In Doctrine and Covenants 114:1 the Lord instructed Elder David W. Patten to prepare for a mission in the spring of 1839 in the company of 11 others. Elder Patten was not able to fill this mission because he was killed in a battle with an anti-Mormon mob in October 1838. While Elder Patten remained faithful to the Church to the end of his life, some of the others called on this mission did not. The Lord instructed in verse 2 that those who did not remain faithful be replaced by others. (For additional insights see the information for section 114 in the student study guide.)
There are many ways to serve our Heavenly Father in the Church. Even small acts of service are valuable. The Lord taught: “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33). President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency said:
“Through humble prayer, diligent preparation, and faithful service, we can succeed in our sacred callings. …
“… There is no feeling to surpass that feeling which engulfs us when we recognize that we have been on the Lord’s errand and He has allowed us to help fulfill His purposes” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1991, 65; or Ensign, Nov. 1991, 47).
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 186, 199–200.
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 284–85.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 114; 118. The Lord will replace those He calls to serve if they are not faithful.
Sing or read the words to
What type of Church work do you think of when you sing this hymn?
What words in this hymn apply to more than missionary work?
Which of these blessings apply to full-time missionary service?
Which could also apply to other Church callings?
Ask how our serving faithfully in the Church affects the lives of others (see Jacob 1:19). Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 114; 118:1, 6. Discuss what happens to people if they lose their faith and testimony. (Refer them to the student study guide for help with difficult words in these verses.) Contrast this with the Lord’s promises listed on the board.
Invite students to write a thank-you note to someone who has blessed their life while fulfilling a Church calling.