“February 25–March 3. Matthew 6–7: ‘He Taught Them as One Having Authority’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“February 25–March 3. Matthew 6–7,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
Record Your Impressions
Invite class members to share which of the passages in the Sermon on the Mount they feel are most needed today. Encourage class members to add to each other’s insights.
What specific teachings from Matthew 6–7 will be most beneficial to those you teach? Consider writing on the board several references from Matthew 6–7 that contain these teachings. Class members could select one of the references to study silently and then write on the board any spiritual truths they learn. How have these teachings influenced our lives?
The Savior concluded His sermon with a parable that might help your class better understand the importance of living by the Savior’s teachings (see Matthew 7:24–27; see also Helaman 5:12). To visualize this parable, class members could work together to build a strong foundation using blocks, cups, or other materials and then test the strength of their foundations. Perhaps they could also label their building materials with things they can do to apply the Savior’s teachings. How could doing these things help us withstand the storms of life?
Studying the Lord’s Prayer might help class members identify how they can improve their own prayers by following the Lord’s example. You could invite them to write on the board phrases from Matthew 6:9–13 (or Luke 11:1–4) that stand out to them. As we ponder the Savior’s words, what do we learn about the attitudes we should have as we pray? What do we learn about the kinds of things we should pray for and about? It may be instructive for class members to paraphrase some of the Savior’s phrases as things they might say in their own prayers. For instance, “Give us this day our daily bread” could be paraphrased as “Please help me in my efforts to provide for my family.”
Those you teach may benefit from studying other examples of the Savior praying to His Father, such as Matthew 26:36–42 and John 17. You could invite class members to study some of these passages, searching for answers to questions like “What do we learn about prayer from the way the Savior prayed?” and “How can we make our prayers more like the Savior’s?” For other exemplary prayers, see Enos 1:3–17; Alma 31:26–35; 33:3–11.
Do you have any experiences you could share related to prayer? Sharing your experiences may encourage class members to do the same. President Thomas S. Monson shared several personal experiences related to prayer in his message “Consider the Blessings” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 86–89). You might discuss principles from this message and from the quotations in “Additional Resources.” The entry “Prayer” in the Bible Dictionary may also be helpful.
To help class members strengthen their faith that God will hear and answer their prayers, you could write ask, seek, and knock on the board. Then invite class members to search the scriptures for examples of people who “asked,” “sought,” and “knocked” (for examples, see 1 Nephi 11:1; Ether 2:18–3:6; Joseph Smith—History 1:11–17). What do we learn from these examples about obtaining answers to our prayers?
Some important context for Matthew 7:7–11 can be found in the Joseph Smith Translation of Matthew 7:12–17 (in the Bible appendix). In these verses, Jesus’s disciples anticipated some reasons people might give for not seeking truth from Heavenly Father. You might ask class members to imagine they have a friend who is reluctant to seek guidance or blessings from the Lord. What might class members say to encourage this friend? How might they use the Savior’s words in Matthew 7:7–11?
Members of your class have likely been exposed to false philosophies and other deceptions of the adversary, whether on the internet or from other sources. They may have also heard others criticize the Lord’s servants. How can you help them understand how to discern false prophets and teachings from true ones? You could display several pieces of fruit and ask what we can assume about the trees they came from. How does this exercise help us understand Matthew 7:15–20? You could also read together some recent messages from the living prophets. What “fruits” or outcomes does following their counsel produce?
Matthew 7:15–20 could help build class members’ faith in the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith. What are the fruits of the work Joseph Smith accomplished? For some ideas, see Elder Neil L. Andersen’s message “Joseph Smith” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 28–31). How could we use the Savior’s analogy in Matthew 7:15–20 to bear testimony to our friends and family about the Prophet Joseph?
This week, as class members study many of the miracles the Savior performed, invite them to ponder examples of modern-day miracles—whether big or small—that they have experienced or heard about.
What principles related to prayer do class members learn from the lyrics of “Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire”? (Hymns, no. 145).
Reading, singing, or listening to “Praise to the Man,” Hymns, no. 27, might help class members think of some of the fruits by which we can know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God (see also D&C 135:3; “Joseph Smith,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org).
President Boyd K. Packer told of a family prayer his family had before he left on a trip to California. A veterinarian had told them that their cow would not live through the day. “Our little boy said our prayer. After he had asked Heavenly Father to ‘bless Daddy in his travels and bless us all,’ he then started an earnest plea. He said, ‘Heavenly Father, please bless Bossy cow so that she will get to be all right.’”
“In California, I told of the incident and said, ‘He must learn that we do not get everything we pray for just that easily.’
“There was a lesson to be learned, but it was I who learned it, not my son. When I returned Sunday night, Bossy had ‘got to be all right’” (“Prayer and Promptings,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 45).
Brother Mangal Dan Dipty, a member of the Church from India, said: “As a child I attended the German Lutheran church regularly. We would go to the mountains to pray together often. One rainy day, everyone in the prayer group was drenched, and one of the preachers offered a fervent prayer pleading with the Lord to stop the rain. To our amazement the rain stopped. That was the beginning of my faith in God and prayer” (“My Journey as a Pioneer from India,” Ensign, July 2016, 67).
For other stories about prayer, see the Latter-day Saint Voices section of the Ensign or Liahona.