Have you ever wondered what the Final Judgment will be like? The Apostle John prophesied of that great day. This lesson is intended to help you better understand the Final Judgment and prepare to have a wonderful experience standing before Jesus Christ on that day.
How do you imagine different people will feel at the Final Judgment? Why?
What do you think determines if someone is prepared for that day?
In what ways does Jesus Christ offer to help us prepare for that day?
In your study journal, write what you hope to be thinking and feeling when you stand before God to be judged. How well prepared do you feel? Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us and want us to be filled with peace and joy on the Day of Judgment. They speak to us through the scriptures and through modern Church leaders to teach us what the Judgment will be like and how to prepare for it.
After seeing a vision of the Millennium (see Revelation 20:1–3) and the Resurrection of the righteous (see Revelation 20:4–6), John saw the Final Judgment. Read Revelation 20:11–12, looking for what God revealed to the Apostle John about the Final Judgment.
What truths did you learn from John about the Final Judgment?
One truth we can learn from this passage is that God will judge us out of the books that have been written according to our works.
In your study journal, write down questions you have about this passage or other things you would like to better understand about the Final Judgment.
Take several minutes to search for answers to your questions. You might choose to search for key words in the Topical Guide, Guide to the Scriptures, or Bible Dictionary. Or you could search on ChurchofJesusChrist.org or the Gospel Library app. Following are some questions and suggested resources that you could include in your study:
See the statement by President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency in the “Commentary and Background Information” section of the lesson.
What did you learn about the Final Judgment?
How might understanding and believing this doctrine affect our actions?
Which of the Savior’s traits help you to trust Him as your Judge? How can He help you prepare for the Final Judgment?
Read Revelation 20:12 again and consider marking the phrase “the book of life.” In one sense, the book of life is a record of each person’s life.
Write the title “My Book of Life” across the top of a blank page in your study journal, and then divide the page into two columns. Label the left column “I’m glad I did,” and make a list in that column of specific things that you are grateful to have in your book of life. This might include:
Ordinances you have received.
Good deeds you have done.
Your righteous desires.
The development of your relationship with Jesus Christ.
Imagine how good it will feel one day to have the Savior review with you the record of your righteousness!
Now label the right column of the page “I would like to.” Write down or simply ponder righteous works and ordinances you would like to add to your book before the Judgment. Also include choices and attitudes that you would like to erase from the book of life through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
The Savior has made it possible to adjust what is recorded about you in the book of life. Read in Doctrine and Covenants 58:42–43 the promises He made to those who sincerely repent.
How do these promises affect your feelings about the Final Judgment and about our Judge?
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, then of the First Presidency, said:
That Day of Judgment will be a day of mercy and love—a day when broken hearts are healed, when tears of grief are replaced with tears of gratitude, when all will be made right.
Yes, there will be deep sorrow because of sin. Yes, there will be regrets and even anguish because of our mistakes, our foolishness, and our stubbornness that caused us to miss opportunities for a much greater future.
But I have confidence that we will not only be satisfied with the judgment of God; we will also be astonished and overwhelmed by His infinite grace, mercy, generosity, and love for us, His children.
(Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “O How Great the Plan of Our God!” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 21)
Ponder what you feel inspired to do to prepare to stand before the Savior on the Day of Judgment.
President Russell M. Nelson explained:
Each of you will be judged according to your individual works and the desires of your hearts. … Your eventual placement in the celestial, terrestrial, or telestial kingdom will not be determined by chance. The Lord has prescribed unchanging requirements for each. You can know what the scriptures teach, and pattern your lives accordingly.
(Russell M. Nelson, “Constancy amid Change,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 35)
President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency said:
The Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become.
(Dallin H. Oaks, “The Challenge to Become,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 32)
Elder Richard G. Scott (1928–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:
I testify that with unimaginable suffering and agony at an incalculable price, the Savior earned His right to be our Redeemer, our Intermediary, our Final Judge.
(Richard G. Scott, “The Atonement Can Secure Your Peace and Happiness,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 42)