“August 15–21. Psalms 49–51; 61–66; 69–72; 77–78; 85–86: ‘I Will Declare What He Hath Done for My Soul,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Old Testament 2022 (2021)
“August 15–21. Psalms 49–51; 61–66; 69–72; 77–78; 85–86,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2022
Record Your Impressions
One way to invite class members to share something they read this week is to write on the board “My lips shall greatly rejoice” or “My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness” (Psalm 71:23, 24). Class members could share what they found that helps them “greatly rejoice” or “talk of [the Lord’s] righteousness.”
Psalm 51 describes the feelings many of us have as we seek to repent and be forgiven. To help class members better understand repentance and feel inspired to repent often, you might suggest that they search Psalm 51 with this question in mind: What does it mean to repent? Then let them share possible answers. (“Additional Resources” contains helpful insights.) Why does repentance sometimes seem undesirable? What do we find in this psalm that can make repentance feel joyful?
How would we describe what it feels like to receive forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ’s atoning power? Invite class members to share their thoughts, and encourage them to find passages in Psalms 51; 85–86 that describe the effect of His cleansing forgiveness in our lives (for example, see Psalms 51:1–2, 7–12; 85:2–9). Consider displaying pictures or objects to help class members visualize these phrases. Class members could then share their feelings about the Savior Jesus Christ and His willingness to atone for our sins so we can be forgiven. You might also sing together a hymn about the Savior’s atoning sacrifice, such as “I Stand All Amazed” (Hymns, no. 193).
In order to repent, we need faith not only that Jesus Christ can cleanse us but also that He will. Class members may have found passages in Psalms 51; 85–86 this week that strengthened their faith in the Lord’s willingness to forgive. Encourage them to share what they found. You could also point them to Psalm 86:5, 13, 15 and ask what these verses teach about the Lord. What could it mean that He is “plenteous in mercy and truth”? (verse 15). Why is it important for us to know this?
One of the great blessings of meeting together in Sunday School is the opportunity to gain strength from the faith and testimonies of other followers of Jesus Christ. To provide this opportunity for your class, you could ask class members to read Psalm 66:16 and ponder this question: If you were to “declare what [the Lord] hath done for [your] soul,” what would you declare? As they ponder, they could read verses 5–20 for ideas. Let them write down their answers. Then invite them to “declare” to each other—in small groups or to the whole class—what Jesus Christ has done for their souls.
President Russell M. Nelson described repentance in this way:
“When Jesus asks you and me to ‘repent,’ He is inviting us to change our mind, our knowledge, our spirit—even the way we breathe. He is asking us to change the way we love, think, serve, spend our time, treat our wives, teach our children, and even care for our bodies.
“Nothing is more liberating, more ennobling, or more crucial to our individual progression than is a regular, daily focus on repentance. Repentance is not an event; it is a process. It is the key to happiness and peace of mind. When coupled with faith, repentance opens our access to the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. …
“When we choose to repent, we choose to change! We allow the Savior to transform us into the best version of ourselves. We choose to grow spiritually and receive joy—the joy of redemption in Him. When we choose to repent, we choose to become more like Jesus Christ!” (“We Can Do Better and Be Better,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 67).