Unit 25: Day 3

Doctrine and Covenants 115–16

“Unit 25: Day 3, Doctrine and Covenants 115–16,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2017)


Introduction

On April 26, 1838, the Prophet Joseph Smith received the revelation contained in Doctrine and Covenants 115. In it the Lord revealed the name of the Church, commanded the Saints to “arise and shine forth” (D&C 115:5), and revealed His will concerning the temple in Far West. On May 19, 1838, the Prophet Joseph Smith received the revelation found in Doctrine and Covenants 116, which identified Spring Hill, Missouri, as Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Doctrine and Covenants 115:1–6

The Lord commands the members of His Church to “arise and shine forth”

What are the names of some companies or organizations that you are familiar with? What do the names of these organizations communicate? Who leads these organizations? What do these organizations do?

Church logotype

Think of the name and logo of the Church. As you study Doctrine and Covenants 115, look for what the name of the Church communicates about who leads the Church and what the Church is.

Doctrine and Covenants 115:1–3 tells us that this revelation was given through the Prophet Joseph Smith to all members of the Church. Read Doctrine and Covenants 115:4, looking for the name the Lord designated for His Church.

Look carefully at each word in the name of the Church and think about why each word is significant.

Read the following explanation by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

Elder M. Russell Ballard

“I have thought a lot about why the Savior gave the nine-word name to His restored Church. It may seem long, but if we think of it as a descriptive overview of what the Church is, it suddenly becomes wonderfully brief, candid, and straightforward. How could any description be more direct and clear and yet expressed in such few words?

“Every word is clarifying and indispensible. The word The indicates the unique position of the restored Church among the religions of the world.

“The words Church of Jesus Christ declare that it is His Church. …

Of Latter-day explains that it is the same Church as the Church that Jesus Christ established during His mortal ministry but restored in these latter days. …

Saints means that its members follow Him and strive to do His will, keep His commandments, and prepare once again to live with Him and our Heavenly Father in the future. Saint simply refers to those who seek to make their lives holy by covenanting to follow Christ” (“The Importance of a Name,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 80).

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

    1. What are some important truths communicated by the name of the Church?

    2. Who is the head of the Church? Whom does He instruct and inspire on the earth to lead the Church?

Read Doctrine and Covenants 115:5, looking for what the Lord expects of those who belong to His Church.

  1. journal iconAnswer the following question in your scripture study journal: What do you think it means to “arise and shine forth” (D&C 115:5) as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

What blessing will come as members of the Church follow the Lord’s counsel to arise and shine forth? To answer this question, use verse 5 to help you complete the following statement: If we arise and shine forth, our light will be . Consider marking this principle in verse 5.

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

    1. What do you think it means that our light, or example, can be “a standard for the nations” (D&C 115:5)? (As you answer this question, it may help to know that a standard is flag or banner that serves as a rallying point or inspirational symbol.)

    2. How can following the Savior’s commandment to arise and shine forth attract others to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

President James E. Faust of the First Presidency shared the following account of a member of the Church who followed this principle:

President James E. Faust

“Some years ago, Constance, a student nurse, was assigned to try and help a woman who had injured her leg in an accident. The woman refused medical help because she had had a negative experience with someone at the hospital. She was afraid and had become something of a recluse. The first time Constance dropped by, the injured woman ordered her out. On the second try, she did let Constance in. By now the woman’s leg was covered with large ulcers, and some of the flesh was rotting. But still she didn’t want to be treated.

“Constance made it a matter of prayer, and in a day or two the answer came. She took some foaming hydrogen peroxide with her for the next visit. As this was painless, the old woman let her use it on her leg. Then they talked about more serious treatment at the hospital. Constance assured her the hospital would make her stay as pleasant as possible. In a day or two the woman did get the courage to enter the hospital. When Constance visited her, the woman smiled as she said, ‘You convinced me.’ Then, quite unexpectedly, she asked Constance, ‘What church do you belong to?’ Constance told her she was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The woman said: ‘I knew it. I knew you were sent to me from the first day that I saw you. There was a light in your face that I had noticed in others of your faith. I had to put my trust in you.’

“In three months’ time that festering leg was completely healed. Members of the ward where the old woman lived remodeled her house and fixed up her yard. The missionaries met with her, and she was baptized soon after. [See Constance Polve, “A Battle Won,” New Era, Apr. 1980, 44–45.] All of this because she noticed the light in that young student nurse’s face” (“The Light in Their Eyes,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 22).

What did Constance do to arise and shine forth? How was the light in her face a standard for the woman? How was the woman blessed because of the light she saw?

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

    1. Whom do you know that is a good example of arising and shining forth?

    2. How has his or her example been a blessing to you?

handwritten document

A page from the Prophet Joseph Smith’s history

The Prophet Joseph Smith was a good example of what it means to arise and shine forth. Shortly after this revelation was received, Joseph began writing his history that is now contained in the Pearl of Great Price.

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

    1. How is Joseph Smith’s history, including his testimony of the First Vision, a standard for the nations?

    2. How is it a standard for you?

Read Doctrine and Covenants 115:6, looking for blessings that are promised to those who gather with the Church in the stakes of Zion.

One truth we learn from this verse is the following: We gather to the stakes of Zion for strength and for refuge. In what ways do you think gathering together as Saints provides us with protection, safety, or refuge?

Doctrine and Covenants 115:7–19

The Lord commands the Saints to establish the city of Far West and to build a temple

One of the ways we can obtain the Lord’s protection and safety is by serving and worshipping Him in the temple. After the Saints began moving to Far West, Missouri, in 1836, Church leaders made plans to build a temple similar to the one in Kirtland, Ohio. Even though some preliminary excavation was done, further construction was suspended until Joseph Smith could receive additional instruction from the Lord. The Lord revealed His will concerning the temple as part of the revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 115.

In Doctrine and Covenants 115:7–16, the Lord revealed that a temple should be built in Far West according to the pattern He would give to the First Presidency. The Lord also counseled the leaders of the Church not to go into debt to build the temple.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 115:17–19, looking for what the Lord wanted the Saints to do under Joseph Smith’s direction in Far West and in the neighboring regions.

One of the principles we learn from verse 19 is that the President of the Church holds the keys to direct the Lord’s work upon the earth.

Doctrine and Covenants 116

The Lord designates the location of Adam-ondi-Ahman

The Prophet Joseph Smith followed the Lord’s counsel in Doctrine and Covenants 115:18 and explored the areas surrounding Far West. Read the section introduction for Doctrine and Covenants 116, looking for the name of the location the Prophet explored.

Adam-ondi-Ahman

Adam-ondi-Ahman

Read Doctrine and Covenants 116:1, looking for what the Lord revealed about Spring Hill. You may want to turn to the map and picture of Adam-ondi-Ahman in the back of your scriptures (see Church History map 5, “The Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa Area of the USA,” and Church history photograph 10, of Adam-ondi-Ahman).

This revelation identifies the location of the future fulfillment of a prophecy made anciently by the prophet Daniel (see Daniel 7:9–10, 13–14). That prophecy describes a latter-day event in which the Savior and Adam will visit the earth and preside over a meeting before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to all the world (see D&C 27:5–14).

Ponder or sing the hymn “Adam-ondi-Ahman” (Hymns, no. 49, in the English hymnbook).

This earth was once a garden place,

With all her glories common,

And men did live a holy race,

And worship Jesus face to face,

In Adam-ondi-Ahman.

We read that Enoch walked with God,

Above the pow’r of mammon,

While Zion spread herself abroad,

And Saints and angels sang aloud,

In Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Her land was good and greatly blest,

Beyond all Israel’s Canaan;

Her fame was known from east to west,

Her peace was great, and pure the rest

Of Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Hosanna to such days to come,

The Savior’s second coming,

When all the earth in glorious bloom

Affords the Saints a holy home,

Like Adam-ondi-Ahman.

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

    I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 115–16 and completed this lesson on (date).

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