“Unit 13: Day 3, Doctrine and Covenants 58,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2017)
“Unit 13: Day 3,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide
On August 1, 1831, less than two weeks after the Lord designated Independence, Missouri, as the center place of Zion, the Prophet Joseph Smith received the revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 58. This revelation was given in response to those who were anxious to know the will of the Lord concerning them in this new land. In this revelation the Lord counseled the Saints to be faithful in their tribulations and explained why He had sent them to Zion. The Lord also encouraged the Saints to use their agency to bring about righteousness.
What are some of the challenges you are currently facing in your life?
As you read the following paragraph, look for challenges the Saints faced in Missouri in 1831:
In January 1831, missionaries found a group of Delaware Indians living in the Indian Territory beyond the western border of Missouri. The Delaware Indians were interested in learning the gospel contained in the Book of Mormon. However, because the missionaries had not obtained the required permits to enter the Indian Territory and preach the gospel, and because of opposition from local Indian agents and ministers, the missionaries from the Church were forced to leave the territory. The missionaries then attempted to teach white settlers in Independence, Missouri, and the surrounding areas, but fewer than 10 converts had joined the Church by July 1831. When elders of the Church from Ohio began arriving in Missouri in July 1831, some were disappointed with what they found. Some of them expected to see a rapidly growing community of believers and a settlement that was prepared to accommodate the migrating Church members. A few expressed concern because the land in Independence was undeveloped and would require a great deal of effort to cultivate. Some of the brethren were encouraged to stay in Missouri and purchase lands to prepare Zion for the Saints who would come later.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 58:1–2, looking for what the Lord told the elders that may have helped them feel better about the challenges they faced.
From what you learned in verse 2, complete the following principles:
We will be blessed if we .
Our eternal reward will be greater if we .
Read Doctrine and Covenants 58:3–5, looking for what we often fail to see or understand when we are going through trials.
The Lord counseled the elders to have faith in Him and to look beyond the trials they were enduring and focus instead on the glorious future they would experience if they were faithful. The Lord’s message to the Saints in Missouri can help us endure challenges by keeping us focused on the blessings promised to those who endure tribulation faithfully.
- Answer one or both of the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How can trusting that the Lord will bless you help you endure tribulation faithfully?
When have you felt that you were blessed for being faithful during tribulation?
In Doctrine and Covenants 58:6–13, the Lord revealed some ways the Saints would be blessed for their obedience in helping to establish Zion. Make a commitment to stay faithful during your challenges so you can receive the rewards the Lord has prepared for you both now and in the future.
The Lord instructed Bishop Edward Partridge and Sidney Gilbert to stay in Missouri to manage the properties of the Church and purchase land in and around Independence, Missouri (see D&C 57:7–8). Bishop Partridge argued with the Prophet Joseph Smith about the quality of the land that had been selected. He felt that different parcels of land should be purchased instead. This disagreement generated hard feelings.
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How might the principles taught in Doctrine and Covenants 58:3 have helped Bishop Partridge choose to repent for arguing with the Prophet about which parcels of land should be purchased?
Consider current issues or situations in which some might respond to their Church leaders with “unbelief and blindness of heart” (D&C 58:15). What can you do to avoid making that mistake?
Bishop Partridge accepted the Lord’s rebuke with humility, and he was forgiven of his sins.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 58:16–23, looking for what the Lord directed Bishop Partridge to do to fulfill his calling. According to verses 21–23, what did the Lord instruct the Saints to do? What do these verses teach about those who try to use God’s laws to justify not obeying the laws of the land?
Imagine that as you are walking down a street you see an elderly person fall. In the following chart, circle what you should do.
Wait for the Spirit to prompt you to help.
Wait to see if someone else is going to help.
Wait for someone to tell you what to do.
Go help the person who fell.
Why did you choose that answer?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 58:24–28, looking for principles the Lord taught the Saints as they faced the challenge of building the city of Zion. You may want to mark the principles you discover. One principle taught in these verses is that we should be anxiously engaged in choosing to do good things and in bringing to pass righteousness. (The phrase “he that is compelled in all things” [D&C 58:26] refers to someone who will not act unless he or she is required to do so. Doctrine and Covenants 58:27 is a scripture mastery scripture. You may want to mark it in a distinctive way so you can locate it in the future.)
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What “reward” are these verses referring to? How can doing many good things of our own free will affect whether we receive eternal life?
What are some ways you can be anxiously engaged in doing good at home? At school? In your ward or branch?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 58:29–33, looking for what happens to those who do not use their agency to do good or who doubt the Lord’s commandments. Consider marking what you find.
- To help you memorize Doctrine and Covenants 58:27, write the first letter of each word in verse 27 in your scripture study journal. Use the letters you wrote to help you recite the passage. Refer to the scripture as needed. Repeat this activity until you can recite the passage using the first letters or until you can recite it from memory. Consider reciting and explaining Doctrine and Covenants 58:27 to a family member or friend.
How can you know if the Lord has forgiven you of your sins? Read Doctrine and Covenants 58:42–43, and mark what the Lord taught about forgiveness. (Doctrine and Covenants 58:42–43 is a scripture mastery passage. You may want to mark it in a distinctive way so you can locate it in the future.)
Complete the following principle from Doctrine and Covenants 58:42: If we , the Lord will forgive us and remember our sins no more.
The phrase “remember them no more” does not mean that God forgets our sins. God is omniscient, all knowing—He forgets nothing. However, sins that are repented of are forgiven and will be remembered no more by never being mentioned again.
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: What difference do you think it makes when a person believes that the Lord will forgive his or her sins and remember them no more?
Doctrine and Covenants 58:43 teaches how we can know if we have repented of our sins. Read this verse, and then complete the following principle: To repent, we must and our sins.
To forsake a sin means to completely turn away from it and stop doing it. As you read the following statement by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency, think of times when you have repented and felt the Lord’s forgiveness: “Once we have truly repented, Christ will take away the burden of guilt for our sins. We can know for ourselves that we have been forgiven and made clean. The Holy Ghost will verify this to us; He is the Sanctifier. No other testimony of forgiveness can be greater” (“Point of Safe Return,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2007, 101).
- Write the passage in Doctrine and Covenants 58:42–43 on a card or piece of paper, and recite it each time you kneel in personal prayer. Doing so can help you remember this important passage and remind you to pray for help in your efforts to confess and forsake your sins.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 58 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: