Sunday School Lesson 34

Lesson 34: Doctrine and Covenants 136

Other than for its historical interest, of what value is Section 136 to us?

Verse 4: Verse 2 spoke of a covenant to keep the commandments and statutes of God. That is fairly easy to understand. But what does it mean to walk in the ordinances of the Lord?

Verses 5-10: Were you to describe the principles implicit in the organization described here, what would you say?

Verse 18: What is Zion, as it is used here? What does it mean to redeem Zion? (For other scriptures which talk of Zion’s redemption, see Psalms 74:2; Isaiah 1:27; D&C 84:99 and 100; 100:13; 101:43 and 75; 103:1, 13, 15, 18, and 29; 105:9, 13, 34; 109:51; and 113:8.)

Verse 19: What does it mean to build oneself up? What’s wrong with it? How do we seek to build ourselves up? How can we avoid doing so? Is the phrase “seek to build himself up” parallel to “seeketh not my counsel”? Why would someone who seeks to build himself up be powerless? What folly would be manifest? How?

Verse 20: By beginning with the word “seek,” this verse is obviously connected to the previous one. “Seek ye” doesn’t have an object. What should we seek? Why are the instructions about keeping promises, borrowing, etc. in this verse and the verses that follow particularly important to the Saints as they leave Nauvoo?

Verses 21-22: In what ways do we take the Lord’s name in vain? What reason does the Lord give that we shouldn’t take his name in vain? Why is it important to us that he is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Why is it important that he led the children of Israel out of Israel? What does it mean that the Lord has stretched out his arm to save Israel in the last days? (Other uses of the phrase “stretched out arm” may help you understand what it means. See Exodus 6:6; Deuteronomy 4:34, 5:15, 7:19, 9:29, and 11:2; 1 Kings 8:42; 2 Kings 17:36; 2 Chronicles 6:32; Psalms 136:12; Jeremiah 32:17 and 21; Ezekiel 20:33 and 34; Alma 20:20; and D&C 103:17 and 121:33)

Verses 28-29: What might these verses say to us?

Verses 37: To what does “these things” refer? How does our present impurity explain why we shouldn’t marvel? How might the promise of this verse have been a comfort to the Nauvoo Saints? How might it be a comfort to us? Why might the Lord say “keep my words” rather than “keep my commandments”? Do the words given, from Adam to Abraham, to Moses, to Jesus, to Joseph Smith, include more than the commandments? If so, what? If so, how do we keep those words?