The Voice of Warning Lesson 2: Section 1

Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide: Religion 324-325, (1981), 3–4


Theme

Two purposes for this final dispensation are to warn the world of the impending judgments and to prepare a people for the second coming of the Lord.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    In his preface to the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C 1) the Lord gave a warning to all the inhabitants of the earth.

    1. 1.

      What he decreed will certainly be fulfilled.

    2. 2.

      Every man will be recompensed according to his works.

    3. 3.

      The day is speedily coming when peace will be taken from the earth.

    4. 4.

      The Lord will have power over his Saints.

    5. 5.

      The Lord called upon the world to prepare for his second coming.

  • B.

    The preface to the Doctrine and Covenants further bears witness that the gospel has been restored.

    1. 1.

      The Lord outlined conditions of the last days, during which the gospel has been restored.

    2. 2.

      Through the restoration of the gospel, the Lord has established the power needed to prepare a people for the second coming of the Lord.

  • C.

    The Lord’s preface closes with the commandment that men are to search the prophecies and promises in the Doctrine and Covenants.

    1. 1.

      The word of the Lord is sure, and whether by his voice or the voice of his servants, it is the same.

    2. 2.

      The Spirit bears record of the prophecies and promises in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Study Sources

Student Manual

Section 1; Enrichment D, “Contributions of the Doctrine and Covenants to an Understanding of Jesus Christ”

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

Standard Works

  • D&C 1. Keeping in mind the theme of this lesson, read and ponder this section.

  • D&C 138:44. What is the future of the kingdom of God? Compare Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45.

  • D&C 88:81. What is the duty of every man who has heard the gospel message?

  • D&C 60:2-3. How does the Lord feel toward those who fail to warn the world? (see also D&C 63:58).

  • D&C 35:12-16. What kind of people has the Lord chosen to carry the warning voice to the world?

  • D&C 63:32-34. What great promise has the Lord made to his Saints?

  • 2 Nephi 30:10. What did Nephi prophesy would happen in the last days?

Basic Library

  • Teachings, pp. 231-32. What is the purpose of the dispensation of the fulness of times? See also Teachings, pp. 252-53.

  • Teachings, p. 87. The warning voice will be sounded to all the nations, but will not be completed before the judgments of the last days commence.

  • Ezra Taft Benson, in CR, Apr. 1978, p. 46. A voice of warning is raised to the nations.

  • Mark E. Petersen, in CR, Oct. 1979, p. 15. What is the present situation of our modern world?

  • Harold B. Lee, in Ensign, Nov. 1971, pp. 12-13. President Harold B. Lee gives interpretations of verses recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 1.

Audiovisual

16-mm film. President Spencer W. Kimball’s address, “‛When the World Will Be Converted,’” was made into a film presentation called Unto All Nations (available from stake libraries or distribution centers).

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

Background and Purpose of Doctrine and Covenants 1 (Discussion)

To review the background of this section the following questions could be asked:

  1. 1.

    In what year was section 1 given? (1831.)

  2. 2.

    Where was it given? (Hiram, Ohio, during a conference.)

  3. 3.

    Chronologically, where does section 1 come? (Between sections 66 and 67.)

  4. 4.

    Why is it placed at the beginning of the Doctrine and Covenants?

There is only one book on earth that has a preface and an appendix dictated by the Lord (sections 1 and 133). What is a preface? (The dictionary defines a preface as an author’s introduction to his book.) What then is the primary purpose of Doctrine and Covenants, section 1?

“An Outline of the Lord’s Preface” (Transparency)

The instructor could use this outline approach to help the class discover the points that the Lord considered vital. Placing the Doctrine and Covenants into scriptural perspective would help to guide in obtaining a proper understanding of the Doctrine and Covenants. The outline presented on Transparency 1 is only one possible way to divide the section. You may wish to use your own outline.

A Voice of Warning and of Hope (Discussion)

This approach takes advantage of the student manual material and teaches the class that every prophet of the dispensation of the fulness of times has considered the challenge of raising the warning voice to the world as a major part of his stewardship. The following points could be made and discussed in class, using the supporting material under each concept.

  1. 1.

    The warning trump of God will be a sound of hope for the Saints, but a sound of peril and judgment for the wicked.

    1. a.

      Doctrine and Covenants 1 is typical of the entire book, in that its message of raising a warning voice to the nations is reflected throughout the Doctrine and Covenants.

    2. b.

      God will not be mocked (see D&C 63:58).

    3. c.

      Those who heed the voice have hope for protection, while those who do not will suffer the judgments to come (see D&C 45:39-57).

    4. d.

      The Doctrine and Covenants is a warning voice for the whole world —not merely for the Latter-day Saints—and it is for their salvation if they will accept it (see Joseph Fielding Smith, in Conference Report, Oct. 1919, p. 146).

  2. 2.

    The warning voice will polarize the world (see 1 Nephi 14:7; D&C 63:54).

    1. a.

      As righteousness increases, so will evil (see Spencer W. Kimball, as cited in Church News, 30 June 1979, p. 5).

    2. b.

      No nation or people will stand neutral as the witness goes forth (see Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1978, p. 46).

    3. c.

      The Saints will hardly escape the judgments that will be poured out upon the wicked, but “will be put to tests that will try the integrity of the best of them” (Heber C. Kimball, as cited by Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1978, p. 46).

    4. d.

      The Lord’s promise is, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30)

  3. 3.

    The conspiracy of evil shall fall.

    1. a.

      There is a satanic conspiracy to deceive and to damn the souls of men (see Benson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1978, p. 47).

    2. b.

      The wicked walk after their own lusts, worshiping the self-serving attractions of Idumea, or the world (see D&C 1:15-16, 36).

    3. c.

      The Church will always repudiate every evil philosophy (see Benson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1978, p. 47).

    4. d.

      The Lord will leave the wicked “neither root nor branch,” in spite of their careful designs and their influence and power; but he will “burn them up, saith the Lord” (Malachi 4:1).

  4. 4.

    Families have a responsibility in raising the warning voice.

    1. a.

      Parents must be a righteous anchor for their children, and those who are responsible must live exemplarily for the youth (see Benson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1978, p. 47).

    2. b.

      Because the wicked may rule, the righteous will suffer; but they must engage in doing much good “for the power is in them” (D&C 58:26-28; see also Benson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1978, p. 47).

    3. c.

      Families are to prepare their youth for the future through family prayer, family home evening, missions, temple marriage, gospel study, and prayerful preparation (see Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Apr. 1973, pp. 152-53; Apr. 1974, pp. 125-26; Oct. 1975, p. 6; Oct. 1976, p. 8; Mar./Apr. 1979, pp. 68-69).

    4. d.

      Families should be involved collectively and individually in the great mission of the Church: (1) to declare the gospel of the kingdom to all the world, (2) to redeem our kindred dead, and (3) to perfect the Saints of the Church (see Benson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1978, p. 48).

  5. 5.

    Enduring great tests brings a great reward.

    1. a.

      “The days ahead will be sobering and will test the faith of the Saints. But we may obtain strength from the Lord’s assurances found in modern revelation.” (Benson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1978, p. 48.)

    2. b.

      The Lord leaves no room for doubt. His promises to the righeous are sure (see D&C 105:14; 1 Nephi 22:17; 3 Nephi 22:17; Moses 7:61; Revelation 11:15).

  6. 6.

    Conclusion

    1. a.

      All Saints should remember that theirs is the task of watching and being ready, for Christ will come in an unknown hour.

    2. b.

      Part of watching and being ready is to “call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof mayreceive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in the which the Son of Man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth. Wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come.” (D&C 65:5-6.)