Unit 10: Day 1

Doctrine and Covenants 41

“Unit 10: Day 1, Doctrine and Covenants 41,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2017)


Introduction

In December 1830 the Lord commanded the Saints in New York to move to Ohio, where they would receive the Lord’s law (see D&C 37:3; 38:32). The Prophet Joseph Smith received the revelation contained in Doctrine and Covenants 41 on February 4, 1831—the day he arrived in Ohio. In this revelation the Lord gave further instructions that would help prepare the Saints to receive His law. In addition, He called Edward Partridge as the Church’s first bishop.

Doctrine and Covenants 41:1–8

The Lord describes how to become a disciple of Jesus Christ

What do you delight in or enjoy doing? What do you think the Lord delights to do? Consider what it means to delight, or find joy, in doing something.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 41:1, looking for what the Lord delights to do. Notice what we must do to receive “the greatest of all blessings” that He desires to give us.

Based on what the Lord said in verse 1, complete the following principle: The Lord delights to as we .

  1. journal iconAnswer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. When have you felt that the Lord delighted to bless you because you hearkened to Him?

    2. What does it mean to you to know that it brings the Lord joy to bless you for hearkening to Him?

The Prophet Joseph Smith obeyed the Lord’s counsel to gather to Ohio. Joseph and Emma had already moved seven times in the four years they had been married, and Emma had just recovered from a month-long illness and was six months pregnant when, in late January 1831, they left New York to travel nearly 300 miles by sleigh to Kirtland, Ohio.

When Joseph and Emma arrived in Kirtland, they stopped in front of the Gilbert and Whitney store. “[Joseph] springing up the steps walked into the store and to where the junior partner was standing. ‘Newel K. Whitney! Thou art the man!’ he exclaimed, extending his hand cordially, as if to an old and familiar acquaintance. ‘You have the advantage of me,’ replied [Newel K. Whitney], as he mechanically took the proffered hand, ‘I could not call you by name as you have me.’ ‘I am Joseph the Prophet,’ said the stranger smiling. ‘You’ve prayed me here, now what do you want of me?’” (in History of the Church, 1:146).

Joseph explained that in a vision he had seen Newel praying for him to come to Kirtland. The Whitneys received Joseph and Emma Smith with kindness, and Joseph and Emma lived with them for several weeks (see History of the Church, 1:145–46).

Most of the New York Saints moved to Ohio during the five months following the Lord’s command to gather there. Some of those Church members did so at a great sacrifice. They sold their property at a loss or simply left their unsold homes and property and went to Ohio to follow the Prophet. Read the following account and look for an example of how the Lord blessed these Saints for hearkening to His command to move to Ohio at this time:

Lucy Mack Smith

The Prophet Joseph Smith’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, led a group of 80 Church members from Fayette, New York, to Ohio. As they traveled by boat on the Cayuga and Seneca Canal to Buffalo, New York, Lucy reminded the Saints that they “were traveling by commandment of the Lord, as much as Father Lehi was, when he left Jerusalem; and, if faithful, [they] had the same reasons to expect the blessings of God” (History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, ed. Preston Nibley [1958], 196).

When they arrived in Buffalo, New York, they met Church members from Colesville who were also on their way to Ohio and who had been stranded in Buffalo for one week already. The canal passage was blocked by ice “piled up to the height of twenty feet,” and they were told they may need to “remain in the harbor at least two weeks longer.” Many of the Saints in Lucy’s group became discouraged. They were hungry, and some of the children had become sick. They took deck passage on another boat, put their things on board, and Lucy Smith found temporary shelter for the women and their sick children until early the next morning. (See History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, 199–202.)

When they were back on board, Lucy testified to her group, “Now, brethren and sisters, if you will all of you raise your desires to heaven, that the ice may be broken up, and we be set at liberty, as sure as the Lord lives, it will be done.” And she described what happened next: “At that instant a noise was heard, like bursting thunder. The captain cried, ‘Every man to his post.’ The ice parted, leaving barely a passage for the boat, and so narrow that as the boat passed through the buckets of the waterwheel were torn off with a crash. … We had barely passed through the avenue when the ice closed together again, and the Colesville brethren were left in Buffalo, unable to follow us” (History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, 204–5).

  1. journal iconFrom the account you read of the group of Saints led by Lucy Mack Smith, summarize in your scripture study journal how these Saints showed their faith in the Lord. Also write about how their experience during this difficult situation shows that the Lord is aware of us and will help us overcome challenges as we hearken to Him.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 41:2–4, and identify the commandment and instructions the Lord gave the people. In the following list, draw a line through the instructions the Saints were not commanded to follow:

  • Assemble to agree upon the word of God.

  • Receive the law by the prayer of faith.

  • See that the law is kept.

  • Gather to Jackson County, Missouri.

In Doctrine and Covenants 41:3, mark the purpose of the law the people were to receive “by the prayer of [their] faith.” This law the Lord referred to is found in Doctrine and Covenants 42. You will study this law in detail in the next few lessons.

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, describe how you think receiving God’s laws and commandments is a blessing. In addition, explain how God’s laws help us to “have all things right before [Him]” (D&C 41:3).

Think about how the following two concepts could be similar and how they might be different:

Believer

Disciple

Read Doctrine and Covenants 41:5, and complete the following principle: We become disciples of Jesus Christ as we .

Is there a difference between believing the laws of Jesus Christ and receiving them? While believing God’s laws is an important part of becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ, our receiving His laws—accepting and obeying them—builds our faith in the Savior.

  1. journal iconTo help you apply the principle that we become disciples of Jesus Christ as we receive and live His laws, select and read about one of the standards from the For the Strength of Youth booklet. Then, in your scripture study journal, write what you would like to do to receive and live that standard a little better.

In Doctrine and Covenants 41:7 the Lord instructed the Saints to provide a home for Joseph Smith and his family to live in and in which he could continue translating the Bible. The Saints followed these instructions, and a small home was built where Joseph and Emma lived for a few months.

Doctrine and Covenants 41:9–12

The Lord calls Edward Partridge to be the first bishop of the Church

Imagine that your ward needed a new bishop. Search Doctrine and Covenants 41:9, and mark any words or phrases that teach the following principle: Bishops are called of God, sustained by the voice of the members, and ordained by the proper authority.

The phrase “appointed by the voice of the church” means the members of the Church have sustained the person who has been called of God. The phrase “to spend all his time in the labors of the church” was directed specifically to Edward Partridge, and it also applies to members of the Presiding Bishopric today. It does not apply to bishops of wards, who continue their normal employment while they serve in the Church.

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, write why it is important to you to know your bishop or branch president has been called of God and ordained by the proper priesthood authority.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 41:11, looking for attributes the Lord said that Edward Partridge had that might have helped him in his calling as bishop. You may want to write a note in your scriptures that the word guile refers to deceit or hypocrisy. Therefore, Edward was an honest man of integrity.

  1. journal iconRead Doctrine and Covenants 41:12, looking for the Lord’s warning. Then answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. What do you think it means to beware how we “hold” the Lord’s words?

    2. How might being aware of what you do with the Lord’s words relate to what you have learned about being a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

As you read the following statement from Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, consider how it relates to what you have learned about discipleship in this lesson: “Each day we decide the degree of our discipleship. Each day we answer the question, ‘Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?’” (“My Servant Joseph,” Ensign, May 1992, 39).

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

    I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 41 and completed this lesson on (date).

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