“Looking Forth to the Great Day of the Lord, Lesson 19: Sections 43, 45,” Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide: Religion 324–325 (1981), 37–38
“Lesson 19,” Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide, 37–38
Those who watch and prepare will be able to discern the signs of the times.
One of the great messages of the Doctrine and Covenants is that we are to prepare for the great day of the Lord.
We must follow the prophets and their counsel.
We need to “treasure” the prophecies in our hearts (D&C 43:34).
The faithful should “be looking forth for the great day of the Lord” (D&C 45:39).
“He that watches not … shall be cut off” (D&C 45:44).
Those who “have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide” will not be deceived (D&C 45:57).
Many signs relating to the coming of the Lord have been revealed (see references under Suggestions for Presentation), including:
The gathering of Judah
The times of the Gentiles
Wars and rumors of wars
The earth in commotion
Desolations and judgments
Signs shown on earth and in the heavens
Appearances of the Messiah to Judah
The Lord has revealed that Zion will provide the Saints with places of refuge and safety.
Those who are prepared are likened unto the wise virgins.
Those who “stand in holy places” will be blessed and have peace (D&C 45:32).
Zion and her stakes are the places of peace and safety.
Sections 43, 45; Enrichment B, “Establishing Zion”; Enrichment H, “The Last Days”
Use material from Historical Background and Notes and Commentary to teach each revelation in its historical context.
Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:1–55. This is the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of Matthew 24. Doctrine and Covenants 45 is a true scriptural review and commentary on Matthew 24. For helpful correlations, compare Matthew 24; Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:1–15; JST, Matthew 24; Doctrine and Covenants 45.
D&C 1:12. How near is the Lord’s coming?
D&C 29:11. In what manner will the Lord finally manifest or reveal himself?
D&C 29:14–16. What judgments are spoken of here in connection with the events of the Lord’s coming? Correlate with Doctrine and Covenants 45.
D&C 38:12. What sign is prophesied of in this passage? Damp;C 64:24. If now is today, when is tomorrow?
D&C 65:2. How does this sign help prepare the Saints for the coming of the Lord?
D&C 68:9–11. What promise is given to faithful members in the last days?
D&C 110:16. Why will the Lord’s coming be both great and dreadful?
D&C 112:25–26. Where will the vengeance begin? Why?
Matthew 16:1–4. Will all be able to discern the signs of the times?
Teachings, pp. 70–71. Through what established places will deliverance come to the Lord’s people?
Teachings, pp. 160–61. How does the Prophet Joseph Smith describe the events of the last days?
Teachings, pp. 162–63. Will the Saints escape all the judgments?
Teachings, pp. 279–80. How will the sign of the Son of Man be made known to the world at large?
Teachings, pp. 305, 340–41. What important sign is mentioned?
Teachings, pp. 365–66. What is the contrast between the righteous and wicked in the last days?
Discourses, pp. 121–22. Instruction on gatherings.
A of F, pp. 356–74. Overview of events leading up to the millennial reign.
DS, 3:1–52. Detailed review of the signs of the time.
Harold B. Lee, in CR, Oct. 1972, pp. 128–29. What should be the “guide” for every Latter-day Saint in understanding the signs of the times?
Marion G. Romney, in CR, Oct. 1971, pp. 68–72. Counsel to prepare for the Lord’s coming and discerning the signs.
Bruce R. McConkie, in CR, Apr. 1980, pp. 97–100. We rejoice and tremble at what lies ahead.
Bruce R. McConkie, in CR, Apr. 1979, pp. 130–33. We must prepare for whatever may befall us.
Harold B. Lee, “Preparing to Meet the Lord,” Improvement Era, Feb. 1965, pp. 121–27. Emphasis on family preparations.
Hugh B. Brown, “The Second Coming,” Improvement Era, Feb. 1965, pp. 114–18. “Frequent visits to the temple will encourage us to watch and be ready for his coming as the day and hour are not known to anyone, but they who do watch and prepare for that day will be able to read the signs of the times and approximate the time of the second coming.”
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 715–35. An extensive listing of the signs of the times.
Joseph Fielding Smith, in CR, Apr. 1966, pp. 12–15. An application of prophetic signs to current events.
Joseph Fielding Smith, Signs of the Times. This book deals with the Second Coming and the signs.
The teacher should note that lesson 52, “The Second Coming of Jesus Christ,” should be correlated with this lesson.
A meaningful discussion can be had as you work through the following scriptures in class, seeking to answer the question, What are the signs prophesied of?
D&C 43:25 (judgments)
D&C 45:25 (gathering of Jews)
D&C 45:26 (“wars and rumors of wars”)
D&C 45:27 (“iniquity shall abound”)
D&C 45:25, 28–30 (“times of the Gentiles”)
D&C 45:31 (“desolating sickness”)
D&C 45:33 (“desolations”)
D&C 45:40–42 (signs in the heavens and in the earth)
D&C 45:47–49 (judgments at the appearance of the Messiah to Judah)
For additional insights, check Notes and Commentary in the student manual under these references.
Discuss the fulfillment of the signs. Point out that they are a continuing process, not a sequence of singular occurrences. The signs should be assessed in view of these questions: Which signs have been fulfilled? Which are now being fulfilled? Which are yet to be fulfilled?
To help students see the importance of watching for the signs of the times, discuss Transparency 10, “A Chronology of the Earth’s Temporal History.”
D&C 45:34–38. What was the reaction of Jesus’ disciples to the prophecies of the Savior?
D&C 45:32. What does it mean to “stand in holy places”?
D&C 45:65–71. What are the promises of the Lord to the Saints of Zion?
What must the righteous do to be prepared? Discuss Doctrine and Covenants 43:20–21, 34. (“Prepare yourselves” and “treasure these things up in your hearts.”) Compare Doctrine and Covenants 45:56–59. (Be wise, receive truth, use the Holy Spirit as your guide, and be not deceived.) See also Doctrine and Covenants 45:39, 44. (“Be looking forth” for “he that watches not for me shall be cut off.”)