Lesson 11

Joseph Smith—Matthew

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 2 and assignment 1 or 3:

1.   Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:1–21. Jesus Christ Prophesied about the Destruction of Jerusalem

Read the chapter summary for Joseph Smith—Matthew, the institute student manual commentaries “What Is Joseph Smith—Matthew?” and “What Are Some of the Changes the Prophet Made to Matthew 24?” (pages 42–43). Write short responses to the following:

  • What is the origin and content of Joseph Smith—Matthew?
  • How would you describe its real value to those living in our day?
  • List some of the differences between Matthew 24 in the King James Version and Joseph Smith—Matthew.
  • What passages in Joseph Smith—Matthew most impact you? Why?

Read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:1–4 and the student manual commentaries “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:1: ‘He Should Come Again on the Earth’”; “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:2–3: The Destruction of the Temple”; and “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:4: ‘Tell Us When Shall These Things Be’” (pages 43–44). Write a few sentences responding to the following:

  • What two events did the Savior’s disciples want to know more about in verse 4?
  • According to the student manual’s description of the temple stones, why would it be hard for the disciples to believe the temple would be destroyed?
  • How did Elder Bruce R. McConkie define the phrase “end of the world”?

Read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:5–21 and the following student manual commentaries: “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:12: ‘The Abomination of Desolation’”; “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:18: The Tribulation on the Jews”; “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:19: ‘Only the Beginning of the Sorrows’”; and “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:21: ‘These Things I Have Spoken’” (page 45). Write short answers to the following:

  • What were some of the tribulations and sorrows that befell the Jews “the inhabitants of Jerusalem”? (verse 18).
  • According to the commentary by Elder Bruce R. McConkie, what is the meaning of the phrase “abomination of desolation” (verses 12, 32) spoken of by Daniel the prophet? At what two times has it and will it occur?

2.   Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:22–37. Jesus Christ Prophesied about the End of the World

Read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:21–23 and the student manual commentaries “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:22: ‘In Those Days’”; “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:22: False Christs”; and “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:22: False Prophets” (pages 46–47). Write short answers to the following:

  • Other than misguided individuals, what are some other examples of “false Christs”?
  • According to the commentary and Matthew 7:15–20, how can you know the difference between true and false prophets?
  • How can you avoid being deceived by false prophets?

Read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:21–37. Then complete the following chart by identifying as many signs as you can that precede the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and how that sign is being fulfilled today. You may need to use the footnotes in your scriptures and the commentary in your student manual (pages 46–49) to understand some of the signs in greater detail. (Add additional rows as needed.) For those signs that have not been fulfilled yet, you can write, “Still Watching” in the third column. (Remember that more than one sign may be in a single verse.)


Review Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:24–27, and read the student manual commentaries “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:26: ‘As the Light of the Morning’” and “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:27: A Parable about the Gathering of Israel” (pages 47–48). Write a few sentences responding to the following:

  • According to the commentary, what two Old Testament prophets prophesied of the “light of the morning”? What does this phrase imply?
  • Explain the meaning of the phrase “wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together” (verse 27).

Review Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:28–37, and read the following student manual commentaries: “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:10: What Does It Mean That Love Will ‘Wax Cold’?”; “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:28–29: Wars and Famines”; “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:31: ‘This Gospel of the Kingdom Shall Be Preached in All the World, . . . and Then Shall the End Come’”; “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:36: ‘They Shall See the Son of Man Coming’”; “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:37: Treasuring Up God’s Word”; and “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:49–54: A Parable of the Lord and His Servants” (pages 45, 48–50). Then write short answers to the following:

  • Why do you think the Lord has repeated so many signs of the times in the scriptures?
  • What sign of the Second Coming is mentioned in verses 23 and 28? What evidences do you see that show this prophecy is being fulfilled?
  • What evidence do you see that “the love of men” has “wax[ed] cold”? (verse 30).
  • What natural disasters  have occurred during the last few years? (see verse 29).
  • How is treasuring up God’s word different from merely reading it? (see verse 37).
  • What blessing is associated with those who treasure up God’s word?
  • According to 1 Nephi 22:16–17 and  Doctrine and Covenants 97:22, 25, how can we best prepare for these troubled times and even find peace of mind?
  • Consider what changes you will need to make to be prepared for the Savior’s Second Coming. Make a goal of how you will accomplish one of these changes. (This goal should be private and will not need to be given to your instructor.)

3.   Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:38–55. Jesus Christ Taught Us to Prepare for His Second Coming

Read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:38–43 and the student manual commentaries “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:38: The Parable of the Fig Tree”; “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:40: ‘No One Knoweth’”; and “Joseph—Matthew 1:41–43: ‘As It Was in the Days of Noah’” (pages 49–50). Write a brief paragraph in response to each of the following:

  • Why is it important not to get caught up in speculations about the timing of the Second Coming?
  • What parallels did Elder Neal A. Maxwell make between Noah’s day and our day?

Read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:21–23, 44–55 and the student manual commentaries “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:23: ‘Be Not Troubled’”; “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:46–47: As a Thief in the Night”; and “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:48: ‘Therefore Be Ye Also Ready’” (pages 47, 50). Write short answers to the following:

  • Explain how knowing these signs helps you “be not troubled” in the last days (verse 23).
  • What does the commandment given in verse 46 mean? What are you doing to keep it?
  • Why is it important that you continuously watch and prepare for the Lord’s coming?

Write a couple of paragraphs explaining how following the principles in Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:12, 37, 39, 49–50 and Doctrine and Covenants 45:57 can help you remain steadfast (see Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:11) during troubled times.

Read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:37, 44–45, 50; 1 Thessalonians 4:16–18; and Doctrine and Covenants 88:96–98. Then describe in writing what will happen to the righteous when the Savior comes again.

Reread Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:55, and read the student manual commentary “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:55: ‘The End of the Earth’” (page 51). According to the statement by Brigham Young, describe in writing how the earth will be sanctified.

In this sermon concerning the end of the world, the Lord makes several comments about “the elect.” Read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:20, 22–23, 27, 37–39, 50 and the student manual commentary “Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:22: ‘If Possible, They Shall Deceive the Very Elect’” (page 47). Respond in writing to the following:

  • Who are “the elect”?

What does the Lord teach about the elect in these verses?