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 three of the following assignments:
1. Matthew 11:1–19; Luke 7:18–35. John the Baptist
Read Matthew 11:1–19; Luke 7:18–35 and respond in writing to the question, What did the two disciples of John the Baptist ask Jesus Christ? The Savior told them to go back to John and tell what they saw and heard. After reading these accounts, write three things you would have told John if you had been with those two men.
Read the institute student manual commentary for Matthew 11:2–3, “Did John Doubt That Jesus Was the Messiah?” (p. 66). Explain in writing why John wanted his disciples to go to Jesus Christ.
Read the student manual commentary for Matthew 11:11, “No Greater Prophet than John the Baptist” (p. 66). What did the Savior say about John the Baptist in Matthew 11:11 and Luke 7:28? List three reasons given by Joseph Smith why John the Baptist is considered among the greatest prophets.
What does John 3:30 suggest about John the Baptist and his attitude toward the Savior? Write two sentences describing how we could apply a similar attitude in our own lives.
2. Matthew 11:28–30; Mark 5:22–43; Luke 7:1–10; 8:26–56. “Come unto Me, All Ye That Labour and Are Heavy Laden”
Read Matthew 11:28–30. Make a list of different challenges people experience that could cause them to feel “heavy laden.”
Read Alma 7:11–13 and list what kinds of burdens the Lord suffered for us.
The Lord stated, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” In what sense is the Savior’s yoke easy?
There are several examples of people who came to the Lord with burdens. Read the references in the chart below, and answer each question in the succeeding columns:
Describe in writing a time when “coming to the Lord” helped to lighten your burdens.
3. Matthew 13:1–23; Mark 4:1–25; Luke 8:4–18. Parable of the Sower
Read Mark 4:1–25 and the student manual, “The Parable of the Sower Symbolizes Those Who Are Prepared for the Word Versus Those Who Are Not,” under Points to Ponder (p. 75). This parable has often been called the parable of the sower. Briefly explain in writing why it might also be appropriately called the parable of the soils.
Read the following entries in the student manual commentary: Matthew 13:9–17, “Why Do Some Receive the Words of the Savior and Others Do Not?” (p. 73); “The Stony Places (Matthew 13:5–6, 20–21; Mark 4:5, 16–17; Luke 8:6, 13)” (p. 76); “Among Thorns (Matthew 13:7, 22; Mark 4:7, 18–19; Luke 8:7, 14)” (p. 76). Respond in writing to the following tasks:
- Explain what a person must do in order to get sufficient “root” to endure the tribulation and persecutions of the world.
- Make a list of “thorns” that you see affecting the testimonies of young single adults in the Church.
- What is implied by the word choke? (see Matthew 13:22). What does it suggest about how the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches overcome a person?
- What invitation did Jesus Christ extend after He presented the parable of the sower? (see Matthew 13:9).
- What does it mean to “see but see not” and to “hear but hear not?” (see Matthew 13:13–15).
Study 1 Nephi 8:21–33. Identify the four kinds of people in Lehi’s vision. Write a paragraph that compares these four kinds of people with the four conditions of the heart (soils) of the Savior’s parable.
List a few activities that should be happening in the life of someone whose “soil” is fertile for the Lord. Compare those activities to activities in your own life and make a goal of one activity you would like to improve in your life.
4. Matthew 13:24–48. The Lord Often Taught with Parables
In the Bible Dictionary read the first three paragraphs under the entry “Parables” (pp. 740–41). In your own words write a definition of a parable.
Read the following parables: parable of the tares (Matthew 13:24–30); parables of the mustard seed and the leaven (Matthew 13:31–33); parables of the treasure and the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:44–46); parable of the gospel net (Matthew 13:47–50). Next to each of the following questions write the name of the parable that best answers that question.
- What describes the future growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
- Why does the Church send out so many missionaries?
- How do you explain the remarkable growth of the Church, considering that it is fairly new compared to most world religions and started small in the American frontier?
- Why are some members of the Church willing to sacrifice so much worldly wealth and recognition in order to maintain membership in the Church?
- Why do some Church members choose to leave the Church?
Write answers to the following questions:
- Considering the parables of the treasure and the pearl of great price (see Matthew 13:44–46), what sacrifices would you be willing to make to obtain the treasure of the gospel? What sacrifices have you or those you know already made for the gospel?
What does the net represent in the parable of the net cast into the sea? (see Matthew 13:47). What does it mean to be gathered into the net? What is represented by the action of gathering the good into vessels and casting the bad away? (see Matthew 13:48–50).