Sunday School Lesson 12

March 18, 2005 | one comment
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Lesson 12: D&C 29:1-8; D&C 33:3-7; D&C 37; D&C 38:24-41; D&C 52:2-5, D&C 52:42-43; D&C 57:1-3; D&C 110:11; Articles of Faith 1:10

Articles of Faith 10

What is the gathering? Who is gathered? How does the gathering occur and when did it begin? Why is the gathering important? Why is the last part of the article of faith—about the renewal of the earth—included in the article of faith concerning the gathering of Israel?

Doctrine and Covenants 29:1-8

Verse 1: The word “atone” is an interesting English word, coming into English rather late (late 16th century), when it replaced the earlier verb “to one,” in other words “to join or unite.” (But “to one” was also not particularly old, first showing up in the 14th century.) In the King James translation of the Old Testament, the word “atonement” usually translates the Hebrew word kaphar, also translated “reconciliation,” “pacification,” “mercy,” “purging,” “cleansing,” and so on. In the New Testament (where the word occurs only once–Romans 5:11) it translates the Greek word katallage: “reconciliation,” “exchange.” Do these other words give you new ways of thinking about the Atonement and what it accomplishes? Usually the Lord uses the word “arm” in relation to strength: “strong arm,” as in Psalms 89:10 and Jeremiah 21:25. (See also 1 Kings 8:42, which uses an oft-used phrase, “strong hand [. . .] stretched out arm.”) What does his use of “arm” to indicate mercy instead of strength suggest?

Verse 2: How does the metaphor of this verse compare to that of the previous verse? What does it mean, in this context, to call on the Lord in might prayer?

Verse 4: What doe it mean to be chosen “out of the world”? How does that occur?

Verse 5: What does it mean to say that Christ is in our midst? How is that related to the gathering? How is the fact that he is our advocate with the Father relevant here? The Latin roots of “advocate” are suggestive: ad (“to”) + vocare (“call”). An advocate is one who has been called to speak for someone. Why does the Lord describe himself with that term? Is his advocacy on our behalf related to the Father’s gift of the kingdom? If so, what does it mean to say that giving us that kingdom is the Father’s good will?

Verse 6: Notice how this verse differs from the same idea expressed in many other scriptures by adding “being united in prayer according to my command.” What is the significance of that addition? Where are we commanded to be united in prayer? What does it mean to be united in prayer?

Verse 7: To whom is this addressed? In other words, who is called to bring the gathering to pass? Does this verse define what it means to be elect?

Verse 8: At the time of this revelation, the gathering was to a particular location. Now it is to any of the stakes. How does that difference change our understanding of what it means to gather together? The gathering is “to prepare their hearts.” How does the gathering do that? It is also “to [. . .] be prepared in all things against” the day of tribulation. What is that day? How does the gathering prepare us for it?

Doctrine and Covenants 33:3-7

Verses 3-4: If the field is white, in other words, ripe for harvest (verse 3) how can it also be that the vineyard has become completely corrupted (verse 4)? Does “they” refer to the few who do good? To whom does “all” refer? Everyone living, all priests, someone or something else?

Verse 5: What does it mean to say that the Church has been “called forth out of the wilderness”? The reference seems to be to the story of Moses and Israel. How is that story relevant?

Doctrine and Covenants 38:24-41

Verses 24-25: What does it mean to value (esteem) another as oneself? What does it mean to practice virtue and holiness? Why does the Lord add “before me” to “practice virtue and holiness”?

Verse 26: What is the point of this parable?

Verse 27: What does a parable about the equality of God’s mercy and gifts have to do with the need for our unity?

Verses 29-31: Of what is the Lord warning in verse 29? How would “the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness”?

Verse 38: What things was the Lord speaking of that needed to be preserved? How might this commandment to preserve all things apply to us today? What are the things that will be “gathered unto the bosom of the church”?

Verse 39: To what riches is the Lord referring here? How would you decide whether those riches are material or spiritual or both?

Doctrine and Covenants 52:2-5, 42-43

Verse 2: Why is it important that the people of the Church are “a remnant of Jacob”? To what covenant are they heirs?

Verse 43: The Lord said “I [. . .] will hasten the city in its time.” What does that mean? Given this promise and similar ones, what do you make of the fact that the city of Zion was not established in Missouri? What does it mean to be crowned with joy and with rejoicing? What does that crowning have to do with the gathering of Israel and the establishment of the City of Zion?

Doctrine and Covenants 110:11

Why did Moses have the keys for the gathering of Israel? What does that gathering have to do with his role as the prophet who led the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt, but not into the Promised Land?

One Response to Sunday School Lesson 12

  1. Gaz on April 1, 2005 at 7:53 am

    The lesson points out that the first call to gather to Ohio was given in December 1830, and yet the priesthood keys of gathering were not restored until five and a half years later in the Kirtland Temple. Granted that in the early history of the Church it was necessary for some events to transpire before the relevant priesthood keys could be administered. But as the priesthood had been restored by this time, could not (or should not) these keys have been restored to the Prophet prior to his revealing that the time had come to physically gather to Ohio?

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