Lesson 14: Teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Part 2)
previous next

“Lesson 14: Teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Part 2)” Missionary Preparation Teacher Manual (2014)

“Lesson 14,” Missionary Preparation

14

Teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Part 2)

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. Missionaries have the important duty of inviting others to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. In addition, once God’s children become members of the Church, they must endure to the end by accepting other principles and ordinances and remaining true to the commandments of God. Prospective missionaries should have a clear understanding of these doctrines and be prepared to explain them simply and to testify of them with power.

Advance Preparation

Suggestions for Teaching

Baptism, Our First Covenant

To prepare students to identify principles about baptism, display a picture of John baptizing Jesus, and invite students to summarize what they know about the baptism of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ. Baptism

John baptizing Jesus

You may choose to review the account of the Savior’s baptism by having a student read Matthew 3:13–17 aloud. Then invite students to turn to someone sitting next to them and answer this question:

  • What important truths are taught in this account of Jesus’s baptism?

Write the following words on the board:

Ordinance   Covenant

Ask half of the class to study the first four paragraphs in the section “Baptism, Our First Covenant” on page 63 of Preach My Gospel, looking for ways to explain the term ordinance. Have the other half study the same section, looking for ways to explain the term covenant.

Once students have had sufficient time to study, ask for volunteers to define the terms ordinance and covenant. Then ask:

  • How do the terms ordinance and covenant relate to baptism? (Help students identify this truth: Through the ordinance of baptism, we make a sacred covenant with God.)

Focus your students’ attention on the fourth paragraph of the “Baptism, Our First Covenant” section, and then ask:

  • When we receive the ordinance of baptism, what do we covenant to do? (When we are baptized, we make a sacred covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments. If you feel students need more instruction on this idea, you might take a few minutes with them to examine Doctrine and Covenants 20:37.)

You can help students better understand their baptismal covenant by displaying the following quote by Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and asking a student to read it aloud:

Hales, Robert D.

“At baptism we make a covenant with our Heavenly Father that we are willing to come into His kingdom and keep His commandments from that time forward, even though we still live in the world. We are reminded from the Book of Mormon that our baptism is a covenant to ‘stand as witnesses of God [and His kingdom] at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life’ [Mosiah 18:9; emphasis added].

“When we understand our baptismal covenant and the gift of the Holy Ghost, it will change our lives and will establish our total allegiance to the kingdom of God. When temptations come our way, if we will listen, the Holy Ghost will remind us that we have promised to remember our Savior and obey the commandments of God” (“The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 7).

  • What do you think it means to “establish our total allegiance to the kingdom of God”?

  • In what ways might baptism change a person’s life?

Invite students to read the remaining paragraphs about baptism on page 64 of Preach My Gospel. Ask them to find and mark additional aspects of the doctrine of baptism that would be important to share with investigators. Give them a few moments to complete this activity, and then ask a few students to share what they found. As students respond, you might ask follow-up questions like these:

  • Why would it be important for an investigator to understand these doctrines?

  • What is the relationship between the covenant of baptism and the principles of faith in Jesus Christ and repentance, which we discussed last class?

  • Why is immersion an important part of the ordinance of baptism? (It symbolizes the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It also symbolizes the end of our old life and our rebirth as a disciple of Christ [see Romans 6:3–6].)

Explain that it is important that investigators properly prepare for baptism. Ask a student to read aloud Doctrine and Covenants 20:37. Then have students turn to another member of the class and discuss the following:

  • How might this verse help you determine when an investigator is prepared for baptism? (If students have difficulty answering this question, refer them to the box titled “Before Baptism” on the bottom of page 64 of Preach My Gospel.)

  • What do you think it means to “come forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit”?

  • How does a person manifest that they have truly “received the Spirit of Christ”?

Give students a moment to write in their study journals about specific ways that keeping their baptismal covenant has brought blessings into their lives. After sufficient time, ask two or three students to share what they wrote with the rest of the class.

| |
Show the video “Invitation to be Baptized: German” (2:43). As students watch the video, invite them to look for how the missionaries teach German about the importance of baptism.

  • What did the missionaries say to help German understand the importance of baptism?

  • What evidence was there that German felt the Holy Ghost and had a desire to be baptized?

Divide the class into pairs, and invite each pair to use the material on pages 63–64 of Preach My Gospel and one or two scriptures from the Scripture Study box on page 65 to prepare a four- to five-minute lesson focused on introducing baptism to an investigator. Students might also use the material on page 8 of the missionary pamphlet The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

After allowing for sufficient time for students to prepare, organize the class into small groups of four students, with two pairs in each group. Ask one pair in each group to teach the other pair about baptism for four to five minutes. Encourage the students acting as missionaries to turn to their selected scripture passages and read them aloud as part of their teaching. As students conclude their teaching experience, have the small groups discuss among themselves the following: What went well? How did the lesson help those being taught to understand the importance of baptism? What might the teachers have changed to make their teaching more effective?

Then, switch roles and allow the pair of students who were taught to teach the other pair. Make sure there is time for the second pair to receive feedback. During this activity, walk around the room to observe students teaching, and give praise and offer suggestions on how they might improve.

When all students have had the opportunity to teach, take a few minutes to discuss the experience together as a class. To start discussion, ask questions like the following:

  • What are some things you learned from teaching this doctrine?

  • Why is it important that you prepare now to teach these principles, truths, and doctrines to others?

  • What is something you could do now to be better prepared to teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ on your mission?

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

To ready students for this portion of the lesson, ask the class what ordinance is performed shortly after a person is baptized (confirmation, by which individuals become members of the Church and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.) Ask students to take thirty seconds to ponder why people are confirmed shortly after they are baptized. Before students respond, consider reading them this quote by the Prophet Joseph Smith:

Brother Joseph

“You might as well baptize a bag of sand as a man, if not done in view of the remission of sins and getting of the Holy Ghost. Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half—that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 95).

Ask:

  • Why might baptism be considered only “half a baptism” if it is not followed by the “baptism of the Holy Ghost”? (After several responses, you might encourage students to listen for further answers to this question as the lesson progresses.)

Explain to students that a Jewish leader named Nicodemus came secretly at night to ask questions of Jesus of Nazareth. Have a student read aloud John 3:3, and ask:

  • What do the Savior’s words in John 3:3 imply about what is needed to enter the kingdom of God?

Read John 3:4–6 to the class and ask:

  • What did Nicodemus ask that suggests he did not understand the Savior’s teaching in verse 3?

  • How did Jesus answer Nicodemus’s questions? (He taught Nicodemus a basic gospel doctrine: We must be born of water and of the Spirit to enter the kingdom of God. He taught that being “born again” refers to a spiritual rebirth, not a physical one.)

Write on the board:

Born Again

Born of water

Born of the Spirit

Then ask:

  • What does it mean to be “born of water”? (It means to be baptized by immersion.)

  • What does it mean to be “born of the Spirit”? (It means to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. If the students have trouble answering this question, have them look up John 3:5, footnote a.)

  • Why do you think the word “born” is used to describe what needs to happen to us spiritually? What aspects of a physical birth are comparable to our spiritual rebirth? (If needed, consider reading Moses 6:58–59 to help answer this question.)

Ask several students to take turns reading aloud the paragraphs in the section “The Gift of the Holy Ghost” on page 65 of Preach My Gospel. Have the rest of the class follow along, looking for blessings that accompany the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Ask the class:

  • What are some of the blessings that accompany the gift of the Holy Ghost? (One of the doctrines that students should identify is this: The gift of the Holy Ghost can bring a sanctifying and cleansing effect upon those who receive it.)

To help students better understand the doctrine, ask them to study one or two of the scriptures under the heading “Blessings and Influence of the Holy Ghost” in the Scripture Study box on page 66 of Preach My Gospel. As they study, invite them to highlight in their scriptures some of the blessings that come from receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Then ask:

  • Why is it important for a person to receive the Holy Ghost after being baptized?

Ask the following question, but before students respond, allow them a moment to silently ponder their answers. Once they have had enough time, invite several students to respond and share their own experiences with the class.

  • What blessings have you received from the gift of the Holy Ghost?

Divide the class into pairs. Ask students to use information from Preach My Gospel (or the section titled “Why Do I Need to Receive the Holy Ghost?” on pages 8–10 of the missionary pamphlet The Gospel of Jesus Christ) and prepare a four- to five-minute lesson on the gift of the Holy Ghost. Remind them to include in their lesson one or two scriptures from the Scripture Study box at the top of page 66 of Preach My Gospel.

After allowing sufficient time to prepare, organize the class into small groups of four students, with two pairs in each group. Have one pair of students teach another pair. As the students teach, walk around the room to observe, giving praise and offering suggestions on how they may improve. As students conclude their teaching experience, have the small groups discuss among themselves the following: What went well? What might the teachers have done differently to make their teaching more effective? How did their lesson help those being taught to understand the gift of the Holy Ghost?

Then have the pairs in each group switch roles, allowing the pair of students who were taught to teach the other pair. Make sure there is time for the second pair to receive feedback.

When each pair of students has had the opportunity to teach, take a few minutes to assess the experience by asking questions like the following:

  • What are some things you learned from teaching this doctrine?

  • Based on this experience, what is something you could do to improve your teaching as a missionary?

Endure to the End

On the board, draw a picture of a gate with a path behind it:

[Gate and pathway]

Ask a student in the class to read aloud 2 Nephi 31:17. Then ask the class:

  • What did Nephi identify as the gate leading to our eternal life?

Ask a different student to read aloud 2 Nephi 31:18–20 while the class follows along, looking for what we must do after we are baptized.

  • What did Nephi say lies beyond the gate? (The strait and narrow path leading to eternal life.)

  • According to Nephi, what must a person do after being baptized in order to receive eternal life?

  • How is enduring to the end related to following the Savior’s example?

Ask students to read through the section titled “Endure to the End” on page 66 of Preach My Gospel. Encourage them to look for what we can do to endure to the end. Then ask:

  • Why is it important for us to endure to the end? (Students should identify this principle: As we earnestly strive to endure to the end, we will qualify for eternal life.)

  • How will following the Savior’s example help you endure to the end?

Conclude by sharing your own testimony of the importance of the gospel of Jesus Christ, especially baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

Invitations to Act

Consider inviting students to deepen their understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ by doing one or more of the following activities during the coming week:

  • Practice explaining the requirements for baptism as found in Doctrine and Covenants 20:37. Write a couple of sentences in your study journal that describe what you are doing now to live according to the baptismal covenant outlined in this verse.

  • Read the passages about the gift of the Holy Ghost found in the Scripture Study box on page 66 of Preach My Gospel. Also read the entry “Holy Ghost” in the Bible Dictionary. Mark in your scriptures or write in your study journal the verses that you would like to use when teaching someone about the gift of the Holy Ghost.

  • Teach the principles of “Lesson 3: The Gospel of Jesus Christ” to a family member or friend (preferably someone who is not a member of the Church, or a person who is less active), in person or online. Share your own testimony of these principles as you teach them.