“Lesson 11 Teacher Material: The Gathering of Israel,” Foundations of the Restoration Teacher Material (2019)
“Lesson 11 Teacher Material,” Foundations of the Restoration Teacher Material
Display the following picture, and invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 29:1–2 aloud.
What might the imagery in these verses teach us about the Savior? What does Jesus Christ want to do for His people?
Point out the word “atoned” in verse 1. Explain that President Russell M. Nelson taught that “in Hebrew, the basic word for atonement is kaphar, a verb that means ‘to cover’” (“The Atonement,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 34).
According to verse 2, who are the Lord’s people that He wants to gather and cover with His arms of mercy?
Explain that the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and several of the revelations given to Joseph Smith all teach that the Lord will gather His people, scattered Israel, in the latter days (see Ezekiel 28:25; 2 Nephi 10:8; Doctrine and Covenants 33:6).
Invite students to explain what they understand about the gathering of Israel. (Encourage them to refer to section 1 of the preparation material.) You might also ask questions like the following to help deepen the discussion:
Why do you think President Nelson would call the gathering “the greatest challenge, the greatest cause, and the greatest work on earth today”? (“Hope of Israel” [worldwide youth devotional, June 3, 2018], supplement to the Ensign and New Era, 8, ChurchofJesusChrist.org; italics in original).
What can we learn about the Lord and His character through the scattering and gathering of His covenant people?
What are some of the reasons the Lord wants His Saints to gather together?
Explain that in December 1830 Joseph Smith received a revelation commanding the Saints to move to Ohio (see Doctrine and Covenants 37:1–3). At a conference of the Church in January 1831, Joseph received additional revelation giving the Lord’s reasons for commanding the Saints to gather and explained the promised blessings for doing so.
Invite the class to read Doctrine and Covenants 38:28, 31–33, looking for ways the Saints would be blessed if they obeyed the commandment to gather to Ohio. Invite students to share what they discovered.
You might emphasize the following truth: The Lord gathers His people to protect and spiritually strengthen them.
How does gathering together today in our wards, stakes, and temples make it possible for us to receive protection and spiritual strength from the Lord?
What kinds of protection have you experienced as you’ve gathered with other Saints?
Refer again to the picture of the hen gathering her chicks under her wings. Display the following truth: The Lord has called us and will help us to gather Israel.
For an example of how the Lord will help us to gather Israel, invite students to recount or read together the account of Heber C. Kimball’s mission to England found in section 2 of the preparation material. This could be done in small groups. Invite each group (or the class) to discuss together the following questions after reviewing Elder Kimball’s account:
What can I learn from the experience of Heber C. Kimball that might give me more confidence to help gather Israel through sharing the gospel with others?
When have I felt the Lord’s help in proclaiming the gospel?
What can I do to exercise my faith and share the gospel more with others?
Display the following statement by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Invite students to read the statement and then share how they have shared the gospel message with others in effective but natural ways.
Wherever you are on this earth, there are plenty of opportunities to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with people you meet, study with, and live with or work and socialize with. … There are many normal and natural ways to do this. (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Missionary Work: Sharing What Is in Your Heart,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 15, 17)
Display the following statement by President Nelson, and ask a student to read it aloud:
Anytime you do anything that helps anyone—on either side of the veil—take a step toward making covenants with God and receiving their essential baptismal and temple ordinances, you are helping to gather Israel. (Russell M. Nelson, “Hope of Israel,” 15; italics in original)
Based on President Nelson’s teachings, what else can we do to help the Lord gather Israel? (Help students identify a truth similar to the following: We gather Israel when we help God’s children take steps toward making and keeping covenants with Him.)
Note: Students will be able to further discuss gathering Israel through family history and temple service in lesson 19, “Redemption of the Dead.”
Invite students to identify several specific ways they could help gather Israel. List their responses on the board. You might ask students to share experiences they have had related to items on the list.
Provide time for students to ponder the following question found in section 2 of the preparation material and to write a goal they feel they could accomplish. They may want to make a plan to act on their goals with a friend or group in the class. You might also ask if some students would be willing to report on their experience during a future discussion.
What will you do in the coming days and weeks to take a more active part in the gathering of Israel?
Conclude by sharing your testimony that the Lord is gathering Israel in the latter days. Assure students of the protection and strength God will give them as they gather with other Saints and as they help gather Israel.
Explain that the gathering of Israel is closely related to the Lord’s work of establishing Zion on the earth in preparation for His Second Coming. Invite students to study the preparation material for the next class and to come prepared to discuss what Zion is and the blessings that come from helping establish Zion in their homes and stakes.