Lesson 43: “A Chosen Generation”

New Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (2002), 178–81


Purpose

To help class members live in holiness and be a chosen generation.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Read, ponder, and pray about the following scriptures:

    1. a.

      1 Peter 1; 2:1–10. Peter teaches that we must have faith and live in holiness. He teaches that the Saints are a chosen generation, called to show forth the praises of the Savior.

    2. b.

      1 Peter 2:19–24; 3:13–17; 4:12–19. Peter teaches that we must follow the Savior’s example in enduring trials and persecution.

    3. c.

      2 Peter 1. Peter exhorts us to partake of the divine nature and seek diligently to make our calling and election sure.

    4. d.

      2 Peter 2–3; Jude. Peter and Jude warn against false teachers and those who deny the Second Coming. They exhort the followers of Christ to remain faithful.

  2. 2.

    Additional reading: 1 John 3:2–3; 3 Nephi 12:48; Doctrine and Covenants 122:7–8.

  3. 3.

    Suggestion for teaching: Study each lesson well enough that you can teach it without looking too frequently at the manual. Knowing your material allows you to make eye contact with class members as you teach. Maintaining eye contact improves class members’ participation and behavior and helps you communicate your love and concern for them.

Suggested Lesson Development

Attention Activity

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

Share the following story told by Bishop Vaughn J. Featherstone:

“Many years ago I heard the story of the son of King Louis XVI of France. King Louis had been taken from his throne and imprisoned. His young son, the prince, was taken by those who dethroned the king. They thought that inasmuch as the king’s son was heir to the throne, if they could destroy him morally, he would never realize the great and grand destiny that life had bestowed upon him.

“They took him to a community far away, and there they exposed the lad to every filthy and vile thing that life could offer. … For over six months he had this treatment—but not once did the young lad buckle under pressure. Finally, after intensive temptation, they questioned him. Why had he not submitted himself to these things—why had he not partaken? These things would provide pleasure, satisfy his lusts, and were desirable; they were all his. The boy said, ‘I cannot do what you ask for I was born to be a king’” (“The King’s Son,” New Era, Nov. 1975, 35).

Bishop Featherstone commented:

“Our Father is a king, and just as the king’s son was exposed to every vile and perverted thing in this life, so you will be exposed to much of the filth and degradation of our generation. But you … are also born to be kings and queens, priests and priestesses” (New Era, Nov. 1975, 35).

  • As spirit children of our Heavenly Father, what is our potential? How should the knowledge of our divine potential influence the way we live?

Emphasize that as children of our Father in Heaven, we can become like him and inherit all that he has. The epistles of Peter and Jude offer valuable teachings to help us live worthily as children of God.

Scripture Discussion and Application

Prayerfully select the scripture passages, questions, and other lesson material that will best meet class members’ needs. Discuss how these scriptures apply to daily life. Encourage class members to share experiences that relate to the scriptural principles.

1. Live in faith and holiness as a chosen generation.

Discuss 1 Peter 1 and 1 Peter 2:1–10. Invite class members to read selected verses.

  • What did Peter teach in chapter 1 about the mission of Jesus Christ? (See 1 Peter 1:3–4, 18–21.) How should knowing of the Savior’s mission and sacrifice affect our daily actions? (See 1 Peter 1:8, 13–16, 22–23; 2:5. You may want to list class members’ responses on the chalkboard.)

  • Why is faith “much more precious than … gold,” as Peter stated? (See 1 Peter 1:7; Hebrews 11:6; 1 Nephi 7:12.) What do you think it means to have our faith tried with fire? What is the ultimate purpose of our faith? (See 1 Peter 1:5, 9.)

  • Peter taught that the prophets who testify of Jesus Christ have “enquired and searched diligently” (1 Peter 1:10; see also verse 11). How can diligent prayer and scripture study strengthen our testimonies of the Savior?

  • Who is the chosen generation that Peter spoke of? (See 1 Peter 2:9–10 and the quotation below.) What is our responsibility as a chosen generation? (See 1 Peter 2:9.) How can we fulfill this responsibility? (See Matthew 5:16.)

    Elder Bruce R. McConkie defined a chosen generation as “not those living in a particular period or age, but … the house of Israel both anciently, in the meridian of time, and now in these latter-days. … [It includes] faithful members of the Church who have taken upon themselves the name of Christ and been adopted into his family” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1966–73], 3:294).

2. Follow the Savior’s example in enduring trials and persecution.

Read and discuss 1 Peter 2:19–24; 3:13–17; 4:12–19.

  • Peter wrote that “Christ … suffered for us, leaving us an example” (1 Peter 2:21). What can we do to follow the Savior’s example in responding to trials and persecution? (See 1 Peter 2:19–23.) What examples have you seen of people who are Christlike in enduring trials? How are we blessed as we follow the Savior’s example in responding to trials?

  • When have you (or someone you know) been persecuted for doing the Lord’s will? How did Peter counsel us to respond in such circumstances? (See 1 Peter 3:13–17; 4:12–19. You may want to list class members’ responses on the chalkboard.) In what ways do trials give us an opportunity to draw closer to the Lord and to glorify him?

3. Partake of the divine nature and strive to make your calling and election sure.

Read and discuss selected verses from 2 Peter 1.

  • Which attributes did Peter describe as part of divine nature? (See 2 Peter 1:4–7. List the attributes on the chalkboard.) Why is it important that we develop these qualities? (See 2 Peter 1:8.) How have you seen these attributes demonstrated by others?

  • Peter exhorted the Saints to “give diligence to make your calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10). What does it mean to make your calling and election sure? (To receive from the Lord the assurance or promise of exaltation in the celestial kingdom. A person whose calling and election is made sure knows that he or she is “sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy” [D&C 131:5]. Joseph Smith received this promise from the Lord, as recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 132:49.)

  • What must we do to have our calling and election made sure?

    The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands), … then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 150).

4. Resist false teachers and those who deny the Second Coming.

Read and discuss selected verses from 2 Peter 2–3 and Jude. Explain that Jude was a son of Joseph and Mary and a brother of Jesus.

Conclusion

Testify of the truths you have discussed. Encourage class members to follow the teachings of Peter and Jude as they strive to live in faith and holiness.

Additional Teaching Ideas

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

1. Additional discussion of 1 Peter

  • In 1 Peter 1, what contrasts did Peter make between what is corruptible or perishable and what is incorruptible or everlasting? (See 1 Peter 1:4, 7, 18–19, 23–25. List class members’ responses on the chalkboard under two headings: Corruptible or Perishable and Incorruptible or Everlasting.) What can we learn from these contrasts?

  • Peter taught that Jesus was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” to be the Savior (1 Peter 1:20; see also Revelation 13:8). Why is this truth important? What do scriptures revealed in the latter days add to our understanding of the Savior’s foreordination? (See Moses 4:1–4; Abraham 3:27–28.)

  • What counsel did Peter give about the laws of the land? (See 1 Peter 2:13–15.) What counsel has the Lord revealed in the latter days about the laws of the land? (See D&C 58:21–22; 98:4–10; 134:5; Articles of Faith 1:12.)

  • What did Peter teach about the work of preaching the gospel to the dead? (See 1 Peter 3:18–20; 4:6.) When did Jesus go to the spirit world to organize the preaching of the gospel among the dead? (See D&C 138:27.) Why did he do this? (See D&C 138:29–37.) What does the Savior’s ministry in the spirit world reveal about God’s work? (Answers could include that because of God’s perfect justice and mercy, all people who have lived on earth will have an opportunity to accept the gospel and enjoy its full blessings.)

  • What counsel did Peter give Church leaders in 1 Peter 5:1–4? How can Church leaders “feed the flock of God”? (1 Peter 5:2; see 2 Peter 1:12–15; D&C 42:12–14). How have you been blessed by Church leaders who have followed this counsel?

2. “No … scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20)

  • Read 2 Peter 1:20–21. What did Peter teach in these verses about the source of the scriptures? What did Peter teach about interpreting the scriptures? How can we ensure that we interpret scriptures correctly? (Answers may include by seeking out the inspired interpretations of Church leaders and by seeking the guidance of the Holy Ghost.) How have the teachings of Church leaders or the guidance of the Spirit helped you understand a particular scripture?