“Lesson 17: Doctrine and Covenants 43–45,” Doctrine and Covenants Teacher Manual (2017)
“Lesson 17,” Doctrine and Covenants Teacher Manual
When Joseph Smith arrived in Kirtland, Ohio, in February 1831, he found that some converts had been misled by excessive religious fervor and counterfeit revelations. Some claimed to receive revelations, including a woman known as Mrs. Hubble, who called herself a prophetess. Because she had deceived some of the Saints, the Prophet Joseph Smith prayed about the matter and received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 43. In this section, the Lord provided truths that reminded the Saints of God’s pattern for giving revelation to the Church.
The Lord had previously called elders of the Church to declare the gospel (see D&C 42:4–8). Soon after that commandment was given, the Lord gave a revelation, now recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 44, instructing the elders to prepare for a conference. The Lord promised them that if they would exercise faith in Him, they would receive His Spirit and overcome their enemies.
As the Church grew in Kirtland, hostility toward the Church increased. Critics attacked the Church in newspapers and made other efforts to oppose the Saints. In March 1831, during this time of opposition, Joseph Smith received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 45. In this revelation, the Lord described the latter days, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and the New Jerusalem, or city of Zion.
- November 1830–February 1831
Some converts in Kirtland, Ohio, claimed to receive letters or writings from heaven.
- Early 1831
False reports about the Saints and their beliefs appeared in Ohio newspapers such as the Painesville Telegraph.
- February 1831
Mrs. Hubble, a recent convert in Ohio, claimed to be a prophetess.
- February 1831
Doctrine and Covenants 43 was received.
- February 1831
Doctrine and Covenants 44 was received.
- March 7, 1831
Doctrine and Covenants 45 was received.
- Early June 1831
A Church conference was held in Kirtland, Ohio.
Read the following scenario aloud to the class:
You hear about a person who claims to believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true but who also claims that the current prophet does not receive revelation. This individual also professes to receive revelation for the Church.
How would you respond to this individual’s claims?
Invite students to look for a truth as they study Doctrine and Covenants 43 that would help them know how to respond to this individual’s claims.
Explain that when Joseph Smith arrived in Kirtland, Ohio, in February 1831, he found that many converts had been misled by false spiritual manifestations and revelations. The same month the Prophet arrived in Kirtland, a woman known as Mrs. Hubble came to Kirtland, claiming to be a prophetess. She professed to believe the Book of Mormon and to receive revelations for the Church. Because Mrs. Hubble’s and others’ counterfeit revelations had deceived some of the Saints, the Prophet Joseph Smith prayed about the matter and received the revelation from the Lord now recorded as Doctrine and Covenants 43.
Ask a few students to take turns reading aloud from Doctrine and Covenants 43:1–7. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the Lord’s response to the Prophet’s inquiry. Invite students to report what they find.
What doctrine do verses 2–4 teach about how the Lord reveals truth for the entire Church? (After students respond, write the following doctrine on the board: Only the prophet can receive revelation for the entire Church.)
Remind students that about five months earlier, the Lord had taught this doctrine to the Saints in New York when Hiram Page claimed to receive revelations for the Church (see D&C 28:2). However, many of the Kirtland Saints were unaware of this doctrine because only a handful of those Saints from New York had arrived in Kirtland by this time, and the revelations Joseph Smith received on this subject had not yet been published. In addition, most of the Kirtland Saints were new converts from varying religious backgrounds and held differing ideas about who could receive revelation for a church.
Why would it have been important for the Saints in Kirtland to understand the doctrine that only the prophet can receive revelation for the entire Church?
Why is this doctrine important for us to understand today?
According to verse 7, what pattern did the Lord give to help us avoid being deceived by those who are not authorized to teach in the Church?
Explain that the Lord then instructed the Saints on how they should learn from the revelations taught through His prophet. Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 43:8 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the Lord’s instructions.
What did the Lord command the Saints to do when they assembled together?
What does it mean to edify one another? (To edify means to strengthen or build spiritually.)
What did the Lord say we will learn as we meet together to instruct and edify each other? (After students respond, write the following principle on the board: As we instruct and edify one another in our Church meetings, we will learn how to act upon God’s commandments.)
Ask students to read Doctrine and Covenants 43:9 silently, looking for what we are to do after we learn how to act.
What did the Lord tell the Saints to do after they had learned His law and commandments and how to live them?
What do you think it means to bind ourselves to act in all holiness before the Lord? (To commit or covenant to live according to what we have learned.)
Invite students to ponder how they have been blessed as they have learned and acted on the Lord’s commandments. Invite a few students to share their experiences. Encourage students to put greater effort into instructing and edifying one another in their Church meetings, and invite them to commit to act on what they learn as a result.
Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 43:11–35 and section 44 by explaining that these verses contain the Lord’s instructions to help the Saints learn the gospel, repent, and prepare themselves and others for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Ask students to imagine that they want another person’s opinion about something important.
What qualities in a person make you want to listen to his or her opinion?
Explain that the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 45 came at a time when Latter-day Saints and others were hearing and reading conflicting messages about the Church. Invite a student to read the section heading for Doctrine and Covenants 45 aloud. Ask the class to notice the circumstances the Saints were facing.
Ask students to find the first word of this revelation.
What does it mean to hearken? (Listen attentively and obey.)
Explain that in Doctrine and Covenants 45:1–14, the Lord repeatedly instructed the Saints to hearken to Him and reminded them of His power, mercy, and wisdom. By emphasizing His attributes, the Lord helped the Saints understand why they should hearken to Him. Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Doctrine and Covenants 45:1–5, looking for these attributes.
Which of the Lord’s attributes in these verses stands out to you? Why?
How do these attributes illustrate why we should trust and hearken to the Lord?
What doctrine did the Lord teach about Himself in verses 3–5? (Jesus Christ is our Advocate with Heavenly Father.)
Explain that an advocate is “one who pleads another’s cause” (Bible Dictionary, “Advocate”).
Why do we need an advocate with Heavenly Father? (If needed, explain that we are all guilty of sin. According to the justice of God, no unclean thing can dwell in His presence. Therefore, we need an advocate to plead our cause before the Father and help us be reconciled to Him.)
According to verses 4–5, what qualifies Jesus Christ to plead for those who believe on Him? (If nessesary, point out that the Savior can plead that we be spared from the eternal consequences of our sins not because we are guiltless, but because He has suffered to pay the penalty for our sins.)
Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 45:6–14 silently, looking for additional reasons why the Saints should hearken to the Savior. Ask a few students to report what they find.
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 45:15 aloud. Ask the class to look for another reason the Lord gave for why the Saints should hearken to Him.
Explain that in Doctrine and Covenants 45:16–59, the Lord repeated some of what He taught His disciples on the Mount of Olives when they asked Him about the destruction of Jerusalem and His Second Coming (see Matthew 24:3–46; see also Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:4–55). In verses 16–24 the Lord prophesied of events that would happen shortly after His death and Resurrection, including the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jews among all nations. In verses 25–46 the Lord prophesied of events that were to be fulfilled in the dispensation before His Second Coming.
Write the following phrase and accompanying scripture references on the board: Signs that will precede the Second Coming: D&C 45:25–27; D&C 45:28–31, 33; D&C 45:40–43. Assign students to read at least one of the scripture references listed on the board, looking for signs of the Second Coming. After sufficient time, ask several students to report what they find. Write students’ responses on the board.
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 45:34 aloud, and ask students to look for how the disciples responded to what the Lord taught them about the signs of His Second Coming.
In what ways can you relate to the disciples’ reaction?
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 45:35–38 aloud. Ask students to look for what the Lord said to comfort His disciples about His Second Coming.
What comfort did Jesus offer His disciples regarding His Second Coming?
Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 45:32, 39 silently, looking for what followers of Jesus Christ can do to prepare for His coming.
What principle can we identify in these verses about what we can do to be ready for the Lord’s Second Coming? (After students respond, write the following principle on the board: If we stand in holy places and watch for the signs, we will be ready for the Lord’s Second Coming.)
How can we “stand in holy places”?
Write the following phrase and accompanying scripture reference on the board: Signs and wonders that will attend the Savior’s Second Coming: D&C 45:47–59. Explain that in Doctrine and Covenants 45:47–59, the Lord revealed signs and wonders that would attend His Second Coming. Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Doctrine and Covenants 45:47–55. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what will happen when the Savior comes again. Ask several students to report what they find. List their responses on the board.
Why do you think the nations of the earth will mourn at the Lord’s Second Coming (see D&C 45:49–50)?
Whom do you think the phrase “they that have laughed” (D&C 45:49) refers to?
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 45:56–59 aloud. Ask the class to look for the parable the Savior said would be fulfilled when He comes again.
What parable did the Lord say would be fulfilled when He comes in glory?
Ask a student to summarize the parable of the ten virgins (see Matthew 25:1–13). To help students better understand this parable, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“The arithmetic of this parable is chilling. The ten virgins obviously represent members of Christ’s Church, for all were invited to the wedding feast and all knew what was required to be admitted when the bridegroom came. But only half were ready when he came” (Dallin H. Oaks, “Preparation for the Second Coming,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 8).
According to verse 57, what must we do to be like the wise virgins and be prepared for the Lord’s coming? (After students respond, write the following truth on the board: If we receive the truth and take the Holy Spirit to be our guide, we will be prepared for the Savior’s Second Coming.)
In what ways do we receive truth?
What does it mean to take the Holy Spirit as our guide?
Invite students to share what they have done to invite the companionship of the Holy Ghost in their lives and to respond to His guidance.
Invite students to use the principles written on the board to set a goal that will help them be better prepared for the Savior’s Second Coming.
According to verses 58–59, what will happen to those who have prepared for the Savior’s Second Coming by receiving truth and taking the Holy Spirit to be their guide?
Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 45:60–75 by explaining that the Lord directed Joseph Smith to begin his translation of the New Testament, warned the Saints to gather into the western countries, and described Zion, or the New Jerusalem.
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 45:66–71 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how the Lord described Zion.
Based on the Lord’s description, why would you want to be part of Zion?
Conclude by inviting a few students to share what truths in this lesson have been most meaningful to them and why. Encourage students to apply these truths in their lives.