Unit 10: Day 3

Doctrine and Covenants 42:30–93

“Unit 10: Day 3, Doctrine and Covenants 42:30–93,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2017)


Introduction

As you read in the introduction to the Day 2 lesson, the Prophet Joseph Smith received the revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 42 “in fulfillment of the Lord’s promise previously made that the ‘law’ would be given in Ohio” (D&C 42 section introduction). In this second lesson on Doctrine and Covenants 42, covering verses 30–93, you will learn that the Lord introduced temporal, economic, and spiritual laws directing Church members to help the poor, finance various Church undertakings, and assist other Saints who came to Ohio.

Doctrine and Covenants 42:30–42

The Lord sets forth the law of consecration

Doctrine and Covenants 42:30–42 contains the Lord’s law of consecration. To help you learn about and understand this law, your assignment is to prepare a lesson and teach a family member or a friend about the law of consecration given in these verses. There will be an opportunity to record your experience in your scripture study journal later in today’s lesson.

To prepare to teach the lesson, read Doctrine and Covenants 42:30–42, and then do the following:

  • Use tape or a marker to make a line on six drinking glasses. (Use clear drinking glasses if possible.) Mark the lines at different heights on each of the glasses. Then hide or cover the glasses so the person you are teaching doesn’t see them.

  • Obtain a pitcher with more than enough water in it to fill all of the glasses to the lines marked on them. (If available, you could put coloring in the water.)

Show the pitcher to the person you are teaching, and tell him or her that the water represents all of the wealth and resources in a community. Explain that in February 1831, members of the Church in Kirtland, Ohio, needed to help care for the poor, assist new settlers who were sacrificing much to gather in Ohio, and help finance Church operations.

Ask your student to read Doctrine and Covenants 42:30 aloud and look for what the Lord revealed regarding the poor. Ask him or her to mark the word consecrate.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Read the following definition of the word consecrate given by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “To consecrate is to set apart or dedicate something as sacred, devoted to holy purposes” (“Reflections on a Consecrated Life,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 16).

You may want to invite your student to write this definition in the margin of his or her scriptures next to verse 30.

Explain that Doctrine and Covenants 42 contains principles of a law called the law of consecration. To help your student understand these basic principles, you may want to read aloud the following explanation by President J. Reuben Clark Jr. of the First Presidency:

President J. Reuben Clark Jr.

“The basic principle of [the law of consecration] is that everything we have belongs to the Lord; therefore, the Lord may call upon us for any and all of the property which we have, because it belongs to Him” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1942, 55).

Ask your student to summarize what Doctrine and Covenants 42:30 teaches about our responsibility toward the poor and those in need. (Your student may answer with something similar to the following principle: We are to care for the poor and those in need. Encourage him or her to mark words or phrases in that verse that teach this principle.)

Reveal the empty glasses with the marks on them, and begin to fill them with the water from the pitcher. Fill one glass to the line you made on it, fill three glasses with water above the lines you made, and fill two below the lines you marked. Explain that the lines on each glass represent the needs and righteous desires of various families. For example, the needs of a family with one child may be different from the needs of a family with five children. Explain that the water represents each family’s wealth and resources. The glasses with water below the line represent families that do not have enough money or goods to support their needs.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 42:31 aloud, and invite your student to follow along in his or her scriptures. Then ask the following questions:

  • For these Saints, what was the first step in living the law of consecration? (To give their substance—their money, goods, and properties—to the bishop.)

  • When we give to the poor, to whom are we also giving? (The Lord.)

To represent Church members consecrating their properties to the Church, pour all of the water in the glasses back into the pitcher.

Invite your student to read Doctrine and Covenants 42:32 aloud, looking for the second step in living the law of consecration. Then ask:

  • What was the second step in living the law of consecration? (Every family received from the bishop a portion of the resources according to what was needed.)

Explain that after giving, or consecrating, their property to the Church, the families were given property back according to their needs. This portion became the family’s own property. The families were stewards over the property, and they were allowed to use it as they saw fit, but they were accountable to God for its use.

Pour water from the pitcher, and fill each glass to its line. Explain that under the law of consecration, each family received according to the family’s needs and righteous desires. These decisions were made by the bishop and the head of the family counseling together. The families recognized that their ownership of the property was a gift from the Lord, and as stewards over it, they were accountable to use what they had been given to help build the Lord’s kingdom.

Point out the water remaining in the pitcher. Invite your student to read Doctrine and Covenants 42:33–35 aloud and look for what the “residue” or remainder of the consecrated property was for. Then ask the following questions:

  • What did the Lord instruct the Saints to do with the leftover property, or the “residue”? (They were to use it to help the poor, finance Church buildings, and help members who were in need.)

  • From what you learn in verse 34, what do you think the pitcher represents? (The storehouse.)

Invite your student to read Doctrine and Covenants 42:38 aloud and look for a truth that would help individuals desire to live the law of consecration, no matter their circumstances. Then ask:

  • What principle did the Lord teach regarding doing good to others? (The response should be something similar to the following principle: As we do good unto others, we do it unto the Lord. Consider asking your student to mark this truth in his or her scriptures.)

  • How might this truth have helped the Saints be willing to consecrate their properties? How can remembering this principle help you in your life?

  • When have you felt that you were serving the Lord when you did something to help others?

Explain that although we are not commanded to live the law of consecration in the same manner as the early Saints, the law is still in force today. Read the following statement from President Spencer W. Kimball aloud, and ask your student to listen for what it means for us today to live the law of consecration: “Consecration is the giving of one’s time, talents, and means to care for those in need—whether spiritually or temporally—and in building the Lord’s kingdom” (“Welfare Services: The Gospel in Action,” Ensign, Nov. 1977, 78).

You may want to encourage your student to write this definition in the margin of his or her scriptures near verse 30. After you have read the statement from President Kimball, ask:

  • What time, talents, and means do you have that you could use to help those who are in need?

Share an experience about a time when you were blessed by someone who gave up time, talents, or means to help you. Share your testimony of the importance of doing good to others. When you are finished, be sure to thank your student for participating in your lesson.

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, write the name of the person you taught, along with the date you completed this assignment. Write a description of what you thought went well in your teaching experience and what was difficult. In addition, describe how you have felt blessed when you have lived the principle that as we do good unto others, we do it unto the Lord.

Doctrine and Covenants 42:43–55

The Lord gives counsel concerning death and healing

In Doctrine and Covenants 42:43–55 the Lord taught about death and healing. He explained that death is sweet unto those who die in Him but bitter to those who do not. He also said that those who are sick should “be nourished with all tenderness” (D&C 42:43) and receive a priesthood blessing. Some will be healed through their faith in Jesus Christ (see D&C 42:48).

Doctrine and Covenants 42:56–69

The Lord promises to reveal additional scripture and revelation to Joseph Smith

In Doctrine and Covenants 42:56–69, the Prophet Joseph Smith learned that the Lord would continue to give revelation as he continued to seek for it. Read Doctrine and Covenants 42:61, and identify a principle about receiving revelation. Our leaders today lead and guide the Church by the principle of continuing revelation.

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, write an if–then statement of a principle you learn from verse 61.

Doctrine and Covenants 42:70–87

Priesthood leaders receive instruction on dealing with Church members who commit serious sin

Doctrine and Covenants 42:70–87 contains some basic principles and laws governing Church discipline. Read Doctrine and Covenants 42:78, and mark the Lord’s commandment to every member of the Church.

Doctrine and Covenants 42:88–93

The Lord instructs the Saints on how to resolve personal offenses

Think of a time when you have seen someone take offense at the words or actions of another person. Read Doctrine and Covenants 42:88–89, looking for the Lord’s instructions on what we should do if someone has offended us.

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

    1. What is the first thing we should do if someone has offended us?

    2. Why do you think this approach might be helpful?

In Doctrine and Covenants 42:90–91 we learn that some sins or offences that are publically known require an appropriate public confession or chastisement. In Doctrine and Covenants 42:92–93 we learn the following principle: Offenses given in private should be resolved in private.

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, describe why you think it is best that private offenses be resolved privately.

It takes courage to approach someone who has offended you. Pray for help from Heavenly Father as you seek to appropriately resolve any bad feelings you may have about others.

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

    I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 42:30–93 and completed this lesson on (date).

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