Doctrine and Covenants 29

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual, (2001), 64–66


Introduction

Joseph Smith received sections 28–29 prior to the conference of the Church held September 26, 1830. The six elders mentioned in the section heading for Doctrine and Covenants 29 were Oliver Cowdery, Thomas B. Marsh, Samuel H. Smith, David Whitmer, John Whitmer, and Peter Whitmer.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

  • Those who hear and obey the Lord’s voice are the elect of God. The Lord gathers them, protects them, and prepares them to live eternally with Him (see D&C 29:1–8, 26–27).

  • At the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the wicked will be destroyed, the righteous who have died will be resurrected, and Christ will dwell on earth for a thousand years (see D&C 29:9–13; see also Malachi 4:1).

  • At the end of the Millennium there will be a little season in which men will again begin to deny God (D&C 29:22). The earth will be changed and become a celestial kingdom. The wicked will finally be resurrected, there will be a final judgment, and all will be given an eternal reward (see D&C 29:22–29; see also D&C 88:17–20; 130:8–11).

  • Some of the Lord’s commandments may seem temporal (having to do with this life only), but to the Lord all things are spiritual (see D&C 29:34–35).

  • Agency and opposition were part of the premortal life, and they continue in earth life. We receive rewards and punishments based on how we use our agency (see D&C 29:35–40, 43–45; see also 2 Nephi 2:11).

  • Satan gains power over us when we transgress God’s laws. We can overcome spiritual death through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ (see D&C 29:41–43; see also Alma 7:14).

  • The effects of the Fall, including temporal and spiritual death, are overcome through the Atonement (see D&C 29:40–45).

  • Little children cannot sin. Satan is not allowed to tempt them, and they are redeemed through the Atonement (see D&C 29:46–50; see also Mosiah 3:16; Moroni 8:22).

Additional Resources

  • Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 59–63.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants 29. Agency and opposition were part of the premortal life, and they continue in earth life. We receive rewards and punishments based on how we use our agency.

(50–60 minutes)

Read 2 Nephi 2:11. Ask students: Why must there be an opposition in all things? Read verses 10, 15 and share this statement by President Ezra Taft Benson: “Opposition provides choices, and choices bring consequences—good or bad” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1988, 5; or Ensign, May 1988, 6). Ask: How do laws help us gain eternal life? Read verse 13 and explain that without law we could not progress because we couldn’t keep the law and be righteous. Ask:

  • What part does Satan play in our agency? (see vv. 16–18).

  • How did we get the power to choose? (see vv. 16, 26).

  • How can making good choices bring freedom? How can making bad choices bring captivity? (see vv. 26–30).

Tell students that Doctrine and Covenants 29 deals with many parts of God’s plan for His children and this earth. Understanding this plan can help us make decisions based on an eternal perspective.

Make a timeline on the board or on a poster with the following labels: Premortal Life (see vv. 36–38; see also Abraham 3:21–28), The Fall (see vv. 39–42), The Present (see vv. 1–8), Just before the Second Coming (see vv. 14–21 ), The Second Coming (see vv. 9–13 ), The Millennium (see v. 11 ), and After the Millennium (see vv. 22–29). Have students read the verses for Premortal Life to learn about the first period on the timeline. In particular, have them identify what the verses teach about the righteous and the wicked. Discuss their findings, and list them on the board. Repeat this process for the other periods on the timeline. Ask:

  • According to these verses, why is it important to choose righteousness?

  • Why do you think it is so difficult for some people to do what is right?

  • How can these verses inspire us to stay faithful in a wicked world?

Clarify any questions the students have, using information from Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325 (pp. 59–63).

Draw a picture of a large bank check on a poster or on the board made out to students for “all that I have.” Ask:

  • If you could have anyone sign this check, who would it be?

  • Read Doctrine and Covenants 29:45; 84:38. How do the Lord’s wages compare to Satan’s?

  • Read Isaiah 64:4; Alma 12:12–17; 30:60. What do these verses add to our understanding of this doctrine?

  • How can we tell whether we are working for the Lord’s wages or Satan’s?

Testify that while we are blessed in this life for keeping God’s commandments, many of His blessings are greater than we can receive in this life. Receiving that eternal reward is worth any effort or sacrifice we can make.

Doctrine and Covenants 29:1–29. At the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the wicked will be destroyed and the righteous who have died will be resurrected.

(15–20 minutes)

Show students a nearly full cup of water and some pebbles. Tell them that the pebbles represent sins. Have students name sins that are common in the world around them. For each sin, drop a pebble in the cup, until the cup overflows. Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 29:17 and tell how this demonstration represents the consequences of wickedness. Read verse 9 and ask:

  • What does this verse compare the world’s wickedness to?

  • What does the phrase the earth is ripe mean?

Have students read verses 1–8, 11, 13, and list ways the Lord helps His children overcome wickedness. Read verses 9, 14–21, 27–29, and discuss what happens to the wicked. If desired, read or sing “Do What Is Right” (Hymns, no. 237), stressing that good consequences come from our righteous living. The Lord will bless those who keep His commandments, both now and in eternity. When we “do what is wrong,” consequences also follow. Good and bad things happen to both the righteous and wicked. But some of the world’s calamities are the results of bad choices and disobedience to the Lord’s commands.

Doctrine and Covenants 29:34–35. Some of the Lord’s commandments may seem temporal (having to do with this life only), but to the Lord all things are spiritual.

(15–20 minutes)

Help students define the words temporal and spiritual. Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 29:34–35 and tell in their own words what the Lord said about His commandments. Ask: How do you think all commandments can be spiritual? Have students list some of the Lord’s commandments. Discuss several of them and the blessings that come from obeying them, both in this life and in eternity. (You could discuss chastity, honesty, the Word of Wisdom, tithing, keeping the Sabbath day holy, and other commandments you feel need to be emphasized.)

Doctrine and Covenants 29:46–50. Little children and those who cannot understand right from wrong cannot sin. Satan is not allowed to tempt them, and they are redeemed through the Atonement.

(15–20 minutes)

Tell students that in the Ensign magazine there is often a section called “I Have a Question.” Ask them to imagine that they have been asked to write that column for the next issue and to answer these questions:

  • Can children who die before they are baptized receive salvation?

  • What about individuals with mental disabilities?

Invite students to read the following scriptures and statement and write answers to the questions:

“After revealing that little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world through the atoning sacrifice of Him who died to save us all, and after specifying that Satan has no power to tempt little children until they begin to become accountable, the Lord applied the same principles to those who are mentally deficient: ‘And, again, I say unto you, that whoso having knowledge, have I not commanded to repent? And he that hath no understanding, it remaineth in me to do according as it is written.’ (D&C 29:49–50.)” (“The Salvation of Little Children,” Ensign, Apr. 1977, 6–7).

Discuss what they wrote, and share the commentary for Doctrine and Covenants 29:46–48 and 29:50 in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325 (p. 63).