“February 15–21. Doctrine and Covenants 14–17: ‘Stand as a Witness,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“February 15–21. Doctrine and Covenants 14–17,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2021
Record Your Impressions
What did members of your class find meaningful in their personal or family scripture study? Perhaps you could invite the class to share one insight about participating in the Lord’s work from each section in Doctrine and Covenants 14–17.
What do class members know about the Whitmer family? (see Saints, 1:68–69). It may be helpful for them to list on the board some facts about the Whitmers. How do these facts help us better understand the Lord’s counsel to the Whitmers in sections 14–16? For example, why might the Lord have compared His work to harvesting a field?
To allow class members to share their thoughts about participating in the Lord’s work, you could write the following references on the board: Doctrine and Covenants 14:1; 14:2–4; 14:5, 8; 14:6–7; 14:9–11; 15:6. Class members could read one of these scripture passages in pairs and discuss what they learn about the work of the Lord. A few of the pairs could share with the class what they discussed.
Invite class members to share their experiences helping others come closer to the Savior, including as full-time or service missionaries and through ministering. How have they seen the Lord’s words in Doctrine and Covenants 15:6 and 16:6 fulfilled in their lives? What do we learn from these sections that can help us prepare to share the gospel?
Why did the Lord provide witnesses of the Book of Mormon? Class members could share ideas that occurred to them as they read Doctrine and Covenants 17. Additional ideas may be found in the scriptures referred to in the heading to section 17 or in “The Testimony of Three Witnesses,” found at the beginning of the Book of Mormon. How has the testimony of the Three Witnesses influenced our testimonies of the Book of Mormon?
Even if we have not seen angels or handled the gold plates, we can still bear witness of the Book of Mormon. What do class members find in section 17 (including the section heading) that they feel applies to them? If someone asked why we believe the Book of Mormon is true, what would we say? Perhaps class members could write a brief response, and you could invite a few to share what they wrote. The quote by President Ezra Taft Benson in “Additional Resources” could inspire members to bear their witness of the Book of Mormon to others.
It could be inspiring to have a class member share the experiences of other witnesses of the gold plates (see “The Testimony of Eight Witnesses” in the Book of Mormon and Mary Whitmer’s experience in Saints, 1:70–71). What do we learn from the experiences of these witnesses?
You might share selections from the video “A Day for the Eternities” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org) as part of your discussion about the Book of Mormon witnesses (the portion about the Three Witnesses begins at about 15:00).
President Ezra Taft Benson gave the following invitation to Church members in 1988:
“The Book of Mormon is the instrument that God designed to ‘sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out [His] elect.’ (Moses 7:62.) This sacred volume of scripture needs to become more central in our preaching, our teaching, and our missionary work.
“… In this age of the electronic media and the mass distribution of the printed word, God will hold us accountable if we do not now move the Book of Mormon in a monumental way.
“We have the Book of Mormon, we have the members, we have the missionaries, we have the resources, and the world has the need. The time is now!
“My beloved brothers and sisters, we hardly fathom the power of the Book of Mormon, nor the divine role it must play, nor the extent to which it must be moved” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson , 143–44).
Ask questions that invite testimony. An inspired question can be a powerful way to invite the Spirit. For example, when teaching Doctrine and Covenants 14:9, you could ask a question like “How have you come to know that Jesus Christ is ‘a light which cannot be hid in darkness’?” (See Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 32.)