“Unit 11: Day 1, Doctrine and Covenants 45:1–15,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2017)
“Unit 11: Day 1,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide
The Church continued to grow in Kirtland, Ohio, and opposition to and false reports about the Church also increased. The revelation found in Doctrine and Covenants 45, received in March 1831, brought joy to the Saints as they dealt with local prejudices. You will study Doctrine and Covenants 45 in two lessons. In the first part of this revelation, Jesus Christ testified of His role as the Son of God. He also spoke of the city of Enoch.
Who do you go to for advice when you are faced with a challenge or a difficult decision? What qualities does that person have that give you the confidence to share your feelings and listen to his or her counsel?
We are more likely to listen to someone who we feel cares about us personally and who has had success in the subject about which he or she is offering advice. The revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 45 came at a time when Latter-day Saints and others were hearing and reading conflicting messages about the Church. Read the section introduction of Doctrine and Covenants 45 and look for what circumstances the Saints were facing when the Lord gave them this revelation.
Notice the word hearken in Doctrine and Covenants 45:1. You might want to mark it. To hearken to someone means to listen attentively; it can also include both listening and obeying. When we truly hearken to the Lord, we will follow His counsel and commandments. At the beginning of this revelation, the Lord made declarations about some of His roles and about His efforts to help us. As we read these declarations, we can find reasons to hearken to His words. Watch for the words hearken and listen in the verses studied in today’s lesson.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 45:1, looking for what Jesus Christ said about Himself. You may want to mark what you find.
How does recognizing Jesus Christ as the Creator of this earth to which we have been sent help us to hearken to the things He says?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 45:2–3, and identify additional reasons to hearken to the Savior. Notice the sense of urgency in verse 2. We should listen to the Savior while there is time to do what He says.
Doctrine and Covenants 45:3 teaches us that Jesus Christ is our advocate with our Father in Heaven. Notice the word is in Doctrine and Covenants 45:3. Do you understand the difference between saying “Jesus Christ will be our advocate” and “Jesus Christ is our advocate”? The Savior not only pleads our cause at the Final Judgment but stands as our Advocate every day as we pray to Heavenly Father, repent, and seek to have the Spirit with us. Ponder in what ways you need Jesus Christ to be your Advocate in your everyday life.
To help you understand the word advocate and the relationship of an advocate to an accused person, draw a line matching the roles of persons on the left with the correct meaning on right.
This person is believed to have committed a crime.
This person pleads the cause of someone else.
This person hears evidence and determines consequences according to law.
Imagine you are guilty of breaking a law and have been brought to stand before a judge. How would you feel? Why would you be grateful for an advocate to plead your cause for you?
- Read Doctrine and Covenants 45:4–5, looking for how Jesus Christ fulfills His role as our Advocate and pleads for our salvation. Then answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
Why is Jesus Christ qualified to be our Advocate?
What was the Savior asking Heavenly Father to consider?
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles testified of the Savior’s interest in our current situations as well as our Final Judgment: “I am particularly gratified, and it is of great significance to me, that I may at any moment and in any circumstance approach through prayer the throne of grace, that my Heavenly Father will hear my petition, that my Advocate, him who did no sin, whose blood was shed, will plead my cause. (See D&C 45:3–5.) I rely heavily on that access to God, which he gives to all his children, for he is indeed no respecter of persons, and he that asks shall receive” (“I Know in Whom I Have Trusted,” Ensign, May 1993, 83).
The way Jesus Christ pleads for us is different than an advocate in a court representing man’s law because He has already paid the penalty for sin.
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How do you feel about Jesus Christ being your Advocate and not only pleading your cause but paying the penalty for your sins?
What do you feel the Savior wants you to do to better come unto Him and accept Him as your Advocate?
Study Doctrine and Covenants 45:6–10, looking for reasons the Savior gave for us to hearken to Him.
The Lord’s everlasting covenant spoken of in verses 9–10 is “the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. … It is everlasting in the sense that it is God’s covenant and has been enjoyed in every gospel dispensation where people have been willing to receive it” (Guide to the Scriptures, “New and Everlasting Covenant,” scriptures.lds.org).
Notice in Doctrine and Covenants 45:9 that Jesus Christ sent His everlasting covenant “to be a light to the world, and to be a standard for [His] people, … and to be a messenger before [His] face to prepare the way before [Him].”
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What do you think it means to “come … unto” the everlasting covenant (D&C 45:10)?
In what ways have you seen the gospel be a light or a standard to others?
In what way does the everlasting covenant, or the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, help prepare the way for the Lord’s coming?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 45:11, looking for what the Lord will share with those who hearken to His voice.
The Lord said that some people call Him “the God of Enoch” (D&C 45:11). Enoch was a great prophet who lived before the time of Noah and the Flood. The earth in Enoch’s day was covered in wickedness, just as it will be at the time of the Savior’s Second Coming, but Enoch led a society of righteous people who lived in a city called Zion. The inhabitants of Zion were eventually “separated from the earth,” or taken into heaven because of their righteousness (see D&C 45:12; Moses 7:69).
Read Doctrine and Covenants 45:12, looking for what the city of Zion is being reserved for.
Doctrine and Covenants 45:12–14 teaches us that the Lord has received the people of the city of Zion unto Himself and that He will reserve them “until a day of righteousness shall come.” At that time Enoch and his people will return to the earth to meet the Lord’s people in the city of New Jerusalem, which will also be called Zion (see Moses 7:62–64). All prophets have looked forward to that day. Because of the wickedness of the people on the earth, that day has not yet come, but the holy men who have looked forward to it will someday see it.
- Read Doctrine and Covenants 45:15. Then look back through Doctrine and Covenants 45:1–14 and ponder upon one of the Savior’s roles or characteristics that helps you to want to hearken to His voice. Explain in your scripture study journal why that role or characteristic helps you desire to hearken to the Savior’s voice.
One principle we can learn from these opening verses in Doctrine and Covenants 45 is that learning about the Savior and what He has done for us can increase our desire to hearken to His voice. The Lord introduced Himself and invited the Saints to hearken to His voice because of the importance of the rest of Doctrine and Covenants 45.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 45:15–16, looking for what the Lord said He would speak and prophesy of. How can you prepare yourself to hearken to the Lord’s words as you study the rest of Doctrine and Covenants 45 in the next lesson?
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 45:1–15 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: