Lesson 23: “Love One Another, As I Have Loved You”

New Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (2002), 94–97


Purpose

To inspire class members to follow Jesus’ example by loving and serving others.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Read, ponder, and pray about the following scriptures:

    1. a.

      Luke 22:7–30. Jesus meets with his Twelve Apostles for the Feast of the Passover. He institutes the sacrament and teaches the Apostles that they should serve others.

    2. b.

      John 13. Jesus washes the feet of the Apostles and commands them to love one another.

    3. c.

      John 14:1–15; 15. Jesus teaches, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He compares himself to a vine and his disciples to the vine’s branches. (Note: the verses from chapters 14 and 15 that are about the Comforter will be discussed in lesson 24.)

  2. 2.

    Additional reading: Matthew 26:1–5, 14–35; Mark 14:1–2, 10–31.

  3. 3.

    If you use the attention activity, arrange to have a soloist or a small group of adults or children sing “Love One Another” (Hymns, no. 308) at the beginning of class. If this is not feasible, bring a recording of the song or prepare to have class members sing it together.

  4. 4.

    If the following materials are available, use them during the lesson:

    1. a.

      The pictures The Last Supper (62174; Gospel Art Picture Kit 225) and Jesus Washing the Apostles’ Feet (62550; Gospel Art Picture Kit 226).

    2. b.

      A small plant to illustrate your discussion of John 15:1–8.

  5. 5.

    Suggestion for teaching: Singing or playing a hymn or Primary song related to the topic of the lesson is a good way to invite the Spirit during the lesson. The Lord said, “My soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads” (D&C 25:12; see also Colossians 3:16). Hymns and Primary songs can also help class members learn the doctrines of the gospel. (See Teaching, No Greater Call [36123], pages 45–46, 172–74.)

Suggested Lesson Development

Attention Activity

As appropriate, use the following activity or one of your own to begin the lesson.

Have the soloist or small group sing “Love One Another,” or play a recording or have class members sing the hymn together (see the “Preparation” section).

Explain that the text of this hymn comes from John 13:34–35. Have class members turn to this scripture, and ask someone to read it aloud. Point out that Jesus spoke these words at the Last Supper. This lesson will discuss this commandment and other things Jesus said and did during this meeting with his Apostles.

Scripture Discussion and Application

As you teach the following scripture passages, discuss how the Savior’s words and actions during the Last Supper showed his love for his Apostles and for us. Help class members understand that Jesus wants us to follow his example in loving and serving others.

1. Jesus institutes the sacrament.

Discuss Luke 22:7–30. Invite class members to read selected verses aloud. Point out that this Passover meal, shared by Jesus and his Apostles the day before Jesus was crucified, is often called the Last Supper. Display the picture of the Last Supper.

  • When Jesus and his Apostles met to eat the Passover meal, Jesus introduced the ordinance of the sacrament. What did he tell the Apostles about the purpose of the sacrament? (See Luke 22:19–20. It was to help them remember him and his atoning sacrifice.) How does partaking of the sacrament help you remember the Savior?

    Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said: “Since that upper room experience on the eve of Gethsemane and Golgotha, children of the promise have been under covenant to remember Christ’s sacrifice in this newer, higher, more holy and personal way. … If remembering is the principal task before us, what might come to our memory when those plain and precious emblems are offered to us?” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 88, 90; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 67, 68).

Discuss answers to Elder Holland’s question, including some of the following things that Elder Holland suggested we should remember about the Savior (in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 90–91; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 68–69):

  1. a.

    His love and strength in the Grand Council of Heaven.

  2. b.

    That he is the Creator of heaven and earth.

  3. c.

    All that he did in his premortal life as Jehovah.

  4. d.

    The simple grandeur of his birth.

  5. e.

    His teachings.

  6. f.

    His miracles and healings.

  7. g.

    That “all things which are good cometh of Christ” (Moroni 7:24).

  8. h.

    The unkind treatment, rejection, and injustice he endured.

  9. i.

    That he descended below all things in order to rise above them.

  10. j.

    That he made his sacrifices and endured his sorrows for each of us.

  • Why is it important that we take the sacrament each week? How can we prepare ourselves spiritually before partaking of the sacrament?

  • At the Last Supper the Apostles again contended about “which of them should be accounted the greatest” (Luke 22:24; see also Matthew 18:1; Luke 9:46). In what ways do we sometimes wish to be considered greater than someone else? How can we overcome these feelings?

  • What did the Lord teach about true greatness? (See Luke 22:25–27; see also Matthew 20:25–28.) How does he himself exemplify this teaching? How can we follow his example?

2. After washing their feet, Jesus commands the Apostles to love one another.

Read and discuss selected verses from John 13. Display the picture of Jesus washing the Apostles’ feet. Explain that when Jesus and his Apostles had eaten the Last Supper, Jesus washed each of the Apostles’ feet (John 13:4–5). This task was usually performed by a servant when a guest arrived. One reason Jesus did this was to teach his Apostles about humility and service.

  • Why do you think Simon Peter objected when Jesus began to wash his feet? (See John 13:6, 8. He felt it was not right for the Lord to act as a servant.) How did Jesus respond? (See John 13:8.)

  • What did Jesus tell the Apostles about why he had washed their feet? (See John 13:12–17. He told them that they should follow his example of service.) How has service to others brought you happiness?

  • What can we learn from Jesus’ words and actions about the qualities of good leaders? How can we follow his example when we are in positions of leadership?

  • During the Last Supper, Jesus repeatedly told his disciples to love one another (John 13:34–35; 15:12, 17). What are some specific things we can do to follow Christ’s example of love?

3. Jesus teaches “I am the way, the truth, and the life” and “I am the true vine.”

Discuss John 14:1–15; 15. Invite class members to read selected verses aloud.

  • Why was Thomas concerned when Jesus told the Apostles, “Whither I go ye know, and the way ye know”? (See John 14:4–5.) What did Jesus tell Thomas? (See John 14:6.) Why is Jesus the only way by which we can come unto Heavenly Father?

  • Jesus taught his disciples to show their love for others through service. What did he tell them to do to show their love for him? (See John 14:15.) How does our obedience demonstrate our love for the Lord?

  • As he taught his Apostles, Jesus used the symbol of a vine (John 15:1–8). Who is symbolized by the vine? by the husbandman (gardener)? by the branches? (See John 15:1, 5.)

If you brought a plant to class, display it now.

  • What happens to a leaf or branch that is cut off from the rest of the plant? How is your relationship to the Savior like the relationship of a leaf or branch to the main body of the plant?

  • In the Savior’s comparison, what does the gardener do to the branches of the vine that do not bear fruit? (See John 15:2.) What does he do to the branches that do bear fruit? (Note that purgeth means purifies; see John 15:2, footnote 2c.) What application might this have for us?

  • Jesus taught, “He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). How have you found this to be true?

  • According to John 15:13, what is one of the greatest demonstrations of love? What does this tell us about the Savior’s love for us?

Conclusion

Testify that Jesus Christ loves us and wants us to love and serve one another. Challenge class members to remember Christ’s Atonement and his love for us during the sacrament each week.

Additional Teaching Ideas

The following material supplements the suggested lesson outline. You may want to use one or more of these ideas as part of the lesson.

1. Taking upon us the name of Christ

During your discussion of the sacrament, you may want to discuss the following questions about taking upon ourselves the name of Christ. Some of the suggested answers are adapted from a talk given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks in the April 1985 general conference (see Conference Report, Apr. 1985, 101–5; or Ensign, May 1985, 80–83).

  • When do we take upon ourselves the name of Christ?

    1. a.

      When we are baptized into his Church (2 Nephi 31:13; Mosiah 25:23; Moroni 6:3; D&C 18:22–25; 20:37).

    2. b.

      When we renew our baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament (Moroni 4:3; 5:2; D&C 20:77, 79).

    3. c.

      When we proclaim our belief in him.

    4. d.

      When we take upon ourselves the authority to act in his name and exercise that authority.

    5. e.

      When we participate in the sacred ordinances of the temple.

  • What do we promise when we take upon ourselves the name of Christ?

    1. a.

      We signify our willingness to do the work of his kingdom and our determination to serve him to the end (D&C 20:37; Moroni 6:3).

    2. b.

      We promise to follow him with real intent, obeying him and repenting of our sins (2 Nephi 31:13; Mosiah 5:8).

  • What does Jesus Christ promise us when we take upon us his name? (We become his sons and daughters, bearing his name. Those who are called by his name at the last day will be exalted; see Mosiah 5:7–9; 15:12; Alma 5:14; 3 Nephi 27:5–6; D&C 76:55, 58, 62).

2. Video presentation

The fifth segment of “New Testament Customs,” a selection from New Testament Video Presentations (53914), includes information on feasts in New Testament times. This segment could help class members visualize the setting of the Last Supper and understand the reference to the disciple “leaning on Jesus’ bosom” (John 13:23).

3. Class member presentation

Comparisons such as “I am the true vine” may be difficult for some people, especially youth, to understand. For a more personal illustration of Jesus Christ’s love for us, invite one or two class members to share an experience where they felt the Savior’s love giving them strength, as a vine gives strength to its leaves or branches. Make the invitation at least a week in advance, and encourage the class members to seek the inspiration of the Holy Ghost in choosing an experience that is appropriate to share.