“Partakers of the Divine Nature”

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and his Apostles, Instructor’s Guide (Rel 211–12), (2000), 109–10


Theme

The purpose of the gospel is to assist man in overcoming sin so that he might become a partaker of the divine nature of Jesus Christ.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    We partake of the divine nature by escaping the corruption that is in the world.

    1. 1.

      Peter told the saints that they had been rescued from the lusts of the world through the righteousness of the Redeemer.

    2. 2.

      Peter gave the saints a formula that consisted of adding one Christian virtue to another.

    3. 3.

      Peter told the saints that they would forget they once were purged and would not “see afar off unless they would constantly struggle to perfect these virtues in their lives.

  • B.

    The whole range of gospel responsibilities and blessings was embraced in Peter’s admonition to partake of the divine nature.

    1. 1.

      The everlasting kingdom Peter promised is the same thing as eternal life.

    2. 2.

      Peter told the saints to make their calling and election sure.

    3. 3.

      Peter told the saints that they had a more sure word of prophecy to which they would do well to give heed.

Study Sources

New Testament Reading Assignment

2 Peter

Course Manual

Chapter 51, “Partakers of the Divine Nature”

Standard Works

2 Peter 1:4. What did Peter teach about the divine nature?

3 Nephi 12:48; 27:27. What commandment did Jesus give to those who presided over the Nephite church?

1 Nephi 3:7. What promise does God always give to those who receive his commandments?

D&C 93:12-28. What pattern do we follow in coming to a fulness of the Father?

1 John 3:2, 3. What did John say that men must do if they desire to be like God?

Moroni 7:48. What part does prayer play in man’s effort to develop the attributes of godliness?

2 Nephi 32. How does Nephi say we can achieve the companionship of the Holy Spirit?

Basic Library

Teachings, pp. 216, 345-48. What must we do to partake of God’s divine nature and become like him?

Discourses, pp. 264-80. What can we do to partake more fully of the power of heaven?

Gos. Doc, pp. 120-35. What are the purposes of the Church and the gospel?

Gos. Doc, pp. 58-66. How can man develop the attributes of godliness?

DS, 1:290-306. How can we gain the knowledge that saves?

DS, 2:36. How can we attain to a fulness of light and truth?

Additional Sources

Marion G. Romney in CR, Oct. 1956, p. 16. How can we be rescued from the lusts of the world?

George Albert Smith in JD, 10:67-68. How do we add virtue to virtue?

Marion G. Romney in CR, Oct. 1965, pp. 20-21. What is the more sure word of prophecy?

Media Suggestions

Transparency, Steps to Perfection

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

Partaking of the Divine Nature of God (Scripture Analysis and Chalkboard Discussion)

Jesus is our example and mediator. The teacher could ask his students to consider how Jesus Christ is our example of how we can partake of the nature of God. Using D&C 93:12-28, the following illustration could be used:

Steps to Perfection

(Audiovisual Aid)

Some teachers have found that overhead transparency23, which outlines the steps of perfection, is useful in explaining 2 Peter 1:4-8. This illustrates how Peter’s list of virtues could help bring us to perfection.

Note to the instructor: Great care should be taken in discussing the subject of one’s calling and election made sure. The following sources can be helpful: Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 150, 298, 305; Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:323-55, Marion G. Romney, “The Light of Christ,” Ensign, May 1977, pp. 43-45.