On Sunday, April 3, 1836, a sacrament meeting was held in the Kirtland Temple. During the meeting the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery separated themselves from the congregation to pray. After they rose from prayer, Jesus Christ appeared to them and accepted the newly dedicated temple. Moses, Elias, and Elijah then appeared, and priesthood keys were restored. Doctrine and Covenants 110 is an account of these visions.
Have you ever noticed the phrase written on the outside of every temple? It reads “Holiness to the Lord—the House of the Lord.”
Because a temple is the house of the Lord, can you think of a time when the Lord visited one?
One visit was shortly after the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. Read the section introduction to Doctrine and Covenants 110, looking for who was present and what they did before this sacred experience.
Read the Prophet Joseph Smith’s account of the vision in Doctrine and Covenants 110:1–3. Try to visualize what happened, and imagine how you might have felt if you were there. Then read Doctrine and Covenants 110:4–5, and find what the Savior said to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. You may want to mark phrases that are meaningful to you.
In your scripture study journal, write about what you find meaningful in Doctrine and Covenants 110:4–5, and explain why.
Doctrine and Covenants 110:5 contains the Lord’s instructions for Joseph and Oliver to lift up their heads and rejoice. Read Doctrine and Covenants 110:6–10, and identify reasons that Joseph and Oliver, as well as the Saints, had to rejoice. Consider marking what you find.
One of the reasons the Saints had to rejoice is found in verses 7–8. These verses teach the following principle: If we obey the Lord’s commandments and keep His house pure, He will manifest Himself to us in His temples.
If you have had the opportunity to visit or go inside a temple, write in your scripture study journal about when you felt close to the Lord there. If you have not had the opportunity, write about feelings you might have there. Then answer the following questions:
How can the Lord manifest Himself to people in the temple? (The word manifest means to reveal or make known, as discussed during your study of Doctrine and Covenants 109.)
How can we keep the Lord’s house pure and unpolluted?
Why do you think the Lord requires us to be obedient and clean before He will manifest Himself to us in His house?
Review Doctrine and Covenants 110:9–10, and identify who will be blessed by the restoration of temple blessings.
In your scripture study journal, answer the following questions:
How is the world blessed by temples and the work of salvation for both the living and the dead?
How has the temple blessed your life?
Look in Doctrine and Covenants 110:11–13 for who appeared individually to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery after the vision of the Savior. You may want to mark these names.
Do you know who Moses and Elijah are and some of the significant things they did when they were on the earth? To learn more about these two Old Testament prophets, look up their names in the Bible Dictionary or the Guide to the Scriptures.
Elias may have been a prophet who lived in Abraham’s day. In addition to a name, Elias is a title meaning forerunner or restorer. (See Guide to the Scriptures, “Elias,” scriptures.lds.org; Bible Dictionary, “Elias.”)
Each of the three messengers who appeared in the Kirtland Temple committed priesthood keys to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.
Copy the following chart into your scripture study journal. Then study the scripture passage written under each prophet’s name and write what each one restored.
The following information can help you understand the keys or authority you identified in Doctrine and Covenants 110:11–16.
The Lord gave the name Israel to Jacob, who was the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham (see Genesis 32:28). Jacob’s descendants, who came to be known as the kingdom of Israel, were God’s covenant people. Over time, the people of Israel and their descendants have been scattered throughout the earth, largely because of their unrighteousness. The Lord has promised to gather His covenant people (see 1 Nephi 15:13–14; 3 Nephi 5:24; 16:5; 29:1, 3). Descendants of Jacob and all other people are gathered to the Lord’s kingdom through missionary work. The priesthood keys Moses restored expanded missionary labors in the Church to the whole earth.
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “Missionary work is crucial to the gathering of Israel. … In many nations our missionaries have searched for those of scattered Israel” (“The Gathering of Scattered Israel,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 81).
President Spencer W. Kimball taught: “The gathering of Israel consists of joining the true church and their coming to a knowledge of the true God. … Any person, therefore, who has accepted the restored gospel, and who now seeks to worship the Lord in his own tongue and with the Saints in the nations where he lives, has complied with the law of the gathering of Israel and is heir to all of the blessings promised the Saints in these last days” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball , 439).
You might want to write missionary work on the chart, in the column under the heading “Moses.”
The dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, committed to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery by Elias, restored the promises the Lord made to Abraham. Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “Elias brings back ‘the gospel of Abraham,’ the great Abrahamic covenant whereby the faithful receive promises of eternal increase, promises that through celestial marriage their eternal posterity shall be as numerous as the sands upon the seashore or as the stars in heaven for multitude. Elias gives the promise—received of old by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—that in modern men and in their seed all generations shall be blessed. And we are now offering the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to all who will receive them” (“The Keys of the Kingdom,” Ensign, May 1983, 22).
You might want to write celestial marriage and eternal posterity on the chart, in the column under the heading “Elias.”
To help you understand the priesthood keys Elijah restored, read the following statements:
President Joseph Fielding Smith taught: “This sealing power bestowed upon Elijah, is the power which binds husbands and wives, and children to parents for time and eternity. It is the binding power existing in every Gospel ordinance. … It is by this power that all the ordinances pertaining to salvation are bound, or sealed, and it was the mission of Elijah to come, and restore it” (Elijah the Prophet and His Mission , 5).
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained:
“As members of Christ’s restored Church, we have the covenant responsibility to search out our ancestors and provide for them the saving ordinances of the gospel. ‘They without us should not be made perfect’ (Hebrews 11:40 …). And ‘neither can we without our dead be made perfect’ (D&C 128:15).
“For these reasons we do family history research, build temples, and perform vicarious ordinances. For these reasons Elijah was sent to restore the sealing authority that binds on earth and in heaven” (“The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 25–26).
According to these explanations, what power or authority did Elijah restore? (You may want to write your answer on your chart in the column under the heading “Elijah.”)
When Elijah came to the Kirtland Temple, he fulfilled Malachi’s prophecy that Elijah would come “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” to “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:5–6).
In your scripture study journal, write about how your life has been affected by the restoration of at least one of these priesthood keys (missionary work, celestial marriage and eternal posterity, or the sealing power, including temple and family history work).
President Joseph Fielding Smith noted that the Kirtland Temple “was built primarily for the restoration of keys of authority. In the receiving of these keys the fulness of gospel ordinances [was] revealed” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 2:242). These keys rest today with the President of the Church and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Complete the following statement: From Doctrine and Covenants 110:11–16, we learn that the keys of missionary work, eternal families, and temple work help us prepare for .
You live in a day when you can do missionary work, family history work, and temple work and when you can look forward to receiving the blessings of the temple, including the sealing ordinance. Consider making a goal to participate in these efforts in preparation for the Lord’s Second Coming. You could also set a specific goal of how you will prepare for a celestial marriage. Ask Heavenly Father to help you fulfill your goal.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 110 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: