“Lesson 28 Teacher Material: The Lord Is Hastening His Work,” Foundations of the Restoration Teacher Material (2019)
“Lesson 28 Teacher Material,” Foundations of the Restoration Teacher Material
Show students an image of the Peter Whitmer Sr. log home (see preparation material) and ask them to share what they know about the growth of the Lord’s restored Church since its organization in 1830. (Students may want to refer to section 1 of the preparation material.)
What have the prophets said about the future of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Why do you think it is important to understand the destiny of the Lord’s Church?
Explain that in March 1842, Joseph Smith described the destiny of the Lord’s gospel and His Church when he wrote a letter in response to a request for information about the Church’s beliefs by John Wentworth, who was the editor of a newspaper in Chicago, Illinois. In the letter, the Prophet described the “rise, progress, persecution, and faith of the Latter-day Saints” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 437).
Display the following portion of the letter, and ask a student to read it aloud:
The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done. (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 444)
If needed, explain that calumny refers to false statements intended to damage someone’s reputation.
What truths can we learn about God’s work from Joseph Smith’s statement and what you studied in the preparation material? (After students respond, display the following truth: Despite opposition, the work of God will move forward until His purposes are accomplished.)
Explain that President M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles testified that Joseph Smith’s prophecy continues to be fulfilled in our day. Display the following statement, and invite a student to read it aloud.
Persecutions have raged. Calumny and lies and misrepresentation have attempted to defame. But in every decade from the time of the Restoration forward, the truth of God has gone “forth boldly, nobly, and independent.” The little Church that started in 1830 with just a handful of members has now grown to [millions of] Latter-day Saints in many different nations around the world, and we are well on our way to penetrating every continent, visiting every clime, sweeping every country, and sounding in every ear.
This is God’s work, and God’s work will not be frustrated. (M. Russell Ballard, “The Truth of God Shall Go Forth,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 83)
Display the following questions, and give students a minute to ponder them before they respond:
What are some examples from the history of the Church or our present time that show that, despite opposition, God’s work continues to move forward?
How does knowing that God’s work cannot be stopped help prepare you to face opposition to your beliefs?
Display the following statement from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, which he made while he was serving as Second Counselor in the First Presidency:
Sometimes we think of the Restoration of the gospel as something that is complete, already behind us—Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he received priesthood keys, the Church was organized. In reality, the Restoration is an ongoing process; we are living in it right now. (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Are You Sleeping through the Restoration?” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 59)
Why do you think it is important to understand that the Restoration is ongoing?
Explain that in late December 1832, the Lord commanded the elders in Kirtland, Ohio, to prepare to “go forth among the Gentiles for the last time” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:84).
Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:73–74, 80–81 with students, and invite them to consider marking the Lord’s promise and related commandments.
To help students understand this promise, invite them to read the following statement by President Russell M. Nelson found in the introduction of the preparation material for this lesson:
These are exciting days. The Lord is hastening His work right before our eyes. It is thrilling. It is rigorous. More is required from each of us—more than ever before. And more is being given. (Russell M. Nelson, “Personal Invitation,” ChurchofJesusChrist.org)
What can we learn from these verses in Doctrine and Covenants 88 and from President Nelson’s statement about our role in hastening the Lord’s work? (Students may share an idea similar to the following truth: We have a responsibility to participate in hastening the Lord’s work.)
Invite students to think about aspects of the Lord’s work of salvation that they have learned about in this course. You might review the course syllabus or list of lesson titles to help students remember important topics. You might also ask students to share what impressed them about the scripture passages and invitations from Church leaders found in section 2 of the preparation material.
What are some aspects of the Lord’s work of salvation that we have a responsibility to participate in? (List students’ answers on the board. These may include gathering Israel, proclaiming the gospel, redeeming the dead, following the prophets, sacrificing for others, ministering, providing relief to those in need, worshipping in the temple, and honoring the Sabbath.)
In what specific ways are you seeing the Lord hasten His work in the areas we have listed?
Invite students to take a few minutes to prayerfully consider how the Lord might want them to personally participate in the hastening of His work. Give them time to write a plan of what they will do to assist the Lord. As they create their plans, you might suggest that they include specific information about how and by when they will act.
Consider writing your own personal plan before class, where you describe some things you will do (or will continue to do) to participate in the hastening of the Lord’s work. Before students write their plan, consider sharing yours as an example.
After sufficient time, invite students to testify of what they have learned and felt as they have participated in this course. Briefly share your testimony and assurance of the blessings that students will receive as they continue to be active participants in hastening the Lord’s work.