Joseph Smith–Matthew 1:38–55: Jesus Christ Taught Us to Prepare for His Second Coming

The Pearl of Great Price: Teacher Manual, (2000), 52–53

Some Important Principles, Doctrines, and Events

Suggestions for Teaching

Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:38–39. “Even at the Doors”

Ask students how they know when the weather is going to change. Read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:38–39and ask students what “at the doors” means to them. Share this quotation from Elder James E. Talmage, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

“Many of us are prone to think that the day of His coming, the day of the setting up of the Kingdom of Heaven in its power and glory is yet far distant. … How would you feel if authoritative proclamation were made here today that on the literal morrow, when the sun shall rise again in the east, the Lord would appear in His glory to take vengeance upon the wicked, and to establish His Kingdom upon the earth? Who amongst you would rejoice? The pure in heart would, the righteous in soul would, but many of us would wish to have the event put off. … We are very loath to accept and believe that which we do not want to believe, and the world today does not wish to believe that the coming of Christ is near at hand, and consequently all kinds of subterfuges are invented for explaining away the plain words of scripture. … It has long been a favorite excuse of men who were not ready for the advent of the Lord, to say, ‘The Lord delayeth His coming.’ Don’t attach too much importance to the fact that He has thus far delayed His coming, for He has repeatedly told us that the day of His coming is very, very near, even at our doors” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1916, 129–30).

Media Suggestion. “‘They That Are Wise’”

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Videopresentation 8, “‘They That Are Wise’” (8:30), can be used to teach the parable of the ten virgins. This presentation helps students understand why and how to prepare for the Second Coming.

Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:40, 46. “No One Knoweth”

Write the following statement on the board: The Second Coming is tomorrow.Read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:40, 46and discuss what a person might do if he or she knew the exact day and hour of the Second Coming. Discuss reasons why the Lord would not want anyone to know the exact time of His Second Coming. Compare this to how one would respond if he or she knew the exact day that he or she would die, and how that would interfere with the mortal test of walking by faith in God (see Abraham 3:25–26). Tell students that many false teachers have claimed over the ages to know when the Second Coming would be and have deceived many people. Read Doctrine and Covenants 64:23–25and encourage students to prepare “today,” so they will be ready for the Second Coming “tomorrow.”

Media Suggestion. “The Second Coming”

Old Testament Videopresentation 24, “The Second Coming” (14:05), can be used to show the importance of Christ’s Second Coming (see Old Testament Video Guidefor teaching suggestions). This presentation was originally intended to help teach the book of Joel. It presents one of the scriptures that Moroni quoted to Joseph Smith as he began to prepare him for his work.

Media Suggestion. “The Second Coming”

New Testament Videopresentation 19, “The Second Coming” (3:46), contains excerpts from general conference on the topic of the Second Coming (see New Testament Video Guide[1995; item 34232] for teaching suggestions).

Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:41–48. “In Such an Hour As Ye Think Not”

Invite students to tell about times they have been totally surprised by events in the news or in their personal lives. Have students read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:41–48and explain why the righteous will not be surprised by the Second Coming (see also 1 Thessalonians 5:4–9; D&C 45:37–39, 56–57; 68:11; 106:4–5).

Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:49–55. Servants

Discuss the roles of servant and lord (master). How would a master feel about servants who are not diligent? Have students carefully study Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:49–55, and identify and discuss phrases in these verses that teach us how to be better “servants.”