“The Prophet felt that the field of souls was white for the harvest and that it was incumbent upon him to thrust in his sickle and gather the honest in heart. On the 5th day of October, 1833, he departed from Kirtland upon a missionary journey to Canada, in company with Sidney Rigdon and Freeman A. Nickerson. At various places on the road, they stopped and proclaimed the word of the Lord unto the inhabitants. … On the 12th day of October they had arrived at Perrysburg, New York, where they halted for a little time. Here the Prophet received [section 100]” (George Q. Cannon, Life of Joseph Smith the Prophet , 160).
The day before receiving section 100, Joseph wrote in his journal, “I feel very well in my mind the Lord is with us but have much anxiety about my family” (The Papers of Joseph Smith, ed. Dean C. Jessee, 2 vols. [1989–92], 2:6). He was no doubt concerned also by serious problems in Zion. Rather than sit and worry, the Prophet Joseph chose to be “anxiously engaged” in building the kingdom of God.
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
As missionaries serve the Lord, their families are in the Lord’s care (see D&C 100:1–2).
Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 137–38.
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 236–37.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 100:1–8. As the Lord’s servants humbly preach the gospel, the Holy Ghost will bless and inspire them and bear witness of their message.
Invite a few students to tell about a time they shared the gospel. Ask them to describe the feelings they had. Ask: What can make sharing the gospel so challenging?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 99:1, 6–8 and the section heading for Doctrine and Covenants 100 looking for challenges the Lord’s servants face when they preach the gospel (see also the introduction to section 99 [p. 168]). Ask: What sacrifices do some people make today to serve the Lord?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 100:1–8 and ask:
What did the Lord promise the Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon regarding their families? (see vv. 1–2).
What blessings came to those who were taught the gospel because of the sacrifice of Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and their families? (see vv. 3–4, 8; see also the commentary for D&C 100:3–5 in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325,
What promises were given to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon as they proclaimed the gospel? (see vv. 5–8).
How can these promises and blessings be encouraging to missionaries today?
Have a student read the following statement by President Ezra Taft Benson:
“I was about thirteen years of age when my father received a call to go on a mission. …
“We gathered around the old sofa in the living room, and Father told us about his mission call. Then Mother said, ‘We’re proud to know that Father is considered worthy to go on a mission. We’re crying a bit because it means two years of separation. You know, your father and I have never been separated more than two nights at a time since our marriage—and that’s when Father was gone into the canyon to get logs, posts, and firewood.’ …
“… Father went on his mission, leaving Mother at home with seven children. (The eighth was born four months after he arrived in the field.) But there came into that home a spirit of missionary work that never left it. It was not without some sacrifice. Father had to sell our old dry farm in order to finance his mission. He had to move a married couple into part of our home to take care of the row crops, and he left his sons and wife the responsibility for the hay land, the pasture land, and a small herd of dairy cows. …
“Later the family grew to eleven children, seven sons and four daughters. All seven sons filled missions, some of them two or three missions. Later, two daughters and their husbands filled full-time missions. The two other sisters, both widows—one the mother of eight and the other the mother of ten—served as missionary companions in Birmingham, England.
“It is a legacy that still continues to bless the Benson family even into the third and fourth generations” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 59–60, 63; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 45–46, 48).
In what ways do the blessings of serving the Lord outweigh the challenges?
How have you felt the Lord’s hand in your life when you have sacrificed for Him?
Doctrine and Covenants 100. The Lord will eventually establish Zion and make all things work together for the good of those who follow Him.
Tell students to imagine they have been asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting. Divide them into groups and assign each group one of the following quotations from Doctrine and Covenants 100. Give the groups time to write a short talk based on their quotation. Encourage them to use other scriptures and their own thoughts and feelings as they prepare. Have them select one person in their group to give the talk.
“My friends Sidney and Joseph” (v. 1).
“In me there is all power. Therefore, follow me” (vv. 1–2).
“I will give unto him power. … I will give unto thee power” (vv. 10–11).
“Continue your journey … ; for behold, and lo, I am with you even unto the end” (v. 12).
“Zion shall be redeemed, although she is chastened for a little season” (v. 13).
“All things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly” (v. 15).
“I will raise up unto myself a pure people, that will serve me in righteousness” (v. 16).
After the talks, invite students to tell why these messages are important for our day. Have each student choose the message that most appeals to them. Have them write a paragraph explaining why that message is important and what they can do to apply it in their life.
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