Doctrine and Covenants 49

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual, (2001), 90–91


Bishop Glenn L. Pace, then a member of the Presiding Bishopric, said:

“There are some of our members who practice selective obedience. A prophet is not one who displays a smorgasbord of truth from which we are free to pick and choose. However, some members become critical and suggest the prophet should change the menu. A prophet doesn’t take a poll to see which way the wind of public opinion is blowing. He reveals the will of the Lord to us. …

“In 1831 some converts wanted to bring a few of their previous beliefs into the Church with them. Our problem today is with members who seem very vulnerable to the trends in society … and want the Church to change its position to accommodate them. …

“We need to accept the full truth—even all of it—‘put on the whole armour of God’ (Ephesians 6:11), and get to work building up the kingdom. Each of us might ask ourselves, Am I a positive contributor to building up the kingdom in our day of this dispensation of the fulness of times?” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 33–34; or Ensign, May 1989, 26–27).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 92–95.

  • Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 104–7.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants 49. True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior.

(20–25 minutes)

Ask students what they think of the following statement: “What people believe affects the way they behave and live.” Share either the story of Lucy Smith and the parting of the ice or the story of the Prophet Joseph Smith healing Alice Johnson (see Church History in the Fulness of Times, pp. 91–94). Ask students how the beliefs of Lucy Smith or Joseph Smith affected what happened in these situations.

Invite students to read the section heading for Doctrine and Covenants 49 and mark five beliefs of the Shakers. List them on the board under the heading Shaker Beliefs.

  • The Second Coming had already occurred.

  • Christ had returned in the form of a woman named Ann Lee.

  • Baptism was not essential.

  • People should not eat pork.

  • A celibate life was higher than marriage.

Discuss with students how their lives might be different if they believed in the principles listed on the board.

Divide students into pairs and have them search Doctrine and Covenants 49 for teachings that correct the false beliefs of the Shakers. Write on the board the heading What the Lord Said next to Shaker Beliefs, and list the students’ findings.

  • The Second Coming is “nigh at hand” (v. 6; see vv. 7, 23–24).

  • Jesus will not come in the form of a woman or a traveling man (see v. 22).

  • The Lord commands us to be baptized (see vv. 13–14).

  • Whoever forbids to eat meat is not of God (see vv. 18–19).

  • Whoever forbids to marry is not of God (see vv. 15–16).

Suggest that students write these verses in the section heading next to the corresponding Shaker beliefs. Be sure students understand how each false belief was corrected by true doctrine.

Ask: How could this revelation help Leman Copley, who was a new convert and a former Shaker? Have students name doctrines they know to be true and tell how those doctrines have influenced them. Ask: Do your beliefs really make a difference in how you live? In what ways?

Doctrine and Covenants 49:1–14. All mankind can be redeemed from their sins through the Atonement of Jesus Christ by obedience to the principles and ordinances of the gospel.

(15–20 minutes)

Ask students how they would like to eat something baked by someone who followed only part of a recipe. (You might have students taste a sample of bread or cookies missing an ingredient.) Ask how they would like to be operated on by a doctor who only completed part of medical school or fly in an airplane with a pilot who only finished part of flight school. Ask:

  • What might be the consequences of such situations?

  • Which of these consequences would have the most serious impact on your life?

  • How can doing or learning all that is required help prevent negative consequences?

Read Doctrine and Covenants 49:1–2, and discuss the following questions:

  • Why do some people want to know only part of the truth?

  • What do you think might be some of the consequences of living only part of the gospel?

Read verses 5–14 and have students identify what we must do to prepare for the Lord’s coming.

Share the statement by Bishop Glenn L. Pace from the introduction to section 49 above. Discuss the importance of following the Savior’s teachings completely.

Doctrine and Covenants 49:6–7, 22–25. Neither men nor angels know the day and hour of the Second Coming, but the Lord has revealed signs that can help us prepare.

(15–20 minutes)

Show students some money and ask:

  • Why would anyone make counterfeit money?

  • What negative consequences can come from making and using counterfeit money?

Consider having a student read the statement by President Joseph F. Smith in the introduction to section 50 below. (Note: This statement is also used in the teaching suggestion for D&C 50.) Ask: Why do you think Satan produces counterfeits? Have students give examples of ways Satan deceives people today. Review the Shakers’ beliefs listed in the section heading for Doctrine and Covenants 49. Read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:5–6, 9, 22, and discuss ways in which the Shakers were deceived.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 49:6–7 and ask:

  • How might it affect your behavior if you knew the exact time the Lord was coming?

  • Why do you think the Savior chose not to tell us the exact time?

Read verses 22–25, and discuss the following:

  • How do we know that the Lord was concerned about His people being deceived?

  • What important events will take place before the Lord’s coming?

  • In what ways are “Jacob” and “Zion” flourishing today? (see the commentary for D&C 49:24–25 in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 106–7).

  • What does the phrase “the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose” mean?

  • How can these signs help us prepare for “the hour and the day” of the Lord’s coming?

Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 21:4–6; 45:56–57; Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:37. Ask: What else can we do to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?