Gospel Principles Lesson Outlines

gospel-principles-manual

I’ve been teaching gospel principles class for a while and decided to post my lesson outlines. In my outlines I’ve organized the main points from the lessons that I wanted to cover. I’ve also included the questions, scriptures, video clips and quotes I chose to use as well as my testimony for each lesson. Obviously this is not intended to replace your own personal preparation, rather to provide lesson plan suggestions.

I hope my fellow gospel principles teachers will find this to be helpful. As always, allow the Spirit to guide with the best way to present the lesson. Its less important to cover all of the material and more valuable to encourage an uplifting and edifying discussion in your class. Pray for a spirit of love and unity in the class, that the needs of the people there will be met, and that the Holy Ghost will be present to bear witness of truth.

Download My Lesson Outlines (.doc files)

Lesson 1: Our Heavenly Father

Lesson 2: Our Heavenly Family

Lesson 3: Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior

Lesson 4: Freedom to Choose

Lesson 5: The Creation

Lesson 7: The Holy Ghost

Lesson 9: Prophets of God

Lesson 10: Scriptures

Lesson 12: The Atonement

Lesson 16: The Church of Jesus Christ in Former Times

Lesson 17: The Church of Jesus Christ Today

Lesson 19: Repentance

Lesson 20: Baptism

Lesson 21: The Gift of the Holy Ghost

Lesson 25: Fasting

Lesson 30: Charity

Lesson 31: Honesty

Lesson 32: Tithes and Offerings

Lesson 35: Obedience

Lesson 36: The Family Can Be Eternal

Lesson 40: Temple Work and Family History

Lesson 41: The Postmortal Spirit World

Lesson 42: The Gathering of the House of Israel

Lesson 43: Signs of the Second Coming

Lesson 44: The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

Lesson 45: The Mellenium

Lesson 46: The Final Judgement

These are a few scriptures that have been meaningful to me as I consider what it means to truly be a teacher or a preacher of the gospel. I know I’m dependent on God in receiving guidance to help the people in the class, in order that comments and thoughts will be shared and that testimonies will be borne which will be of worth to the people there.

“And when the priests left their labor to impart the word of God unto the people, the people also left their labors to hear the word of God. And when the priest had imparted unto them the word of God they all returned again diligently unto their labors; and the priest, not esteeming himself above his hearers, for the preacher was no better than the hearer, neither was the teacher any better than the learner; and thus they were all equal, and they did all labor, every man according to his strength.”
Alma 1:26

 

“Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men; For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say. But a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things. And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say.”
D&C 100:5-8

If you have any suggestions on gospel principles lesson plans or teaching please comment!

We Determine our Eternal Destiny

Yesterday in gospel principles class in church we talked about agency, the freedom to makes choices, a gift we’ve all been given by God. This is a gift we had in the pre-existence as well.

Agency is the same principle over which the war in heaven was fought, and a major principle over which wars are fought today. The book of Moses explains how during the war in heaven Satan rebelled, sought to dethrone God and eliminate man’s ability to make choices, and to instead force them to follow and worship him:

“Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;

And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice. (Moses 4:3-4)

I’ve always thought it very ironic that in the pre-existence Satan used his agency to attempt to destroy the agency of others. We know he was successful in doing this to many of God’s children, as the Doctrine & Covenants tell us that because of Satan’s rebellion against God, “a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from [God] because of their agency”. This third lost their right to receive a physical body and lost the opportunity to prove themselves worthy of eternal life.

Because we are here, we know that the rest of us made the right choice in following God’s plan of salvation. Our choice guaranteed that we would receive a physical body and required that we come to Earth and be tested again, whether we would choose to follow Christ or whether we would allow Satan to deceive and overcome us.

We read part of 2 Nephi chapter 2, which explains that the only way for us to truly be tested and for righteousness to exist, is that there must be “opposition in all things”. Without opposition, “…righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad”. And so it is for us in this life that we must experience trials, hardship and temptations.

Verse 16 has an interesting phrase, which says God gave us the ability to act for ourselves, and that “man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other”, meaning enticed by good or by evil.

One person in the class a made the point that the word “enticed” in this verse is important because tempation can be enticing to the physical body and carnal mind. If it wasn’t enticing no one would sin and it wouldn’t really be a difficult choice to not sin. On the other hand following God’s commandments is enticing to the spirit because of the power of the Holy Ghost and the promise of blessings and eternal life if we are faithful.

We read about how we can discern which potential choices are good and which aren’t:

For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him. (Moroni 7:17)

We talked about how certain actions can limit our choices. One member of the class is a nurse and talked about working in the hospital and seeing people who were addicted to smoking and now required breathing machines, and how they lost their ability to choose to smoke or not smoke because of their addiction. We talked about other addictions and how they enslave and and limit one’s ability to choose. We also discussed how avoiding those types of addictions, following God’s commandments opens up more choices for us, and how making good choices strengthens us to be able to make more good choices. One example was how choosing to learn a skill or get an education can open up more options for a career.

We read a few more scriptures, one in the book of Alma that tells us the way to be sure we always make good choices is to “watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit…” Another scripture in 2 Nephi explains it is ultimately up to us whether we are free or in bondage in the eternities:

Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. (2 Nephi 2:27)

At the end of the class we read this quote, which a friend of mine recently showed me and which I feel sums up the great consequence of our choices:

“Thoughts lead to acts, acts lead to habits, habits lead to character—and our character will determine our eternal destiny.”
–Ezra Taft Benson

I know that our freedom to choose is a gift from God, and that we really can determine our own eternal destiny by the choices we make. These choices always begin with our desires and our thoughts. God’s way is not to force or manipulate, he lets us choose for ourselves. He uses love, kindness, encouragement and gentleness to persuade us to do good and to choose to follow Christ. When we choose to follow Christ in the big and small things in our life, we become strengthened, more able to do good and to help other people do good. Making right choices and following God’s commandments helps us become more like the Savior, makes us more free and will enable us to live with our Heavenly Father again and receive eternal life, through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

As he that serveth

In gospel principles class today at church today we had a really good lesson about service. There were several people in the class who aren’t LDS, there was also a few who had recently joined the church. Yet everyone in the class contributed comments or questions or helped read from the manual or scriptures. I love how we’re all from different backgrounds yet there was a unity in how we felt about the need to serve people around us to make theirs and our lives better and happier.

One of the questions our teacher asked was what are some examples from Jesus’s life where he served other people? One person mentioned the washing of the Apostle’s feet and how this demonstrated his humility doing even seemingly undesirable types of service, another girl brought up the feeding of the five thousand, someone else mentioned how the Savior had went away to be alone after the death of John the Baptist and then people still managed to find him– even though he was in mourning and probably had preferred to be alone he still helped the people that came to him.

I thought of when the Savior was on the cross, in his moment of greatest agony he was still thinking of other people. He told the man on the cross next to him (I’m paraphrasing) “today you’ll be with me in paradise”. This was no doubt a huge comfort to a man who had acknowledged he was guilty and deserved to be punished but that Jesus was innocent, yet the Savior wanted him to know there was forgiveness available to him. Also while on the cross the Savior thought of his mother and he told John who was standing near her, “behold thy mother”, in effect giving John the responsibility to care for her since he no longer could. In everything he did, Christ was our perfect example of an unselfish servant of God and of the people around him. He was not concerned with being inconvenienced or with his own suffering or pain, everything he did was to reduce and eliminate the suffering of others and bring light into their lives. He said in Luke:

“…I am among you as he that serveth.” (Luke 22:27)

%d bloggers like this: