“Lesson 25: Jesus Christ Will One Day Return,” Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel Teacher Manual (2015)
“Lesson 25,” Teacher Manual
Prophets throughout the generations have prophesied that Jesus Christ will return again to the earth. Isaiah recorded, “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isaiah 40:5). These prophecies help Jesus Christ’s disciples to prepare themselves and others for this singular event and to have hope, knowing that Heavenly Father foresees the future and is preparing the world for the glorious return of His Son.
Dallin H. Oaks, “Preparation for the Second Coming,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 7–10.
Ask students the following questions, and summarize their answers on the board:
What do you think of when the Second Coming is mentioned?
What do you believe the Second Coming will be like?
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 29:11 aloud. Then ask the class:
What do you learn from this passage about the Second Coming? (As students respond, emphasize the following truth: When the Savior comes again, He will come in power and glory with all the hosts of heaven. Write this truth on the board.)
Prophecies about the Second Coming
What we learn about the Second Coming
Follow up by asking the following questions:
Based on what you studied, how will Jesus Christ’s power and glory be manifest at His coming?
Which prophecies about the Second Coming stood out to you? Why?
(Note: Before moving on, you might refer back to the chart and ask students what value there is in studying the scriptures in this fashion—looking for connections, patterns, and themes.)
Display the following statement by Elder Sterling W. Sill (1903–1994) of the Seventy, and invite a student to read it aloud:
“The second coming of Christ is mentioned over 1,500 times in the Old Testament and 300 times in the New Testament. If God thought this subject that important, he must have wanted us to do something about it” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1966, 19).
Why do you think it is significant that the scriptures include so many prophecies regarding the Second Coming?
Display the following scripture passages, or write them on the board. Invite students to silently compare and contrast these passages, looking for two different ways we are to prepare for the Second Coming.
After sufficient time, discuss some or all of the following questions:
How would you summarize into one statement the truths taught in these passages? (Make sure students express something like the following: Prophecies about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ were given and recorded in the scriptures so that we might prepare ourselves and others for that day.)
Why do we need to prepare others and not just ourselves for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
What are some ways we might help others prepare for the Lord’s return?
How do you think helping others prepare for the Second Coming will help you prepare as well?
Ask a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“While we are powerless to alter the fact of the Second Coming and unable to know its exact time, we can accelerate our own preparation and try to influence the preparation of those around us. …
“What if the day of His coming were tomorrow? If we knew that we would meet the Lord tomorrow—through our premature death or through His unexpected coming—what would we do today? What confessions would we make? What practices would we discontinue? What accounts would we settle? What forgivenesses would we extend? What testimonies would we bear?
“If we would do those things then, why not now? Why not seek peace while peace can be obtained? If our lamps of preparation are drawn down, let us start immediately to replenish them” (“Preparation for the Second Coming,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 8, 9).
What might a person do to accelerate his or her preparation for the Second Coming?
What danger is there in putting off our preparation?
Explain to students that just days prior to Jesus Christ’s death, His disciples inquired concerning the signs that would precede His Second Coming (see Matthew 24:3; Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:4). The Savior’s response is found in Matthew 24–25. Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Matthew 25:1–13, and ask the rest of the class to follow along. Then lead students in a discussion of the parable of the ten virgins using some or all of the following questions and quotations:
What do you consider foolish about the actions of these five virgins? (The foolish virgins were not doing the things necessary to prepare for the Savior’s coming. Striving diligently to prepare for the Savior’s coming by doing what we know to be right brings great blessings, including being ready to join the Savior when He comes.)
Why were the wise virgins unable to share their oil with the foolish virgins?
What does this parable teach you about preparing to meet the Savior? (Though they may use different words, students may express a principle similar to the following: Through obedience to God’s commandments, we can prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. See also D&C 45:56–57.)
Supplement the discussion with the following statements by Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“Of [the parable of the ten virgins], the Lord said, ‘And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins’ (D&C 45:56).
“Given in the 25th chapter of Matthew, this parable contrasts the circumstances of the five foolish and the five wise virgins. All ten were invited to the wedding feast, but only half of them were prepared with oil in their lamps when the bridegroom came. The five who were prepared went into the marriage feast, and the door was shut. The five who had delayed their preparations came late. The door had been closed, and the Lord denied them entrance, saying, ‘I know you not’ [Matthew 25:12]. ‘Watch therefore,’ the Savior concluded, ‘for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh’ [Matthew 25:13].
“The arithmetic of this parable is chilling. The ten virgins obviously represent members of Christ’s Church, for all were invited to the wedding feast and all knew what was required to be admitted when the bridegroom came. But only half were ready when he came” (Dallin H. Oaks, “Preparation for the Second Coming,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 8).
“Were the five wise virgins selfish and unwilling to share, or were they indicating correctly that the oil of conversion cannot be borrowed? Can the spiritual strength that results from consistent obedience to the commandments be given to another person? Can the knowledge obtained through diligent study and pondering of the scriptures be conveyed to one who is in need? Can the peace the gospel brings to a faithful Latter-day Saint be transferred to an individual experiencing adversity or great challenge? The clear answer to each of these questions is no.
“As the wise virgins emphasized properly, each of us must ‘buy for ourselves.’ These inspired women were not describing a business transaction; rather, they were emphasizing our individual responsibility to keep our lamp of testimony burning and to obtain an ample supply of the oil of conversion. This precious oil is acquired one drop at a time—‘line upon line [and] precept upon precept’ (2 Nephi 28:30), patiently and persistently. No shortcut is available; no last-minute flurry of preparation is possible” (David A. Bednar, “Converted unto the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 109).
Why should we be urgent in our preparations for the Second Coming of Christ?
Consider writing the following incomplete statement on the board and asking students to ponder and then write down how they would complete it:
Encourage students to think of specific ways they can help family, friends, or others understand the importance of preparing for Jesus Christ’s return. Encourage students to make a commitment to the Lord that they will follow through with any promptings they have received.