Doctrine and Covenants 24: Duties of Church Leaders

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 35–36


In July 1830 there were only three branches of the Church: Manchester, Fayette, and Colesville. At Colesville, the Prophet Joseph Smith was arrested on false charges by his enemies. He was found innocent, but the persecution continued to make trouble for the Church’s leaders. As you readDoctrine and Covenants 24, look for what the Lord said Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery should do for the Church members and for what the Church members should do for the leaders.
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Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 24

Partial seclusion(section heading)Staying away from places in which there was persecution 
Sowed(v. 3)Planted d in 
Temporally(v. 3)Materially, physically 
Expounding(v. 5)Explaining 
Confirming(v. 9)Strengthening 
Voice of a trump(v. 12)Boldly, clearly 
Smitten, smite(v. 16)Punished 
Go to law with thee(v. 17)Charge you falsely with crimes 
Scrip(v. 18)A traveling bag 

Doctrine and Covenants 24:3, 9—“Magnify Thine Office”

President Thomas S. Monson, a counselor in the First Presidency, said: “What does it mean to magnify a calling? It means to build it up in dignity and importance, to make it honorable and commendable in the eyes of all men, to enlarge and strengthen it, to let the light of heaven shine through it to the view of other men. And how does one magnify a calling? Simply by performing the service that pertains to it. An elder magnifies the ordained calling of an elder by learning what his duties as an elder are and then by doing them. As with an elder, so with a deacon, a teacher, a priest, a bishop, and each who holds office in the priesthood” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 49; orEnsign,May 1986, 38–39).

Doctrine and Covenants 24:15—“Casting Off the Dust of Your Feet”

Elder James E. Talmage, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught: “To ceremonially shake the dust from one’s feet as a testimony against another was understood by the Jews to symbolize a cessation of fellowship and a renunciation of all responsibility for consequences that might follow. It became an ordinance of accusation and testimony by the Lord’s instructions to His apostles as cited in the text. In the current dispensation, the Lord has similarly directed His authorized servants to so testify against those who wilfully and maliciously oppose the truth when authoritatively presented ( Doc. and Cov. 24:15; 60:15; 75:20; 84:92; 99:4). The responsibility of testifying before the Lord by this accusing symbol is so great that the means may be employed only under unusual and extreme conditions, as the Spirit of the Lord may direct” (Jesus the Christ[1962], 320).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A or B as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 24.

Activity A iconThe Duties of the Prophet

  1. 1.

    Make two columns in your notebook. Label one “The Prophet” and the other “The Members.” Under the appropriate heading, list the duties of the prophet and the members from what you learn inDoctrine and Covenants 24:5–9.

  2. 2.

    At the end of the list under “The Prophet,” explain what the prophet does today to fulfill those duties. At the end of the list under “The Members,” explain what you do to fulfill your duties.

Activity B iconSummarize the Lord’s Counsel

Summarize the Lord’s counsel inDoctrine and Covenants 24:

  1. 1.

    To Joseph Smith (vv. 1–9).

  2. 2.

    To Oliver Cowdery (vv. 10–12).

  3. 3.

    On miracles (vv. 13–14).