As recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 43, in February 1831 the Lord instructed Church members about the unique role of the prophet in receiving revelation for the Church, as well as the need for the elders of the Church to preach repentance in preparation for future events. Doctrine and Covenants 44 contains the Lord’s instructions for elders of the Church to assemble together in a conference.
Imagine two different people trying to lead you in singing two different songs at the same time. Would you be able to sing both songs simultaneously? How would you choose which music leader to follow?
In February 1831, a recent convert in Kirtland, Ohio, referred to as Mrs. Hubble, claimed to receive revelations and commandments for the Church. Some Church members were deceived by her claims. The Prophet Joseph Smith inquired of the Lord concerning Mrs. Hubble’s claims, and in response he received the revelation now recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 43.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 43:1–5, looking for who the Lord said would receive revelation for the entire Church.
These verses helped early Church members understand that only the Prophet Joseph Smith had the authority to receive commandments and revelations for the entire Church. These verses also help us to understand that only the President of the Church will receive revelations for the entire Church. You may want to write this doctrine in your scriptures by Doctrine and Covenants 43:3–4 or in your scripture study journal.
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: Why is it important to know that only the President of the Church (or the First Presidency) will receive revelations for the entire Church?
Just as Mrs. Hubble and others made false claims that deceived some of the Saints in the early days of the Church, there are pretenders or deceivers today who promote false ideas. Read Doctrine and Covenants 43:5–7, and identify the pattern the Lord revealed to help us not be deceived by individuals who promote false ideas or claim to receive revelation for others but do not have the authority to do so.
In the space provided, describe the pattern the Lord revealed to protect us from being deceived today:
The following statement from President Joseph Fielding Smith helps us understand that to “come in at the gate” (D&C 43:7) is to do something the proper and authorized way: “The Lord would have us know that he does all things in order, and whenever he calls one to lead the Church, that one will come in at the gate and be ordained by those who hold authority. It has been so from the beginning and will continue so to the end” (Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. , 1:138). To “come in at the gate” is to enter by the accepted and known way.
Make a list in your scripture study journal of the various meetings you attend as a member of the Church. Next to each meeting, write what you think its purpose is.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 43:8, and mark words or phrases that teach the following principle: When we assemble together, we are to instruct and edify one another so we can learn how to act and direct the Church. The commandment to edify each other means we are to build up and strengthen each other spiritually. The phrase “direct my church” in this verse refers to the Church members being instructed on how to perform their duties. Meetings are held to help Church members keep their covenants and magnify their callings, which means to perform the responsibilities of their callings.
In your scripture study journal, write about an experience in which you felt edified—built up and strengthened spiritually—as you attended a Church meeting.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 43:9–11, and identify what we are to do after we learn the Lord’s laws and commandments. In verse 9, the phrase “be sanctified” means to be made holy, or cleansed from the sins of the world. One truth we learn from verse 9 is that we are to bind ourselves to act on the truths we learn. (You may want to write this principle in your scriptures.)
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How does acting on what we learn in Church meetings help us become sanctified?
When have you committed to act on what you learned in a Church meeting and then followed through by doing it? How were you blessed for doing so?
In Doctrine and Covenants 43:12–14, the Lord told the Saints that they would receive the glories of His kingdom if they would sustain His prophet.
Think of an activity or event that requires much careful preparation, such as a full-time mission, sporting event, musical production, teaching assignment, or test. How do you think a person would feel if he or she was not prepared when the time came to participate in the activity or event?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 43:17–22, looking for an event that requires careful preparation.
The Lord instructed the elders to tell all nations to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. From what you learn in Doctrine and Covenants 43:20, fill in the blanks with the appropriate words that complete this principle: We need to repent and ourselves for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 43:25–28, looking for some of the ways in which the Lord calls all people to repent and be saved. Why do you think the Lord uses so many voices to warn us?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 43:29–31, looking for what will happen after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
You may want to mark the words or phrases that teach that during the Millennium, Satan will be bound and Jesus Christ will reign with His people on the earth.
President George Q. Cannon of the First Presidency explained how Satan will be bound during the Millennium: “We talk about Satan being bound. Satan will be bound by the power of God; but he will be bound also by the determination of the people of God not to listen to him, not to be governed by him” (Gospel Truth: Discourses and Writings of President George Q. Cannon, sel. Jerreld L. Newquist, 2 vols. [1957–74], 1:86).
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “Christ and the resurrected Saints will reign over the earth during the thousand years. They will not probably dwell upon the earth, but will visit it when they please, or when it is necessary to govern it” (in History of the Church, 5:212).
Ponder specifically what you may need to do to repent and prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the Millennium. Because of the personal nature of this assignment, write Finished assignment 5 in your scripture study journal when you have completed this assignment.
In the Conference Center, in Salt Lake City, Utah, and in other buildings throughout the world, Church members gather every six months to hear the General Authorities and other Church leaders speak.
In Doctrine and Covenants 44, the Lord directed the elders of the Church to gather for a conference. This would be the fourth general conference of the Church and the first conference held in Kirtland, Ohio. Study Doctrine and Covenants 44:1–4, looking for reasons why the Lord commanded the Saints to hold this conference.
Fill in the blanks in the following statements, using what you have learned from these verses: The Lord commanded the elders of His Church to . At the conference the Lord promised to . After the conference, the elders were to . As a result, many people would .
As you conclude this lesson, think again about what you will do to act on the principles you have learned. The Lord will bless you as you act on these truths.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 43–44 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: