This year’s scripture focus is the Doctrine and Covenants. “The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last day.” (Introduction)
The “Most Important” Verse
I gave my Gospel Doctrine and Seminary students the assignment to identify the single most important verse in the Doctrine and Covenants. This is the criterion: “If you had only one verse to inspire and guide you and your family, what verse would you choose?”
At the end of the year we discussed this assignment, and then we took a vote. Each class came to the same conclusion.
“Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins, and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.”
This is a profound and powerful verse. Each phrase is a sermon.
- How do we truly forsake our sins?
- In what ways can we come to Him?
- How do we call on His name?
- What does it mean to obey His voice?
- Before we can obey His voice, we must harken to His voice.
- Can we hear His voice through the scriptures, servants, and the Spirit?
- Is it possible to fully keep His commandments?
- How will we see His face?
- When will we see His face?
- Who has actually seen His face in this life?
God’s “Favorite” Verse
“If God had a favorite verse in the Doctrine and Covenants, what would it be?”* Here is a possible answer:
- There is a verse that is so important that the Lord requires that it be read out loud in church every Sunday.
- This verse is the central part of our sabbath worship.
- The Bishop listens to make certain the recitation is word perfect. Any mistakes must be corrected or the recitation must start over.
- Church members have listened to this verse hundreds, if not thousands, of time.
- The verse is so important it is copied verbatim from the Book of Mormon.
- At the end of the recitation of this verse the congregation solemnly declare: “Amen.”
This paramount verse is the sacrament prayer.
D&C 20: 77
“O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.“
We learn from this one verse:
- The godhead consists of the Father, Son, and Spirit
- We have an Eternal Father
- We pray to our Father
- We pray in the name of our Father’s Son
- Our Father’s son is Jesus Christ
- We can ask/petition our Father in prayer
- We partake of the sacrament weekly in remembrance of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus
- Jesus is our Savior
- We promise/covenant/witness that we are willing to take upon us the name of His Son
- We promise/covenant/witness that we will always remember Him
- We promise/covenant/witness that we will keep His commandments which He has given us
- Finally, God promises/covenants/witnesses that we may always have His Spirit to be with us, which is one of the greatest gifts and blessings of God
- The congregation joins in declaring “Amen,” meaning agreement and acceptance
(Inspired by Tyler Griffin, BYU Professor, Book of Mormon Central Consultant.)
(Other articles at: londonedition.home.blog or http://www.londonedition.net)