In Sunday School in 2017, Latter-day Saints will be studying the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history. This article reviews the extensive resources that have been created by the Church to help in your study.
Doctrine and Covenants and Church History: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual
Supplemental material has been added to the digital version of the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual found on LDS.org and in the Gospel Library mobile app. The printed manual has not been updated.
- The “Helps for the Teacher” section (before lesson 1) has been updated with additional resources.
- The “Preparation” section in many of the lessons has been updated with links to new resources.
- The right column of many of the lessons now includes links to related images, videos, Gospel Topics, and articles about events in Church history.
Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Class Member Study Guide
The Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Class Member Study Guide is available to each class member. The guide provides the week’s reading assignment, along with questions and other information to enhance your study. You may use the questions to improve personal application of the scriptures and to prepare to make meaningful contributions to class discussions. Each section also has a scripture chain—a list of scripture passages that relate to the reading assignment. Pages 25–26 of the study guide contain the complete text of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” to refer to as you study lesson 45. The study guide also contains a chronology of Church history on pages 27–28 and three maps of significant Church history sites pages 29–31. The guide is available online, in print, and in the Gospel Library mobile app.
Revelations in Context
The Church History Department has published a new book, Revelations in Context, that provides helpful insights to the stories behind the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants.
It is helpful to understand the historical context behind each of the sections in the Doctrine and Covenants to better understand and appreciate the experiences and perspectives of Joseph Smith and other early Church leaders.
The Revelations in Context series is available online on the Church history website, in the Gospel Library app (in the “Church History” category), and in print in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. It is part of a larger effort by the Church to improve transparency about its history, which includes the Joseph Smith Papers, the Church history website, and the Gospel Topics essays.
Church History Study Guide
This guide at history.lds.org/studyguide provides additional resources for each lesson in the Gospel Doctrine Teacher Manual.
The small book Our Heritage: A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gives background information on Church history. Many of the lessons in the course include a reading assignment from this book. The book is available online, in print, and in the Gospel Library mobile app.
Historic Sites Pages
The Church History website (history.lds.org) offers Historic Sites Pages. These are online exhibits that show the sites of the restoration of the gospel and provide history about places, such as Palmyra, New York, and Jackson County, Missouri.
The following additional resources may be helpful for teaching and studying the Doctrine and Covenants:
- Gospel Topics Essays. Essays on important historical and doctrinal topics including, Joseph Smith’s accounts of the First Vision, women and the priesthood, and plural marriage.
- Prophets of the Restoration. Online exhibits and short videos about the key events and ministry of each of the presidents of the Church.
- Church History Museum Online Exhibits. Various online exhibits about people and events in Church history.
- Foundations of Faith. A digital exhibit of 25 important records from the Church’s history.
- The Heavens Are Opened. An interactive, online guide to objects inside of the Church History Museum that played notable roles in the restoration of the Church.
- Joseph Smith’s Accounts of the First Vision. Joseph Smith’s four accounts of the First Vision. Read a summary of these four accounts.
- Church Historian’s Press. Provides news and links to resources.
- Joseph Smith Papers. Original documents transcribed and annotated that provide in-depth insight on every major aspect of the restoration and founding of the Church.
- The First Fifty Years of Relief Society. Original, annotated documents conveying the challenges, contributions, devotion, and teachings of early Latter-day Saint women. Available online and in print.
- Pioneers in Every Land. Stories of pioneers who have helped build the Church around the world.
For those interested in an in-depth stufy of the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history this year, the following external resources may be of help.
- Joseph Smith Chronology – jschronology.byustudies.byu.edu Events in Joseph Smith’s life are listed in chronological order and can be searched by date (year and month) or category. Entries contain summaries and links to additional information.
- Scripture Citation Index – scriptures.byu.edu Allows for side-by-side comparison of conference talks, Journal of Discourses speeches, and the writings in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith to the scriptures. Includes a reverse citation index.
- The Scriptures, Mapped – scriptures.byu.edu/mapscrip Pinpoints (known) locations that are referenced in each chapter of scripture. Works best for Old and New Testament locations.
- Scriptures Bibliography – atom.lib.byu.edu/scriptures Connects scholarly articles to the specific books, chapters, and verses of scripture they reference. Atom.lib.byu.edu/ includes other indexes compiled by ATOM Collections.
- The Interpreter Foundation – mormoninterpreter.com Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture is a free, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the study of Latter-day Saint scripture.
- BYU Studies – byustudies.byu.edu/doctrine-covenants-lessons Doctrine and Covenants lessons are connected with relevant BYU Studies Quarterly articles and chapters from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.
- Book of Mormon Central – bookofmormoncentral.org Provides access to scholarly evidence about Book of Mormon questions.
- Blue Letter Bible – blueletterbible.org Bible index of each word in the Bible. Includes Strong’s Concordance reference ID and definition, outline of biblical usage, and Greek/Hebrew root forms.
- Bible Browser – biblewebapp.com Allows for side-by-side comparison of multiple biblical translations in a single page. Languages include English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, Greek, Hebrew, Turkish, and Western Apache.
- Webster’s 1828 – 1828.mshaffer.com or webstersdictionary1828.com This dictionary published in 1828 sheds light on how words may have been understood in at the time the Book of Mormon was published. 1828.mshaffer.com allows for side-by-side comparison in three different dictionaries. You may also check out the Oxford English Dictionary (subscription required). This will show how a word has transformed over time.
- Book of Mormon Onomasticon – onoma.lib.byu.edu Includes possible etymology of names in the Bible and Book of Mormon. Works best in Firefox browser.
Thanks to Ryan in Church History for compiling this list.