Sunday, March 27, 2016

Youth Lesson - How can the Book of Mormon help me strengthen my faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

Have you learned anything in your gospel studies this week that you would like to share?

It is Easter today. What is Easter?

How can the Book of Mormon help me strengthen my faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

From the lesson outline:
The primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is to convince all people that Jesus is the Christ. It teaches that we “must come unto Him or [we] cannot be saved” (1 Nephi 13:40). It contains many examples of faithful disciples who had faith in Jesus Christ and received the blessings of His Atonement. Book of Mormon prophets bore powerful testimony of the Savior, that we “may know to what source [we] may look for a remission of [our] sins” (2 Nephi 25:26).

Why is it important to convince people that Jesus is the Christ?  So they can follow his example? What does following his example get them? Eternal life. What about in this life? What do they get in this life? Knowledge of how to be happy. Is that true? Does following Jesus gives us the knowledge to be happy in this life?

But we have trials happen to us. People get hurt. People have disabilities. How is following Jesus suppose to make me happy when stuff like that happens?

Do you have any scriptures about Jesus Christ that are meaningful to you?

Do you have any scriptures which have helped you better understand the Atonement?

Often times people accuse Latter-day saints of not being Christians or people in the Church spend a lot of effort trying to prove to others that we are Christian.  In some ways the word Christian can kind of be a loaded word meaning more than what we intend.  The word saints is probably a better word to describe us.  A saint as the Lord used it was not someone who was perfect, but one who followed the Lord and made covenants with him.  Christian meaning one who believes in Christ is nice starting point, but the word saint means one who has made covenants with the Lord.

Have the youth imagine that a friend asks them if Mormons are Christians. Challenge them to use scriptures from the Book of Mormon (such as the scriptures suggested in this outline) to answer this question.

Everyone look up Elder Neil L Anderson’s October 2011 General Conference talk, The Book of Mormon: Strengthening Our Faith in Jesus Christ.”  Everyone take a section and see if you can answer the question, “How can the Book of Mormon help me strengthen my faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ?”

People in the old testament and in the Book of Mormon knew of Christ. Their animal sacrifices were to remind them off Christ. When something is like Christ to make us remember him we sometimes call that a type of of Christ.

Jacob tells us about this:
Jacob 4:5
5 Behold, they believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him; and for this cause it is sanctified unto us for righteousness, even as it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness to be obedient unto the commands of God in offering up his son Isaac, which is a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son.

After going over all this with the youth have them see if they have thought of any other things they could tell a friend to show that Latter-day saints believe in Christ.

We don’t hear a lot about the Savior so blatantly like this in the Old Testament.  There is a lot of stuff in Isaiah pointing forward to a messiah, but a lot of it is in poetry and symbolism.  Perhaps this was to protect the doctrine from those of that time who may have felt the teaching threatening.  Perhaps it was to protect the doctrine from the future custodians of the record.  Some of the hands that what we have now as the Bible were not always in it for God, so they removed things that were more plain and that threatened their position in the Church.

It is possible that there were things more plainly spoken about the Savior, but were removed by those that didn’t believe it or that wanted to keep control over the people.

The Book of Mormon is more rich with plainly spoken things about Christ because if was sealed away for our day and did not pass through all those hands.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Youth Lesson - How can I use the words of living prophets and apostles to strengthen my faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

Is there anything in your gospel studies from this week that you would like to share our that you have questions about?

Today we are going to talk about: How can I use the words of living prophets and apostles to strengthen my faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

Let’s everyone take the follow quotes and tell us something about apostles.
Bible Dictionary - Apostle
“The calling of an Apostle is to be a special witness of the name of Jesus Christ in all the world, particularly of His divinity and of His bodily resurrection from the dead (Acts 1:22; D&C 107:23).”

Doctrine and Covenants 107:23
23 The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.

Doctrine and Covenants 27:12
12 And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry and of the same things which I revealed unto them;

President Boyd K Packer, The Witness,” Ensign, May 2014, 97
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon recorded the following after a sacred experience:

“‘And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

“‘For we saw him’ (D&C 76:22–23).

“Their words are my words.”

Elder David A Bednar said this about what it means to be a special witness of Christ:
“The role of an Apostle today is the same as it was anciently (see Acts 1:22; 4:33). Our commission is to go into all the world and proclaim “Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (see Mark 16:15, 1 Corinthians 2:2). An Apostle is a missionary and a special witness of the name of Christ. The “name of Christ” refers to the totality of the Savior’s mission, death, and resurrection—His authority, His doctrine, and His unique qualifications as the Son of God to be our Redeemer and our Savior. As special witnesses of the name of Christ, we bear testimony of the reality, divinity, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, His infinite and eternal Atonement, and His gospel.”(Elder David A. Bednar, "Special Witnesses of the Name of Christ," in Religious Educator 12, no. 2 (2011): 1-11.)

Let’s everyone take two paragraphs and then tell us something about Christ that was in those paragraphs and why it matters.
The Living Christ
“As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.

“He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.

“He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.
“We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.

“He rose from the grave to “become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His “other sheep” (John 10:16) in ancient America. In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised “dispensation of the fulness of times” (Ephesians 1:10).

“Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: “His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

“‘I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father’ (D&C 110:3–4).
Of Him the Prophet also declared: ‘And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

“‘For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—

“‘That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:22–24).

“We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—’built upon the foundation of . . . apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone’ (Ephesians 2:20).

“We testify that He will someday return to earth. “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.

“We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.”

Watch some of the videos from Special Witnesses of Christ.