Gospel Doctrine Doctrine and Covenants Lesson 12: “The Gathering of My People”
Tell the class the following story. Then put them in small groups and have them come up with ideas of how they would overcome this problem.
“You are the leader of a group of people. These people are spread out over a number of different cities. Most of them are farmers and live off the land. Without much warning a leader of an opposing army informs you that next month they will be attacking. You can either surrender or they will attack and kill all of you. There will be no mercy shown to anyone. Anyone who opposes will be killed.” What would you do?
Give the class a few minutes to discuss in small groups and then ask for some ideas. Most should include some kind of gathering together. If most of them do you can point this out and ask why that would be so important. Tell the class that this story actually happens in 3 Nephi. Turn to 3 Nephi 3:13-14, 22-26 to find out what the Nephites did when this happened to them. (I wouldn’t have the class read all these verses, just have them look over them and then ask the questions.) Ask, “Why was gathering the first thing that Lachoneus does to protect his people?” What gospel principles is this story teaching?
During this lesson I would now focus on the quote from Ezra Taft Benson in the lesson.
““Presently, Israel is being gathered to the various stakes of Zion. … A stake has at least four purposes:
1. [Stakes are] to unify and perfect the members who live in [their] boundaries by extending to them the Church programs, the ordinances, and gospel instruction.
“2. Members of stakes are to be models, or standards, of righteousness.
“3. Stakes are to be a defense. They do this as stake members unify under their local priesthood officers and consecrate themselves to do their duty and keep their covenants. …
“4. Stakes are a refuge from the storm to be poured out over the earth”
(“Strengthen Thy Stakes,” Ensign, Jan. 1991, 2, 4–5).
Most of the scriptures for this lesson tie into these four things. Talk about the verses and which of the four purposes are being discussed. How have members of your class seen this happen in their experiences in a stake? What more do we need to do as members to fulfill these principles? What needs to happen in our families to make sure these purposes are fulfilled?