“October 18–24. Doctrine and Covenants 121–123: ‘O God, Where Art Thou?’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“October 18–24. Doctrine and Covenants 121–123,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2021
Record Your Impressions
Invite class members to choose one message from Doctrine and Covenants 121–23 that they would want to share with someone who is suffering. Let them explain their choice.
You may have class members who, because of difficult trials, have feelings similar to what Joseph Smith expressed in Doctrine and Covenants 121:1–6. After reading these verses together, you could invite class members to identify and share messages in verses 7–33 that give them hope and comfort during their trials. What does it mean to “endure … well”? (verse 8). How does the Savior help us endure well? How can we help each other endure well?
To help class members consider how trials can “give [us] experience” and “be for [our] good” (Doctrine and Covenants 122:7), you could give them a piece of paper and ask them to write down a trial they have experienced. On the other side of the paper, class members could write the words “experience” and “good.” As you discuss together Doctrine and Covenants 122, encourage class members to write any thoughts they have about the “other side” of their trials: the “experience” or “good” they gained. Some class members may be comfortable sharing how their trial ended up being for their good. Or they could read Elder Koichi Aoyagi’s experience in “Hold on Thy Way” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 126–28).
It could be interesting to contrast how “power or influence” is maintained in the world with how the Lord taught that power or influence should be maintained (see section 121). To assist in this discussion, you could make a two-column table on the board labeled Worldly Power and Powers of Heaven. Class members could fill in the table with words and phrases from Doctrine and Covenants 121:34–46. How might these verses change how we see our responsibilities in our families, as ministering brothers and sisters, or in other situations where we hope to influence others for good?
One way to discuss the counsel and wonderful blessings in Doctrine and Covenants 121:45–46 is to divide the class into groups and ask each group to study and discuss a phrase from these verses, such as “let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly” or “as the dews from heaven.” They could look up definitions of words, read related scriptures in the footnotes, and discuss what the phrases mean to them. Some groups may want to draw pictures to illustrate their phrase. Invite each group to share with the class what they learned.
Understanding that Jesus Christ “hath descended below … all [things]” can give class members the confidence to turn to Him. These additional scriptures can help explain what this phrase means: Isaiah 53:3–4; Hebrews 2:17–18; 1 Nephi 11:16–33; Alma 7:11–13. Class members could read these verses, along with Doctrine and Covenants 122:8, looking for something that builds their faith that Jesus Christ can help them in their trials. They might also find inspiration in hymns about the Savior, such as “Where Can I Turn for Peace?” (Hymns, no. 129).
The statement in “Additional Resources” gives further insight about how the Savior descended below all things. You might think of a way you could demonstrate how being “beneath” a heavy object makes us “perfectly positioned to lift [it].” How has knowing that the Savior descended below all things helped us in our trials?
President Dallin H. Oaks taught, “There are millions of God-fearing people who pray to God to be lifted out of their afflictions. Our Savior has revealed that He ‘descended below all things’ (D&C 88:6). As Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught, ‘Having “descended below all things,” He comprehends, perfectly and personally, the full range of human suffering’ [Ensign, Nov. 1997, 23]. We might even say that having descended beneath it all, He is perfectly positioned to lift us and give us the strength we need to endure our afflictions” (“Strengthened by the Atonement of Jesus Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 64).