One of the most important lessons any person can learn is to rely on the Lord and His servants rather than the wisdom of man. Those who learn this lesson and strive to keep the Lord’s commandments will attain eternal life. Section 30 teaches that “we cannot be passive in our covenant relationship with the Savior. We must be actively involved in growing spiritually. Scripture study, meeting attendance, acts of kindness, service to others, prayer and fasting, etc. all serve the same purpose—we can become more capable of obedience to the Savior” (Leaun G. Otten and C. Max Caldwell, Sacred Truths of the Doctrine and Covenants, 2 vols. [1982–83], 1:147).
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 79–80.
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, p. 64.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 30–36. Spreading the gospel through missionary work is one of the major purposes of the Church.
Set up a row of dominoes so that when you knock one over, the others fall. Point out the “domino effect” and discuss how it is like missionary work. Ask: What must happen before all the dominoes can fall? (One domino must begin the process.) Explain that when we share the gospel, we can begin a chain reaction that touches the lives of many people.
Explain that sections 30–36 contain counsel and promises to missionaries that are applicable today. Read Doctrine and Covenants 33:2–6, 10–13, and discuss why it is so important for everyone to hear the restored gospel (see also 2 Nephi 2:8; D&C 1:1–14).
Draw the accompanying chart on the board without the answers in the two right-hand columns. Assign groups of students to search the references in the left column and to fill in the other columns.
Discuss with students how the commandments and promises the Lord made to these faithful servants can apply to us.
Ask: What might happen if we don’t share the gospel with Heavenly Father’s other children? (see D&C 88:81–82). Discuss ways your students can help share the gospel in addition to serving full-time missions. Sing or read
Doctrine and Covenants 30. We should rely on the Lord and His servants rather than the counsel of men and the things of the world.
Write on the board A Formula for Failure. Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 30:1–2 looking for such a formula. Ask: What did the Lord say David Whitmer did wrong? Write responses on the board under A Formula for Failure. Ask:
Why is this a formula for failure?
What are some ways young people sometimes “fear” man more than God? (Answers might include in dress and dating standards, honesty, Sabbath observance.)
Why should we be more interested in pleasing God than in pleasing the world? (see D&C 29:43–45).
Read Doctrine and Covenants 3:7–11, and ask some or all of the following questions:
How was David Whitmer’s mistake like that of Joseph Smith when Joseph gave Martin Harris the 116 pages of Book of Mormon manuscript?
What can someone do who has made this kind of mistake? (see v. 10).
What happens to someone who refuses to repent of this sin? (see v. 11).
What gift do we receive after baptism that is lost if we do not repent of our sins?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 30:5, 9, 11 and identify two other men who were warned about fear. Ask: How might these warnings apply to missionaries today? Read verses 6–8 and ask:
What do these verses say that would help missionaries avoid the sin of fearing man?
How could following Church leaders help us avoid fearing man? (see v. 7.
What is the promise for those who listen to the Lord and are diligent in obeying His commandments? (see v. 8).
Share an experience that illustrates the importance of these principles in missionary work.
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