Relief Society Lesson 2: Our Savior, Jesus Christ

Posted by on January 7, 2014 in Relief Society Lessons | 12 comments

By Chelsea S.

Who is Jesus Christ? Who do you think he is?

Christ and the lost lambPresident Smith reminds us that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and that through him, all things are possible.

From the manual:

“All things are concentrated in and around the Lord Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world. We know that salvation is in Christ; that he was the Firstborn Son of the Eternal Father; that he was chosen and foreordained in the councils of heaven to work out the infinite and eternal atonement; that he was born into the world as the Son of God; and that he has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

We believe with perfect surety that Christ came to ransom men from the temporal and spiritual death brought into the world by the fall of Adam and that he took upon himself the sins of all men on condition of repentance. …

We believe it is by grace that we are saved after all that we can do and that building upon the foundation of the atonement of Christ, all men must work out their salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord.”

Has your answered changed from the beginning? What else does this quote from President Smith tell us about the character of Jesus Christ?

Because of Christ’s atonement and sacrifice, we know that he loves us. As President Smith stated, he ransomed us from the temporal and spiritual death brought into the world.

What does Christ ask from us in return for his infinite and miraculous gift?

From a talk given by Bishop Katharine Schori of the Episcopal Church:

“The gospel insists that Jesus has given glory to the growing company of his friends and disciples so they can be all be one. When we recognize the glory of another human being, we become her advocate, and we begin to see him as friend. The word that’s used for glory has echoes that speak of awe, and gravitas, and deep significance. The glory we’ve received is something like a grand ceremonial garment, maybe even a shining face like Moses’, that says to those around us, “here comes the image of God.” The world begins to change when we see that glorious skin shining on our brothers’ and sisters’ faces.

The great loves in our lives come from a deep recognition of the glory in another human being and a desire to share that glory. When Jesus speaks of oneness, he’s moving in that direction. What would the world be like if we could love not only our lovers, but every human being with that kind of starry-eyed passion? The glory is there to see in all of us. Certainly God sees that glory. Most of us have eyes that can see that glory in one or a few other human beings. Learning to see that glory all around us is a good part of what the Christian life is all about. Slavery, war, and discrimination are only possible when we fail to see the glory in those people. Why does Jesus tell us to pray for our enemies, except to begin to discern their glory?”

As Christ himself states in Matthew 22:39, the second of the Two Great Commandments is to love our neighbor as ourselves. When we love our neighbors, we “discern their glory” as Bishop Schori tells us, which is exactly what Christ does to us. He sees our glory and our potential (hence the Atonement) and He asks us to do the same of our brothers and sisters. So, one of the key things that Christ asks of us is to look for the glory in others and reflect the love he has for us onto other people.

This is one way we can pattern our lives after the Savior–– to see the good in others and love them as ourselves.

We’ve all been wronged at some point in our lives. Whether from a divorce, miscarriage, job loss, or anything else.

How can Christ help us to reflect his love not only onto those who have harmed or wronged us, but also onto ourselves? How can we lean on Christ to see the glory in our enemies and in ourselves, even through hard times and trials?

From the manual:

President Smith tells,

“So, we become the children, sons and daughters of Jesus Christ, through our covenants of obedience to him. Because of his divine authority and sacrifice on the cross, we become spiritually begotten sons and daughters, and he is our Father.

Like the Nephites in King Benjamin’s day, we Latter-day Saints have likewise taken upon ourselves the name of Christ. Each week at the sacrament service, as we are commanded to do, we take upon us his name always to remember him and that is what the Nephites covenanted to do.”

What is “the name of Christ”?

For me, this scripture describes just a few ways the name of Christ is defined:

Moroni 9:25

My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.

From this scripture, the name of Christ can be described as: long-suffering, hope, glory, eternal life, rest, uplifting, etc.

Any other names?

How can we take upon ourselves the name of Christ on a daily basis in our everyday lives?

How can we exemplify glory, eternal life, hope, etc?

From the manual:

“If there is any one thing that brings joy and peace and satisfaction to the heart of man, beyond anything else that I know of, it is the abiding testimony which I have, and which you have, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That is a truth that cannot be changed. Men may attack it; they may ridicule it; they may declare that he is not the Redeemer of the world, that his mission was not true, or that its purpose, through the shedding of his blood, was not to grant unto all men the remission of sins on condition of their repentance. They may refuse to believe in the resurrection from the dead, or even that Christ himself came forth, as the Scriptures declare, after he had been put to death by his enemies; nevertheless the truth remains. He did die for the sins of the world, he did bring to pass redemption from death, he did grant unto men the opportunity of repentance, and remission of sins through their belief and acceptance of the principles of the gospel, and of his mission. These truths are fundamental, they shall endure; they cannot be destroyed no matter what men may say or think.”

In our day and age, there are many in our society who disbelieves the divine mission of Christ. There are also just some who simply don’t believe, for whatever reason. However, I believe it is possible for non-Christians/non-believers to live Christian lives.

How do we strengthen our testimonies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God despite living in an ever-increasing disbelieving and secular world?

From an article about Pope Francis,

“They complain,” the Pope said in his homily, because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.”

And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.”

The disciples, Pope Francis explains, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.”

“This was wrong . . . Jesus broadens the horizon.” Pope Francis said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation. […] The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us.

‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’

Yes, he can… “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone!

‘Father, the atheists?’

Even the atheists. Everyone!”.. We must meet one another doing good.

‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’

But do good: we will meet one another there.”

What can we do to learn from our friends of different or no faiths to become better Christians and live more Christ-like lives? How can we become better Christians and do good, no matter what our beliefs? How can we follow the example of the Savior and “meet another there” in doing good?

From the manual:

“You can feel the joy of his presence and have his inspiration to guide you each day of your lives if you will seek it and live worthy of it. Jesus’ love and the comforting strength of his Holy Spirit can be just as real to you as they were to the children he drew close to him when he lived on the earth.

May I say that those who follow his example will become like him and be glorified with him in his Father’s kingdom; to gain honor, power, and authority. To certain Nephite disciples who had followed him with full purpose of heart he said: “… ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one.”

I pray that we may all walk in his footsteps and keep his commandments so that we may be like him. This is my desire. I hope it is yours.”

What can we do to feel the love of Christ in difficult times? What happens when the Primary answers of pray, read the scriptures, and attend the temple are just not cutting it (especially for trials such as divorce, infertility, disbelief, etc)? How can we actively feel the love of Christ and help others to feel his love?

To the teacher: Finish by testifying of Christ’s unending and unconditional love for each and every single person.

 

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12 Comments

  1. Chelsea S., I love your quotes from other religious leaders. They add so much to this lovely lesson. Thank you!

  2. This is so wonderfully laid out – especially the probing question about how we can learn about being Christ like from anyone – and to look for those lessons in anyone.

    You reminded me of the seventh book in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia where a Telmarine finds himself facing Aslan and not understanding why because he served the god Tash all his life. Aslan explains that all the young soldier did in his life was good and therefore due to Aslan over his opposite Tash – even though the soldier never knew who he served, the acts were accepted.

    • I love that you brought up the Last Battle. That helped me understand this principle better than almost anything else growing up. That people who do good in the name of Tash were really doing it for Aslan all along, and people who do evil in the name of Aslan were never serving him in the first place. Three cheers for Narnia lovers!

  3. This is a really lovely lesson plan, Chelsea S. Thank you for offering it to us.

    I felt your love and faith as I read it, and like Emily appreciated your inclusion of quotes from different religious leaders. The passage from the current pope was particularly meaningful to me. I loved the line about meeting people at the good.

    Thank you, too, for suggesting that the teacher testify that all are loved, unconditionally. That may be the most important thing about Christ.

  4. Chelsea S, this is a perfect lesson! I LOVE that you quote a female Episcopal priest and talk about Pope Francis, etc. Wonderful questions. Thank you so much for putting this together.

  5. Chelsea S., Thank you so much for this post! I was seeking for something to feel the spirit and be enlightened and found it in your lesson plan. I love the admonition from Bishop Schori to “discern their glory.” That is such a powerful way to teach Christlike love and the Atonement. Thank you so much for helping to make my heart happy!

  6. I really liked the quote from Pope Francis, and that we can meet together doing good. I like the idea that when you are acting Christlike it doesn’t really matter if that is the word you would use to describe your actions. Maybe you don’t believe in Christ, but if you’re self-sacrificing and filled with charity, caring for the poor and needy, putting others first then it doesn’t matter what label you’re putting on yourself, Christ sees and understands your heart. What a great reminder. Thanks for this lesson!

  7. Thank you so much for the kind words everyone!

    I used to be a Relief Society teacher (it was actually my first calling ever), so I loved going back to my “roots” and planning a lesson.

  8. Thank you for sharing this outline! I also like the direction of taking quotes from other (nonLDS) religious leaders and tying together our unity. I have seen and heard so much nastiness in Sunday School and Relief Society meetings in my ward lately, people tearing down the beliefs of other churches. I go to my church to be edified and learn what the doctrines of my church are, not hear why others are wrong or horrible. So thank you for that!

    I am teaching this lesson tomorrow and am going to introduce the lesson by talking about the painting included in the manual – the Rescue by Minerva Teichert – and how do we all sometimes feel like black sheep (not sin, but by being childless, single, working full time, being a convert, etc). Also may talk a bit about ways Teichert was herself a ‘black sheep’ among Mormon women.

    • I love Minerva Teichert, and your plan sounds lovely. I hope your lesson goes well today.

  9. Thank you!!!! I am teaching RS for the first time tomorrow and was really struggling with an outline for my lesson. This truely was an answer to prayers, and helped me so much. thanks again for taking the time to post this.

    • Best luck in your lesson!

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