Doctrine and Covenants 67

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual, (2001), 116–17


Introduction

Church history provides many valuable lessons for our day. For example, when the Lord approved the publication of the Book of Commandments (later to become the Doctrine and Covenants), many of the Church’s elders testified that these revelations had come from God, but some of the brethren criticized the language used by the Prophet Joseph Smith. Joseph was not perfect, but the words were true, and they carried the Lord’s divine approval (see D&C 67:9).

Scripture comes through imperfect mortals. But we will be judged by how we receive them. President Ezra Taft Benson, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve, said: “We do not have to prove the Book of Mormon is true. The book is its own proof. All we need to do is read it and declare it! The Book of Mormon is not on trial—the people of the world, including the members of the Church, are on trial as to what they will do with this second witness for Christ” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1984, 7; or Ensign, Nov. 1984, 8). The same can be said of all the scriptures.

In section 67, the Savior gave a special promise to “you that have been ordained unto this ministry” that if they humbled themselves, the veil would be rent. “Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, … wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected” (D&C 67:10, 13).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, p. 119.

  • Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 141–43.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants 67:4–9. Though the Prophet Joseph Smith was imperfect, the Lord has testified that the revelations Joseph received are true.

(20–25 minutes)

Display a picture of the Prophet Joseph Smith on the board. Have students list all the positive characteristics they can about him. Ask them to list any training or degrees that qualified him to become the President of the Church. Display scriptures that Joseph Smith had a part in bringing forth (the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price) and any books you might have access to that include his teachings (for example, History of the Church, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, The Papers of Joseph Smith). Ask: How could Joseph Smith have done what he did when he had so little education and no formal religious training?

Choose several students to each read one of the following verses: 1 Corinthians 1:27; Doctrine and Covenants 1:19, 24, 29; 35:13; 124:1. Ask: What kind of servants does the Lord often choose to help do His work? Help students see that those the Lord chooses to do His work are often not trained or skilled, but He can make them useful.

Display a picture of the latter-day prophets. Ask:

  • What qualifications do these prophets have in common?

  • Why can the Lord use those who faithfully keep His commandments?

  • When have you felt that you were able to offer the most help to the Lord’s work? Why?

Read the section heading for Doctrine and Covenants 67 and ask: Why do you think some at the conference had concerns about the language used in the revelations? Read verses 4–9 and ask:

  • How did the Lord respond to those who disapproved of the wording of the scriptures?

  • What challenge did He give them?

  • Why would it be impossible to write a revelation even if the words were similar?

Read paragraphs 5–6 of the historical background for section 67 in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325 (p. 142). Ask:

  • Why do you think it is such an “awful responsibility to write in the name of the Lord”?

  • Read Doctrine and Covenants 18:34–36. What do revelations from the Lord contain that cannot be duplicated by man?

Testify that the Spirit of the Lord makes scripture unique and of great value in our lives and that the Spirit can speak to us through the scriptures. Have students take a few moments to find a favorite scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants. Invite volunteers to read their passages and tell why the passages are meaningful to them.