Our Place in Church History: A Legacy of Faith

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 229

A study of the history of the restored Church can tell us much about the faith and commitment of those who have lived before us. Since the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith, many Church members have been inspiring examples of true Latter-day Saints. But the best and most glorious days of the kingdom of God on earth are ahead of us. Like those faithful Saints who lived before, you too can make your own place in the history of the Church through your faithfulness, diligence, sacrifice, and service to God and His prophets. After all, the history of the Church in many areas of the world has not yet been written.

Your Place in Church History

1. “Each of us has a place in Church history. Some members are born into families who for generations have embraced the gospel and nurtured their children in the ways of the Lord. Others are hearing the gospel for the first time and entering the waters of baptism, thereby making sacred covenants to do their part in building the kingdom of God. Many members live in areas where they are just beginning their era of Church history and are creating a heritage of faith for their children. Whatever our circumstances, we are each a vital part of the cause of building Zion and preparing for the second coming of the Savior. We are ‘no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God’ (Ephesians 2:19).

2. “Whether we are new members or old, we inherit a legacy of faith and sacrifice from those who have gone before us. We are also modern-day pioneers to our children and to those millions of our Heavenly Father’s children who have yet to hear and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. We make our contributions in different ways throughout the world by faithfully carrying out the work of the Lord.

3. “Fathers and mothers prayerfully train their children in principles of righteousness. Home and visiting teachers care for those in need. Families bid good-bye to missionaries who have chosen to devote years of their lives to carrying the gospel message to others. Selfless priesthood and auxiliary leaders answer calls to serve. Through countless hours of quiet service given in searching out the names of ancestors and performing sacred ordinances in the temple, blessings are extended to the living and the dead.

4. “We are each helping to fulfill the destiny of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith. In 1842 he prophesied:

5. “‘The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done’ [History of the Church,4:540].

6. “Although the Church remained very small during the Prophet Joseph Smith’s lifetime, he knew that it was the kingdom of God on earth with a destiny to fill the whole earth with the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have n the dramatic growth of the Church in recent years. We are privileged to live at a time when we can offer our faith and sacrifices in helping to establish the kingdom of God, a kingdom that will stand forever” (Our Heritage,145–46).

Understanding the Reading

Your Place in Church History

Nurtured(par. 1)Brought up 
Legacy(par. 2)Tradition 
Unhallowed(par. 5)Unholy 
Calumny(par. 5)False and malicious statements 
Defame(par. 5)Falsely charge 
Clime(par. 5)Climate 

Studying the Reading

Do activity A or B as you study “Our Place in Church History.”

Activity A iconYour Place in the Kingdom of God

List the words and phrases from paragraphs 1–6 that describe you, your experiences, and your role in the Church. Then answer the following questions:

  1. 1.

    Approximately how many members of the Church were there in your city or town 10 years ago? How many are there now? (Ask your parents or local Church leaders for help with these questions, if needed.)

  2. 2.

    How many members do you think there will be in 2 years? in 5 years? in 10 years?

  3. 3.

    What are five things you can do to help the Church grow in your area?

  4. 4.

    How would you like to be remembered by people in future generations?

Activity B iconWrite a Brief History

Interview at least two people who know about the history of the Church in your area. Also try to find some pictures, histories, journals, diaries, or news stories about your local Church history. Write a brief history of the Church in your area, and explain how what you learned inspires you to participate in the building up of the kingdom of God in your area.