“August 2–8. Doctrine and Covenants 85–87: ‘Stand Ye in Holy Places,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“August 2–8. Doctrine and Covenants 85–87,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2021
Record Your Impressions
Class members could scan Doctrine and Covenants 85–87 for a word or phrase that seems important to them (perhaps one they have marked in their scriptures). Ask them to write their words or phrases on the board, and choose a few to discuss.
In Doctrine and Covenants 85:6, the Prophet Joseph Smith used descriptive language to tell about how the Spirit had spoken to him. What do we learn about the Holy Ghost from his description? You might ask class members to think about times when the Spirit spoke to them—how would they describe their experience? They can find additional descriptions in scripture passages like these: Luke 24:32; Mosiah 5:2; Alma 32:28; Helaman 5:30; Doctrine and Covenants 6:22–23; 11:12–13.
Can you think of an object lesson or demonstration that would illustrate the still, small whisperings of the Spirit? Maybe you could have some sacred music playing softly as class members enter the room. Class members could talk about how the music made them feel and how much harder it would be to hear that music if there were distracting noises. This could lead to a discussion about distractions in our lives that keep us from hearing the still, small voice. Class members could share what they do to increase their sensitivity to the Spirit—some counsel can be found in “Additional Resources.”
The following activity could help class members understand the symbolism in the parable of the wheat and the tares: You could write symbolic phrases from the parable (such as “sowers of the seed,” “tares choke the wheat,” “blade is springing up,” and “gathering of the wheat” [verses 2–4, 7]) and possible interpretations (like “the Apostles,” “the Apostasy,” “the Restoration,” and “missionary work”) on separate strips of paper and post them on the board. Then class members could work together to match the symbols with their meanings, using what they learn from Doctrine and Covenants 86:1–7 (they could also read Matthew 13:37–43). Why is it significant that the Lord addresses this revelation “unto you my servants”? (verse 1). What messages do we find that relate to our service to the Lord? (see also verse 11).
To help class members understand the need to “stand … in holy places,” you might begin by inviting them to list some of the challenges we face in the latter days. They could find some examples in Doctrine and Covenants 87:2, 6. Then you could discuss how the Lord’s invitation in verse 8 can help with these challenges. Questions like these could help:
What is significant about the word “stand” in this verse?
What makes a place holy?
What might move a person from a holy place?
How can we ensure that we are not moved?
Perhaps class members would be willing to share with each other examples of “holy places” and what makes them holy (you might point out that a holy place can be more than just a physical location). The video “Standing in Holy Places” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org) can give additional ideas. As they share, encourage them to talk about why those places are holy to them. How do these holy places help us find peace in the midst of latter-day perils?
Sister Vicki F. Matsumori, a former counselor in the Primary General Presidency, gave this counsel: “Because the Spirit is often described as a still, small voice, it is … important to have a time of quiet in our lives as well. The Lord has counseled us to ‘be still, and know that I am God’ [Psalm 46:10]. If we provide a still and quiet time each day when we are not bombarded by television, computer, video games, or personal electronic devices, we allow that still, small voice an opportunity to provide personal revelation and to whisper sweet guidance, reassurance, and comfort to us” (“Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spirit,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 11).