D&C 88:1-2 Pleasing to the Lord
In verses 1-2 the Lord tells us that it is pleasing to Him when we assemble together, seek to know His will, and pray to Him. Also, He states that those prayers are recorded in heaven, where angels rejoice (see also D&C 62:3). How might these verses affect your personal prayers?
D&C 88:3-5 Another Comforter
In these verses the Lord says that the men assembled on this occasion received “another Comforter,” being the promise that they would gain eternal life, or exaltation. Various commentators interpret this Comforter to be Jesus Christ, who is the “Second Comforter” that appears and declares one’s calling and election to made sure, while others state that these verses refer to another role of the Holy Ghost. In either case, it is a glorious promise and one we should all strive to receive, whether in this mortal life or in the life beyond.
D&C 88:6-20, 25-29, 41-47, 50-61 Christ is Everything
In these verses we learn that our Savior Jesus Christ truly is everything to us:
- He is in and through all things and is the light of truth (verse 6).
- The light of Christ (besides being another term for the “conscience” we are all born with) also powers the sun, moon, stars, and earth; indeed the entire “immensity of space” (verses 7-10, 12-13, 41-47). We could not exist nor “abound” without His light (verse 50; see also verse 66).
- His light is also the power by which our eyes and our understanding function (verse 11).
- By the power of Christ we will all resurrect, and through our humble acceptance of His atonement we may be redeemed and inherit celestial glory (verses 14-17, 27-29).
- By His power, this earth will become “sanctified from all unrighteousness” and become our celestial kingdom, with the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (verses 18-20; 25-26).
- In His own time and ways, the Lord visits all His creations and their inhabitants (verses 51-61).
D&C 88:24, 32-35 Sons of Perdition
These verses add to previously revealed about the sons of perdition found in D&C 76:30-49.
D&C 88:33, 40, 63-64, 67-68 Receive His Gifts, Draw Near, Cleave to Him, Sanctify Ourselves
- Read and ponder verse 33, then make a list of some of the many significant gifts the Lord has given you. How may you better “receive” the gifts the Lord has given you or is offering to you?
- Read verse 40 and consider, do you love and “cleave” (cling or attach strongly and emotionally) to intelligence, wisdom, truth, virtue, light, mercy, and justice?
- Read verses 63-64 and think of ways you are “diligently seeking” Him (see also verse 83). When you feel distance between you and the Lord, what helps you to draw nearer?
- Read verses 67-68. What is the great promise the Lord makes in verse 68, and how may we claim its fulfillment in our lives? (See also verses 74-76; D&C 67:10; 93:1).
D&C 88:73, 87-92 “I Will Hasten My Work”
Read verse 73. To “hasten” means to accelerate or to step up (an example of the Lord hastening His work in the last days is prophesied in 1 Nephi 22:10-11). What have you seen that you consider to be a hastening of the Lord’s work in the last days?
In the April 2021 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson testified: “I know for sure that the Lord directs the affairs of His Church. He said, ‘I will show [you] that I am able to do mine own work.’ (2 Nephi 27:21.) Often, my counselors and I have watched through tear-brimmed eyes as He has interceded in extremely challenging circumstances after we had done our best and could do no more. We do indeed stand all amazed. I also understand better now what He meant when He said, ‘Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.’ (D&C 88:73.) Over and over again I have rejoiced as He has directed and executed the hastening of His work.”
Note also the astounding prophecies the Lord makes about events of the last days, as recorded in verses 87-92.
D&C 88:77-81, 84-85 Teach One Another
Go through verses 77-79 and make a list of the things the Lord commanded us to teach and to learn (see also D&C 93:53). Also, list the reasons the Lord gave in verses 80-81, 84-85 for why we should learn these things. Why do you think the word “warn” in verse 81 is the appropriate word? (Consider the first sentence of verse 85.)
D&C 88:92-116 From Now Until the Celestial Glory
Joseph Smith called this revelation “the Lord’s message of peace to us” (section heading). However, some of the prophesied events in these verses (as well as in verses 87-91) may not seem to lead to feelings of peace. But we may take heart because these verses describe the ultimate end of wickedness and the salvation of the disciples of Jesus Christ. Also, He reveals and describes troublesome things for us in advance, that we may recognize them as the signs of the times and know that they lead up to His final, redeeming work. A brief outline may be helpful:
- Angels declare the Second Coming of Christ to all people on earth (verses 92-93).
- “Another angel” announces events accompanying Christ’s coming, including:
—the downfall of the church of the devil and his works (verse 94; see also verses 105, 110);
—the protection and survival of the righteous living on earth, as well as the resurrection of all the righteous who have previously died (verses 96-98); all these are destined for the celestial kingdom.
- A second angel announces that others will resurrect at various times during the Millennium (verse 99); these are destined for the terrestrial kingdom.
- A third angel announces that still others will resurrect at the end of the Millennium (verses 100-101); these are destined for the telestial kingdom.
- A fourth angel announces that finally those who “shall remain filthy still” will resurrect (verse 102); these are the sons of perdition.
- The fifth angel asserts the truth of the restored gospel to “all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people,” and that all shall bow and confess these truths before God (verses 103-104).
- The sixth angel confirms the former declaration in verse 94 regarding the fall of the “mother of abominations” (verse 105).
- The seventh angel, who is the prophet Michael (or Adam; see verse 112), testifies that Jesus Christ has overcome all and finished the Atonement; crowning the righteous with glory and making them “equal” with Him (verses 106-107; see also verse 116).
- These six angels then reveal “the secret acts of men, and the mighty works of God” for each of the six thousand-year periods of the earth’s temporal history (verses 108-110).
- Adam, the seventh angel, declares the end of mortal time and the binding of Satan, and that the devil is to be loosed for a short time at the end of the Millennium (verses 110-111).
- Adam then gathers the hosts of heaven and defeats the devil and his armies; casting them away forever (verses 112-115).
- The Lord makes a final declaration regarding His glory and the sanctification of His righteous children (verse 116; see also Moses 1:39).
D&C 88:117-141 Instructions for the School of the Prophets
In verses 78-80 the Lord directed Joseph Smith to establish a school for the elders of the Church in Kirtland. They began the following month (January 1833) and called it the “school of the prophets” (changed in 1834 to “school for the elders”). Women also attended the first meeting and participated in the spiritual outpouring, which included powerful manifestations of the Holy Ghost. They met each winter until 1836, studying spiritual and secular subjects (including history, current events, reading and writing, mathematics, language study, and doctrinal teaching). All this helped prepare them for missionary service and other labors and blessings. Specific instructions for the school are given in these verses, accompanied by suggestions for ways to apply these things to your life today:
- They were commanded to seek diligently and to teach each other, utilizing the “best books” and applying themselves by study and by faith (verse 118). Think of your past school or other study experiences. Did you apply faith to your efforts to learn? How can you learn better by adding faith to your study?
- They were to prepare for the temple in Kirtland (which they began to build about five months later), through organization, prayer, fasting, faith, learning, and order (verse 119). As you think about today’s temples and temple work, what patterns can you adopt and apply to your home and daily life?
- They were to eliminate light speeches, excess of laughter, lustful desires, pride, light-mindedness, and all wickedness (verse 121; see also verse 69).
- They were directed to appoint teachers and to “let not all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen” (verse 122). Think about how you can apply this verse to your teaching—and to your role as a learner—in the home, community, and at church.
- The Lord commanded them to love one another and to be charitable, and to pray always. He also instructed that they must not be covetous, idle, unclean, and fault-finding; and to retire to bed early and to arise early (verses 123-126). How do you think each of these commandments can lead to better learning and better living? What are the promises the Lord gave in verse 124 for those who retire and arise early? Why do you think charity can be described as “perfectness and peace” (verse 125)?
- The Lord gave instructions for the teachers and leaders, relating to their preparation and protocol (verses 127-138).
- The priesthood ordinance of the washing of feet was to be carried out in the school, following the pattern given by Jesus (verses 139-141; see also John 13:4-10). This has been explained as follows: “At the end of section 88 we learn that on the occasion of the Last Supper the Savior was performing a priesthood ordinance which is to be administered by the presiding elder or President of the Church (or under his direction)….The washing of feet belongs to the higher ordinances of the priesthood and the temple. The Prophet Joseph Smith was particularly anxious to extend the administration of this ordinance to the Twelve and to others, which called for the building of the temple” (Jonn D. Claybaugh, Ensign, Oct. 1999).
What do you find in Section 88 that gives you peace? What do you see that helps you in your worship of and obedience to the Lord? What helps you as you navigate these last days and prepare for the Second Coming?