Doctrine and Covenants 11: "If You Desire"

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 24–25


Hyrum Smith
Hyrum Smith was the Prophet Joseph Smith’s older brother (Joseph Smith—History 1:4). In May of 1829 he traveled from Palmyra, New York, to Harmony, Pennsylvania, to visit Joseph and his wife, Emma, and Oliver Cowdery while they worked on the translation of the Book of Mormon. Hyrum made an “earnest request” of his brother, the Prophet, and the revelation found inDoctrine and Covenants 11was the result (History of the Church, 1:45).Elder Neal A. Maxwell, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught: “Whenever spiritually significant things are under way, righteous desires are present” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1996, 27; orEnsign, Nov. 1996, 21). As you readDoctrine and Covenants 11, look for the word desire, and what the Lord said about the importance of our desires. Notice also that much of the counsel in the revelation applies to “all who have good desires” (v. 27)—which includes you!

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 11

Supplication and inquiry(section heading)Prayer and humble questioning 
Asunder(v. 2)Into parts 
Sickle(vv. 3–4, 27)A curved knife for harvesting grain 
Impart(v. 13)Tell, make known 
Pertaining unto(v. 14)Relating to 
Appeal unto(v. 18)k counsel from 
Cleave unto(v. 19)Hold closely to 
Hold your peace(v. 22)Do not begin preaching yet 

Doctrine and Covenants 11—Hyrum Smith

For more information on Hyrum Smith, “People and Terms in the Doctrine and Covenants” (p. 231).

Doctrine and Covenants 11:6—“Establish the Cause of Zion”

For help understanding this phrase, the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for Doctrine and Covenants 6:6(p. 20) andZionin “People and Terms in the Doctrine and Covenants (p. 233).

Doctrine and Covenants 11:9—“Say Nothing but Repentance unto This Generation”

President Joseph Fielding Smith taught: “When the Lord calls upon his servants to cry nothing but repentance, he does not mean that they may not cry baptism, and call upon the people to obey the commandments of the Lord, but he wishes that all that they say and do be in the spirit of bringing the people to repentance” (Church History and Modern Revelation,1:57). In other words, the main focus of all who are called to serve in the Lord’s kingdom should be to help people improve themselves and change their lives in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–D) as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 11.

Activity A iconObtaining Promised Blessings

  1. 1.

    Divide a page of your notebook into two columns. Label one column “Promised Blessings” and the other column “Requirements for Obtaining the Blessings.”

  2. 2.

    From your reading ofDoctrine and Covenants 11, list the blessings the Lord offered Hyrum Smith (and “all who have good desires”) in the first column. Along with each blessing, record the verse where you found it.

  3. 3.

    In the second column, write what the Lord said Hyrum Smith (or you) should do to receive that blessing. You may need to look before or after the verse where you found the blessing.

  4. 4.

    Choose two of the blessings and requirements you think would be especially interesting to either a missionary or a parent. Explain why you chose each.

Activity B iconThe Importance of Desire

  1. 1.

    Find and list the verses that contain the wordsdesire, desires,ordesirethinDoctrine and Covenants 11. (You may want to mark them in your scriptures.)

  2. 2.

    Read also1 Nephi 11:1;Alma 29:4;41:3–6; andAbraham 1:2. Write a paragraph explaining the importance of our desires in the gospel plan.

  3. 3.

    What could a person do if there was something good that should be done (such as read the scriptures every day or pray often) but he or she did not want to do it?

Activity C iconLearning about the Spirit

  1. 1.

    What do you learn fromDoctrine and Covenants 11:12–14about the Spirit of God?

  2. 2.

    Write about a time when you felt the Spirit in one (or more) of the ways described in these verses.

Activity D iconWhat Does It Mean?

  1. 1.

    In your own words, describe what the Lord told Hyrum Smith to do inDoctrine and Covenants 11:21.

  2. 2.

    Explain what it means to “obtain my word” by describing the kinds of things you think Hyrum Smith (or you) might do in order to obtain the word.