Doctrine and Covenants 10

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual, (2001), 39–40


Doctrine and Covenants 10, given shortly after section 3, helps us understand Satan’s motives and methods for destroying the Lord’s work and the souls of men. Section 10 also shows why Satan will always fail in frustrating the work of the Lord. For added insight, see the historical background for section 10 in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325 (p. 22).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 47–49.

  • Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 9–10, 22–24.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Video presentation 5, “The Work of God” (13:26), can be used in teaching Doctrine and Covenants 3 and 10 (see Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Video Guide for teaching suggestions).

Note: The teaching suggestion for Doctrine and Covenants 3 can be used to introduce section 10.

Doctrine and Covenants 10:1–45. Satan seeks to destroy the Lord’s work, but the Lord’s greater wisdom, knowledge, and power ensure that His work is not frustrated.

(20–25 minutes)

Note: Do not relate experiences concerning Satan or evil spirits or allow the discussion to degenerate into sensational stories.

Write on the board or a handout the following statement by Elder Marion G. Romney, who was then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, and read it with students:

“Satan is evil: totally and always. He ever seeks to defeat the gospel plan and ‘destroy the souls of men.’ (D&C 10:27.) …

“Satan is irrevocably committed to countering and overcoming the influence of the Spirit of Christ. …

“Satan’s methods are various, devious, and countless.

“‘… by every possible means he seeks to darken the minds of men and then offers them falsehood and deception in the guise of truth. Satan is a skillful imitator. …’ (Joseph F. Smith in Daniel H. Ludlow, Latter-day Prophets Speak [Bookcraft, 1948], pp. 20–21.)

“At the opening of every dispensation he has made a frontal attack against the advent of truth” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1971, 24; or Ensign, June 1971, 36 ).

Ask students if they can think of any attacks Satan made against the restored gospel during the beginning years of this dispensation. (One example is the attempt to stop Joseph Smith from praying vocally at the time of his First Vision.) If students do not mention it, explain that Satan also tried to prevent the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Have them read Doctrine and Covenants 10:6–19 and identify the steps in Satan’s plan. Discuss the students’ findings, using the following suggested summaries and questions as needed.

  1. 1.

    Use Martin Harris to gain possession of material already translated and to destroy Joseph’s gift of translation (see vv. 6–9).

    • Why does the Lord refer to Martin Harris as a wicked man?

    • What can we do to protect ourselves against the influences of Satan?

  2. 2.

    Get wicked men to alter the words of the 116 pages of manuscript in a way “contrary from that which [Joseph Smith] translated and caused to be written” ( v. 11 ; see vv. 10–12).

    • How does Satan get people to do his will? (see also v. 19).

  3. 3.

    Wait for Joseph Smith to retranslate the material, compare it to the altered text, and claim that Joseph Smith is a fraud (see vv. 13–19).

    • Why do you think people lie to hurt someone?

    • Why is the Book of Mormon so important to the Lord’s work in the last days?

Have students read verses 20–25, and ask: What do these verses teach about how Satan gets people to do his will? Read verses 26–27 and ask: What will happen to those who become servants of Satan? Have a student read aloud Alma 30:60. Ask: What kind of support does Satan offer to his followers in the end?

Read Doctrine and Covenants 10:38–45 and find how the Lord countered Satan’s plan to destroy the Book of Mormon.

Invite a student to summarize the Lord’s plan. Ask some or all of the following questions:

Doctrine and Covenants 10:5 (Scripture Mastery). Prayer helps us conquer Satan and his servants.

(15–20 minutes)

Write conquer on the board. Invite a few students to use the word in a sentence. Read Doctrine and Covenants 10:5 and ask what conquer means in this verse. Explain that although conquer can mean “to defeat through force or violence,” another of its meanings is “to overcome by mental or moral effort.”

Ask: How do you think prayer helps us conquer Satan? Point out that when we resist temptation, we defeat Satan’s efforts. Remind students how prayer prevented the adversary from destroying Joseph Smith at the time of the First Vision (see Joseph Smith—History 1:16). Have students read and mark Doctrine and Covenants 10:5 and cross-reference it with 2 Nephi 32:8–9 and Alma 34:17–27. Ask: What, in addition to Satan, can prayer help us conquer? (Trials and tribulations of life.) Bear testimony of the power of prayer in your own life.