Lesson 22: “Even as I Am”

Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon Teacher Manual, 2015


Introduction

The resurrected Jesus Christ invited His disciples to follow His example. By studying the principles He taught the Nephites at the temple in Bountiful, we can learn how to become like Him. The Savior prayed that all those who believe in Him might experience unity with Him and our Heavenly Father. This lesson is designed to help students understand what they can do to become more like Jesus Christ.

Background Reading

  • Henry B. Eyring, “Our Perfect Example,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 70–73.

  • Lynn G. Robbins, “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 103–5.

Suggestions for Teaching

3 Nephi 27:21–22, 27

Becoming like Jesus Christ

Begin class by displaying the following statement by Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy, and ask a student to read it aloud:

Elder Lynn G. Robbins

“Many of us create to do lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s. I can take my wife out for a lovely evening this Friday, which is a to do. But being a good husband is not an event; it needs to be part of my nature—my character, or who I am” (“What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 104).

  • What do you think the Lord would have us become as members of His Church?

Invite students to silently read 3 Nephi 27:21–22, 27 and look for the instructions that Jesus Christ gave to His Nephite disciples.

  • What did the Savior command His disciples to do and to become? (Write the following truth on the board: The Lord asks His disciples to do His works and become as He is.)

  • How do you think we become more like the Savior?

  • What are some of His works you have been able to do?

Invite students to discuss how the teachings of the Book of Mormon can help us to become like Jesus Christ. Consider writing students’ responses on the board. Share your testimony that studying the Book of Mormon and applying its teachings will help us to become more like the Savior.

3 Nephi 12:1–16, 43–45; 13:1, 5–7, 16–18, 22–24, 33; 14:1–5, 21–27

Christ’s sermon at the temple in Bountiful teaches us how to be like Him

Display the following statement by President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994), and ask a student to read it aloud:

President Ezra Taft Benson

“That man is greatest and most blessed and joyful whose life most closely fits the pattern of the Christ. This has nothing to do with earthly wealth, power, or prestige. The only true test of greatness, blessedness, joyfulness is how close a life can come to being like the Master, Jesus Christ. He is the right way, the full truth, and the abundant life” (“Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations,” Ensign, Dec. 1988, 2).

  • According to President Benson, what happens when we choose to make Jesus Christ the pattern for our lives?

Remind students that when the resurrected Savior appeared to His people at the temple in Bountiful, He delivered a sermon that was similar to His biblical Sermon on the Mount. The sacred principles that the Savior taught in the Sermon on the Mount and at the temple in Bountiful are designed to help us to become like Him.

Display the following statement by President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973). If needed, explain that the word blueprint refers to the plans used to construct a building.

President Harold B. Lee

“In his Sermon on the Mount the Master has given us somewhat of a revelation of his own character, which was perfect, … and in so doing has given us a blueprint for our own lives” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee [2000], 200).

Write the following scripture references on the board:

Assign students to each read one of these passages and identify a principle that can help them to become more like Jesus Christ. You might encourage students to mark or highlight these principles in their scriptures. Invite them to consider whether they know someone who exemplifies the principles they identify.

After sufficient time, invite students to share what they found. As needed and as prompted by the Spirit, you might ask additional questions like the following:

  • How might consistently living this principle help you to become more Christlike?

  • What experiences have you had that illustrate the importance of the principle you identified?

Invite students to make a goal to be more like the Savior by incorporating one or more of these principles in their lives.

John 17:9–11, 20–23; 3 Nephi 19:19–23, 28–29

Becoming one with the Father and the Son

Explain that during His visit to the Nephites, Jesus Christ prayed for the twelve disciples He had chosen and for all those who would believe in their words. Invite a few students to read from 3 Nephi 19:19–23, 28–29 aloud. Ask students to look for the blessings that Jesus prayed would be bestowed upon those who believe in Him.

  • What is a principle we might learn from the Savior’s prayer for us to become one with the Father and the Son? (Students should identify the following principle: Through faith, we can be purified and become one with Jesus Christ, as He is one with the Father.)

To help students further understand this principle, explain that a prayer similar to the one Christ offered at the temple in Bountiful is recorded in the New Testament. Ask students to cross-reference these verses with John 17:9–11, 20–23. Invite them to read the verses silently and consider how they apply to us.

  • How does it affect you to know that Jesus Christ prayed to the Father for you?

  • In what ways can we experience the unity that exists between the Father and the Son?

Ask a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Invite students to look for what we must do to become one with Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

“Jesus achieved perfect unity with the Father by submitting Himself, both flesh and spirit, to the will of the Father. His ministry was always clearly focused because there was no debilitating or distracting double-mindedness in Him. Referring to His Father, Jesus said, ‘I do always those things that please him’ (John 8:29). …

“Surely we will not be one with God and Christ until we make Their will and interest our greatest desire. Such submissiveness is not reached in a day, but through the Holy Spirit, the Lord will tutor us if we are willing until, in process of time, it may accurately be said that He is in us as the Father is in Him” (“That They May Be One in Us,” Ensign, Nov. 2002, 72–73).

  • According to Elder Christofferson, what must we do to become one with the Father and the Son?

Write the following questions on the board, and invite students to take a few minutes to write down their answers:

In what ways did Jesus show that He was perfectly submissive to the will of Heavenly Father?

What are some ways that you could become more submissive to the will of Heavenly Father?

Conclude by sharing your testimony that becoming submissive to the will of the Father makes it possible for us to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ.

Student Readings