In September 1830 Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer Jr. were called to serve a mission to the Lamanites (see D&C 28:8; 30:5–6). The Lamanite mission created considerable excitement in the Church because of the many prophecies about the Lamanites in the Book of Mormon (see the title page of the Book of Mormon; 1 Nephi 15:13–18; Enos 1:11–17). In October Joseph inquired of the Lord for more information and received section 32.
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
The Lord promises to be with and bless missionaries who humbly declare the gospel, prayerfully study the scriptures, and obey what is written in them (see D&C 32).
Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 79–88.
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 66–67.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 32:1–3. The Lord commanded that the gospel be taken to the Lamanites, as promised in the Book of Mormon.
Write Lamanites on the board and ask students:
Who were the Lamanites?
Where do you think the children of Lehi are found today?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 28:1–8; 30:5–6; 32:1–3 looking for the names of those called to go to the Lamanites, and list the counsel each man received from the Lord. Discuss how that counsel might apply to missionaries today.
Show students the map of the Lamanite mission in the student study guide (see the “Studying the Scriptures” section for D&C 32). Ask how far these missionaries traveled (about 2,500 kilometers, or 1,500 miles, mostly on foot). Explain that though the Lamanite mission is mentioned only briefly in the Doctrine and Covenants, it had a significant impact on the Church. The missionaries had most of their success in frontier towns on their way to Indian Territory. Share some examples from Church History in the Fulness of Times (see pp. 79–88). Explain that because of this mission, the size of the Church doubled and foundations were laid for missionary work among the children of Lehi and future revelation about the land of Zion. Ask students if they think the journey was worthwhile.
Discuss what the Church is doing today to take the gospel to the children of Lehi (see the commentary for D&C 32 in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325,