“November 27–December 3. 1–3 John; Jude: ‘God Is Love,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 (2022)
“November 27–December 3. 1–3 John; Jude,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2023
Record Your Impressions
When John and Jude wrote their epistles, corrupt doctrine had already started leading many Saints into apostasy. Some false teachers were even questioning whether Jesus Christ had actually appeared “in the flesh” (see, for example, 1 John 4:1–3; 2 John 1:7). What could a Church leader do in such a situation? The Apostle John responded by sharing his personal witness of the Savior: “This is the testimony which we give of that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life” (Joseph Smith Translation, 1 John 1:1 [in 1 John 1:1, footnote a]). And then John taught about love: God’s love for us and the love we should have for Him and all His children. After all, John was a witness of that, too. He had personally experienced the Savior’s love (see John 13:23; 20:2), and he wanted the Saints to feel that same love. John’s testimony and teachings on love are just as needed today, when faith in Jesus Christ is questioned and false teachings abound. Reading John’s epistles can help us face today’s adversities with courage, for “there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18).
If you were to choose one or two words to describe God, what would they be? In his epistles, John often used the words “light” and “love” (see, for example, 1 John 1:5; 2:8–11; 3:16, 23–24; 4:7–21). As you read the first two epistles of John, ponder the experiences John had with the Savior’s light and love. For example, consider what John learned from Jesus’s teachings in John 3:16–17; 12:35–36, 46; 15:9–14; 19:25–27. Do you see any similarities between these teachings and what 1 John teaches about the light and love of God? What experiences have taught you that God is light and love?
You will also find words like “abide” and “dwell” repeated throughout John’s epistles. Look for these words, especially as you read 1 John 2–4 and 2 John. What do you think it means to “abide” or “dwell” in God and His doctrine? (see 2 John 1:9). What does it mean to you to have God “abide” or “dwell” in you?
Does the goal of becoming Christlike ever seem too lofty to you? Consider John’s encouraging counsel: “Little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence … [and] we shall be like him” (1 John 2:28; 3:2). What do you find in 1 John 2:24–29; 3:1–3 that gives you confidence and comfort as a disciple of Jesus Christ? As you study John’s epistles, look for other principles or counsel that can help you in your effort to become more Christlike.
Joseph Smith Translation, 1 John 4:12 clarifies that “no man hath seen God at any time, except them who believe” (in 1 John 4:12, footnote a; see also John 6:46; 3 John 1:11). The scriptures record several instances when God the Father has manifested Himself to faithful individuals, including John himself (see Revelation 4; see also Acts 7:55–56; 1 Nephi 1:8; Doctrine and Covenants 76:23; Joseph Smith—History 1:16–17).
As you read 1 John 5, look for what we must do to overcome the world and gain eternal life. What might overcoming the world look like in your life? You could also find answers and insights in Elder Neil L. Andersen’s message “Overcoming the World” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 58–62).
What does Jude 1:10–19 teach you about those who fight against God and His work? What do you learn from verses 20–25 about how to keep your faith in Jesus Christ strong?
1 John 2:8–11.To help your family ponder John’s teachings, gather in a dark room so family members can experience the difference between walking “in darkness” and walking “in the light.” How does hatred cause us to walk in darkness and stumble? How does loving each other bring light into our lives?
1 John 3:21–22.What in these verses increases the “confidence” that we have in God and in our ability to receive answers to our prayers?
1 John 5:2–3.Are there any commandments that we consider “grievous” or difficult to follow? How does our love for God change the way we feel about His commandments?
3 John 1:4.What does it mean to “walk in truth”? You might take this opportunity to tell family members how you have seen them walk in truth and talk about the joy this brings you. Family members might enjoy writing about or drawing truths they have learned on paper footprints and using them to make a path your family can walk on together.
Jude 1:3–4.Are there any spiritual dangers that have “crept in” to our lives and family? (Jude 1:4). How can we follow Jude’s admonition to “earnestly contend for the faith” and resist these dangers? (Jude 1:3). What can we do to ensure that “peace, and love, be multiplied” in our family? (Jude 1:2).
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Where Love Is,” Children’s Songbook, 138–39.