Doctrine and Covenants 32: A Mission to the Lamanites

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 43–44


The first mention in the Doctrine and Covenants of sending missionaries to the Lamanites was the Lord’s call to Oliver Cowdery (D&C 28:8). That same month, September 1830, Peter Whitmer Jr. was called to go with Oliver (D&C 30:5). The following month, Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Peterson were called to join them. As you studyDoctrine and Covenants 32, look for what the Lord promised these missionaries. As you study the “Understanding the Scriptures” section you will learn how His promise was fulfilled.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 32

Supplication(section heading)Humble prayer 
Advocate(v. 3)Defender, one who pleads their cause 
Trifle not(v. 5)Do not treat them lightly 

Doctrine and Covenants 32:1—Who Was Parley P. Pratt?

Parley P. Pratt became a member of the Church in 1830 in New York, just one month before this revelation was received. He filled many Church-service assignments (D&C 32heading, 1–2; 49:1–3; 50:37; 52:26; 97:3–5; 103 heading, 30, 37; 124:127–29) and was one of the first members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which was organized in 1835. He wrote many sermons and hymns that were published by the Church and was one of the first pioneers to arrive in the Salt Lake Valley. He was killed by an assassin in 1857 while serving a mission in Arkansas.

Doctrine and Covenants 32:2–3—What Happened on the Mission to the Lamanites?

This small group of missionaries traveled nearly 1,500 miles (about 2,400 kilometers) during the winter of 1830–31, much of the way on foot. They introduced the gospel to Native American Indian tribes in New York, Ohio, and beyond Missouri into Indian Territory. Missouri was then on the western boundary of the United States; west of Missouri was Indian Territory. Their greatest success, however, came in the area around Kirtland, Ohio. There they found a group of people who were looking for thereturn of New Testament Christianity. In just three weeks the missionaries baptized 127 people, nearly doubling the membership of the Church (Church History in the Fulness of Times,pp. 79–88).

Missionary map

The journey of the missionaries to the Lamanites

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A or B as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 32.

Activity A iconHow to “Learn of Me”

Describe what you understand the relationship is between being “meek and lowly of heart” (D&C 32:1) and our ability to learn spiritual things ( alsoD&C 136:32–33).

Activity B icon“I Myself Will Go with Them and Be in Their Midst”

Write about a time when the Lord did for you, or for someone you know, what He promised to do inDoctrine and Covenants 32:3for the missionaries.