“Laborers in the Vineyard, Lesson 26: Sections 71, 73, 75,” Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide: Religion 324–325 (1981), 51–52
“Lesson 26,” Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide, 51–52
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ have a solemn obligation to declare the message of the Restoration.
The Saints are commanded to proclaim the gospel and the message of the Restoration, which includes the following important concepts:
Jesus is the Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God.
Joseph Smith and his legal successors are God’s true prophets.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true Church of Christ on the earth and possesses true authority, teachings, and ordinances.
The Saints are commanded to warn the inhabitants of the earth of the judgments which shall come upon the unrepentant.
The Saints have a responsibility to labor in the vineyard.
Prepare for and serve a mission.
Help prepare and support others to fulfill this obligation.
Be a living example of the gospel to all they associate with.
Sections 71, 73, 75
Use material from Historical Background and Notes and Commentary to teach each revelation in its historical context.
D&C 1:30. How does the Lord describe the Church restored through Joseph Smith?
D&C 112:21. How are the doors of the nations to be opened for missionary work?
D&C 60:2–3. What of those who are hesitant or fearful to spread the work?
For additional references see topical guide, s.v. “Missionary Work.” Basic Library
Teachings, p. 77. All souls are precious to the Lord.
Teachings, pp. 86–88. Counsel on teaching the gospel.
Teachings, p. 113. What is our most important duty?
Discourses, pp. 319–37. Counsel on missionary work.
Gos. Doc, pp. 355–70. Instructions to missionaries.
DS, 1:307–20. Responsibility of the Church for missionary work.
M of F, p. 206. “Every member a missionary.”
M of F, p. 204. Blessings of missionary service.
Spencer W. Kimball, “‛When the World Will Be Converted,’” Ensign, Oct. 1974, pp. 3–14. The challenge of the Church to take the gospel to every nation.
Spencer W. Kimball, “‛The Uttermost Parts of the Earth,’” Ensign, July 1979, pp. 2–9. Meeting the commission to teach all nations.
Spencer W. Kimball, “‛It Becometh Every Man,’” Ensign, Oct. 1977, pp. 3–7. Practical suggestions for doing member missionary work.
Wilford Woodruff, in Journal of Discourses, 21:122. Missionary responsibility of this generation.
Heber J. Grant, in CR, Apr. 1927, pp. 175–76. Describes the supreme obligation of Church members to “call upon the world to repent.”
George Albert Smith, in CR, Oct. 1916, p. 49. Obligation to preach to neighbors and associates.
Use the following case study to illustrate that every young man should keep himself worthy and should fulfill a mission.
James Adams couldn’t see why he, of all people, should fill a mission. He was slow of speech, hesitant about meeting people, and very uncomfortable at the thought of knocking on strange doors and asking to be admitted. “Missionary work is for other people,” he was often heard to say, “but not for me.” When the bishop issued a formal call to submit an application to serve, Jim was unnerved. Even when the bishop explained that the local elder’s quorum would be glad to help shoulder the financial burden, Jim was reluctant. “I just don’t see the need for me to serve a mission,” he told the bishop. “Aren’t there other ways to serve the Lord?”
Now ask the following questions:
How would you respond to Jim’s objections? What would you say to help him see the need for his service? Perhaps the following quote from President Spencer W. Kimball would help.
“The question has been often asked, Is the mission program one of compulsion? And the answer, of course, is no. Everyone is given his free agency. The question is asked: Should every young man fill a mission? And the answer of the Church is yes, and the answer of the Lord is yes. Enlarging this answer we say: Certainly every male member of the Church should fill a mission, like he should pay his tithing, like he should attend his meetings, like he should keep his life clean and free from the ugliness of the world and plan a celestial marriage in the temple of the Lord …
“Every person has his free agency. He may steal or curse or drink; he may defile himself with pornographic material; he may lazy away his life, fail to do his duty, commit sexual sins, or even take life. There is no force …
“Again the Lord answers the question: ‛And that every man should take righteousness in his hands and faithfulness upon his loins, and lift a warning voice unto the inhabitants of the earth; and declare both by word and by flight that desolation shall come upon the wicked.’ (D&C 63:37.) Did you note that he said ‛every man,’—and every boy that is becoming a man? Of course, we do not send young men steeped in uncleanness and sexual or other sins. Certainly such an one would need to be cleansed by deep repentance before he could be considered. And so we repeat it: Every LDS male who is worthy and able should fill a mission.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1974, pp. 125–26.)
You could divide the class into groups and tell them that they have five minutes to list everything they can think of that is a specific teaching of the Church. Bring the students together and list their ideas on the chalkboard. What is our most fundamental message as a Church? What principal things do we wish people who join the Church to have a testimony of?
Read Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s statement and ask the students to evaluate it in terms of what prospective members need. “Three great truths must be included in every valid testimony: 1. That Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world (D. & C. 46:13); 2. That Joseph Smith is the Prophet of God through whom the gospel was restored in this dispensation; and 3. That The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is ‛the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth.’ (D. & C. 1:30.)” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 786.)