On December 27, 1832, the Lord commanded the Church to build a temple in Kirtland (see D&C 88:119). As of June 1833, the Saints had not yet obeyed this commandment. President Spencer W. Kimball said:
“How often do we say, ‘Yes, I will obey the commandment … , but just now I have neither the time nor the money to spare; I will obey later’? Oh, foolish people! While we procrastinate, the harvest will be over and we will not be saved. … Now is the time for prompt obedience to God’s will” (“The Example of Abraham,” Ensign, June 1975, 4).
Doctrine and Covenants 95 came as a reminder of this principle.
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 162–64.
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 224–26.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 95:1–11. God chastens those He loves. His chastisements help us repent and seek His blessings.
Tell students: Imagine you are married and live next to a busy street. One day you notice your four-year-old son playing in the middle of the street.
What would you do?
How might your son respond if you corrected him?
How can chastening a child show your love for him?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 95:1–2 looking for something the Lord does to those He loves. Ask:
What blessings come to those the Lord chastens?
Read verses 3–11. Why did the Lord chasten the Saints in Kirtland?
Tell students that in Doctrine and Covenants 88:119, the Lord commanded the Saints to build a temple. Ask:
How much time passed between this commandment and the Lord’s chastening in section 95? (see section headings for dates).
What did the Lord say was the purpose of the temple? (see v. 8).
What promise did the Lord make to the Saints? (see v. 11).
Share the following statement by President Wilford Woodruff, and ask students to listen for a benefit of chastening: “The chastisements we have had from time to time have been for our good, and are essential to learn wisdom” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham , 263).
Read Doctrine and Covenants 90:36; 101:4–5 and discuss what benefits can come to us through chastening. Explain that how we respond to chastening affects our eternal progression. Read Alma 62:41 and look for two different responses people had to the same chastening. Ask: What do you think made the difference in how the people in these verses responded? Invite students to consider how they respond when they are chastened.
Share the following account by President Joseph Fielding Smith, who was then President of the Quorum of the Twelve:
“Four days after the Lord had rebuked the brethren for their neglect, without waiting for subscriptions, the brethren went to work on the Temple. Elder George A. Smith, a recent convert, hauled the first load of stone for the Temple. Hyrum Smith and Reynolds Cahoon commenced digging the trench for the walls, and they finished the same with their own hands” (Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. , 1:407).
Discuss how these men responded to the Lord’s chastening.
It might be helpful to explain that even when we are not disobedient, the Lord sometimes allows us to suffer for our benefit. (You could use a picture of Christ in Gethsemane or of the sufferings of the early Saints to illustrate this.) Tell students that we can profit from this suffering if we do not rebel. Share the statement by President Spencer W. Kimball in the introduction to section 95 above, and invite students to look for ways they can appropriately respond to the Lord’s chastening.