“Lesson 28: A Personal Witness of Jesus Christ,” Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel Teacher Manual (2015)
“Lesson 28,” Teacher Manual
The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles declared: “We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God” (“The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles,” Ensign or Liahona, Apr. 2000, 3). Throughout this course, we have studied the eternal ministry of Jesus Christ and the testimonies of prophets concerning Him. As we gain a personal testimony through the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Living Christ, we are prepared to share our own witness of the Savior with others.
D. Todd Christofferson, “Becoming a Witness of Christ,” Ensign, Mar. 2008, 58–63.
Ask students if any of them have ever been in a circumstance where they were the only member of the Church or the only person willing to represent the standards of the Church. Invite them to respond to the following questions:
How did you feel when you responded to that situation as a follower of Jesus Christ?
What were some of the meaningful or challenging aspects of your experience?
Remind students of the Book of Mormon account of Alma, who was converted by the teachings of the prophet Abinadi. Following his conversion, Alma began to preach the gospel as well. In Mosiah 18, we can read his teachings about the covenant of baptism. Ask a student to read Mosiah 18:8–11 aloud. Invite students to follow along and identify attitudes and actions that indicate a person is ready to make and keep the baptismal covenant. After students respond, point out the phrase “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” in verse 9. Then ask:
What does it mean to stand as a witness of God the Father and Jesus Christ “at all times and in all things, and in all places”? (Mosiah 18:9).
Display the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and ask a student to read it aloud:
“Apostles have the calling and ordination to be special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world (see D&C 107:23), but the duty to witness and testify of Christ at all times and in all places applies to every member of the Church who has received the testimony of the Holy Ghost” (“Witnesses of Christ,” Ensign, Nov. 1990, 30).
According to Elder Oaks, who has the responsibility to bear witness of Jesus Christ? (Make sure students recognize the following truth: All members of the Church have covenanted to stand as witnesses of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.)
Besides verbally sharing our beliefs and testimony, what other ways can we stand as a witness of Christ? (To help students answer this question, consider inviting them to study Matthew 5:14–16 and 3 Nephi 18:24.)
Display the following statement by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and ask a student to read it aloud:
“During His ministry in the Western Hemisphere, the Savior gave this commandment: ‘Hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do’ (3 Nephi 18:24). People should be able to see in us something of Jesus Christ. The way we act, speak, look, and even think will reflect Him and His ways” (“Becoming a Witness of Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, Mar. 2008, 60).
How have you seen others act, speak, or look in ways that reflect their belief in Jesus Christ?
How would you recommend someone overcome reluctance or fear to be a witness of Jesus Christ?
Write the following phrases on the board:
Invite students to read 2 Nephi 25:26 silently, and ask them to explain how a person might share their testimony of Jesus Christ in the ways summarized on the board. To aid the class discussion, use the following statement by Elder D. Todd Christofferson as needed:
“Nephi’s phrase ‘we talk of Christ’ [2 Nephi 25:26] suggests that we are not reluctant to talk about our feelings regarding the Savior in conversations and informal settings. Often these are one-on-one situations where in open and friendly ways we can discuss who He is and what He did and taught, encouraging others also to love and follow Him.
“‘We rejoice in Christ’ implies that we live with a generally happy outlook that reflects our faith in Christ. We know that ‘his grace [is] sufficient’ for us to be redeemed from death and sin and to be perfected in Him (see Moroni 10:32–33). While we face disappointments and even tragedies, we know that because of Him, our eternal happiness is assured. As our faith in Jesus Christ shines through, we show others who ‘labour and are heavy laden’ how to find rest in Him (see Matthew 11:28–30).
“‘We preach of Christ’ certainly has reference to full-time and member missionary work but also includes what we do in worship services, Sunday School classes, and similar settings where He is the subject of study and instruction. Our participation as both teachers and students is part of our bearing witness of Him. …
“‘We prophesy of Christ’ means that we express our testimony of Him by the power of the Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 12:3). ‘The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy’ (Revelation 19:10). As those who anciently prophesied of His first advent, we also confirm in word and deed the prophecies of His Second Coming. …
“‘And we write according to our prophecies’ suggests the wisdom of making a permanent record of our testimony of Christ. We understand that the testimonies we bear are ‘recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over [us]’ (D&C 62:3). Our own descendants and others may look upon and rejoice over our witness of Christ written or recorded for their benefit” (“Becoming a Witness of Christ,” Ensign, Mar. 2008, 62–63).
As you conclude this portion of the lesson, encourage students to consider one of the areas on the board and set a goal of what they will do to become a stronger witness of Jesus Christ.
Ask students to think back over the course of the semester and identify some of the roles of Jesus Christ and some of the topics related to Him that were discussed in class. Summarize student responses on the board. (Roles might include Advocate, Savior, Atoning One, Firstborn, Only Begotten, Jehovah, Messiah, Creator. Topics might include the following: the centrality of Jesus Christ to God’s plan; His premortal ministry; the reality that He lives; His postmortal ministry; the Second Coming; His Millennial reign; the Restoration of His gospel; His leadership of the Church; and the ways in which He is the Light and Life of the World.)
“Jesus is my friend. None other has given me so much. ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends’ (John 15:13). He gave His life for me. He opened the way to eternal life. Only a God could do this. I hope that I am deemed worthy of being a friend to Him.
“He is my exemplar. His way of life, His absolutely selfless conduct, His outreach to those in need, His final sacrifice all stand as an example to me. …
“He is my teacher. No other voice ever spoke such wondrous language. …
“He is my healer. I stand in awe at His wondrous miracles. …
“He is my leader. I am honored to be one in the long cavalcade of those who love Him and who have followed Him during the two millennia that have passed since His birth. …
“He is my Savior and my Redeemer. Through giving His life in pain and unspeakable suffering, He has reached down to lift me and each of us and all the sons and daughters of God from the abyss of eternal darkness following death. … My gratitude knows no bounds. My thanks to my Lord has no conclusion.
“He is my God and my King. From everlasting to everlasting, He will reign and rule as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. To His dominion there will be no end. To His glory there will be no night” (“My Testimony,” Ensign, May 2000, 71).
Present the following scenario to your students: If someone asked you what you believe about Jesus Christ, what three or four ideas would you most want to emphasize? Give students time to write down their ideas. Then invite students to pair up and share their responses with one another. Encourage them to discuss why they selected what they did and any experiences they have had that may have strengthened their understanding of and love for the Savior. After sufficient time, ask students if any of them would like to share their testimony of Jesus Christ with the class.
Conclude by bearing your own witness of the eternal ministry of the Living Christ. Consider expressing your gratitude for the many essential roles filled by the Lord Jesus Christ throughout time. Then give students the following challenge: As you conclude this course, ponder who you know that would be strengthened by hearing your testimony of the Savior. During the coming week and beyond, decide who you will influence and how you will share your witness.