Week 08 is scheduled for study Feb. 15-21, 2021. To be a witness requires that we have a knowledge of what the Lord is doing in our days. A witness with no knowledge is a worthless witness, no? Following are perspectives on how to look at the work in which we have engaged ourselves.

Day 1

Doctrine and Covenants 14 – I can participate in God’s “great and marvelous work.”

Joseph Smith’s family and friends sometimes asked him to seek revelation about what God wanted them to do. As you read these revelations, consider what direction God has for you.

The manual would like each of us to think about how we can individually participate in the Lord’s work in our day. In previous lessons we have already talked about how each of us is called to do the work of gathering souls in the last days; it is a generational calling to anyone being born in the last days. But how do we do it? How do we thrust in our sickle with our might? Here is verse three.

Behold, the field is white already to harvest; therefore, whoso desireth to reap let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God.

This next comparison may seem trite or silly, but please give it a try anyway. Can you imagine a farmer of old, who had no use of machinery to do the work for him, sitting idly by his field, sipping a lemonade on a hot day, acknowledging that his field was now ripe and needed to be harvested, but not getting up to do anything about it? What would happen to his crop? Why, it would wither and drop to the ground where it grew. Crops must be gathered and stored before they can be of any use to us. That gathering process is hard work.

When a farmer would go into his fields, it was usually not alone. Harvest time was an all-hands-on-deck affair. Everyone was needed for the harvest in order to get it into the barns before the weather ruined the crop. The whole family would be out with scythes either cutting, binding sheaves, or stacking sheaves. Everyone was needed to complete the work in a timely manner.

Just as the old-time farmer had to utilize all his resources, which included family, friends, and neighbors to get his crop in, so too do we need to use all our resources to do the Lord’s work. We may not be using scythes to wade through fields of grain, but we still have plenty of work to do. We have church callings, family scripture study, family prayer, personal service, family history work, temple work, community service. Our field is the world around us. Whatever place we are in is our portion of the Lord’s field, and it all needs harvesting. The harvest in this case is the saving of souls, our own brothers and sisters in God’s family. We harvest their souls through the relationships we build with them, the love we show to them, and the efforts on their behalf we exert to help them come to Christ. If we were comparing this to the allegory of the vineyard in Jacob 5, we would say we are digging, cutting, and dunging the trees.

Unlike the farmer in his field, much of our work is done through prayer, fasting, and service to those around us. The Lord harvests or gathers in His children one at a time. This is done through covenants and righteous living. We are the workers in His field, the world. We are the ones reaching out to our fellow travelers in mortality and inviting them to come to the banquet being offered at Christ’s table. It is his love, blessings, covenants, and the gift of the Holy Ghost that we offer them. Can we ever think that idly sitting on the sidelines of activity sipping a lemonade and watching the world moving toward rottenness will qualify us as one of the laborers in Zion? Labor requires dedication to the cause, and deliberate effort on our part. And the blessings for the work in which we engage will be the eternal association and love of all those we helped to return to the Father.

Day 2

Doctrine and Covenants 14:2 – The word of God is “quick and powerful.”

Joseph Smith’s family and friends sometimes asked him to seek revelation about what God wanted them to do. As you read these revelations, consider what direction God has for you.

The whole point of having a two-edged sword is that you cut no matter which direction you swing it. For lack of a better description, a two-edged sword is universally sharp, for there is no edge that does not cut. This is what God’s word is. Why do we compare God’s word to a sword? That sounds rather gruesome, doesn’t it? Well, it would be, if God’s word was meant to draw blood. But His word isn’t meant for such purposes, so we are safe on that account.

Like a sword, God’s word brings with it laws and wisdom. With laws come justice and mercy. They also administer judgment and punishment. Laws are a two-edged sword. To those who obey them they are blessed by the law, but to those who disobey them, the law brings punishment and pain. Hence we have the comparison to God’s word being a two-edged sword. Either way the sword has its effect, either to the blessing or the punishment of every individual. And like a two-edged sword, His laws are quick and powerful, meaning they have immediate and lasting effect in our life.

We have a choice when we learn of the Lord’s instructions for us. We can either ignore them, which leads to our personal harm and hurt, or we can obey them which leads to blessings being bestowed through our obedience to the laws of God. There is no middle ground – no third option. But always the choice is ours to make, and the results of those choices are also ours to live with.

In today’s lesson, a sword is only one of five additional comparisons that describe God’s word. Go through the other five comparisons and consider how each of these comparisons offer a different way of perceiving and considering the purpose and use of God’s word in your life. It should be a most instructive exercise.

Day 3

Doctrine and Covenants 14:7 – Eternal life is “the greatest of all the gifts of God.”

Joseph Smith’s family and friends sometimes asked him to seek revelation about what God wanted them to do. As you read these revelations, consider what direction God has for you.

How is eternal life a gift of God? Don’t we have to do all in our power to be worthy of that gift? While it is true that we must put forth a focused and concentrated effort to receive this gift, we also are incapable to doing what is required to earn the gift on our own. This is why our Father gave us a Savior, in the form of Jesus, the Messiah. Jesus did for us what we cannot do for ourselves. But just because Jesus sacrificed and suffered for us, it doesn’t mean we will deserve the gift of eternal life. That part is still up to us. We must devote ourselves to obeying Christ in all things so as to prepare ourselves for the blessing of eternal life with those we love the most.

Moses 1:39 tells us that God’s whole purpose in having and raising a family is to make available to them his gift of eternal life. This is the same life He lives, and there is nothing greater than the life God lives. Everything He does and says to us is designed to move us closer to that goal of becoming like Him, like Christ. It is important to remember that eternal life requires change in our life, our habits, our goals, our attitudes, etc. We must align ourselves with God’s laws of happiness and learn to abhor evil as He does. This is neither an easy process nor a quick one. It takes effort on a daily and even hourly basis to remember His laws and our responsibilities to fulfill the covenants we have made with him. Only when living a godly life becomes our life’s highest aim can we achieve the kind of progress needed to feel like we are living a life that is pleasing to all the members of the Godhead. This will take all of us a lot of time and effort to achieve. But we have only failed when we give up trying. God will not judge on on whether we have already achieved perfection. He will judge us on progress toward that goal. Some will make more progress than others. What is important is that we are headed in the right direction. That is what He is looking for.

Day 4

Doctrine and Covenants 15-16 – Bringing souls unto Christ is of great worth.

Joseph Smith’s family and friends sometimes asked him to seek revelation about what God wanted them to do. As you read these revelations, consider what direction God has for you.

Did you notice when reading sections 15 and 16 that they are basically verbatim copies? Do you think that is a mistake? Might it be that what God says to one about bringing souls to him he says to all? I believe his instructions are the same to all of us. We each have the responsibility to go out and seek to bring our fellow men to Christ.

The title of the lesson today makes a good point. Can you think of anything you could offer anyone, friend or foe, something that is greater than Christ’s gospel? Money would, for the moment entertain them more, but in the end, when we leave this life we also leave all our worldly things with it, and that includes our money. The only thing we can offer anyone that outlasts our time in mortality is the promise of immortality in the presence of God. That makes the message of Christ’s gospel worth more than anything the world has to offer.

Day 5

Doctrine and Covenants 17 – The Lord uses witnesses to establish His word.

Joseph Smith’s family and friends sometimes asked him to seek revelation about what God wanted them to do. As you read these revelations, consider what direction God has for you.

For a discussion on the law of witnesses established by God in the beginning, I refer you to the following article. The discussion on the law of witnesses is in the second half of the article.

Click the link below to

print a PDF copy of the file.

Stand As a Witness

Week 08