“September 6–12. Doctrine and Covenants 98–101: ‘Be Still and Know That I Am God,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“September 6–12. Doctrine and Covenants 98–101,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021
Record Your Impressions
For the Saints in the 1830s, Independence, Missouri, was literally the promised land. It was “the center place” of Zion (see Doctrine and Covenants 57:3)—the city of God on earth—which they were making great sacrifices to build. To them, the gathering of Saints there was an exciting and glorious prelude to the Second Coming. But their neighbors in the area saw things differently. They took issue with the claim that God had given the land to the Saints, and they were uncomfortable with the political, economic, and social consequences of so many people from an unfamiliar religion moving into the area so quickly. Soon concern turned into threats, and threats turned into persecution and violence. In July 1833, the Church’s printing office was destroyed, and in November the Saints were forced to abandon their homes in Jackson County, Missouri.
Joseph Smith was over 800 miles away in Kirtland, and this news took weeks to reach him. But the Lord knew what was happening, and He revealed to His Prophet principles of peace and encouragement that would comfort the Saints—principles that can also help us when we face persecution, when our righteous desires go unfulfilled, or when we need a reminder that our daily afflictions will eventually, somehow, “work together for [our] good” (Doctrine and Covenants 98:3).
Some of our afflictions in life are caused by our own choices. Others are caused by the choices of others. And sometimes no one is to blame—bad things just happen. Regardless of the cause, adversity can help fulfill divine purposes. As you read what the Lord said about the Saints’ hardships in Doctrine and Covenants 98:1–3, 11–14 and 101:1–16, what do you find that can help you with your trials? How can these verses influence the way you view the challenges you face? Ponder how your trials have worked together for your good and accomplished God’s purposes in your life.
While not everything in Doctrine and Covenants 98:23–48 will apply to your personal interactions with others, what principles do you find that can guide you when you are wronged by others? It may be helpful to mark words or phrases describing how the Lord wanted the Saints to handle the conflict in Missouri.
See also Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Ministry of Reconciliation,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2018, 77–79.
Just a few weeks after Joseph learned of the persecution in Missouri, a recent convert asked him to travel to Canada to share the gospel with his sons. Joseph agreed, although he worried about leaving his family, especially because of persecution and threats to his family and the Church. On their way to Canada, Joseph and his companion, Sidney Rigdon, prayed for comfort, and section 100 was the Lord’s answer to them. What do you find in the Lord’s response that may have reassured and helped them?
Maybe you’ve also had experiences that required you to balance concern for your Church responsibilities and concern for your family. How might the Lord’s words in section 100 help you in such situations?
See also “A Mission to Canada,” Revelations in Context, 202–7.
The parable in Doctrine and Covenants 101:43–62 was given to explain why the Lord had allowed the Saints to be driven out of Zion. As you read these verses, do you see any similarities between yourself and the servants in the parable? You might ask yourself: Do I ever question the commandments of God? How might a lack of faith or commitment allow “the enemy” to have influence in my life? How can I show God that I’m “willing to be guided in a right and proper way for [my] salvation”? (see verses 63–65).
Doctrine and Covenants 98:16, 39–40.
What in these verses can help us have more peace in our family? You could sing a song about peace or forgiveness, such as “Truth Reflects upon Our Senses” (Hymns, no. 273). Young children might like to role-play forgiving each other.
Doctrine and Covenants 99.
When John Murdock was called to leave his home “to proclaim [the] everlasting gospel” (verse 1), he had just returned from a difficult, year-long mission in Missouri (see “John Murdock’s Missions to Missouri,” Revelations in Context, 87–89). What do we find in section 99 that may have been helpful or encouraging to Brother Murdock? What message does the Lord have for us in this revelation?
Doctrine and Covenants 100:16; 101:3–5, 18.
After reading these verses, you might discuss how blacksmiths must heat metal intensely to remove impurities and then shape it by hammering it over and over again (see the video “The Refiner’s Fire” on ChurchofJesusChrist.org). You might also learn together about how other things are purified, such as water or salt. Maybe you could purify or cleanse something as a family. Why do we want to become pure? What do these examples teach us about how our trials can help us become “a pure people”?
Doctrine and Covenants 101:22–36.
How might these verses have helped the Saints who were facing persecution? How might they help people who feel fearful about the conditions of our world today?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Help Me, Dear Father,” Children’s Songbook, 99.