Prophets and Revelation
    Footnotes
    Theme

    “Prophets and Revelation,” Doctrinal Mastery New Testament Teacher Material (2016)

    “Prophets and Revelation,” Doctrinal Mastery New Testament Teacher Material

    Prophets and Revelation

    Note: The following doctrinal mastery activities could be done over the course of several class sessions or in a single class session.

    Understanding the Doctrine (35 minutes)

    Segment 1 (10 minutes)

    Write the following question on the board: What are some aspects of our Church that make it unique? Invite students to respond. As they do so, write their answers on the board. Explain that one aspect that sets our Church apart from others is our belief in living prophets and continuing revelation.

    Point out that the New Testament contains three doctrinal mastery passages that help us better understand the topic of prophets and revelation. Write the following references on the board, and give students time to read and mark or note each passage in a distinctive way that designates it as a doctrinal mastery passage: John 15:16; Ephesians 2:19–20; Ephesians 4:11–14.

    Invite students to turn to doctrinal topic 5, “Prophets and Revelation,” in the Doctrinal Mastery Core Document. Ask several students to take turns reading the five paragraphs aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for statements of doctrine that are supported by the three doctrinal mastery passages on the board.

    Invite students to report what they found. You may want to invite them to mark or underline the following statements of doctrine:

    • A prophet is a person who has been called by God to speak for Him.

    • Prophets testify of Jesus Christ and teach His gospel. They make known God’s will and true character. They denounce sin, warn of its consequences, and help us avoid deception.

    • During His mortal ministry and again in our day, the Lord organized His Church on the foundation of prophets and apostles.

    Segment 2 (5 minutes)

    Write the following doctrine on the board: A prophet is a person who has been called by God to speak for Him. Ask students to silently read John 15:16, looking for words or phrases that teach this doctrine.

    Invite students to report what they find. You may want to suggest that they mark the phrase, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you.”

    • What does this passage teach us about how someone becomes a prophet?

    • Why do you think it is important to understand that prophets are chosen and called by God and not by man?

    Explain that the word ordain means to officially invest with priesthood authority from God by the laying on of hands.

    • Why do you think it is important for someone to be properly ordained in order to speak for God?

    Segment 3 (10 minutes)

    Write the following statements of doctrine on the board: Prophets testify of Jesus Christ and teach His gospel. They make known God’s will and true character. They denounce sin, warn of its consequences, and help us avoid deception.

    Invite a student to read Ephesians 4:11–14 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for words or phrases that support the statements of doctrine written on the board.

    Ask students to report what they find.

    Point out that verse 12 teaches three important reasons that God calls prophets. You may want to invite students to mark these three reasons.

    Divide the class into three groups, and assign each group one of the following questions to discuss within their group. (Encourage students to refer to the statements of doctrine for Ephesians 4:11–14 written on board. Remind them that we sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets.)

    1. What are some ways that prophets help perfect the Saints?

    2. What are some examples of the “work of the ministry” (verse 12) that prophets perform?

    3. How do prophets edify or strengthen the Church?

    Invite students to read Ephesians 4:13–14, looking for some of the blessings that result from having living prophets in the Church.

    Ask students to report what they find.

    • How do prophets help us as members of the Church to achieve a “unity of the faith” (verse 13)? Why is this important?

    • How do prophets help us avoid being “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of [false] doctrine” (verse 14)?

    • What are some examples of false doctrine that our prophets have helped safeguard us against?

    Consider inviting students to answer the following question in their scripture study journals or class notebooks:

    • How has a recent talk, teaching, or testimony from a prophet helped you to grow in your knowledge of Jesus Christ and His gospel or to avoid deception?

    After sufficient time, invite students who feel comfortable doing so to share with the class what they wrote.

    Segment 4 (10 minutes)

    Write the following statement of doctrine taught in Ephesians 2:19–20 on the board: During His mortal ministry and again in our day, the Lord organized His Church on the foundation of prophets and apostles.

    Explain that the Apostle Paul wrote his epistle to the Ephesians with the desire to spiritually strengthen, protect, and unify the Church members there, some of whom were faltering in their faith.

    Invite a student to read Ephesians 2:19–20 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for words or phrases that support the statement of doctrine on the board.

    Ask students to report what they find.

    • How do you think knowing that Christ organized His Church on a foundation of prophets and apostles could have strengthened the Saints in Ephesus?

    • Why do you think it’s important that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is also organized on the foundation of prophets and apostles?

    Divide students into pairs or small groups, and ask them to discuss the following question:

    • Many people believe that organized religion is not necessary but rather a man-made invention. How might you use the truth taught in Ephesians 2:19–20 to help someone understand the importance of belonging to and participating in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

    After sufficient time, invite students to report to the class what they discussed.

    Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Ask the class to listen for what Elder Christofferson said about the purpose of the Church. (You may want to give each student a copy of the statement.)

    Elder D. Todd Christofferson

    “I realize that there are those who consider themselves religious or spiritual and yet reject participation in a church or even the need for such an institution. Religious practice is for them purely personal. Yet the Church is the creation of Him in whom our spirituality is centered—Jesus Christ. …

    “… In the meridian of time, Jesus organized His work in such a way that the gospel could be established simultaneously in multiple nations and among diverse peoples. That organization, the Church of Jesus Christ, was founded on ‘apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone’ [Ephesians 2:20]. It included additional officers, such as seventies, elders, bishops, priests, teachers, and deacons. …

    “Following the apostasy and disintegration of the Church He had organized while on the earth, the Lord reestablished the Church of Jesus Christ once again through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The ancient purpose remains: that is, to preach the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and administer the ordinances of salvation—in other words, to bring people to Christ” (“Why the Church,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 108).

    • According to Elder Christofferson, what is the purpose of the Church anciently and today?

    Practice Exercises (30–40 minutes)

    Help students practice using the three principles of Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge in relation to the doctrinal topic “Prophets and Revelation”: act in faith, examine concepts and questions with an eternal perspective, and seek further understanding through divinely appointed sources.

    The exercises in this section can be done during the same class session or in different class sessions, depending on your schedule and the needs of your students.

    Exercise 1 (20–25 minutes)

    Write the following three principles on the board:

    • Act in faith.

    • Examine concepts and questions with an eternal perspective.

    • Seek further understanding through divinely appointed sources.

    Provide each student with a copy of For the Strength of Youth [booklet, 2011], and ask them to look through it and identify various behaviors that living prophets counsel us to avoid.

    Ask students to report what they find, and list several of their answers on the board.

    Invite the students to imagine they have a friend of another faith who asks, “I think it’s so weird that Mormons don’t …” Invite students to complete the sentence with something from the list on the board.

    handout icon
    Ask students to consider how they can use the three principles written on the board to confidently respond to their friend’s question. Explain that they will have an opportunity to role-play this. Consider using the following questions to help students organize their thoughts. (You may want to provide these questions to students as a handout.)

    Act in faith:

    • How do you think your faithful obedience to prophets’ teachings could help you answer your friend’s question?

    • How might you be able to invite your friend to act in faith regarding his or her question?

    Examine concepts and questions with an eternal perspective:

    • What do you know about the role of prophets in Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation?

    • What are some possible misunderstandings or false assumptions your friend might have about prophets?

    • How have prophets strengthened you and helped you learn more about Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father?

    Seek further understanding through divinely appointed sources:

    • What sources can you use in order to gain a greater understanding of why prophets would counsel us to avoid the behavior in your friend’s question? (Consider giving students time to search teachings [such as those in For the Strength of Youth], talks, and testimonies from latter-day prophets that could help them further understand and explain the counsel and teachings of prophets.)

    After sufficient time, divide students into pairs and have them take turns sharing with each other how they would respond to the friend in the situation above. After they have all had a turn, consider concluding this activity by inviting a few students to share their testimonies of latter-day prophets.

    Exercise 2 (10–15 minutes)

    Write the following three principles on the board:

    • Act in faith.

    • Examine concepts and questions with an eternal perspective.

    • Seek further understanding through divinely appointed sources.

    Read aloud the following situation to your class:

    You have a friend in your quorum or class who has started to skip Mutual and Sunday church meetings. You decide to talk with him or her about it. Your friend responds, “You know, I’m starting to wonder why going to a specific church is necessary. There are lots of good people on the earth who don’t attend any church, let alone ours. I think that as long as they live good lives and treat others well, they will still make it to heaven.”

    • What points of doctrine concerning prophets and revelation could help your friend understand the importance of faithfully attending Church meetings?

    • What might you do to help your friend act in faith, examine concepts and questions with an eternal perspective, and seek further understanding through divinely appointed sources in order to further understand the importance of attending Church meetings?

    Doctrinal Mastery Review

    Give students a few minutes to review the doctrinal mastery passages they have learned so far this school year. Invite a student to come to the front of the classroom with his or her scriptures. Ask the student to turn to one of the doctrinal mastery passages without showing it to anyone else. Have the student write one word from the doctrinal mastery passage on the board. (Encourage the student to choose key words from the passage rather than words such as and or the.)

    Invite the rest of the class to search their scriptures for the doctrinal mastery passage they think the word comes from. If no one can find the correct passage using one word, ask the student to write another word from the doctrinal mastery passage on the board. Repeat this process until at least one student has located the correct passage. Invite the rest of the class to turn to the passage, and invite the students recite it together. Then repeat the activity with another student and a different doctrinal mastery passage.