Unit 23: Day 3

Doctrine and Covenants 107:39–100; 108

“Unit 23: Day 3, Doctrine and Covenants 107:39–100; 108,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2017)


The first portion of this lesson covers Doctrine and Covenants 107:39–100. Although Doctrine and Covenants 107 was recorded in April 1835, most of the content in verses 60–100 was given to the Prophet Joseph Smith by revelation on November 11, 1831. The verses discussed in this lesson contain the Lord’s words about the ancient practice of conferring the Melchizedek Priesthood from father to son. They also provide instruction concerning the duties of various priesthood leaders. This lesson also covers Doctrine and Covenants 108, in which the Lord gave counsel and promises to Lyman Sherman.

Doctrine and Covenants 107:39–100

The Lord reveals that the Melchizedek Priesthood was passed down anciently from father to son

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, write about some circumstances you currently face, or will soon face, in which you could benefit from receiving guidance or comfort from your Heavenly Father.

As you study Doctrine and Covenants 107:39–100, look for truths that can help you receive guidance and comfort from Heavenly Father.

young woman receiving patriarchal blessing

In the previous lesson you learned some of the duties of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the Seventy. Read Doctrine and Covenants 107:39, looking for one of the duties of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The term “evangelical ministers” refers to those who hold the office of patriarch in the Melchizedek Priesthood (see Guide to the Scriptures, “Evangelist,” scriptures.lds.org; Bible Dictionary, “Evangelist”).

Complete the following based on what you have learned from verse 39: Patriarchs are called by and ordained under the direction of the Twelve Apostles.

Those who hold the office of patriarch give special blessings, called patriarchal blessings, to worthy members of the Church. A patriarchal blessing contains the Lord’s counsel for an individual and declares that person’s lineage in the house of Israel (see True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference [2004], “Patriarchal Blessings,” 111–13).

As individuals study their patriarchal blessings, they can receive guidance and comfort from Heavenly Father. If you have not received a patriarchal blessing, consider talking with your parents and bishop or branch president about when would be the most appropriate time to receive one and what you need to do to prepare for the experience.

The word patriarch also refers to fathers. Doctrine and Covenants 107:41–57 teaches that Adam was a righteous father and patriarch. Scan verses 41–50, and identify a pattern—two things Adam did repeatedly as he presided over his family.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 107:53. In this verse we read that Adam blessed all his righteous posterity.

  1. journal iconFrom what you learn in Doctrine and Covenants 107:41–57, answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. What two things did Adam do repeatedly as he presided over his family?

    2. How can Adam’s example serve as a pattern for all fathers?

One truth we can learn from Doctrine and Covenants 107:53 is that fathers who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood have authority to bless their children. In addition to ordaining a son to the priesthood, a father might give a priesthood blessing to a son or daughter in times of illness or to provide direction and comfort.

In addition to blessing their children, Melchizedek Priesthood holders may give blessings to other family members and to others who ask for them. President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “Homes without the priesthood are to be watched over and ministered to by the quorums of the priesthood. In this manner no blessings will be found wanting in any dwelling within the Church” (“The Power of the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 9).

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, describe how you or people you know have benefited from receiving priesthood blessings from your father or other Melchizedek Priesthood holders. If you have not had the opportunity to receive a priesthood blessing, write about how you could benefit from seeking such a blessing.

Think back to the circumstances you wrote about for assignment 1 of this lesson. Remember that you can seek guidance and comfort from Heavenly Father through patriarchal blessings and through priesthood blessings administered by your father or other Melchizedek Priesthood holders.

In Doctrine and Covenants 107:58–98, we read about the duties of various priesthood leaders. As you study these verses, consider how those who fulfill these duties can bring the blessings of the priesthood into the lives of others.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 107:99–100, looking for the instructions the Lord gave to those who hold the priesthood.

President Thomas S. Monson

President Thomas S. Monson taught: “The priesthood is not really so much a gift as it is a commission to serve, a privilege to lift, and an opportunity to bless the lives of others” (“Our Sacred Priesthood Trust,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2006, 57).

Doctrine and Covenants 108

The Lord gives counsel and blessings to Lyman Sherman

Think of a time when you felt prompted by the Spirit to do something and you followed the prompting. What blessings did you receive when you obeyed the Spirit’s promptings?

Lyman Sherman was a faithful member of the Church who had served in Zion’s Camp and had been called as one of the seven Presidents of the Quorum of the Seventy. The Prophet Joseph Smith recorded in his journal that on December 26, 1835, “Brother Lyman Sherman came in, and requested to have the word of the Lord through me; ‘for,’ said he, ‘I have been wrought upon to make known to you my feelings and desires, and was promised that I should have a revelation which should make known my duty’” (in History of the Church, 2:345).

When Lyman said he was “wrought upon” to talk to Joseph Smith, it means he was prompted by the Holy Ghost.

In response to Lyman’s request, Joseph Smith received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 108. Read Doctrine and Covenants 108:1, looking for the blessing the Lord gave Lyman because he obeyed the prompting to talk with the Prophet.

Based on what the Lord revealed to Lyman Sherman, complete the following principle: As we the Lord’s voice, we invite His forgiveness.

  1. journal iconAnswer the following question in your scripture study journal: Why do you think obeying promptings from the Lord invites forgiveness?

young man and woman reading scriptures

The Lord’s voice can be heard through the scriptures, the words of His prophets, and the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Obeying God includes filling your life with righteous activities that bring spiritual power. Full obedience brings the complete power of the gospel into your life. This obedience includes actions you might not initially consider part of repentance, such as attending Church meetings, paying tithing, giving service, and forgiving others. The Lord promised, “He that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven” (D&C 1:32).

Read Doctrine and Covenants 108:2, looking for the Lord’s counsel to Lyman Sherman after he was told his sins were forgiven.

What do you think it means to “let your soul be at rest concerning your spiritual standing” (D&C 108:2)?

We learn from Doctrine and Covenants 108:1–2 that the Lord’s forgiveness brings rest to our souls.

Sometimes repentant people wonder if they have been forgiven of their sins. In the following statements, mark the counsel given to those who may struggle to let their souls be at rest.

President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:

President Boyd K. Packer

“That great morning of forgiveness may not come at once. Do not give up if at first you fail. Often the most difficult part of repentance is to forgive yourself. Discouragement is part of that test. Do not give up. That brilliant morning will come.

“Then ‘the peace of God, which passeth … understanding’ comes into your life once again. [Philippians 4:7.] Then you, like Him, will remember your sins no more. How will you know? You will know! [See Mosiah 4:1–3.]” (“The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 20).

President Harold B. Lee

President Harold B. Lee taught: “If the time comes when you have done all that you can to repent of your sins, whoever you are, wherever you are, and have made amends and restitution to the best of your ability … , then you will want that confirming answer as to whether or not the Lord has accepted of you. In your soul-searching, if you seek for and you find that peace of conscience, by that token you may know that the Lord has accepted of your repentance” (Stand Ye in Holy Places [1974], 185).

Study Doctrine and Covenants 108:3, looking for further counsel the Lord gave to Lyman Sherman. (It might be helpful to know that the word observing in this verse means to comply with or to obey. A vow is a promise or a covenant.)

In what ways is this counsel to be more careful in observing vows helpful for someone who has been forgiven of sin?

  1. journal iconIn your scripture study journal, explain how the truths you have identified in Doctrine and Covenants 108:1–3 could encourage a friend or family member to obey the Lord’s voice and obtain forgiveness.

Have you ever heard the term “solemn assembly”? Elder David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “A solemn assembly, as the name implies, denotes a sacred, sober, and reverent occasion when the Saints assemble under the direction of the First Presidency. Solemn assemblies are used for three purposes: the dedication of temples, special instruction to priesthood leaders, and sustaining a new President of the Church” (“Solemn Assemblies,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 14).

In December 1832, the Lord promised the Saints that if they would build a temple and hold a solemn assembly, He would bestow great blessings on them (see D&C 88:70–75, 117–19). In December 1835, when the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 108 was given to Lyman Sherman, the Kirtland Temple was only three months away from being dedicated.

As you read Doctrine and Covenants 108:4–6, look for what the Lord promised Lyman he would receive at the solemn assembly.

Next, read Doctrine and Covenants 108:7–8, looking for the instructions the Lord gave to Lyman. How can you strengthen others “in all your conversation” (D&C 108:7)? It may be helpful to know that exhortations are advice or encouragement to do good.

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

    1. How do you think the instructions in Doctrine and Covenants 108:7–8 could have helped Lyman Sherman as he preached the gospel to others?

    2. How can you apply the Lord’s counsel in verse 7 in your life?

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

    I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 107:39–100; 108 and completed this lesson on (date).

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