“May 10–16. Doctrine and Covenants 49–50: ‘That Which Is of God Is Light,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“May 10–16. Doctrine and Covenants 49–50,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021
Record Your Impressions
The Savior is our “good shepherd” (Doctrine and Covenants 50:44). He knows that sometimes sheep wander and that the wilderness has many perils. So He lovingly leads us to the safety of His doctrine, away from dangers such as “false spirits, which have gone forth in the earth, deceiving the world” (Doctrine and Covenants 50:2). Following Him often means letting go of incorrect ideas or traditions. This was true for Leman Copley and others in Ohio who accepted the restored gospel but still held on to some beliefs that just weren’t correct. In Doctrine and Covenants 49, the Lord declared truths that corrected Leman’s previous beliefs about topics such as marriage and the Savior’s Second Coming. And when the Ohio converts “received … spirits which [they] could not understand,” the Lord taught them how to discern true manifestations of the Spirit (Doctrine and Covenants 50:15). The Good Shepherd was patient; He knew that these early Saints were—like all of us—“little children” who “must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth” (Doctrine and Covenants 50:40).
Before joining the Church, Leman Copley had been part of a religious group known as the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, also known as the Shakers (see “Leman Copley and the Shakers,” Revelations in Context, 117–21). After a conversation with Leman, Joseph Smith sought clarification from the Lord about some of the Shakers’ teachings, and the Lord responded with the revelation in section 49.
You can find some of the Shakers’ beliefs mentioned in the heading to section 49. Consider marking or noting the truths in verses 5–23 that correct those beliefs. Think about other false teachings or traditions in the world today. What gospel truths can help you guard yourself against them?
What truths about marriage do you learn from Doctrine and Covenants 49:15–17? Why do you feel marriage between a man and a woman is essential to Heavenly Father’s plan? Elder David A. Bednar gave two reasons: “Reason 1: The natures of male and female spirits complete and perfect each other, and therefore men and women are intended to progress together toward exaltation. … Reason 2: By divine design, both a man and a woman are needed to bring children into mortality and to provide the best setting for the rearing and nurturing of children” (“Marriage Is Essential to His Eternal Plan,” Ensign, June 2006, 83–84).
The new converts in Ohio were eager to receive the spiritual manifestations promised in the scriptures, but Satan was also eager to deceive them. They wondered, When someone shouts or faints, is that the influence of the Spirit?
Imagine that you were asked to help these new converts understand how to recognize true manifestations of the Holy Ghost and avoid being deceived by Satan’s imitations. What principles do you find in Doctrine and Covenants 50 that you could share? (see especially verses 22–25, 29–34, 40–46).
See also 2 Timothy 3:13–17.
One way you might study Doctrine and Covenants 50:13–24 is to draw a picture of a teacher and a learner and, next to each, make a list of words and phrases from these verses that teach you something about gospel learning and teaching. When have you had experiences that taught you the importance of the Spirit in teaching and learning? Consider what you can do to improve your efforts as a gospel learner and teacher.
Doctrine and Covenants 49:2.What does it mean to “desire to know the truth in part, but not all”? Maybe you could show a partially covered picture and let family members guess what it is. What happens when we accept only part of the truth? (see 2 Nephi 28:29). How is the fulness of the gospel a blessing to us?
Doctrine and Covenants 49:26–28.How are we blessed by the Lord’s promise “I will go before you and be your rearward; and I will be in your midst”? Family members could share experiences when they felt the Lord “go before [them]” or felt that He was “in [their] midst.”
Doctrine and Covenants 50:23–25.You might gather in a dark room to read Doctrine and Covenants 50:23–25 and gradually add more light by lighting candles or turning on lights one by one. You could also read these verses while watching the sun rise in the morning. What can we do to make our gospel light continue to grow? When family members learn something new about the gospel during the week, encourage them to share it with the family by writing a note and attaching it to a lamp or other light in the house.
Doctrine and Covenants 50:40–46.After reading Doctrine and Covenants 50:40–46, you could show the picture of the Savior that accompanies this outline and ask questions like these: How can you tell the Savior loves the sheep? How is the Savior like a shepherd to us? What phrases from the scriptures reflect the idea that the Savior is a shepherd and we are His sheep?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Shine On,” Children’s Songbook, 144.
Be flexible. The best teaching moments, especially in the home, are often spontaneous and unexpected: a family meal may inspire a discussion about feasting on the word of God, and a rainstorm could be a chance to testify of living water. If you are spiritually prepared, the Lord can give you “in the very moment, what ye shall say” (Doctrine and Covenants 100:6).
Gentle Shepherd, by Yongsung Kim