Monday, September 3, 2012

FHE 7/2: The Doctrine of Christ

You may have noticed I skipped over the Priesthood Session and the talk by Sister Beck about Relief Society.  We will get to the priesthood session in a bit--I thought it would be a good review in preparation for the next Conference sessions.  Honestly, while the Relief Society talk is a POWERFUL overview of the purposes of Relief Society that I think every adult member (or teenaged, for that matter, especially girls) ought to read and ponder, it isn't really applicably or easily made into an FHE lesson--especially for families with young kids.  So I will leave it up to you. 

SO.  This week's lesson is based on Elder D. Todd Christofferson's talk, "The Doctrine of Christ." There are several components of this talk--the way the Lord reveals his will to the Prophet, the counsel of Apostles and other Church leaders in seeking spiritual guidance, etc.  But the heart of it is the affirmation that we believe in Jesus Christ, and that this belief is central to all others, and that coming unto Him is the ONLY way to be saved.  What simpler, better truth to remind our families of?

  • What do you believe about Christ--really
  • In what ways does your family already come to know Christ and be reminded of Him?  In what ways could you improve?

  • The Savior taught His doctrine in the meridian of time, and His Apostles struggled mightily to preserve it against a barrage of false tradition and philosophy. New Testament Epistles cite numerous incidents demonstrating that serious and widespread apostasy was already under way during the Apostles’ ministry.1
    The centuries that followed were illuminated by occasional rays of gospel light until, in the 19th century, a brilliant dawn of Restoration broke upon the world, and the gospel of Christ, full and complete, was once again upon the earth. This glorious day began when, in “a pillar of light … above the brightness of the sun” (Joseph Smith—History 1:16), God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, visited young Joseph Smith and initiated what would become a virtual flood of revelation linked with divine power and authority.
    In these revelations we find what might be termed the core doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ reestablished upon the earth. Jesus Himself defined that doctrine in these words recorded in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ:
    “This is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.
    “And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.
    “And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned.
    “… And whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost. …
    “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them” (3 Nephi 11:32–35, 39).
    This is our message, the rock upon which we build, the foundation of everything else in the Church. Like all that comes from God, this doctrine is pure, it is clear, it is easy to understand—even for a child. With glad hearts, we invite all to receive it.
  • The Prophet Joseph Smith confirmed the Savior’s central role in our doctrine in one definitive sentence: “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.”7 Joseph Smith’s testimony of Jesus is that He lives, “for [he] saw him, even on the right hand of God; and [he] heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father” (D&C 76:23; see also verse 22). I appeal to all who hear or read this message to seek through prayer and study of the scriptures that same witness of the divine character, the Atonement, and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Accept His doctrine by repenting, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then throughout your life following the laws and covenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • He Sent His Son
  • Beautiful Savior
  • This is My Beloved Son
  • To Think About Jesus
  • The 1st Article of Faith
  • I Feel My Savior's Love
  • Tell Me the Stories of Jesus
  • Compare Christ to the North Star (older children)
  • Repentance & Baptism: Removing the Tarnish from our Lives. Grab a pile of pennies, some that are shiny and some that are tarnished.  Have the children separate the pile into two groups.  Ask: What is the difference between the two kinds of pennies? Is it possible to make the tarnished pennies shine like the new pennies? Put the tarnished pennies in a container with vinegar and stir or shake for several minutes. In the meantime, talk about baptism or repentance. Take the pennies & rub with the cloth until they are clean & shiny. (Anonymous, via
  • Taking Advantage of the Atonement (by Jenny Smith via a class member to make a paper airplane, or make one yourself. Tape a coin, rock, or weight to one side of the airplane. Stand on the same side of the room as the class members, and ask a class member to throw the airplane gently toward the other side of the room. Next, pick up the airplane and remove the taped object. Have the class member throw the airplane again. After the class member has done so a few times, put the airplane away, and ask the following question: How can just one small weight keep the plane from flying correctly? (This object lesson can also be likened to repentance. One small sin can keep us from "flying" back to our Father. We need Christ's atoning sacrifice to make us clean.)

  • If you have a Gospel Art Kit or Book handy, copy or print a few pictures of Christ's life--the Nativity, teaching in the temple at 12 years old, some of His teachings and ministry and miracles, the Garden of Gethsemane, the crucifixion, the Resurrection, and the 2nd coming.  Have family members put them in order and then talk about Christ's life.  If you don't have one handy or are lazy or want smaller copies for quiet books and the like, I've got a copy for you of 12 "cards" you can print off and use HERE.  :)  It's a JPEG sized to 8 1/2" x 11".  The order of the miracles and such don't matter as much, but otherwise you can turn this into a timeline game if you print them on nice cardstock or something. 
  • Help family members memorize the 1st, 3rd, and/or 4th Article of Faith.  For tips on helping children memorize scripture, check out my post HERE
  • Some ideas on teaching children from The Living Christ from "The Family Home Evening Spot": Read selected sections from "The Living Christ" and discuss with family members.  Give each child a copy and on the back have them write their testimonies (younger children can draw pictures).  Show a short video of the Prophet or Apostles speaking about Christ.
  • There are a few coloring pages about Christ's birth HERE .  There's an 8-page mini coloring book about the last days of Christ's life HERE.  Coloring flannel board story of Christ's resurrection can be found HERE.  A coloring page of Christ with a Nephite-looking girl can be found HERE, while a boy putting up a poster of Christ can be found HERE.
  • Create "The Living Christ" collages!
  • Have children cut up pictures from old Friends and Ensigns about Christ and make a collage/poster for their bedrooms.
  • Any treats will do this week, but I like the idea of Easter rolls or something like it.  :)

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