“August 16–22. Doctrine and Covenants 89–92: ‘A Principle with Promise,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“August 16–22. Doctrine and Covenants 89–92,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021
Record Your Impressions
In the School of the Prophets, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught the elders of Israel about building God’s kingdom on earth. They discussed spiritual truths, prayed together, fasted, and prepared to preach the gospel. But there was something about the atmosphere that might seem odd to us today, and it didn’t seem right to Emma Smith either. During the meetings, the men smoked and chewed tobacco, which wasn’t unusual for the time, but it stained the wood floors black and left a strong odor in the air. Emma shared her concerns with Joseph, and Joseph asked the Lord. The result was a revelation that went far beyond smoke and tobacco stains. It gave the Saints, for generations to come, “a principle with promise”—promises of physical health, “wisdom,” and “great treasures of knowledge” (Doctrine and Covenants 89:3, 19).
See also Saints, 1:166–68.
When the elders in the School of the Prophets first heard Joseph Smith read the Word of Wisdom, they immediately “tossed their pipes and plugs of chewing tobacco into the fire” (Saints, 1:168). At that time, the Word of Wisdom was considered more of a caution than a commandment, but they wanted to show their willingness to obey. Perhaps you have already “tossed” from your life the substances the Word of Wisdom warns against, but what else can you learn from this revelation? Consider these ideas:
Look for phrases you may not have noticed—or thought much about—before. What do you learn from them?
What does this revelation teach you about the Lord?
What examples have you seen of “evils and designs … in the hearts of conspiring men”? (verse 4).
Think of the revelation as “a principle with promise” (verse 3)—enduring truths that guide decision-making—not just a list of dos and don’ts. What principles do you find that can guide your decisions?
Modern prophets have also warned of harmful substances and behaviors beyond those mentioned in the Word of Wisdom (see “Physical and Emotional Health,” For the Strength of Youth, 25–27). What are you prompted to do to better care for your mind and body?
See also Daniel 1; 1 Corinthians 6:19–20; Gospel Topics, “Word of Wisdom,” topics.ChurchofJesusChrist.org; “The Word of Wisdom,” Revelations in Context, 183–91; addictionrecovery.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
In section 90, the Lord gave instructions about “the ministry and presidency” (verse 12) of Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams—members of what we now call the First Presidency. What do you learn about the First Presidency from verses 1–17? Review recent messages from members of the First Presidency. How do their words “unfold the mysteries of the kingdom” to you? (verse 14). How do they “set in order all the affairs of this church and kingdom”? (verse 16).
See also Henry B. Eyring, “The Power of Sustaining Faith,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 58–60.
Ponder any experiences you have had that testify of the Lord’s promise in Doctrine and Covenants 90:24. Consider recording your experiences and sharing them with a family member or loved one—maybe someone who needs reassurance or encouragement. If there are blessings you are still waiting for, ponder what you can do to remain faithful as you wait to see how “all things shall work together for your good.”
Vienna Jaques was born on June 10, 1787, in Massachusetts. A woman of faith who had considerable financial means, Vienna first met the missionaries in 1831. After obtaining a spiritual witness that their message was true, she traveled to meet the Prophet in Kirtland, Ohio, where she was baptized.
Vienna obeyed the Lord’s counsel to her in Doctrine and Covenants 90:28–31. Her consecration to the Lord, including donations she had made earlier in Kirtland, came at a crucial time for the Church, when leaders were trying to purchase the land where the Kirtland Temple would be built. Vienna was “faithful, and not … idle” throughout her life and was eventually able to “settle down in peace” (verse 31) in the Salt Lake Valley, where she died at age 96.
- Doctrine and Covenants 89.
Your family members might enjoy drawing or finding pictures of foods and other substances mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants 89. Then you could play a game—family members could take turns selecting pictures at random, putting the things we shouldn’t use in the trash and the things we should use on a plate. How have the promises in verses 18–21 been fulfilled in our lives?
Reading “Physical and Emotional Health” in For the Strength of Youth (25–27) could prompt discussion about other ways to care for our health and about the blessings that God promises.
- Doctrine and Covenants 90:5.
Talk about how you “receive the oracles [revelations or prophets] of God.” How can we show that they are not “a light thing” to us?
- Doctrine and Covenants 91.
You might discuss how the Lord’s counsel about the Apocrypha (see verses 1–2) applies to media your family encounters today (see also Guide to the Scriptures, “Apocrypha,” scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org). You could also share personal experiences when being “enlightened by the Spirit” (verse 5) helped you discern between truth and error.
- Doctrine and Covenants 92:2.
What does it mean to be “a lively member” of the Church?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “The Lord Gave Me a Temple,” Children’s Songbook, 153.