“Lesson 53: Doctrine and Covenants 133,” Doctrine and Covenants Teacher Manual (2017)
“Lesson 53,” Doctrine and Covenants Teacher Manual
On November 3, 1831, following a two-day conference discussing the publication of the Book of Commandments, the Prophet Joseph Smith received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 133. This revelation came in answer to questions certain elders had asked “relative to preaching the Gospel to the inhabitants of the earth, and concerning the gathering [of Israel]” (D&C 133, section heading). In the revelation, the Lord commanded the Saints to call upon the people of the earth to gather to Zion and prepare for His Second Coming. He also revealed some of the events that would attend His Second Coming and millennial reign.
- November 1–2, 1831
At a conference of the Church held in Hiram, Ohio, Joseph Smith and a group of elders decided to publish the revelations received to that point in a volume to be called the Book of Commandments.
- November 1, 1831
Joseph Smith received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 1, which the Lord identified as the “preface” to the Book of Commandments.
- November 2, 1831
Joseph Smith received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 67, in which the Lord testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Commandments.
- November 3, 1831
Doctrine and Covenants 133 was received.
Invite students to think of a time when they prepared well for an important event (such as a job interview or school exam). Ask them to also think of a time when they did not adequately prepare for an important event.
What feelings did you have when you were prepared for the important event?
What feelings did you have when you were not prepared?
What are some future events that we need to prepare for as Church members? (Write students’ responses on the board. If they do not mention it, write the Second Coming of Jesus Christ on the board.)
Invite students to look for doctrine and principles as they study Doctrine and Covenants 133 today that can help them know how they can prepare themselves and others for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and why they should prepare for this event.
Explain that during a two-day conference held November 1–2, 1831, in Hiram, Ohio, the Prophet Joseph Smith and other Church leaders discussed publishing revelations the Prophet had received in a book to be titled the Book of Commandments. During this conference, the Prophet received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 1. The Lord called this revelation His “preface” to the Book of Commandments (see D&C 1:6). On November 3, 1831, following the Church conference, the Prophet received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 133, which was later referred to as the “appendix” to the Book of Commandments. This revelation, which contains teachings about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, came in response to questions the elders had asked concerning missionary work and the gathering of Israel (see D&C 133, section heading).
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 133:1–4 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord revealed about His Second Coming.
According to verse 2, what will happen at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to “all the nations that forget God” and to “all the ungodly among [the Saints]”?
According to verse 3, what will the Lord do at the time of His Second Coming?
What do you think it means that the Lord “shall make bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations”? (This could refer to the power and glory that will be manifested at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It could also refer to the Lord’s latter-day work of gathering Israel in preparation for His Second Coming [see 1 Nephi 22:11–12].)
Based on the Lord’s teachings in verse 4, what principle can we identify about preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? (After students respond, write the following principle on the board: Sanctifying ourselves and gathering with the Saints will help prepare us for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.)
What does it mean to sanctify ourselves? (If necessary, explain that to sanctify means to set apart from the world, to make holy, or to consecrate.)
Divide the class into pairs. Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 133:5–7 in their pairs, looking for what the Lord told the Saints to do so they could be sanctified. After sufficient time, ask a few students to report what they found.
What do you think “go ye out from Babylon” (verse 5) means? (If necessary, explain that in the scriptures, Babylon often symbolizes worldliness and wickedness.)
Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 133:8–15 by explaining that the Lord commanded Church leaders to send elders to all nations, calling on the inhabitants to gather to Zion, prepare themselves for the Lord’s Second Coming, and leave “spiritual Babylon” and “not look back” (verses 14–15).
Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 133:16 silently, looking for the Lord’s message to all people. Invite a student to report what he or she found.
How does the Lord’s command to repent relate to preparing for His Second Coming?
Invite students to think of what they may need to repent of so they can “go … out of Babylon” (D&C 133:7), sanctify themselves, and prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Encourage them to follow any promptings they receive.
Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 133:17–35 by explaining that the Lord described some of the events associated with His Second Coming and millennial reign, including His appearance on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, changes to the earth, and the gathering of the lost tribes of Israel.
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 133:36 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord did to make the events of His Second Coming “known” to the “inhabitants of the earth.”
What has the Lord done to inform the inhabitants of the earth about His Second Coming? (After students respond, explain that “mine angel” in this verse can refer to the angel Moroni as well as to other angels who helped usher in the Restoration of the gospel.)
Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 133:37–43 by explaining that the Lord said that the restored gospel will be preached to all nations and that His servants will tell the people of the world to “fear God … and worship him” (verses 38–39). In answer to the prayers of His servants, the Lord will come again as “the melting fire that burneth” (verse 41) to cleanse the earth from wickedness.
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 133:44–45 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what will happen to the righteous when the Lord appears.
According to verse 44, who will the Lord meet when He returns?
What principle can we identify from the Lord’s promise in verse 45? (After students respond, write the following principle on the board: The Lord has prepared great blessings for those who wait for Him.)
What do you think it means to wait for the Lord? (To remain faithful and to hope for, anticipate, and trust in His promises.)
Display the following statement by Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the two questions that follow. Divide the class into small groups of two or three, and invite students to read the statement in their groups and to discuss the questions that follow the statement. (You may want to distribute the statement and questions as a handout.)
“We should watch for the signs [of the Lord’s Second Coming] and read the meaning of the seasons, we should live as faithfully as we possibly can, and we should share the gospel with everyone so that blessings and protections will be available to all. But we cannot and must not be paralyzed just because that event and the events surrounding it are out there ahead of us somewhere. We cannot stop living life. Indeed, we should live life more fully than we have ever lived it before. After all, this is the dispensation of the fulness of times. …
“God expects you to have enough faith and determination and enough trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing. In fact, He expects you not simply to face the future (that sounds pretty grim and stoic); He expects you to embrace and shape the future—to love it and rejoice in it and delight in your opportunities.
“God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Terror, Triumph, and a Wedding Feast” [Brigham Young University fireside, Sept. 12, 2004], 2–3, speeches.byu.edu).
What did Elder Holland teach that can help you wait for the Lord with faith and hope?
How can we “embrace and shape the future”?
Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Doctrine and Covenants 133:46–51. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how the Savior will be dressed at His Second Coming.
What will be distinctive about the Savior’s appearance at His Second Coming?
What does the red color of the Lord’s “apparel” (verses 46, 48), or clothing, represent? (If necessary, explain that it represents the blood of the wicked, who will be destroyed at the Lord’s Second Coming [see verses 50–51]. It could also represent “the Savior’s suffering in Gethsemane, when His atoning blood was pressed from His body just as juice is pressed from grapes in a winepress” [New Testament Student Manual (Church Educational System manual, 2014), 563].)
Based on these verses, what will the wicked experience at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 133:52–53 silently, looking for the experience of the righteous at the Lord’s Second Coming.
How will the experience of the righteous differ from that of the wicked at the Lord’s Second Coming?
What do these verses teach us about the Lord’s mercy?
Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 133:54–56 by explaining that the righteous who died before the Savior was resurrected will be in His presence when He comes again. Additionally, the righteous who died after the Savior’s Resurrection will be resurrected at His Second Coming and will also be brought into His presence.
Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 133:57–62 in pairs. Ask them to look for why “the Lord sent forth the fulness of his gospel” (verse 57). After sufficient time, invite a few students to report what they found.
If necessary, explain that the phrase “thresh the nations” in verse 59 refers to separating the righteous from among the wicked. (Note: In the 2013 English edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, the word thrash in this verse was changed to thresh to reflect the wording of the original revelation.)
Refer students to this principle identified earlier in the lesson: Sanctifying ourselves and gathering with the Saints will help prepare us for Jesus Christ’s Second Coming.
According to verse 62, what additional principle can we identify regarding what will happen if we sanctify ourselves? (After students respond, write the following principle on the board: Those who repent and sanctify themselves will be given eternal life.)
What does it mean to “be given eternal life”? (“To live forever as families in God’s presence” [Guide to the Scriptures, “Eternal Life,” scriptures.lds.org].)
Summarize Doctrine and Covenants 133:63–74 by explaining that the Lord described what will happen to those who reject Him and His servants and who refuse to repent and prepare for His Second Coming. Some of these consequences include being “cut off from among the [Lord’s] people” (verse 63) and being “delivered over unto darkness” (verse 72).
Testify of the doctrine and principles identified in today’s lesson. Invite students to determine what they will do to better prepare themselves for the Second Coming of the Savior.