President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “As I read the history of our people I am impressed that the men are named and remembered and honored. Too little honor is given the women” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley , 698). Section 25, given to Emma Smith, provides an excellent opportunity to study one of the great women in the history of the Church. For more insight see the historical background for section 25 in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325 (
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
When husbands and wives support each other in their divine roles and callings, they can be directed by the Holy Ghost and ultimately receive exaltation (see D&C 25:5–6, 9, 13–16; see also Ephesians 5:22–33).
The Lord has given women special gifts and talents to bless His children (see D&C 25).
The song of the heart is a prayer to the Lord (see D&C 25:11–12).
Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 71–74.
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 50–53.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 25:1. When we accept and live the gospel of Jesus Christ, we become His children.
Invite students to think of their father or an individual who is like a father to them. Invite a few students to share characteristics of these fathers or father figures. Explain that there is someone else who can be their father. Have them read Doctrine and Covenants 25:1 to find this person. To help them, ask:
Who is speaking in this verse?
Who is He speaking to?
What does He call her?
In what ways is Jesus Christ a father to us?
Read Mosiah 5:7. How can we become sons and daughters in Christ’s kingdom?
Share the following statement by Elder Russell M. Nelson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:
“When we embrace the gospel and are baptized, we are born again and take upon ourselves the sacred name of Jesus Christ [see D&C 20:37]. We are adopted as his sons and daughters and are known as brothers and sisters. He is the Father of our new life. We become joint heirs to promises given by the Lord to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their posterity [see Galatians 3:29; D&C 86:8–11]” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 43; or Ensign, May 1995, 34).
Doctrine and Covenants 25. When husbands and wives support each other in their roles and callings, they can be directed by the Holy Ghost and receive exaltation.
Read or summarize for students the historical background for section 25 in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325 (p. 50). Focus on Emma Smith’s trials and how she responded. Ask:
Why do you think some people endure trials better than others?
What helps you endure life’s trials?
Write on the board the headings Counsel and Blessings. Divide the class into two groups. Have one group read section 25 looking for counsel the Lord gave to Emma. Have the other read the section looking for blessings she received. List their findings under the two headings. Discuss the following questions:
How do you think the counsel Emma received might have influenced her life?
How do you think the promised blessings she received brought her comfort?
Have students read verse 16 again and identify those who could benefit from this revelation. Discuss how the counsel to Emma could influence our lives. Discuss also how the blessings she was promised could give us confidence and comfort in the face of trials.
Note: Doctrine and Covenants 25 has special significance for women in the Church, while Doctrine and Covenants 121:41–46, on exercising the priesthood, has special significance for men. You could compare and contrast the Lord’s counsel in these two revelations and discuss the principles that are similar in both.
Doctrine and Covenants 25. The Lord has given women special gifts and talents to bless His children.
Read the following statement made by President Gordon B. Hinckley, then a counselor in the First Presidency, at a general women’s meeting:
“I have been led again to read the twenty-fifth section of the Doctrine and Covenants. … Insofar as I know, this is the only revelation given specifically to a woman, and in concluding it the Lord said, ‘This is my voice unto all.’ (V. 16.) Therefore, the counsel given by the Lord on this occasion is applicable to each of you” (“If Thou Art Faithful,” Ensign, Nov. 1984, 90).
Tell students: Imagine that a traveler who has never been to our country before and knows nothing of our lifestyle comes for a visit. He arrives late at night and doesn’t have a chance to see much of the country before he goes to his hotel. Before going to sleep he decides to watch TV or read a popular national magazine for a couple of hours. Ask:
Based only on the few hours of TV he saw, how do you think the traveler would describe the role of women in our country?
Do you think the world’s opinion of the role of women differs from what the Lord has taught? If so, how?
There is much confusion in the world about women’s roles. The Lord has given women special gifts and talents to bless His children. Invite students to search Doctrine and Covenants 25:1–3 for reasons the Lord calls Emma “an elect lady.” List their responses on the board. (These might include that she had received the gospel, she was a daughter of God, she was promised an inheritance if she was faithful, her sins were forgiven.) Have them read Doctrine and Covenants 25:4–15 looking for ways an elect lady lives her life. For help with answers, see the list in the commentary for Doctrine and Covenants 25:16 in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325 (pp. 52–53). As you feel impressed, share portions of Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s talk from the same section of Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual (p. 53), and discuss them as a class.
Read and discuss the following statements by President Gordon B. Hinckley:
“I feel to invite women everywhere to rise to the great potential within you. I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity. I hope you will not nag yourselves with thoughts of failure. I hope you will not try to set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know. If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass” (Motherhood: A Heritage of Faith , 9).
“May I express my gratitude to you faithful Latter-day Saint women, now numbered in the millions and found across the earth. Great is your power for good. Marvelous are your talents and devotion. Tremendous is your faith and your love for the Lord, for His work, and for His sons and daughters. Continue to live the gospel. Magnify it before all of your associates. Your good works will carry more weight than any words you might speak. Walk in virtue and truth, with faith and faithfulness. You are part of an eternal plan, a plan designed by God our Eternal Father. Each day is a part of that eternity” (“Daughters of God,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 100).
Doctrine and Covenants 25:11–12 (Scripture Mastery, Doctrine and Covenants 25:12). The song of the heart is a prayer to the Lord.
Invite students to list types of music (for example, classical, hymns, alternative, easy listening, heavy metal, country, rap). Ask them to describe how they feel when they listen to that music (peaceful, rowdy, irritated, confused, patriotic, loving, carefree, scared, spiritual). Ask what they think makes music good or bad (see Moroni 7:14–16).
Share the following counsel from President Boyd K. Packer:
“Some music is spiritually very destructive. You young people know what kind that is. The tempo, the sounds, and the lifestyle of those who perform it repel the Spirit. It is far more dangerous than you may suppose, for it can smother your spiritual senses” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 78; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 61).
Have a student read Doctrine and Covenants 25:11. Point out that the Lord gave this commandment to Emma Smith in July 1830, just three months after the Church was organized. The hymnbook she compiled was published in 1835. Like all Latter-day Saint hymnbooks since, it contained some hymns from other churches and some written by Latter-day Saints. (See Church History in the Fulness of Times, pp. 161–62.) Have students read verse 12 and find how the Lord feels about sacred music. Discuss the following questions:
Why do you think the Lord asked Emma to compile a book of hymns?
How is a hymn different from other kinds of music? (see the statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie in the commentary for D&C 25:12 in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325,
Ask students to give an example of how a hymn can be a “song of the heart” or “a prayer unto” the Lord. Ask: How can a hymn strengthen or encourage us?
Have a student read the following statement by Elder Boyd K. Packer:
“Choose from among the sacred music of the Church a favorite hymn, one with words that are uplifting and music that is reverent, one that makes you feel something akin to inspiration. Go over it in your mind carefully. Memorize it. Even though you have had no musical training, you can think through a hymn.
“Now, use this hymn as the place for your thoughts to go. Make it your emergency channel. Whenever you find [inappropriate thoughts slipping] onto the stage of your mind, put on this record, as it were. As the music begins and as the words form in your thoughts, the unworthy ones will slip shamefully away. It will change the whole mood on the stage of your mind. Because it is uplifting and clean, the baser thoughts will disappear” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1976, 100).
Discuss how hymns can help us overcome temptation, and invite students to share examples from their lives.
Sing or play some of the students’ favorite hymns or primary songs. Discuss the feelings that accompany inspired music.
Share some of the statements on the power of good music from the First Presidency Preface in the hymnbook (see Hymns,