“Lesson 9 Teacher Material: Jesus Christ: Our Divine Redeemer,” Foundations of the Restoration Teacher Material (20190)
“Lesson 9 Teacher Material,” Foundations of the Restoration Teacher Material
Display an image portraying the First Vision. Remind students that one of Joseph Smith’s purposes for praying on this occasion was to ask God which church to join (see Joseph Smith—History 1:13–19). In his 1832 account of the vision, however, Joseph mentioned another reason he went to the grove to pray that day.
Invite a student to read aloud the first paragraph of section 1 in the preparation material.
Give students a minute to think about times in their lives when they felt distressed by their sins and weaknesses. Then ask students to silently read paragraphs two and three in section 1 of the preparation material.
What did Joseph learn about the character of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? (Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are merciful and forgiving.)
Explain that Joseph and the Saints continued to learn about the character of Jesus Christ through His revelations. Display the following references, or write them on the board: Doctrine and Covenants 3:10; 38:14; 58:42; 61:2; 62:1; 64:2–4. Give students time to read a few of the passages, and ask them to read as though the Lord was speaking directly to them. Ask them to consider how the Savior’s words in these verses deepen their understanding of His merciful and forgiving character. After they read, invite students to share what they learned.
Why do you think it is vital for us to understand that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are merciful and forgiving?
Explain that Joseph Smith’s First Vision is one of many experiences that prepared Joseph to stand as a powerful witness of Jesus Christ. Remind students that according to Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Joseph Smith is “the preeminent revelator of Jesus Christ in His true character as divine Redeemer” (D. Todd Christofferson, “Born Again,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2008, 79; italics added).
How have Joseph Smith and the Restoration influenced your understanding of and feelings about Jesus Christ?
Explain to students that the coming forth of the Book of Mormon through the Prophet Joseph Smith allowed the world to understand Jesus Christ and His Atonement in a way that had not been possible for centuries. Among the many passages that teach us of the Savior’s sacrifice for humanity are the teachings of Alma and Amulek. Invite students to read Alma 34:10, 12, and 14 silently, looking for how Amulek described the Savior’s atoning sacrifice. Ask them to share what they find.
Draw or display the following diagram:
In what ways is the Savior’s Atonement “infinite and eternal”? (Encourage students to draw on what they learned from section 2 of the preparation material.)
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Cecil O. Samuelson Jr., who served in the Presidency of the Seventy, and ask the class to listen for words he used to describe the Lord’s Atonement:
His Atonement does indeed cover the world and all people from the beginning to the end. Let us not forget, however, that in its comprehensiveness and completeness it is also intensely personal and uniquely crafted to fit perfectly and address perfectly each of our own individual circumstances. The Father and the Son know each of us better than we know ourselves and have prepared an Atonement for us that is fully congruent with our needs, challenges, and possibilities.
Thanks be to God for the gift of His Son, and thanks be to the Savior for His Atonement. It is true and is in effect and will lead us where we need and want to be. (Cecil O. Samuelson Jr., “What Does the Atonement Mean to You?” Ensign, Apr. 2009, 51)
What words did Elder Samuelson use to describe the Savior’s Atonement?
Add to the diagram personal and other words students identify:
Why do you think it is important to remember that while the Savior’s atoning sacrifice extends to an infinite number of people and worlds, it is also intensely personal?
Remind students that in section 2 of the preparation material, they were invited to mark truths that stood out to them. If needed, give students some time to review the scripture passages and prophetic teachings they marked in this section.
What truths stood out to you, and why? (Display these truths or write them on the board.)
After students respond, consider asking them to restate (and rewrite) the principles in a personal way, using first-person pronouns like I, me, and my. The truths might read similar to the following: Jesus Christ took upon Himself my sins, afflictions, pains, and temptations so He would know how to succor me. The worth of my soul is so great that Jesus Christ suffered and died so I could repent. Jesus Christ suffered for my sins so I could repent and not suffer as He did.
How can understanding and believing these truths help you have greater faith in Jesus Christ?
What thoughts and feelings come to you as you consider what the Savior suffered for you and why He did so?
Display the following question: What will I do to invite the power of Jesus Christ more fully into my life?
Provide time for students to prayerfully ponder this question and write a response in their journals or notebooks. As they are pondering, consider displaying the following statement by President Russell M. Nelson. Invite students to look for counsel that can help them invite the Savior’s power into their lives:
We begin by learning about [Jesus Christ]. “It is impossible for [us] to be saved in ignorance” [Doctrine and Covenants 131:6]. The more we know about the Savior’s ministry and mission [see Doctrine and Covenants 76:40–41]—the more we understand His doctrine [see 2 Nephi 31:2–21] and what He did for us—the more we know that He can provide the power that we need for our lives. …
As we invest time in learning about the Savior and His atoning sacrifice, we are drawn to participate in another key element to accessing His power: we choose to have faith in Him and follow Him. …
We also increase the Savior’s power in our lives when we make sacred covenants and keep those covenants with precision. Our covenants bind us to Him and give us godly power. …
When the Savior knows you truly want to reach up to Him—when He can feel that the greatest desire of your heart is to draw His power into your life—you will be led by the Holy Ghost to know exactly what you should do [see Doctrine and Covenants 88:63]. (Russell M. Nelson, “Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 39–42)
Conclude by testifying that because of His Atonement, Jesus Christ has power to strengthen, comfort, heal, and extend mercy and forgiveness to us.
Invite students to think about how their lives would be different without living prophets. Ask students to study the preparation material for the next lesson and come ready to discuss the blessings of being led by living prophets.