Lesson 13: Teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Part 1)
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“Lesson 13: Teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Part 1)” Missionary Preparation Teacher Manual (2014)

“Lesson 13,” Missionary Preparation

13

Teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Part 1)

Introduction

The gospel of Jesus Christ includes the eternal doctrines, principles, laws, covenants, and ordinances needed for mankind to enter back into the presence of God and be exalted in the celestial kingdom. The first principles and ordinances of the gospel are faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Prospective missionaries should be prepared to help investigators have faith in Jesus Christ and repent of their sins before they are baptized and receive the Holy Ghost.

Advance Preparation

Suggestions for Teaching

Through Christ We Can Be Cleansed from Sin

To help students prepare to learn from the lesson, write this question on the board before class begins:

How does the world’s standard of right and wrong differ from Heavenly Father’s standard?

After class starts, invite a few students to respond to the question on the board. After a few students have responded, have a student read aloud the box titled “Sin” on page 61 of Preach My Gospel. Then ask:

  • Why is it important for investigators to understand what sin is and what its consequences are before learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Write the following question on the board and invite students to look for an answer as they study the section “Through Christ We Can Be Cleansed from Sin” on pages 60–61 in Preach My Gospel:

What are some of the truths taught in this section that might help investigators desire to draw closer to Jesus Christ?

After allowing sufficient time for students to read, invite students to share what they found. Their responses may include the following truths:

  • God sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, into the world so that we would have the possibility of returning to live in His presence after we die.

  • Only through the Savior’s grace and mercy can we become clean from sin.

  • Through the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, all people will be brought back into the presence of the Lord to be judged.

  • No unclean thing can live in God’s presence.

  • Jesus Christ stood in our place and suffered the penalty for our sins.

  • Jesus Christ forgives our sins when we accept Him, repent, and obey His commandments.

Next, give students a few minutes to study or mark several of the scripture passages listed in the paragraphs they just read or in the Scripture Study box on page 61 that illustrate one of the principles they just identified. Consider having half the class choose passages in the paragraphs they just read and the other half choose passages in the Scripture Study box. Ask students to be prepared to explain how they might use one or more of those scripture passages to help an investigator understand and appreciate what Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ have done to help us overcome the effects of sin. After a few minutes, invite a few students to explain what they learned.

Faith in Jesus Christ

Review with students the missionary purpose statement found in the box titled “Your Purpose” on page 1 of Preach My Gospel. Then ask:

  • What is the difference between (1) helping someone “come unto Christ” and become converted to His restored gospel and (2) merely helping someone become a member of the Church?

  • Why is it more important for missionaries to help people come unto Christ than to help them become members of the Church?

Invite students to study the first paragraph in the section titled “Faith in Jesus Christ” on page 61 of Preach My Gospel. As they study, have students look for ways that faith in Jesus Christ can help a person become converted to His restored gospel. Then ask:

  • From what you read, what does it mean to have faith in Jesus Christ?

  • How does faith in Jesus Christ lead someone to become converted to His restored gospel?

Write on the board: Faith in Jesus Christ leads to action. Invite students to read the rest of the “Faith in Jesus Christ” section on pages 61–62 of Preach My Gospel. As they read, invite them to mark some of the actions that demonstrate a person’s faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. After a few minutes, ask:

  • What are some actions that might show that an investigator is developing faith in Jesus Christ? (Answers may include: repenting, learning about and becoming like the Savior, obeying the commandments, avoiding sin, praying for strength to conquer temptation, learning the word of God, and keeping commitments to follow gospel principles.)

  • According to what you read, when we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, how does He bless us in our daily lives? (Answers may include: He gives us power to meet life’s challenges; He helps us change the desires of our hearts; He heals us physically and spiritually.)

Have students write answers to the following questions in their study journals:

  • How has your faith in Jesus Christ motivated you to act in the ways described in this section?

  • What else might you do to further show that you have faith in Jesus Christ?

Divide students into pairs or companionships. Invite pairs to prepare a two- to three-minute lesson about faith in Jesus Christ. As they prepare, have students use the material in Preach My Gospel, pages 61–62, including one or two scriptures from the Scripture Study box. Students might also use the missionary pamphlet titled The Gospel of Jesus Christ. After students have had sufficient time to prepare, organize pairs into groups of four students (two pairs in each group). Assign one pair of students to teach the other pair. Explain that they should use their own words and be simple and clear as they teach.

As students conclude their teaching experience, have the small groups discuss among themselves what went well, what they felt was a challenge to teach and why, and how their teaching helped those being taught to feel the importance of having faith in Jesus Christ.

Then, switch roles and allow the other pair to teach. Make sure to allow time for them to receive feedback as well.

At the conclusion of this practice activity, ask students what questions they had or what insights they gained. If students hesitate to respond, you might ask, “What are some of the things you liked that you heard from those who taught you?” Ask if any students would like to share with the class an experience from their lives when they were blessed by having faith in Jesus Christ.

Repentance

Display a picture of Alma and the sons of Mosiah (see Gospel Art Book, 77), and invite a student to briefly summarize the account of Alma the Younger’s conversion (see Alma 36:6–24). Then have a few students take turns reading aloud Alma 36:13, 17–21, and 23–25.

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Alma Arise

Then ask:

  • How did Alma demonstrate that he had faith in Jesus Christ?

  • What occurred as a result of Alma’s demonstration of faith?

  • What was the result of Alma’s sincere repentance?

Give students one minute to write in their study journals a one-sentence definition of repentance. Invite several students to read their sentences to the class. To help your students solidify in their minds a simple definition of repentance, display the following quote from Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and ask a student to read it aloud:

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Andersen, Neil L.

“When we sin, we turn away from God. When we repent, we turn back toward God. …

“… Repentance is turning away from some things, such as dishonesty, pride, anger, and impure thoughts, and turning toward other things, such as kindness, unselfishness, patience, and spirituality. It is ‘re-turning’ toward God” (“Repent … That I May Heal You,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 40–41).

  • How could this simple definition help you to explain the meaning of repentance? (After students respond, write this principle on the board: Repentance is turning back toward God.)

To help students better understand the process and results of repentance, consider having students study Mosiah 3:19; 4:1–3; and 5:2. As they study, have students identify words and phrases that help define what it means to repent. After allowing sufficient time, have a few students explain to the class what they found. Then ask:

  • What evidence do you see in these verses that King Benjamin’s people exercised faith in Jesus Christ in order to ultimately receive forgiveness of their sins?

Distribute handouts containing the following table, or draw it on the board and have students copy it into their study journals:

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Missionary Preparation Teacher Manual Rel 130

What is repentance?

How do we repent?

What are the fruits or evidence of repentance?

Change in thoughts, beliefs, behaviors



Feel remorse or godly sorrow



Receive Christ’s mercy



Ask students to study the section titled “Repentance” on pages 62–63 of Preach My Gospel. As they read, have students fill in the columns of their charts or handouts using words, phrases, or sentences from Preach My Gospel. To help students see the types of phrases they might include, an example is provided in each column. When finished, their charts might look like the following:

What is repentance?

How do we repent?

What are the fruits or evidence of repentance?

Change in thoughts, beliefs, behaviors

Fresh view of self, God, and world

Bring our life in line with God’s will

Turn away from sin and do it no more

Continually try to correct transgressions and improve

Feel remorse or godly sorrow

Stop doing wrong things

Continue doing right things

Recognize sins

Confess sins

Ask God for forgiveness

Correct problems our actions may have caused

Resist any desire to sin

Develop Christlike qualities, grow in knowledge, serve

Show love for God by obeying

Receive Christ’s mercy

View of self and the world changes

Understand our relation to God

Desire to follow God grows stronger

Feel God’s forgiveness

Feel God’s peace

Guilt and sorrow swept away

Feel Spirit in greater abundance

More prepared to live with God and Jesus Christ

Become more like Jesus

Feel joy

After allowing sufficient time for students to complete their charts, invite students to discuss with another member of the class the phrases and words they included in their charts. Consider asking the class some or all of the following questions to deepen students’ understanding of the doctrines and principles they read:

  • How can the principles you identified in the first and second columns help you to know if an investigator is truly repenting?

  • According to what you wrote in the third column, what blessings come from repentance, in addition to receiving a forgiveness of sins?

  • Consider the items in the first and third columns. Why must we have faith in Christ if these things are to truly happen?

As students respond, you might point out that missionaries teach the gospel in order to help people build faith in Jesus Christ and to motivate them to repent. Faith in Jesus Christ and repentance are conditions for accessing the Atonement. Repentance will also help investigators come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. To prepare students to practice teaching about repentance, share the following scenario with the class:

You and your companion have been teaching two roommates for about three weeks. One of them has been progressing very well. The other roommate seems to have lost interest and now leaves the room when your lessons begin. When you finally have an opportunity to question the uninterested roommate, he explains that he knows he is not currently living in accordance with God’s will, but he has lived like this his whole life and has settled on the idea that this is just who he is, and there’s not much that can be done about it.

Divide students into pairs or companionships. Give pairs sufficient time to prepare how they will work together to teach another pair of students a short three- to four-minute lesson about repentance. Encourage students to prepare to role-play teaching the two roommates in the scenario. Explain that their teaching should be simple, clear, and focused on the needs of the roommates. They should consider how they might help the uninterested roommate understand why he needs to change and how to help him realize that with the Savior’s help, repentance is possible. Have students use the material in Preach My Gospel, pages 62–63, or the missionary pamphlet titled The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Encourage them to include one or two scripture passages to illustrate the importance of repentance.

Organize students into small groups, with two pairs in each group. Assign one pair of students to teach the other pair, who will take the role of the roommates described in the scenario. Explain to students that when they take the role of investigators, they should feel free to express potential concerns sincerely but should not attempt to be dramatic or antagonistic to the students who are teaching.

As students conclude their teaching experience, have the group discuss among themselves what went well and what the teachers might have done better.

Then have students switch roles so that the other pair of students has the opportunity to practice teaching. Make sure there is time for them to receive feedback.

After role-playing, ask students what questions or insights they gained from the teaching experience.

To help students feel the truth and importance of repentance being the way for people to turn back toward God, show the video “Jesus Christ Is the Way” (5:02).

After the video, ask:

  • What evidence did you see in this video that this sister was truly changed through repentance and that she had turned back to God?

  • What feelings did you have as you viewed how the message of the gospel helped this sister to change and turn to God?

Conclude by asking students if any of them would like to share their testimony of the power of faith and repentance and to say why they desire to share the gospel. End by sharing your testimony also.

Invitations to Act

Invite students to learn more about the blessings of having faith in Jesus Christ and obtaining forgiveness of sin and joy through repentance by doing one or more of the following suggested activities:

  • Teach an upcoming family home evening lesson on the importance of faith in Jesus Christ and repentance.

  • Study the scripture passages about faith located in the Scripture Study box on page 62 in Preach My Gospel. Mark or highlight the ones that you would like to use to teach others on your mission.

  • Use the Topical Guide and the words of modern prophets and apostles to study about the doctrine of repentance. Take notes on what you learn in a study journal. Consider whether you have a testimony about this doctrine that you can share with others during your mission. Strengthen your faith in the principle of repentance by seeking to repent daily, and record your experiences in your study journal.

  • Use online tools such as social media to post the video “Jesus Christ Is the Way” (or another video about the Savior and His Atonement) for others to view. Include an explanation about why the video was meaningful to you.

Handout

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Missionary Preparation Teacher Manual Rel 130
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Missionary Preparation Teacher Manual Rel 130