“December 9–15. Revelation 1–11: ‘Glory, and Power, Be unto … the Lamb for Ever’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“December 9–15. Revelation 1–11,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
Record Your Impressions
As you begin a discussion about Revelation, it may be helpful to invite class members to share any background information they learned about the book of Revelation during their personal or family study. You could review together some of the information provided in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families or read together from the Bible Dictionary entries “John” and “Revelation of John.”
Since John used imagery and symbolism in Revelation 1 to describe the resurrected Savior and His actions, studying this chapter is a great way to build faith that He lives and that He guides His Church. Perhaps class members could write on the board several phrases from Revelation 1 that include imagery or symbolism and share what each one teaches them about Jesus Christ. For example, what do we learn from these symbols about how Christ leads His Church today? How does John’s description of the Savior compare to the one in Doctrine and Covenants 110:1–4?
We’re like the Saints John wrote to in at least one way: we face adversity. Invite class members to search Revelation 2–3 and identify the trials the Saints in John’s time were facing, and help them understand that Jesus Christ knew each branch’s trials and strengths. Maybe they could share experiences in which they felt that the Savior was aware of their unique circumstances. What counsel did the Lord give the Saints that can also help us overcome our struggles?
In these same chapters the Lord made inspiring promises to those who overcome. You could invite class members to work in pairs to search Revelation 2–3; 7:13–17 to find the Lord’s promises. Perhaps they could also draw pictures to represent some of these promises, then share with the class what they find. How do these promises inspire them to continue striving to overcome their own trials and weaknesses?
Would an object lesson help your class understand the symbolism in Revelation 5 about the Savior opening the sealed book? You might bring a treat in a locked container to share with the class. Before class, secretly give one person the key to the lock. Describe to the class what is inside the container, and allow several class members to try opening the box before the person with the key opens it. Then the class could compare this object lesson to Revelation 5. Questions like these might help: How is the salvation of Heavenly Father’s children like the locked container or the sealed book? Why was Jesus Christ the only One who could open the seals? (see the quotation in “Additional Resources”). What blessings were dependent on the Savior’s worthiness to open the seals? (see Revelation 7:14–17).
Like the jubilant people mentioned in Revelation 5, today we can also raise our voices to praise the Savior as the One who is worthy to offer us salvation. Perhaps class members could sing together some favorite hymns of praise about the Savior. For instance, you might sing “Glory to God on High” (Hymns, no. 67; or see the video “Worthy Is the Lamb” on LDS.org) and identify truths this hymn teaches about Jesus Christ. What experiences have helped us gain testimonies of these truths? What similarities do we see between the messages of our hymns of praise and the declarations in Revelation 5:9–14? How can we better use hymns at home and at church to worship and praise the Lord?
Revelation 7 describes events of the “sixth seal,” some of which represent our day. It also answers the question at the end of chapter 6: “The great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (verse 17). Perhaps class members could look for answers to this question in chapter 7. Here are some other questions they could discuss: Why did the Lord delay the destruction of the earth for a time? How do ordinances and covenants “seal [us] up unto the day when the wrath of God shall be poured out”? (D&C 1:9). What is our work in preparing the world for the Second Coming? Doctrine and Covenants 1:4–23; 77:8–11 might provide additional insights.
Some class members may find the book of Revelation difficult to understand. It may be helpful if they consider John’s writings in the context of Heavenly Father’s plan to exalt His children. As class members read Revelation 1–11 at home, they may have found truths that helped them understand Heavenly Father’s plan for His children (see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families). Invite them to share what they found. They may also find it helpful to review the section in “Additional Resources” titled “Scriptures about the plan of salvation.” Encourage class members to continue looking for scriptures that teach truths about the plan of salvation as they read the rest of Revelation, and give them an opportunity during future lessons to share what they find.
Ask class members to think of their favorite Christmas tradition. Invite them to review next week’s outline for ideas on how they can center their celebration on Jesus Christ.
Describing events in the premortal life, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught:
“Christ volunteered to honor the moral agency of all humankind even as He atoned for their sins. In the process, He would return to the Father all glory for such redemptive love.
“This infinite Atonement of Christ was possible because (1) He was the only sinless man ever to live on this earth and therefore was not subject to the spiritual death resulting from sin, (2) He was the Only Begotten of the Father and therefore possessed the attributes of godhood that gave Him power over physical death, and (3) He was apparently the only one sufficiently humble and willing in the premortal council to be foreordained to that service” (“The Atonement of Jesus Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, Mar. 2008, 35).
Use the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets. “The Lord has commanded us to ‘teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom’ (D&C 88:77) and to use the scriptures to ‘teach the principles of [His] gospel’ (D&C 42:12). The scriptures and words of latter-day prophets and apostles are the source of the truths we teach” (Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 21).