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Lesson 42: Doctrine and Covenants 106–8
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“Lesson 42: Doctrine and Covenants 106–8,” Doctrine and Covenants Teacher Manual (2017)

“Lesson 42,” Doctrine and Covenants Teacher Manual

Lesson 42

Doctrine and Covenants 106–8

Introduction and Timeline

On November 25, 1834, the Prophet Joseph Smith received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 106. In this revelation, the Lord called Warren A. Cowdery, an older brother of Oliver Cowdery and a recent convert to the Church, to preside over the growing number of Saints in Freedom, New York, and the surrounding area. The Lord also promised Warren great blessings for his faithful service.

The Prophet Joseph Smith received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 107 as the newly called members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were preparing to serve a mission in the eastern United States. The revelation was recorded in 1835, but portions of it were received in 1831. This revelation contains the Lord’s instructions concerning the priesthood and Church governance.

On December 26, 1835, Lyman Sherman acted on a spiritual impression to ask the Prophet Joseph Smith for direction regarding his duty. In response, the Lord gave the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 108, in which the Lord forgave Lyman, promised him blessings according to his faithfulness, and gave him counsel.

June 3–6, 1831

The first individuals were ordained to the High Priesthood at a Church conference held in Kirtland, Ohio.

November 11, 1831

A portion of Doctrine and Covenants 107 was received.

May–July 1834

The Prophet Joseph Smith led Zion’s Camp to Missouri to help the persecuted Saints.

November 25, 1834

Doctrine and Covenants 106 was received.

February 14, 1835

Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were called.

February 28, 1835

Lyman Sherman was called as a President of the the Seventy.

February 28–March 1, 1835

Over fifty men were called to serve as Seventies.

March–early May 1835

Other portions of Doctrine and Covenants 107 were recorded.

December 26, 1835

Doctrine and Covenants 108 was received.

Suggestions for Teaching

Doctrine and Covenants 106:1–8

The Lord calls Warren A. Cowdery as a presiding officer of the Church and promises him blessings for his service

Ask students to think of a time when they received a calling or an assignment that they felt unqualified for.

As students study Doctrine and Covenants 106, invite them to look for doctrine and principles that will help them understand how they can receive assurance that the Lord will help them fulfill their callings and assignments in the Church.

Explain that Warren Cowdery was Oliver Cowdery’s eldest brother. Although it appears that Warren had heard about the Book of Mormon sometime around 1830, he did not join the Church at that time. In March 1834, the Prophet Joseph Smith and Parley P. Pratt visited Freedom, New York, and stayed in Warren Cowdery’s home. During their stay, Joseph and Parley preached to the citizens of Freedom, and between 30 and 40 people eventually joined the Church. Sometime between May and September of 1834, Warren Cowdery was baptized (see The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 4: April 1834–September 1835, ed. Matthew C. Godfrey and others [2016], 180). In the fall of 1834, Warren wrote to his brother Oliver and asked that a Church leader come again to Freedom, New York, to strengthen Church members there. Two months later, Joseph Smith received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 106. (See Lisa Olsen Tait, “Warren Cowdery,” in Revelations in Context, ed. Matthew McBride and James Goldberg [2016], 219–20, or history.lds.org.)

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 106:1–3 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord called Warren Cowdery to do.

  • What did the Lord call Warren Cowdery to do?

  • In what ways might Warren’s calling have seemed overwhelming?

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 106:6 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for why the Lord was pleased with Warren Cowdery.

  • Why was the Lord pleased with Warren Cowdery?

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 106:7–8 aloud. Ask half of the class to look for what the Lord promised Warren. Ask the other half to look for what Warren had to do to receive those blessings. Ask students to report what they find.

  • What principle can we identify from verses 7–8 about what the Lord will do for us if we humbly submit to His will? (Help students identify the following principle: If we humbly submit to the Lord’s will, He will have mercy on us, lift us up, and give us grace and assurance.)

  • What do you think it means to receive “grace and assurance” from the Lord (verse 8)?

  • How might receiving the Lord’s grace and assurance help us when we receive a calling or assignment that we feel unqualified for?

Invite students to think of a time when they experienced the Lord’s mercy, grace, and assurance as they humbly strived to serve Him. Ask a few students to share their experiences with the class. Consider sharing one of your own experiences as well.

Invite students to write a goal about what they will do to humble themselves before the Lord so they can more fully receive His mercy, grace, and assurance.

Doctrine and Covenants 107:1–20

The Lord teaches about the Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthoods

Remind students that the Lord restored the truths of the gospel line upon line rather than all at once. The Lord followed this same pattern as He revealed the order of the priesthood and Church governance.

Explain that in February 1835, almost five years after the Church was organized, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was organized. One of the newly called Apostles’ first duties was to hold conferences in branches of the Church in the eastern United States. Sometime before the Apostles left Kirtland for this mission in May 1835, the Prophet presented them with the information recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 107, which includes instruction about the priesthood and Church governance.

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Doctrine and Covenants 107:1–6. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what these verses teach about the priesthood.

  • According to verse 2, why is the first priesthood called the Melchizedek Priesthood?

  • What was the Melchizedek Priesthood called before Melchizedek’s day?

  • According to verse 5, what are all other “authorities or offices in the church” in relation to the priesthood? (Explain that an appendage is something that is attached to or part of a greater whole.)

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Doctrine and Covenants 107:7–12, 18–19. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord taught about the Melchizedek Priesthood.

  • What do verses 8–10 teach about the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood? (After students respond, write the following doctrine on the board: The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right of presidency and has power and authority over all the offices in the Church to administer in spiritual things.)

Explain that “administer[ing] in spiritual things” (verse 8) includes administering blessings, ordinances, and covenants.

  • What doctrine do we learn from verse 18 about the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood? (Help students identify the following doctrine: The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the Church.)

To help students understand this doctrine, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith (1805–1844):

“The Melchizedek Priesthood … is the channel through which all knowledge, doctrine, the plan of salvation, and every important matter is revealed from heaven” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 108).

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 107:13–17, 20 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord taught about the Aaronic Priesthood. Ask students to report what they find.

Doctrine and Covenants 107:21–38

The Lord outlines the duties and responsibilities of the presiding quorums of the Church

Explain that as part of the restoration of priesthood and Church governance, the Lord outlined which quorums make decisions for the entire Church and how they should make those decisions.

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Doctrine and Covenants 107:21–26, 33–35. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord taught about the quorums called to lead the entire Church.

  • What did the Lord teach about the quorums called to lead the entire Church?

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 107:27–31 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how these quorums were to make decisions.

  • According to verse 27, how should the presiding quorums of the Church make decisions?

  • According to verse 31, what did the Lord promise would occur if these quorums made decisions in unity and “in all righteousness” (verse 30)? (After students respond, write the following principle on the board: Because the presiding quorums of the Church make decisions in unity and righteousness, they receive the knowledge of the Lord.)

  • How can knowing that the presiding quorums of the Church receive the knowledge of the Lord influence your willingness to follow them?

Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 107:39–57 by explaining that the Lord revealed that the patriarchal order of the priesthood was instituted in the days of Adam (see verse 41) and was “handed down from father to son” (verse 40). Three years before Adam died, he met with priesthood holders as well as all of his righteous posterity in Adam-ondi-Ahman (see verse 53). Adam blessed his faithful children, and the Lord appeared to them (see verses 53–54).

Explain that we learn from Doctrine and Covenants 107:58–98 that the Lord commanded the Twelve Apostles to “ordain and set in order all the other officers of the Church” (verse 58), and He outlined the duties of bishops and quorum presidents (see verses 60–98).

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 107:99–100 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the message the Lord wanted the officers of the Church to learn.

  • Based on what the Lord commanded the officers of the Church, what must we do in order to be “worthy to stand” before the Lord (verse 100)? (Help students identify the following principle: To be worthy to stand before the Lord, we must learn our duty and act in all diligence to fulfill it.)

  • What are some ways we can seek to learn our duty and diligently fulfill it?

  • When have you been blessed by someone who diligently fulfilled his or her calling?

Testify that as we learn our duty and diligently fulfill it, we will be worthy to stand before the Lord.

Doctrine and Covenants 108:1–8

The Lord forgives, promises blessings to, and counsels Lyman Sherman

To help students understand the context of Doctrine and Covenants 108, invite a student to read aloud the following paragraph:

On December 26, 1835, a man named Lyman Sherman, who was a friend of the Prophet Joseph Smith, came to the Prophet’s house. Lyman told him, “I have been wrought upon to make known to you my feelings and desires and was promised that I should have a revelation which should make known my duty” (“Journal, 1835–1836,” 89, josephsmithpapers.org). In response, the Prophet inquired of the Lord and received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 108.

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 108:1–3 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the blessings Lyman Sherman received because he followed the prompting to seek out the Prophet.

  • What blessings did Lyman receive because he followed the prompting to seek out the Prophet?

  • What counsel did the Lord give Lyman?

Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 108:4–6 by explaining that the Lord told Lyman Sherman to “wait patiently until the solemn assembly [would] be called,” at which time he would be ordained with the elders and sent to preach the gospel (verse 4).

Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 108:7–8 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for additional instructions the Lord gave Lyman.

  • In what ways did the Lord want Lyman to “strengthen [his] brethren” (verse 7)? (Explain that in this verse, the word conversation refers to a person’s moral conduct or behavior and the word exhortations means teachings.)

  • What principle can we learn from verse 7 about what the Lord expects of us? (Help students identify the following principle: The Lord expects us to strengthen others in all our conduct, prayers, teaching, and actions.)

Point out that our conduct and actions include the way that we communicate with others, including our communications that are written and digitally transmitted.

  • How can you strengthen those around you in all your conduct, words, and actions?

  • When have you been strengthened by the conduct, words, or actions of another? (Consider sharing one of your own experiences as well.)

Invite students to write down a goal regarding how they will strengthen others in all their conduct, words, and actions.