Relief Society Lesson 3: Jesus Christ, My Savior, My Lord

This lesson plan was prepared by Eve.

Brief Summary of the Lesson

**One day after a long period of recovery from illness, President Kimball went outside to a quiet place with his Bible to spend the day with Christ.

**Elder Maxwell said that President Kimball’s deepest devotion was to Christ, and that “he refused to be compromised by other considerations.”

**Christ was more than a great teacher; he is the literal Son of God, and he atoned for our sins.

**Christ was the Creator of the world and the God of the Old Testament. Christ leads the Church today. Christ will return to the earth at the second coming.

**The atonement allows every human being to be resurrected, and allows us to repent and be cleansed from our sins. The atonement is a gift of God, but we have to make our own efforts to receive that gift in our lives.

**Living the gospel is a manifestation of devotion to Christ.

**The atonement gives us eternal hope, for resurrection, cleansing from sin, reunion with those we love, and eternal life with God.

Questions, Additional Scriptures, and Quotes

(1) President Kimball remembered the fifth anniversary of his calling as an apostle by “spend[ing] the day with [Christ].” What does it mean to “spend time with Christ”? Even if we don’t have a whole day free from other obligations to spend in prayer and meditation, how can we spend time with Christ in our daily lives? What practical suggestions have worked for you in integrating prayer and meditation into your other daily responsibilities? How can we consecrate the ordinary work of our lives—jobs, family, church, and school—to Christ? How can we make sure that taking the sacrament and keeping the Sabbath are acts devoted to Christ?

Quote from Cheiko Okazaki: “There is no ascetic or cloiseterd tradition in Mormonism. The gospel calls us, not to the next world or to another world, but to this world….The daily activities of mixing orange juice, making telephone calls, supervising homework, and scrubbing the bathtub are not distractions from our spiritual lives. They are the vehicles through which we live our spiritual lives.” (Lighten Up, 172).

(2) What does it mean to be devoted to Christ above all else? Why is it important that our relationship with Christ come first, before even the many other good things in our lives—our families, our friends, our church callings? Why is it significant that we worship embodied and glorified gods and place our relationship with them at the center of our lives rather than abstract gospel principles? How does having a relationship with God, rather than devotion to an abstract prinicple, change the way we understand the gospel, ourselves, and each other? How does centering our lives on Christ elevate our relationships with one another as children of God?

How can we place Christ at the center of our lives and refuse to compromise our devotion to Him?

Omni 1:26: And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him…

Matthew 22:37-39: Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

1 John 4:20: If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

(If you wanted to enter a complex discussion about devotion to God and devotion to family, you could bring up Matt 10:34-37 and Luke 9:59-62).

(3) How has the knowledge of the resurrection brought you comfort in the face of death? How has the atonement given you hope as you have repented and struggled to repent from your sins? How can the atonement give us hope as we struggle with our imperfections? How has the atonement given you comfort in pain and suffering?

Daniel 9:18: O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies.

John 11:25-26: Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
And whoso liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

Alma 7:11-12: And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

Ether 4:12: Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at theright hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always bounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

(4) How does it change our view of keeping the commandments and living the gospel to see them as acts of love and devotion to Christ rather than as a checklist of duties performed to appease a vengeful god? How can we maintain a view of the gospel based on love, devotion, and divine mercy rather than on duty, drudgery, and guilt?

Ezekiel 18:32: For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

Romans 13:9-10: For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

(5) How have you come to know Christ? How have you felt the goodness and love of Christ in your life?

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Jeremiah 29:13: And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

2 Nephi 1:15: But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.

Mormon 1:15: And I…being somewhat of a sober mind, therefore I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus.

“When words cannot provide the solace we need or express the joy we feel, when it is simply futile to attempt to explain that which is unexplainable, when logic and reason cannot yield adequate understanding about the injustices and inequities of life, when mortal experience and evaluation are insufficient to produce a desired outcome, and when it seems that perhaps we are so totally alone, truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord and made mighty even unto the power of deliverance” (see 1 Nephi 1:20). (Elder David A. Bednar, Ensign, May 2005, 99).

Deborah

Deborah is K-12 educator who nurtures a healthy interest in reading, writing, running, ethics, mystics, and interfaith dialogue.

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  1. AmyB says:

    Thanks Eve! I really liked the quote from Cheiko Okasaki. It reminds me of the Buddhist idea that mindfully doing our mundane daily duties can be a spiritual practice.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Eve. This has given me alterate ways to look at this lesson. I appreciate your efforts.

  3. Lynnette says:

    How does it change our view of keeping the commandments and living the gospel to see them as acts of love and devotion to Christ rather than as a checklist of duties performed to appease a vengeful god? How can we maintain a view of the gospel based on love, devotion, and divine mercy rather than on duty, drudgery, and guilt?

    I love this question, because I’ve struggled so much with this. How do you avoid thinking about the gospel as nothing more than a long list of obligations and expectations? I’m thinking that maybe it’s related to your earlier question about living a christocentric life, about “spending time with Christ.” (And I love that Chieko Okazaki quote about that not being something separate from the rest of our lives, but a part of it.) I know that when I feel God’s love in my own life, it makes me want to be a better person, to be more charitable, etc.–it doesn’t feel so much like a burden.

    But then I wonder–when I’m feeling cranky and alienated from God and like it’s all just too much–what then? Do I just keep doing my duty with a grudging heart? I don’t have a great answer for that, but it’s something I’d love to see discussed. (I remember that EmilyCC had a thought-provoking post on doing service when you hate it a while ago.)

  4. Eve says:

    Amy, I love that quote too. In fact, it’s only with great difficulty that I restrained myself from typing out several pages of Cheiko Okazaki. She’s got a wonderful analogy in that chapter about how we tend to sequester our religious lives from the rest of our lives.

    Anon, glad you found this helpful!

    Lynnette, it’s a question I’ve really struggled with too. As you said, what happens when you’re cranky and alienated from God?

    Wish I knew…!

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