Doctrine and Covenants 37-38: Gather to Ohio and Escape Your Enemies

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 48–49


The success of the missionaries who stopped in Kirtland, Ohio, on their way to Missouri to take the gospel to the Lamanites (D&C 32:1–3) dramatically increased the membership of the Church. In just three weeks they baptized 127 people, which nearly doubled the membership of the eight-month-old Church. While the atmosphere in Kirtland was friendly, persecution continued to mount in New York. As you readDoctrine and Covenants 37–38, look for the commandments and instructions the Lord gave the Church to help solve that problem.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 37

Expedient(vv. 1, 3)Appropriate, desirable 
Map

Doctrine and Covenants 38

Seraphic(v. 1)Angelic 
Rent(v. 8)Torn 
Reign(v. 12)Rule 
Deign(v. 18)Consider it fitting 
Is no respecter of them(v. 26)Does not favor one over another 

Doctrine and Covenants 38:12—“Reap Down the Earth, to Gather the Tares”

This verse refers to the Savior’s parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24–30, 36–43; alsoD&C 86:1–7).

Doctrine and Covenants 38:30—“If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear”

President Spencer W. Kimball taught: “One should study, ponder, learn scriptures, and build his testimony so that he may be prepared to teach and train. The Lord has said, ‘If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear,’ and it is our hope that from infancy through all the years of maturing that the lessons taught in the auxiliaries, in the seminaries and institutes, in the home evenings, in the sacrament meetings, and elsewhere may bring every youth to a preparation that will eliminate fear” (“Advice to a Young Man: Now Is the Time to Prepare,”New Era,June 1973, 9).

Doctrine and Covenants 38:32—“I Will Give unto You My Law”

This promise was fulfilled when the Prophet Joseph received the revelation inDoctrine and Covenants 42, in Kirtland, Ohio.

Doctrine and Covenants 38:32—“Endowed with Power from on High”

Elder Bruce R. McConkie, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught: “In this dispensation, after the elders had received the gift of the Holy Ghost and as early as January, 1831, the Lord began to reveal unto them that he had an endowment in store for the faithful (D. & C. [38:32]; 43:16), ‘a blessing such as is not known among the children of men.’ (D. & C. 39:15.) In June, 1833, he said: ‘I gave unto you a commandment that you should build a house, in the which house I design to endow those whom I have chosen with power from on high; For this is the promise of the Father unto you; therefore I command you to tarry, even as mine apostles at Jerusalem.’ (D. & C. 95:8–9;105:11–12, 18, 33.)” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary,3 vols. [1966–73], 1:859).

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 37–38.

Activity A iconCompare These Revelations to Your Own Life

  1. 1.

    What did the Lord tell the Church to do because of their enemies in the New York area?

  2. 2.

    The members of the Church may face different kinds of enemies today but the Lord still gives counsel on how to escape them. List some of the counsel the Lord has given in our day to help us escape the dangers we face.

Activity B iconCounsel a Friend

Suppose you had a close friend who made some bad decisions and was suffering hardship and sorrow. Using what you read inDoctrine and Covenants 38:1–12, write your friend a note giving as many reasons as you can find in those verses why he or she should follow the Lord and take His advice rather than listen to the world.

Activity C iconQualities and Qualifications of Zion

InDoctrine and Covenants 38:18–42the Lord taught the Prophet Joseph about the Zion, or “land of promise,” the Saints could build if they were faithful.

  1. 1.

    Make two columns in your notebook. In the first column, list what these verses teach such a land would be like. In the second, list what the Saints would need to be like to be worthy of such a land of promise.

  2. 2.

    Write a paragraph explaining how this land would be different from where we now live and what you would like best about living in that promised land.