“September 27–October 3. Doctrine and Covenants 109–110: ‘It Is Thy House, a Place of Thy Holiness,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“September 27–October 3. Doctrine and Covenants 109–110,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021
Record Your Impressions
The doors to the Kirtland Temple weren’t supposed to open until 8:00 on the morning of March 27, 1836. But Saints who were hoping to attend the dedication services started lining up as early as 7:00. When the pews and the aisles quickly filled with eager worshippers, Joseph Smith suggested an overflow location. When that filled up, a second session was planned. And it wasn’t just the living who were anxious to be present. Multiple witnesses testified that they saw angels, inside the temple and even on the roof, during and after the dedication. It really did seem that “the armies of heaven” had come to “sing and [to] shout” with the Latter-day Saints (“The Spirit of God,” Hymns, no. 2).
Why the great excitement—on both sides of the veil? The promise that the Saints would be “endowed with power from on high” was one reason they had gathered to Ohio in the first place (Doctrine and Covenants 38:32). And greater things were promised for the future. “This,” the Lord declared, “is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people” (Doctrine and Covenants 110:10). The era we now live in—with accelerated temple work and ordinances available to millions of the living and the dead—had its beginning in Kirtland, when “the veil o’er the earth [was] beginning to burst” (“The Spirit of God”).
In some ways, the Kirtland Temple was different from temples we know today. There were no altars and no baptismal font, and ordinances like baptism for the dead and sealing had not yet been restored. But the blessings described in section 109, the dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland Temple, are the blessings we receive in the Lord’s house today. Review the following verses to find some of these blessings. While reading about them, ponder why they are important to you and your family.
Verses 9, 17–19, 26, 78–79: In the temple we take upon ourselves the Lord’s name.
Verses 22–23: As we make and honor temple covenants, the Lord gives us power to do His work.
Verses 24–33: As we attend the temple worthily, we can receive the Lord’s protection.
What does the Spirit inspire you to do to receive these blessings?
Section 109 is a dedicatory prayer that was given to Joseph Smith by revelation (see section heading). What do you learn about prayer from this section? As you read it, you might think about your own prayers. What impressions do you receive that can help you improve your communication with Heavenly Father? For example, what did the Prophet pray about in this prayer?
How do you feel about the Savior after reading Doctrine and Covenants 110:1–10? How has He manifested Himself to you in the temple? In what ways does He help you know that He accepts your efforts and sacrifices?
To understand the priesthood keys that Moses, Elias, and Elijah committed to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple, you might read Elder Quentin L. Cook’s message “Prepare to Meet God” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2018, 114–17). Elder Cook described how these keys correspond with the work of the Church today. You might also consider learning about these ancient prophets by studying “Moses,” “Elias,” and “Elijah” in Guide to the Scriptures (scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org). Ponder what you can do to help in the work related to these keys.
- Doctrine and Covenants 109.
As a family, find some verses in section 109 that inspire you to spend more time in the temple (for example, see the verses listed under “Ideas for Personal Scripture Study”). Talk about how you can do what President Russell M. Nelson suggested: “Find a way to make an appointment regularly with the Lord—to be in His holy house—then keep that appointment with exactness and joy” (“Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2018, 114). If you or your family have not yet been to the temple, you could visit temples.ChurchofJesusChrist.org to help prepare yourselves to go.
- Doctrine and Covenants 109:78–80.
The hymn “The Spirit of God” (Hymns, no. 2) was written for the Kirtland Temple dedication—and it has been sung at every temple dedication since. You might sing this hymn together and find phrases that increase your gratitude for latter-day temples. How does this hymn relate to the message of Doctrine and Covenants 109:78–80?
You can find the dedicatory prayer for the temple nearest you at temples.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
- Doctrine and Covenants 110.
As your family members read section 110 and look at the picture at the end of this outline, invite them to imagine how they would feel if they had been present with Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. Give your family an opportunity to share how they feel about the Savior.
- Doctrine and Covenants 110:15.
What might help “turn the hearts” of your children to their ancestors? You can find some fun ideas at FamilySearch.org/discovery. You could work together to identify ancestors who need temple ordinances and plan to perform those ordinances at the temple. You could also talk about how the work restored by Elijah in the Kirtland Temple increases your love for your ancestors.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “The Spirit of God,” Hymns, no. 2.
Below are the words of Latter-day Saints who were in the Kirtland Temple during its dedication and in other meetings that followed. Many compared their experiences to what the ancient Saints experienced when they were “endued with power from on high” on the day of Pentecost (Luke 24:49; see also Acts 2:1–4; Doctrine and Covenants 109:36–37).
“The ceremonies of that dedication may be rehearsed, but no mortal language can describe the heavenly manifestations of that memorable day. Angels appeared to some, while a sense of divine presence was realized by all present, and each heart was filled with ‘joy inexpressible and full of glory.’”1
“One of my earliest recollections was the dedication of the Temple. My father took us up on his lap and told us why we were going and what it meant to dedicate a house to God. And although so very young at the time, I clearly remember the occasion. I can look back through the lapse of years and see as I saw then Joseph the Prophet, standing with his hands raised towards heaven, his face ashy pale, the tears running down his cheeks as he spoke on that memorable day. Almost all seemed to be in tears. The house was so crowded the children were mostly sitting on older people’s laps; my sister sat on father’s, I on my mother’s lap. I can even remember the dresses we wore. My mind was too young at that time to grasp the full significance of it all, but as time passed it dawned more and more upon me, and I am very grateful that I was privileged to be there.”2
“In the evening I met with the officers of the church in the Lord’s house. The Spirit was poured out—I saw the glory of God, like a great cloud, come down and rest upon the house, and fill the same like a mighty rushing wind. I also saw cloven tongues, like as of fire rest upon many, … while they spake with other tongues and prophesied.”3
“Many visions [were] seen. One saw a pillow or cloud rest down upon the house, bright as when the sun shines on a cloud like as gold. Two others saw three personages hovering in the room with bright keys in their hands, and also a bright chain in their hands.”4
“God was there, his angels were there, the Holy Ghost was in the midst of the people … and they were filled from the crown of their heads to the soles of their feet with the power and inspiration of the Holy Ghost.”5
“[When] the Temple was finished and dedicated … they were two of the happiest days of my life. The fitting hymn that was composed for the occasion was ‘The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning.’ It was verily true that the Heavenly Influence rested down upon that house. … I felt that it was heaven on earth.”6