to search Doctrine and Covenants 124:15–20 silently, looking for what the Lord said about these individuals. You might want to suggest that they mark phrases that stand out to them. After sufficient time, invite students to turn to a partner and share what they discovered, including which statements stood out to them and why.
You may want to point out that in Doctrine and Covenants 124:19 the Lord declared that three faithful men who had recently died (David W. Patten, Edward Partridge, and Joseph Smith Sr., the Prophet’s father) had been received into the presence of the Lord.
Invite students to review Doctrine and Covenants 124:15, 20, looking for what the Lord said about Hyrum Smith and George Miller.
What did the Lord say about Hyrum Smith and George Miller?
How does the Lord feel about those who have integrity? (Students may use different words, but they should identify the following truth: The Lord loves and trusts those who have integrity of heart.)
How would you define integrity of heart?
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“To me, integrity means always doing what is right and good, regardless of the immediate consequences. It means being righteous from the very depth of our soul, not only in our actions but, more importantly, in our thoughts and in our hearts. Personal integrity implies such trustworthiness and incorruptibility that we are incapable of being false to a trust or covenant” (“Personal Integrity,” Ensign, May 1990, 30).
Based on Elder Wirthlin’s definition, why do you think the Lord loves those who have integrity of heart?
To help students understand how Hyrum Smith exemplified the integrity of his heart, ask a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“Hyrum Smith, older brother, friend, and mentor to the Prophet, showed absolute, unequivocal love, loyalty, and allegiance to the Lord and to his younger brother, Joseph. Their brotherhood may be unsurpassed. …
“Of Hyrum, Joseph said, ‘I could pray in my heart that all my brethren were like unto my beloved brother Hyrum, who possesses the mildness of a lamb, and the integrity of a Job, and in short, the meekness and humility of Christ; and I love him with that love that is stronger than death, for I never had occasion to rebuke him, nor he me.’ (History of the Church, 2:338.) …
“Hyrum was unwavering, even in the face of death. Following one period of great deprivation and persecution, he wrote:
“‘I thank God that I felt a determination to die, rather than deny the things which my eyes had seen, which my hands had handled [the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated], and which I had borne testimony to, wherever my lot had been cast; and I can assure my beloved brethren that I was enabled to bear as strong a testimony, when nothing but death presented itself, as ever I did in my life.’ (Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, p. 23.)” (“The Family of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 7).
How did Hyrum Smith demonstrate his integrity?
Invite students to ponder an aspect of their lives in which they could have more integrity. Encourage them to set a personal goal to improve their integrity in that area.
Conclude by sharing your testimony of the principles taught today.
Ask students if they know how many degrees there are in the celestial kingdom. Explain that in the coming week’s studies, they will discover a number of principles related to the celestial kingdom and the plan of salvation.