Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
The spirits of all mankind are eternal. They were organized by Heavenly Father and lived with Him before they were born on earth (see Abraham 3:18–23).
Jesus Christ was chosen to be the Savior and Redeemer of Heavenly Father’s spirit children who agreed to follow the Father’s plan by coming to earth (see Abraham 3:24–28).
The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 365; see Abraham 3:22–23; see also D&C 138:55–56). Each of us must prove faithful to those callings on earth (see Abraham 3:25; see also Alma 13:3–5, 8–10; D&C 121:34–40).
Suggestions for Teaching
Abraham 3:22–28 (Scripture Mastery, Abraham 3:22–23). Knowing who we are and why we are here can give us greater strength to meet challenges and find joy in life. (35–40 minutes)
Note: Even though you discussed the premortal life as you taught the plan of salvation, it should be further addressed as part of the book of Abraham—especially the scripture mastery reference. The following exercise helps students get to know each other and leads into a discussion of Abraham 3.
Write Who Am I? Why Am I Here? on the board. Invite students to answer the questions by writing an introduction for themselves to the rest of the class. Encourage them to be creative and have fun with their answers. You could ask them to list descriptions of themselves that answer the first question, such as a daughter, a friend, a student, a musician, a dishwasher, a Laurel class secretary.
After the students have introduced themselves, tell them that the prophet Abraham learned some profoundly important answers to these same questions. Have students read Abraham 3:22–28 and prepare answers to the questions on the board, giving the verses where they found their answers. List the answers beneath the questions on the board.
Ask students the following questions:
How do you feel about Abraham’s experience?
How could the knowledge Abraham gained from this revelation affect his life?
How might knowing we were in that council in heaven affect our decisions in mortality?
President Ezra Taft Benson said, “The great test of life is obedience to God” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1988, 3; or Ensign, May 1988, 4). Write his statement on the board and help students quickly memorize it. You may want to make it into a poster and display it in your classroom. Help students understand that even though Abraham was chosen for certain purposes (see Abraham 3:23), he still had to “prove” himself through obedience (see v. 25).
“For nearly six thousand years, God has held you in reserve to make your appearance in the final days before the Second Coming. Every previous gospel dispensation has drifted into apostasy, but ours will not. … God has saved for the final inning some of his strongest children, who will help bear off the kingdom triumphantly. And that is where you come in, for you are the generation that must be prepared to meet your God. … Make no mistake about it—you are a marked generation. There has never been more expected of the faithful in such a short period of time as there is of us. … Each day we personally make many decisions that show where our support will go. The final outcome is certain—the forces of righteousness will finally win. What remains to be seen is where each of us personally, now and in the future, will stand in this fight—and how tall we will stand. Will we be true to our last-days, foreordained mission?” (in Marvin J. Ashton, in Conference Report, Sept.–Oct. 1989, 48; or Ensign, Nov. 1989, 36–37).
Bear testimony that knowing who we are and why we are here can give us strength in times of temptation and help us be obedient to God and prove ourselves faithful.