Doctrine and Covenants 94

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual, (2001), 160–61


Introduction

Section 94 mentions three buildings the Lord asked Church members to build in Kirtland: a temple, a place for the First Presidency to hold meetings and receive revelations, and a printing office. These buildings were to be dedicated to the Lord (see D&C 94:6–7, 10, 12; 95:16). Today, the Lord continues to direct His prophets to erect and dedicate buildings to accomplish His work.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught:

“Temples and houses of worship are dedicated to the Lord by a priesthood blessing. Other buildings may be dedicated when they are used in the service of the Lord. ‘Church members may dedicate their homes … as sacred edifices where the Holy Spirit can reside’ (General Handbook of Instructions [1985], p. 11–5). Missionaries and other priesthood holders can leave a priesthood blessing upon homes where they have been received (see D&C 75:19, Alma 10:7–11). Young men, within a short time you may be asked to give such a blessing. I hope you are preparing yourselves spiritually” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1987, 46; or Ensign, May 1987, 38).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants 94:1–12. Members of the Church are commanded to build temples and other buildings according to the patterns revealed by the Lord.

(15–20 minutes)

Tell students: Imagine visiting a country that has a sports arena in the center of every city and town.

  • What do you think is important to the people in these communities?

  • What would you put at the center of a community you designed? Why?

Show students pictures of church buildings (for example, Gospel Art Picture Kit, nos. 500, 502–3). Tell them that in 1996 President Gordon B. Hinckley said that the Church was building about 375 chapels a year (see Conference Report, Oct. 1996, 69; or Ensign, Nov. 1996, 49). Ask:

  • Why does the Church build so many buildings each year?

  • How do these buildings further the Lord’s work?

Read Doctrine and Covenants 94:1–12, discussing the following questions as you read:

  • What did the Lord want at the center of Kirtland? (“My house” in verse 1 is a reference to the Kirtland Temple; see D&C 95:8.)

  • What message does that send to the Church and the world?

  • At what other times in the scriptures or in Church history did the Lord place a temple in the center of something? (The tabernacle of Moses was at the center of the camp of Israel [see Numbers 2:2, 17]. Salt Lake City was laid out in reference to the Salt Lake Temple.)

  • Why should the temple be the focus of our lives?

Share the following statements by President Howard W. Hunter:

“Look to the temple of the Lord as the great symbol of your membership” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 8; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 8).

“The temple ordinances are absolutely crucial; we cannot return to God’s presence without them” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 118; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 88).

Invite students to ponder what is at the center of their lives. Ask them to consider what an observer might think is at the center of their lives. Ask: How can you tell what is at the center of a person’s life?

Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 94:3, 10 and answer the following questions:

  • What two other buildings did the Lord command Church members to build?

  • What do these three buildings show is important to the Lord? (Temple ordinances, priesthood authority, and scripture.)

  • Why are priesthood authority and scriptures critical to the Church’s progress?

  • Why are they important to you personally?