Unit 32: Day 3, Hastening the Work of Salvation

    “Unit 32: Day 3, Hastening the Work of Salvation,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2017)

    “Unit 32: Day 3,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Study Guide

    Unit 32: Day 3

    Hastening the Work of Salvation


    Since the beginning of the Restoration, the work of the Lord has expanded throughout the world. We live in a time when the Lord is hastening His work. You have many resources and opportunities to contribute to the hastening of the Lord’s work.

    The Lord Is Hastening His Work

    What are some reasons someone might hasten, or accelerate, the pace of doing a task? Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:73, looking for what the Lord said He would hasten (see also Jacob 5:61–62, 70–71).

    Referring to Doctrine and Covenants 88:73, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “That time of hastening is now” (“Thus Shall My Church Be Called,” Ensign, May 1990, 17).

    We live in a time when the Lord is hastening His work. By hastening His work, the Lord is accelerating and further advancing His efforts to bring about the salvation of man.

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: What are some of the ways you have witnessed the Lord hastening His work?

    During President Spencer W. Kimball’s service as President of the Church, the Lord hastened His work. For example, missionary work expanded, and the Church published new editions of the scriptures. As he encouraged Church members to press forward, President Kimball said that the Church had “paused on some plateaus long enough. Let us resume our journey forward and upward” (“Let Us Move Forward and Upward,” Ensign, May 1979, 82). He also taught, “We must lengthen our stride and must do it now” (“Always a Convert Church: Some Lessons to Learn and Apply This Year,” Ensign, Sept. 1975, 3).

    When Church members “lengthen their stride,” they increase their efforts to participate in the Lord’s work. For example, they work more diligently to share the gospel, study the scriptures, and do temple and family history work.

    Hastening Missionary Work

    President Spencer W. Kimball told the Saints that the Lord was prepared to open doors for them to share the gospel, including in nations that did not allow missionary work. However, he also said that the Saints needed to prepare themselves to receive those opportunities. President Kimball also testified that if every young man prepared to serve a full-time mission, the Lord would open doors and provide a way for missionary work to go forth to the entire world:

    President Spencer W. Kimball

    “I think of the numerous nations that are still untouched. I know they have curtains [restrictions against outside influences], like iron curtains and bamboo curtains. I know how difficult it is because we have made some efforts. …

    “But I can see no good reason why the Lord would open doors that we are not prepared to enter. Why should he break down the Iron Curtain or the Bamboo Curtain or any other curtain if we are still unprepared to enter?” (“When the World Will Be Converted,” Ensign, Oct. 1974, 5, 7).

    Members of the Church followed President Kimball’s counsel and prepared to share the gospel. During President Kimball’s administration the number of full-time missionaries increased by more than 50 percent. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the governments of East Germany, nations within the former Soviet Union, and other nations where missionary work had previously been restricted began allowing missionaries to share the gospel in these countries. President Kimball’s prophecy was fulfilled, and it continues to be fulfilled as missionary work expands.

    President Spencer W. Kimball

    As President Kimball encouraged Church members to lengthen their stride, he clarified a responsibility of every young man in the Church: “The question is frequently asked: Should every young man fill a mission? And the answer has been given by the Lord. It is ‘Yes.’ Every young man should fill a mission” (“When the World Will Be Converted,” 8).

    young man reading scriptures

    Since then, prophets have continued to encourage every worthy, able young man to serve a full-time mission. Prophets have also welcomed young women to serve full-time missions if they desire to do so. In October 2012, President Thomas S. Monson announced an inspired change in missionary age requirements, allowing young men to begin missionary service at age 18 and young women at age 19. Every young man should prepare to serve a full-time mission and keep himself worthy to serve.

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. Why should every young man prepare to serve a full-time mission?

      2. How can preparing for a mission now help you contribute to the Lord’s work?

      3. How do you think the inspired change in the age requirement for full-time missionaries has contributed to the hastening of the Lord’s work?

    New Editions of the Scriptures

    What would you say if a close friend said to you, “I want to come closer to God. What should I do?”

    President Spencer W. Kimball

    Read the following statement by President Spencer W. Kimball: “I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 67).

    Read Doctrine and Covenants 1:6, 24–30, and identify why the Lord wanted Church leaders to publish the revelations. How can the scriptures help us lengthen our stride and contribute to the hastening of the Lord’s work?

    In the early 1970s, Church leaders recognized the need for Church members to become more familiar with the scriptures and to have a standard edition of the Bible for study and teaching. In 1979, after years of inspired, diligent efforts, the Church printed an official English LDS edition of the King James Bible. This edition of the Bible contained extensive study aids not previously available, including expanded footnotes with cross-references and other aids; improved chapter headings; excerpts from the Joseph Smith Translation; the Topical Guide; and the Bible Dictionary. In 1981, the Church published a new edition of the English triple combination—Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price—that included improved footnotes, chapter headings, maps, and an index. In 2009, the Church published the LDS edition of the Reina-Valera Bible in Spanish.

    Read the following statement President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles made one year after the release of the 1981 triple combination in English. Look for how he envisioned these new editions of the scriptures blessing lives and moving God’s work forward.

    President Boyd K. Packer

    “With the passing of years, these scriptures will produce successive generations of faithful Christians who know the Lord Jesus Christ and are disposed to obey His will.

    “… The revelations will be opened to them as to no other in the history of the world. … They will develop a gospel scholarship beyond that which their forebears could achieve. They will have the testimony that Jesus is the Christ and be competent to proclaim Him and to defend Him” (“Scriptures,” Ensign, Nov. 1982, 53).

    The scriptures testify that Jesus is the Christ. Studying the scriptures can help us receive a testimony of Jesus Christ and help fill our lives with the Holy Spirit. Great efforts have been and continue to be made to provide Church members with scriptures and helpful study aids in their native languages.

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. Why is daily scripture study important?

      2. How has your personal scripture study helped you assist in the Lord’s work?

    Hastening Temple and Family History Work

    Temple construction increased most significantly under the direction of President Gordon B. Hinckley. In 1995, when there were less than 50 temples operating throughout the world, he said: “I have a burning desire that a temple be located within reasonable access to Latter-day Saints throughout the world. … The work is moving about as fast as we can go. It is my constant prayer that somehow it might be speeded up so that more of our people might have easier access to a sacred house of the Lord” (“Of Missions, Temples, and Stewardship,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 52–53).

    Read Doctrine and Covenants 128:15, 17, looking for the responsibility we have to our ancestors. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated the following principle: “We have the covenant responsibility to search out our ancestors and provide for them the saving ordinances of the gospel” (“The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 25).

    The construction of temples and advancements in family history work are evidence that God is hastening His work on the other side of the veil.

    Elder David A. Bednar

    Read the following statement by Elder Bednar, looking for how you can contribute to the Lord’s work: “It is no coincidence that FamilySearch and other tools have come forth at a time when young people are so familiar with a wide range of information and communication technologies. Your fingers have been trained to text and tweet to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord—not just to communicate quickly with your friends. The skills and aptitude evident among many young people today are a preparation to contribute to the work of salvation” (“The Hearts of the Children,” 26).

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: What positive experiences have you had in doing family history work or going to the temple to participate in ordinances for the dead?

    Our Responsibility in Moving the Work Forward

    As you read the following statement by Elder David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, mark a blessing that is available to each of us:

    Elder David B. Haight

    “Brothers and sisters, the Lord is opening the way and making it possible to expand His work throughout the world, and what a blessing it is for all of us—each in his own way—to take part. …

    “Who but the prophets of God could have foreseen the miracle of the rapid expansion of the work of the Lord? Truly, as the Lord foretold in section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants, He is hastening His work in its time (see D&C 88:73)” (“Missionary Work—Our Responsibility,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 61–62).

    We can be blessed to take part in the hastening of the Lord’s work. Consider the opportunities you have to contribute to the hastening of the Lord’s work.

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. What are some ways you can contribute to the hastening of the Lord’s work?

      2. What blessings have you experienced as you have participated in the hastening of the Lord’s work?

    2. journal icon
      Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

      I have studied the “Hastening the Work of Salvation” lesson and completed it on (date).

      Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: