Gospel Principles 44: The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

by Kelly Ann

It has come to our attention that we accidentally skipped posting an outline to Relief Society lesson 44 (The Second Coming of Jesus Christ) last week as was scheduled.  A detailed lesson plan will be forthcoming, but for those of you prepping to teach tomorrow, hopefully this will provide a space for you to share your thoughts of what you are planning on presenting or any questions that you might have that other readers might be able to respond to.

Things to consider might be how would you …

–          make the lesson applicable to women in varying family circumstances?
–          include quotes from women–both women in and outside of the church?
–          add historical context?
–          offer a global perspective?
–          give a ‘feminist’ perspective on the lesson?

(Note = please don’t suggest games or ‘cute’ activities w/o a specific learning objective)

Anyhow, We look forward to hearing your perspectives on the lesson about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  We again sincerely apologize for the delayed posting.

Links of Interest

http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2011/10/14/rsmp-lesson-44-%E2%80%9Cthe-second-coming-of-jesus-christ%E2%80%9D-gospel-principles-manual/

http://gospelprinciplestpbair.blogspot.com/2011/04/chapter-44-second-coming-of-jesus.html

http://scottsworld.info/gp/gpc44com.htm

http://ldsliving.com/story/65861-gospel-principles-chapter-44-the-second-coming-of-jesus-christ

http://lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/preparing-the-world-for-the-second-coming?lang=eng&query=second+coming

http://lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-44-the-second-coming-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng

Note: This lesson was originally written for the Relief Society audience in 2010-2011, when the Gospel Principles manual was temporarily used as curriculum for Relief Society, Elders Quorum and High Priest classes. The lesson may require adaptation for Gospel Principles classes, which are mixed gender and primarily serve new members and investigators of the church.

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8 Responses

  1. KATELIN says:

    “A detailed lesson plan will be forthcoming…”

    Is this still going to happen?

  2. Alison says:

    I’d also love to see a detailed lesson plan!

  3. Kelly Ann says:

    Katelin and Alison, The detailed lesson plan will unfortunately not be forthcoming. Rather we hope that you find the above links to detailed outlines and relevant posts on other bloggernacle sites useful. We apologize that we were not able to find someone able to post a full outline last minute. As many have already taught this lesson, we would again welcome any thoughts on the Second Coming from readers and teachers here.

    The one thing that I found striking in the lesson taught in my ward a couple weeks ago was the introductory discussion/ question of whether or not we see the Second Coming as imminent. References were made to how some of the women present were raised to believe that they were part of the “chosen generation” and would hear stories of people’s patriarchal blessing’s promising them that it would happen in their lifetime … The consensus seemed to be that the message over the pulpit had become to prepare as if it would happen at any time but that it actually might not happen in our lifetimes. A reference was shared (sorry I don’t know it) from a recent general authority talk of how it is important to prepare for the future. The contrast was given to the recent end of the world dates. A fair amount of comments were made in regards. However, the sentiment that it could still happen at any time, although unlikely on a specific date, was also noted. Parallels were also given to how Mormon’s beliefs are shaped by general society and that given current economic hard times, it would not be unexpected for more people to focus on the hope that the Second Coming offers to those that believe. We also discussed how the early Saints fervently believed that it would happen in their lives and wondered how much they thought about it and were disappointed that it didn’t happen.

    In truth, the two lesson about “The signs of the Second Coming and “The Second Coming” itself meld into one in my mind. However I liked how both the lessons became active discussions and in the end focused on Christ.

    (Finally, if you are interested in a couple more links, the LDS.org study topic section actually has some interesting links to old Ensign articles that give a glimpse into how it has been taught over time. http://lds.org/study/topics/second-coming-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng&query=second+coming )

  4. Kelly Ann says:

    Also note there are a some entertaining end of the world cartoons (could be fun to project) at http://www.ldslastdays.com/default.aspx?page=cartoons1.htm . I got a good laugh from them. The LDSlastdays.com website also has a number of other quotes and resources.

  5. Spunky says:

    I have not yet attended a class wherein this was taught, so I just read the lesson on my own. It is written in a very masculinist (defined as control and authority) perspective, and left me with a sense of exhaustion. The exhaustion was a result of emotion in regard to questioning my own worthiness (am I among the wicked that will be burned? I am very far from perfect and have a lot that I need to answer for even though I am doing my best.) and exhaustion associated with the sense of so much genealogy and just general work. Being particularly weighed down with my own mortality and painfully disappointing personal life at the moment, I just found this lesson to be a dead weight of responsibility, rather than a feeling of enlightenment.

    So I took a step back, and I took a breath. And I remembered that this whole plan, the atonement, the first resurrection, the second coming—is all for me. That is why Christ is doing this, it is for me to rest from the pain, disappointment, loss and exhaustion of my mortal life so I can have experience everything positive associated with eternal life. This reason seems lost in the text of the manual, yet I believe it is absolutely necessary in teaching this lesson. So, in a nutshell, my thoughts:

    1. He will cleanse the earth. I like the term cleanse. The associated scripture reads “and all things shall become new.” This idea is liberating for me- a new body that is strong and healthy, a new family relationship void of hurt, a new outlook in regard to who I am in God’s eyes. Yes, new is good. It is the pure application of the atonement. Beautiful.

    2. He will judge His people. This is after the cleansing of the earth (and me!), so in embracing the atonement with full heart and celebration of Christ’s glory, then I think this is more of an assessment of core; who are you at your core? Are you among the fully converted, even if you are imperfect?

    3. He will usher in the Millennium. Party on, dude. Well, not really. But this is what people seem to talk about when they discuss the Second Coming. It is promised to be a period of no war, no dissention, and discussion of the gospel. I like this; perhaps this will be a period in which we gain perfect empathy, then can create a religious society that embraces perfect ideology and light.

    4. He will complete the First Resurrection. I don’t pretend to understand this, and can’t help but envisage zombies (Hollywood has a lot to answer for there). But I like to focus on the term “complete.” Christ will complete His work; this can only be a good thing. It is this promise that His work will be completed, that we can be assured that the atonement is real, because it is a part of His assignment, and He, being perfect, will complete His assignment.

    5. He will take His rightful place as King of heaven and earth. When Jesus comes, He will establish His government on the earth. What a relief! To be frank, the liberty-infused soul of mine feels uncomfortable when I think about being subject to a King. But I find rest in the description of Christ establishing His own government; this means we will be governed perfectly, which means our voices will be heard perfectly. And we are reminded that Christ is “The Prince of Peace.” Because of this, there can be no oppression in a peaceful, perfect government. Phew!

    To me, the lesson manual did not develop the ideology of atonement and peace in its text-only version. But when I think about the lesson, rather than just get hit by my percieved sense of its masculine conquistador-isms, I believe there will be a perfect cleansing, perfect rest from mortality and perfect peace in this stage of the completion of Christ’s work. This makes me look forward to it, rather than fear and dread it. Still curious about the zombie thing, though.

    My $0.02 for what it is worth. I’m looking forward to other’s comments and perspectives as this is a hard lesson to teach, IMHO.

  6. kelly ann says:

    Thank you spunky for these detailed thoughts. I agree that a difficulty with this lesson is that it is taught with a strong male voice. I like how you applied the principles personally. This is what our class discussion did as well – thereby adding female perspectives.

    I really like the points you made and the questions you asked in the different sections. I also thing a lot of people have zombie imagery with people bursting from their graves … but I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing ;-). It makes for good discussion.

    However, what I realize is difficult about the last several lessons in a row is that they are all so similar … I am curious to hear how people are distinguishing them or linking them.

  7. Kelly Ann says:

    For those of you interested, April stepped up and posted a detailed outline of lesson 44 that she is preparing to teach next week. Please see:

    http://www.the-exponent.com/2011/11/03/relief-society-lesson-44-the-second-coming-of-jesus-christ/

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