Nov 29 2016 Doctrine and Covenants Lesson 12 by Rosemary Wixom

The Lord’s Voice in the Doctrine and Covenants Review

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Rev. 3:20)

“In an inexplicable contradiction, Joseph was designated as the Lord’s prophet, and yet every man was to voice scripture, everyone to see God. That conundrum (or mystery) lies at the heart of Joseph Smith’s Mormonism. The amplification of authority at the center was meant to increase the authority of everyone, as if the injection of power at the core energized the whole system. From the outside, Mormonism looked like despotism (tyranny), if not chaos. On the inside, subservience to the Prophet’s authority was believed to empower every member. Though he was Moses and they were Israel all the Lord’s people were prophets.”
Richard L. Bushman

Elder Neal A. Maxwell wrote an article for the Ensign in 1978 entitled “The Doctrine and Covenants: The Voice of the Lord.

“If asked which book of scripture provides the most frequent chance to “listen” to the Lord talking, most individuals would at first think of the New Testament. The New Testament is a marvelous collection of the deeds and many of the doctrines of the Messiah. But in the Doctrine and Covenants we receive the voice as well as the word of the Lord. We can almost “hear” him talking. Thus in many ways the Doctrine and Covenants is the modern equivalent of the thundering directness of Sinai.”

Introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants
• “The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last days……”
• “..for the benefit of all mankind…”
• “… is preparatory to his second coming”
• “…the testimony that is given of Jesus Christ – his divinity, his majesty, his perfection, his love, and his redeeming power – makes this book of great value to the human family and of more worth than the riches of the whole earth.”

Joseph Smith called a special conferment of elders and high priests in Hiram, Ohio November 1, 1831.
• The Preface or Section 1 of the “Book of Commandments” (Doctrine and Covenants) was received by revelation.
• Orson Pratt said, ”Joseph, the Prophet in writing the Doctrine and Covenants, received ideas from God, but clothed those ideas with such words as came to mind.”
• The question was raised about grammatical errors in the revelations and Section 67 resulted.
• William E. McLellan took the challenge to write a revelation and after failing, Joseph said, “It is an awful responsibility to write in the name of the Lord.”
• Artist Rene Magritte:

Rene Magritte, "Clairvoyance"
Rene Magritte, “Clairvoyance”

When we have ears to hear and we are doers of the word – when we listen and submit, is there any limit to what we can become?

President Ezra T. Benson said, “Yes, men and women who turn their lives over to God will find out that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life to God will find he has eternal life.” “Jesus Christ – Gifts and expectations”

Elder Maxwell refers to “tips of truth” in the scriptures. One such tip is in D&C 105:31-32.
• Almost 50 years later the Lord permitted his prophet John Taylor to elaborate on this scripture:
“Those who will not take up their sword to fight against their neighbor must needs flee to Zion for safety. And they will come, saying, we do not know anything of the principles of your religion, but we perceive that you are an honest community; you administer justice and righteousness, and we want to live with you and receive the protection of your laws, but as for your religion we will talk about that some other time. Will we protect such people? Yes, all honorable men. When the people shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States, the Elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men, and extending the hand of fellowship to the oppressed of all nations. This is part of the programme, and as long as we do what is right and fear God, he will help us and stand by us under all circumstances. (Deseret News Weekly, 28 Jan. 1880)

D&C 68:25-31

Windows of Heaven by Emily McPhie
Windows of Heaven by Emily McPhie

“Windows of Heaven” by artist Emily McPhie
Pres. Eyring “Of all the help we can give these young people, the greatest will be to let them feel our confidence that they are on the path home to God and that they can make it. And we do it best by going with them.”

A story…..A member of the Church told of her experience:
“My father established a family tradition of taking his children aside each week for about two months before we turned eight years old. When it was my turn, he had a brand new journal for me, and we sat together, just the two of us and talked. He asked me about my feelings for Jesus….. Over the 2-month period he taught me the simple beautiful gospel. He had me draw a visual aid as we went along. It showed the premortal existence, this earth life and the steps I needed to take to return to live with Heavenly Father; faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring in faith to the end.”TNGC page 129

See November 2000 Ensign, “The Covenant of Baptism: To be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom” by Elder Robert D. Hales

Therefore what?
What will each of us do to better hear the voice of the Lord?

Oct 25 2016 Doctrine & Covenants Class 8 by Rosemary Wixom


Notes: The Organization of the Church

 If I had a chance to teach one thing it would be what it means and how it feels to exercise faith in Jesus Christ unto repentance.”

To do it, I would try to take the person I loved on a journey ( you may even    
     close your eyes) a journey from when we were with a loving Father in Heaven
     to when we can go home to Him again.  We would see the fall of Adam and Eve
     and feel its effects on us.  We would go to Bethlehem and rejoice at the birth of
     the Son of God, and to the Garden and to Golgotha as our hearts break at the
     transcendent gift of the Atonement.  And we would go to the open tomb, and
     to Galilee, and to this hemisphere to feel hope in keeping the commandments
     of a Risen Lord.  Then we would go to a grove in New York to watch the boy
     Joseph Smith talk with God the Father and his resurrected Son, to begin the
     errand that restored the ordinances of the gospel, which can lead us home
     again. “   President Henry B. Eyring

The history of the Organization of the Church

  • “A great and marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men” D&C 4:1
  • Joseph’s account of the meeting states that it was opened with solemn prayer. It was a joyous occasion with a great outpouring of the Spirit.   Joseph then asked whether those present would accept him and Oliver as teachers and whether or not they wanted to organize. Unanimous approval was given, Joseph ordained Oliver an elder and Oliver ordained Joseph an elder. This procedure met the requirements to incorporate a religious society in the State of New York along with the requirement that there be six members.
  • President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “Joseph Smith and his associates met in the inconspicuous log house… and organized the Church of Christ…. From that quiet village has grown a movement that today is scattered through some 160 nations of the earth….

 The doctrine of the Church of Christ

  • D&C 20: 37 (pearl) … All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon the them name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end…”
  • “When you take upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ you see yourself as His. You put Him and His work first in your life. You seek what He wants rather than what you want and what the world teaches you to want.” (True to the Faith)
  • D&C 42:14 (pearl) “And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit, ye shall not teach.”
  • D&C 81:5 (pearl) “Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak lift up the hands which hang down and strengthen the feeble knees….”
  • D&C 115:5 (pearl) “Verily, I say unto you all; arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations.”
  • Sometimes we use the terms gospel and church interchangeably, but they are not the same. They are however, exquisitely interconnected, and we need both…… It is possible to be active in the Church and less active in the gospel… Activity in the Church is an outward indication of our spiritual desire….. As we concentrate on the gospel, the church will become more, not less of a blessing in our lives.”  Elder Donald L. Hallstrom
  • Difficult days are ahead. Rarely in the future will it be easy or popular to be a faithful Latter-Day Saint. Each of us will be tested. The Apostle Paul warned that in the latter days, ‘those who diligently follow the Lord shall suffer persecution’ that persecution can either crush you into silent weakness or motivate you to be more exemplary and courageous in your daily lives.”   President Russell M. Nelson

“…the only true and living Church”

  • D&C 1:30 “…might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth.”
  • “This is the true Church, the only true Church, because in it are the keys of the priesthood. Only in this Church has the Lord lodged the power to seal on earth and to seal in heaven as He did in the time of the Apostle Peter. Those keys were restored to Joseph Smith, who then was authorized to confer them upon the members of the quorum of the Twelve.” President Henry B. Eyring
  • “There will be somethings that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views.   It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for our good, and his names glory.’” President Harold B. Lee
  • Our main defense against Satan’s deceptions must be a strong abiding testimony that the Church is true. It’s not true “if”, it’s not true “but”, it’s not true “except.” It’s just true!
  • We must find out if this is “the only true and living church” for ourselves.
  • Give us strength to live it – to be converted to His gospel through His Church by exercising faith in Jesus Christ unto repentance.