Doctrine and Covenants 122: "Fear Not What Man Can Do"

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 139–140

Perhaps you have felt, as most people do at one time or another, that life is not fair and that you have been made to suffer more than others. When Doctrine and Covenants sections 121–23 were written, the Prophet Joseph Smith and his companions had been confined in Liberty Jail for four months without being convicted of any crime or even having a trial. As you studyDoctrine and Covenants 122, notice why the Lord allows even the righteous to suffer.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 122

Derision(v. 1)Ridicule, contempt 
Perils(v. 5)Dangers 
Billowing surge(v. 7)Large ocean waves 
Hedge up(v. 7)Block 
Gape open the mouth wide after thee(v. 7)Open wide to catch you 
Bounds(v. 9)Limits 

Doctrine and Covenants 122:7—How Can Adversity and Suffering Be for Our Good?

President Harold B. Lee said: “Don’t be afraid of the testing and trials of life. Sometimes when you are going through the most severe tests, you will be nearer to God than you have any idea, for like the experience of the Master Himself in the temptation on the mount, in the Garden of Gethsemane, and on the cross at Calvary, the scriptures record, ‘And, behold, angels came and ministeredunto him’ (Matthew 4:11). Sometimes that may happen to you in the midst of your trials” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee,ed. Clyde J. Williams [1996], 192; also the “Understanding the Scriptures” section forD&C 121:7, p. 138).


Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 122.

Activity A iconFind Help during Your Trials

  1. 1.

    When people become upset over the trials and adversity they face, they often look up toward the heavens and ask, “Why me?” The Prophet Joseph Smith’s attitude was different. ReviewDoctrine and Covenants 121:2–3and list the questions he asked instead of “Why me?”

  2. 2.

    Even though the Prophet did not ask why he and the rest of the Church were having to endure such difficulties, the Lord gave him some reasons. FromDoctrine and Covenants 122:5–9, summarize what the Lord told the Prophet.

  3. 3.

    Write about something that impressed you inDoctrine and Covenants 122that will help you face trials and adversity in your life.