Important Items of Doctrine, Lesson 49: Sections 129–30

“Important Items of Doctrine, Lesson 49: Sections 129–30,” Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide: Religion 324–325 (1981), 97–98

“Lesson 49,” Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide, 97–98

Important Items of Doctrine

Lesson 49

Sections 129–30


Several significant doctrines revealed by the Lord to the Prophet Joseph Smith were included in Doctrine and Covenants 129 and 130.

Theme Analysis

  1. The Lord gave keys whereby members of the Church can discern whether messengers are from God or Satan.

    1. There are two kinds of beings in heaven: angels (resurrected beings) and the spirits of just men made perfect (nonresurrected beings).

    2. There is a key to detecting evil spirits.

  2. The condition and status of resurrected celestial beings is explained.

    1. Members of the Church will see the Savior as he is—a glorified resurrected man.

    2. Resurrected celestial beings dwell “on a globe like a sea of glass and fire” (D&C 130:7).

    3. The earth we dwell on will become a celestial planet on which faithful members of the Church will live in their resurrected state.

  3. A period of difficulties will precede the second coming of the Savior.

    1. The beginning of much bloodshed would commence in South Carolina.

    2. The difficulty would center around the problem of slavery.

  4. Obedience is the first law of heaven.

    1. Whatever principle of intelligence a person obtains in mortality will rise with him in the Resurrection.

    2. All blessings from God come through obedience to the law upon which they are predicated.

  5. The corporeal nature of the Godhead is explained.

Study Sources

Student Manual

Sections 129–30

Use material from Historical Background and Notes and Commentary to teach each revelation in its historical context.

Standard Works

  • D&C 129–30. Keeping in mind the theme of this lesson, read and ponder these sections.

  • D&C 46:16, 23. What are some of the gifts of the Holy Ghost which help in discerning spirits?

  • D&C 110:1–4. What description of the resurrected Savior do we have?

  • Abraham 3:2–10. Is there an order to the planets?

  • D&C 77:1. What will the earth eventually be like?

  • D&C 93:33–34. What is the relationship of spirit and element?

  • D&C 87:3. Where will the wars prophesied of in the latter days begin?

For additional references see topical guide, s.v. “Celestial Glory”; “Discernment, Spiritual”; “Godhead”; “Resurrection”; “Urim and Thummim”; “War.” See Bible dictionary, s.v. “Degrees of Glory”; “Urim and Thummim.”

Basic Library

  • Teachings, p. 312. If the heavens have been opened to a person, what does he know about the Godhead?

  • Teachings, p. 217. Why is revelation from God so important?

  • Teachings, p. 370. When was the doctrine of the Godhead first taught in this dispensation?

  • Jesus the Christ, p. 32. Who are the members of the Godhead?

  • A of F, pp. 39–40, 47–48. How significant are the differences between the Godhead as taught by Joseph Smith and as taught by sectarian ministers?

  • DS, 1:1–2, 38–39. What do we know about the members of the Godhead?

  • N. Eldon Tanner, in CR, Oct. 1978, pp. 68–72. instructions concerning the existence and character of the members of the Godhead.

Additional Sources

  • Melvin J. Ballard, Three Degrees of Glory. Pamphlet of a discourse providing many insightful comments and much instruction concerning the degrees of glory.

  • Orson Pratt, in Journal of Discourses, 16:322–24. Describes the celestiaiization of the earth.

  • Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, 8:200. Instructions concerning the future abode of the gods—the sea of glass.

  • Charles W. Penrose, in Journal of Discourses, 23:343–48. An extensive overview of the revelations confirming the Godhead.

  • George Q. Cannon, in Journal of Discourses, 24:371–76. Truth about the Godhead restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

  • Bruce R. McConkie, How to Worship, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [Provo, July 1971], pp. 1–7. A correct understanding of God and his attributes is necessary for us to truly worship or become like him.

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

Significant Doctrines (Scripture Analysis)

Use the following questions showing the doctrines the Lord revealed in Doctrine and Covenants 129 and 130. This could be given as a pretest before the lesson, or it could be used as a student assignment sheet.

  1. How can you detect an evil spirit who appears as if he were an angel of light?

  2. How is time reckoned?

  3. What relationship exists between the earth and angels who minister to mortal man? (see D&C 130:5).

  4. Where do angels reside?

  5. What is the destiny of this earth?

  6. What is the purpose of the white stone? Who will receive one?

  7. What is so significant about the Civil War prophecy in section 130?

  8. Why is it so important to acquire as much truth as possible while in mortality?

  9. How many individuals compose the Godhead? How is the Holy Ghost different from the Father and the Son? Why?

  10. Why is obedience the first law of heaven?

Discuss each question with the class, reading from the scriptures what the Lord had to say on each one.

Past, Present, and Future—Continually before the Lord (Chalkboard Illustration)

Doctrine and Covenants 130:4–7 provides an important insight into time relationships. It suggests that all time (past, present, and future) is continually before the Lord. This could be explored with the students through the following scriptures and chalkboard illustration.

  1. God does not measure time (see Alma 40:8).

  2. All things are present with God (see D&C 38:1–2; Moses 1:6). Present has both a space definition, “here,” and a time definition, “now.”

  3. Normal time divisions are not valid to God (see D&C 88:44).

  4. Mortal men can only perceive one portion of time because time comes to us in a linear fashion (i.e., on a line, one piece at a time). The following diagram illustrates this.

    Man’s Perception






    Man can remember things that happen in his own past or he can imagine things which will happen in the future but he can only perceive (sense) the present.

  5. The scriptures teach that God does not have this limitation, that he perceives time, not in a linear fashion but in total, all at the same time. The following diagram illustrates this difference.

    God’s Perception




  6. This attribute is one of the things that allows God to know all things (see D&C 88:41).