“February 8–14. Doctrine and Covenants 12–13; Joseph Smith—History 1:66–75: ‘Upon You My Fellow Servants,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“February 8–14. Doctrine and Covenants 12–13; Joseph Smith—History 1:66–75,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021
Record Your Impressions
Most people around the world have probably never heard of a place called Harmony, Pennsylvania. But the Lord often chooses obscure locations for the most significant events in His kingdom. In a wooded area near Harmony on May 15, 1829, John the Baptist appeared as a resurrected being to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. He placed his hands on their heads and conferred the Aaronic Priesthood upon them, calling them “my fellow servants” (Doctrine and Covenants 13:1).
To be considered a fellow servant with John the Baptist, who baptized the Savior and prepared the way for His coming (see Matthew 3:1–6, 13–17), must have been humbling, perhaps even overwhelming to these two young men in their twenties. At the time, Joseph and Oliver were relatively unknown, much as Harmony was. But service in God’s work has always been about how we serve, not about who notices. However small or unseen your contribution may seem at times, you too are a fellow servant in the Lord’s great work.
Joseph Knight Sr. and his wife, Polly, met Joseph Smith when, as a 20-year-old, he began to work on their farm in Colesville, New York. Joseph Knight described him as the best worker he ever had. He believed Joseph Smith’s testimony about the gold plates and took Polly to visit Joseph Smith while he was translating the Book of Mormon at his home in Harmony, Pennsylvania. She immediately believed. For the rest of their lives, Joseph and Polly remained faithful to the restored gospel. More than 60 members of the Knight family joined and helped establish the Church in New York, Ohio, Missouri, Nauvoo, and eventually Salt Lake City.
Joseph Knight wanted to know how he could help in the work of the Lord. The Lord’s answer (now Doctrine and Covenants 12) applies to “all those who have desires to bring forth and establish this work” (verse 7)—including you. What does it mean to you “to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion”? (verse 6). How do the principles and attributes in verses 7–9 help you do this?
See also “The Knight and Whitmer Families,” Revelations in Context, 20–24.
In just one sentence, John the Baptist revealed many truths about the Aaronic Priesthood. Consider listing everything you learn from this section (including from the section heading). You might find it helpful to study some of the phrases you find. Here are some examples to get you started:
“The keys of the ministering of angels”: 2 Nephi 32:2–3; Moroni 7:29–32; Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Ministry of Angels,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 29–31; Guide to the Scriptures, “Angels,” scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org
What blessings have you received through the ordinances of the Aaronic Priesthood?
Sister Carole M. Stephens, former counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, taught: “Priesthood ordinances and covenants provide access to the fulness of the blessings promised to us by God, which are made possible by the Savior’s Atonement. They arm sons and daughters of God with power, God’s power, and provide us with the opportunity to receive eternal life” (“Do We Know What We Have?” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 12).
As you read Joseph Smith—History 1:66–75, including the note at the end of verse 71, consider what inspired Joseph and Oliver to inquire about baptism, and note the blessings that came to them after participating in priesthood ordinances. Consider reading journal entries you may have written after receiving ordinances or recording your memories of those events. What blessings have you received through priesthood ordinances?
- Doctrine and Covenants 12:8.
Why are the characteristics listed in this verse necessary when we are doing the Lord’s work?
- Doctrine and Covenants 13.
What might build your family’s faith in the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood? The video “Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org) or the artwork that accompanies this outline could help your family visualize the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood. Would they enjoy drawing a picture of the event, based on what they read in Joseph Smith—History 1:68–74? They could also share their testimonies about the power of the priesthood in their lives.
See also “Priesthood Restoration Site” at history.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
- Joseph Smith—History 1:68.
How can we follow the example of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to find answers to our questions? Perhaps as you read together, you could make it a regular habit to pause and ask if anyone has questions about what they are reading.
- Joseph Smith—History 1:71, note.
What impresses members of your family about Oliver Cowdery’s words? What are some of your family’s “days never to be forgotten”?
- Joseph Smith—History 1:73–74.
What effect did the Holy Ghost have on Joseph and Oliver? When has the Spirit helped your family understand the scriptures and rejoice in the Lord?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “The Priesthood Is Restored,” Children’s Songbook, 89.