So I’ve been working on my lesson for Sunday and I am very happy with how it has turned out. It is on a very challenging topic- signs of the second coming. It is probably my least favorite gospel topic. Here are my notes for the lesson. If anyone has any insight into the topic let me know. JS Matt is the Joseph Smith translation of Matthew 24. They are similar so if you have any thoughts on Matt 24 that would be great. Hopefully everything will turn out well on Sunday. Somehow Heavenly Father always helps me out if I make a good effort.
Today we are going to talk about a tough topic- the second coming.
JS Matt 1:4- What questions did the disciples ask
- When will Jerusalem be destroyed
- What are the signs of His coming?
For this lesson we are going to dive into this chapter. Tricky chapter because it changes focuses between the 2 questions
JS Matt 1:6, 9, 22- Many saying “I am Christ”. False prophets.
- How do we see false prophets in our society?
JS Matt 1:7- Hated of all nations,
- How are the faithful hated? Prop 8. We are accused of hate.
JS Matt 1:8- Many shall be offended
- What does that mean that many shall be offended by the gospel?
JS Matt 1:10- Love of many shall wax cold.
- The word “wax” means to “become.”
- How are people becoming cold? There are so many things that people used to be horrified by that don’t phase people. I’m even surprised by the number of shows about murderers like Snapped.
- Elder Oaks Preparation for Second Coming
Evil that used to be localized and covered like a boil is now legalized and paraded like a banner. The most fundamental roots and bulwarks of civilization are questioned or attacked. Nations disavow their religious heritage. Marriage and family responsibilities are discarded as impediments to personal indulgence. The movies and magazines and television that shape our attitudes are filled with stories or images that portray the children of God as predatory beasts or, at best, as trivial creations pursuing little more than personal pleasure. And too many of us accept this as entertainment.
The men and women who made epic sacrifices to combat evil regimes in the past were shaped by values that are disappearing from our public teaching. The good, the true, and the beautiful are being replaced by the no-good, the “whatever,” and the valueless fodder of personal whim. Not surprisingly, many of our youth and adults are caught up in pornography, pagan piercing of body parts, self-serving pleasure pursuits, dishonest behavior, revealing attire, foul language, and degrading sexual indulgence.
JS Matt 1:11- He who remaineth steadfast shall be saved.
- Elder Oaks Preparation for Second Coming
Are we following the Lord’s command, “Stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly”? (D&C 87:8). What are those “holy places”? Surely they include the temple and its covenants faithfully kept. Surely they include a home where children are treasured and parents are respected. Surely the holy places include our posts of duty assigned by priesthood authority, including missions and callings faithfully fulfilled in branches, wards, and stakes.
As the Savior taught in His prophecy of the Second Coming, blessed is the “faithful and wise servant” who is attending to his duty when the Lord comes (see Matt. 24:45–46). As the prophet Nephi taught of that day, “The righteous need not fear” (1 Ne. 22:17; see also 1 Ne. 14:14; D&C 133:44). And modern revelation promises that “the Lord shall have power over his saints”
JS Matt 1:12-17, 34- Jesus predicts the destruction of Jerusalem
the Lord’s prophecies were fulfilled in A.D. 70. Believing that the Messiah would come and help them in battle, the Jews revolted against the Romans in A.D. 66. Four years later the Romans had destroyed the entire city.
JS Matt 1:18-19– Trials of Jews. What ways has this been fulfilled? Persecution of jews?
JS Matt 1:23- Wars and rumors of wars. What is a rumor of war?
JS Matt 1:26- 2nd coming like light from East
JS Matt 1:29- Famines, pestilence, earth quakes .
2010 Natural Disasters
29 extreme temperature events
6 volcanic eruptions
23 earthquakes including tsunamis
208 million were affected
222 billion costs
296,800 deaths (Haiti was a huge portion of this)
JS Matt 1:31- Gospel preached to all nations
- Why is missionary work so important to the 2nd coming?
- Helps explain why missionary work is so hard.
JS Matt 1:33- Sun will be darkened
- 1. Shall the sun be darkened-
The images used here are not to be taken literally. They are often employed by the sacred writers to denote “any great calamities.” As the darkening of the sun and moon, and the falling of the stars, would be an inexpressible calamity, so any great catastrophe – any overturning of kingdoms or cities, or dethroning of kings and princes is represented by the darkening of the sun and moon, and by some terrible convulsion in the elements.
JS Matt 1:34- This generation shall not pass until signs foretold
- This discusses the destruction of Jerusalem
JS Matt 1:36- Heavens shake, tribes morn
- By the tribes he means the children of Israel or covenant people- How will we mourn last days?
JS Matt 1:37- Whoso treasureth up word will not be deceived
JS Matt 1:38-39- Allegory of fig tree. What do you think he means by this allegory?
Elder Oaks Prepartion for the 2nd coming
- 1. The Savior taught this in the parable of the fig tree whose tender new branches give a sign of the coming of summer. “So likewise,” when the elect shall see the signs of His coming “they shall know that he is near, even at the doors”
JS Matt 1:40- Day and Hour No Man Knoweth. I kept thinking this with the recent predictions.
- 1. How can we be ready if we don’t know when it will happen?
JS Matt 1:41-43- End will be like days of Noah
JS Matt 1:44-45- 2 in field/ 1 taken, 1 left (10 virgins)
JS Matt 1:46- Watch Therefore
- Elder Oaks Preparation for Second Coming- While we are powerless to alter the fact of the Second Coming and unable to know its exact time, we can accelerate our own preparation and try to influence the preparation of those around us.
JS Matt 1:47-48, 50- If man knows thief coming won’t he be ready?
- 1. At first it seems like a contradiction to have a thief in the night and yet we have to be prepared for the thief. Nevertheless, that is what is asked of us.
JS Matt 1:51-54- Man who gives up waiting on the Lord to Sins will be Punished-
- 1. Elder Eyrring has a talk about the increasing law of returns. Meaning the more we sacrifice the more we are blessed. With the world it is the decreasing law of returns- longer you keep something the lower it is valued. Often we give up too soon.
Waiting for a harvest takes more judgment in life than it does in gardening. In your garden, you can tell if the seed sprouts. And even an amateur can tell when the corn or carrots are ready. But I remember a story told to me long ago, far from here, by a sad voice. I remember it not because it was unique but because I have heard the same story told, again and again, about waiting or failing to wait. The details vary, but not the feeling of drama.
She said it happened on a summer Saturday afternoon. She was tired. Tired of being single. Tired of trying to be a faithful Latter-day Saint. Not so much tired of being kind and virtuous as tired of nothing good seeming to come of it. She’d not had a date in months.
She saw no prospect of even becoming friends with, let alone marrying, a man who shared her faith and ideals. In frustration she found herself deciding something. She decided that afternoon, consciously, that years of good works and restraint had produced too little and promised no more. She said to herself almost aloud, “Oh, what’s the use?”
The phone rang. It was a man’s voice, a man she knew. He lived in the same apartment building. He’d asked her out before. She’d refused because she was sure he’d expect her to compromise her standards she’d preserved at great effort. But, almost as if directed by a scriptwriter, he called at that instant.
She didn’t say, “Yes.” She said, “I’ll think about it.” She thought about it. He called again. And finally, she repeated to herself, “Oh, what’s the use?” She went. She found she had been right about his intentions. And in a choice about time and about waiting or not waiting, her life changed. So, she will never know what might have been ahead on the path she decided wasn’t worth the price; she knew quickly the other one was uphill, and a hard climb.
All of us make decisions every day, almost every hour, about whether it’s worth it to wait. The hardest ones are where the waiting includes working. Does it make sense to keep working, to keep sacrificing, when nothing seems to be coming from the effort?”