“June 14–20. Doctrine and Covenants 64–66: ‘The Lord Requireth the Heart and a Willing Mind,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“June 14–20. Doctrine and Covenants 64–66,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021
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In the sweltering heat of August 1831, several elders were traveling back to Kirtland after surveying the land of Zion in Missouri as directed by the Lord. It was not a pleasant journey. The travelers—Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Ezra Booth, and others—were hot and weary, and tensions soon turned into quarrels. It may have seemed like building Zion, a city of love, unity, and peace, was going to take a long time.
Fortunately, building Zion—in Missouri in 1831 or in our hearts and wards today—doesn’t require us to be perfect. Instead, “of you it is required to forgive,” the Lord said (Doctrine and Covenants 64:10). He requires “the heart and a willing mind” (verse 34). And He requires patience and diligence, for Zion is built on the foundation of “small things,” accomplished by those who do not become “weary in well-doing” (verse 33).
As you read Doctrine and Covenants 64:1–11, think about a time when the Lord forgave you. You might also think about someone you need to forgive. How does the Savior’s compassion affect your feelings about yourself and about others? Why do you think the Lord commands us “to forgive all”? (verse 10). If you struggle to forgive, consider what the following resources teach about how the Savior can help: Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Ministry of Reconciliation,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2018, 77–79; Guide to the Scriptures, “Forgive,” scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Have you ever felt “weary” with all the “well-doing” you’re trying to accomplish? Look for the Lord’s message to you in Doctrine and Covenants 64:31–34. What does it mean to give your “heart and a willing mind” to God? (verse 34).
An ensign is “a flag or standard around which people gather in a unity of purpose or identity” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Ensign,” scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org). How has Zion—or the Lord’s Church—been like an ensign to you? Consider these other examples of things that are held up, like an ensign, to bless the people: Numbers 21:6–9; Matthew 5:14–16; Alma 46:11–20. What do these verses teach you about how you can help the Church be an ensign where you live? Look for other ways the Lord describes Zion in Doctrine and Covenants 64:41–43.
Matthew described John the Baptist as one who cried, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord” (Matthew 3:3; see also Isaiah 40:3). In Doctrine and Covenants 65, the Lord uses similar language to describe His latter-day work. What similarities do you see between what John the Baptist did (see Matthew 3:1–12) and what the Lord wants us to do today? What do you find in this revelation that inspires you to help fulfill the prophecies it contains? Ponder ways you can “make known [God’s] wonderful works among the people” (verse 4).
Shortly after joining the Church, William E. McLellin asked Joseph Smith to reveal God’s will for him. Joseph didn’t know it, but William had five personal questions he was hoping the Lord would answer through His Prophet. We don’t know what William’s questions were, but we do know that the revelation addressed to him, now Doctrine and Covenants 66, answered each question to William’s “full and entire satisfaction” (“William McLellin’s Five Questions,” Revelations in Context, 138).
As you read section 66, think about what the Lord knew about William McLellin and the concerns and intents of his heart. How has the Lord revealed that He knows you? If you have a patriarchal blessing, consider studying it. As you do, what does the Holy Ghost help you understand about God’s will for you?
- Doctrine and Covenants 64:8–10.
Family relationships provide many opportunities to learn to forgive. Maybe family members could talk about how forgiving each other has blessed your family. How has the Savior helped us forgive each other? How are we “afflicted” (verse 8) when we don’t forgive others?
- Doctrine and Covenants 64:33.
What does Heavenly Father want your family to do to bring about His “great work”? Maybe it’s going to the temple, sharing the gospel with a neighbor, or overcoming contention. Perhaps each family member could collect small objects, like rocks or buttons or puzzle pieces, and use them to represent “small things” we can do every day to “[lay] the foundation” for God’s great work. As a family, pick one of these small things to work on this week.
- Doctrine and Covenants 66:3.
How will you teach the importance of repenting? You could serve some food on a plate that is partially clean and read the Lord’s words to William McLellin: “You are clean, but not all.” Then you could clean the plate and share the food while discussing how Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to be spiritually clean.
- Doctrine and Covenants 66:10.
How can your family follow the Lord’s counsel to “seek not to be cumbered,” or burdened with many things to do? You could talk about the story of Mary and Martha (see Luke 10:38–42), and discuss how your family can keep from being cumbered by things that aren’t of eternal value.
For other ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Help Me, Dear Father,” Children’s Songbook, 99.