Doctrine and Covenants 60: "Thou Shalt Not Idle Away Thy Time"

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 71–72


In June of 1831 the Lord called many missionaries to travel from Kirtland, Ohio, to Missouri, “preaching the word by the way” (D&C 52:9), and there hold the next Church conference (vv. 1–2).President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote: “On the 8th day of August, 1831, … the elders inquired what they were to do. … Some of them received a rebuke, for the Lord was not pleased with them because, on the journey from Ohio, they had not followed the counsels that had been given. They had been commanded to preach the Gospel along the way and bear testimony among the people, but some had failed to magnify this commandment because of their fear of man. It is true that not every man is a natural missionary, and there are those who shrink from the responsibility of raising their voices in proclamation of the Gospel, and yet this is an obligation that we owe to this fallen world. The elders in the very beginning had been commanded to serve the Lord with all their ‘heart, might, mind and strength,’ for the field is white and ready for the harvest. A penalty was to be inflicted upon those who failed and they were not to stand blameless at the last day. The preaching of the Gospel was to be a means to them by which they were not to perish, but bring salvation to their souls. There are many who have been sent forth who have had a fear of man, yet the Lord has promised to support them in their labors if they will trust in him” (Church History and Modern Revelation,1:220).Much of the instruction inDoctrine and Covenants 60applies as much to us today as it did to the early elders of the Church. We are blessed with time and talents sufficient for our mission on the earth. It is part of our test to if we will use our time and talents effectively. As you study this revelation, think about how the Lord’s words also apply to you.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 60

From whence(v. 1)From what place 
Kindled(v. 2)Provoked, stirred up 
Bespeaketh(v. 4)Gives evidence of or testifies to 
Craft(v. 5)Boat or other means of water transportation 
Wrath(v. 7)Anger 
Residue(v. 8)Those remaining 
Strife(v. 14)Argument 
Provoke them(v. 15)Make them angry 

Doctrine and Covenants 60:8, 13–14—“Congregations of the Wicked”

The “congregations of the wicked” ( alsoD&C 61:30, 32–33;62:5;68:1) are people who do wrong more out of ignorance of the Lord’s ways than because of evil intent (D&C 123:12).

Doctrine and Covenants 60:15—“Shake Off the Dust of Thy Feet”

the “Understanding the Scriptures” section forDoctrine and Covenants 24:15(p. 36).

Studying the Scriptures

Do one of the following activities (A–C) as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 60.

Activity A iconCreate a Symbol

Pictures are sometimes used to represent ideas, such as on traffic signs. Consider the following ideas fromDoctrine and Covenants 60:2–4and draw a symbol that could be used to represent each one. Next to each symbol, explain how it represents the idea the Lord taught in these verses.

  1. 1.

    Open your mouths (v. 2)

  2. 2.

    Don’t hide your talents (v. 2)

  3. 3.

    Don’t fear man (v. 2)

  4. 4.

    “Mine anger is kindled” (v. 2)

  5. 5.

    Be more faithful (v. 3)

  6. 6.

    “I shall make up my jewels” (v. 4)

    4 road signs

Activity B iconPonder the Doctrine

InDoctrine and Covenants 60:1–4, the Lord expressed His anger at those who do not share the gospel because they are afraid of what others might say. What did the Lord say about Himself and the last days in verses 3–4 that should give us more courage to share the gospel with others? (Consider alsoRomans 1:16–18.)

Activity C iconGive an Example

InDoctrine and Covenants 60:12–17, the Lord spoke to those who desired to gather to Zion in Jackson County, Missouri. From your reading of those verses, complete the following statements to show how the Lord’s counsel applies today:

  1. 1.

    We avoid wrath and strife when we …

  2. 2.

    We idle away our time when we …

  3. 3.

    We bury our talents when we …