February 22–28. Doctrine and Covenants 18–19: “The Worth of Souls Is Great”
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“February 22–28. Doctrine and Covenants 18–19: ‘The Worth of Souls Is Great,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)

“February 22–28. Doctrine and Covenants 18–19,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021

The Martin Harris Farm

Martin Harris Farm, by Al Rounds

February 22–28

Doctrine and Covenants 18–19

“The Worth of Souls Is Great”

The revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants were given in response to specific circumstances nearly 200 years ago, but the principles they teach are timeless. Look for these principles as you read, and consider how they apply to you.

Record Your Impressions

Martin and Lucy Harris had one of the finest farms in Palmyra, New York. It had taken them years to acquire, had enabled them to raise a family, and had given them good standing in the community. But in 1829 it became clear that the Book of Mormon could be published only if Martin mortgaged his farm to pay the printer. Martin had a testimony of the Book of Mormon, but Lucy did not. If Martin went forward with the mortgage and the Book of Mormon did not sell well, he would lose his farm and jeopardize his marriage. At some time or another, we all face questions similar to those that Martin may have been facing: What is the gospel of Jesus Christ worth to me? What am I willing to sacrifice to help build God’s kingdom? It may help us to remember that no one has ever paid a higher price to bless God’s children than Jesus Christ, “the greatest of all” (Doctrine and Covenants 19:18).

Martin made the decision to mortgage his farm. His sacrifice paid for the printing of the first 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon. And now, more than 190 million copies later, millions of souls around the world have been blessed.

For more information about the publication of the Book of Mormon, see Saints, 1:76–84.

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Ideas for Personal Scripture Study

Doctrine and Covenants 18:10–16

The Lord rejoices when we repent.

Notice how often the words repent and repentance are used throughout Doctrine and Covenants 18 and 19, and ponder what you learn from these words each time they are used. Consider especially Doctrine and Covenants 18:10–16; how do these verses affect how you feel about repentance—your own repentance and the duty to invite others to repent?

See also Alma 36:18–21; Dale G. Renlund, “Repentance: A Joyful Choice,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 121–24.

Doctrine and Covenants 18:34–36

I can hear the Lord’s voice in the Doctrine and Covenants.

If someone asked you what the voice of the Lord is like, what would you say? Think about this question as you read Doctrine and Covenants 18:34–36. What have you learned about the voice of the Lord from reading the Doctrine and Covenants? What can you do to hear His voice more clearly?

Doctrine and Covenants 19:15–20

Jesus Christ suffered so that I can repent and come unto Him.

The New Testament describes the Savior’s suffering in Gethsemane from the perspective of those who observed it. In Doctrine and Covenants 19:15–20, Jesus Christ told about His suffering in His own words. As you read this sacred, personal account, look for words and phrases that describe the Savior’s suffering. Consider what each word or phrase teaches you. Why was the Savior willing to suffer? Consider recording your feelings about Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for you.

See John 15:13; Mosiah 3:7; Alma 7:11–12; Doctrine and Covenants 18:10–13.

Worth of a Soul

Worth of a Soul, by Liz Lemon Swindle

Doctrine and Covenants 19:26–27, 34–41

God’s blessings are greater than the treasures of the earth.

The Book of Mormon did not sell very well in Palmyra, and as a result, Martin Harris ended up having to sell a large portion of his farm to pay the debt (see “The Contributions of Martin Harris,” Revelations in Context, 7–8). Ponder that sacrifice—and the blessings you’ve received because of it—as you read these verses. You might also think about what the Lord has asked you to sacrifice. What do you find in these verses that inspires you to make these sacrifices with “rejoicing” and “gladness”? (see also verses 15–20).

Doctrine and Covenants 19:23

Peace comes from learning of Jesus Christ and following Him.

Consider the Savior’s invitation “Learn of me.” What do you learn about Jesus Christ in Doctrine and Covenants 19? Record your thoughts, and ponder how these truths about the Savior help you find peace. What does it mean to you to “walk in the meekness of [His] Spirit”?

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Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening

Doctrine and Covenants 18:1–5.

Perhaps family members could share some of the “many instances” (verse 2) in which the Spirit has manifested to them that the scriptures are true, just as He did for Oliver Cowdery. How can your family “rely upon the things which are written” (verse 3) in the scriptures? How can you build your family’s foundation on the “rock” (verse 4) of the gospel?

Doctrine and Covenants 18:10–13; 19:16–19.

Each family member could read Doctrine and Covenants 18:10–13 and substitute his or her name in place of the words “soul,” “souls,” and “all men.” You could then discuss how these verses help us understand our worth to the Father and the Son (see Doctrine and Covenants 19:16–19).

Doctrine and Covenants 18:21–25.

Do your family members’ names have special meaning? Maybe you could talk about why names are important and what it means to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ (see Mosiah 5:7). This could be a good opportunity to help family members prepare to take Christ’s name upon themselves when they are baptized.

Doctrine and Covenants 19:15–20.

To help your family have a meaningful experience with these verses, perhaps you could read them while displaying a picture of Jesus Christ (one accompanies this outline). Family members could then share their feelings about the Savior. A favorite hymn about the Savior could also invite the Spirit.

For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.

Suggested song: “I Stand All Amazed,” Hymns, no. 193.

Improving Personal Study

Ask questions. The Doctrine and Covenants is evidence that questions lead to revelation. As you study the scriptures, record questions that occur to you. Then ponder and pray to seek answers.

We Talk of Christ

Christ Praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, by Hermann Clementz