“November 15–21. Doctrine and Covenants 133–134: ‘Prepare Ye for the Coming of the Bridegroom,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“November 15–21. Doctrine and Covenants 133–134,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021
Record Your Impressions
When the Church was barely 19 months old, the Prophet Joseph Smith and other Church leaders laid out ambitious plans to compile God’s latter-day revelations into one volume and print 10,000 copies—double the first print run of the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, high costs tempered these plans, and mobs attacked the Church’s press while printing was in progress. They scattered the unbound pages, and although courageous Saints preserved some of them, no complete copies of the Book of Commandments are known to have survived.
What we now know as section 133 of the Doctrine and Covenants was meant to be the appendix to the Book of Commandments, like an exclamation point at the end of the Lord’s published revelations. It warns of a coming day of judgment and reechos the call found throughout modern revelation: flee worldliness, as symbolized by Babylon; build Zion; prepare for the Second Coming; and spread this message “unto every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (verse 37). While the original plans for the Book of Commandments were not fulfilled, this revelation is a reminder and a witness that the Lord’s work cannot be thwarted, “for he shall make bare his holy arm … , and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of their God” (verse 3).
Books sometimes end with a conclusion that restates or summarizes the book’s main points. Section 133 was originally meant to be the conclusion of the Book of Commandments, and it might be valuable to read this section with that in mind. What points does the Lord emphasize about His work? What do verses 57–62 teach you about the role the Lord wants you to play in His work?
Both section 1, the Lord’s preface to the Doctrine and Covenants, and section 133, the original appendix to the book, begin with the same plea from the Lord: “Hearken, O ye people of my church” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:1; 133:1). What does it mean to hearken? (see Guide to the Scriptures, “Hearken,” scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org). What invitations or commands does the Lord want you to hearken to in Doctrine and Covenants 133:1–19? What are you inspired to do to better prepare for His coming? How will you help those around you to prepare?
As you read in Doctrine and Covenants 133:19–32 about the events that will accompany the Savior’s Second Coming, you might ponder what the descriptions of these events suggest to you about the Savior and His work. What possible spiritual applications can you find in these descriptions?
As you read the description of the Savior’s return in verses 32–56, what causes you to look forward to that great day? What words or phrases describe the Lord’s love for His people? Consider recording your personal experiences with “the loving kindness of [your] Lord, and all that he has bestowed upon [you] according to his goodness” (verse 52).
The early Saints’ relationship with government was complex. When the Saints were forced out of Jackson County, Missouri, in 1833, they received no support or compensation from the local or national government despite their appeals for help. At the same time, some people outside the Church interpreted teachings about Zion to mean that the Saints rejected the authority of earthly governments. Doctrine and Covenants 134 was written, in part, to clarify the Church’s position on government.
How should Church members feel about governments? As you study section 134, consider making two lists: one list of principles you learn about government and another of the responsibilities of citizens. How might these ideas have been helpful to the early Saints? How are they applicable where you live?
- Doctrine and Covenants 133:4–14.
The spiritual opposite of Zion is Babylon—an ancient city that throughout scripture symbolizes wickedness and spiritual bondage (see D. Todd Christofferson, “Come to Zion,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 37; Guide to the Scriptures, “Babel, Babylon,” scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org). Is there anything you need to do as a family to, in a spiritual sense, “go … out from Babylon” (verse 5) and “go … forth unto … Zion”? (verse 9).
- Doctrine and Covenants 133:20–33.
As you read these verses together, your family could draw pictures of what they think the Second Coming will be like. You could also play or sing a song about the Second Coming, such as “When He Comes Again” (Children’s Songbook, 82–83), and discuss what your family can do to prepare for His Coming.
- Doctrine and Covenants 133:37–39.
Would your family enjoy reading these verses “with a loud voice”? (verse 38). What does it mean to share the gospel with a loud voice? What truths can we share?
- Doctrine and Covenants 134:1–2.
To help your family understand the importance of government, you could discuss questions like these: How is our family blessed by having rules? How is our country blessed by having laws? You could also make or color a picture of your country’s flag or memorize the eleventh and twelfth articles of faith.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Come, Ye Children of the Lord,” Hymns, no. 58.