Invite class members to share some of the truths that they found during their study of Doctrine and Covenants 71–75. What experiences have they had with these truths?
Have we ever felt fearful or nervous about defending our beliefs?
Perhaps you could invite class members to write on the board words or phrases they find in Doctrine and Covenants 71 that describe how the Lord asked Joseph and Sidney to respond to the criticisms of Ezra Booth and others
. Class members could then discuss in small groups what these instructions may mean for us today.
Why is it important that we act “according to that portion of Spirit” the Lord gives us? (verse 1).
It might also be helpful to watch the video “Everyday Example: When Beliefs Are Questioned” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org). Class members could look for ways the truths in section 71 are demonstrated in the video. Perhaps they could also share examples of how the Savior responded to His critics (for example, see Matthew 22:15–22; 26:59–64; John 10:37–38)
How can the Lord’s instructions to Newel K. Whitney, when he was called to be the bishop in Kirtland, help those you teach appreciate the bishops who have been called to serve them?
You could ask class members to search Doctrine and Covenants 72:8–16, looking for some of the responsibilities of Bishop Whitney and then comparing them to the responsibilities of bishops today (see President Gordon B. Hinckley’s description of the responsibilities).
President Gordon B. Hinckley taught:
“I carry in my heart a deep appreciation for our bishops. I am profoundly grateful for the revelation of the Almighty under which this office was created and functions. …
“… We expect you to stand as the presiding high priest of the ward, a counselor to the people, a defender and helper of those in trouble, a comfort to those in sorrow, a supplier to those in need. We expect you to stand as a guardian and protector of the doctrine that is taught in your ward, of the quality of the teaching, of the filling of the many offices which are necessary. …
“… You are to see that none goes hungry or without clothing or shelter. You must know the circumstances of all over whom you preside.
“You must be a comforter and a guide to your people. Your door must be ever open to any cries of distress. Your back must be strong in sharing their burdens. You must reach out in love even to the wrongdoer” (“The Shepherds of the Flock,” Ensign, May 1999, 52–53).
Perhaps class members could share how they have been blessed by a bishop’s service.
What can we do to more fully sustain our bishop?
The Lord told Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon to preach the gospel “inasmuch as it is practicable” (Doctrine and Covenants 73:4) while also working on the translation of the Bible. Perhaps class members could share some ways they have found it “practicable”—or realistic—to share the gospel among their other responsibilities. They may find some helpful counsel in Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s message “Missionary Work: Sharing What Is in Your Heart”
(Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 15–18).
The Lord’s instructions to several elders about how to share the gospel could inspire class members to share the gospel more diligently. You could write on the board Labor with your might
and ask class members to list words and phrases that come to mind when they think of someone who labors with his or her might in sharing the gospel. They could also discuss what it means to “tarry” or “be idle” in sharing the gospel.
What does Doctrine and Covenants 75:2–16 teach us about how the Savior supports those who serve Him faithfully?
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