“May 24–30. Doctrine and Covenants 58–59: ‘Anxiously Engaged in a Good Cause,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“May 24–30. Doctrine and Covenants 58–59,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021
Record Your Impressions
When the elders of the Church first saw the site of the city of Zion—Independence, Missouri—it was not what they expected. Some thought they would find a thriving, industrious community with a strong group of Saints. Instead they found a sparsely populated outpost, lacking the civilization they were used to and inhabited by rough frontier settlers rather than Saints. It turned out that the Lord wasn’t asking them just to come to Zion—He wanted them to build it.
When our expectations do not match reality, we can remember what the Lord told the Saints in 1831: “Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God … and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:3). Yes, life is full of tribulation, even wickedness, but we can “bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in [us]” (verses 27–28).
See also Saints, 1:127–33.
The Saints laid the foundation of Zion in Jackson County, Missouri, where they endured many trials. They surely hoped that during their lifetimes this area would blossom into a place where all the Saints could gather. However, the Saints were driven from Jackson County within a few years, and the Lord revealed that His people would have to “wait for a little season for the redemption of Zion” (Doctrine and Covenants 105:9).
As you study the following passages, look for reasons blessings may be withheld for a time. The questions below can help you ponder.
Doctrine and Covenants 58:1–5; 59:23. What messages in these verses strengthen your ability to bear tribulation more patiently? What blessings have you received after tribulation? Why do you think some blessings come only after tribulation?
Doctrine and Covenants 58:26–33. What role does being “anxiously engaged in a good cause” play in the fulfillment of God’s promises? What role does your obedience play?
Doctrine and Covenants 58:44. What is the relationship between “the prayer of faith” and the Lord’s will for us?
Polly Knight and her husband, Joseph Knight Sr., were some of the first believers in Joseph Smith’s prophetic calling. Polly and Joseph gave vital support to the Prophet in the work of translating the Book of Mormon. The Knight family left Colesville, New York, to gather with the Saints in Ohio and were later commanded to move to Jackson County, Missouri. As they traveled, Polly’s health began to fade, but she was determined to see Zion before she died. She had been in Missouri only a few days when she passed away (see Saints, 1:127–28, 132–33). Doctrine and Covenants 59 was received on the day of her passing, and verses 1 and 2 seem to refer specifically to her.
After promising to bless the Saints in Zion “with commandments not a few,” the Lord gave special emphasis to one commandment in particular: the command to honor His “holy day” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:4, 9). As you study Doctrine and Covenants 59:9–19, ponder why honoring the Sabbath would have been so important to these Saints as they sought to build Zion.
You could also ponder questions like these: Am I using the Sabbath day the way the Lord intended? How does keeping the Sabbath day holy help me remain “unspotted from the world”? (verse 9). What can I do to pay my “devotions unto the Most High”? (verse 10).
After reading the following verses, what are you inspired to do to more fully keep the Sabbath day holy? Genesis 2:2–3; Exodus 20:8–11; 31:13, 16; Deuteronomy 5:12–15; Isaiah 58:13–14; Mark 2:27; John 20:1–19; Acts 20:7.
You might also benefit from one of the many videos or other resources about the Sabbath found at sabbath.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Doctrine and Covenants 58:26–29.
Perhaps family members could make a list of some of the things they are “anxiously engaged” in. Are all of them “good cause[s]”? Why does the Lord want us to do “many things of [our] own free will”? Ask each family member to think of what they can do this week to “bring to pass much righteousness.” Later they can report on what they did.
Doctrine and Covenants 58:42–43.
What do family members feel when they read these verses? How could these verses help someone who needs to repent?
Doctrine and Covenants 59:3–19.
You could also notice how words like “joy,” “rejoicing,” “cheerful,” and “glad” are used to describe the commandment to honor the Sabbath day. How can you make your Sabbath more joyful? Maybe your family could make a matching game with cards that depict things you can do to keep the Sabbath day holy.
Doctrine and Covenants 59:18–21.
What can we do to “confess … [God’s] hand in all things”? (verse 21). Consider going for a walk or looking at pictures, noticing things that “please the eye and … gladden the heart” (verse 18). You could take or draw pictures of what you find and then talk about how you can show your gratitude for these things. How have we seen God’s hand in our lives?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Choose the Right,” Hymns, no. 239.