Building the Kirtland Temple Lesson 38: Sections 94-97

Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide: Religion 324-325, (1981), 75–76


Theme

Delay by the Kirtland Saints in the erection of the temple brought the rebuke of the Lord upon them.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    The Lord revealed that a temple was to be built at Kirtland.

    1. 1.

      The Kirtland Temple was built according to a revealed pattern.

    2. 2.

      Patterns were also revealed for the construction of the buildings for the presidency and for the printing office.

  • B.

    The Saints procrastinated fulfilling the Lord’s commandment and were rebuked.

    1. 1.

      The Saints’ hesitation in the construction of the temple caused them to walk in “darkness at noon-day” (D&C 95:6).

    2. 2.

      The Lord chastened the Saints.

    3. 3.

      The Lord explained the purpose of his chastisement.

  • C.

    The purpose of the temple was explained to the Saints.

    1. 1.

      The Lord was to give an “endowment from on high” (D&C 105:33).

    2. 2.

      The Lord waited to call forth his Apostles to prune the vineyard for the last time until after they had received an endowment from on high.

    3. 3.

      The endowment of power from on high is essential to the establishment of Zion.

    4. 4.

      Added personal blessings were portended in the promise of another temple in Missouri.

    5. 5.

      The relationship between temples and the creation of a Zion people was indicated.

Study Sources

Student Manual

Sections 94-97

Use material from Historical Background and Notes and Commentary to teach each revelation in its historical context.

Standard Works

Basic Library

  • Discourses, p. 226. What results when those who have made the covenant of obedience neglect their duty? Compare Teachings, pp. 194-95.

  • DS, 2:241-43. What are some other explanations of an endowment of power from on high?

Audiovisual

Have a picture of the Kirtland Temple available for use during this lesson. Note the temple’s dimensions, windows, and peculiar light-reflecting qualities.

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

A Temple Built by Divine Pattern (Transparencies, Discussion)

By using Transparencies 17A, 17B, 17C, and 17D, “The Kirtland Temple,” you can help students see and better understand the beauty of the Kirtland Temple and the sacrifice of the Saints in building it. Some or all of the following ideas could be discussed:

  1. 1.

    The walls being two feet thick (finished) accounts for a four foot difference in inside dimensions and outside dimensions. The Lord has always given attention to such details (compare Exodus 25-27). Notice that this same pattern was to be used in the building of the office of the presidency, the printing office, and the temple in Missouri (see D&C 94:3-12, 16; 95:13-17; 97:10).

  2. 2.

    Entry into the temple gave the visitor an immediate feeling of reverence and awe because of the inspired decor and the Spirit that pervaded the sanctuary. “There was a peculiarity in the arrangement of the inner court which made it more than ordinarily impressive-so much so that a sense of sacred awe seemed to rest upon all who entered. Not only the Saints, but strangers also, manifested a high degree of reverential feeling.” (N. B. Lundwall, Temples of the Most High, p. 7.)

  3. 3.

    The appearance of the Savior standing upon the breastwork of the center pulpit on the west end (the Melchizedek Priesthood pulpits) has brought a feeling of reverence upon all who contemplated that mighty occurance. Lorenzo Snow said, “No language can describe my feelings when, for the first time, I stood up in one of those pulpits to address an audience—a pulpit on the breastwork of which, only a short time before, this holy Personage stood-his hair as white as pure snow, his eyes as flame of fire.” (Eliza R. Snow Smith, Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow, pp. 11-12.)

  4. 4.

    The Savior’s appearance in the house of the Lord, along with the appearance of Moses, Elias, and Elijah, constitute an endowment of power from on high. (See lesson 43, “Dedication and Acceptance of the Kirtland Temple.”) Elder Boyd K. Packer explains the unique nature of the Kirtland Temple:

    “The design and construction of the Kirtland Temple was different from that of all other latter-day temples because its purpose was different. While already in 1836 certain ordinances had been introduced in a limited way which later would form part of the regular temple ordinances, the sacred ordinances and ceremonies performed in today’s temples were not done in this first temple. The priesthood keys necessary for this work were yet to be restored. This temple was built as a holy place in which that restoration was to take place.

    “In addition this temple had another special but connected purpose. The sacrifice the Saints had made to build it, the spiritual power they had built in the process, and their continued ardent desires to do the Lord’s will had fitted them for the spiritual manifestations which would ‛endow [them] with power from on high’ (D&C 95:8). When the Saints were empowered by those manifestations, the missionaries would go forth with new zeal and success to spread the gospel, and their womenfolk at home would have the strength and endurance to match those efforts.” (Holy Temple, p. 129.)

  5. 5.

    Notice the need for the leaders to obtain an “endowment of power from on high” before being sent into the world to sound the warning voice. (Refer to the following references for further information: D&C 38:38; 39:15; 43:15-16; 99:14; Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:171, 240-43.)

    President Joseph Fielding Smith explained why the Lord has missionaries receive their endowment before serving in the field. (Read with the students Doctrines of Salvation, 2:255-56.) President Smith also personalized the value of an endowment in times of temptation (see Doctrines of Salvation, 2:252-53).

    This power is requisite in establishing Zion and in preparing for the coming of the Lord.

(Note: Though the Kirtland Temple was the most significant building in Kirtland, the sections in this lesson also deal with other buildings the Saints were commanded to build. You may also want to include some discussion of them.)

The Saints Had Been Walking in “Darkness at Noon-day” (Discussion)

  1. 1.

    On 27 December 1932 the Lord instructed the Saints to build a temple, and on 6 May 1833 he told them to commence the construction of the Kirtland Temple in preparation for the mighty works associated with the establishing of Zion (see D&C 94:1). By 1 June 1833, however, the Saints had yet to begin.

    Consequently, they received the just chastisement of the Lord (see D&C 95).

    1. a.

      What is the purpose of the chastisement of the Lord? (see D&C 95:1, 10; 95:6, 12; 90:36; 105:6; 97:25-28).

    2. b.

      Is chastisement an eventual blessing and a kindness to those who stand in need of it?

    3. c.

      What changes do you need to make in order to benefit from deserved chastisement and to merit the favors of a loving Father? Notice that the Saints of Kirtland responded to the chastisement immediately and built a magnificent temple to the Lord by great labor and sacrifice in the days of their poverty.

  2. 2.

    How can we walk in the light at noonday?

    1. a.

      How do we avoid the darkness of sin? (see D&C 95:3, 5-6, 8-10, 12).

    2. b.

      What final resolve should every Latter-day Saint make? (see D&C 97:14-18, 21).