Unit 8: Day 3

Doctrine and Covenants 33–34

“Unit 8: Day 3, Doctrine and Covenants 33–34,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2017)


Introduction

In the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 33 the Lord called Ezra Thayre and Northrop Sweet to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord also gave these men instructions for teaching the gospel. As recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 34, the Lord commended Orson Pratt for his faith and also commanded him to preach the gospel.

Doctrine and Covenants 33:1–6

The Lord calls Ezra Thayre and Northrop Sweet to proclaim His gospel

God communicates with His children in many different ways. What is an example of how He has communicated with you or with someone you know?

One way the Lord may communicate with us is through dreams and visions. Read the following account of a vision experienced by Ezra Thayre. Consider how his vision relates to a roll of paper, an ear, and a trumpet. Also, think about what the meaning of this vision might be.

“A man came and brought me a roll of paper and presented it to me, and also a trumpet and told me to blow it. I told him that I never blowed any in my life. He said you can blow it, try it. I put it in my mouth and blowed on it, and it made the most beautiful sound that I ever heard” (“Testimony of Brother E. Thayre,” The True Latter Day Saints’ Herald, Oct. 1862, 82).

Ezra Thayre lived in Palmyra, New York, and had come to know members of the Smith family through work they had done for him at various times. In October 1830, Ezra Thayre and another resident of Palmyra, Northrop Sweet, were baptized into the Church. Shortly after Ezra and Northrop were baptized, the Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation addressed to these two men, which is now Doctrine and Covenants 33. Many years later Ezra explained, “The roll of paper was the revelation on me and Northrop Sweet” (“Testimony of Brother E. Thayre,” 82).

Read Doctrine and Covenants 33:1–2, and look for words and phrases that relate to a roll of paper, an ear, and a trumpet.

Consider what it means to “open … your ears and hearken to the voice of the Lord your God” (D&C 33:1). Ponder how you can show the Lord your ears are open to hearing His voice.

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, answer the following questions:

    1. What do you think it means to declare the gospel “as with the sound of a trump” (D&C 33:2)?

    2. In Ezra Thayre’s vision, when he played the trumpet, it produced the most beautiful sound he had ever heard. From what you learned in Doctrine and Covenants 33:2, why do you think the sound was so beautiful?

In Doctrine and Covenants 33:3, the Lord used additional symbols to teach Ezra and Northrop about their calling as missionaries. Read this verse, and think about the symbols it contains. In the following activity, draw a line to match each symbol with its meaning.

Symbol

Meaning

The field or vineyard

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ who serve to build up God’s kingdom on earth

The laborers

The world

The eleventh hour

The final dispensation of the gospel and the last time the Lord will set up His kingdom on earth before His Second Coming (see Bible Dictionary, “Dispensations”)

Read Doctrine and Covenants 33:4, looking for how the Lord described the condition of the world in 1830. What challenges do you see in the Lord’s vineyard today?

Ponder what the Lord has done or is doing to help you live in this corrupt world. Read Doctrine and Covenants 33:5–6. What did the Lord say He has done to help us?

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, draw a picture that illustrates one way God has helped people avoid the corruption of the world.

You may want to mark words or phrases from Doctrine and Covenants 33:5–6 that teach the following truth: The Lord has established His Church and is gathering His elect in the last days.

  1. journal iconTo help you further understand this truth and its importance, answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. According to Doctrine and Covenants 33:6, who are the elect?

    2. Considering the corruptness of the world, why would it be important for the Lord’s elect to gather together?

    3. How has the Church helped you avoid the corruptness of the world?

Doctrine and Covenants 33:7–18

The Lord gives Ezra Thayre and Northrop Sweet instructions for teaching the gospel

three youth talking

Read Doctrine and Covenants 33:7–10 to learn what the Lord taught Ezra Thayre and Northrop Sweet they were to do with their mouths. Next to the following picture, write a principle based on what you learned from these verses. The principle could begin: If we open our mouths to declare the gospel, the Lord will …

  1. journal iconThink of a time when you felt like you should have spoken up about the gospel but did not. In your scripture study journal, answer the following questions:

    1. What are some situations in which you might be reluctant to open your mouth about the gospel?

    2. When have you shared the gospel and felt inspired to know what to say? Or when have you seen others share the gospel and felt they were inspired in what they said?

Doctrine and Covenants 33:10–15 contains the Lord’s instructions to Ezra and Northrop to preach the first principles and ordinances of the gospel (faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost). Study Doctrine and Covenants 33:16–18 to learn what additional counsel the Lord gave Ezra and Northrop that would help them know what to say as missionaries. You may want to mark what you find. The counsel in verse 17 to have “your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you” means to be spiritually prepared and ready at all times for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, write one item of counsel given in Doctrine and Covenants 33:16–18, and explain how it could help you be ready to open your mouth and share the gospel with others at any time.

Doctrine and Covenants 34

The Lord commends Orson Pratt for his faith and calls him to preach the gospel

Doctrine and Covenants 34 gives an example of someone who was blessed when another person opened his mouth to share the gospel. Read the section introduction to this revelation in your scriptures to learn who opened his mouth to share the gospel with Orson Pratt.

Orson Pratt was 19 years old when he was baptized by his older brother Parley. Read Doctrine and Covenants 34:1, and notice how the Lord addressed Orson.

Now study Doctrine and Covenants 34:2–3, looking for the reason why the Lord referred to Orson as His son.

You may have noticed in verse 3 that all who believe in Jesus Christ become His sons. This is symbolic of the new life we receive as we accept the Savior’s gospel. We learn from Doctrine and Covenants 25:1 that this promise applies equally to females, who become daughters of Jesus Christ as they accept His gospel.

As you read the following information Orson Pratt wrote about his early life, mark what he did to show he believed in the Lord:

Orson Pratt

“From the age of ten to nineteen I saw much of the world, and was tossed about without any permanent abiding place; but through the grace of God, I was kept from many of the evils to which young people are exposed; the early impressions of morality and religion, instilled into my mind by my parents, always remained with me; and I often felt a great anxiety to be prepared for a future state; but never commenced, in real earnest, to seek after the Lord, until the autumn of 1829. I then began to pray very fervently, repenting of every sin. In the silent shades of night, while others were slumbering upon their pillows, I often retired to some secret place in the lonely fields or solitary wilderness, and bowed before the Lord, and prayed for hours with a broken heart and contrite spirit; this was my comfort and delight. The greatest desire of my heart was for the Lord to manifest His will concerning me. I continued to pray in this fervent manner until September, 1830, at which time two Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, came into the neighborhood, one of which was my brother Parley. They held several meetings which I attended.

“Being convinced of the divine authenticity of the doctrine they taught, I was baptized September 19, 1830. This was my birthday, being nineteen years old. I was the only person in the [area] who received and obeyed the message” (in The Orson Pratt Journals, comp. Elden J. Watson [1975], 8–9).

Read Doctrine and Covenants 34:4–6 to see what the Lord called Orson Pratt to do to be even more blessed. Consider why we receive greater blessings when we teach the gospel to others.

The Lord spoke to Orson about some of the signs that would occur before His Second Coming (see D&C 34:7–9). He then concluded this revelation by encouraging Orson in his calling to preach the gospel. Read Doctrine and Covenants 34:10–12, looking for the following truths: Those who diligently teach the gospel will do so by the power of the Holy Ghost. If we are faithful, the Lord will be with us.

How might the Lord’s promise in Doctrine and Covenants 34:11 comfort and strengthen someone during a time of discouragement?

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, describe why you think it is essential to have the power of the Holy Ghost to help you as you teach the gospel to others.

  2. journal iconWrite the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

    I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 33–34 and completed this lesson on (date).

    Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: