Gospel Principles 11: The Life of Christ

by Kelly Ann

Here are my thoughts on the various sections – mostly questions to lead class discussion as this topic is something people generally know more about.  I would focus on different sections and/or questions depending on the class as it is a lot of material.  I hope the teachers find this useful and please share your ideas below in the comment section.

Chapter 11: The Life of Christ,” Gospel Principles, (2009),50–58

The Life of Christ Was Predicted Long before His Birth

What are some of the prophecies about Jesus Christ?  (Isaiah 53:3–5, 7; Mosiah 3:5–8).  How do the prophecies differ between the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon?  Why was it so important for the life of Christ be predicted long before his birth?  What would have happened if Christ had not fulfilled the prophecies?

He Was the Only Begotten of the Father

Why is it important that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? What qualities did he inherit from each of his parents?  What role did his mother play in his life?

He Led a Perfect Life

What can we learn from the Savior’s life?  What can we learn from his childhood? How did he mature?  (Luke 2:40; D&C 93:12–14).  How was he received? (Luke 2:47).  What was his relationship like with his father?  (John 8:28–29).  How did he start his mission?  Why was he baptized?  What can we learn from his sojourn in the wilderness?  What can we learn from his temptations by the devil? (Matthew 4:1–11).  Why is it important that he did not sin? (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:21–22).  Which accounts from the Savior’s life are especially meaningful to you?

He Taught Us How to Love and Serve One Another

How did the Savior teach us to love God and how to love and serve one another?  How can we apply his miraculous acts of service to our lives? (Matthew 14:14–21) How can we meet both people’s physical and spiritual needs as he did?  In what ways is service obligatory?  How did Christ serve those who did not respect him? (Luke 23:34).  How can we love those who sin against us?  In what ways can we show the Lord that we love Him?

He Organized the Only True Church

What was the purpose of the early church?  Why did Christ ordain Apostles?  What was the role of women in the early church?

He Redeemed Us from Our Sins and Saved Us from Death

How did Jesus Christ suffer for our sins?  What is the significance of the garden of Gethsemane?  Why did he have to do it alone?   (Matthew 26:39).  Why do you think no one witnessed the atonement but many witnessed the crucifixion?  What can we learn from people’s accounts of Christ’s suffering on the cross?  How do you think his disciples felt to discover the empty tomb?  How did he bless the people in the Old World and the Americas afterwards?

His Sacrifice Showed His Love for His Father and for Us

What can we learn from the Savior’s sacrifice?  How do we internalize the pain and sacrifice that he made?  What does his life and death mean to you?  How can we show our love to God?


And here’s Caroline’s suggestion from a couple days ago…

What is your favorite Jesus story in the New Testament and why? I would then talk about my favorite story – that of the bent over woman in Luke whom Jesus sees suffering, reaches out toward with love and compassion, and cures, saying, “Woman you are freed!” despite the disapproval of the others because it was the Sabbath. I love that phrase, “Woman you are freed!” because it’s so appropriate for this new religious movement that sees every human being as worthy of love, attention, and concern, no matter their race, sex, or class.  By the end of the story, she is standing up straight, raising her eyes to God and prophesying, and the synagogue leader is cast down and shamed.

Please share your ideas. Which sections of the lesson stood out to you? What are the most inspiring ideas and stories and discussions you’d like to share and have during your lesson?

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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18 Responses

  1. Tami says:

    I loved the suggestion of having the class members read the last two sections so they can ponder on their feelings for the Savior and share them if they feel comfortable. One of the most powerful lessons I have ever had on the Savior was when we were left to read and then ponder 3 Nephi 11-12, I have never had a more powerful witness from the spirit as I did then.

  2. hm says:

    I like the suggestions and many questions. I will use some. I also am thinking of sharing some of The Lamb Of God video. I watched it for the first time in the MTC as a new missionary and was so moved by it. I am wondering if others think this is a good idea to share?

  3. NLR says:

    I really like the idea of sharing some of the Lamb of God video, thank you so much for the suggestion! I think I will show the majority of The Lamb of God for my lesson, but not show the crucifiction or resurrection. Then I’ll do as the lesson suggests with the last two sections and allow members to ponder the death/resurrection. I am not trying to be lazy with the lesson, but used up a lot of my thoughts and ideas on the life of Christ in lesson #3!

  4. NLR says:

    OOPS I meant showing “Finding Faith in Christ” not The Lamb of God. But still a good suggestion!

  5. Nicole says:

    I found a beautiful video on youtube set to the music “his hands” that I plan to show. I might also show “he lives” from mormon message, a short clip of modern day prophets testifying of christ

  6. wendy says:

    This is a tricky and wonderful lesson all at the same time. It’s tricky because we’ve already discussed the Plan of Salvation and Christ’s role in the preexistence in earlier lessons and because the very next lesson is on The Atonement. It’s wonderful because we really don’t get that many opportunities to talk about Christ’s mortal ministry (really, it’s only at the beginning of the New Testament every four years in Gospel Doctrine that we can discuss those details as a group). And because I believe that studying Christ’s teachings is one of the most converting things to do, this lesson holds great promise.

    I think it’s fruitful to ask the group how their understanding of Christ’s life has evolved. We start off knowing the big highlights (birth, miracles, death, resurrection), and then knowledge of the other stories kind of “settles in” around these big ones. How has your understanding changed? What experiences lead to a change in understanding your Saviour? For instance, I have found that reading Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage has shown me how radical Jesus was, and how destabilizing he was to the status quo. I have a new appreciation for how bold and yet strategic he was in addition to being humble and compassionate.

    I think I will talk a little bit about the temptations of Christ. President Hunter has a great talk entitled “The Temptations of Christ” where he talks further about why Satan’s propositions would have been so tempting, and how they represent the broad categories of temptations all of us must face. I think we often think of tempations as applying to immorality. But if we conceive of vanity, gossip, coveting worldly items and other sins as giving into temptations, that has implications on how to deal with them (i.e. not putting ourselves in tempting situations where we would commit those sins).

    Christ’s treatment of the sinner and those of humble circumstance is always inspiring to me. It may be an interesting discussion to ask how we can love and serve and not be judgmental as the Saviour did. How can we show compassion when it’s inconvenient, stressful, or we don’t know what to do? These are all very basic principles that are very hard to do in actuality.

    Finally, I would like to ask the sisters what their favorite story/quote from Christ’s mortal ministry is and why is has special meaning for them.

  7. E.D. says:

    I always appreciate the suggestions for RS lessons as I teach the third Sunday and The Life of Christ is my lesson this month. As someone already mentioned, we have had a lesson on the premortal life and Christ’s role and the next lesson is regarding the atonement. I have decided to have the focus of my lesson be on His life and the example He is for us.

    I want to build off of this statement in the lesson: In order to fulfill His mission, Jesus was to do the will of His Father in Heaven. “I do nothing of myself,” He declared, “but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. … I do always those things that please him”

    How did Christ fulfill His mission and do always those things that please His Father, and how do we follow His example to also fulfill our missions and please our Father?

    I’m going to touch on the other parts of the lesson, but focus on Christ’s example and how we can follow it.

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I come here each month to see what others are doing with their RS lessons.

  8. Lisseth says:

    I’m excited and humble to teach this lesson on the life of Christ, at times I feel so inadequate to teach about the Savior, simply because of his greatness… I will start my lesson by playing the video “reflections of Christ” I love this video because it shows Christ’s life on earth and what he accomplished. I will touch on all the points of the lesson intermingling with questions and allowing the sisters to speak about their experiences in coming to know Christ…. To finish I have printed a small pamphlet found in this website doing “walking with Christ for ten days” and challenging the sisters to read and ponder it, in hopes they will accept this challenge. Thank you so much for all the great ideas, I love your willingness to share…

  9. Susan says:

    Lisseth I loved your idea of the pamphlet and I was wondering where you found the website with it on. So many wonderful ideas but I have a hard time finding some of them. For instance, Nicole talks about His Hands, a YouTube video. I love it but didn’t know you could download from You Tube. I bought a DVD, Miracle From Heaven, from Deseret Bookstore by Kenneth Cope. Thank you all for all of your help. I have worried about this lesson for weeks.

  10. Nicole says:

    To download a youtube video just download a free FLV converter. You can then enter the web address of the video into the program and it will convert it for you, or go to vixy.net and enter the address there to be converted. I have a video editing program that I then put the video in to be able to burn it to a DVD. It is a somewhat lengthy progress but once you do it a couple times it’s not too bad!

  11. Susan says:

    Thanks! I appreciate the help. So many good ideas and I appreciate all you that share ideas.

  12. Kelly Ann says:

    Tami, HM, NLR, Nicole, Wendy, ED, Lisseth, and Susan, Good luck on your lessons and thank you for sharing your thoughts and generating good discussion.

  13. kay snow says:

    will someone please tell where to download the booklet you are talking about. Thanks

  14. Sarah says:

    This might be too late for people to use… but I found a talk by President Monson that I will be using parts of in my lesson. It is titled, “The Paths Jesus Walked”

    Also – on sugardoodle.com there is a 10 day and 14 day walk with christ printable. I’m not sure if that is the one referred to above or not.

    Thanks again for everyones comments.

  15. Maria says:

    Sarah- Thanks for suggesting Pres. Monson’s talk. I will also use a lot of that. I asked a sister to sing the song ‘I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked”. This site has helped me prepare many lessons since I’ve had this calling. Thank you all!!

  16. Deb says:

    May be too late for most that are teaching this lesson – I teach it today. I am using the final conference talk by Elder Neil L. Andersen “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus” as part of my lesson today.

    Thank you for all of the suggestions and helps for teaching RS!

  17. This is an excellent lesson on the life of Christ. I was very impressed. Great job with your lesson plan.

  18. Kelly Ann says:

    Thank you Beverly. We appreciate the compliment and are glad you found the outline useful.

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