“The Lord Requireth the Heart and a Willing Mind” Lesson 24: Sections 63-65

Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide: Religion 324-325, (1981), 47–48


Theme

Nothing less than complete devotion to God and his work will qualify men for a celestial reward.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    Throughout the ages men of God have emphasized the need to love and serve the Lord with all one’s heart, might, mind, and strength.

    1. 1.

      Some have failed in this quest because they have accepted the evil precepts of other men or have followed the enticements of Lucifer.

    2. 2.

      Those who are lukewarm about the gospel or who willfully turn their backs on God cannot attain celestial glory.

  • B.

    Righteous men and women have always applied their hearts and minds to understanding and obeying the laws of God.

    1. 1.

      Understanding comes through study, faith, and earnest prayer.

    2. 2.

      Once he understands what to do and how to do it, the righteous person strives with all his heart to obey what he knows and feels is right.

Study Sources

Student Manual

Sections 63-65

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

Standard Works

  • D&C 63-65. Keeping in mind the theme of this lesson, read and ponder these sections.

  • D&C 4:2. How are we to serve the Lord today? What will be the result?

  • D&C 6:16. How extensive is God’s knowledge of our inner thoughts and feelings? See also Hebrews 4:12.

  • D&C 45:29. What do the precepts of men often cause people to do?

  • D&C 78:10. What does Satan, seek to do to cause men to be blinded and fail to understand the things of God?

  • Deuteronomy 4:29. How was ancient Israel admonished by Moses to seek the Lord?

  • Matthew 22:36-37. When Jesus was asked to name the first and great commandment, what was his reply?

  • Isaiah 29:13-14. What does Isaiah say will be the justification for the “marvellous work and a wonder” of the latter days?

  • Mosiah 2:9. What did King Benjamin urge his people to do in order to have “the mysteries of God” unfolded to their view?

  • Mosiah 12:27. What did Abinadi tell the priests of Noah that they had failed to do?

  • Moroni 7:6-10. How does the Lord feel about that which we do grudgingly or without real intent?

  • Moses 7:18. Why did the people of Enoch’s day dwell in righteousness?

  • Revelation 3:15-16. What will be the result for those who are “lukewarm” in the gospel?

  • D&C 137:9. What is the criteria by which all will be judged?

Basic Library

  • Teachings, p. 216. “To go where God is, you must be like God, or possess the principles which God possesses.”

  • Discourses, p. 169. A pure heart is worth more to God and his work than all the talent and eloquence man can produce.

  • Discourses, p. 221. “To know the will of God is one thing, and to bring our wills, our dispositions, into subjection to … the will of God is another.”

  • Gos. Doc, p. 213. Negative qualities would not be present in our lives if we would only love the truth and obey it as Jesus taught.

  • Jesus the Christ, pp. 293-94. The pearl of great price parable illustrates that if one would have eternal life, he must sacrifice all earthly possessions to attain it. The cost is nothing less than all one has-heart, mind, strength, and very soul.

  • Jesus the Christ, pp. 305-6. Discusses three incidents from the ministry of Jesus in which men offered themselves for his service. In each instance, however, they fell short because theirs was not a whole-hearted dedication to the Master’s cause.

Additional Sources

  • Joseph F. Smith, in Journal of Discourses, 25:59. “God delights in the willing heart” and will not force man against his will.

  • Franklin D. Richards, in CR, Apr. 1964, pp. 65-67. Cites a comment from Elder Francis M. Lyman about putting the Church first in our hearts and affections, and then discusses the principle of complete dedication to the Lord’s eternal cause.

  • Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, pp. 103-9. An account in which Elder Kimball, at great sacrifice to himself and family, went forth on an appointed mission. “Nothing but a sense of duty and love to God and attachment to His cause” could have induced him, under the circumstances, to do it.

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

“O Ye That Embark in the Service of God” (Discussion)

Have the students write the word dedication on a piece of paper. Ask them to take a few minutes to write down everything they are called upon to do in the Church that requires dedication. When it becomes apparent that there are many requirements laid upon us, ask the question: Why do you feel the Lord requires so much of our time, talent, energies, and service?

Read Doctrine and Covenants 4:2. Then ask: How does this scripture indicate we should serve? Why? Is there a direct relationship between our present level of service and our future position in God’s eternal worlds?

Point out that in requiring us to pay tithing, engage in genealogy and temple work, hold our family home evenings, do our visiting and home teaching, and so forth, God is reaching for our hearts as well as our minds. “I, the Lord, require the hearts of the children of men” (D&C 64:22; see also vs. 34).

Conclude by briefly alluding to some of the several scriptural passages which admonish us to serve the Lord with all our hearts, might, mind, and strength (see the Standard Works section of this lesson). Point out that lukewarm service is not good enough. The Lord requires our whole-hearted devotion to his work if we are to return to him.

Luke-warm Service Is Not Enough (Case Study)

You may wish to present an example from the life of some unnamed person where devotion or dedication was less than 100 percent. Could an Olympic champion expect to win a gold medal with a half-hearted training effort? Is the celestial kingdom to be had only for the asking?

Point out that there are many competing philosophies and earthly attractions pulling us away from our commitments to the Lord. You may wish to invite students to name a few of the more alluring enticements that pull us from our allegiance to God. You could conclude by reading Elder James E. Talmage’s statement about the cost of discipleship in the kingdom of God (see Jesus the Christ, pp. 293-94). Heaven is not attained simply by wishful thinking; it requires effort.

Sacrificing One’s All for the Kingdom (Discussion)

You might wish to illustrate by some examples of your own where righteous men and women have made great sacrifices for God’s kingdom: Enoch overcame lack of eloquence, Moses overcame the fear of Pharaoh’s might, Gideon defeated thousands of Midianites with only three hundred men and faith in God. The story of Mary Ann Gobel Pay (grandmother of Elder Gordon B. Hinckley’s wife) is a good example from this dispensation of one who was willing to give whatever was required for the gospel (see Hinckley, in Conference Report, Apr. 1970, pp. 22-23). Read or tell the story and have the class compare her sacrifices for the kingdom with those we are asked to make.