“August 2–8. Doctrine and Covenants 85–87: ‘Stand Ye in Holy Places,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“August 2–8. Doctrine and Covenants 85–87,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021
Record Your Impressions
Christmas Day is usually a time to ponder messages like “peace on earth” and “good will toward men” (see Luke 2:14). But on December 25, 1832, Joseph Smith’s mind was occupied with the threat of war. South Carolina had just defied the United States government and was preparing for battle. And the Lord revealed to Joseph that this was only the beginning: “War,” He declared, “will be poured out upon all nations” (Doctrine and Covenants 87:2). It seemed like this prophecy would be fulfilled very soon.
But then it wasn’t. Within just a few weeks, South Carolina and the U.S. government reached a compromise, and war was averted. But revelation is not always fulfilled at the time or in the way we expect. Nearly 30 years later, long after Joseph Smith was martyred and the Saints had moved west, South Carolina did rebel and civil war followed. Since then, war throughout the world has caused “the earth [to] mourn” (Doctrine and Covenants 87:6). While the prophecy was ultimately fulfilled, the value of this revelation is less in predicting when calamity will come and more in teaching what to do when it does. The counsel is the same in 1831, 1861, and 2021: “Stand ye in holy places, and be not moved” (verse 8).
The “history” described in verse 1 recorded the names of those who had “receive[d] inheritances legally” in Zion (see also Doctrine and Covenants 72:24–26). However, this history was more than just administrative—it was also a valuable record of the Saints’ “manner of life, their faith, and works” (verse 2).
Are you keeping a personal history or journal? What could you record about your manner of life, faith, and works that might be a blessing to future generations? How might this history be a blessing for you?
See also “Journals: ‘Of Far More Worth than Gold,’” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff (2011), 125–33; “Turning Hearts” (video, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Ponder the words Joseph Smith used to describe the Spirit in Doctrine and Covenants 85:6. In what sense is the Spirit’s voice “still” and “small”? What are some things it “pierceth” in your life?
As you think about how the Spirit speaks to you, consider these descriptions given through Joseph Smith: Doctrine and Covenants 6:22–24; 8:2–3; 9:7–9; 11:12–13; 128:1. Based on what you have read, what do you feel you need to do to better perceive the Spirit’s voice?
Doctrine and Covenants 86:1–7 contains the Lord’s explanation of the parable of the wheat and the tares, with a slightly different emphasis than He gave in Matthew 13:24–30, 37–43. As you compare the two, what differences do you notice? Consider why this parable—with these differences—is worth repeating “in the last days, even now” (Doctrine and Covenants 86:4). What can you learn from this parable and its latter-day interpretation?
As recorded in verses 8–11, the Lord then spoke of priesthood, restoration, and the salvation of His people. What connections do you see between these verses and the parable of the wheat and the tares? How can you be as “a savior unto [the Lord’s] people”? (verse 11).
In addition to the physical dangers of “bloodshed … [and] famine, and plague, and earthquake” (Doctrine and Covenants 87:6), the counsel in this revelation can also apply to spiritual dangers we all face in the latter days. What are your “holy places” (verse 8) where you find peace and safety? What makes a place holy? In addition to physical locations, perhaps there are holy times, holy practices, or holy thoughts that can provide peace. What does it mean to “be not moved” from these places?
- Doctrine and Covenants 85:6.
How can you teach your family to recognize the still, small voice of the Spirit? Maybe you could play a game in which someone whispers important instructions amid distracting noises. What might be distracting us from hearing the Holy Ghost? Perhaps family members could share what they do to hear the voice of the Spirit.
- Doctrine and Covenants 86.
Drawing or looking at pictures could help your family understand the parable of the wheat and the tares. You might want to start with pictures of things described in Matthew 13:24–30. Then your family could label the pictures with explanations from Doctrine and Covenants 86:1–7. How are we like the wheat? How can we be like the angels who gather the wheat?
- Doctrine and Covenants 87:8.
To introduce a discussion about how to make your home a holier place, you could invite family members to design a home for someone who loves the Savior. This may lead to ideas about how to “redesign” your home to make it a place of peace amid the spiritual danger in the world. Songs like “Love at Home,” “Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth” (Hymns, nos. 294, 298), or “Where Love Is” (Children’s Songbook, 138–39) could give you ideas.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Where Love Is,” Children’s Songbook, 138–39.