Lesson 1

Doctrine and Covenants 77–83


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 assignment 1 or 2 as well as any two of the other assignments:

1.  Doctrine and Covenants 77. The Lord’s Commentary on the Book of Revelation

Read the institute student manual “Historical Background” for section 77 (pages 167–68). Also read the first two paragraphs of the Bible Dictionary entry for “Revelation of John” (page 762). Then write answers for the following questions:

  • According to the Bible Dictionary, what is the message or theme of the book of Revelation?
  • What is the connection between the theme of the book of Revelation and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
  • Look at the way Joseph Smith stated his questions to the Lord (see verses 2, 4–9, 11–15). In what ways can this have application in the way you address the Lord? Write a few sentences discussing how the Prophet Joseph’s way of asking differs from simply asking, “Why?”

Read Doctrine and Covenants 77:1–4. Choose two images from verses 1–4 and tell how each of them relates to the overall message of the book of Revelation.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 77:5 and the student manual commentary “D&C 77:5: Why Was John Shown Twenty-Four Elders in the Paradise of God?” (pages 168–69). Explain briefly in writing how this message of hope to the ancient Saints can also bring you comfort today.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 77:6–7, 10 and the student manual commentary “D&C 77:6–7: Why Was the Book Sealed That John Saw?” (page 169). Write answers to the following:

  • What did the book which John saw represent, and why was it sealed?
  • Write a few sentences that explain how the symbols in these verses help you understand the timing of the events described in the book of Revelation.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 77:8–9, 14 and the student manual commentary for these verses (pages 169–70). Write a paragraph that describes the role of divinely appointed individuals with priesthood authority in bringing about the triumph of good over evil in the last days.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 77:11 and the student manual commentary “D&C 77:11: Who Are the 144,000?” (page 170). Write a sentence or two to describe how the work of these individuals supports the theme of the book of Revelation.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 77:15 and the student manual commentary “D&C 77:15: Who Are the Two Witnesses Referred to by John?” (pages 170–71). Explain in writing how understanding the mission of these prophets and the events that will take place surrounding them can help you face the future with courage instead of fear.

Write a paragraph telling in what ways studying these questions and answers about the book of Revelation has given you incentive to learn more about and to prepare for the Second Coming.

2.  Doctrine and Covenants 78. Establishing a “Storehouse for the Poor”

Read Doctrine and Covenants 78:1–11 and then write four purposes of establishing a storehouse for the poor as found in verses 4–7, 14. Explain briefly how these purposes ensure that we care for the poor in the Lord’s way.

Compare Doctrine and Covenants 78:5–7 with Doctrine and Covenants 51:3 and 82:17–19. Then read the student manual commentary “D&C 78:5–7: Equality in Earthly As Well As Heavenly Things” (pages 171–72). Write a sentence that explains the meaning of the term equal as it is used in Doctrine and Covenants 78:6. Then write a short paragraph about how this type of equality in earthly and heavenly things prepares us for an inheritance in the celestial kingdom.

After reviewing Doctrine and Covenants 78:13–15, read the student manual commentary “D&C 78:14: How Will the Church ‘Stand Independent above All Other Creatures’?” (page 172). Then answer in writing the following questions:

  • How can the principles from this section and from the student manual commentary prepare Church members for the future, both in this life and the next?
  • How does the welfare program of the Church today bless all Church members?

Make a list of the blessings in Doctrine and Covenants 78:15–22 that the Lord promises to those who follow this program of preparation. Read the student manual commentary “D&C 78:21: The Church of the Firstborn” (page 173). Write a paragraph that explains how preparatory principles and programs, such as those described with the establishment of a storehouse for the poor, are necessary for those who will eventually become members of the Church of the Firstborn and preside over eternal families.

Read Isaiah 58:3, 6–7 and Malachi 3:8–10; then respond in writing to the following questions:

  • What has the Lord established that allows you to personally contribute to the building up of His storehouse?
  • What are the blessings promised to those who do this?

3.  Doctrine and Covenants 79–80. “Go Ye and Preach My Gospel”

Read Doctrine and Covenants 79–80. Compare the mission call of Jared Carter in section 79 with that of Stephen Burnett and Eden Smith in section 80 by creating and filling in a chart similar to the following one:

Sometimes the Lord gives specific instructions, such as those received by Jared Carter. At other times, the Lord gives general directions, such as those received by Stephen Burnett and Eden Smith. How can Doctrine and Covenants 58:26–29 help you when you receive counsel such as that contained in Doctrine and Covenants 80:3?

List phrases from Doctrine and Covenants 79:1 and Doctrine and Covenants 80:5 that identify the source of the calling these missionaries received. Explain in a few sentences how your Church service can be influenced by remembering that callings to serve come from the Lord.

4.  Doctrine and Covenants 81. “Lift up the Hands Which Hang Down”

Read Doctrine and Covenants 81:1–7 and the student manual “Historical Background” for section 81 (page 175). Explain in a sentence or two how the transfer of the instructions from Jesse Gause to Frederick G. Williams helps us understand that callings have specific responsibilities and blessings associated with them.

Review Doctrine and Covenants 81:2 and the student manual commentary “D&C 81:2: ‘The Keys of the Kingdom . . . Belong Always unto the Presidency’” (pages 176–77). Then write answers for the following questions:

  • What are the “keys of the kingdom”? (verse 2).
  • What counsel given to Frederick Williams in Doctrine and Covenants 81 could help you sustain and support those with keys of authority? (Provide verse numbers for the items you find.)
  • How should knowing that the keys belong to the First Presidency influence how you sustain the prophet and his counselors?

Read Exodus 17:8–13 and write how it relates to Doctrine and Covenants 81:5.

5.  Doctrine and Covenants 82. Doctrines and Principles for the Increase of Zion

Read the student manual “Historical Background” for section 82 (page 177) and the commentary “D&C 82:13–14: How Can Zion Increase in Beauty?” (page 178). Then read the verses listed in the chart below to identify principles that help us build up Zion wherever we live. In your own words, write the principles you identify.

Read the student manual commentary “D&C 82:7: ‘Unto That Soul Who Sinneth Shall the Former Sins Return’” (page 178). In a few sentences, explain how sincere repentance requires continual righteousness.

6.  Doctrine and Covenants 83. Instructions for the Care of All Families in the Church

Read Doctrine and Covenants 83:1–6 and the accompanying student manual commentary, “Laws of the Church Concerning Widows, Orphans, and Children” (pages 179–80). Then write answers for the following questions:

  • What responsibilities do husbands have for the temporal welfare of their wives and children?
  • In addition to temporal needs, what could the word maintenance imply?
  • How does the Church assist when, through unusual circumstances, families are unable to provide for themselves?
  • What can parents do to teach their children to be self-reliant and live providently?