“April 1–14. Matthew 16–17; Mark 8–9; Luke 9: ‘Thou Art the Christ’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“April 1–14. Matthew 16–17; Mark 8–9; Luke 9,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
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One way you can encourage class members to study the scriptures personally and with their families is to invite them to share each week how their study of the scriptures is blessing their lives. For example, how did their study of these chapters influence their experience with general conference?
Have any of your class members had to explain to someone how they know the gospel is true? In Matthew 16:13–17, what did the Savior teach about how we receive a testimony? You could share how Alma gained his testimony (see Alma 5:45–46) or what the Lord taught Oliver Cowdery about revelation (see D&C 6:14–15, 22–23; 8:2–3). What do you think Peter or Alma or Oliver Cowdery might have said if someone asked them how they know the gospel is true?
There may be people in your class who are praying for personal revelation but do not know how to recognize it when it comes. Elder David A. Bednar used two common experiences with light to teach about how we receive revelation; you may want to share Elder Bednar’s insights with class members (see “The Spirit of Revelation,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 87–90; see also the video “Patterns of Light: Spirit of Revelation” on LDS.org). What other scripture teachings or accounts can your class think of that would help someone recognize personal revelation? (For example, see 1 Kings 19:11–12; Galatians 5:22–23; Enos 1:1–8; D&C 8:2–3.)
To start a discussion about priesthood keys, you could write questions like the following on the board: What are priesthood keys? Who holds the keys? How are priesthood keys given? You might also share some scripture references that help answer these questions, such as Matthew 16:19; Doctrine and Covenants 107:18–19; 128:8–11; 132:18–19, 59; and Joseph Smith—History 1:72. Class members can find additional help by referring to Handbook 2: Administering the Church (2010), 2.1.1; Elder Neil L. Andersen’s message “Power in the Priesthood” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 92–95); or True to the Faith, 126–27. Allow class members time to research a question of their choice. They could then teach each other what they learned.
A discussion about Peter and the other Apostles receiving priesthood keys on the Mount of Transfiguration can help class members strengthen their testimonies of the restoration of priesthood keys in the latter days. To inspire such a discussion, you could ask half of the class to study Matthew 17:1–9 (see also this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families) and the other half to study Doctrine and Covenants 110. They could then share with each other what they learned and note similarities between the two accounts. The video “Priesthood Keys: The Restoration of Priesthood Keys” (LDS.org) could also be helpful.
Do members of your class understand how priesthood keys bless their lives? To help them, you might invite them to search Handbook 2, 2.1.1, for a list of people who hold keys. Who are these people in your ward and stake? Maybe you could list their names on the board or invite some of them to talk to the class. How do they exercise the priesthood keys given to them to direct the work of the priesthood within their callings? How are we blessed by the service of these priesthood leaders?
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland used the account of a father seeking healing for his son to teach how we should approach the Lord when we feel that our faith is insufficient (see “Lord, I Believe,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 93–95). Three main points from his address are included in “Additional Resources.” Perhaps you could divide the class into four groups and assign one group to discuss Mark 9:14–30 and each of the other groups to discuss one of Elder Holland’s three observations. They could look for messages in this scripture account that can help us increase our faith. Each group could share with the rest of the class some insights that came from their discussion.
To encourage class members to study at home this week, tell them that the next outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families can help them and their families have a more meaningful Easter. In addition, you could suggest that Easter Sunday might be a good time for them to invite less-active members or friends of other faiths to come to church.
“All ward and stake auxiliary organizations operate under the direction of the bishop or stake president, who holds the keys to preside. Auxiliary presidents and their counselors do not receive keys. They receive delegated authority to function in their callings” (Handbook 2, 2.1.1).
After retelling the account found in Mark 9:14–29, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught:
“Observation number one regarding this account is that when facing the challenge of faith, the father asserts his strength first and only then acknowledges his limitation. His initial declaration is affirmative and without hesitation: ‘Lord, I believe.’ I would say to all who wish for more faith, remember this man! In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. … Hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes. … The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know.
“The second observation is a variation of the first. When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your ‘unbelief.’ … I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. … Be as candid about your questions as you need to be; life is full of them on one subject or another. But if you and your family want to be healed, don’t let those questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle. …
“Last observation: When doubt or difficulty come, do not be afraid to ask for help. If we want it as humbly and honestly as this father did, we can get it. The scriptures phrase such earnest desire as being of ‘real intent,’ pursued ‘with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God’ [2 Nephi 31:13]. I testify that in response to that kind of importuning, God will send help from both sides of the veil to strengthen our belief” (“Lord, I Believe,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 93–94).