“Let Us Go On unto Perfection”

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and his Apostles, Instructor’s Guide (Rel 211–12), (2000), 99–100


Theme

Perfection is obtained by complying with the requirements of the everlasting gospel as revealed by Jesus Christ.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    Levels of doctrine and blessings are adminstered by levels of priesthood.

    1. 1.

      One level is referred to by Paul as the “milk” and the other as the “meat” of the gospel.

    2. 2.

      The doctrines and ordinances necessary for perfection are adminstered by the higher priesthood.

  • B.

    A proper foundation must be laid in order to build toward perfection.

    1. 1.

      The foundation is obedience to Christ.

    2. 2.

      Perfection is obtained through the power and ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

  • C.

    Perfection is obtained only as we endure to the end.

    1. 1.

      In some cases failure to endure leads to perdition, and in all cases it leads to a lesser glory.

    2. 2.

      As we endure, God is bound to honor and bless us with eternal life.

Study Sources

New Testament Reading Assignment

Hebrews 1-7

Course Manual

Chapter 46, “Let Us Go On unto Perfection”

Standard Works

D&C 84:19-22. What two things are necessary in order to receive the powers of godliness?

3 Nephi 9:13-22. Could perfection come through the Aaronic Priesthood?

Hebrews 7:11, 12. Could perfection come through the Levitical Priesthood?

2 Nephi 25:23-27; Alma 25:15, 16. What is the principle of salvation in the law of Moses?

D&C 107:1-12. What are the rights of the higher priesthood?

D&C 130:20, 21. How is the blessing of perfection obtained?

D&C 76:31-37. How does the Lord describe those who become a son of perdition?

Hebrews 5:4-8. What did Jesus learn from suffering?

2 Nephi 31:20. What blessing comes from enduring to the end?

2 Nephi 31:15, 16. How does one endure to the end?

D&C 76:79; 131:1-4; 132:16, 17. What are the consequences of not enduring?

Basic Library

Discourses, p. 4. What will determine if a Saint is saved or damned?

Teachings, p. 198. What is the damnation of hell?

Teachings, pp. 356-58. How does one sin against the Holy Ghost?

DS, 2:18, 19. How long will it take to become perfect?

DS, 2:35-65. Are the rules of exaltation the same as the rules of perfection?

Marvin J. Ashton in CR, Apr. 1975, pp. 126-29. Why must one seek perfection daily?

Mark E. Petersen in CR, Oct. 1974, pp. 65-69. How do we plan for perfection?

M of F, p. 209. How is perfection really obtained?

Gos. Doc, pp. 139-40. What is the connection between priesthood, salvation, and sealings?

A of F, pp. 444-46, 528-29. What relationships do temple covenants have to becoming perfect?

Gos. Doc, p. 211. How can men find finite perfection during mortality?

Gos. Doc, p. 132. Is mortal man capable of being perfect?

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

Priesthood Levels (Hebrews 7:11, 12) (A Chalkboard Discussion)

In Hebrews, Paul emphasized very strongly that the gospel was adminstered by a higher priesthood than the law of Moses. He therefore concluded that the gospel was a higher law. Then he tied this to the doctrines of perfection, showing the need of the Melchizedek Priesthood in the pursuit of perfection. The instructor will be interested in calling attention to Paul’s problems with the Hebrew saints, who wanted to keep many of the practices of the law of Moses; but he also will wish to carry this lesson into the lives of his students. One way he can do this is by a chalkboard discussion in which he would write Aaronic Priesthood at the head of one column and Melchizedek Priesthood at the head of another. Then he could encourage his class to name the powers and functions that belong to each of these priesthoods. He would emphasize, of course, that the Melchizedek Priesthood embraces or includes all of the functions and powers of the Aaronic Priesthood. After discussing the chalkboard priesthood-level chart, the teacher could show how the law of Moses included some of the same items that appeared on the Aaronic Priesthood list. Then other characteristics of the law of Moses could be discussed. The final outcome of this discussion would be to point out (1) the foolishness of the Jews in clinging to the law of Moses, and (2) the wisdom of young people when they seek the greater blessings of the Melchizedek Priesthood. This could be followed by a reading of Abraham 1:1-4. The class could be reminded that the Saints are the seed of Abraham and are supposed to seek the same blessings he sought.

The Nature of Covenants (A Chalkboard Discussion)

Some teachers have helped their students understand the nature of covenants and why the law of Moses should have been abandoned by Jewish Christians. One way this can be done is by listing on the chalkboard facts about covenants in Paul’s day and asking questions which could increase understanding.

Facts About Covenants

  1. 1.

    Both parties have to agree on the terms of the covenant and enter into it.

  2. 2.

    Both parties have to benefit.

  3. 3.

    The covenant, or agreement, must be guaranteed or approved by some authority or force that has jurisdiction.

  4. 4.

    There must be a penalty for failure to live up to the covenant.

  5. 5.

    If the time period of the covenant has run out, it no longer is in force.

  6. 6.

    Others.

Questions

  1. 1.

    Why do we have to accept God’s terms?

  2. 2.

    Can we bargain with Him for easier terms?

  3. 3.

    How do we benefit from the covenant of baptism?

  4. 4.

    How do we benefit from the marriage covenant?

  5. 5.

    How does God benefit? (See Moses 1:39.)

  6. 6.

    What is our penalty for breaking covenants? (See Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-31; 3 Nephi 11:39-41; 27:16-19.)

  7. 7.

    Why had the time period of the law of Moses run out? (See 3 Nephi 15:1-8.)

  8. 8.

    Others.

The above doctrine about covenants can also be diagrammed on the chalkboard by showing the parts of covenants in columns, as follows:

Promise or Advantage

Obligation

Penalty

My Part

   

The Lord’s Part

   

One of these charts could be constructed for any covenant we have with God. And each covenant could be tied into what Paul said about the “milk” or “principles of the doctrine of Christ” and “going on unto perfection.” (See Hebrews 5:8-14 and 6:1-6.) This also could be related to D&C 130:20, 21; 132:1-7; and 82:10.