“Home-Study Lesson: Doctrine and Covenants 84–87 (Unit 18)” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual (2013)
“Home-Study Lesson: Unit 18,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual
This lesson will help students further understand and explain the doctrine of the priesthood. It also allows students an opportunity to share what they learned this week from their studies on how we can better act as instruments of God and magnify the priesthood.
Note: In preparation for this lesson, invite a student to bring a copy of a priesthood line of authority to class (a family member’s or perhaps their own). A copy of a member’s personal Melchizedek Priesthood line of authority can be obtained from the Member and Statistical Records of the Church by emailing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org with PLA in the subject line. An automated reply will send a form to fill out and return.
Help students review some terminology they learned this week by dividing students into pairs. In each pair, ask one student to turn away from the board so he or she cannot see it. Explain that you are going to write on the board a key word or phrase relating to a basic doctrine of the gospel. The students who are looking at the board will define or describe that key word or phrase quietly to their partners, and their partners will guess the word or phrase. The students will then switch roles, and you will continue the activity by writing a new word or phrase on the board.
Begin the activity and write the word priesthood on the board. After students have identified this word, continue the activity using the following words and phrases: ordinance, Aaronic Priesthood, covenant, Melchizedek Priesthood, saving ordinances. (If you feel it would be helpful, you may want to pause after each key word or term is identified and briefly review its definition as a class. Short definitions for some of them are available in the matching activity in Unit 18: Day 1 in the study guide for home-study seminary students. For more in-depth explanations, see “Priesthood and Priesthood Keys” or “Ordinances and Covenants” in the Basic Doctrines section of the appendix at the end of this manual.) After the activity is finished, ask the following question:
Which ordinances of the gospel are saving ordinances? (As students respond, write the following ordinances on the board: baptism, confirmation, conferral of the Melchizedek Priesthood [for men], the temple endowment, and the temple sealing.)
Explain that Doctrine and Covenants 84 teaches that Moses’s desire was to help other people draw nearer to God through the saving ordinances of the priesthood. Invite students to scan Doctrine and Covenants 84:6–17 to discover how Moses could trace his priesthood authority to Adam, who received it from God.
What do you learn about the priesthood from these verses? (Students may identify a variety of principles, but be sure to emphasize the following: The priesthood comes from God and is conferred by the laying on of hands by those in authority.)
At this point in the lesson, invite the student to show the example of a line of authority, either by reading it or writing it on the board. Help students understand that a priesthood line of authority shows how priesthood authority has been conferred from one priesthood holder to another, from Jesus Christ to a priesthood holder today.
Why do you think it is important that priesthood holders are able to trace their priesthood authority back to God? (See Hebrews 5:4.)
What experiences have you had that strengthened your testimony of the priesthood?
Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud the oath and covenant of the priesthood in Doctrine and Covenants 84:33–44.
What does the Lord promise to those who receive the priesthood and magnify their calling? (Students should identify the following principle: If those who receive the priesthood magnify their callings, God will sanctify them and give them all that He has.)
What are some ways Aaronic Priesthood holders magnify their callings in the priesthood?
When have you been blessed because a priesthood holder has magnified his calling?
To help students share some of the insights they gained during their study this week, you may want to ask some or all of the following questions. (Note: As you prepare for this part of the lesson, you may want to review day 2 of this unit in the study guide for home-study seminary students.)
What did you learn about the importance of giving diligent heed to the word of God? (See D&C 84:43–45, 54–58.)
What difference has faithfully studying and applying the word of God made in your life?
What responsibility do we have to the people of the earth? (See D&C 84:61–62, 85–88.)
How can you help fulfill the obligation to take the gospel to the whole world?
Ask students to summarize what they learned about the prophecy contained in Doctrine and Covenants 87.
How did your study of this revelation strengthen your faith that the Lord can reveal future events through His prophets?
How does Doctrine and Covenants 87 strengthen your testimony that Joseph Smith is a true prophet?
Affirm that every prophecy in Doctrine and Covenants 87 has been or will be fulfilled. Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 87:8 to learn what the Lord directed us to do so that we will be prepared for the wars and disasters that will be upon the earth in the last days.
What does the Lord command us to do? (Help them identify the following principle: We are to stand in holy places and be not moved until the Lord comes.)
What are some holy places that can provide us with peace and safety?
How have you felt blessed with peace or safety by standing in one of these holy places?
Conclude this lesson by testifying of the truths you have discussed.
To prepare students for their study of Doctrine and Covenants 88–89, you may want to invite them to consider the following: Have you ever felt alone or worried that Heavenly Father was unaware of your personal circumstances or needs? As you study Doctrine and Covenants 88, look for the Lord’s answers to such feelings. What “evils and designs … exist in the hearts of conspiring men” (D&C 89:4) in the last days? As you study Doctrine and Covenants 89, look for counsel the Lord gave that can protect you from those evils and designs.