Sunday School Lesson 14

Lesson 14: D&C 42:30-42; 51; 78; 82; 104:11-18

Section 42

Verses 30-31: In speaking of consecrating of our substance “with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken,” verse 30 clearly has reference to the Law of Consecration, which we are not presently under obligation to practice in the way it was to be practiced in the nineteenth century. But does this verse have a meaning for us anyway? What does the word “consecrate” mean? How do we consecrate something? How do we consecrate of our properties to support the poor? To whom do we make such consecrations?

Verse 42: The idea of “idle poor” seems to have had a relatively recent development. It is an idea that comes into being in the twentieth century, primarily because in previous times it was nearly impossible for a poor person to be idle and survive. But if this verse doesn’t refer to the idle poor, to whom does it refer? In the early nineteenth century and in earlier times, what kinds of people would have been idle? How might we “translate” the meaning of this scripture for our own understanding and circumstances? (To see a warning to the poor, see D&C 56:17.)

Section 51

Verse 9: What does “be alike” mean here? What might it mean to us today? What does honesty have to do with being alike? What do honesty and being alike have to do with being one?

Verse 13: Are we still under the obligation to consecrate that which is more than needful? How much is more than is needful? Who decides? Consider this from President Kimball:

Consecration is the giving of one’s time, talents, and means to care for those in need—whether spiritually or temporally—and in building the Lord’s kingdom. In Welfare Services, members consecrate as they labor on production projects, donate materials to Deseret Industries, share their professional talents, give a generous fast offering, and respond to ward and quorum service projects. They consecrate their time in their home or visiting teaching. We consecrate when we give of ourselves. (Ensign, August 1984, p. 4)

Verse 15: Why is it a privilege to be organized according to the laws of consecration?

Verse 19: In the context of this section, what does it mean to be “a faithful, a just, and a wise steward”? (Compare D&C 78:22.)

Section 78

Verse 3: Why had the time come to establish a storehouse for the poor? What were the historical circumstances that made that necessary? What were the spiritual circumstances? Do verses 4-5 explain why it was necessary?

Verses 5-6: Why is equality in both heavenly and earthly things necessary if we wish to obtain heavenly things? Why does inequality in earthly things prevent us from equally obtaining heavenly things?

Verses 11-12: How seriously does the Lord take the covenant that establishes the order of this storehouse? What does that say to us about our responsibilities to the poor?

Verses 14-15: What are the goals of caring for the poor?

Verses 17-18: What does the Lord mean when he says the saints are as little children? These verses mention two attributes of children, the inability to understand the blessings prepared and the inability to bear all things. How do they apply to us? Does Matthew 18:1-6 tell us anything about our attitudes toward each other, given what the Lord says here?

Verse 19: Why is thankfulness so essential to being made glorious? What does it mean to be made glorious? To what might the Lord be referring?

Verse 22: What is the significance of this promise in the context of this particular revelation?

Section 82

Verse 1: Why might this section, which was given at the organization of the First Presidency, begin with an admonition to forgive?

Verse 3: We sometimes misquote this verse, saying, “unto whom much is given, much is expected.” Instead of “expected,” the Lord says “required.” What does it mean to have much required?

Verse 7: Compare this verse to James 2:10. How would you explain this teaching to your children? To an investigator?

Verse 10: In the Doctrine and Covenants, the word “bound” has at least two uses: as a synonym of “sealed,” joined by covenant; and as a description of what happens to Satan at the end, as a synonym of “tied up.” In this section, binding is mentioned three times, in this verse, in verse 11 and in verse 15. In the second two cases, it clearly means “sealed by covenant.” It seems reasonable to assume that’s what it means here too, especially given the explicit connection of “bound” and “promise” in this verse. We sometimes hear people using this verse to discuss “binding God,” in other words, putting ourselves in a position where we force him to do what we want, but that seems fairly clearly to be a misunderstanding of the verse. The point is that he binds himself to us by covenant when we obey him, not that when we obey him we have power over him, as he will have power over Satan. How does this verse figure into the law of consecration?

Verse 22: What is this verse advising? It is a quotation of Luke 16:9 (a verse in one of the most difficult parables). How does it fit with the instruction that we cannot serve both God and mammon (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:3, and 3 Nephi 13:24)?

Verse 23: As used in the scriptures, the word “judgment” usually means “condemnation.” How do we avoid condemning others?

Section 104

Verse 11: What does this verse mean to us today, given that we are not presently required to live the Law of Consecration?

Verse 13: What are our stewardships and how do we account for them?

Verse 16: We must provide for the poor in the Lord’s way. What is that way as he describes it here? What does it mean to exalt the poor and make the rich low?

Verse 17: If there is enough in the earth to spare, why are so many people impoverished? How do we decide when we have imparted enough of our portion of the Lord’s abundance to the poor?

Verse 18: This verse makes it obvious that we must impart our portion to the poor. How do we decide what that portion is?

2 comments for “Sunday School Lesson 14

  1. I wonder if there are any good books to read on these matters?
    Besides, of course, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Gospels and the Acts?

  2. Adam–

    What do you mean by ‘on these matters’? The law of consecration? If so, I like Nibley’s ‘Approaching Zion’ and Card’s article on the law of consecration, which is available online. These are devotional, not academic, in nature.

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