The Worth of Souls Lesson 8: Sections 18-19

Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide: Religion 324-325, (1981), 15–16


Theme

The most important responsibility man has on earth is to assist the Lord in the perfecting of souls.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    The worth of souls is great in the sight of God.

    1. 1.

      We are the offspring of God.

    2. 2.

      We have the potential to become like God.

  • B.

    The purpose of the Church organization is to assist in the perfecting of souls.

    1. 1.

      The Lord instructed David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery to begin to search out the Quorum of Twelve.

    2. 2.

      The calling of an Apostle is to be a special witness of Christ in saving souls.

    3. 3.

      All those who take upon themselves the name of Christ are called to help save souls by preaching repentance.

  • C.
    1. 1.

      He was taught the extreme suffering the Lord endured that man might repent.

    2. 2.

      He was reminded that he had but a foretaste of the suffering of the unrepentant at the time the Lord withdrew his Spirit from him.

    3. 3.

      The Lord instructed him to repent by devoting his time and means to the saving of souls.

  • D.

    We too can assist the Lord in the saving of souls by our genuine willingness to devote our time, means, and talents to the service of our fellowmen.

Study Sources

Student Manual

Sections 18-19; Enrichment E, “Overcoming Sin and Obtaining Forgiveness”

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

Standard Works

Basic Library

  • Teachings, pp. 346-47. What is man’s divine potential?

  • Discourses, pp. 50-53. What does man’s divine origin teach us about his worth to God?

  • Gos. Doc, pp. 68, 93. How might man attain his divine potential?

  • M of F, pp. ix-xii. What motivated President Spencer W. Kimball to write this book about repentance and the miracle of forgiveness?

Additional Sources

  • Spencer W. Kimball, “Privileges and Responsibilities of Sisters,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, pp. 102-6. Why does God place such a high value on each individual?

  • Marvin J. Ashton, “In His Strength,” Ensign, July 1973, p. 24. There are no “nobodies” to God.

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

The Church and It’s Purpose: Extending the Blessing of the Atonement to All the World (Chalkboard Illustration)

The following approach (with illustrations) could be used to teach the importance of sharing the gospel with others.

What is the major message of the Church (see D&C 11:9; 15:6; 18:11, 22; 19:4). The reason for this becomes clear as the following principles are understood:

  1. 1.

    Without the Atonement, all would be condemned to live forever as Satan’s subjects in darkness and misery (see 2 Nephi 9:8-9).

  2. 2.

    At birth, all people are worthy to receive the blessings of the Atonement.

    blessings of the atonement
  3. 3.

    When they become accountable, all men sin (see Romans 3:23), and thus they lose their innocence and become unclean, which puts them outside of the full benefits of the Atonement. They will still be resurrected after death, but they cannot return to God in their sins (see Alma 7:21).

    accountability
  4. 4.

    Through the principles and ordinances of the gospel men can regain the full benefits of the Atonement. Certain sins can put people beyond the forgiveness which is offered through the Atonement: (1) murder and (2) blasphemy against the Holy Ghost which makes men sons of perdition (see D&C 42:79; 132:26-27; Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:47-49).

    principles and ordinances
  5. 5.

    Since the leaders of the Church hold the keys and powers for administering the gospel and its ordinances to men, unless men accept the gospel and come into the Church they cannot receive the full benefits of the Atonement and be freed from their sins. So, by sharing the gospel with others, we provide the means whereby they may benefit fully from the atonement of Christ.

  6. 6.

    Personal effort is required but is not sufficient for our salvation. We need the benefit of the Atonement (read 2 Nephi 25:23). This could be compared to scaling a ladder:

    personal effort

By sharing the gospel with others, we enable them to begin climbing that ladder which can bring them back into the presence of God.

For more information on the process of repentance, see Enrichment E, “Overcoming Sin and Obtaining Forgiveness,” in the student manual.

The Worth of Souls (Scripture Analysis, Discussion)

Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 declares that the worth of souls is great to God. Why is this so? President Spencer W. Kimball has testified: “God is your father. He loves you. He and your mother in heaven value you beyond any measure … You are unique. One of a kind, made of the eternal intelligence which gives you claim upon eternal life.

“Let there be no question in your mind about your value as an individual. The whole intent of the gospel plan is to provide an opportunity for each of you to reach your fullest potential, which is eternal progression and the possibility of godhood.” (“Privileges and Responsibilities of Sisters,” p. 105.)

What are some of the evidences that we are of great worth to God? The following reasons are among those that might be discussed:

  1. 1.

    He has given us our agency to choose.

  2. 2.

    He has given us the plan of salvation which instructs us how to return to him.

  3. 3.

    He allowed his sinless Son to suffer, even unto death, to provide an Atonement for us.

  4. 4.

    His joy is great, and it is his work and glory to save his children.

  5. 5.

    He answers our prayers.

  6. 6.

    We are his spirit children, and he shows a perfect father’s love.