Doctrine and Covenants 12

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual, (2001), 41–42


Some students may feel their contributions in the Church are insignificant. They may feel unimportant because they have never served in a class or quorum presidency. Joseph Knight Sr. is not well-known by most members of the Church today. Yet his contributions through simple service to the Prophet Joseph Smith are immeasurable. Brother Knight was 33 years older than Joseph Smith but had great respect for the young prophet. Several times Brother Knight provided him with provisions, which allowed the Prophet to continue work on the translation of the Book of Mormon. Joseph Knight wrote: “I let [Joseph Smith] have some little provisions and some few things out of the store, a pair of shoes, and three dollars in money to help him a little. … [Later] I gave … Joseph a little money to buy paper to translate” (in Dean Jessee, “Joseph Knight’s Recollection of Early Mormon History,” Brigham Young University Studies, fall 1976, 36; spelling and punctuation standardized).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 43–44, 54–55, 71.

  • Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 26–27.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants 12:6. The Lord has asked members of the Church to “seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion.”

(10–15 minutes)

Have a student use the introduction and the sources in the additional resource section above to prepare a two-minute presentation on Joseph Knight Sr. After the report, point out that many members of the Church today know little about Joseph Knight Sr. and the assistance he provided. Ask:

  • Why do you think he was an important figure in the Restoration?

  • Why is every member of this Church important in building the Lord’s kingdom, regardless of calling?

Have a student read Doctrine and Covenants 12:6, and ask the class: What was Joseph Knight invited to help do? Write Zion on the board, and beneath it, write location and condition. Ask students to read the description of Zion in the Bible Dictionary (pp. 792–93) and determine how Zion is both a location and a condition. Write their findings on the board.

Add the word cause to the board below the word condition. Have students read verses 7–8 and find what the Lord teaches us about assisting the cause of Zion. List their findings on the board. Ask:

  • In what ways did Joseph Knight assist the cause of Zion?

  • What can you do to help the cause of Zion in your home?