The portion of the revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 88 that this lesson focuses on includes the Lord’s instruction for a group of priesthood leaders to learn together by study and by faith and to show love and friendship toward each other. The Lord also foretells the signs of His Second Coming, the order of the Resurrection, and events surrounding the great and last battle with Satan.
In Kirtland, Ohio, in the winter of 1832–33, the Lord commanded a group of priesthood leaders to meet together in what was called the School of the Prophets to prepare themselves to preach the gospel among the nations of the earth. The Lord commanded this group to remain in Kirtland and learn from each other. Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:77–80, looking for what the Lord commanded these priesthood holders to do as they met together. You may want to mark what you find.
In Doctrine and Covenants 88:81–115, the Lord revealed many of the events that will precede and follow His Second Coming. He also revealed events that will occur at the end of the Millennium.
The Lord revealed that the dead will be resurrected in the order of their righteousness. Those who are resurrected first are those who inherit the celestial kingdom (see D&C 88:97–98, 107). Those who are resurrected second are those who inherit the terrestrial kingdom (see D&C 88:99). Those who inherit the telestial kingdom will be resurrected after the Millennium (see D&C 88:100–101). Finally, those who “remain filthy still”—those born on this earth who became sons of perdition—will be resurrected and cast into outer darkness (see D&C 88:102, 114).
In your scripture study journal, list some of the things you have recently learned about in school and in church. Then answer the following question: How is learning about school subjects, such as math and science, different from learning about gospel subjects? How is it the same? (See D&C 88:78–79.)
Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:118, looking for how those who attended the School of the Prophets were to seek learning. You may want to mark what you find. What do you think it means to learn “by faith”?
As you read the following statement from Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, mark the words or phrases that help you better understand what it means to learn by faith:
“As learners, you and I are to act and be doers of the word and not simply hearers who are only acted upon. Are you and I agents who act and seek learning by faith, or are we waiting to be taught and acted upon? …
“… Learning by faith requires spiritual, mental, and physical exertion and not just passive reception. It is in the sincerity and consistency of our faith-inspired action that we indicate to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, our willingness to learn and receive instruction from the Holy Ghost. …
“… Learning by faith requires both ‘the heart and a willing mind’ (D&C 64:34). Learning by faith is the result of the Holy Ghost carrying the power of the word of God both unto and into the heart. Learning by faith cannot be transferred from an instructor to a student … ; rather, a student must exercise faith and act in order to obtain the knowledge for himself or herself” (“Seek Learning by Faith,” Ensign, Sept. 2007, 64).
We can learn by faith when we actively and prayerfully engage in learning the gospel and then act on what we learn.
Notice at the beginning of Doctrine and Covenants 88:118 that the Lord indicated some did not have faith. From what you have learned from this verse, how would you complete the following principle about how to increase our faith? If we , then our faith in Jesus Christ will increase.
To help you understand how this principle might be applied in your life, read each of the following situations. Then, in your scripture study journal, write how the person in each situation could change in order to learn by study and by faith. Also write how the person’s actions would help the person increase in faith.
A young woman regularly reads the scriptures, but she rarely pauses to think about what she is reading. She doesn’t feel that reading the scriptures benefits her very much.
A young man attends his Church meetings and enjoys participating in class discussions. Sometimes he feels prompted to make changes in his life based on what he learns, but he usually does not act on those promptings.
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
When have you felt your faith increase as a result of actively seeking to learn by study and by faith?
How did your actions help your faith to increase?
What do you feel you should do in the future to seek learning by study and faith?
To learn more about the School of the Prophets, read Doctrine and Covenants 88:119–20, looking for how the Lord described the place where the School of the Prophets was to meet. You may want to mark what you find.
In response to the Lord’s commandment to build the house described in verse 119, the Saints eventually built the Kirtland Temple. While the temple was under construction, the School of the Prophets met in the upper room of the Newel K. Whitney store in Kirtland.
Search Doctrine and Covenants 88:121–26, and identify how the Lord expected the brethren in the School of the Prophets to conduct themselves. Consider how these behaviors can help you as you study the gospel on your own and with others. You may want to ponder how the behaviors you identify can be applied to your own life.
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: What do you think it means to “cease from all your light speeches, from all laughter, … and light-mindedness” (D&C 88:121)?
The instructions concerning laughter and light-mindedness in speech given to those participating in the School of the Prophets meant that those participating in the School of the Prophets needed to be reverent in sacred settings. These meetings would eventually occur in the temple.
Why might obeying this counsel be helpful in your efforts to learn things that are sacred?
This counsel, however, does not mean that all laughter is sinful. With regard to laughter, President Gordon B. Hinckley told the youth of the Church:
“You can have a good time. Of course you can! We want you to have fun. We want you to enjoy life. … We want you to be robust and cheerful, to sing and dance, to laugh and be happy.
“But in so doing, be humble and be prayerful, and the smiles of heaven will fall upon you” (“A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” Ensign, Jan. 2001, 11).
Notice the repetition of the word all in Doctrine and Covenants 88:122. Think about how a class could be affected if all of the students participated in the lesson and tried to learn from each other.
Doctrine and Covenants 88:124 contains instruction from the Lord concerning sleep. Consider how sleeping longer than is needful can affect our ability to learn or feel the Spirit. (D&C 88:124 is a scripture mastery verse. You may want to mark it in a distinctive way to help you find it in the future.)
In what ways do you think getting a proper amount of sleep and rising early can help us learn better? One principle that can be identified from the Lord’s instructions in Doctrine and Covenants 88:118–26 is that doing righteous actions and ceasing unrighteous ones will help us to learn and be edified. Consider writing this principle in the margin of your scriptures.
Review Doctrine and Covenants 88:121–26, and determine which items of counsel you need to adopt more fully in your life. In your scripture study journal, write why you think following the Lord’s counsel and doing these things are important to help you learn the gospel and be edified.
To help you memorize Doctrine and Covenants 88:124, list the six behaviors the Lord said to cease or follow in your scripture study journal. Repeat the list of actions until you can recite them from memory. To help you remember and apply the counsel in this scripture mastery passage, consider reciting it in your mind each time you attend a seminary or Church class or a family home evening for the next month.
Ponder some places where you study the gospel with others. Consider if there are people in these settings whom you don’t know very well or struggle to get along with. Think about one of these people as you study Doctrine and Covenants 88:127–41. Ponder the following question: How does your relationship with those you learn the gospel with affect your ability to learn and be edified by the Spirit?
The Lord expected the members of the School of the Prophets to establish good relationships with each other as they learned together. Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:128–34, looking for the teacher’s role in establishing a spiritual learning environment in the School of the Prophets. You may want to mark what you find.
The teacher saluting the members of the class means that he greeted them as they entered. This was a specific greeting in the School of the Prophets. What do you notice about the salutation or greeting in verse 133?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:135–37, looking for the students’ role in establishing a good learning environment.
What kind of relationship did the Lord want the members of the School of the Prophets to have with each other? According to verse 137, what did the Lord promise if members of the School of the Prophets would follow His instructions?
The following is one principle we can learn in these verses: If we show friendship and love to each other, then we can invite the Spirit as we study the gospel together.
Review the salutation in Doctrine and Covenants 88:133. Then answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How do you think we can show “a determination that is fixed, immovable, and unchangeable, to be [a] friend” to class or family members whom we may not know well or may struggle to love?
When have you experienced learning the gospel in an environment where everyone was determined to be friends? What was it like, or what do you think it would be like?
Think about how you can develop a determination to love those you learn the gospel with. You may want to record any promptings you feel to show greater kindness and love toward classmates and family members.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 88:70–141 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: