Early in 1834, Wilford Woodruff, a newly baptized convert, arrived in Kirtland and met with the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. President Woodruff later recalled:
“On Sunday night the Prophet called on all who held the Priesthood to gather into the little log school house they had there. It was a small house, perhaps 14 feet square. But it held the whole of the Priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who were then in the town of Kirtland. … When we got together the Prophet called upon the Elders of Israel with him to bear testimony of this work. … When they got through the Prophet said, ‘Brethren I have been very much edified and instructed in your testimonies here tonight, but I want to say to you before the Lord, that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and kingdom than a babe upon its mother’s lap. You don’t comprehend it.’ I was rather surprised. He said ‘it is only a little handful of Priesthood you see here tonight, but this Church will fill North and South America—it will fill the world.’” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1898, 57).
We are seeing the fulfillment of Joseph Smith’s prophecy today as the Church experiences unprecedented growth. Doctrine and Covenants 65 verifies that the stone described by Daniel is the gospel of Jesus Christ and it is spreading to all the earth. President Gordon B. Hinckley added his witness:
“The little stone which was cut out of the mountain without hands, as seen in Daniel’s vision, is rolling forth to fill the whole earth (see Daniel 2:44–45). No force under the heavens can stop it if we will walk in righteousness and be faithful and true. The Almighty Himself is at our head” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 95; or Ensign, May 1995, 71).
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 139–40.
Suggestions for Teaching
CES Church History Resource Videocassette presentation 1, “A Stone Cut Out” (8:08), can be used as part of the teaching suggestion for Doctrine and Covenants 65:1–5.
Doctrine and Covenants 65:1–5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth. It exists to prepare the world for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Display a world map. Attach a picture of a great, round stone so that it covers a large portion of the map. Or show the first segment of “A Stone Cut Out,” presentation 1 of the CES Church History Resource Videocassette. Have students read Daniel 2:44–45; Doctrine and Covenants 65:1–2 and determine what the display (or video) represents. Discuss how Daniel’s prophecy is being fulfilled today. Read the statement by President Wilford Woodruff in the introduction above.
Write on the board Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven. Have students search their Bible Dictionary and write a brief definition for each phrase. Choose two students to give their definitions, and write them beneath the corresponding phrases on the board.
Point out that in the section heading for Doctrine and Covenants 65, Joseph Smith described this revelation as a prayer. Read verses 3–6 to identify what we should pray for in preparation for the Second Coming. Invite students to discuss ways the kingdom of God (the Church) helps us prepare for the kingdom of heaven (the millennial kingdom).
Share this statement by President Gordon B. Hinckley, then a counselor in the First Presidency:
“It should be recognized that this church is not a social club. This is the kingdom of God in the earth. It is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its purpose is to bring salvation and exaltation to both the living and the dead” (“Rise to a Larger Vision of the Work,” Ensign, May 1990, 97).
If you used “A Stone Cut Out” earlier in this teaching suggestion, show the second segment now.
Share the following statement by President Hinckley:
“Let us do our part in sharing the gospel with those around us, by example first and then by inspired precept.
“The stone cut out of the mountain without hands will continue to roll forth until it has filled the whole earth. (See Daniel 2.) I give you my witness of this truth and of the truth that each of us can help in ways that are appropriate to our circumstances if we will seek the guidance and inspiration of our Father in heaven. This is God’s work that we do, and with his blessing we shall not fail” (Faith, the Essence of True Religion , 57).
Invite students to discuss ways they can share the gospel to help prepare the earth for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.