To strengthen class members’ testimonies of the restored Church of Jesus Christ and encourage them to help build the kingdom of God on earth.
Prayerfully study the following scriptures:
Daniel 2:1–23. King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream and commands his advisers to describe and interpret it (2:1–13). Daniel prays with his friends, and God reveals to him the dream and its interpretation (2:14–23).
Daniel 2:24–49. Daniel reveals that King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream foretells the rise and fall of the great kingdoms of the earth and the latter-day triumph of the kingdom of God over all other kingdoms.
Additional reading: Doctrine and Covenants 65.
Invite two or three class members to prepare to bear brief testimonies about the truthfulness of the Church.
If you use the attention activity, draw the chart at the bottom of this page on a poster or on the chalkboard before class begins.
If you use the “Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream” diagram (see page 218), draw it on a poster or on the chalkboard before class. Do not write the names of the individual kingdoms until you discuss the diagram in class.
If the picture Daniel Interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream is available, you may want to use it during the lesson (62531; Gospel Art Picture Kit 115).
Suggested Lesson Development
You may want to use the following activity (or one of your own) to begin the lesson.
Direct class members’ attention to the chart you have drawn on a poster or on the chalkboard:
What do you think these numbers represent?
Give class members a few minutes to suggest answers to this question. Then complete the chart as shown below:
(Current statistics can be found in recent Church publications. You may want to add a column to the chart to include those statistics.)
Invite class members to comment on the rapid growth of the Church. Explain that this lesson tells of Daniel, an ancient prophet who foresaw the triumph of God’s kingdom on earth—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Scripture Discussion and Application
As you teach the following scripture passages, discuss how they apply to daily life. Encourage class members to share experiences that relate to the scriptural principles.
1. Daniel receives a revelation in which he is shown King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and given its interpretation.
Teach and discuss Daniel 2:1–23.
King Nebuchadnezzar had a troubling dream one night. He tested his advisers by telling them that he had forgotten it and commanding them to reveal it and its interpretation (Daniel 2:2–5; see footnote 5a). When they said that they could not describe the dream, Nebuchadnezzar ordered the death of all the wise men of Babylon, including Daniel and his friends (Daniel 2:10–13). When the king’s captain came to take Daniel to be slain, Daniel went to the king and asked for time to interpret the dream (Daniel 2:14–16).
How did Daniel prepare to interpret the king’s dream? (See Daniel 2:17–18. He asked his friends to pray with him.) How have the prayers of family members and friends helped you?
How were the prayers of Daniel and his friends answered? (See Daniel 2:19, 27–28.) What did Daniel do immediately after receiving the vision of the king’s dream? (See Daniel 2:20–23.) What did his words reveal about his feelings toward God? Why is it important to show gratitude to the Lord? How can we show him our gratitude?
Contrast the sources to which Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar turned when they sought answers to questions. (See Daniel 2:2, 19–23, 28.) What questionable sources do people today turn to when they need help answering difficult questions or making decisions? What keeps many people from seeking God’s guidance in such situations?
2. Daniel describes and interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
Teach and discuss Daniel 2:24–49.
How did Daniel describe the great image that the king had seen in his dream? (See Daniel 2:31–33. Refer to the picture Daniel Interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream or to your drawing of the diagram shown below.)
What did the different parts of the image represent? (See Daniel 2:36–43. The parts represented different kingdoms that would succeed each other as world powers.)
Write the names of the kingdoms on the diagram as you review the following interpretation from President Spencer W. Kimball:
The head of gold represented Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom of Babylon.
The breast and arms of silver represented Cyrus and his kingdom of Media and Persia.
The belly and thighs of brass represented Philip and Alexander and the Greek or Macedonian kingdom.
The legs of iron represented the Roman Empire.
The feet of iron and clay represented a group of European nations. (In Conference Report, Apr. 1976, 10; or Ensign, May 1976, 8.)
In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, what destroyed the image that represented the earthly kingdoms? (See Daniel 2:34–35.) What did the “stone … cut out without hands” represent? (See Daniel 2:44–45; D&C 65:2.)
President Kimball taught: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was restored in 1830. … This is the kingdom, set up by the God of heaven, that would never be destroyed nor superseded, and the stone cut out of the mountain without hands that would become a great mountain and would fill the whole earth” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1976, 10; or Ensign, May 1976, 8–9).
What did Daniel prophesy concerning the Church in the latter days? (See Daniel 2:34–35, 44.)
You may want to list the following prophecies on the chalkboard. Daniel prophesied that the Church would:
What did it mean that the stone would be “cut out without hands”? (See Daniel 2:34. It would not be man-made.) How is the restored Church of Jesus Christ like a stone cut out without hands?
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said: “Our Lord and Savior stands at the head of this church and directs it through his servants. This is the Lord’s church; it is not a church of men” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 4; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 5).
How is Daniel’s prophecy that the Church will “fill the whole earth” and “never be destroyed” being fulfilled today? (You may want to refer to the second chart in the attention activity.)
President Gordon B. Hinckley testified: “This Church is true. It will weather every storm that beats against it. It will outlast every critic who rises to mock it. It was established by God our Eternal Father for the blessing of His sons and daughters of all generations. It carries the name of Him who stands as its head, even the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. It is governed and moves by the power of the priesthood. It sends forth to the world another witness of the divinity of the Lord. Be faithful, my friends. Be true. Be loyal to the great things of God which have been revealed in this dispensation” (“Keep the Faith,” Ensign, Sept. 1985, 6).
What can we do to participate in the building of the kingdom of God in our homes, in our communities, and throughout the world?
Invite the assigned class members to bear brief testimonies about the truthfulness of the Church.
Testify that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth and that Jesus Christ leads it. Encourage class members to participate in building God’s kingdom on earth.