“May 31–June 6. Doctrine and Covenants 60–62: ‘All Flesh Is in Mine Hand,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“May 31–June 6. Doctrine and Covenants 60–62,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021
Record Your Impressions
In June 1831, Joseph Smith held a conference with the elders of the Church in Kirtland. There, the Lord organized some of the elders into companionships and sent them to Jackson County, Missouri, with this charge: “Preach by the way” (Doctrine and Covenants 52:10). Many of the elders did so diligently, but others did not. So when the time came to travel back to Kirtland, the Lord said, “With some [elders] I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man” (Doctrine and Covenants 60:2). Many of us can feel sympathy for these elders—we may also feel hesitant to open our mouths and share the gospel. Maybe we too are impeded by the “fear of man.” Maybe we doubt our worthiness or abilities. Whatever our reasons, the Lord “knoweth the weakness of man and how to succor [us]” (Doctrine and Covenants 62:1). Scattered throughout these revelations to early missionaries are reassurances that can help us overcome our fears about sharing the gospel—or other fears we might be facing: “I, the Lord, rule in the heavens above.” “I am able to make you holy.” “All flesh is in mine hand.” And “be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst.” (Doctrine and Covenants 60:4, 7; 61:6, 36.)
We’ve all had experiences when we could have shared the gospel with someone, but for some reason, we didn’t. As you read the Lord’s words to early missionaries who failed to “open their mouths,” think about your own opportunities to share the gospel. How is your testimony of the gospel like a “talent,” or a treasure from God? In what ways do we sometimes “hide [our] talent”? (Doctrine and Covenants 60:2; see also Matthew 25:14–30).
The Lord corrected these early missionaries, but He also tried to inspire them. What encouraging messages from Him do you find in sections 60 and 62? How do these messages build your confidence in sharing the gospel? In the days ahead, look for opportunities to open your mouth and share what God has entrusted to you.
The Lord’s warning in Doctrine and Covenants 61 was, in part, a warning about the dangers His people could face while traveling to Zion on the Missouri River, which was known at that time for being dangerous. This warning should not be interpreted to mean that we should avoid traveling by water. The Lord has “all power,” including power over the waters (verse 1).
On the way back to Kirtland, Joseph Smith and other Church leaders had a life-threatening experience on the Missouri River (see Saints, 1:133–34). The Lord used this opportunity to warn and instruct His servants. What do you find in Doctrine and Covenants 61 that encourages you to put your trust in the Lord as you face your own challenges? For example, why is it important to know that God is “from everlasting to everlasting”? (verse 1).
There are similar insights in section 62. What does the Lord teach you about Himself and His power in this revelation?
Ponder faith-building experiences you have had when the Lord helped you overcome spiritual or physical adversity.
Sometimes the Lord gives us specific direction, and other matters He leaves up to us to decide. How do you see this principle illustrated in Doctrine and Covenants 62? (see also Doctrine and Covenants 60:5; 61:22). How have you seen this principle in your life? Why is it good for us to make some decisions without specific direction from God?
Doctrine and Covenants 60:2–3.
Why were some early missionaries hesitant to share the gospel? Why do we sometimes hesitate? Consider role-playing how family members could share the gospel in a variety of settings.
Doctrine and Covenants 61:36–39.
What reasons do we see in these verses to “be of good cheer”? (see also John 16:33). Perhaps your family could write or draw pictures of things that bring them joy and collect them in a “good cheer” jar. (Be sure to include pictures of the Savior and reminders of His love for us.) Throughout the week when family members need a reminder of reasons to be happy, they could choose something from the jar.
Doctrine and Covenants 61:36.
How could you help your family remember that the Savior is “in [our] midst”? You could decide together where to prominently display a picture of Him in your home. How can we invite the Savior into our daily lives?
Doctrine and Covenants 62:3.
Maybe you could have a family testimony meeting after reading this verse. To explain what a testimony is, you could share portions of President M. Russell Ballard’s message “Pure Testimony” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2004, 40–43). Why is it good to record our testimonies?
Doctrine and Covenants 62:5, 8.
Why doesn’t the Lord give commandments about every aspect of our lives? According to verse 8, how are we to make decisions?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Testimony,” Hymns, no. 137.