Shortly after May 15, 1829, Hyrum Smith came from his home in Palmyra, New York, to visit the Prophet Joseph in Harmony, Pennsylvania. As a result of Hyrum’s “earnest request” to know what the Lord would have him do, the Prophet inquired of the Lord and received the revelation found in Doctrine and Covenants 11 (History of the Church, 1:44–45). This section reveals how the Holy Ghost influences our lives and prepares us to share the gospel with others.
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
We can recognize the influence of the Lord’s Spirit because it leads us to do good, to do justly, to walk humbly, and to judge righteously. It also enlightens our minds and fills us with joy (see D&C 11:12–14; see also Micah 6:8; Galatians 5:22–23).
Before we can teach the gospel, we must prepare by studying the scriptures, coming to understand the gospel, gaining a testimony of the truth, and keeping the commandments (see D&C 11:15–26).
Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 55–56.
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 24–26.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 11:12–14. We can recognize the influence of the Lord’s Spirit because it leads us to do good, to do justly, to walk humbly, and to judge righteously. It also enlightens our minds and fills us with joy.
Draw the accompanying picture on the board without labeling the tree or the fruit. Ask students to read Doctrine and Covenants 11:12–14 and determine the main topic taught in these verses. Label the tree The Spirit. Ask:
According to these verses, how can you know when you are being influenced by the Spirit?
What “fruits,” or results, can you expect in your life when you are being influenced by the Spirit? (Doing good, doing justly, walking humbly, judging righteously, having your mind enlightened, being filled with joy, and knowing the things of God.)
Label the fruit on the tree as the students find them in the scriptures. Invite students to tell about times the Spirit enlightened their mind, filled them with joy, or blessed them with knowledge of the things of God. Testify of the benefits that come from living in a way that makes us receptive to these promptings of the Holy Ghost.
Doctrine and Covenants 11:15–26. Before we can teach the gospel, we must prepare by studying the scriptures, coming to understand the gospel, gaining a testimony of the truth, and keeping the commandments.
Write the following locations on the board: Bogotá, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; São Paulo, Brazil; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Hamilton, New Zealand; London, England; Lima, Peru; Nuku’alofa, Tonga; Manila, Philippines; Mexico City, Mexico; Provo, Utah, United States; Santiago, Chile; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Seoul, Korea; Tokyo, Japan; Apia, Western Samoa.
Invite the students to guess what these locations have in common by asking up to 20 yes-or-no questions. (Each of these places has a Missionary Training Center.) Invite students to share ways future missionaries can prepare for the mission field.
In Doctrine and Covenants 11 the Lord spoke to Hyrum Smith about serving a mission. Have students read verses 4, 15 and explain why these verses might be in the same section. Read verses 16, 18, 21 and find what the Lord told Hyrum to do before preaching the gospel. Discuss the following questions:
How would obtaining the word affect Hyrum Smith’s ability to preach it?
Why do you think the Lord wants us to learn all we can before He provides His Spirit “unto the convincing of men”? (v. 21).
Read Doctrine and Covenants 11:22 and refer students to footnotes b and d. Remind students that in May 1829 the Bible was available, but the Prophet Joseph was still translating the Book of Mormon. Ask what other books of scripture have since been “added thereto.” (The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.)
Write on the board the headings What Hyrum Smith Was to Do and What Hyrum Was Not to Do. Have students read verses 17–20, 23–26 and list items for each heading. Focus for a few minutes on what Hyrum Smith was not to deny (see v. 25). Ask: Why do you think we should not deny the spirit of revelation and prophecy? Point out that the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus (see Revelation 19:10). The spirit of revelation is described in Doctrine and Covenants 8:2–3.
Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 11:26 and suggest what Hyrum Smith was to “treasure up” in his heart. Have them read Doctrine and Covenants 84:85 and cross-reference it to the word treasure in Doctrine and Covenants 11:26. Invite students to share how studying the scriptures has helped them feel better prepared to share the gospel. Read Doctrine and Covenants 38:30 and ask:
If you were called to teach the gospel, how would this verse reassure you?
How does this verse relate to Doctrine and Covenants 11:15–26?