‘Let Every Man Esteem His Brother As Himself,’ Lesson 16: Sections 37–38

“‘Let Every Man Esteem His Brother As Himself,’ Lesson 16: Sections 37–38,” Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide: Religion 324–325 (1981), 31–32

“Lesson 16,” Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide, 31–32

“Let Every Man Esteem His Brother As Himself”

Lesson 16

Sections 37–38


The Lord provides for his Saints and expects them to lift others by administering to their needs and sharing the gospel with them.

Theme Analysis

  1. God cares for and watches over his children.

    1. He created the earth and furnished it abundantly for our benefit.

    2. He provided the means for all to be free and to obtain salvation.

    3. He is in the midst of his Saints and is continually mindful of their needs.

    4. He will not allow the enemy to overcome the righteous.

  2. God is no respecter of persons and desires that all receive the fulness of his blessings and be preserved from judgments.

    1. The world is corrupted and is in great need of the gospel.

    2. The world will be given the opportunity to receive his gospel and reap its benefits.

    3. Judgments must come upon the wicked in order that the righteous may escape the power of the enemy.

  3. The Saints must prepare and work diligently to extend the blessings of the gospel to all.

    1. Those who are prepared need not fear the future.

    2. All should practice virtue and holiness.

    3. Each should esteem his brother as himself.

    4. Saints should care for the poor and needy and administer to them.

    5. Every Saint should declare the gospel warning to his neighbor.

Study Sources

Student Manual

Sections 37–38; Enrichment A, “The Warning Voice”

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

Standard Works

Basic Library

  • Teachings, p. 218. God looks upon the whole human family as a tender parent and is wise and just in his dealings with all of his children.

  • Gos. Doc, pp. 256–57, 270. Importance of loving our neighbors and counsel concerning how to do it.

  • Discourses, pp. 271–74. We should love our fellow men and treat them with kindness and charity.

  • Howard W. Hunter, in CR, Oct. 1978, pp. 14–16. What is true religion? Admonition to be truly religious.

  • Marion G. Romney, in CR, Oct. 1978, pp. 129–32. Church members have covenanted with the Lord to care for the poor. Many scriptures cited to show that the Lord expects us to do so.

  • Marion G. Romney, in CR, Apr. 1978, pp. 142–43. We must love our neighbors as ourselves. Caring for the poor, needy, and handicapped is a requirement in fulfilling the law of loving your neighbor as yourself.

Additional Sources

  • N. Eldon Tanner, “The Great Commandments,” Ensign, July 1980, pp. 3–4. The importance of loving our neighbors as ourselves. The greatest joy comes from doing things for others out of love.

  • Howard W. Hunter, “All Are Alike unto God,” Ensign, June 1979, pp. 72–74. Our Father loves all of his children and desires them to embrace the gospel. Saints should look beyond personal prejudices and reach out in love to all people.

  • Spencer W. Kimball, “It Becometh Every Man,” Ensign, Oct. 1977, pp. 3–7. The best way to show our love for our neighbors is to teach them the gospel. God loves all his children and we must not sit idly by but must offer the gospel to them.

  • N. B. Lundwall, Inspired Prophetic Warnings, p. 54. Judgments shown in vision to President Wilford Woodruff.

  • Joseph Fielding Smith, “The Predicted Judgments,” Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year (Provo, 21 Mar. 1967). Because of wickedness the Lord will pour out his judgments upon the earth. See also Enrichment H, “The Last Days” in the student manual.

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

Note: Several sections of the Doctrine and Covenants deal with concepts treated in this lesson (such as judgments upon the wicked; preservation of the Saints; and declaring the warning voice). Though some reference can be made to these concepts, it needs to be correlated with more thorough treatments in other sections (see lessons 2, 13, 19, 23, 26, 33, 40, 52). It is recommended that the emphasis in this section be on the importance of unity in the Church and of loving and caring for our neighbors as God does for us.

What Is Religion? (Discussion)

Begin by asking what it means to be religious. You may want to ask each student to write a short answer to these two questions: What is a religious person? How can you tell if someone is religious?

Compare student responses and then discuss some of the statements the Lord has made in the scriptures about true religion (see D&C 38:24–26; James 1:22-2:26; Matthew 7:12; 25:31–40). List on the chalkboard items that are thought of as indicative of religious behavior, but are not necessarily always true indicators (such as Church attendance, giving talks, and knowledge of gospel principles). Also list items which are manifestations of true religion (such as service to others, missionary work, kindness, purity). Discuss the value of each approach to religion and the possible end products of each. Write on the board such words as unselfishness, empathy, and compassion. Ask students to share incidents they know of that illustrate the true application of these attributes. Conclude with some of the Lord’s admonitions concerning love and service and with your own personal testimony and challenge to students.

The Golden Rule (Case Studies)

Ask students how they would like to be treated by their neighbors in each of the following situations:

  1. You have been in a car accident and will be spending several weeks in the hospital.

  2. You are the head of a household and have lost your job because of a cutback.

  3. A member of your family has just died.

  4. You are blind.

  5. You have never been taught the gospel.

  6. You have just moved into a new neighborhood.

  7. You are part of a very small cultural or religious minority group in your area.

  8. Your house has just been destroyed by a fire.

Ask students to think of people they know who have experienced similar situations. What does the Lord expect of us in relation to them? What should we expect of ourselves?

The Lord Is No Respecter of Persons (Scripture Analysis)

List the following scriptures on the chalkboard and give the students a few minutes to read them: Doctrine and Covenants 38:16, 26; Acts 10:34–35; Romans 2:11; 2 Nephi 26:24–28.

Discuss the collective message of the scriptures. Whom does the Lord desire to receive the gospel and obtain its blessings? Does the Lord desire anyone not to receive it? Why does the Lord feel that way? What should be our feelings about it? What can we do about it? Discuss the concept of “covenant” or “chosen” people. What does it mean to be a part of the Lord’s chosen people? Chosen for what? Why? What are the obligations of the Lord’s chosen people who are heirs of the Abrahamic covenant? (see Abraham 2:8–11; D&C 1:4; 3:9–10; 29:4).