Doctrine and Covenants 93

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual, (2001), 156–60


Introduction

In John 17, the Savior’s great Intercessory Prayer, the Lord spoke these words on behalf of His disciples: “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (v. 3). In Doctrine and Covenants 93, the Savior revealed many truths about His and Heavenly Father’s nature. He then explained, “I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship” (D&C 93:19).

Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained: “Perfect worship is emulation. We honor those whom we imitate. The most perfect way of worship is to be holy as Jehovah is holy. It is to be pure as Christ is pure. It is to do the things that enable us to become like the Father. The course is one of obedience” (The Promised Messiah, 568).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

  • Those who forsake their sins, come unto Christ, call on His name, obey His voice, and keep His commandments will see His face and know that He is (see D&C 93:1; see also D&C 67:10; 88:68; 101:38).

  • Jesus grew from grace to grace until He received the fulness of His Father. Those who follow Jesus’s example, worship the Father, and keep the commandments will also receive of the Father’s fulness (see D&C 93:11–20, 26–28; see also D&C 84:35–38).

  • Intelligence, or the light of truth, is eternal. Truth is knowledge of things as they are, were, and are to come (see D&C 93:24, 29, 31–36).

  • Keeping the commandments brings us light and truth and protects us from Satan’s influence. Disobedience causes us to lose light and truth (see D&C 93:24–39).

  • God commands parents to pray and to raise their children in light and truth (see D&C 93:40–50; see also D&C 68:25–28).

Additional Resources

  • Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 217–22.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Video presentation 14, “Light and Truth, Part 2” (6:44), can be used in teaching Doctrine and Covenants 93 (see Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Video Guide for teaching suggestions).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:1. Those who forsake their sins, come unto Christ, call on His name, obey His voice, and keep His commandments will see His face and know that He is.

(20–25 minutes)

Have students imagine they were given the opportunity to see God. Invite them to consider what their experience might be like. Discuss the following questions:

  • Would everyone be comfortable in God’s presence? Why or why not? (see Alma 12:14).

  • What requirements do you think there would be to see His face?

Write on the board the following equation, leaving blanks in place of all the phrases except forsake sins. Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 93:1 and fill in the blanks.

Know Christ

Point out the scripture references in footnote 1e. Read Doctrine and Covenants 67:10; 88:68 and ask: What do these verses add to our understanding of the requirements in Doctrine and Covenants 93:1? Read the following account by Bishop Orson F. Whitney, later a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, of a dream he had as a young missionary:

“I dreamed that I was in the garden of Gethsemane. I saw the Savior and three of His Apostles enter the garden through a little gate at my right. The Savior left these three in a group and told them to pray without ceasing, while He crossed over to my left and began to pray. As He prayed the tears streamed down His face, and His whole soul seemed rent with agony, as He asked the Father to let the cup pass from Him. …

“… I shall never forget the great effect His grief had upon me. I began to weep out of sheer sympathy with His sufferings. It seemed to me that my whole heart went out to Him; that I would have died for His sake or done anything else that He required of me. Presently a change came over the spirit of my dream. … Instead of being before the crucifixion, it was after that event, and the Redeemer … was about to ascend to heaven, to leave the earth. … I fell at His feet, clasped Him around the knees and begged Him with all my soul that I … might go with Him. He bent down, took me in His arms, in the tenderest and gentlest manner possible, and with a smile of heavenly sweetness … He shook His head, as if grieved to deny my request, and said: ‘No, my son, you have not finished your work.’ … I clung to Him and said: ‘Well, promise me that when I have finished my career, after I have lived out my life, I shall then come to you.’ Again He smiled, sadly and sweetly, and said: ‘That will depend entirely upon yourself.’” (“Y.M.M.I.A. Annual Conference,” Contributor, Sept. 1895, 667–68).

Invite students to suggest reasons seeing the Savior would be such a wonderful experience. Read to the class this statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

“We have the power—and it is our privilege—so to live, that becoming pure in heart, we shall see the face of God while we yet dwell as mortals in a world of sin and sorrow.

“This is the crowning blessing of mortality. It is offered by that God who is no respecter of persons to all the faithful in his kingdom” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1977, 52; or Ensign, Nov. 1977, 34).

Ask students to name people in the scriptures who have had this promise fulfilled. You may wish to have the class search the Topical Guide for examples (see “Jesus Christ, appearances, antemortal” and “Jesus Christ, appearances, postmortal,” pp. 241–42).

Explain to students that most faithful Latter-day Saints will not see the Lord during mortality, but if we live worthily we will inherit the celestial kingdom, where the promise to see His face will be fulfilled (see D&C 76:62). President Spencer W. Kimball said:

“I have learned that where there is a prayerful heart, a hungering after righteousness, a forsaking of sins, and obedience to the commandments of God, the Lord pours out more and more light until there is finally power to pierce the heavenly veil and to know more than man knows. A person of such righteousness has the priceless promise that one day he shall see the Lord’s face and know that he is (see D&C 93:1)” (“Give the Lord Your Loyalty,” Ensign, Mar. 1980, 4).

Invite students to write on a piece of paper how they feel about the promise in Doctrine and Covenants 93:1. (You could also have them read Doctrine and Covenants 101:38 before writing their feelings.)

Doctrine and Covenants 93:1–20, 26–28. Jesus grew from grace to grace until He received the fulness of His Father. Those who follow Jesus’s example, worship the Father, and keep the commandments will also receive of the Father’s fulness.

(20–25 minutes)

Write on the board the following two statements. In both cases, leave a blank in place of the word emulation:

“Surely the best evidence of our adoration of Jesus is our emulation of him” (Russell M. Nelson, “Gratitude for the Mission and Ministry of Jesus Christ,” in Brigham Young University 1997–98 Speeches [1998], 349).

“Perfect worship is emulation” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, 568).

Discuss the following questions:

  • When you were a child, was there anyone you wanted to be like when you grew up?

  • What was it about this person that you wanted to copy?

  • If you were a parent, how would you feel toward your children if you saw them imitating something you were doing?

  • What might that tell you about your children’s feelings toward you?

Show students the statements by Elders Russell M. Nelson and Bruce R. McConkie. Invite students to suggest a word to place in the blanks that would make both sentences true. Discuss their answers. If no one gives the correct word, write emulation in the blanks. Ask: What does it mean to emulate someone? (To try to be like, imitate, or equal someone.) Write the definition on the board.

Ask: What do we need to know to emulate and worship the Savior? (What He is like.) Have students read John 17:3 and explain how it relates to emulating and worshipping the Father and the Son. Read Doctrine and Covenants 93:19 and ask: What does the phrase “these sayings” refer to? (The teachings in verses 1–18.) Write on the board the heading What You Worship. Have the class read verses 1–11, 17 looking for what the Lord is like. Discuss their findings, and write them on the board under the heading.

Read verse 19 again and ask: What does the phrase “how to worship” refer to? Refer to the statements on emulation. Read verses 12–16 and discuss the following questions:

  • How did Jesus Christ receive a fulness of the glory of the Father?

  • Why do you think variations of the phrase “received not of the fulness at the first” are repeated three times in these verses?

  • Read verse 20. How can we apply these verses and emulate the Savior?

  • What do you think it means that Heavenly Father will help us grow “grace for grace”?

Use one or more of the following examples, or some of your own, to illustrate that growth takes time:

  • Show students pictures of themselves from one or two years before. Ask: How quickly does our appearance change?

  • Show a houseplant. Ask: Why is it difficult to watch a plant grow?

  • Have an artistic student display a painting that took a long time to complete. Ask the student how long it took to paint it.

Ask: How are these examples like our efforts to become like the Savior? Share this observation by Elder Neal A. Maxwell:

“Jesus Himself did not receive ‘of the fulness at first,’ but continued ‘from grace to grace, until he received a fulness’ [D&C 93:13]. His progress was incomprehensibly more rapid than ours, but the pathway is the same; so can be the pattern of ‘grace to grace’: ‘For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom’ [2 Nephi 28:30]” (Even As I Am [1982], 15).

Ask: What do you think it means that Jesus received the fulness of the Father? Read the following statement by President Joseph Fielding Smith, who was then President of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“Christ is also our Father because his Father has given him of his fulness; that is, he has received a fulness of the glory of the Father. This is taught in Doctrine and Covenants 93:1–5, 16–17. …

“The Father has honored Christ by placing his name upon him, so that he can minister in and through that name as though he were the Father; and thus, so far as power and authority are concerned, his words and acts become and are those of the Father” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:29–30).

Tell students that the Savior also received a fulness of truth, power, and joy and that we can receive the same (see 2 Nephi 2:25; D&C 121:28–29). Invite students to discuss the following questions:

Read or sing “More Holiness Give Me” (Hymns, no. 131).

Doctrine and Covenants 93:24–39. Keeping the commandments brings us light and truth and protects us from Satan’s influence. Disobedience causes us to lose light and truth.

(30–35 minutes)

Show students the accompanying chart as an overhead transparency, or give them copies as a handout. Have a student read the first paragraph, and invite the class to comment on how Maria might feel about herself. Have other students read the paragraphs that follow. Pause after each one and invite the class to suggest why Maria is growing more and more miserable.

Ask:

  • How did Maria’s joy in life change?

  • Read Alma 41:10. According to the principle in this verse, what may have caused this change?

Read Matthew 6:23; Doctrine and Covenants 1:33; 50:24, and discuss the following questions:

  • What do we gain when we keep the Lord’s commandments?

  • How can we lose light?

  • Read Doctrine and Covenants 93:26–28. According to these verses, what else does obedience bring?

Read verse 24 and mark the simple definition of truth (“truth is knowledge”). Cross-reference this verse with Jacob 4:13; Doctrine and Covenants 84:44–45. Discuss ways we can gain truth. Read Doctrine and Covenants 93:30–32 and ask:

  • What happens when a person rejects truth and light? (see Alma 12:11).

  • Read verses 36–37, 39. How do light and truth affect our spiritual well-being?

Draw on the board the accompanying diagram. Explain that as we obey the Lord, we receive more light and truth, which helps us forsake Satan’s temptations. When we are disobedient, Satan takes away light and truth and we are tempted more easily.

Light and Truth

Tell students that we also lose light and truth when we embrace or spread false teachings. President Harold B. Lee said:

“It never ceases to amaze me how gullible some of our Church members are in broadcasting these sensational stories, or dreams, or visions, some alleged to have been given to Church leaders, past or present, supposedly from some person’s private diary, without first verifying the report with proper Church authorities.

“If our people want to be safely guided during these troublous times of deceit and false rumors, they must follow their leaders and seek for the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord in order to avoid falling prey to clever manipulators who, with cunning sophistry, seek to draw attention and gain a following to serve their own notions and sometimes sinister motives” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1972, 126; or Ensign, Jan. 1973, 105–6).

Return to the example at the beginning of this teaching suggestion. Ask what the paragraphs would illustrate about light and truth if read in reverse order. Invite students to discuss what Maria could do to bring light, truth, and joy into her life. Be sure students understand that each commandment we obey brings us more light and truth, gives us greater joy, and makes us more able to resist Satan’s temptations.

Doctrine and Covenants 93:40–50. God commands parents to pray and to raise their children in light and truth.

(10–15 minutes)

Write on the board the following list:

  • Civic leader

  • Professional sports player

  • Church leader

  • Schoolteacher

  • Parent

  • Business leader

Discuss with students how each of the people listed can play an important part in their lives. Ask: Who from this list should have the most responsibility for teaching children? Ask why Parent should be at the top of the list.

Display the following list, and explain that these men were serving in these offices when section 93 was revealed:

  • Frederick G. Williams, Second Counselor in the First Presidency

  • Sidney Rigdon, First Counselor in the First Presidency

  • Joseph Smith, President of the Church

  • Newel K. Whitney, bishop in Kirtland

Read verses 40–50 to learn why the Lord chastened each of these men. Ask:

  • Why do you think the Lord chastened these men in a revelation intended for the entire Church? (No other calling is more important than parent; see v. 49.)

  • How can you help your family to pray daily, study the scriptures, and keep the commandments?

Give students copies of the following statement by Presidents Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson, and James E. Faust as a handout, and read portions in class:

“We compliment most warmly those of our young people who choose to follow the way of the Lord and the program of the Church. We are pleased to note that faith is increasing among our youth, for which we are deeply grateful.

“Unfortunately, there are some who fall into the adversary’s net and drift into inactivity and trouble. We are deeply concerned with these.

“We call upon parents to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children in gospel principles which will keep them close to the Church. The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place or fulfill its essential functions in carrying forward this God-given responsibility.

“We counsel parents and children to give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities. However worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform” (First Presidency letter, Feb. 11, 1999).

Encourage students to help their families do things that invite light and truth into their lives.