“August 9–15. Doctrine and Covenants 88: ‘Establish … a House of God,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“August 9–15. Doctrine and Covenants 88,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2021
Record Your Impressions
Sometimes a picture can prompt sharing. You could show a picture of an olive branch (or draw one on the board) and invite class members to share verses from Doctrine and Covenants 88 that help them understand why Joseph Smith might have called this revelation an “‘olive leaf’ … , the Lord’s message of peace to us” (section heading).
To help your class understand Doctrine and Covenants 88:6–50, you could write light and law on the board and divide the class into two groups. One group could review Doctrine and Covenants 88:6–13, 40–50, looking for things they learn about Jesus Christ from the references to light in these verses. The other group could search verses 13–26, 34–42, looking for what they learn about the importance of following His law. What do the truths about light and law in section 88 teach us about the Savior? How do they inspire us to become more like Him?
The Lord’s command to “sanctify yourselves” appears twice in section 88 (verses 68, 74). If you feel inspired to discuss what that means, you might start by exploring together definitions of the word sanctify or reviewing some of the passages listed under “Sanctification” in the Guide to the Scriptures (scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org). You could also invite class members to read Doctrine and Covenants 88:62–76, 119–26 and discuss questions like these with a partner: How do we become sanctified? What promises from the Lord do we find in these verses? Why does the Lord want us to be clean? They may also find answers to these questions in President Dallin H. Oaks’s message “Cleansed by Repentance” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 91–94; see also “Additional Resources”).
The counsel the Lord gave to help establish the “school of the prophets” in Kirtland (verse 137) could help your class in your efforts to “teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom” (verse 77). Maybe you could explore verses 77–78 and 118–26 and discuss how to make your class a “house of learning” (verse 119). Class members could write some “class rules” or principles based on these verses that will guide your learning in class. You might also ask class members to share how they are trying to apply these principles as they “seek learning” (verse 118).
If possible, display a picture of the nearest temple on the board, and invite the class to write next to it words from verse 119 used to describe the house of the Lord. Invite them to share experiences that show how the temple matches each description. You could also discuss how this verse could guide our lives.
President Dallin H. Oaks taught:
“Repentance begins with our Savior, and it is a joy, not a burden. …
“To be cleansed by repentance, we must forsake our sins and confess them to the Lord and to His mortal judge where required (see Doctrine and Covenants 58:43). Alma taught that we must also ‘bring forth works of righteousness’ (Alma 5:35). All of this is part of the frequent scriptural invitation to come unto Christ.
“We need to partake of the sacrament each Sabbath day. In that ordinance we make covenants and receive blessings that help us overcome all acts and desires that block us from the perfection our Savior invites us to achieve (see Matthew 5:48; 3 Nephi 12:48). As we ‘deny [ourselves] of all ungodliness, and love God with all [our] might, mind and strength,’ then we may ‘be perfect in Christ’ and be ‘sanctified’ through the shedding of His blood, to ‘become holy, without spot’ (Moroni 10:32–33). What a promise! What a miracle! What a blessing!” (“Cleansed by Repentance,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 92).