John Murdock was baptized in Kirtland, Ohio, on November 5, 1830, and faithfully served the Lord until his death in 1871. When this revelation was given, he was a single parent recovering from a severe illness. He said, “When I received the Revelation [section 99], … I immediately commenced to arrange my business and provide for my children” (in Lyndon W. Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith , 203). See Church History in the Fulness of Times (pp. 99–100) for the story of how John Murdock’s two youngest children, twins, were adopted by Joseph and Emma Smith.
In section 99, the Lord revealed why it is important to treat His servants with respect. He said: “And who receiveth you receiveth me. … And whoso rejecteth you shall be rejected of my Father” (D&C 99:2, 4). Elder Orson F. Whitney of the Quorum of the Twelve taught:
“When the Son of Man, sitting upon ‘the throne of his glory,’ shall require of all nations and all men a final accounting, and shall put to them the crucial question: ‘How did you treat my servants whom I sent unto you?’ happy the nation or the man who can truthfully reply: ‘Lord, I showed them the respect to which they were entitled—I honored them as I would have honored Thee.’
“… Grievous the sin and heavy the penalty incurred by those who mistreat the servants of the Master” (Saturday Night Thoughts , 221–22).
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
Those who receive the Lord’s servants and follow their counsel will obtain mercy. Those who reject the Lord’s servants will be rejected by Heavenly Father (see D&C 99:1–4; see also Matthew 10:40–42; D&C 1:14).
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 235–36.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 99:1–4. Those who receive the Lord’s servants and follow their counsel will obtain mercy. Those who reject the Lord’s servants will be rejected by Heavenly Father.
Tell students that soon after the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, a man named Saul persecuted Christ’s followers. Read Acts 9:1–5 and ask: How was it possible for Saul to persecute Jesus if he had never met Him? Read Doctrine and Covenants 99:1–4 and ask: What blessings come to those who “receive” the Lord’s servants?
Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 1:14, 38 and cross-reference these verses to Doctrine and Covenants 99:1–4. Ask: How do these verses relate to each other? Read Elder Orson F. Whitney’s statement in the introduction to section 99 above. Invite students to name some of the Lord’s servants in our day. Discuss ways we can receive local leaders and General Authorities.