Lesson 2

Doctrine and Covenants 4–9, 17


The following assignments include various learning activities, such as questions, lists, essays, charts, comparisons, contrasts, and surveys. To receive credit for this lesson, you must complete the number of assignments indicated below and submit them to your institute instructor or administrator. You may submit your work either electronically or on paper, handwritten or typed.

Each lesson should take approximately 60–90 minutes to complete, the same amount of time you would typically spend in a weekly institute class. Since reading the scripture block listed in the lesson heading is expected of all institute students prior to class, the estimated time for each assignment does not include the time you need to spend reading the scripture block.

Complete three of the five following assignments:

1.  Doctrine and Covenants 4. “If Ye Have Desires to Serve God Ye Are Called to the Work”

Read Doctrine and Covenants 4 and the institute student manual “Historical Background” for section 4 (page 11). Answer the following in writing:

  • How should you serve Heavenly Father in order to “stand blameless before God at the last day”? (verse 2).
  • What is the “marvelous work [that] is about to come forth”? (see footnote 1a).
  • How is the “marvelous work” (verse 1) like a “harvest”? (verse 4).
  • What emotion helps you know you have been called to serve God? (see verse 3).
  • How do the attributes listed in verse 5 qualify you to serve God?
  • Along with the virtues listed in verse 5, what does verse 6 indicate that a servant of the Lord should also remember? How do these qualities influence the service you give?
  • How can you apply the counsel in verse 7 to help you develop more fully the attributes God requires of those who serve Him?
  • Choose one attribute from Doctrine and Covenants 4 that you would like to further develop. Write a couple of paragraphs of what you intend to do to improve this attribute in your life.

Read the statement by President David O. McKay in the student manual commentary “D&C 4:6: Attributes to Develop for the Service of God” (page 12). Write a paragraph describing how young adults in today’s world might utilize their time to “be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).

2.  Doctrine and Covenants 5, 17. “Witnesses Will I Send Forth of My Word”

Read Doctrine and Covenants 5:10–15 and 17:1–9. Write a two-paragraph essay that answers the following questions:

  • What were the roles of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Three Witnesses in “the coming forth of [the Lord’s] church out of the wilderness”? (D&C 5:14).
  • From the verses you read, how do we know that the Three Witnesses had a testimony prior to seeing the plates and other objects? Why would it be important for the Three Witnesses to already have a testimony before seeing the sacred objects? (see D&C 63:9).
  • What purpose did the Lord reveal in section 17 for allowing the Three Witnesses to see the plates and other sacred objects?
  • What promise did the Lord extend to the Three Witnesses if they remained faithful?

Study Doctrine and Covenants 5:21–28. Write an outline of the counsel the Lord gave to Joseph Smith and Martin Harris in these verses. Explain in writing at least two lessons that you can learn and apply from the instructions the Lord gave to the Prophet Joseph and to Martin Harris.

Read Ether 5:3–4 and write a sentence describing approximately how many years before the time of Joseph Smith the Lord revealed through Moroni that He would have three witnesses of the Book of Mormon. How does 2 Nephi 27:12 further demonstrate the Lord’s foreknowledge of the need for three witnesses?

3.  Doctrine and Covenants 6. “Did I Not Speak Peace to Your Mind . . . ?”

Read the student manual “Historical Background” for section 6 (page 14) and read Doctrine and Covenants 6:1–24 in the scriptures. Write a paragraph for each of the following directions:

  • Identify 10 or 12 truths found in these verses.
  • Describe the nature of righteous desires.
  • Explain how you can seek knowledge from the Lord.
  • Detail how you can recognize divine witnesses from the Lord.

Compare Doctrine and Covenants 6:23 with John 14:26–27 and Galatians 5:22. Describe in writing what feelings the Lord uses to communicate with His children. Write about an occasion when you experienced these feelings as a communication from the Lord.

4.  Doctrine and Covenants 7. “John, My Beloved, What Desirest Thou?”

Read the student manual “Historical Background” for section 7 (page 17). Write a sentence describing how Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery decided to solve their difference of opinion concerning the condition of John the Beloved. How could this example change the way you find answers to questions in your life?

Read and compare Doctrine and Covenants 7 and 3 Nephi 28:1–6. Write a brief paragraph describing the similarities you find. Read 3 Nephi 28:7–40 and list the characteristics about a translated being.

Review again Doctrine and Covenants 7 and highlight in your scriptures each time the word or a form of the word desire is used. Then read Alma 29:4 and Doctrine and Covenants 137:9 and describe in writing what you learn about the impact desires can have on our eternal progression. How can knowing this affect your desires? Write a plan for how to improve your own desires.

5.  Doctrine and Covenants 8–9. “Behold, This Is the Spirit of Revelation”

Read Doctrine and Covenants 8:2–3; 9:7–9 and list at least three ways God communicates with us, as well as what He expects from us when we seek knowledge from Him. Write a short explanation of how you would use Doctrine and Covenants 8–9 to teach someone how to seek answers to their prayers and to recognize those answers when they come.(see also Bible Dictionary, “Prayer”).

Write a sentence for each of the following scriptures, describing how they are examples of truths you have learned from Doctrine and Covenants 8:2–3 or 9:7–9.

Think of a time in your life when you received personal revelation. Make a list of impressions or feelings you had that helped you to know you had received an answer from the Lord.