“Lesson 146: 2 Peter 1,” New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2016)
“Lesson 146,” New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual
Peter encouraged the Saints to seek to become like Jesus Christ. Peter assured them that this spiritual growth could help make their “calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10). Peter also spoke of his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration and emphasized that scripture is inspired by God.
Before class begins, write the following statement on the board (“The Will Within,” Ensign, May 1987, 68):
Divide students into pairs. Invite them to read the statement on the board and discuss the following questions with their partners:
What do you think President Monson meant by becoming “our best selves”?
Why do you think it is important to become our best selves?
What can prevent us from becoming our best selves?
Invite students to look for a truth as they study 2 Peter 1 that can help them know how they can become their best selves.
Summarize 2 Peter 1:1–2 by explaining that Peter wrote to Church members who had obtained faith in Jesus Christ.
Invite a student to read 2 Peter 1:3–4 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Peter taught to help the Saints stay true to their testimonies of the Savior.
According to these verses, what did Peter teach the Saints?
What does it mean to “be partakers of the divine nature”? (verse 4).
Invite students to read 2 Peter 1:5–7 silently, looking for attributes of Jesus Christ that Peter invited the Saints to develop. Ask students to list on the board the attributes they find. Consider inviting students to locate in a dictionary the definitions of any of these attributes that they would like to better understand.
Invite students to think about examples of when the Savior demonstrated one of these divine attributes. Ask several students to report their thoughts to the class.
Write the following incomplete principle on the board: As we develop divine attributes within ourselves, we can …
Ask a student to read 2 Peter 1:8–9 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, looking for a blessing we can receive as we develop the divine attributes of the Savior.
What blessing can we receive as we develop divine attributes? (After students respond, complete the statement on the board so that it reads as follows: As we develop divine attributes within ourselves, we can come to know Jesus Christ.)
Why do you think developing divine attributes helps us come to know Jesus Christ?
Invite a student to read 2 Peter 1:10–11 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for another blessing that can come to those who are diligent in developing divine attributes.
What blessing can come to those who are diligent in developing the divine attributes of Jesus Christ? (Explain that the phrase “to make your calling and election sure” [verse 10] means to receive in this life God’s assurance that you will obtain eternal life. Peter also referred to this as “a more sure word of prophecy” [2 Peter 1:19. See also D&C 131:5].)
What principle can we learn from these verses about why we should be diligent in developing our divine potential? (Students should identify the following principle: If we are diligent in developing our divine potential while in this life, we can receive God’s assurance of eternal life. Write this principle on the board.)
Consider sharing your testimony that developing divine attributes helps us come to know Jesus Christ and prepares us to receive eternal life.
Invite students to write in their class notebooks or scripture study journals one of the divine attributes they would most like to develop. Ask them to write a specific action they can take to develop that attribute.
Consider writing on the board the ages of some of the oldest current Apostles. Read aloud the following statement by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“Others say we are too old. Well, it is true that nine of the Apostles are over 80 years of age! I am 85” (“Be Still, and Know That I Am God” [Church Educational System devotional, May 4, 2014], broadcasts.lds.org).
Why do you think some people are critical about the ages of some of the prophets and apostles?
How would you respond to the criticism that modern-day prophets and apostles are too old to be effective?
Invite students as they continue to study 2 Peter 1 to look for a truth about prophets and apostles that is more important than their ages.
Explain that in 2 Peter 1:12–19 Peter shared his eyewitness testimony of Jesus Christ.
Invite a student to read 2 Peter 1:20–21 aloud, including the Joseph Smith Translation of 2 Peter 1:20 found in verse 20, footnote a. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Peter taught about the role of “holy men of God,” meaning in this case prophets.
What did Peter teach about the role of prophets? (Students should identify the following truth: Prophets receive scripture through the Holy Ghost. Write this truth on the board.)
To help the class understand what scripture is, invite a student to read the following statement aloud:
“[Scriptures are] words, both written and spoken, by holy men of God when moved upon by the Holy Ghost” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Scriptures,” scriptures.lds.org; see also D&C 68:2–4). Some scripture has been canonized. A canon is “a recognized, authoritative collection of sacred books. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the canonical books are called the standard works and include the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Canon,” scriptures.lds.org).
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Ask the class to listen for his witness that prophets continue to receive scripture today.
“[Prophets are] the channel by which God has spoken to His children through the scriptures in times past. And it is this line through which He currently speaks through the teachings and counsel of living prophets and apostles and other inspired leaders” (“Two Lines of Communication,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 84).
Why do you think it is important to know that God uses this pattern to produce scripture for His children?
How does understanding this pattern give you greater confidence in the spoken and written word of both ancient and modern-day prophets?
Read the following questions aloud, and invite students to write their answers in their class notebooks or scripture study journals.
What passages of scripture, either from ancient prophets or from prophets today, have influenced your life? How have you been blessed through those scriptures?
Invite a few students to share their responses with the class. You might also share an example of how you have been blessed through scripture.
Refer to the preceding statement by Elder Oaks, and invite students to testify to others as the Spirit directs about the reality of prophets and scripture.