“Unit 19: Day 2, Doctrine and Covenants 88:41–69,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2017)
“Unit 19: Day 2,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide
This is the second of three lessons that explore the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 88. The portion of the revelation covered in this lesson was given at a conference of high priests in Kirtland, Ohio, on December 27 and 28, 1832. It includes Jesus Christ’s explanation of how God governs His creations and an invitation for us to draw near to Him.
Have you ever looked at the stars and thought about God and His creations? What questions or thoughts have you pondered as you gazed at the sky?
When people contemplate the vastness of God’s creations, they sometimes feel small and insignificant. They may wonder if God is aware of them. Many of the verses you will study today in Doctrine and Covenants 88 show God’s awareness of you and His desire to draw near to you.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:41. Think about how this verse shows that God has the power to be aware of you and your needs. Then read Doctrine and Covenants 88:42–45, and identify how God governs His creations, including the sun, moon, stars, and planets. You may want to mark what you find.
- Think about some of God’s creations in the heavens and on the earth. In your scripture study journal, write about one of God’s creations that amazes you. What does that creation teach you about the Creator?
- Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:46–47, looking for what the Lord said we are seeing when we view God’s creations. Then answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What are we seeing when we view even the least of God’s creations?
How do the creations you see in the heavens and on the earth help to increase your testimony of God?
- Study Doctrine and Covenants 88:48–50. In your scripture study journal, summarize these verses in your own words. What do these verses teach about Jesus Christ?
Doctrine and Covenants 88:51–60 contains a parable that helps us understand God’s interactions with the kingdoms He has created. A parable is a story that uses symbols to teach truth.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:51–55, looking for what the man in the parable commanded each of his servants to do and what he promised each of his servants.
In Doctrine and Covenants 88:56–60, we read that the lord of the field visited each of his servants when it was their turn: “They all received the light of the countenance of their lord, every man in his hour” (D&C 88:58).
Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:61, looking for what this parable teaches us about how God interacts with the kingdoms He has created.
The earth we inhabit is one of the kingdoms the Lord has promised to visit. One truth we can learn from this parable is that the Lord will visit each of His kingdoms and their inhabitants in His time. You may want to write this truth in your scriptures.
We will enjoy the Lord’s presence on the earth during the Millennium, after His Second Coming.
Ponder the following questions: How close do you feel to the Lord? Would you like to feel closer to Him?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:62–63, looking for things we can do to invite the Lord to draw near to us. You may want to mark what you find.
- Do the following in your scripture study journal:
Write a principle you learn from Doctrine and Covenants 88:63 about drawing near to the Lord.
Write three action words from verse 63 that give you insight about how you can draw nearer to the Lord.
Answer the following question: What have you done to seek, ask, and knock in order to draw nearer to the Lord?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:64, looking for what the Lord promises those who pray to the Father in His name.
What did the Savior teach about how Heavenly Father answers our prayers? In this verse the phrase “expedient for you” could be rephrased as “best for you.” Therefore, one principle we can learn from this verse is that Heavenly Father answers our prayers in the ways that He knows are best for us.
The following statement by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles can help you understand why you should feel grateful even when Heavenly Father answers a prayer in a way that is different from what you hope or expect: “It is so hard when sincere prayer about something you desire very much is not answered the way you want. It is difficult to understand why your exercise of deep and sincere faith from an obedient life does not grant the desired result. … At times it is difficult to recognize what is best or expedient for you over time. Your life will be easier when you accept that what God does in your life is for your eternal good” (“Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2007, 9).
- What should you do when the answers to prayers come in ways that you do not expect? In your scripture study journal, write about an experience you have had when Heavenly Father has answered your prayers in a way that was best for you.
In Doctrine and Covenants 88:66, we learn that one way God communicates with us is “as the voice of one crying in the wilderness.” Read that verse, looking for how God’s voice reaches us. Think about times when you have felt that God has been near to you even though you have not seen Him.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:67–69, looking for additional ways you can draw near to the Lord. You may want to mark what you find.
Using these verses, complete the following statement: If my eye is single to God’s glory, then .
In verse 67, the phrase “eye … single to my glory” means fully devoted to the work and purposes of God.
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
Who do you know who seems to be filled with the Lord’s light?
In what ways do you see the Lord’s light in that person?
In verse 68, notice that in order to have your mind single to God, you need to sanctify yourself. The phrase “sanctify yourselves” refers to the need to be purified and cleansed from sin. You can become sanctified through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the influence of the Holy Ghost as you repent of your sins, receive priesthood ordinances, and keep your covenants.
- Review the doctrines and principles you have identified in this lesson. Then imagine you are gazing at the stars with a friend who feels that God is not aware of him or her. In your scripture study journal, write what you would say to your friend.
Conclude this lesson by reading and pondering the following statement by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency:
“My dear brothers and sisters, it may be true that man is nothing in comparison to the greatness of the universe. At times we may even feel insignificant, invisible, alone, or forgotten. But always remember—you matter to Him! …
“God sees you not only as a mortal being on a small planet who lives for a brief season—He sees you as His child. He sees you as the being you are capable and designed to become. He wants you to know that you matter to Him” (“You Matter to Him,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 22).
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 88:41–69 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: