D&C 64:1-11 Forgive
In verse 2 the Lord says that He wants us to overcome the world, and surely the following verses address one significant quality we must develop in order to do so. The lead-up goes as follows:
- “Hearken ye and hear, and receive my will concerning you” (verse 1).
- “I will that ye should overcome the world” (verse 2).
- “There are those among you who have sinned” (verse 3).
- “I will be merciful unto you” (verse 4).
- Then the Lord asserts that Joseph Smith is the one to whom He has given the keys of the kingdom (verse 5).
- But, “there are those who have sought occasion against him [Joseph] without cause” (verse 6).
Now comes the commandment—one that can sometimes be so very difficult to obey. Read verses 8-11 carefully and state the commandment in your own words. Then consider:
- What did the Lord call “evil” in verse 8? What were the consequences of this evil?
- Why is it a “greater sin” not to forgive someone that we think has offended us?
- How do you interpret the Lord’s use of the term “in your hearts”? (verse 11; see also verse 8).
- Failing to forgive others may represent a failure to keep the first and second great commandments (to love God and to love others; see Matthew 22:37-39).
- The Lord reserves the right to forgive whom He will, but requires us to forgive all (verse 10). At least part of the reason for this is that we don’t have all the facts (He does) and we don’t see and love perfectly (He does). Has there been a time in your life when you were able to forgive someone, even though it was difficult?
- Brother Wallace Goddard taught, “When we withhold forgiveness from those who offend us, we are presuming to limit or regulate God’s grace. We are claiming a prerogative that is His alone!” (“Finding the Path to Peace;” https://latterdaysaintmag.com/finding-the-path-to-peace).
- To further strengthen His teaching, the Lord cited two brethren who unrightly “sought evil” in others, resulting in a loss of the Spirit (D&C 64:15-16). We must not ascribe evil where there may be none.
- Note the Lord’s use of the words heart and hearts in this revelation, in verses 8, 11, 16, 22, 34. What do you learn from this?
- Read verses 23-25 and consider how the law of tithing helps us to overcome the world.
D&C 64:29-34, 41-43 “Zion Shall Flourish”
In verse 29 the Lord says, “Ye are on the Lord’s errand.” We have been called into His kingdom and to do His work. Reflect upon the following:
- “Whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord is the Lord’s business” (verse 29).
- One of the eventualities is that we “may obtain an inheritance in the land of Zion” (verse 30).
- The Lord expresses His “sure” words, which “shall not fail,” that we shall obtain Zion (verse 31).
- We are commanded not be “weary in well-doing” (verse 33). The word weary isn’t the same as “tired,” for surely our bodies often feel physically tired as we do the Lord’s work. But not to be weary means that we do not diminish in labor, patience, tolerance, enjoyment, and so forth, as we carry on our “well-doing” in the Lord’s kingdom.
- Alma taught his son Helaman, “Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls” (Alma 37:34); apparently, being “meek and lowly” is the opposite of—or the antidote for becoming—weary of good works. What are people like when they have become weary in well-doing?
- Even our seemingly weak efforts matter to the Lord, for “out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33; see also Alma 37:6-7).
- Adding to Alma’s counsel to be meek and lowly in heart, the Lord asserted—perhaps as an additional key to avoiding weariness—that He requires of us “the heart and a willing mind” (D&C 64:34).
D&C 65 “That His Kingdom May Go Forth”
The section heading designates this as “a revelation on prayer.” Find in verses 2-6 the glorious things the Lord said are to happen in this dispensation. Do you pray for the fulfillment of these great events? Do you strive to do your own part in helping them to come to pass?
D&C 66 “You Are Clean, But Not All”
As indicated in the section heading, William E. McLellin had five secret questions and he wanted Joseph Smith to ask the Lord for the answers; yet William did not tell Joseph what the questions were. William later testified that all the questions were fully answered. But in addition, the Lord added at least twenty instructions or commandments for William!
What are the four things in verses 1-2 that the Lord tells William he has done? (This can be considered a pattern for all of us in coming unto Christ.) Find the things the Lord told William to do, in verses 3, 5-12. How many of these instructions could apply to missionaries today? Which of these things can apply to you in your life now? Find also the promises the Lord made to William—and to us—in verses 8-9, 12.