Lesson 29: Doctrine and Covenants 124: 1-21, 87-90, 97-110; Doctrine and Covenants 126
Verse 1: What “offering and acknowledgments” has Joseph Smith made? What does it mean for the Lord to tell the prophet that he has raised him up so that the Lord can show his “wisdom through the weak thing of the earth”? In what senses was Joseph weak?
Verses 2-3: How is this commandment to make a proclamation an answer to Joseph’s prayers? The proclamation commanded in these verses wasn’t done immediately because of the difficulties the saints were experiencing, but it was taken quite seriously. Parley P. Pratt finally completed and published the proclamation in 1845, on April 6. For what purposes might such a proclamation have been intended?
Verse 4: What is meekness? What does it mean to write something in the spirit of meekness?
Verse 6: Is this one of the purposes of the proclamation, to call the president-elect, the governors, and the kings of the world to heed the light and glory of Zion? What are the light and glory of Zion? What does it mean to heed them? When the Lord asks the rulers of nations to favor Zion, what is he asking them to do?
Verse 7: How do you reconcile what is said here with the command to write in the spirit of meekness?
Verses 8-10: The first part of verse eight seems to name another purpose of the proclamation, to warn the rulers of the world of Christ’s coming. Why did the rulers of the earth need to have their hearts softened toward Zion? Is this something that the Church still needs? What does “the exaltation or lifting up of Zion” (verse 10) mean in this context?
Verse 11: Is this a third reason for the proclamation? What likelihood is there that the rulers of the world would have responded had the saints been able to make this declaration to them when it was commanded? The US government’s reaction to the saints’ problems may be indicative of how others would react: they ignored the problems. But if the rulers of the world weren’t going to respond to the proclamation–if they weren’t going to give heed to the glory of Zion, to prepare for the Second Coming, or send money to the saints–what is the point of the proclamation?
Verse 20: Is “integrity of the heart” different than another kind of integrity, or is the Lord being emphatic when he uses that phrase? What is the Lordâ€™s testimony? Why does the Lord say “for the love which he [George Miller] has to my testimony” rather than “for the love which he has for my testimony”?
Verse 21: At this stage in Church history, what was the primary responsibility of the Bishop?
Verses 87-90, 97-102: What commandments are given to William Law in these verses? In what ways are these specific commandments to him? In what ways do they exemplify commandments for all of us? What do you make of the promise in verse 90: you won’t be forsaken, and your children won’t beg for food? If that promise was meaningful to Law (as I assume it was), what does it tell us about his situation, his fears, his hopes? What does it suggest about the situation of the saints? What does this blessing mean in verse 99: “He shall mount up in the imagination of his thoughts as upon eagle’s wings”?
Verses 103-110: Why was the Lord telling Sidney Rigdon to humble himself (verse 103)? What does “stand in the office of his calling? mean? Why did Rigdon have to be told to do that? What might have counted as an acceptable offering (verse 104)? How would you justify your answer? What healing did Sidney need?
Verses 1-3: These verses raise a question even more obviously than did the immediately previous ones: why is it important for us to have a record of the commandments and promises made to particular individuals? What have they do to with our lives?