Understanding the Scriptures
|Apart (v. 1)||Away from everyone else|
|Transfigured (v. 2)||A condition in which a person’s body is temporarily changed so that he or she can be in the presence and glory of heavenly beings and not die|
|Raiment (v. 2)||Clothing|
|Elias (v. 3)||Elijah (the Greek form of the Hebrew name)|
|Save (v. 8)||Except|
|Lunatick (v. 15)||A person with a disease or illness thought to involve uncontrolled shaking and lacking full body control|
|Sore vexed (v. 15)||Very ill|
|Perverse (v. 17)||Corrupt|
|Rebuked (v. 18)||To demand that someone stop doing something; to correct|
|Tribute (vv. 24–25)||Taxes|
Matthew 17:1—Why Were Only Peter, James, and John Invited to Have This Experience?
President Joseph Fielding Smith explained: “Peter, James, and John, acted as the First Presidency of the Church in their day” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 3:152). Consequently, they went up to the Mount of Transfiguration to receive the keys necessary to perform the work to which they were called.
Matthew 17:10—What Did the Disciples Learn about Elias?
When Peter, James, and John went with Jesus to the mount and saw Moses and Elias (Elijah), they were reminded of a prophecy that Elias would come before the Messiah (see Matthew 17:10). They were confused because what they just witnessed on the mount proved that Jesus was the Messiah, but He came before Elijah appeared on the mount, not after. Jesus’ answer, as recorded in the Joseph Smith Translation, explains that Elias is a title that refers to more than one person. John the Baptist was an Elias who had “come already” as a forerunner to “prepare the way” for the Savior’s first coming. Another Elias would come in the last days to “restore all things” (see JST, Matthew 17:10–14). President Joseph Fielding Smith taught: “Joseph Smith is an Elias because he was sent to prepare the way for the second coming of our Lord” (Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. [1957–66], 4:194).
Studying the Scriptures
Do activity A and either B or C as you study Matthew 17.
What Did They Learn?
What Makes the Difference?
Matthew 17:14–21 tells how Jesus healed a young man with an illness. The disciples wondered why they were not able to heal the man with the priesthood they had been given by Jesus.
List three things Jesus said could have helped the disciples heal the man. Explain how or why they are necessary.
Write about a time when practicing one of these three principles helped you do something that was difficult, or even seemingly impossible. If you have not had an experience like that, talk with someone you think might have. Ask that person about it and briefly write about what you learn.
What Is the Message?
Write at least two lessons you think we can learn from what Jesus said and did in Matthew 17:24–27, and tell why those lessons are important to you.