Doctrine and Covenants 24

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual, (2001), 57–58


Introduction

Early members of the Church faced persecution, particularly in Colesville, New York. “Whenever important advances are being made by the Church, it seems that the adversary of all righteousness mounts a concerted effort to stop the growth of the kingdom of God. But dedicated Saints of God overcome the problems and grow stronger, as did the Colesville Saints, who welded themselves into a strong and united branch” (Our Heritage: A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [1996], 17). During these times of persecution, the Lord encouraged the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Saints by revealing Doctrine and Covenants 24 and Moses 1. For additional insights see the historical background for section 24 in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325 (pp. 48–49).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

  • Those who endure their afflictions faithfully have the promise that the Lord will be with them and eventually deliver them from their trials (see D&C 24:1, 8; see also 2 Corinthians 4:17; James 1:2–4).

  • Those who serve the Lord receive protection from their enemies, inspiration from heaven, and strength to fulfill their callings (see D&C 24).

  • Church members are responsible to support and uphold the Lord’s prophet (see D&C 24:18; see also D&C 41:7; 43:12–13).

Additional Resources

  • Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 70–73.

  • Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 48–50.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants 24:1, 8. Those who endure their afflictions faithfully have the promise that the Lord will be with them.

(10–15 minutes)

Write the following sentence on the board: “Don’t let the workings of adversity totally absorb your life” (Richard G. Scott, in Conference Report, Sept.–Oct. 1995, 20; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 17). You could display a sponge that has soaked up all the water it can hold. Ask:

  • What does it mean to be absorbed by something?

  • How can our trials sometimes totally absorb us?

Briefly share examples of the trials experienced by Joseph Smith and the Colesville Saints (see Church History in the Fulness of Times, pp. 71–73). Discuss how their trials could have had a negative impact on their faith and kept them from accomplishing the Lord’s purposes.

Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 24:1, 7–8 and look for the Lord’s counsel and promises. List students’ findings on the board. Discuss how these promises might have helped Joseph Smith and how they can encourage us in our trials. Have a student read the following testimony by Elder Richard G. Scott, one of the Lord’s Apostles:

“I testify that when the Lord closes one important door in your life, He shows His continuing love and compassion by opening many other compensating doors through your exercise of faith. He will place in your path packets of spiritual sunlight to brighten your way. They often come after the trial has been the greatest, as evidence of the compassion and love of an all-knowing Father. They point the way to greater happiness and more understanding and strengthen your determination to accept and be obedient to His will” (in Conference Report, Sept.–Oct. 1995, 19–20; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 17).

Doctrine and Covenants 24. Those who serve the Lord receive protection from their enemies, inspiration from heaven, and strength to fulfill their callings.

(25–30 minutes)

Roll a ball down an incline. Ask students:

  • At what point in the incline would it take the least resistance to stop the ball’s movement? Why?

  • If you wanted something to fail, why would it be important to stop it before it gained momentum?

Briefly review examples of persecution experienced by Joseph Smith and the Colesville Saints in the summer of 1830 (see Church History in the Fulness of Times, pp. 71–73). Read Doctrine and Covenants 24:1 and look for the powers that sought to stop the spread of the Church. Ask:

  • How were “the powers of Satan” evident in these examples?

  • How could the Lord’s words in this verse bring comfort to Joseph Smith?

  • How can the promises of the Lord comfort us in our trials?

  • What examples can you give of how the Lord has helped you or someone you know overcome “the powers of Satan”?

Have students read the section heading for Doctrine and Covenants 24 and underline the three reasons sections 24–26 were given. Write strengthen, encourage, and instruct on the board. Divide the class into three groups, assigning one reason to each group. Have them search section 24 and identify ideas that relate to their reason, and write them on the board. Ask:

  • How might these ideas have been a blessing to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery?

  • How can these same ideas be a blessing to the Saints today?

Explain that “the powers of Satan and … darkness” are found in every land and among every people. Testify that the Lord has the power to help all His children against this common enemy. Point out that during this same period the Lord revealed Moses 1. Read Moses’s experience with “the powers of Satan” in Moses 1:9–23 and look for ways that this account might strengthen, encourage, and instruct the Saints living in 1830. Discuss ways that it might strengthen, encourage, and instruct the Saints today.