“I Am the Way”

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and his Apostles, Instructor’s Guide (Rel 211–12), (2000), 9–10


Theme

The way to exaltation and eternal joy is found only in and through the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    The Savior taught, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6.)

    1. 1.

      The Savior, as the Son of God, showed the way by which all others can become the sons and daughters of God.

    2. 2.

      The Savior is not only the revealer of truth, but he is the truth.

    3. 3.

      The Savior is the agent through which real life and power is given to man, bringing rebirth and eventually eternal life.

  • B.

    All the prophets and holy men of all ages have borne witness that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, the Savior of the world.

  • C.

    The modern disciple of the Lord can also know for himself that Jesus is the Christ.

    1. 1.

      To come to this knowledge, the student must live the gospel.

    2. 2.

      As he lives the gospel, he will come to know the Savior and gain eternal life.

Study Sources

Course Manual

General introduction and chapter 1, “I Am the Way” (Note: Chapter 29 serves as the introduction for 212 for those on the semester or quarter system. Individual study teachers should use lesson 1 to introduce the whole course.)

Standard Works

John 17:3. What is the only way eternal life may be gained?

1 John 5:20. What major understanding did Christ give his disciples?

D&C 132:24, 25. For what two reasons do many fail to obtain eternal life?

1 Nephi 19:7, 10; Mosiah 15:1. Who is the Savior?

Mosiah 7:27, 28. For what testimony did Abinadi suffer death?

John 14:6. How does the Savior describe himself and his mission?

Ephesians 2:18; John 1:16-18; John 11:25; D&C 88:1-13, 50. How is He the way, the truth and the light?

Acts 4:11, 12; Mosiah 3:17. Can man be saved any other way?

Basic Library

Jesus the Christ, pp. 1-5. What are the specific teachings of the Church about the Savior?

DS, 1:18-37. How many may see and know Christ?

Additional Sources

(Note: The following books are excellent resources for the teacher of the New Testament. Many are not works by Latter-day Saints, but they are among the best of conservative scholarship and are written with feeling and insight for the Savior. Generally these will not be cited in other places in this manual.)

Clarke, Adam. The Holy Bible … A Commentary and Critical Notes, 6 vols.

Dummelow, J. R., ed. A Commentary on the Holy Bible. New York: Macmillan Co., 1930.

Alexander, David and Alexander, Pat, eds. Eerdman’s Handbook to the Bible. Berkhamsted, Herts, England: Zion Publishing Co., 1973.

McConkie, Bruce R. Doctrinal New Testament Commentary. 3 vols. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-73.

Smith, William. Smith’s Bible Dictionary, rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1948.

Clark, J. Reuben, Jr. Our Lord of the Gospels. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954.

Edersheim, Alfred. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman Publishing Co., 1967.

Farrar, Frederic W. The Life of Christ. Portland, Oregon: Fountain Publications, 1964.

McKay, David O. The Ancient Apostles. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1964.

Matthews, Robert J., A Burning Light: The Life and Ministry of John the Baptist. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1972.

Conybeare, W. J. and Howson, J. S. The Life and Epistles of Saint Paul. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman Publishing Co., n.d.

Goodwin, Frank J. A Harmony of the Life of St. Paul. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1964.

Matthews, Robert J. Unto All Nations: A Guide to the Book of Acts and Writings of Paul. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1975.

Sperry, Sidney B. Paul’s Life and Letters. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1955.

Media Suggestions

Cassette tape (President David O. McKay), Make Jesus Your Ideal (1:15)

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

“And This Is Life Eternal …”

Since eternal life is conditional on knowing the Father and the Son, a discussion could be based on these questions: What does it mean to know the Savior? and Is it good enough merely to know about him and believe that he lived? Peter knew the Savior and explained those blessings which are received by those who come to know him. (See 2 Peter 1:2-4.) Note: Do not get into the subject Calling and Election, since this topic is covered during the course of study.

The teacher may wish to use word analysis to emphasize what Peter meant by knowledge. Using this method the teacher selects a key word and explains its meaning, or has the class suggest meanings and ramifications, and then puts the word into its scriptural context to emphasize the point of the scripture. In this case the word knowledge is translated from the Greek epignoseos rather than the usual gnosis (i.e., to know). Gnosis denotes to know about something, while epignoseos denotes knowledge based on experience or close association with something. By what does Peter say peace and grace come to an individual? In Matthew 7:23 of the Inspired Version, what is the significance of the change from “I never knew you” to “You never knew me”?

To Know the Savior Rather Than Know About the Savior

As one lives worthily he receives the Spirit, through which he comes to understand and know the Savior. Therefore, learning about the Savior is important because it shows what one should do. As one does what the Savior did he receives the Spirit, and as he does so he knows the Lord. This concept could be stressed by writing the word follow on the chalkboard and then asking the class, What did Jesus do that you can do? and noting the responses on the board. These could include baptism, reception of the Holy Ghost, kindness, feeding the hungry, and so forth. What is the result of following the Savior? (Answer: We come to know him.)

Those Who Followed Him Knew He Was the Way

The instructor could develop the concept of the power of the testimony of those who knew Christ by comparing and contrasting the various features of the Gospels with one another. The material in chapter 1 could be used, or other sources could be used if the instructor has access to them. The point of the discussion could focus on the testimony, the absolute conviction, of the writers that Jesus was the Christ. To emphasize the point, the teacher could select passages from the Gospels and the other works of the New Testament and have the students read them. The following scriptures are suggestions: Matthew 1:1, 23; Mark 1:1; Luke 1:31, 32; John 3:16, 17; Acts 1:1-3; Romans 1:1-4; 1 Corinthians 1:4-7; Galatians 1:3-5; James 2:1; 1 Peter 1:1-5; 1 John 5:20; Jude 24-25; Revelation 1:1-3. The teacher may wish to use others.

He Who Does the Will Shall Know the Source of the Doctrine

The teacher may wish to review with the students the first two paragraphs in the general introduction to the course and readings 1-2, 1-3 in chapter 1. By using the student manual, its importance is emphasized and the students’ interest in reading is heightened.

The responsibility ot gaining a testimony belongs to the students. Does one generally have to sacrifice and pay a price for material riches? What is the price? Does one have to sacrifice and pay a price for spiritual riches? What is the price? In the judgment, is there any advantage to having had material riches? Of having spiritual riches?

“But let me explain again, the highest of all ideals are the teachings and particularly the life of Jesus of Nazareth, and that man is most truly great who is most Christlike.

What you sincerely in your heart think of Christ will determine what you are, will largely determine what your acts will be. No person can study this divine personality, can accept his teachings without becoming conscious of an uplifting and refining influence within himself.” (David 0. McKay in CR, Apr. 1951, p. 93. Italics added.) How is this statement exemplified in the lifes of such people as Peter, Paul, Mary, Martha, Joseph Smith?