Doctrine & Covenants/Church History
“Behold, I Am Jesus Christ, the Savior
of the World”
The Doctrine and Covenants testifies of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ "suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and
come unto him."
The Doctrine and Covenants helps us understand the Savior's roles and attributes.
A study of this lesson will help us feel the powerful witness of the Savior
that comes through the Doctrine and Covenants and to help us strengthen our
testimonies of the Savior’s Atonement.
Scripture references for study:
Class Member Study Guide.
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 2 Handout (PDF)
The Doctrine and Covenants Testifies of Jesus Christ
A study of Church History often begins with the Joseph Smith story. This
year's Gospel Doctrine study begins with a focus on Jesus Christ and his
It is important to understand that the
Doctrine and Covenants testifies of Jesus Christ. The Church has
given additional emphasis in recent years to the Book of Mormon as a second
witness of Christ, even adding the subtitle Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is ancient scripture and goes hand-in-hand with the
Bible. We are blessed in our day to have a third testament of Jesus
Christ in the Doctrine and Covenants. It is the word of the Lord
to the Church and people in our day. Almost every section contains
the words of Jesus Christ. What a marvelous companion to the ancient
Old and New World testaments!
The last sentence of the Explanatory Introduction to the Doctrine &
Covenants reads: "Finally, 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 earth."
What an interesting statement! Within the pages
of this great book we find that which has great value to all mankind. It is contains a universal message.
In this modern world there great value is
placed on wealth. People invest lifetimes and fortunes in an effort
to obtain the riches of the earth. For years I lived in western Washington
state and often heard about Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his enormous fortune. Yet
we find within the pages of the Doctrine and Covenants something which
is of significantly greater value.
WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES THIS BOOK SO VALUABLE?
"...the testimony that is given of Jesus Christ"
WHY IS THAT TESTIMONY SO VALUABLE?
It is a testimony of Christ that can lead us to
eternal riches, salvation, and exaltation.
Consider these testimonies of the Savior from the
Doctrine and Covenants:
WHAT DOES THIS TESTIMONY MEAN TO YOU?
"...inasmuch as ye have received me, ye are in me and I
in you" (v43). The Lord has promised us that if
we receive him, he will be with us. We are not left alone as seek to follow
the gospel. He will be there to guide us. What a great promise!
He also gives us the key to success in this
effort of discipleship,
"He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall"
(v44). If we center our lives around the Lord and his gospel,
we cannot fail!
WHAT DOES THIS TESTIMONY MEAN TO YOU?
"That he lives!" Joseph Smith and Sidney
Rigdon, men of the latter day, testified of the Lord's living nature. We have a witness that Jesus Christ continues to be active in the affairs
of this world.
Jesus Christ Suffered The Pain Of All Men
As we approach the Doctrine and Covenants as another testament
of Christ, we find that this great book teaches much about the
role and mission of the Savior. We also find wonderful passages that teach
us more about his atoning sacrifice.
This is the only scripture passage in which the Savior describes his own
suffering during his atoning sacrifice.
WHAT DO THESE VERSES TEACH US ABOUT THE ATONEMENT?
Christ paid the eternal price for our sins. Our sins require a just
payment and Jesus Christ made that payment if we are willing to repent. If not, we must bear the burden, the pain, the suffering for our sins. The
2000 First Presidency Message by President Hinckley tells a wonderful story that helps us
to understand the price that Jesus paid for us. President Hinckley concludes by saying,
"To lift a phrase from this simple story, Jesus, my Redeemer, has taken
'my licking for me' and yours for you."
The burden was heavy. The Savior said that his "suffering caused
myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and
to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit" (v18). Is it possible to contemplate such suffering. I think not. In this life, we have all suffered pain, but to multiply it to the point
of bleeding at "every pore" is unimaginable. I am reminded of the
moving words in the hymn, I Stand All Amazed (Hymn 193):
I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and
I marvel that he would descend from his throne
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay
Such mercy, such love, and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his
Why was the Savior willing to do this? Consider what the Doctrine
& Covenants teaches:
"Remember the worth
of souls is great in the sight of God; For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer
suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men,
that all men might repent and come unto him." (D&C 18:10-11)
"I am Jesus Christ; I
came by the will of the Father, and I do his will." (D&C 19:24)
so loved the world that he gave his own life, that as many as would
believe might become the sons of God." (D&C
The Doctrine & Covenants teaches that through
the Atonement we will be resurrected. Consider these important principles:
Resurrection is the redemption of the soul:
"Now, verily I say unto
you, that through the redemption which is made for you is brought to pass
the resurrection from the dead. And the spirit and the body are the
soul of man. And the resurrection from the dead is the redemption
of the soul." (D&C 88:14-16)
Resurrection prepares us for the celestial glory:
"Therefore, it must needs
be sanctified from all unrighteousness, that it may be prepared for the
celestial glory." (D&C 88:18)
Resurrection is necessary for us to receive a fulness of joy:
"For man is spirit. The
elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive
a fulness of joy." (D&C 93:33)
- These great teachings from the Doctrine and Covenants clarify vital doctrines. We cannot receive a fulness of joy until the spirit and body are rejoined
"inseparably connected." The Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus
Christ made this possible.
The Doctrine and Covenants teaches that through the Atonement, we can
be forgiven of our sins and inherit celestial glory. Consider these
We can repent of our sins and come unto Him:
"For, behold, the Lord
your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain
of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. And he hath
risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions
of repentance." (D&C 18:11-12)
If we repent, Christ has taken upon Himself the suffering
for our sins:
behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not
suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer
even as I." (D&C 19:16-17)
If we repent, the Lord forgives us and remembers
our sins no more:
he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord,
remember them no more."
Isn't this wonderful! We have all done things
for which we wish to forget. If we have truly repented, the Lord
will not bring out his checklist at a later time to remind us of all the
fool things we have done.
We can come forth in the first resurrection, be made
perfect through Christ, and inherit celestial glory:
D&C 76:62-70 provides the promise:
"These are they who shall have part in the first
"These are they who are just men made perfect
through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect
atonement through the shedding of his own blood"
"These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose
glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all"
Section 122, the Lord gives another indication
of the depth of his suffering. While in Liberty Jail, Joseph and
a few of his brethren were languishing in the cold, wintry Missouri jail
while the Saints suffered after having been driven from their homes. As indicated in
Section 121, the Prophet was frustrated with the injustice the Saints had
In Section 122, the Lord speaks directly to Joseph
and says, "If thou art called to pass through
tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in
perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea;
"If thou art accused with
all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they
tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters....
"And if thou shouldst be
cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of
death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing
surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the
heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the
way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth
wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee
experience, and shall be for thy good"
After this grim description, the Lord then says,
Son of Man hath descended below them all"
The Lord seems to be saying that we cannot imagine the
depths of his sacrifice. All the adversity in the world is not sufficient
to reveal to man what the Lord was required pass through.
HOW CAN THIS KNOWLEDGE HELP US WHEN WE EXPERIENCE
Because the Lord has passed through the depths of
trial, he understands how we feel. If we have invited him into our
lives, he is with us and will be the rock that will support us when the
winds of adversity blow.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: "When
… difficult times come to us, we can remember that Jesus had to descend
below all things before He could ascend above them, and that He suffered
pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind that He might be filled
with mercy and know how to succor His people in their infirmities (see
D&C 88:6; Alma 7:11-12)." (Ensign,
Nov 1995, p69)
HOW SHOULD OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE ATONEMENT AFFECT
US IN OUR DAILY LIVES?
The Savior's Roles & Attributes
Joseph Smith: "Let us here observe, that
three things are necessary in order that any rational and intelligent being
may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation.
"First, the idea that he
"Secondly, a correct idea
of his character, perfections, and attributes.
"Thirdly, an actual knowledge
that the course of life which he is pursuing is according to his will.
For without an acquaintance with these three important facts, the faith
of every rational being must be imperfect and unproductive; but with this
understanding it can become perfect and fruitful, abounding in righteousness,
unto the praise and glory of God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ."
(Lectures On Faith, Lecture Third)
The Doctrine and Covenants helps us gain this understanding, particularly
a "correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes."
WHAT DOES THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS TEACH ABOUT THE SAVIOR'S ROLES AND
Read the following scriptures and list the Savior' roles and attributes:
||The Savior's Roles & Attributes
||He was present in the beginning before the creation of the world.
He is the creator of the world.
He knows all things.
||The good shepherd & the stone of Israel.
||He was in the beginning before the creation of the world.
Light of the world & the Spirit of truth.
Redeemer of the world.
The worlds, men, and all things were made by him.
The only Begotten of the Father in the flesh.
He continued from grace to grace until he received a fulness of the
glory of the Father.
||The Savior of the world.
||His arm of mercy has atoned for our sins.
||He led the children of Israel out of Egypt.
He will save his people in the last days.
||The Redeemer of the world.
Accomplished and finished the will of the Father.
He will destroy Satan & his works at the end of the world.
He will judge all according to their works & deeds.
||Our advocate with the Father.
||The obedient are encircled in his arms of love.
The light which shineth in darkness.
||He is merciful and gracious unto those who fear him.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING THIS KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE SAVIOR?
It is he we look to as we strive for righteousness.
We are seeking to become like him.
"I give unto you these sayings that you may understand
and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto
the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness"
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Isn't it wonderful that we have this additional testament of the Savior. As we continue our study of the Doctrine and Covenants, we should continue
to look for passages that reveal the "character, perfections, and attributes"
of the Savior. As we do so, we shall increase our understanding of
the Atonement and have a greater desire to serve him whose name we have
taken upon ourselves.
Record your thoughts on the Savior. How can a study of the Doctrine and
Covenant strengthen your witness of the Savior?
Resources Used In This Lesson
Lectures on Faith by Joseph Smith.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
30 December 2016