“Unit 20: Day 2, Doctrine and Covenants 93,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2017)
“Unit 20: Day 2,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide
On May 6, 1833, the Prophet Joseph Smith received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 93. Jesus Christ explained the purpose of the first part of this revelation (D&C 93:1–20): “I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness” (D&C 93:19). These verses will be covered in more detail when you meet with your teacher for the weekly lesson. This lesson primarily focuses on what the Lord revealed in Doctrine and Covenants 93:21–53. These verses include the Lord’s instruction on gaining truth and light and the need to be “diligent and concerned at home” (D&C 93:50).
The Apostle John was a disciple of John the Baptist when Jesus Christ began His mortal ministry. He gave an account of the testimony John the Baptist bore of the Savior in the Gospel of John in the New Testament. Regarding this inclusion of the testimony of John the Baptist, Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained:
“From the latter-day revelation we learn that the material in the forepart of the gospel of John (the Apostle, Revelator, and Beloved Disciple) was written originally by John the Baptist. By revelation the Lord restored to Joseph Smith part of what John the Baptist had written and promised to reveal the balance when men became sufficiently faithful to warrant receiving it. (D. & C. 93:6–18.) [Doctrine and Covenants 93:15] is the key to the identity of the particular John spoken of. …
“… There is little doubt but that the Beloved Disciple had before him the Baptist’s account when he wrote his gospel. The latter John either copied or paraphrased what the earlier prophet of the same name had written. The only other possibility is that the Lord revealed to the gospel author the words that had been recorded by the earlier messenger who prepared the way before him” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1966–73], 1:70–71).
In Doctrine and Covenants 93:6–17, the Lord gave information from John’s record to help us understand more about Him. John taught that Jesus Christ grew from grace to grace until He received a fulness of the glory of the Father.
We too can receive a fulness of the glory of the Father as we follow the example of Jesus Christ. You may want to mark phrases that teach this truth in Doctrine and Covenants 93:19–20.
What are some responsibilities of being the firstborn child in a family?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 93:21–23, looking for what Jesus Christ revealed about Himself.
You may want to mark words or phrases in those verses that teach the following doctrine: Jesus Christ is the Firstborn among all the spirit children of Heavenly Father.
Because Jesus Christ is the Firstborn spirit child of the Father, He is the “appointed heir” (Hebrews 1:2) of all the Father has. However, He wants all of Heavenly Father’s children to share in this inheritance. We have the opportunity to be “joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17) and be numbered among “the church of the Firstborn” (D&C 93:22; see also D&C 76:51–54). Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught that “members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who so devote themselves to righteousness that they receive the higher ordinances of exaltation become members of the Church of the Firstborn” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. , 139). In this way we also can receive all that the Father has (see D&C 76:55; 84:37–38).
According to Doctrine and Covenants 93:22, we must be begotten through Jesus Christ in order to be partakers of the glory of the Firstborn. To be begotten through Jesus Christ means to be spiritually reborn and cleansed from all sin through the power of the Atonement.
- In your scripture study journal, explain why it is important for you to understand Jesus Christ’s role as the Firstborn of the Father. You may also want to record the feelings you have for Jesus Christ as you consider what His role as the Firstborn of the Father means for you.
Doctrine and Covenants 93:23 can be applied to all of Heavenly Father’s spirit children. You might replace the word ye in this verse with your own name. You could write your name in the margin of your scriptures and draw a line to the word ye.
While we lived with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the premortal life, we were taught by Them and had the opportunity to accept or reject truth. Read Doctrine and Covenants 93:24–26, looking for what the Lord taught about truth in these verses.
In the space provided, write about what you learn from the Lord’s definition of truth in verse 24:
Notice how Satan is described in Doctrine and Covenants 93:25. Notice how he seeks to influence us by distorting and diminishing our knowledge of the truth. In comparison, ponder what we learn about the Savior in verse 26.
Search Doctrine and Covenants 93:36–37, and identify additional principles the Lord revealed about light and truth. You may want to mark the phrase “the glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth” in verse 36. Remember that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have a fulness of glory, which includes a fulness of intelligence, or light and truth. Ponder how we benefit by receiving light and truth in our lives. One benefit is that by receiving light and truth, we can become like Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. (You may want to write this principle in the margin of your scriptures next to verse 36.)
- In your scripture study journal, write about why it is important for you to understand that by receiving light and truth we can become like Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 93:27–28, looking for what we must do to receive truth and light. In the oval on the right side of the accompanying diagram, write a principle that teaches how we receive truth and light.
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How does obeying the commandments help us receive truth and light?
When have you felt that you received truth and light by keeping the commandments?
When we lived with God before we were born on earth, we had agency—the ability to choose and act for ourselves. Read Doctrine and Covenants 93:29–32, looking for how our use of agency affects our ability to receive light and truth.
According to verses 31–32, what is the consequence if we choose not to receive truth and light?
These verses help us understand that we place ourselves under condemnation and hinder our spiritual progression by refusing to receive the light that is available to us.
Can we lose light and truth that we have already received? Search Doctrine and Covenants 93:39 to find an answer to this question.
In the oval on the left side of the diagram, write a principle stating what causes us to lose light and truth.
- In your scripture study journal, list some examples of traditions, or activities commonly done by many people, that could cause us to lose light and truth. Write a few sentences explaining how participating in one of these traditions could affect our ability to receive and keep light and truth from our Heavenly Father.
The following scenario can help illustrate how our personal choices to obey or disobey God’s commandments affect our ability to receive light and truth or to lose it. Read the following narrative, and identify how Maria’s choices affect her ability to receive light and truth. Pause after each paragraph, and think about why Maria’s condition has changed.
- In your scripture study journal, write about the importance of the decisions you make each day and how they affect the light and truth you receive and keep.
Consider how interactions with your parents or other family members can help you to grow in light and truth.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 93:40, and identify the responsibility God has given to parents.
In Doctrine and Covenants 93:41–48, the Lord instructed Frederick G. Williams, Sidney Rigdon, and Joseph Smith Jr. to do better at teaching their children light and truth and in ways in which they could set their families in order.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 93:49–50, looking for the Lord’s warning that applies to all families. As you study these verses, you may want to mark words or phrases that teach the following principle: We must pray always and be diligent and concerned at home, or the wicked one will have power over us.
Although this warning was given to a father, it applied to his whole family. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained ways that we can be “more diligent and concerned at home”:
“We can begin to become more diligent and concerned at home by telling the people we love that we love them. Such expressions do not need to be flowery or lengthy. We simply should sincerely and frequently express love. …
“… Children, when was the last time you told your parents that you love them? …
“We should remember that saying ‘I love you’ is only a beginning. We need to say it, we need to mean it, and most importantly we need consistently to show it. We need to both express and demonstrate love. …
“We also can become more diligent and concerned at home by bearing testimony to those whom we love about the things we know to be true by the witness of the Holy Ghost. The bearing of testimony need not be lengthy or eloquent. …
“… Children, when was the last time you shared your testimony with your parents and family? …
“We should remember that bearing a heartfelt testimony is only a beginning. We need to bear testimony, we need to mean it, and most importantly we need consistently to live it. We need to both declare and live our testimonies. …
“Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls. No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable. But … our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results. … Consistency is a key principle as we lay the foundation of a great work in our individual lives and as we become more diligent and concerned in our own homes” (“More Diligent and Concerned at Home,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 17–20).
- What do you think it means to be “diligent and concerned at home” (D&C 93:50)? In your scripture study journal, write about one thing you will do to be more diligent and concerned at home.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Doctrine and Covenants 93 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: