“Lesson 27: Preparing the World for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ,” Foundations of the Restoration Teacher Manual (2015)
“Lesson 27,” Teacher Manual
The Savior will one day return to the earth in power and great glory. In preparation for that great day, the Saints are taught to study the signs of His coming and to prepare for it by standing in holy places and taking “the Holy Spirit for their guide” (D&C 45:57). The Lord has declared that the Church and its members have a responsibility to prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Savior.
Neil L. Andersen, “Preparing the World for the Second Coming,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 49–52.
Dallin H. Oaks, “Preparation for the Second Coming,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 7–10.
“Preparing for the Second Coming of Christ,” chapter 44 in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith (1998), 389–97.
Ask students the following question:
How can you tell when it is about to rain?
Explain that just as there are indicators that help us know when rain will fall, there are also indicators, or signs, that help us know when the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will occur. Tell students that as recorded in Matthew 24, the Savior met with His disciples on the Mount of Olives shortly before His death and described the signs of His Second Coming. He repeated some of these teachings to Joseph Smith in our day, as recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 45. Emphasize to students that preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is an important theme throughout the Doctrine and Covenants. Invite the students to take time as they study the Doctrine and Covenants to note teachings about the Second Coming and ponder how they can prepare for it.
Invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 45:15–17, looking for what the Savior’s disciples asked Him and how He responded.
What did the disciples ask Jesus?
What was His response?
To help students identify signs that will precede the Second Coming, write the following references on the board:
Divide students into pairs, and assign each pair one of the passages written on the board. Ask them to read the verses together, looking for the signs mentioned in those verses. Point out that some of the signs have already been fulfilled or are in the process of being fulfilled. You may want to share the following information in connection with verse 30: “The era in which the Gentiles have precedence in receiving the gospel is called the times of the Gentiles. In it the non-Jews … have the opportunity to accept the gospel and gain salvation before that right is to be given, in any substantial degree, at least, to the Jews” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. , 721–22).
After sufficient time, ask pairs to report their findings to the class. You might suggest that students highlight the signs in their scriptures.
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 45:34 aloud while the class follows along. Then ask:
When you read or hear about the events or signs that will precede the Second Coming, are you ever troubled? Why or why not?
In what ways can learning about the signs of the Second Coming of the Savior help us overcome fear and anxiety in our lives?
Invite students to silently read Doctrine and Covenants 45:35–38 to learn why the Savior revealed the signs that will precede His Second Coming.
Why is it important to recognize when the signs of the Savior’s coming are being fulfilled?
Ask students to look for ways to prepare for the Second Coming of Christ as they read Doctrine and Covenants 45:32, 39, 56–57. Then discuss the following:
What do you learn from these verses about how to prepare for the Second Coming? (As students share their ideas, emphasize the following principle: Standing in holy places and taking the Holy Spirit as our guide are essential as we prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.)
What must we do in order to have the Holy Spirit as our guide?
How do you think a follower of Jesus Christ can “stand in holy places”? (Holy places include temples, chapels, and homes. A home can be made holy through consistent personal and family prayer, scripture study, service, and family home evening. Standing in holy places also has to do with how we live. If we live worthy of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, then we stand in a holy place. Consider suggesting that students write some of these ideas in the margin of their scriptures next to Doctrine and Covenants 45:32.)
How have you been able to stand in holy places despite living in a wicked world?
What are some of the reasons you are looking forward to the Savior’s Second Coming? Why are you grateful that the Savior will come again?
Remind students that the title of this course is Foundations of the Restoration. Ask students:
What connection or relationship do you see between the Restoration of the gospel and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
Write the following references on the board. Ask students to study them looking for a common theme:
After sufficient time, ask students to turn to the person sitting next to them and discuss what these scripture passages have in common. Ask a few students how they would summarize the message in these scriptures. (As students share their ideas, help them identify and understand this principle: As we preach the gospel to others, we are helping to prepare the world for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.)
How soon after the Church was organized did the Lord begin teaching the principle just identified?
Ask a student to read the following statement by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“From the early days of the Restoration, the Brethren have been very serious about their charge to declare the gospel. In 1837, only seven years after the organization of the Church, at a time of poverty and persecution, missionaries were sent to teach the gospel in England. Within the next few years, missionaries were preaching in such diverse places as Austria, French Polynesia, India, Barbados, Chile, and China.
“The Lord has blessed this work, and the Church is being established across the world. … The sun never sets on righteous missionaries testifying of the Savior. Think of the spiritual power of 52,000 missionaries, endowed with the Spirit of the Lord, boldly declaring that there is ‘no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come … , only in and through the name of Christ’ [Mosiah 3:17]. … The world is being prepared for the Second Coming of the Savior in large measure because of the Lord’s work through His missionaries” (“Preparing the World for the Second Coming,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 51).
Discuss the following:
How does the message taught by the Church’s missionaries prepare people for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
Why was the Restoration of the gospel necessary before the Savior could come again to the earth?
Display the following statements by President Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918), and ask a student to read them aloud:
“The gospel teaches men to be humble, faithful, honest and righteous before the Lord and with each other, and in proportion as its principles are carried out so will peace and righteousness extend and be established on the earth, and sin, contention, bloodshed and corruption of all kinds cease to exist, and the earth become purified and be made a fit abode for heavenly beings; and for the Lord our God to come and dwell upon, which he will do during the Millennium” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith , 394–95).
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints … regards it as part of its mission to prepare the way for the literal and glorious coming of the Son of God to the earth, to reign over it and dwell with His people” (Teachings: Joseph F. Smith, 395).
Ask the following:
During the course of this lesson, what thoughts or spiritual impressions have you had about the responsibility of the Church and its members to help prepare the world for the Second Coming?
How do you think helping others prepare for the Second Coming will help you prepare as well?
To conclude the lesson, invite students to share what they have done to share the message of the Restoration with those not of our faith.