“November 20–26. 1 and 2 Peter: ‘Rejoice with Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 (2022)
“November 20–26. 1 and 2 Peter,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2023
Record Your Impressions
Shortly after His Resurrection, the Savior made a prophecy that must have been troubling to Peter. He foretold that Peter would be martyred for his faith, being carried “whither [he] wouldest not … , signifying by what death he should glorify God” (John 21:18–19). Years later, when Peter wrote his epistles, he knew that his prophesied martyrdom was near: “Shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me” (2 Peter 1:14). And yet Peter’s words were not filled with fear or pessimism. Instead, he taught the Saints to “greatly rejoice,” even though they were “in heaviness through manifold temptations.” He counseled them to remember that “the trial of [their] faith” would lead to “praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” and to “the salvation of [their] souls” (1 Peter 1:6–7, 9). Peter’s faith must have been comforting to those early Saints, as it is encouraging to Saints today, who are also “partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, [we] may be glad also with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:13).
The period after Christ’s Crucifixion wasn’t an easy time to be a Christian, and Peter’s first epistle acknowledges that. In the first four chapters, you’ll notice words and phrases describing hardship: heaviness, temptations, grief, fiery trial, and sufferings (see 1 Peter 1:6; 2:19; 4:12–13). But you’ll also notice words that seem joyful—you may want to make a list of what you find. For example, as you read 1 Peter 1:3–9; 2:19–24; 3:14–17; and 4:12–19, what gives you hope that you can find joy even amid difficult circumstances?
You might also read President Russell M. Nelson’s message “Joy and Spiritual Survival” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 81–84) and look for similarities between what Peter taught and what President Nelson taught. What is it about the plan of salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ that gives you joy?
See also Ricardo P. Giménez, “Finding Refuge from the Storms of Life,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2020, 101–3.
One day each person will stand at the judgment bar and “give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead” (1 Peter 4:5). How can God judge all people fairly when their opportunities to understand and live the gospel are so different? Notice how the doctrine that Peter taught in 1 Peter 3:18–20; 4:6 helps answer this question. How do these verses strengthen your faith in God’s fairness and justice?
To explore this doctrine further, study Doctrine and Covenants 138, a revelation President Joseph F. Smith received as he pondered these writings of Peter. What additional truths did President Smith learn?
See also Gospel Topics, “Baptisms for the Dead,” topics.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Do you ever feel that becoming like Jesus Christ and developing His attributes is not possible? Elder Robert D. Hales offered this encouraging thought about how we can develop Christlike attributes: “The attributes of the Savior … are interwoven characteristics, added one to another, which develop in us in interactive ways. In other words, we cannot obtain one Christlike characteristic without also obtaining and influencing others. As one characteristic becomes strong, so do many more” (“Becoming a Disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 46).
As you read 2 Peter 1:1–11, ponder the attributes “of the divine nature” listed these verses. In your experience, how are they “interwoven,” as Elder Hales described? How do they build on each other? What else do you learn from these verses about the process of becoming more Christlike?
You might also ponder the “exceeding great and precious promises” God gives His Saints—including you (2 Peter 1:4). Elder David A. Bednar’s message “Exceeding Great and Precious Promises” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2017, 90–93) can help you understand what those promises are and how to receive them.
1 Peter 2:5–10.
As you read these verses with your family, consider using rocks to help family members visualize Peter’s teachings that the Savior is our “chief corner stone.” How are we like the “lively [living] stones” that God is using to build His kingdom? What do we learn from Peter about the Savior and our role in His kingdom? What is Peter’s message to your family?
1 Peter 3:8–17.
How can we “be ready always to give an answer” to those who ask us about our faith? Your family might enjoy role-playing situations in which someone approaches them with a question about the gospel.
1 Peter 3:18–20; 4:6.
What can your family do to feel connected to your ancestors? Perhaps you could celebrate deceased ancestors’ birthdays by preparing their favorite meals, looking at pictures, or telling stories from their lives. If possible, you could also plan to receive ordinances for your ancestors in the temple (for help, visit FamilySearch.org).
2 Peter 1:16–21.
In these verses, Peter reminded the Saints of his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration (see also Matthew 17:1–9). What do we learn from these verses about the teachings of prophets? (see also Doctrine and Covenants 1:38). What gives us confidence to follow our living prophet today?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Family History—I Am Doing It,” Children’s Songbook, 94.