“Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:38–55,” The Pearl of Great Price Teacher Manual (2017)
“Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:38–55,” The Pearl of Great Price Teacher Manual
The “elect” will watch for the signs of Christ’s Second Coming and know when His coming is near. They will be ready no matter when it happens (see Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:38–39; see also Luke 12:37–38; 1 Thessalonians 5:4–9; D&C 45:37–39, 56–57).
The Second Coming will take the wicked by surprise, just as the Flood took the wicked by surprise in the days of the prophet Noah (see Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:41–48; see also 1 Thessalonians 5:1–3, 7; Revelation 3:3; 3 Nephi 29:1–4).
At His Second Coming, Jesus Christ will reward His faithful servants and destroy the evil servants who procrastinated their repentance because they believed He was delaying His coming (see Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:49–55; see also Joseph Smith Translation, Luke 12:50–57 [in the Bible appendix]; D&C 45:44; 68:11–12; 106:4–5).
Ask students how they know when the weather is going to change. Invite a student to read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:38–39 aloud. Ask students what “at the doors” means to them. Display the following statement by Elder James E. Talmage (1862–1933) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and invite a student to read it aloud:
“Many of us are prone to think that the day of His coming, the day of the setting up of the Kingdom of Heaven in its power and glory is yet far distant. … How would you feel if authoritative proclamation were made here today that on the literal morrow, when the sun shall rise again in the east, the Lord would appear in His glory to take vengeance upon the wicked, and to establish His Kingdom upon the earth? Who amongst you would rejoice? The pure in heart would, the righteous in soul would, but many of us would wish to have the event put off. … We are very loath to accept and believe that which we do not want to believe, and the world today does not wish to believe that the coming of Christ is near at hand, and consequently all kinds of subterfuges are invented for explaining away the plain words of scripture. … It has long been a favorite excuse of men who were not ready for the advent of the Lord, to say, ‘The Lord delayeth His coming.’ Don’t attach too much importance to the fact that He has thus far delayed His coming, for He has repeatedly told us that the day of His coming is very, very near, even at our doors” (James E. Talmage, in Conference Report, Apr. 1916, 129–30).
Write the following statement on the board: The Second Coming is tomorrow. Invite a student to read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:40, 46 aloud. Discuss what a person might do if he or she knew the exact day and hour of the Second Coming. Discuss reasons why the Lord would not want anyone to know the exact time of His Second Coming. Compare this to how one would respond if he or she knew the exact day that he or she would die and how that would interfere with the mortal test of walking by faith in God (see Abraham 3:25–26). Explain to students that many false teachers have claimed over the ages to know when the Second Coming would be and have deceived many people. Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 64:23–25 aloud. Encourage students to prepare “today,” so they will be ready for the Second Coming “tomorrow.”
You may want to show the video “The Gardener” (3:54) to illustrate the importance of preparing for the Lord’s Second Coming. This video is available on LDS.org.
Invite students to share about times they have been totally surprised by events in the news or in their personal lives. Ask a few students to take turns reading Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:41–48 aloud. Explain why the righteous will not be surprised by the Second Coming (see also 1 Thessalonians 5:4–9; D&C 45:37–39, 56–57; 68:11; 106:4–5).
Discuss the roles of servant and lord (master). How would a master feel about servants who are not diligent? Invite a few students to take turns reading Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:49–55 aloud while the rest of the class follows along. Ask students to identify and discuss phrases in these verses that teach us how to be better “servants.”