“June 28–July 4. Doctrine and Covenants 71–75: ‘No Weapon That Is Formed against You Shall Prosper,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“June 28–July 4. Doctrine and Covenants 71–75,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021
Record Your Impressions
Ever since he was a boy, Joseph Smith faced critics—even enemies—as he tried to do God’s work. But it must have been particularly heartrending in late 1831 when Ezra Booth began publicly berating the Church, because in this case the critic was a former believer. Ezra had seen Joseph use God’s power to heal a woman. He had been invited to accompany Joseph on the first survey of the land of Zion in Missouri. But he had since lost his faith and, in an attempt to discredit the Prophet, published a series of letters in an Ohio newspaper. And his efforts seemed to be working: “unfriendly feelings … had developed against the Church” in the area (Doctrine and Covenants 71, section heading). What should believers do in a case like that? While there is not one right answer for every situation, it seems that quite often—including in this case in 1831—part of the Lord’s answer is to defend the truth and correct falsehoods by “proclaiming [the] gospel” (verse 1). Yes, the Lord’s work will always have critics, but in the end, “no weapon that is formed against [it] shall prosper” (verse 9).
See “Ezra Booth and Isaac Morley,” Revelations in Context, 134.
We may be concerned when we hear people criticizing or ridiculing the Church or its leaders, especially when we’re afraid people we know and love will be influenced by that criticism. When something similar happened in Ohio in 1831 (see the section heading to Doctrine and Covenants 71), the Lord’s message to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon was one of faith, not fear. As you study Doctrine and Covenants 71, what do you find that builds your faith in the Lord and His work? What impresses you about the instruction the Lord gave His servants in this situation?
When Newel K. Whitney was called to serve as the second bishop of the Church, his duties were a little different from those of today’s bishops. For example, Bishop Whitney oversaw the consecration of property and permission to settle in Missouri, in the land of Zion. But as you read about his calling and duties in Doctrine and Covenants 72, you might notice some connections to what bishops do today—at least in the spirit, if not the specifics, of their duties. For example, in what ways do you “render an account” to your bishop? (verse 5). In what sense does your bishop “keep the Lord’s storehouse” and manage the consecrations of ward members? (see verses 10, 12). How has a bishop helped you?
See also Gospel Topics, “Bishop,” topics.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
After Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon returned from their brief preaching mission to repair some of the damage Ezra Booth had done (see Doctrine and Covenants 71), the Lord told them to return to the work of translating the Bible (see Bible Dictionary, “Joseph Smith Translation”). But He also wanted them to keep preaching the gospel. As you read Doctrine and Covenants 73, consider how you can make preaching the gospel an ongoing, “practicable” (verse 4)—or realistic—part of your life among your other responsibilities.
Responding to the command to “go ye into all the world” to preach the gospel (Doctrine and Covenants 68:8), many faithful elders sought additional information about how the Lord wanted them to fulfill this command. What words and phrases do you find in Doctrine and Covenants 75:1–12 that help you understand how to preach the gospel effectively? What blessings does the Lord promise to faithful missionaries? Consider how these instructions and blessings apply to you as you share the gospel.
- Doctrine and Covenants 71.
What were Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon asked to do when others were criticizing the Church and its leaders? How do we “prepare the way” for people to receive God’s revelations? (Doctrine and Covenants 71:4).
- Doctrine and Covenants 72:2.
How have bishops blessed our family? What has our bishop asked us to do, and how can we sustain him? Perhaps your family could make a card thanking your bishop for his service.
- Doctrine and Covenants 73:3–4.
Would your family benefit from learning about the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible? (see Bible Dictionary, “Joseph Smith Translation”). You could explore a few of the passages that were revised in the Joseph Smith Translation and discuss the precious truths the Lord revealed through the Prophet. For some examples, see the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 14:25–40 and Genesis 50:24–38 in the Bible appendix; various footnotes in Matthew 4:1–11; and Luke 2:46, footnote c.
- Doctrine and Covenants 74:7.
What does this verse teach us about Jesus Christ and little children?
- Doctrine and Covenants 75:3–5, 13, 16.
You can help your family understand how the Lord wants us to serve Him by talking about the difference between being “idle” and “labor[ing] with [our] might.” Perhaps you could select some household chores and invite family members to demonstrate doing those chores idly and then with all their might. How can we serve the Lord with all our might? According to Doctrine and Covenants 75:3–5, 13, 16, what does He promise His faithful servants?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Let Us All Press On,” Hymns, no. 243.