Lesson 4

Doctrine and Covenants 19–21

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 each of the following assignments:

1.  Doctrine and Covenants 19. Repentance and Peace through the Savior’s Atonement

Carefully read Doctrine and Covenants 19:4–12, along with the institute student manual commentary “D&C 19:4–12: Great Additional Truths Concerning God’s Punishments” (page 37). Using the scripture passage and the commentary, write a statement that explains the meaning of “endless punishment” as it is spoken of in Doctrine and Covenants 19.

Read the student manual “Historical Background” for section 19 (page 36). Then read Doctrine and Covenants 19:15–20; 2 Nephi 9:21–22; Mosiah 3:7–9; and Alma 7:11–13. From what you learn in these passages, write a couple of paragraphs that explain:

  • The purpose for the Savior’s suffering.
  • Why we must repent.
  • What happens if we don’t repent.
  • How the Atonement is necessary for us to enjoy the blessings of salvation.
  • What difference it makes to know what the Savior has done for us.

After rebuking Martin Harris for losing the 116 pages of the Book of Mormon manuscript, the Lord counseled him on how to conduct his life. Read Doctrine and Covenants 19:20–41 and list the counsel that Martin received. Then write answers to the following questions:

  • What two or three major themes do you find in the counsel the Lord gave to Martin Harris?
  • What specific warnings did Martin receive? How do those warnings demonstrate the Lord’s loving kindness?
  • How has Martin’s obedience to the instructions in verses 26 and 34 blessed the Church today?
  • Select three or four items of counsel contained in these verses that you could apply in your life at this time. How would obeying this counsel help you come unto the Savior, as Doctrine and Covenants 19:39–41 instructs?

2.  Doctrine and Covenants 20. “Revelation on Church Organization and Government”

Carefully study Doctrine and Covenants 20:8–15 and list at least four truths the Lord revealed concerning the Book of Mormon. Then read verses 17–25 and make a list that includes at least six basic doctrines of the gospel.

Doctrine and Covenants 20:38–60 outlines the duties of various offices and callings in the Church. Make a chart like the one shown below and complete it with the information from the verses:


Read Doctrine and Covenants 107:99–100 and briefly explain in writing why you think it is important to have detailed information on the duties and responsibilities of Church officers.

Identify in writing the practices or principles described in each of the following scripture blocks from Doctrine and Covenants 20. Explain how those practices or principles contribute to the structure and order of the Church:

3.  Doctrine and Covenants 21. “His Word Ye Shall Receive, as If from Mine Own Mouth”

Read Doctrine and Covenants 21, including the section heading, and write answers to the following questions:

  • Which verses speak to the Church about the Prophet Joseph Smith? Which verses are addressed to Oliver Cowdery?
  • Even though both Joseph and Oliver were sustained as the presiding officers of the Church, what do these verses reveal about the difference between the responsibilities the Lord entrusted to each of them?
  • What do you learn about Joseph Smith from the Lord’s words in verses 1–2?

From the Lord’s counsel to the Church in Doctrine and Covenants 21:4–9, answer the following questions:

  • How do “patience and faith” (verse 5) help you follow the prophet’s word?
  • When has following the prophet’s teachings brought about the blessings described in verse 6 for you or for someone you know?

What truths from verses 7–9 helped early members of the Church accept Joseph Smith as the Lord’s spokesman? How can these truths help you follow the prophet today?