Unit 11: Day 3

Doctrine and Covenants 46

“Unit 11: Day 3, Doctrine and Covenants 46,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2017)


Introduction

The revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 46 was received on March 8, 1831—nearly one year after the Church was organized. In this revelation the Lord reminded the Saints that Church meetings are to be conducted by the Spirit, and He emphasized that people who are not members of the Church are not to be cast out of public meetings. The Lord also explained the purposes of the gifts of the Spirit.

Doctrine and Covenants 46:1–6

The Lord instructs the Saints concerning their Church meetings

Imagine you were asked to plan an entire sacrament meeting. How would you choose the music, who would pray, the topics of the talks, who would give the talks, and in what order the talks would be given?

Read Doctrine and Covenants 46:1–2, looking for the instruction the Lord gave about how meetings are to be conducted. The word conduct in verse 2 includes both planning and directing Church meetings.

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, describe what you think a meeting is like when it is “directed and guided by the Holy Spirit.”

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

    1. What might Church leaders and members need to do in order for a Church meeting to be directed and guided by the Holy Ghost?

    2. What can you do to contribute to the influence of the Spirit in Church meetings?

Mark the words or phrases in Doctrine and Covenants 46:2 that teach the following principle: Church leaders are to be guided by the Holy Spirit as they conduct meetings.

Think about some of the places where you have seen the phrase “Visitors Welcome” posted. Read the section introduction to Doctrine and Covenants 46, looking for who the early Saints admitted into their meetings. Then read Doctrine and Covenants 46:3–6 to find phrases and words that show the Lord has commanded us to welcome all people to our public meetings. You may already know that the phrase “Visitors Welcome” is posted on our Church meetinghouses.

Ponder the following situation: A young woman visits a new ward with her family for the first time. After sacrament meeting, a ward member greets the family and shows them where to go for Sunday School. He takes the young woman to her class and introduces her to the teacher. The young men and young women in the class briefly acknowledge the young woman and then proceed to visit amongst themselves, ignoring her.

How could this situation be different if the members of the Sunday School class understood the commandment to welcome all to our public meetings?

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, list a few ways in which you can help those who are not members of the Church, members who have not been to church for a while, new members of your ward or branch, and visitors feel welcome.

Some of the ways you listed may be difficult for you to do, but think of times when you attended a meeting or activity in a different ward or branch of the Church. What did other Church members do or what would you have liked them to do to help you feel welcome? Think and pray about how you can help others feel more welcome at Church meetings and activities.

Doctrine and Covenants 46:7–33

The Lord explains the purpose of gifts of the Spirit

What does it mean to be deceived? Can you think of a time when you felt you were deceived? What can we do to avoid being deceived?

When the Prophet Joseph Smith arrived in Ohio, he witnessed strange and fanatical behavior in some Church members; for example, some claimed to be under the influence of the Spirit but were manifesting behaviors not consistent with the Holy Ghost. Leaders and other members were suspicious that the behaviors were brought on by an evil influence. Study Doctrine and Covenants 46:7–8, looking for what the Lord counseled His people to do so they would not be deceived by false spirits or false doctrines.

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

    1. According to Doctrine and Covenants 46:7–8, what helps us avoid being deceived?

    2. Why do you think that could help a person not be deceived?

Doctrine and Covenants 46:7 teaches the following principle: When we follow the directions of the Spirit in all holiness and do all things with prayer and thanksgiving, we can avoid being deceived.

You may want to mark in Doctrine and Covenants 46:8 what the Lord said we should earnestly seek.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 46:9–12, 26, looking for what the Lord wants us to understand about the gifts of the Spirit. (You may want to mark what you find.) Based on what you learned from these verses, complete the following principle: If we earnestly seek the best gifts, .

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, write why you think it is important that we seek spiritual gifts for the benefit of the children of God rather than for selfish purposes. Then answer the following question: According to Doctrine and Covenants 46:11–12, why are the spiritual gifts of each person important to the Church? (see also 1 Corinthians 12).

Though our gifts might vary, the Lord’s Church needs them all. Everyone has a role and responsibility in the building of the kingdom of God on the earth. Study the list of spiritual gifts the Lord gave in Doctrine and Covenants 46:13–27. You may want to mark each of them.

To help you understand some of these gifts of the Spirit better, match the gift listed in the following chart with the explanation that best fits it. (Answers can be found at the end of the lesson.)

Gift

Explanation

____ 1. The gift “to know the differences of administration” (D&C 46:13)

  1. This gift is commonly manifest in missionaries who are able to learn and understand languages quickly.

____ 2. The gift “to know the diversities of operations” (D&C 46:16)

  1. This gift allows a person to recognize or understand true intentions and hidden motivations. It helps a person to detect hidden evils and to see the good in others.

____ 3. The gift of “the discerning of spirits” (D&C 46:23)

  1. This gift is often manifest in leaders who recognize how others’ gifts, though different from each other, can be helpful in various positions of service.

____ 4. The gift “to speak with tongues” and “the interpretation of tongues” (D&C 46:24–25)

  1. This gift is manifest in a person’s ability to see the differences between authentic gifts or workings of the Spirit and false spirits, doctrines, or commandments.

The list of the gifts of the Spirit identified in Doctrine and Covenants 46 are only a few of the gifts that are available. Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “Spiritual gifts are endless in number and infinite in variety. Those listed in the revealed word are simply illustrations of the boundless outpouring of divine grace that a gracious God gives those who love and serve him” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [1985], 371).

Can you think of spiritual gifts you have seen or can identify that are not mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants 46?

If you have received your patriarchal blessing, the Lord may have listed some of the gifts He has given you. You may also experience spiritual gifts as you serve Heavenly Father and His children in various Church callings. Doctrine and Covenants 46 teaches that those called to “watch over the Church” are given the gift to judge which spiritual gifts are of God (see D&C 46:27). You can have faith in your bishop’s ability to discern your gifts and where you might be able to best serve and bless others in the Church, even when those gifts might not yet be known to you.

It may be helpful to understand more about the gift of tongues. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught the following about this gift of the Spirit:

Brother Joseph

“[The gift of tongues was] given for the purpose of preaching among those whose language is not understood; as on the day of Pentecost, etc., and it is not necessary for tongues to be taught to the Church particularly, for any man that has the Holy Ghost, can speak of the things of God in his own tongue as well as to speak in another; for faith comes not by signs, but by hearing the word of God” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 383–84).

“If anything is taught by the gift of tongues, it is not to be received for doctrine” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 384).

“Speak not in the gift of tongues without understanding it, or without interpretation. The devil can speak in tongues; the adversary will come with his work; he can tempt all classes; can speak in English or Dutch. Let no one speak in tongues unless he interpret, except by the consent of the one who is placed to preside; then he may discern or interpret, or another may” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 384).

Elder Bruce R. McConkie

Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “Tongues and their interpretation are given for special purposes under special circumstances. There are a host of gifts that are far more important and in the use of which there is less chance for deception. The gifts of exhortation, of preaching, of expounding doctrine, of teaching the gospel—though not nearly so dramatic—are far greater and of more value than tongues” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 800).

Ponder for a moment about how the gifts of the Spirit have benefited you. Also think about how you can seek for and use your gifts to bless the children of God.

The Lord concluded this revelation by instructing His followers on what they must do. Read Doctrine and Covenants 46:31–33, looking for what He taught.

scripture mastery iconScripture Mastery—Doctrine and Covenants 46:33

Spend a few minutes memorizing Doctrine and Covenants 46:33. If possible, recite it to a family member or friend.

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, list a number of ways you can “practice virtue and holiness.” As you write your list, choose two or three sections from the For the Strength of Youth booklet and use them to help you add to your list. Write a goal about how you plan to practice virtue and holiness before the Lord.

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

    I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 46 and completed this lesson on (date).

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