Doctrine and Covenants 95: Build My House!

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 108–109

Why do some people sometimes wait to act on an assignment from the Lord? Nearly six months had passed since the Lord had given commandments regarding the building of a temple in Kirtland, and the construction had not begun.Doctrine and Covenants 95helps us understand how the Lord feels when we delay doing what He asks. We also learn about the consequences of such inaction on our part and why and how the Lord corrects us and helps us to repent.Hopefully, we will all be like the Prophet Joseph Smith and others who were with him when this revelation was given. President Brigham Young later said: “Without revelation, Joseph could not know what was wanted, any more than any other man, and, without commandment, the Church were too few in number, too weak in faith, and too poor in purse, to attempt such a mighty enterprise. But by means of all these stimulants, a mere handful of men, living on air, and a little hominy and milk, and often salt or no salt, when milk could not be had; the great Prophet Joseph, in the stone quarry, quarrying rock with his own hands; and the few then in the Church, following his example of obedience and diligence wherever most needed; with laborers on the walls, holding the sword in one hand to protect themselves from the mob, while they placed the stone and moved the trowel with the other, the Kirtland temple—the second house of the Lord, that we have any published record of on the earth, was so far completed as to be dedicated” (Discourses of Brigham Young,415).

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 95

Chasten, chastened(vv. 1–2, 10)Discipline, punish 
Rebuked(v. 2)Corrected 
Grievous(vv. 3, 6, 10)Serious 
Endow(v. 8)Provide with a spiritual gift, bless 

Doctrine and Covenants 95:4—“My Strange Act”

The phrase “my strange act” comes fromIsaiah 28:21, where the Lord said He would correct a people who did not believe they had any need to repent. In our day, the message of the Restoration of the gospel is preached to many who believe they already have the truth. People in this situation might consider our efforts strange. Furthermore, the Restoration of the gospel and the establishment of the true Church upon the earth is a strange occurrence to people who consider belief in revelation, heavenly visitations, and other spiritual matters to be foolishness.

Doctrine and Covenants 95:14—The Lord Showed Three People the Plan

The members of the First Presidency were the three to whom the Lord showed the plan for building the Kirtland Temple. Temple architect Truman O. Angell reported:

“Frederick G. Williams, one of President Smith’s counselors, came into the temple, when the following dialogue took place in my presence.

“Carpenter Rolph said: ‘Doctor, what do you think of the house?’

“[Frederick G. Williams] answered: ‘It looks to me like the pattern precisely.’ Then he related the following: ‘Joseph received the word of the Lord for him to take his two counselors, Williams andRigdon, and come before the Lord, and He would show them the plan or model of the house to be built. We went upon our knees, called on the Lord, and the building appeared within viewing distance: I being the first to discover it. Then all of us viewed it together. After we had taken a good look at the exterior, the building med to come right over us; and the make-up of this hall med to coincide with what I there saw to a minutia [the smallest detail]” (in Marvin E. Smith, “The Builder,”Improvement Era,Oct. 1942, 630).

Doctrine and Covenants 95:16–17—Purposes of the Kirtland Temple

A major purpose for the Kirtland Temple was to be a place where the Lord could restore keys of the priesthood necessary to do the work done in temples today (D&C 110). It also served as a meetinghouse and a school.

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–D) as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 95.

Activity A iconWhy Does the Lord Chasten Us?

We often do not like being chastened or disciplined. Sometimes we humbly accept correction, but we are often tempted to become offended or even angry. According toDoctrine and Covenants 95:1–2, why does the Lord chasten us?

Activity B iconWhat Is Offensive to the Lord?

  1. 1.

    Find the phrase “very grievous sin” inDoctrine and Covenants 95:3, 6, 10. List the three sins the Church members committed that displeased the Lord.

  2. 2.

    According to verses 4–8 and 11–12, what were the consequences of those sins?

  3. 3.

    In verses 13–14, what did the Lord say about how the Saints could repent of their neglect of building the temple.

Activity C iconDraw a Picture or Diagram

Consider the principle the Lord taught inDoctrine and Covenants 95:12( also2 Nephi 7:10–11). Draw a picture or a diagram that could represent that principle.

Activity D iconLabel the Drawing

In your notebook, make a simple drawing of the Kirtland Temple like the one shown below. Using what you read inDoctrine and Covenants 95:13–17, label the parts of the temple and note the purpose of each level or room.

Drawing of the Kirtland Temple