From the time section 34 was revealed until the end of his life, Orson Pratt was almost constantly engaged in preaching the restored gospel. He left on his first mission to Colesville, New York, before the end of 1830. He served many missions both in North America and Europe, crossing the Atlantic Ocean 16 times. He was one of the original members of the Quorum of the Twelve. He was dropped from the Quorum in August 1842 because of differences with the Prophet Joseph but repented and was reinstated in January 1843. He was a member of Zion’s Camp in 1834 and the 1847 Pioneer Company. He was a gifted orator and a prolific writer on scientific as well as religious subjects. He served as Church historian from 1874 until his death in 1881.
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 69–70.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 34:1–3. The Atonement is evidence of the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for us.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 34:1–3 and ask: What does the Lord say to Orson Pratt in these verses that shows He loves him? Read the following statement:
“It is worth noting that love is giving not taking. One can give without loving, but one cannot love without giving. We recall that God so loved the world that He gave. [See John 3:16.] In [Doctrine and Covenants 34:3], the Savior declared that He so loved the world that He also gave.
“How does such love come to be? How do we develop this Christ-like love for others? The answer is found in the words of the Savior, when He declared:
“‘This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.’ [John 15:12, italics added.]
“The question we need to ask is: How did Jesus love that we might do the same? As we study the ministry of the Savior, we discover that His whole life was one of serving and sacrificing in behalf of other people” (Otten and Caldwell, Sacred Truths, 1:167).
How can we develop this Christlike love?
How can we show that love to others?
Doctrine and Covenants 34:5–9. Missionaries are called to cry repentance to prepare the world for the Savior’s Second Coming.
Have students look at the picture of an ancient trumpet in the student study guide (see the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for D&C 34). Ask: What purpose do you think this served? Read Ezekiel 33:1–7 to find one answer. Ask: What can sounding a trumpet symbolize today?
Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 34:5–9 and look for what the Lord commanded Orson Pratt to do that is like sounding a trumpet. Ask: What was he to help prepare the people for?
Remind students of the verses in Ezekiel. Ask: Who is called to be a watchman today? (Answers might include missionaries and others with Church callings.) Discuss what happens when watchmen fail to warn the people.