“Articles of Faith 1:1–4,” The Pearl of Great Price Teacher Manual (2017)
“Articles of Faith 1:1–4,” The Pearl of Great Price Teacher Manual
There are three members of the Godhead. God, our Eternal Father, and His Son Jesus Christ have distinct, glorified bodies of flesh and bones, but the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. The Holy Ghost reveals truth, testifies of the Father and the Son, and performs many other roles that bless the followers of God. The three members of the Godhead are one in purpose, working together in perfect harmony for our eternal salvation (see Articles of Faith 1:1, 3–4; see also Matthew 3:17; John 14:26; 17:21; 1 John 5:7; 3 Nephi 28:11; Ether 12:41; Moroni 10:5; D&C 35:2; 130:1, 22; Joseph Smith—History 1:17).
Each person on earth is a spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents. As their children we have inherited the potential to become like them (see Articles of Faith 1:1; see also Genesis 1:27; Acts 17:28–29; Romans 8:15–17; D&C 132:20; Moses 1:39).
Agency is the freedom of independent choice to act, given to us by God. We are accountable to Him for the use of our agency (see Articles of Faith 1:2; see also Ezekiel 18:4; 2 Nephi 2:27; Helaman 14:30; D&C 58:27–29; Moses 6:56; Abraham 3:24–26).
Adam and Eve brought about the Fall by using their agency, and although all are born innocent before God, the effects of the Fall, including sin and death, have come upon all mankind. The Atonement of Jesus Christ overcomes the effects of the Fall (see Articles of Faith 1:2–3; see also 1 Corinthians 15:22; 2 Nephi 2:15–21; Alma 12:22–34; Mormon 9:12; D&C 93:38; Moses 6:54).
All are invited to come unto Christ by obeying the laws and ordinances of His gospel, thus being saved by His mercy and grace. Faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by water, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands are the fundamental principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ (see Articles of Faith 1:3–4; see also Acts 2:37–39; 2 Nephi 25:23; 26:33; 31:13–21; D&C 20:25–31; Moses 6:52; Abraham 3:25–27).
Explain to students that many religions of the world teach that God is a spirit or that there is only one God. Display and ask several students to take turns reading aloud the statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks under “Articles of Faith 1:1. Three Separate and Distinct Beings” in the student manual. Invite students to share what they would say to explain our beliefs regarding the Godhead. What questions might they anticipate? What scriptures would they use to support their explanation?
Show a picture of Jesus Christ and ask students to list all the scriptural names or titles for Jesus that they can think of in two or three minutes (you may want to write them on the board). Invite students to share what some of the names and titles mean and what they teach us about Jesus Christ.
Invite students to describe their feelings when they have been accused of or punished for things they did not do. How did it feel when their explanations were not accepted? Ask a student to read 2 Nephi 2:17–20 aloud, and then invite students to share why they think a person should not be punished for Adam’s transgression. Display and ask a few students to take turns reading aloud the statement by President James E. Faust under “Articles of Faith 1:2. Adam and Eve’s Transgression” in the student manual. Discuss the statement as a class. Ask a student to read 2 Nephi 2:22–25 aloud, and then invite students to find and share other scriptures that teach that we will be justly punished for our own unrepented sins (see Alma 42:10–28).
Ask a student to read the third article of faith aloud. Invite students to silently read and ponder one or more of the following scripture blocks: 1 Nephi 19:8–12; 2 Nephi 9:19–23; Mosiah 3:5–19; 14:3–12; 15:5–12; Alma 7:10–14. Ask students what they do to help themselves remember Jesus’s Atonement. Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 6:36–37 aloud, and then ask students to share how a knowledge and testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ removes doubt and fear.
Review the laws (or principles) and ordinances of the gospel that are found in the third and fourth articles of faith. Display and invite a few students to take turns reading aloud the commentary under “Articles of Faith 1:3. Obedience to God” and “Articles of Faith 1:3. The Laws and Ordinances of the Gospel” in the student manual. Then ask students to list the additional requirements for salvation that are identified in this material. Discuss some of the obstacles we face and the assistance we can receive as we strive to obey God.
Ask a student to read the fourth article of faith aloud. Divide the class into four groups and assign each group to study one of the following principles or ordinances, using the scriptures given:
Ask each group to read the statements for their assigned principle or ordinance under “Articles of Faith 1:4. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ”; “Articles of Faith 1:4. Repentance”; “Articles of Faith 1:4. Baptism by Immersion for the Remission of Sins”; and “Articles of Faith 1:4. The Laying on of Hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost” in the student manual. Ask each group to report what they learned. Invite a student to read 3 Nephi 27:19–21 aloud.