“August 9–15. Doctrine and Covenants 88: ‘Establish … a House of God,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“August 9–15. Doctrine and Covenants 88,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021
Record Your Impressions
Every so often, the Lord gives us a small glimpse of His boundless “majesty and power” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:47) through sweeping revelations to His prophets. Doctrine and Covenants 88 is such a revelation—one about light and glory and kingdoms that can make our earthly cares seem insignificant by comparison. Even if we can’t grasp all of what the Lord is teaching us, we can at least sense that there’s far more to eternity than what we now comprehend. Of course, the Lord didn’t speak of these grand mysteries to intimidate us or make us feel small. In fact, He promised, “The day shall come when you shall comprehend even God” (verse 49; italics added). Perhaps it was to that lofty end that the Lord urged His Saints in Kirtland to form the School of the Prophets. “Organize yourselves,” He said. “Prepare every needful thing; and establish … a house of God” (verse 119). For it is within God’s holy house—and in our homes—that He can, more than anywhere else, lift our vision beyond the mortal world, “unveil his face unto [us],” and prepare us to “abide a celestial glory” (verses 68, 22).
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Just days after warning that war would be “poured out upon all nations” (Doctrine and Covenants 87:2), the Lord gave a revelation that Joseph Smith called an “‘olive leaf’ … plucked from the Tree of Paradise, the Lord’s message of peace to us” (Doctrine and Covenants 88, section heading). How is this revelation like an olive leaf, a traditional symbol of peace? (see also Genesis 8:11). What truths in this section help you feel hope and peace in Christ?
The words light and law are repeated many times in section 88. These words have been used in other scriptures to describe Jesus Christ and His gospel (for example, see Isaiah 60:19; John 1:1–9; 3 Nephi 15:9). Mark or note verses where you find these words in Doctrine and Covenants 88:6–67, and write down what you learn about the Savior, light, and law. These verses may inspire you to make changes in your life to more faithfully receive light and live the “law of Christ” (verse 21).
See also Sharon Eubank, “Christ: The Light That Shines in Darkness,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 73–76.
In some ways, we are living in the time that the Lord described when “all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:91). As you read verses 62–126, consider how the Lord’s counsel can help you prepare for the Savior’s Second Coming. Here are a few questions to consider:
- Verses 62–76.
- Verses 77–80, 118–26.
Why might it be “expedient for you to understand” both doctrinal and temporal subjects? (verse 78). How are you following the counsel to “seek learning”? (verse 118). What do you think it means to learn “by study and also by faith”?
- Verses 81–116.
Consider noting prophecies about the Savior’s Second Coming in these verses. Why do you think the Lord would want you to know about these things?
- Verses 117–26.
Consider reading these verses with the temple in mind; what do you find here that could help you prepare to enter the Lord’s house?
See also D. Todd Christofferson, “Preparing for the Lord’s Return,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 81–84; David A. Bednar, “Seek Learning by Faith,” Ensign, Sept. 2007, 61–68; Saints, 1:164–66; “A School and an Endowment,” Revelations in Context, 174–82.
- Doctrine and Covenants 88:14–33, 95–101.
What do we learn about the Resurrection from these verses? How might these truths influence the choices we make?
- Doctrine and Covenants 88:33.
You could start a discussion on this verse by asking family members to talk about gifts they have been given—both those they received joyfully and others they did not. How can we show the Lord that we rejoice in the gift of celestial glory that He offers us? How do we rejoice in “the giver of the gift”?
- Doctrine and Covenants 88:63, 68.
These verses contain some action words that might inspire you to think of creative ways to teach the messages in the verses to your children. For instance, you might play a hiding game to discuss the phrase “seek me diligently and ye shall find me” (verse 63; italics added).
- Doctrine and Covenants 88:81.
As a family, identify some warning signs in and around your home, such as warning labels on medicines or traffic signs for drivers. How do these warnings help us? What does Heavenly Father want us to “warn [our] neighbor” about?
- Doctrine and Covenants 88:119.
To inspire your family to make your home like the description in verse 119, try something like this: Write phrases from this verse on strips of paper, and use them to cover a picture of the temple. Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:119 together, and let family members remove each strip of paper as they hear the corresponding phrase in the verse. What can we do to make our home a “house of God”? (verse 119).
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” Hymns, no. 100.