The following assignments include various learning activities, such as questions, lists, essays, charts, comparisons, contrasts, and surveys. To receive credit for this lesson, you must complete the number of assignments indicated below and submit them to your institute instructor or administrator. You may submit your work either electronically or on paper, handwritten or typed.
Each lesson should take approximately 60–90 minutes to complete, the same amount of time you would typically spend in a weekly institute class. Since reading the scripture block listed in the lesson heading is expected of all institute students prior to class, the estimated time for each assignment does not include the time you need to spend reading the scripture block.
Complete assignment 1, 4, and any one of the other assignments:
1. Matthew 25. Three Parables of Preparation
The Parable of the Ten Virgins. Study Matthew 25:1–13 and the institute student manual commentary for Matthew 25:1–13, “What Is the Meaning of the Parable of the Ten Virgins?” (pp. 154–155). Then write responses to the following questions:
- Who does the bridegroom represent?
- Who did President Harold B. Lee say the virgins represent?
- What does the wedding represent?
- Why did the bridegroom come at “midnight,” while the wedding guests “slumbered and slept”? How does this apply to our waiting for the Savior’s Second Coming?
- What did five of the virgins do that was foolish? (see Matthew 25:3). How might a Church member today make the same error as the foolish virgins? What would the consequences be?
- What should we learn from the actions of the five wise virgins?
- Keeping in mind that the oil in the parable represents spiritual preparation for the Second Coming, what are some ways we can add “oil” to our “lamps”? What does Doctrine and Covenants 45:56–57 teach about ways to add oil to our lamps?
The Parable of the Talents. After studying Matthew 25:14–30 and the student manual, “An Explanation for the Parable of the Entrusted Talents” (p. 155), write responses to the following questions:
- Although a talent was a sum of money in New Testament times (see talent under “Weights and Measures” in the Bible Dictionary, p. 789), it can also represent all that the Lord has given us. List the rewards each of the three men received in the parable of the talents and explain why each man received that reward. What mattered more than the number of talents or gifts each received?
- What reason did the third man give for hiding his talent?
- What teachings in 2 Timothy 1:7; Proverbs 3:5–6; Doctrine and Covenants 3:7–8; 6:33–37 can help us overcome our fears to develop and use the talents given to us from the Lord?
- Outline a plan whereby you can better develop and use two of the gifts the Lord has given to you.
- What difference does the way we treat others make to the Lord?
- List the six actions found in Matthew 25:35–36 that permitted “the sheep” to receive their reward at the King’s right hand. What are some spiritual or physical needs people have around you that are similar to those listed in the parable?
- How will following the principles of this parable about preparation for the Second Coming help someone prepare for that event?
2. Mark 14:3–9; Matthew 26:6–13. The Savior Anointed
- What reason is given for why the woman anointed the Savior with “very precious” (costly) ointment? What does Mark 14:8 imply that she understood? (see also Mark 9:31–32).
- Why did some of the disciples feel indignant and call her action a “waste”?
The Savior said that the woman had “wrought a good work” and that wherever the gospel would be preached, the woman’s deed would “be spoken of for a memorial of her” (Mark 14:6, 9). What did the woman do that made it an act worthy of the Savior’s praise and our remembrance? How is the woman an example to you? Write a paragraph describing some ways that you could give the Lord something valuable. (see Matthew 25:40).
3. Matthew 26:21–25. The Disciples Responded to the Foretold Betrayal
Read Matthew 26:21–25. Describe in writing how the Apostles responded when the Savior announced that one of them would betray Him.
Read the student manual commentary for Matthew 26:22, “Lord, Is It I?” (p. 162). What does the Apostles’ response to the Savior’s announcement reveal about each of them?
Write about what difference it would make in the following situations to respond like the Apostles did—by asking, “Lord, is it I?” rather than blaming someone else or assuming the problem has to do with someone else:
- You hear your bishop give instruction and counsel regarding a sin he sees prevalent in your ward.
- You are having difficulty getting along with another person (a brother or sister, parent, missionary companion, college roommate, spouse, etc.). Include in this answer how the disciples’ response “Is it I?” relates to Matthew 7:3–5.
- Someone you know accuses you of having said or done something that offended him or her.
4. Matthew 26:26–29; Mark 14:22–25; Luke 22:14–20. The Institution of the Sacrament
The Savior instituted the sacrament the night before He was crucified, near the time of the Passover celebration. Many centuries earlier, the feast of the Passover had been instituted to help the children of Israel remember when the destroying angel “passed over” their houses and delivered them from Egyptian bondage (see Exodus 12:21–28; 13:14–15). The blood of the unblemished Passover lamb that saved ancient Israel was a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who redeemed all mankind. Read Matthew 26:26–29; Luke 22:14–20. Then read the student manual introduction to chapter 23 (p. 160) and the commentary for “What Is the Relationship Between the Sacrament and the Atonement?” (pp. 161–62). Write responses to the following questions:
- What was the relationship between the Passover and the Atonement of Jesus Christ?
- What is the relationship between the sacrament and the Atonement of Jesus Christ?
- How do John 4:13–14; 6:48–53 add to an understanding of the symbolism of bread and water?
- Considering the Savior’s instructions in Luke 22:19; 3 Nephi 18:7, why do you think we are commanded to partake of the sacrament weekly? How does Mosiah 5:13 apply to this idea?
Carefully look at the additions and corrections in the Joseph Smith Translation of Matthew 26:26; 28 (see Matthew 26:26 footnote b, and Matthew 26:28 footnote a). Write responses to the following questions and tasks:
- What important truths do we gain from these verses of the Joseph Smith Translation?
- What does ransom mean? How does properly participating in the ordinance of the sacrament ransom us? (see JST, Matthew 26:26).
- Make a list of what you want to remember about the Savior the next time you partake of the sacrament.
5. John 13:1–17; Luke 22:24–30; Mark 10:43–45. The Savior Taught the Apostles about Leadership
Study John 13:1–17; Luke 22:24–30; Mark 10:43–45. Write a paragraph or two about how the application of these teachings makes leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ different from what the world usually describes as leadership.
Write a paragraph or two about a time when one of your Church leaders or someone in the scriptures served and led in the way Jesus Christ taught.
6. John 13:34–35. A New Commandment
According to John 13:34–35, how can others know if we are disciples of Jesus Christ?
List some specific ways a disciple of Jesus Christ might respond in the following situations (in accordance with John 13:34–35):
Someone you know is ridiculed or made fun of because of the way he or she dresses.
You see a new person at church.
Ponder the question, “Do people know that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ by the way I treat them?” Select a family member, coworker, or neighbor and make a short list of things you can do during the coming week to show him or her the kind of love the Savior would show. Then follow through with what you wrote down.