“January 11–17. Doctrine and Covenants 2; Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65: ‘The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn to Their Fathers,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“January 11–17. Doctrine and Covenants 2; Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2021
Record Your Impressions
To encourage class members to share insights and experiences they had as they studied these scriptures, you could ask them to share a verse that caused them to ponder more deeply than usual. What impressed them about that verse?
Would your class benefit from reviewing the story in Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65? You could invite a class member to summarize it, or class members could tell the story to each other in pairs or small groups. Encourage them to include as many details as they can remember. How does this story strengthen our testimonies of Joseph Smith’s divine calling? What lessons do we learn from this story about how God does His work?
Consider displaying objects or pictures that relate to the work Joseph Smith was called to do, such as a Book of Mormon or a picture of a temple. Class members could find verses in Joseph Smith—History 1:33–42 that teach about these aspects of the Prophet’s mission. How does God’s work for Joseph Smith relate to the work God has for us? What do our living prophets teach us about this work?
Would your class benefit from a discussion about who Elijah was and about the sealing power he restored? Class members could read about Elijah in the Bible Dictionary or Guide to the Scriptures or review a story from his life (see 1 Kings 17–18). What does this information add to our understanding of Doctrine and Covenants 2? You might also talk about what it means to seal something. Maybe some objects could help, like a can of food, a plastic storage bag with a zipper lock, or a seal that ratifies a document. How might these objects help us understand what it means to seal families together? How does this power help fulfill the purpose of the earth’s creation? (see Doctrine and Covenants 138:47–48 and the statement by President Russell M. Nelson in “Additional Resources”). To help class members see how the prophecy in Doctrine and Covenants 2 was fulfilled, you could discuss Doctrine and Covenants 110:13–16.
Perhaps learning about the “promises made to the fathers” (Doctrine and Covenants 2:2) would help those you teach better understand the priesthood power that Elijah was sent to restore. Who are “the fathers”? (see Doctrine and Covenants 27:9–10). What promises did the Lord make to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? (see Genesis 17:1–8; 22:16–18; 26:1–5, 24; 28:11–15; Abraham 2:8–11). What does it mean to “plant” these promises in our hearts? How can doing this help us turn our hearts to our ancestors?
To inspire class members to turn their hearts to their ancestors, you could invite a few members to lead a discussion on the topic. Consider including the ward temple and family history consultant. You could begin by reading Doctrine and Covenants 2:2–3 and inviting discussion leaders to share experiences in which their hearts were turned toward their ancestors. What has happened in their lives that helped them want to learn about their family history? What suggestions can they give to help other class members get involved in family history and temple service? The statement by President Dallin H. Oaks in “Additional Resources” and the videos “The Promised Blessings of Family History” and “If We Put God First” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org) can also help inspire class members. You could also refer members to FamilySearch.org for ideas.
President Russell M. Nelson taught:
“Eternal life, made possible by the Atonement, is the supreme purpose of the Creation. To phrase that statement in its negative form, if families were not sealed in holy temples, the whole earth would be utterly wasted.
“The purposes of the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement all converge on the sacred work done in temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (“The Atonement,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 35). See also Moses 1:39.
President Dallin H. Oaks taught: “In the work of redeeming the dead there are many tasks to be performed. … Our effort is not to compel everyone to do everything, but to encourage everyone to do something” (“Family History: ‘In Wisdom and in Order,’” Ensign, June 1989, 6).