In section 73 the Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon that it was “expedient to translate again” (v. 3).
This refers to the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. “Pondering, or meditating upon the things of God, opens doors to understanding. The mind and spirit are prepared to receive the promptings and guidance that emanates from the Holy Spirit” (Otten and Caldwell, Sacred Truths, 2:394). During this period of translation, Joseph received section 74, which gives an inspired explanation of 1 Corinthians 7:14.
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 153–55.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 74:1. Each individual in a family can be a positive spiritual influence in the home.
Write on the board One person can be saved by another person’s righteousness. Ask students whether this statement is true or false. (False; see Articles of Faith 1:2.) Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 74:1, and ask: If the statement on the board is false, then what does this scripture mean? After students express some ideas, share the following statement:
“In the Corinthian Church, some evidently held that when the husband, or wife, had been converted, he, or she, ought to abandon the unconverted partner as unclean and contaminating. Not at all! St. Paul says, in substance, that the conversion of one of the partners has brought a sanctifying influence into the family” (Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl, The Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, rev. ed. , 432).
Ask: How can one member of a family make a difference in the spirit in a home? Elder Dean L. Larsen, who was then a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, gave the following counsel to young people:
“Remember who you are. Remember the purpose for which you have come to the earth—the service you have been chosen to give. Stay true to the divine trust that our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, have placed upon you. You can contribute as much to the spiritual environment of your homes as any member of your family, and you have an obligation to do so. Study the scriptures and encourage the other members of your family to do so. Say your prayers and do all you can to influence other members of your family to pray. Pay your tithes. Obey the Word of Wisdom. Be chaste. You may have a greater influence than you have thought possible, if you will do your own part” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1983, 50; or Ensign, May 1983, 35).
Invite students to consider what they can do to make their homes more inviting to the Spirit of the Lord.
Doctrine and Covenants 74:2–6. Marrying outside the faith can create difficulties in a marriage and in a family.
Hold up a jar of water and a jar of oil, and ask students how well these two liquids mix together. Pour the water into the oil and shake it, and then show the class how quickly they separate. Read Doctrine and Covenants 74:2–6 and look for how these verses might relate to the water and oil. Ask:
What challenges could married couples who are of two different religions face?
How could this kind of marriage affect the children?
What goals can young people set now to help them have a united, successful marriage?
Share the following statement by the First Presidency:
“Because dating is a preparation for marriage, date only those who have high standards, who respect your standards, and in whose company you can maintain the standards of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (For the Strength of Youth [pamphlet, 1990], 7).
Doctrine and Covenants 74:7. Little children are holy and are saved in the celestial kingdom through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Show the class a picture of one or more of your children or a child you know well. Share a special experience you had with the child, and express the love you have for the child. Write on the board Mosiah 3:16; Moroni 8:8–12; D&C 29:46–47; 68:27.
Invite students to read these references and answer the following questions:
How does Heavenly Father feel toward His children?
When do children become accountable for their sins?
Where do children go who die before they are accountable?
Invite the class to turn to Doctrine and Covenants 74:7 and look for the power that saves children. Ask students to make a scripture chain using this verse and those on the board.