Lesson taught by Cynthia Haller
First lesson/introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants: reading assignment–Explanatory Introduction and Chapter 1:
“Thank you” is not nearly adequate to express our appreciation for the fantastic lessons we’ve enjoyed for the last six years by our skilled and inspired teachers, Nancy Baird and Diane Adair. We thank them for their years of dedicated service and for inspiring hundreds of sisters in their study of the Book of Mormon, New Testament, and the Old Testament. Our faith and testimonies have increased and our lives are richer from being at Sisters in Scriptures and listening to their words.
New teachers have been called and set apart by our stake presidency: Cynthia Haller, Rosemary Wixom, and Bekah Ellsworth. What a wonderful opportunity we sisters of the Olympus stake have this year to study the Doctrine and Covenants, and to learn about the exciting restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth once again. We have a unique opportunity to “fill our lamps with oil” so that we are prepared and have strong testimonies that can sustain us and our families.
This year we will read the entire Doctrine and Covenants in conjunction with a study of the new “Foundations of the Restoration” course that all institute students are required to take. We are studying this book of scripture from a “perspective of faith,” and have chosen to study it thematically so that we can truly “feast upon the words of Christ” and cover many important and relevant topics and subjects.
Our goals are also to first build faith and increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ, second, to increase faith and knowledge in the restoration of the gospel and to study continuous revelation through our prophets with the belief that the spirit will testify of truth, and third to apply these inspired teachings to our lives and in teaching our families. An added increase in our faith and testimony in these last days is needed as we fight off the “fiery darts of the adversary.” It is essential that each of us know that God did call another prophet named Joseph Smith to restore the gospel, and that it is indeed the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, His Kingdom on earth, and that we have a prophet today who guides the church and gives light and truth to the whole world.
President Hinckley spoke of the importance to know for ourselves if the church is true. He said, “Our whole strength rests of the validity of the First Vision. It either occurred or it did not occur. If it did not, then this work is a fraud. If it did, then it is the most important and
wonderful work under the heavens . . . upon that unique and wonderful experience stands the validity of the church.” (“The Marvelous Foundation of Our Faith, Pres Hinckley”)
The Lord called this restoration, “A wonderful work and a wonder” (Isaiah 29:13, 14) and we are privileged to study the Doctrine and Covenants that has been given for our day.
We discussed the “Book of Commandments” and how they were saved and preserved for our day, the witnesses to this book (found in the introduction), and briefly, the first section of the D&C which is known as the “Lord’s preface,” (the only preface in the world written by the Lord Himself). Please take the time to read the first chapter to learn four main doctrines taught there:
ONE: THE LORD GIVES A VOICE OF WARNING TO THE CHURCH AND ALL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD–ALL WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR THE GOSPEL AND CHOOSE TO ACCEPT OR REJECT IT
SECOND: ALL WORDS OF THE LORD AND ALL PROPHECIES WILL BE FULFILLED: HIS PROMISES ARE SURE
THIRD: JOSEPH WAS A TRUE PROPHET CALLED OF GOD–JESUS HIMSELF RESTORED TRUTH AND LAID THE FOUNDATION OF HIS
GOSPEL AND CHURCH ON THE EARTH AGAIN
FOURTH: D AND C 1:24-28 CONTAINS THE 5 PURPOSES OF THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS–read and study
This year we will highlight “pearls” from the scriptures–inspiring, significant scriptures that you may want to record, memorize, write about on a “pearl” page that was provided. The Lord tells of a merchant who sold all he had to obtain one “pearl of great price,” which is truth, pure doctrinefrom Jesus Christ.
Pearls from the lesson (you may want to include on your list):
The Lord said, “Be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and OIL WITH YOU that ye may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom.” D&C 34:17
“For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived . . . shall abide the day.” D&C 45:57
“And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people.” (D & C 1:14)
“What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” D&C 1:38
We can remain confident that all the words of the Lord and His prophets will be fulfilled, regardless of how it appears in our world today. What is essential is faith in the Lord, obedience to His commandments, and to remain steadfast and faithful as we teach the gospel to our children and grandchildren until
the day when the Lord returns again.