On December 16 and 17, 1833, the Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation concerning the Saints in Missouri who had to flee from their homes to escape severe persecution. Many of those Saints had been forced to leave all their possessions behind. The revelation that the Prophet received, recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 101, is covered in three lessons. This second lesson includes the Lord’s description of conditions during the Millennium. It also includes words of comfort and counsel to the Saints in Missouri.
Think of some future events you are preparing for. Why do you put forth the effort to be prepared for those events?
Doctrine and Covenants 101 contains instructions on preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the Millennium (the period of peace that will begin when Christ returns to reign personally on the earth). From Doctrine and Covenants 101:17–21, we learn that the Lord’s promise to gather the Saints in the city of Zion in Jackson County, Missouri, “is held in abeyance [temporarily suspended], while the people are being sanctified for the great gift and for the responsibilities associated with it. In the meantime the honest in heart are gathering to the valleys of the Rocky Mountains [and to stakes all around the world]. … Temples have been erected. … But Zion shall yet be established on the chosen site” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 12th ed. , 353).
Read Doctrine and Covenants 101:22–23, looking for something the Lord told the Saints to do to prepare for His Second Coming. (In verse 23, the phrase “the revelation which is to come” refers to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The reference to the removal of a veil is also related to the Second Coming—to the time when all the inhabitants of the earth will see the Savior.)
Complete the following statement based on Doctrine and Covenants 101:22–23: We can prepare for the Savior’s Second Coming by on His name, living according to gospel principles, together, and in holy places.
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
When have you felt that you were in a holy place?
How does gathering in holy places with other Latter-day Saints help you prepare for the Lord’s Second Coming?
Doctrine and Covenants 101:24–34 refers to the destruction of the wicked at the time of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming and to conditions that will exist on the earth during the Millennium. For example, in verses 32–34 we read that the Lord will reveal hidden things about the earth, such as its creation and about the heavens. (The word enmity in verse 26 refers to hatred or hostility.)
In your scripture study journal, list two or three of the conditions in Doctrine and Covenants 101:24–34 that you would be particularly excited to experience. Explain why these conditions would be meaningful to you.
When the Lord gave the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 101:24–34, the Saints in Missouri had experienced tremendous difficulties, including physical abuse, the loss of their homes and possessions, and cold weather conditions.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 101:35–38, and identify principles and counsel the Lord gave the Saints in Missouri to comfort and strengthen them in their trials.
In your scripture study journal, write one item of counsel the Lord gave the Saints in verses 35–38. Then explain how this counsel could comfort the Saints in Missouri.
Complete the following principle based on what you have learned from Doctrine and Covenants 101:35: Those who for the name of the Savior and will partake of God’s glory.
True disciples of Jesus Christ always follow Him, even when they are persecuted for their faith. President James E. Faust of the First Presidency shared the following account about two Latter-day Saints who lived in Mexico in the early 1900s. In 1915 they were captured by a violent band of soldiers. As you read the account, notice how these two Latter-day Saints were examples of enduring persecution in faith.
“Rafael Monroy was the president of the small San Marcos Mexico Branch, and Vicente Morales was his first counselor. … They were told they would be spared if they would give up their weapons and renounce their strange religion. Brother Monroy told his captors that he did not have any weapons and simply drew from his pocket his Bible and Book of Mormon. He said, ‘Gentlemen, these are the only arms I ever carry; they are the arms of truth against error.’
“When no arms were found, the brethren were cruelly tortured to make them divulge where arms were hidden. But there were no arms. They were then taken under guard to the outskirts of the little town, where their captors stood them up by a large ash tree in front of a firing squad. The officer in charge offered them freedom if they would forsake their religion and join the [soldiers], but Brother Monroy replied, ‘My religion is dearer to me than my life, and I cannot forsake it.’
“They were then told that they were to be shot and asked if they had any request to make. Brother Rafael requested that he be permitted to pray before he was executed. There, in the presence of his executioners, he kneeled down and, in a voice that all could hear, prayed that God would bless and protect his loved ones and care for the little struggling branch that would be left without a leader. As he finished his prayer, he used the words of the Savior when He hung upon the cross and prayed for his executioners: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ [Luke 23:34.] With that the firing squad shot both Brother Monroy and Brother Morales” (“Discipleship,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 21–22; based on Rey L. Pratt, “A Latter-day Martyr,” Improvement Era, June 1918, 720–26).
Think of times when you have been persecuted (teased or bullied) because of your faith in Jesus Christ and His Church.
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: When people are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ and His Church, how can they respond with faith?
Think about some of the uses of salt. For example, it can be used to flavor and preserve food and to heal wounds as a disinfectant. Read Doctrine and Covenants 101:39, and identify the people the Lord compared to salt.
Ponder why people who come unto the gospel and make covenants with the Lord might be called “the salt of the earth.”
Notice in verse 39 that the Lord also called Church members “the savor of men.” The word savor refers to distinctive flavor or quality. What do you think it means to be the savor of men?
The following statement by Elder Carlos E. Asay of the Seventy can help you better understand what it means to be the savor of men: “When the Lord used the expression ‘savor of men,’ he was speaking of those who represent him. He was referring to those who have repented, who have been washed clean in the waters of baptism, and who have covenanted to take upon them his name and his cause. Moreover, he was speaking of those who would share by covenant his priesthood power. He was speaking of you and me” (“Salt of the Earth: Savor of Men and Saviors of Men,” Ensign, May 1980, 42).
The phrases “salt of the earth” and “savor of men” teach that as members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we have a responsibility to help all the people of the earth receive God’s blessings (see Abraham 2:8–11).
Study Doctrine and Covenants 101:40–42, looking for the Lord’s warnings and promises.
Note that verse 40 includes the phrase “if that salt of the earth lose its savor.” Salt does not lose its savor as it gets older. It loses its savor when it is mixed with other substances and contaminated by them. Elder Asay taught: “Flavor and quality flee a man when he contaminates his mind with unclean thoughts, desecrates his mouth by speaking less than the truth, and misapplies his strength in performing evil acts” (“Salt of the Earth,” 42).
Doctrine and Covenants 101:40–42 help us learn that to help the people of the earth receive God’s blessings, we must repent of our sins and be humble. You may want to write this truth in your scriptures.
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How do the Lord’s teachings in Doctrine and Covenants 101:39–42 help you understand what He expects of you?
What are some examples of how sin can prevent us from blessing the people of the earth?
What will you do to avoid being contaminated by sin?
Think about whether sins are contaminating your life. Repent of those sins so you can become pure before the Lord and so you can be more effective in helping others receive His blessings.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 101:17–42 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: