Qualifications for Service Lesson 7: Sections 4, 11-12, 14-16

Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide: Religion 324-325, (1981), 13–14


Theme

The Lord accomplishes his work through those whom he calls to assist him.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    The Lord has said (D&C 4:4) that this dispensation is the time when “the field is white already to harvest” (that is, the world is ready to be taught the gospel).

  • B.

    The Lord revealed to the early Saints of this dispensation the qualifications of those who would assist in this great work:

    1. 1.

      They must desire to bring souls to Christ.

    2. 2.

      They must be called of God by revelation.

    3. 3.

      They must prepare themselves to receive the spirit of revelation.

    4. 4.

      They must be willing to serve God with all their heart, might, mind, and strength.

    5. 5.

      They must be willing to teach repentance.

    6. 6.

      They are to seek to establish the cause of Zion.

  • C.

    Those who serve the Lord in the manner he has prescribed obtain salvation themselves, as well as providing the means of salvation for many others.

Study Sources

Student Manual

Sections 4, 11-12, 14-16; Enrichment A, “The Warning Voice”

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

Standard Works

  • D&C 4, 11-12,14-16. Keeping in mind the theme of this lesson, read and ponder these sections.

  • Moses 1:39. What is the work and glory of God?

  • Alma 29:9. In what should we glory?

  • D&C 42:29. What motivates one to serve others?

  • Mosiah 2:16-17. To whom should service be given without hesitation?

  • D&C 64:34; 76:5-10. What does the Lord promise to those who serve with a willing heart and mind?

  • Galatians 5:13. With what attitude should our service be rendered?

  • James 1:8; Luke 9:62. How do the scriptures refer to weak-hearted service?

  • Matthew 10:39. What does a person find who gives his life to the service of others?

Basic Library

  • L. Tom Perry, in CR, Apr. 1980, pp. 101-4. Elder Perry recounts the blessings that have come to him through his service in the Church.

  • Marvin J. Ashton, in CR, Apr. 1980, pp. 49-54. President Kimball’s visit to a prison is an example of how to serve others.

  • Robert L. Simpson, in CR, Oct. 1975, pp. 17-20. President Spencer W. Kimball’s capacity for work and service in building the kingdom is a great example.

Additional Sources

  • Spencer W. Kimball, “Small Acts of Service,” Ensign, Dec. 1974, pp. 2-7. In what ways can we serve our fellowman?

  • Neal A. Maxwell, “It’s Service, Not Status, That Counts,” Ensign, July 1975, pp. 5-7.

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas other Teachers Have Used)

An Overview of the Reading Block (Chalkboard Illustration)

It might be helpful to briefly review the contents of the revelations to be discussed. This could be accomplished through student reports or class discussion. Background could be given on each of the men to whom a revelation was directed, and the major points in the section placed on the chalkboard.

    Joseph Smith, Sr.

  • A marvelous work to come forth

  • Serve with heart, might, mind, and strength

  • Field is white

    Joseph Knight

  • Great and marvelous work

  • Field is white

  • Keep commandments

    John and Peter Whitmer

  • Desired many times to know Lord’s will

  • Should declare repentance

    Hyrum Smith

  • Great and marvelous work

  • Field is white

  • Keep commandments

  • Seek to bring forth Zion

    David Whitmer

  • Great and marvelous work

  • Field is white

  • Seek to establish Zion

  • Eternal life is greatest gift

How to Prepare to Assist in the Lord’s Work (Scripture Analysis, Discussion)

  1. 1.

    Each of the revelations discussed in this lesson was directed to someone who desired to know how to best serve the Lord. What do these revelations have in common? Why is serving others the best way to serve God?

    A discussion could be directed as to how one prepares himself or herself to serve others. Some examples are Doctrine and Covenants 4:5-7; 11:18-26; 12:8.

  2. 2.

    We must serve with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. The following words could be placed on the chalkboard and the possible meaning of each discussed as they relate to serving:

    Heart–deepest feelings of the soul

    Might—represents our entire physical effort

    Mind—the source of thoughts

    Strength—all physical and spiritual power applied to service

  3. 3.

    The following statements might be discussed:

    “When I ask for more missionaries, I am not asking for more testimony-barren or unworthy missionaries. I am asking that we start earlier and train our missionaries better in every branch and every ward in the world.” (Spencer W. Kimball, “When the World Will Be Converted,” Ensign, Oct. 1974, p. 7.)

    “Not only do we ‛find’ ourselves in terms of acknowledging guidance in our lives, but the more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. We become more significant individuals as we serve others. We become more substantive as we serve others—indeed, it is easier to ‛find’ ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!” (Kimball, “Small Acts of Service,” Ensign, Dec. 1974, p. 2.)

    “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom. The people of the Church need each other’s strength, support, and leadership in a community of believers as an enclave of disciples.” (Kimball, “Small Acts of Service,” p. 5.)

    “If we serve with the idea that good service will bring promotion, we may be disappointed. If we serve with a willing heart because we love people and love to help them, the Lord will make us happy. … I think that is the secret of our happiness very much, brothers and sisters, the attitude which we have in the service which we render.” (Antoine R. Ivins, in Conference Report, Apr. 1963, p. 13.)

Desiring to Serve and Being Called to Serve (Discussion)

Distinction could be made as to the difference between feeling a desire to bless mankind and receiving a calling from those in priesthood authority (compare D&C 4:3 with D&C 11:15).

When we are baptized we enter into a covenant to serve and bless mankind. This is a calling to serve others in a general way. Specific callings in the Church, however, come through channels of authority.

A Model for Gospel Teachers (Transparency)

The revelation to Hyrum Smith (D&C 11) is one of the most direct revelations on gospel teaching found in the scriptures. Transparency 5, “The Lord’s Counsel to Those Who Would Teach,” outlines this emphasis and could serve as a basis for an in-depth class discussion.