Doctrine and Covenants 108

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual, (2001), 184


Introduction

Lyman Sherman, a faithful member of the Church, approached Joseph Smith the day after Christmas in 1835. Lyman told the Prophet, “I have been wrought upon to make known to you my feelings and desires, and was promised that I should have a revelation which should make known my duty” (History of the Church, 2:345). In section 108, the Lord told Lyman that because he obeyed the prompting, “Your sins are forgiven you” (v. 1). The Lord then told him: “Let your soul be at rest concerning your spiritual standing. … You shall be remembered with the first of mine elders. … I am with you to bless you and deliver you forever” (vv. 2, 4, 8).

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin taught:

“The windows of heaven are open wide to the faithful and righteous; nothing closes them faster than disobedience. The unworthy cannot access fully the network of revealed truth. …

“To open the windows of heaven, we must conform our will to God’s will. Diligent, enduring obedience to God’s laws is the key that opens the windows of heaven. Obedience enables us to be receptive to the mind and will of the Lord” (in Conference Report, Sept.–Oct. 1995, 101; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 75–76).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 269–70.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants 108. Church members receive “exceeding great blessings” from the Lord when they make and keep covenants with Him.

(15–20 minutes)

Display a picture of Jesus Christ and tell students to imagine having an interview with Him. Ask which of the following they would most like to hear the Savior say:

  • “Your sins are forgiven you” (D&C 108:1).

  • “Let your soul be at rest concerning your spiritual standing” (v. 2).

  • “You shall be blessed with exceeding great blessings” (v. 3).

  • “I am with you to bless you and deliver you forever” (v. 8).

Have students explain the reasons for their selection. Ask them what they can do to receive blessings like these from the Lord.

Explain that the Lord made each of these promises to Lyman Sherman, a faithful Church member. Have students read section 108 and mark the Lord’s instructions that can help us obtain these blessings. Use the following questions in your discussion:

  • How do people resist the Lord’s voice? (By ignoring the counsel of His servants.)

  • Compare 2 Nephi 1:23 with Doctrine and Covenants 108:3. How can a person “arise up”?

  • What are “vows”? (v. 3). How are they like covenants?

  • What does it mean to “be more careful … in observing” them?

  • What blessings are worth “wait[ing] patiently” for? (v. 4). (Answers might include temple ordinances, revelation, sanctification.)

  • In what ways can you “strengthen your brethren”? (v. 7).

Read the first paragraph from the introduction to section 108 above. Discuss how Lyman Sherman’s obedience to personal revelation led to these further blessings. Testify to students that they can receive similar blessings through obedience to the Lord. Share the statement by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin from the introduction to section 108 above.