LDS Gospel Doctrine D&C Lesson 3: “I Had Seen A Vision.” Joseph Smith’s First Vision
This is a great time to do a short discussion on what the purpose of Gospel Doctrine is. It is to teach Doctrines. Another word for this is a principle. Elder Richard G. Scott taught,
As you seek spiritual knowledge, search for principles. Carefully separate them from the detail used to explain them. Principles are concentrated truth, packaged for application to a wide variety of circumstances. A true principle makes decisions clear even under the most confusing and compelling circumstances. It is worth great effort to organize the truth we gather to simple statements of principle. I have tried to do that with gaining spiritual knowledge. Richard G. Scott, “Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge,” Ensign, Nov 1993, 86.
This is what we do in our classes, <!–[if gte vml 1]> <![endif]–><!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>try and find the truths and then apply them to our lives and the lives of our students. This lesson will try to give some practice with that pattern.
Tell the class to imagine that they are putting a five year old child to bed and the child asks them to tell their favorite scripture story. Have class members write down what their favorite scripture story is. Quickly have a few people tell what their favorite story is. (Don’t have them tell the story, this will take too long. Just have them tell what the story is.) Get about 5-6 stories. Pick a few of the stories and ask, “What is the lesson/morale/doctrine from this story?” For example. If their favorite story is the 2000 Stripling Warriors one of the doctrines that this story teaches is that if we put our faith in Christ, he will protect us. Or if the story is Nephi and Laban one of the doctrines could be the Spirit will guide us to do what we need to do if we are willing to follow. Go through this process with a few stories, but don’t spend too much time. This is just intended to get people thinking and talking.
After doing a few of them, tell the class that today we are going to talk about the story of the 1st Vision. Ask the class what they think are some of the doctrines that are taught by this story. (You can have a class member quickly tell the story, but most class members should already know it.) List on the board some of the ideas that the class comes up with. You will then spend the rest of the class in the scriptures talking about the doctrines. Where they can be found in the scriptures, and most importantly, how they apply to the lives of the students. Below is a list of possible doctrines and the verses where they are effectively taught.
God answers prayers. Verse 1-26
Answers to life’s problems can be found in the scriptures. Verse 11-12
Satan will always oppose us as we near spiritual experiences. Verse 15-16
God is more powerful than Satan. Verse 16-17
The true nature of the Godhead. Verse 17
Answers to problems can take time and effort. Verse 8-14
Some will be unwilling to hear and believe the Gospel. Verse 21-23
Many, many more! The great part about this lesson is you can take it wherever the class needs and wants to go. Follow the Spirit to maximize this lesson.