“July 12–18. Doctrine and Covenants 77–80: ‘I Will Lead You Along,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“July 12–18. Doctrine and Covenants 77–80,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021
Record Your Impressions
Less than two years after the Church of Jesus Christ was restored, it had grown to over 2,000 members and was spreading quickly. In March 1832 Joseph Smith met with other Church leaders “to discuss Church business”: the need to publish revelations, purchase land to gather on, and care for the poor (see Doctrine and Covenants 78, section heading). To meet these needs, the Lord called on a small number of Church leaders to form the United Firm, a group that would join their efforts to “advance the cause” of the Lord (verse 4) in these areas. But even in such administrative matters, the Lord focused on the things of eternity. Ultimately, the purpose of a printing press or a storehouse—like everything else in God’s kingdom—is to prepare His children to receive “a place in the celestial world” and “the riches of eternity” (verses 7, 18). And if those blessings are hard to comprehend right now, in the midst of the busyness of daily life, He reassures us, “Be of good cheer, for I will lead you along” (verse 18).
Twelve years after the First Vision, the invitation in James 1:5 to “ask of God” continued to guide Joseph Smith when he lacked wisdom. When he and Sidney Rigdon had questions about the book of Revelation as they worked on the inspired translation of the Bible, Joseph naturally sought wisdom from God. As you read Doctrine and Covenants 77, consider recording your insights in the relevant chapters in the book of Revelation.
In addition, ponder how you can follow the Prophet Joseph’s example when you study the scriptures. You might ask Heavenly Father, “What am I to understand?”
The United Firm was established to manage the Church’s publishing and business affairs in Ohio and Missouri. It consisted of Joseph Smith, Newel K. Whitney, and other Church leaders who combined their resources to meet the temporal needs of the growing Church. Unfortunately, the United Firm fell into debt and was dissolved in 1834 when the debts became unmanageable.
The Lord told Joseph Smith and other Church leaders that managing a storehouse and a printing press would help “advance the cause, which ye have espoused” (Doctrine and Covenants 78:4). What would you say is the “cause” of the Church? Ponder this as you read Doctrine and Covenants 78:1–7. Perhaps thinking about these verses could influence the way you fulfill your Church calling or serve your family. How can your service “advance the cause” of the Lord? How is it preparing you for “a place in the celestial world”? (verse 7).
Do you ever feel like a little child, perhaps because of something you “have not as yet understood” or “cannot bear”? (Doctrine and Covenants 78:17–18). Look for counsel in these verses that can help you “be of good cheer” (verse 18) in such times. Why do you think the Lord sometimes calls His followers “little children”? (verse 17). You could also ponder how the Lord might be “lead[ing] you along” (verse 18).
Regarding Doctrine and Covenants 80, Elder David A. Bednar taught, “Perhaps one of the lessons the Savior is teaching us in this revelation is that an assignment to labor in a specific place is essential and important but secondary to a call to the work” (“Called to the Work,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 68). Think about your current or past Church callings. What experiences have helped you learn that Elder Bednar’s words are true? What additional lessons can you find in Doctrine and Covenants 79–80 that could help someone who has just received a new calling?
Doctrine and Covenants 77:2.
After reading this verse, family members could draw pictures of their favorite “beasts, … creeping things, … [or] fowls of the air” created by God. What do we learn about God’s creations from this verse? (see also Doctrine and Covenants 59:16–20). You could also sing a song about God’s creations, such as “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” (Children’s Songbook, 228–29), and display the painting that accompanies this outline.
Doctrine and Covenants 77:14.
This verse explains that John ate a book that represented his mission to gather Israel. What does the symbolism of eating suggest about how we should approach our role in gathering Israel or doing other things the Lord wants us to do? Here are some other scriptures in which eating is used to teach a spiritual truth: John 6:48–51; 2 Nephi 32:3; Moroni 4. Perhaps you could make a favorite family dish to eat together during this discussion.
Doctrine and Covenants 78:17–19.
Family members could draw pictures of blessings from God they are thankful for. What are we doing to express our thankfulness for these blessings? You could also discuss how your family is following the counsel to receive “all things with thankfulness” (verse 19). What does the Lord promise to those who do?
Doctrine and Covenants 79:1.
Share your testimony of “the power” you have received when you were ordained or set apart to callings in the Church. What specific gifts and inspiration did the Lord bless you with as you served?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Count Your Blessings,” Hymns, no. 241.