Doctrine and Covenants 136

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual, (2001), 241–42


Introduction

After the Prophet’s death, “the Saints were driven from their homes in Nauvoo under the most trying circumstances and in poverty and destitution in large measure, for they had been robbed by their enemies. … The Lord did not fail them in this hour of distress and gave this revelation to President Brigham Young to guide them in their journeyings and [to admonish] them to keep His commandments” (Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl, The Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, rev. ed. [1972], 857). Brigham Young received section 136 about two and one-half years after Joseph’s death, while the Saints were encamped in Winter Quarters.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 329–33.

  • Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 350–53.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Video presentation 20, “Tried in All Things” (4:10), can be used in teaching Doctrine and Covenants 136 (see Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Video Guide for teaching suggestions).

Doctrine and Covenants 136:17–22, 30–31, 40–42. Nothing will stop the Lord’s work from progressing.

(15–20 minutes)

Have a student come to the front of the room. Roll a ball across the room and invite the student to stop it. Ask how difficult it was to stop the ball. Ask how difficult it would be if the ball were as large and heavy as a truck.

Invite students to list ways the enemies of the Church tried to stop the Lord’s work during the Prophet Joseph Smith’s life. Read Doctrine and Covenants 136:17–18 and discuss the following questions:

  • Why do you think some people believed that the Church would fail after the Prophet’s death?

  • Why were those who tried to stop the work unsuccessful? (see D&C 65:2; 121:33).

Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 136:19–21 and list what we can do to help the work of the Lord progress. Invite each student to choose one of the items listed and write on a piece of paper what they could do to better follow this counsel. Sing or read “True to the Faith” (Hymns, no. 254) and discuss how its message relates to the verses you have studied.

Doctrine and Covenants 136:32–33. The Lord’s Spirit enlightens those who are humble and who call on Him for wisdom.

(10–15 minutes)

Have students think of a person in their school or community they consider wise. Ask:

  • What does it mean to be wise?

  • Why do you think of this person as wise?

  • What does a person need to do to become wise?

Read Doctrine and Covenants 136:32–33 and ask:

  • How does the Lord describe wisdom in these verses?

  • How is that different from what we discussed as a class?

  • According to these verses, how can one obtain wisdom?

  • How does that differ from what many people think one must do to become wise?

Assign each student one of the following scriptures: Isaiah 55:8–9; 1 Corinthians 1:25; James 1:5; 2 Nephi 9:28–29; 2 Nephi 28:30; Alma 37:35–37; Doctrine and Covenants 11:6–7. Have students read their verses, and then invite several of them to share what their verses add to our understanding of wisdom.

Doctrine and Covenants 136:34–36. Great sorrow comes to individuals and nations that reject the Lord and the testimonies of His prophets.

(25–30 minutes)

Draw the following chart on the board. Leave all the columns blank except for the “Reference” column.

Rejecting Prophets

Read and discuss each reference as a class and fill in the rest of the chart. Help students discover:

  • The ways each group of people rejected the testimony of one of the Lord’s prophets.

  • The year they rejected the prophet’s testimony.

  • What happened to that group of people after they rejected the prophet’s testimony.

  • How long it took before they suffered the consequences.

Share the following statement by Elder Robert D. Hales, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“We live in a world of turmoil where we find sadness and destruction in every corner, much of which is brought about by man’s failure to listen to the words of the true prophets of God. How different would the lives have been of those who lived in all dispensations if they had listened to the prophet Moses and followed the Ten Commandments?

“There has always been a desperate need for the steady and reassuring voice of a living prophet of God—one who will speak the mind and will of God in showing the way to spiritual safety and personal peace and happiness” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 17; or Ensign, May 1995, 15).