“November 25–December 1. 1 and 2 Peter: ‘Rejoice with Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“November 25–December 1. 1 and 2 Peter,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
Record Your Impressions
Write the headings 1 Peter and 2 Peter on the board. Give class members time to review these chapters, and invite them to write under these headings words or phrases from the chapters that they found meaningful. Then use the lists to invite people to share their insights.
To help those you teach better understand and apply Peter’s counsel about finding joy in difficult circumstances, you could give class members pieces of paper and ask them to write a phrase from 1 Peter 1:3–9; 2:19–24; 3:14–17; 4:12–19 that could help them in times of trial or difficulty. On the other side of the paper, they could write about a time of trial when they felt peace or joy. A few volunteers could share their phrase and their experience, and then class members could discuss what they learned.
Another way to review Peter’s counsel in 1 Peter 1:3–9; 2:19–24; 3:14–17; 4:12–19 is to invite class members to think about someone they know who is experiencing a trial. Give them time in class to write a letter to that person, including truths from these verses that would encourage that person (see also D&C 121:1–8; 123:17). Then class members could talk about the truths they chose.
As members of Christ’s Church, we are called to follow Jesus Christ. This means that our choices will often differ from those of other people. How can Peter’s teachings in 1 Peter 1:13–20; 2:1–12 help those you teach better understand the Savior’s mission and desire to be more like Him? Perhaps you could invite class members to search these verses looking for descriptions of what it means to be “the people of God” (1 Peter 2:10) and then discuss what they find. You might explain that the word “peculiar” in 1 Peter 2:9 means “purchased” or “preserved” (see footnote f). What does this teach us about the way God feels about us and how He wants us to live?
The First Epistle of Peter contains one of the few references in the Bible to Jesus Christ’s visit to the spirit world after His death—an event that modern revelation helps us understand more fully. To help class members deepen their understanding of the spirit world, you could invite them to read the following scriptures and write what they learn on the board: John 5:25; 1 Peter 3:18–20; 4:6; Alma 40:7–14, 21; Doctrine and Covenants 138:11–32.
The statements provided in “Additional Resources” show that Christ’s visit to the spirit world was understood and taught not only by His Apostles but also by early Christian teachers. Understanding that this knowledge was lost during the Great Apostasy and restored in our day can help class members strengthen their testimonies of Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the gospel.
Discussing 1 Peter 3:18–20; 4:6 can help inspire class members to more fully participate in family history and temple work. To do this, you could divide the class into three groups and give each group one of the following questions about the redemption of the dead: What is the Savior’s role in redeeming the dead? What is the role of those who have died—both the faithful and those who died without a knowledge of the gospel? What is our role? Ask each group to review 1 Peter 3:18–20; 4:6; Doctrine and Covenants 128:17–18; 138:11–32, 57–59, looking for answers to their question. Ask each group to share what they learned, and consider sharing the quotation by Elder D. Todd Christofferson or one of the videos found in “Additional Resources.” What blessings have we witnessed as we have participated in bringing salvation to our deceased ancestors?
To encourage those you teach in their efforts to become more like Jesus Christ, you could invite them to identify the Christlike qualities described in 2 Peter 1:1–11. Consider writing these qualities on the board and asking class members to define them. Class members could then discuss how developing one quality leads to the development of the other qualities. Provide time for them to ponder which quality they would like to develop more fully (see also Preach My Gospel, 126).
You may want to explain that class members will study the Epistles of John during the next week. These epistles help to correct false teachings about Jesus Christ and can strengthen our testimonies of the living reality of the Savior.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson taught:
“Christian theologians have long wrestled with the question, What is the destiny of the countless billions who have lived and died with no knowledge of Jesus? With the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ has come the understanding of how the unbaptized dead are redeemed and how God can be ‘a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also’ [Alma 42:15].
“While yet in life, Jesus prophesied that He would also preach to the dead [see John 5:25]. Peter tells us this happened in the interval between the Savior’s Crucifixion and Resurrection [see 1 Peter 3:18–19]. President Joseph F. Smith witnessed in vision that the Savior visited the spirit world [see D&C 138:30, 33]. …
“Our anxiety to redeem the dead, and the time and resources we put behind that commitment, are, above all, an expression of our witness concerning Jesus Christ. It constitutes as powerful a statement as we can make concerning His divine character and mission. It testifies, first, of Christ’s Resurrection; second, of the infinite reach of His Atonement; third, that He is the sole source of salvation; fourth, that He has established the conditions for salvation; and, fifth, that He will come again” (“The Redemption of the Dead and the Testimony of Jesus,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2000, 9–10).
Origen: “When [Jesus] became a soul [a spirit], without the covering of the body, He dwelt among those souls which were without bodily covering, converting such of them as were willing to Himself” (in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson , 4:448).
Hermas: “The apostles and the teachers who preached the name of the Son of God, after they had fallen asleep in the power and faith of the Son of God, preached also to them that had fallen asleep before them” (in The Apostolic Fathers, trans. J. B. Lightfoot , 472).
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