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Lesson 36: Doctrine and Covenants 93
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“Lesson 36: Doctrine and Covenants 93,” Doctrine and Covenants Teacher Manual (2017)

“Lesson 36,” Doctrine and Covenants Teacher Manual

Lesson 36

Doctrine and Covenants 93

Introduction and Timeline

On May 6, 1833, the Prophet Joseph Smith received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 93. In this revelation, the Savior taught the Saints how to worship and “come unto the Father in my name, … and receive of his fulness” (D&C 93:19). He also taught how we can receive truth and light, revealed the eternal nature of all men and women, and instructed the Prophet Joseph Smith and other Church leaders to “set in order” their homes (D&C 93:43–50).

February 2, 1833

Joseph Smith finished his translation of the New Testament.

March 8, 1833

Joseph Smith continued his inspired translation of the Old Testament.

April 1833

The School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio, adjourned for the summer.

May 4, 1833

A committee was selected to raise money to construct a building for the School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio.

May 6, 1833

Doctrine and Covenants 93 was received.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants 93:1–20

The Lord teaches how we can come to know Him and obtain a fulness of glory

Display a picture of Jesus Christ.

  • What is the difference between knowing about Jesus Christ and knowing Jesus Christ? (Knowing about Jesus Christ includes learning facts about Him. Knowing Jesus Christ includes developing a personal relationship with Him by receiving a testimony of Him through the Holy Ghost and by striving to keep His commandments.)

  • Why is it important to know about Jesus Christ and to know Him? (If necessary, explain that we cannot achieve our full potential as children of God unless we come to know Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father [see John 17:3].)

Invite students to look for truths as they study Doctrine and Covenants 93 that will help them know more about the Savior and also come to know Him.

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 93:1 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord taught about gaining knowledge of Jesus Christ.

  • What principle can we learn from verse 1 about gaining knowledge of Jesus Christ? (Students should identify a principle similar to the following: If we forsake our sins, come unto Christ, call on His name, obey His voice, and keep His commandments, then we will see His face and know that He is. Invite students to consider marking this principle in their scriptures.)

To help students better understand this principle, invite them to cross-reference verse 1 with Doctrine and Covenants 88:68. Ask a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 88:68 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, looking for additional information concerning the Lord’s promise in Doctrine and Covenants 93:1. (Students should discover that the promise of seeing the Lord’s face will be fulfilled in “[the Lord’s] own time, and in his own way” [D&C 88:68].)

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 93:2–5 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what we can know about the Savior if we apply the principle in verse 1.

  • Why is it important for us to know that Jesus Christ is “the true light that lighteth every [person]” (verse 2)?

  • What do you think the Savior meant when He said that Heavenly Father “gave [Him] of his fulness” (verse 4)? (Help students understand that Jesus Christ received all that the Father has, including His glory, power, knowledge, and joy. This is one way Jesus Christ is one with Heavenly Father.)

Explain that in Doctrine and Covenants 93:6–18, the Lord revealed to Joseph Smith a portion of John the Baptist’s witness of the Savior once recorded by the Apostle John.

Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 93:6–11 silently, looking for what we can learn about the Savior from John’s record. Ask students to report what they find.

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Doctrine and Covenants 93:12–17. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how Jesus Christ received a fulness of the Father’s glory.

  • How did Jesus Christ receive a fulness of the Father’s glory? (After students respond, write the following doctrine on the board: Jesus Christ continued from grace to grace until He received a fulness of the Father’s glory.)

  • In verse 13, what do you think the phrase “he received not of the fulness at the first, but continued from grace to grace” means?

As needed, explain that “[He] continued from grace to grace” implies that the Savior had to learn and grow “line upon line, precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30). The word grace refers to “divine help or strength … given through the mercy and love of God” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Grace,” scriptures.lds.org). Jesus Christ daily sought Heavenly Father’s grace, or divine help and strength, and obtained greater knowledge and power until He received a fulness of glory.

Display the following statement by President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972), and invite a student to read it aloud:

Smith, Joseph Fielding (1876-1972)

“Our Savior was a God before he was born into this world, and he brought with him that same status when he came here. He was as much a God when he was born into the world as he was before. But as far as this life is concerned it appears that he had to start just as all other children do and gain his knowledge line upon line. …

“… Without doubt, Jesus came into the world subject to the same condition as was required of each of us—he forgot everything, and he had to grow from grace to grace” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith [2013], 314–15).

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 93:19–20 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for why the Lord revealed a portion of John the Baptist’s record.

  • According to verse 19, why did the Lord reveal John the Baptist’s record?

Display the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–1985) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and invite a student to read it aloud:

“Perfect worship is emulation. We honor those whom we imitate” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ [1978], 568).

  • What does this statement by Elder McConkie and the teachings we have studied in Doctrine and Covenants 93 suggest about how we are to worship Heavenly Father? (Help students understand that we are to worship Heavenly Father by following the example of Jesus Christ.)

  • According to Doctrine and Covenants 93:20, what did the Lord promise to those who follow His example by keeping His commandments? (After students respond, write the following principle on the board: If we keep the commandments, we will receive grace for grace until we receive a fulness of the Father’s glory, as Jesus Christ has.)

  • Why do you think it is important for us to know that we, like the Savior, can receive a fulness of the Father’s glory and become like Him if we keep the commandments and receive grace for grace?

To help students better understand how they can apply the principle written on the board, display the following statement by President Lorenzo Snow (1814–1901), and invite a student to read it aloud:

“Do not expect to become perfect at once. If you do, you will be disappointed. Be better today than you were yesterday, and be better tomorrow than you are today. The temptations that perhaps partially overcome us today, let them not overcome us so far tomorrow. Thus continue to be a little better day by day; and do not let your life wear away without accomplishing good to others as well as to ourselves” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow [2012], 103).

Invite students to think about the spiritual progress they have made over the last few years.

  • What is an example of how you have learned and progressed during the last few years as you have kept the commandments ? (You may also want to share an experience.)

Testify that just as Jesus Christ became like Heavenly Father by keeping the commandments and continuing from grace to grace, we can do the same.

Encourage students to set a goal regarding what they will do to be better tomorrow than they are today so they can emulate the Savior and gradually become more like Him and our Heavenly Father.

Doctrine and Covenants 93:21–39

The Lord teaches how to receive truth and light

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 93:21–23 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Savior revealed about Himself and us in the premortal life.

  • What did the Savior reveal about Himself in verse 21?

Explain that because Jesus Christ is the Firstborn of all the spirit children of Heavenly Father and obeyed the Father’s will in all things, He is the “appointed heir” of all that the Father has (Hebrews 1:2).

Explain that we are begotten through Jesus Christ and partake of the Father’s glory as we are spiritually reborn and cleansed from sin through the Savior’s Atonement. We are then part of the Church of the Firstborn. In this way, we become “joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17) and can receive all that the Father has (see D&C 76:55).

  • Why is it important for us to know that we “were also in the beginning with the Father” (D&C 93:23)?

Explain that while we lived with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the premortal life, we were taught by them and could accept or reject truth. Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 93:24–28 silently, looking for what the Lord taught about truth.

  • What do you learn from the Lord’s definition of truth in verse 24?

Point out the phrase “who was a liar from the beginning” in verse 25, and explain that this phrase refers to Satan. Just as he did in the premortal life, Satan continues to try to stop us from receiving truth.

  • What do we learn about Jesus Christ from verse 26?

  • According to verse 28, what will happen to us if we continue to receive truth and light through keeping the Lord’s commandments? (After students respond, write the following principle on the board: By receiving truth and light, we can become like Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.)

  • How does this principle relate to the other principles written on the board?

Explain that when we lived with God before we were born, we had agency—the ability to choose and act for ourselves. Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 93:29–32 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how our agency affects our ability to receive truth and light.

  • What is the consequence if we choose not to receive the light?

Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 93:33–35 by explaining that the Lord taught that we can only receive a fulness of joy when our body and spirit are reunited in the Resurrection.

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 93:36–39 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for additional truths the Lord taught about light and truth.

  • What do we learn about light and truth in verses 36–37?

  • What principle can we learn from verse 39 about what can cause us to lose light and truth? (After students respond, write the following truth on the board: Disobedience and false traditions cause us to lose light and truth.)

  • What are some examples of activities or traditions today that could cause us to lose light and truth?

Testify that as we use our agency to receive light and truth, we will become more like Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and eventually receive a fulness of God’s glory and exaltation in the celestial kingdom. Invite students to ponder what might be hindering their efforts to receive light and truth. Encourage them to set a goal to discontinue these practices so they can continually receive light and truth and become more like Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.

Doctrine and Covenants 93:40–53

The Lord commands His servants to bring up their children in light and truth

Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 93:40–53 by explaining that the Lord commanded the Saints to “bring up [their children] in light and truth” [verse 40]. The Lord also chastened several Church leaders for neglecting to do so.