Home-Study Lesson: John 11–15 (Unit 15)

New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual, 2016


Preparation Material for the Home-Study Teacher

Summary of Daily Home-Study Lessons

The following summary of the events, doctrines, and principles students learned as they studied John 11–15 (unit 15) is not intended to be taught as part of your lesson. The lesson you teach concentrates on only a few of these doctrines and principles. Follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit as you consider the needs of your students.

Day 1 (John 11)

As students read about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, they learned the following principles: We can choose to exercise faith in Jesus Christ during our trials. Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the Life. If we believe in Jesus Christ, we can obtain eternal life. If we choose to exercise faith in Jesus Christ during our trials, then our faith in Him will be confirmed and deepened.

Day 2 (John 12)

In this lesson students studied about Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, anointing Jesus’s feet and of the Savior’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. They also studied about the Savior’s teachings in Jerusalem. From the Savior’s teachings, students learned the following truths: Miracles alone do not cause us to believe in Jesus Christ. Caring more about pleasing others than pleasing God can prevent us from openly acknowledging our belief in Jesus Christ and His gospel. If we believe in Jesus Christ, we do not have to live in spiritual darkness.

Day 3 (John 13)

As students read the account of the Savior washing the feet of the Apostles, they learned the following truths: As we follow the Savior’s example by serving others, we will be happier. As we love one another as Jesus Christ loves us, others will know that we are His disciples.

Day 4 (John 14–15)

In this lesson, students studied the teachings the Savior presented to His Apostles before He began His atoning sacrifice. They learned that only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and by following His way can we enter Heavenly Father’s kingdom. They also learned that we show our love for Jesus Christ by keeping His commandments and that the Holy Ghost can comfort us, teach us all things, and bring all things to our remembrance. As students studied about the vine and the branches, they learned that if we keep the commandments, we will abide in the Savior’s love and receive a fulness of joy.

Introduction

This lesson can help students understand what they must do to return to Heavenly Father. Additionally, as students review the Lord’s counsel as recorded in John 14, they can consider how they can better follow the Savior’s way.

Suggestions for Teaching

John 14:1–14

The Savior teaches His Apostles how to return to Heavenly Father

If possible, display a map of your city and invite students to identify their current location on it. On the map, identify another place students are familiar with. Ask them to write down on a piece of paper how to get from their current location to that place. Invite one or two students to report what they wrote.

Write Celestial Kingdom on the board. Ask students to consider the directions they would give to someone who wants to know how to reach the celestial kingdom.

Remind students that as they studied John 14 in their daily lesson they learned a truth that could help them know how to return to Heavenly Father and enter the celestial kingdom. Explain that in this lesson they will learn more about that truth.

To help students understand the context of John 14, remind them that the Savior observed the Passover with His Apostles in an upper room in Jerusalem. Following the Passover meal, Jesus told His disciples He would soon be leaving them (see John 13:33).

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from John 14:1–5. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Jesus taught His Apostles to help comfort them.

Explain that Joseph Smith Translation, John 14:3 states, “And when I go, I will prepare a place for you, and come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, ye may be also.”

  • What did Jesus teach His Apostles to help comfort them?

  • What do you think the phrase “in my Father’s house are many mansions” (John 14:2) means?

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith. Ask the class to listen for what he said the phrase means.

Prophet Joseph Smith

“[The statement] ‘In my Father’s house are many mansions’ … should be—‘In my Father’s kingdom are many kingdoms,’ in order that ye may be heirs of God and joint-heirs with me. … There are mansions for those who obey a celestial law, and there are other mansions for those who come short of the law, every man in his own order” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 219).

You may want to suggest that students write the words kingdom and kingdoms in their scriptures above the words house and mansions in John 14:2.

  • Which teachings in John 14:1–4 might have been comforting to the Apostles?

  • According to verse 5, how did Thomas respond to the Savior’s teaching that His Apostles knew the way to Heavenly Father’s kingdom?

Invite a student to read John 14:6 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for Jesus’s response to Thomas’s question. Remind them that this is a scripture mastery passage.

  • How did Jesus respond to Thomas’s question?

Draw a path on the board. At one end of the path write Us, and at the other end write Heavenly Father’s Kingdom. Write The Way under the path, and point out that this phrase refers to the path that leads from one place to another.

  • How is the Savior the Way? (Students might respond that the Savior shows us how to live in order to become like God and how to be worthy to dwell in Heavenly Father’s presence.)

Write The Truth and The Life on the board under “The Way.”

  • In what ways is Jesus Christ the Truth? (He is the source of all truth and lived all truth perfectly.)

  • In what ways is Jesus the Life? (He makes it possible for us to overcome physical death and be resurrected with immortal physical bodies and to overcome spiritual death to obtain eternal life. He is “the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things” [D&C 88:13].)

Under the drawing of the path on the board, write Jesus Christ is next to “The Way.”

  • Based on what we have discussed and what you learned in your daily lesson, how would you summarize the meaning of the Savior’s statement that “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”? (John 14:6). (Students may use different words but should identify a truth similar to the following: Only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and by following His way can we enter Heavenly Father’s kingdom.)

  • What will happen if we try to follow a way that is not the Savior’s way?

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Seventy. Ask the class to listen for what will happen if we try to follow a way that is not the Savior’s way.

Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge

“Jesus Christ is the Way. He is Light and Life, Bread and Water, the Beginning and the End, the Resurrection and the Life, the Savior of the world, the Truth, and the Way.

“There is only one way to happiness and fulfillment. He is the Way. Every other way, any other way, whatever other way, is foolishness. …

“The Lord’s way is not hard. Life is hard, not the gospel. ‘There is an opposition in all things’ [2 Nephi 2:11], everywhere, for everyone. Life is hard for all of us, but life is also simple. We have only two choices. We can either follow the Lord and be endowed with His power and have peace, light, strength, knowledge, confidence, love, and joy, or we can go some other way, any other way, whatever other way, and go it alone—without His support, without His power, without guidance, in darkness, turmoil, doubt, grief, and despair. And I ask, which way is easier? …

“There is only one way to happiness and fulfillment. Jesus Christ is the Way” (“The Way,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 34, 36).

  • According to Elder Corbridge, what will happen if we do not follow the Savior’s way?

  • What will happen if we follow the Savior’s way?

  • What is the Savior’s way? (If needed, remind students that the Savior’s way includes developing faith in Him and Heavenly Father; repenting; receiving the ordinances of salvation, such as baptism and temple ordinances; and enduring to the end in faith and obedience.)

Ask students to ponder experiences they have had in which they were blessed by following the Savior’s way. Invite a few of them to share their experiences.

Invite students to consider how well they are following the Savior’s way. Ask them to think of one way in which they can better follow the Savior and to set a goal to implement that action.

Summarize John 14:7–14 by explaining that the Savior taught His Apostles that one of His purposes in coming to earth was to reveal through His words and deeds the true nature of Heavenly Father. He also promised His Apostles that they would have power to do great works.

Next Unit (John 16–21)

Invite students to look for answers to the following questions as they complete their study of the Gospel of John: What did Jesus say to His mother while He hung on the cross? Who was the first person Jesus Christ appeared to after He was resurrected? Who refused to believe others’ testimonies that Jesus had been resurrected? Invite students to imagine what the Savior would say to His disciples who had been witnesses of Him and of His Resurrection but who then decided to go back to their old jobs instead of preaching the gospel. Ask them to look in the next unit for what the Savior said to those disciples.