On November 3, 1831, two days after the Lord directed Joseph Smith to publish the Book of Commandments, the Prophet received the revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 133. This revelation was included in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants as section 100 and was designated as the book’s appendix. Those who were working with the manuscript originally intended the revelation to be a bookend with section 1 to the revelations included in the 1835 edition. The revelation will be divided between two lessons. This lesson discusses the Lord’s command that His people prepare themselves and others for His Second Coming. It also discusses prophecies of events associated with His Second Coming and millennial reign.
Before class, write the following statement on the board. (The statement is found in “Preparation for the Second Coming,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 7.)
Begin class by asking students the following questions:
Have you ever been at school and realized that you have forgotten to prepare for a test? If so, how did you feel?
How do you feel when you know you have prepared well for a test?
Direct students’ attention to the statement on the board. Invite a student to read the statement aloud. Then ask the class the following question:
What event do you think Elder Oaks was referring to?
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 133:1–3 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the event we must prepare for and a reason why we must prepare for it. (Before the student reads, you may want to explain that the phrase “make bare his holy arm” refers to the Lord revealing His strength and power to the world.)
What event is the Lord referring to in these verses? (If students need help, invite them to look at verse 2, footnote a. Then complete Elder Oaks’s statement on the board by writing the Second Coming of the Lord.)
According to verse 2, what will happen to the ungodly, or wicked, at the Second Coming? (Students should identify the following doctrine: At His Second Coming, Jesus Christ will come in judgment against the ungodly. You may want to suggest that students write this doctrine in their scriptures near verse 2.)
To help students understand the context of this revelation, invite a student to read aloud the section introduction to Doctrine and Covenants 133. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how this revelation was originally included in the Doctrine and Covenants. After they report what they find, invite students to notice the date this revelation was given. Explain that this revelation is out of chronological order because it was originally an appendix to the Doctrine and Covenants. This revelation and section 1 formed bookends for the revelations recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants.
Invite students to scan verse 4 silently and find what the Lord commands His people to do in relation to His Second Coming.
What does the Lord command His people to do? (Prepare themselves and gather together in Zion.)
Write the following incomplete statement on the board: helps prepare us for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Divide students into pairs. Invite the pairs to read Doctrine and Covenants 133:4–16 together, looking for words and phrases that teach how to prepare for the Second Coming of the Savior.
Invite each partnership to report what they have found, and ask a student to complete the statement on the board by writing students’ answers under the blank.
To help students better understand some of the ways we can prepare for the Lord’s Second Coming, make a copy of the following activity for each student. Invite students to complete the activity with their partners and to be prepared to share their insights with the class. (You may want to encourage students to write down their answers before they share with the class.)
After sufficient time, invite students to share their responses with the class. (To help everyone participate, allow different partnerships to respond to different questions.) As students discuss verse 15, they should identify a principle similar to the following: If we return to wickedness and former sins, then we will not be prepared for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Refer back to the list on the board of things we can do to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Point out that the Lord wants all people to be ready for His coming. Invite students to quickly review Doctrine and Covenants 133:4–15 and identify verses that teach us how to spread the gospel and invite others to come to Christ.
Which verses teach us that we need to spread the gospel and invite others to come to Christ? (Students should identify verses 8–10.)
What can we learn from these verses about missionary work? (Students may use different words, but they should identify the following principle: When we share the gospel, we help others prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. You might want to suggest that students write this principle in their scriptures.)
To help students understand this principle, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Invite the class to listen for what Elder Andersen identified as our responsibility and a way that we can fulfill that responsibility.
“One of your important responsibilities is to help prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Savior. …
“Your mission will be a sacred opportunity to bring others to Christ and help prepare for the Second Coming of the Savior. …
“… The world is being prepared for the Second Coming of the Savior in large measure because of the Lord’s work through His missionaries” (“Preparing the World for the Second Coming,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 49, 50, 51).
Why do you think it is not enough to prepare only ourselves for the Second Coming?
How do you think helping others prepare for the Second Coming will help you prepare for it as well?
Invite students to reflect on those who have helped them come closer to Christ. Invite a few students to share how others have influenced and helped them.
Ask students to review Doctrine and Covenants 133:16 silently, looking for what the Lord commands all people to do to prepare to meet Him. Ask students to report what they find.
What do you find in verse 16 that relates to missionary work?
What principle can we identify in verse 16 that will help us be prepared to meet the Lord when He comes? (One way students may express this principle is that as we repent, we prepare to meet the Lord.)
How does repenting help prepare us for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
Write the following incomplete statements on the board:
To help students apply the truths they have learned today, ask them to complete the statements on the board in their class notebooks or scripture study journals.
Explain that after teaching about ways to prepare for His coming, the Lord commanded us to be prepared.
Divide students in pairs again so they have new partners. Invite half of the partnerships to read Doctrine and Covenants 133:17–25 together, looking for events associated with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Ask the other half of the partnerships to do the same with Doctrine and Covenants 133:26–35. After sufficient time, invite each partnership to report to the class one thing they have discovered.
According to verse 17, what should we be doing to prepare for the Second Coming? Why is this so important? (To help students answer this question, you may want to suggest that they read Alma 7:9, 14–19. Point out that the phrase “make his paths straight” relates to our responsibility to repent and to preach the gospel to others so they can repent, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.)
Conclude by testifying of the importance of repentance in preparing for the Second Coming. Encourage students to live righteously so they can experience the fulfillment of the Lord’s promises in their lives.