Doctrine & Covenants/Church History
Lesson 44
“Being Good Citizens”

Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will encourage us to be good citizens by participating in government, obeying the law, and strengthening the community.

Scripture references for study:  D&C 58:21–22, 26–28; 98:4–10; 134; Articles of Faith 1:12; Our Heritage, pages 133–34
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at and will open in a new window.

Lesson 44 Handout (PDF)

Participating in Government

A general assembly of the Church was held in Kirtland on August 17, 1835, to take into consideration the labors of a committee appointed by a general assembly of the Church in September 1834, for the purpose of arranging the items of the doctrine of Jesus Christ for the government of the Church. Oliver Cowdery read to the assembly the article on Governments and Laws in General. The article was adopted by the assembly and included the Book of Commandments and subsequently the Doctrine and Covenants, now Section 134. Though not given as a revelation, it has been accepted by the Church as scripture.

See Of Governments and Laws at for additional background information on Section 134. 

We previously read, "We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society." (D&C 134:1)

Obeying the Laws of the Land


In a day when many treat some of our laws with contempt, it is essential that we teaching our children obedience to the law.


Gospel Doctrine Notebook

Elder M. Russell Ballard: "In the Church, we often state the couplet, ‘Be in the world but not of the world.’ … Perhaps we should state the couplet … as two separate admonitions. First, ‘Be in the world.’ Be involved; be informed. Try to be understanding and tolerant and to appreciate diversity. Make meaningful contributions to society through service and involvement. Second, ‘Be not of the world.’ Do not follow wrong paths or bend to accommodate or accept what is not right. …
    "Members of the Church need to influence more than we are influenced. We should work to stem the tide of sin and evil instead of passively being swept along by it. We each need to help solve the problem rather than avoid or ignore it."
(CR, Apr 1989)

Record your thoughts on the principles of government discussed in this lesson. What might you do to become a better citizen within your community?

Resources Used In This Lesson

Conference Reports (CR).

Gospel Doctrine: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Joseph F. Smith, compiled by John A. Widtsoe.

Journal of Discourses (JD).

Next Lesson

Return to: The Gospel Doctrine Class

Page created by: Please E-Mail comments.
Changes last made on:  04 September 2017