Doctrine & Covenants/Church History
Lesson 9
“The Only True and Living Church”

Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will help us learn about the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith, help us appreciate the blessings of Church membership, and encourage us to show the Lord our gratitude for membership in His Church.

Scripture references for study:  D&C 20:1–36, 68–69, 75–79; 21; 27; 115:1–4, Our Heritage, pages 14–16
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at and will open in a new window.

Lesson 9 Handout (PDF)

The Church Is Organized

Historical Background.

The organization of the Church.

Give Heed To The Words Of The Prophet

During the meeting of organization, the Lord also gave a revelation instructing members of the Church to follow Joseph Smith as the prophet. This revelation is recorded in D&C 21.

READ D&C 21:1-2, 4-6.

Meet Together Often To Partake of Bread & Wine

"It is expedient that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in the remembrance of the Lord Jesus" (D&C 20:75).

Review the sacramental prayers - D&C 20:77 & 79.

The Prophet writes of the following incident a few months after the organization of the Church:  "Early in the month of August Newel Knight and his wife paid us a visit at my place in Harmony, Pennsylvania; and as neither his wife nor mine had been as yet confirmed, it was proposed that we should confirm them, and partake together of the Sacrament, before he and his wife should leave us. In order to prepare for this I set out to procure some wine for the occasion, but had gone only a short distance when I was met by a heavenly messenger, and received the following revelation, the first four paragraphs of which were written at this time, and the remainder in the September following....
    "In obedience to the above commandment, we prepared some wine of our own making, and held our meeting, consisting only of five, viz., Newel Knight and his wife, myself and my wife, and John Whitmer. We partook together of the Sacrament, after which we confirmed these two sisters into the Church, and spent the evening in a glorious manner. The Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon us, we praise the Lord God, and rejoiced exceedingly." (HC, 1:106 & 108)

Duties of Church Members

"The duty of the members after they are received by baptism.—The elders or priests are to have a sufficient time to expound all things concerning the church of Christ to their understanding, previous to their partaking of the sacrament and being confirmed by the laying on of the hands of the elders, so that all things may be done in order.
    "And the members shall manifest before the church, and also before the elders, by a godly walk and conversation, that they are worthy of it, that there may be works and faith agreeable to the holy scriptures—walking in holiness before the Lord." (D&C 20:68-69)

Photographs from my trip to Fayette, New York in 2010


Reconstructed Peter Whitmer home in Fayette, New York - Site of the organization of the Church on April 6, 1830

Reconstructed Peter Whitmer home in Fayette, New York

Interior of Peter Whitmer home - Room where the Church was organized on April 6, 1830

Gospel Doctrine Notebook

Record your thoughts on the topics discussed in this lesson. What does the restoration of the church of Jesus Christ mean to you? How can you manifest to the Lord that your gratitude for this incredible blessing?

Resources Used In This Lesson

An Eye Single To The Glory of God by Robert L. Millet.

Church History & Modern Revelation by Joseph Fielding Smith.

Conference Reports (CR).

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon by Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet.


History of the Church (HC).

History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, Lucy Mack Smith.

Improvement Era.

Joseph Smith and the Restoration by Ivan J. Barrett.

Life of Joseph Smith the Prophet by George Q. Cannon.

New Era.

The Doctrine and Covenants, A Book of Answers: The 25th Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium.

Next Lesson

Return to: The Gospel Doctrine Class

Page created by: Please E-Mail comments.
Changes last made on:  09 January 2017