Faith in Jesus Christ
“Lesson 3: Faith in Jesus Christ,” Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, 7
Each young man’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will be strengthened as he understands the Atonement better.
1. Materials needed: scriptures for each young man.
2. Display picture 2, The Ascension of Jesus (also picture 236 in the Gospel Art Picture Kit ).
3. If the Family Home Evening Video Supplement 2 (53277) is available in your area, show segment 8, “What Think Ye of Christ?”
This lesson provides you an opportunity to help each young man understand the life and mission of the Savior. Some young men are entering the mission field without understanding the atonement of Jesus Christ and the ways it blesses their lives and the lives of others.
You may need more than one priesthood meeting to teach the ideas in this lesson adequately. Make every effort to ensure that the young men develop increased love for the Lord Jesus Christ and increased appreciation for his life and atoning sacrifice.
SUGGESTED LESSON DEVELOPMENT
Ask the young men how each of the following situations is an example of faith.
1. A man plants a corn seed in the ground and then waters and weeds the ground. (He believes the seed will grow, so he plants it and takes care of it. Faith is believing and doing.)
2. A boy practices gymnastics for three hours every day because he wants to try out for the Olympics. (He believes he can compete in the Olympics, so he spends time developing his abilities. Faith is believing and doing.)
3. A young man saves money every month for his mission. (He believes he should go on a mission. He saves money so he can go. Faith is believing and doing.)
Explain that faith is a strong belief that motivates us to do something and to be something.
We Should Have Faith in Jesus Christ
Scripture, chalkboard, and discussion
Have the young men read in unison the fourth article of faith, located at the end of the Pearl of Great Price.
• We should not only have faith in general, but should particularly have faith in whom? (The Lord Jesus Christ.)
Put the following illustration on the chalkboard, omitting the words Atonement of Christ.
Explain that the diagram illustrates how to gain eternal life.
• What must we overcome to gain eternal life? (Physical and spiritual death.)
• What is physical death? (The separation of the body and spirit.)
• What is spiritual death? (Being separated from God.)
• What can we do to overcome these two types of death? (We must have faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and do his will.)
Label the bridge Atonement of Jesus Christ. Explain that Christ’s atonement bridges our way back to God’s presence. We cannot gain eternal life through our efforts alone but must believe in the Atonement and obey God’s commandments.
• What does it mean to obey all God’s commandments? (You may refer again to the fourth article of faith, emphasizing that we must keep God’s commandments, receive his ordinances, and endure to the end.)
• What is the atonement of Jesus Christ? (Jesus suffered for our sins, died, and was resurrected, making it possible for us to repent of our sins and be resurrected.)
Lead the discussion to the conclusion that we must have faith in Christ’s atonement, which makes repentance possible. This faith will lead us to repent and allow us to overcome spiritual death. Through Christ’s resurrection we all can overcome physical death.
Ask the young men to imagine what it was like for the Savior to take our sins upon himself. Read the following description by Elder Orson F. Whitney:
“Then came a marvelous manifestation, an admonition from a higher Source, one impossible to ignore. It was a dream, or a vision in a dream, as I lay upon my bed in the little town of Columbia, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I seemed to be in the Garden of Gethsemane, a witness of the Savior’s agony. I saw Him as plainly as ever I have seen anyone. Standing behind a tree in the foreground, I beheld Jesus, with Peter, James and John, as they came through a little wicket gate at my right. Leaving the three Apostles there, after telling them to kneel and pray, the Son of God passed over to the other side, where He also knelt and prayed. It was the same prayer with which all Bible readers are familiar: ‘Oh my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’
“As He prayed the tears streamed down his face, which was toward me. I was so moved at the sight that I also wept, out of pure sympathy. My whole heart went out to Him; I loved Him with all my soul, and longed to be with Him as I longed for nothing else.
“Presently He arose and walked to where those Apostles were kneeling—fast asleep! He shook them gently, awoke them, and in a tone of tender reproach, untinctured by the least show of anger or impatience, asked them plaintively if they could not watch with Him one hour. There He was, with the awful weight of the world’s sins upon His shoulders, with the pangs of every man, woman and child shooting through His sensitive soul—and they could not watch with Him one poor hour!” (Through Memory’s Halls [Independence, Mo.: Zion’s Printing and Publishing Co., 1930], p. 82).
Scriptures and discussion
• How can we remember and appreciate Christ’s suffering for our sins?
• What must we do to make the Atonement effective in our lives?
Write on the chalkboard Helaman 14:13, and ask a young man to read this verse aloud.
Write D&C 58:43 on the chalkboard, and ask a young man to read this verse aloud.
Write D&C 19:16–19 on the chalkboard. Have a young man read these verses aloud.
• How does it make you feel to know that Jesus Christ has suffered for your sins so that, if you repent, you will not have to suffer for them?
Faith in Jesus Christ Can Motivate Us to Fulfill Our Responsibilities Better
Scripture and discussion
Read together James 2:17–18. Have the young men mark this verse.
• How would a young man who had faith in Jesus Christ behave differently from one who did not?
• How has your faith made a difference in your life?
Emphasize that Heavenly Father expects more of Aaronic Priesthood bearers than just believing.
• Why would a young man who has faith in Jesus Christ work hard to fulfill his responsibilities in the Aaronic Priesthood? (He would have a desire to help others in his priesthood work. He would honor his priesthood, carry out assignments, share the gospel with others, and be willing to take assignments.)
To show more clearly how an Aaronic Priesthood bearer can demonstrate his faith in Jesus Christ by magnifying his priesthood calling, have the young men consider the following case studies.
1. Ever since Robert had moved into the ward, he had been less active. He had attended priesthood meeting irregularly the first few months. But now he spoke with members of the quorum less and less and even seemed to be avoiding them at school.
2. Brother and Sister Holmes have been active in the Church for over forty years. They now live alone. All their children have grown up and live in distant cities. The Holmeses have a large yard and garden, which Brother Holmes kept up very well until his stroke last winter.
3. A counselor to the elders quorum president came into the quorum meeting and said, “I need three Aaronic Priesthood brethren to work for four hours on Saturday morning at the welfare farm. Who will go on this assignment?”
• How would an Aaronic Priesthood holder who has faith in Jesus Christ respond to this request for help?
• Why would volunteering for this assignment be a way of showing faith in Jesus Christ?
• What can an Aaronic Priesthood holder do to develop or strengthen his faith? (Pray for faith; study and understand the life and mission of Jesus Christ; serve other people, remembering that Jesus was a great servant; obey a commandment that Jesus taught and ask God about its truthfulness; put extra effort into doing priesthood assignments well.)
Explain to the young men that if they have faith that Jesus is the Savior they will repent and live worthy of receiving the blessings of the Savior’s atonement. If they have faith that Jesus has the power to bless the lives of others, they will honor their priesthood and seek to use the priesthood power he has given to them to bless the lives of others. They can be effective agents of the Savior by showing their faith in him by obeying the commandments by teaching others to have faith in him, and by using priesthood ordinances to help others.
Challenge the young men to develop their faith in Jesus Christ. You might ask them to do the following things:
1. The next time you prepare the sacrament, ask yourself if you are doing it in a way that shows faith in the Savior.
2. Examine your faith. Identify something you do that is not consistent with the faith you have in the atonement of Jesus Christ. Promise to improve, and pray for greater faith; then carry out your promise.