“Home-Study Lesson: Ezekiel 33–48; Daniel 1–2 (Unit 29)” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)
“Unit 29,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual
This lesson can help students understand the destiny of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and what they can do to help the Church fulfill that destiny.
Invite students to imagine that someone asked them what makes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints different from other Christian churches. Ask students how they would respond.
Invite students to look for truths, as they study Daniel 2, that would help them explain what makes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints different from any other church.
Summarize Daniel 2:1–30 by explaining that Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had a dream that troubled him. Because his wise men could not reveal the dream or the interpretation of it, the king ordered all of them to be killed. Daniel and his friends sought Heavenly Father’s help, and He revealed the dream and its interpretation to Daniel. When Daniel told the king’s servant that he could reveal the dream, the servant immediately brought Daniel to the king.
Invite a student to read Daniel 2:31–35 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the different elements of the dream. Invite a student to draw on the board the image and the stone Daniel described.
What did the stone do to the image?
What did the stone become?
Explain that Daniel 2:36–45 records that Daniel revealed to King Nebuchadnezzar the interpretation of his dream. Invite a student to read Daniel 2:37–38 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Daniel revealed about the head of the image from the dream.
Who did Daniel say the head represented? (Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian empire.)
Invite a student to read Daniel 2:39–43 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the additional truths Daniel revealed.
What else did Daniel reveal about the king’s dream? (The different sections of the image represented kingdoms that would rise after Babylon falls.)
Remind students that the image’s breast and arms made of silver represent the Mede and Persian empires, and the belly and thighs of brass represent the Macedonian (Greek) empire. The image’s legs of iron represent the Roman Empire, and the toes represent both strong and weak kingdoms, or the many kingdoms that arose after the fall of the Roman Empire.
Invite a student to read Daniel 2:44–45 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Daniel revealed about what God would do during the time of the many kingdoms in the latter days.
According to verse 44, what did Daniel prophesy that God would do during the time of the many kingdoms?
To help students understand what the stone cut out of the mountain without hands represents, invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 65:2 aloud. Ask the class to follow along.
What does the stone cut out of the mountain without hands represent? (The kingdom of God. Explain that in this verse the phrase “kingdom of God” refers to the kingdom of God on the earth—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)
Why is it important to understand that this Church was established by God and not by man?
What does Daniel’s prophecy teach us about the Church? (After students respond, write the following truth on the board: The Lord established His Church—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—and it will continue to grow until it fills the whole earth.)
To help students understand the growth of the Church in the latter days, you may want to display the following table on the board or as a handout:
For variety, consider leaving the first column of the table blank and letting students guess what each category represents. You could also invite students to guess what the figures are for the current year. They could check their answers by referring to the statistical report printed each May in the Ensign or Liahona.
What thoughts do you have when you consider how much the Church has grown since it was organized in 1830?
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Gordon B. Hinckley:
“The little stone which was cut out of the mountain without hands as seen in Daniel’s vision is rolling forth to fill the whole earth (see Dan. 2:44–45). No force under the heavens can stop it if we will walk in righteousness and be faithful and true. The Almighty Himself is at our head” (“This Is the Work of the Master,” Ensign, May 1995, 71).
Why is it important for us to remember that we are part of God’s kingdom on earth?
How can knowing that the Lord leads His kingdom today help us when we face opposition or when our faith is challenged?
Invite students to consider what they can do to help the kingdom of God to continue rolling forth to fill the earth. Summarize Daniel 2:46–49 by explaining that after Daniel revealed the dream and its interpretation, Nebuchadnezzar praised God and gave positions of honor to Daniel and his three friends.
Invite students to imagine what it would be like to be thrown in a lion’s den. Ask: Would you have acted like Daniel in this situation? When the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, he quoted Joel 2:28–32 and said that those events were not yet fulfilled but soon would be. Explain that as students study Daniel 3–12, Hosea, Joel, and Amos, they will learn about Daniel and the lion’s den and marvelous prophecies about the latter days.