I am gradually making headway. I hope to finish lesson 3 Sunday and send it out early next week. My apologies for not being further ahead.
Lesson 2: Verses from Doctrine and Covenants 18, 19, 58, 76, 88, and 93 – “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World”
D&C 18:11- 12
Verse 11: This verse begins with the word “for,” as if what follows explains what was said in the previous verse. Does it explain that verse or does verse 10 explain verse 11? Why does this say “suffered death in the flesh” rather than “suffered death”? Why is Jesus called by his title “Redeemer” in this verse? Does “suffered the pain of all men” mean “suffered all the pain of each person” or does it mean “suffered the pains that all men suffer”? How would you justify your answer? Does Christ’s behavior when he suffered in the Garden and on the cross give us a type of what our relation to our fellow human beings should be? If no, why not? If yes, can you give concrete examples of what it should mean for our behavior?
Verse 12: We often speak of the resurrection making possible our resurrection. Here, however, we are taught that the resurrection makes possible our return to the Savior. What is the connection between these two teachings? Does the necessity of resurrection tell us anything about why ministering to the poor and the afflicted is so important in the Gospel?
D&C 19:16- 20
This is one long sentence. The first part of this sentence, verse 16, holds out a promise. The next part, verse 17, contains a warning of what will happen if the promise isn’t accepted: those who don’t repent must suffer as the Savior suffered. Verses 18 and 19 expand on verse 17 by telling us about his suffering. Through verse 18, the message is relatively straightforward (though see the following questions). But verse 19 is more difficult. How does the phrase, “glory be to the Father,” work? What does it tell us in this verse? What does “preparations unto the children of men” mean?
Verse 16: Why does this verse begin “I, God”? Why does he remind us in this context that is God?
Verse 17: Christ says that those who do not repent must suffer “even as I.” Does he mean by that merely that they too must suffer, or does he mean that they must suffer the same kind of suffering, even if not to the same degree, or does he mean that they must suffer exactly as he did, in kind and degree? Why do you answer the way you do?
Verses 18- 19: What does the description of Christ’s suffering in verse 18 tell us? Verse 19 begins “nevertheless.” Nevertheless with regard to what?
Verse 20: “Wherefore” means something like “because of this.” Because of what? Feeling the Spirit withdraw is said to be a small taste of what eternal punishment is like. Think back in your own life. Have you ever experienced the withdrawal of the Spirit? What was it like? What might that foretaste tell us?
Verse 42: What does it mean to say that the Lord remembers our sins no more? What does “remember” mean in this context? In the Sacrament prayers, we eat in remembrance of Christ’s body. Does the kind of remembrance that we exercise there (which must be more than merely recalling to consciousness) say anything about the kind of remembrance meant in this verse?
D&C 76:62- 70
Verse 62: To whom does “these” refer? Why would we want to dwell in the presence of God forever? Why does this verse speak of “his Christ”? Is there another?
Verse 63: What event does this verse describe? When will it occur?
Verse 64 (and 54): Why is the church of the Firstborn (Christ) also called the church of Enoch? Aren’t we commanded not to call the church after the name of someone other than the Savior? (See also D&C 45:54 and 63:18.)
Verse 65: Who are “the just”? Compare John 5:29, Mosiah 15:24, and 3 Nephi 26:5, as well as Luke 14:14 and Acts 24:15.
Verse 66: What is “Mount Zion”? Why do the scriptures use that particular metaphor? Why is the Kingdom of God thought of as a city? How might that phrase have been particularly significant to the Saints at the time of this revelation? (Compare D&C 45:64- 71 and 57:2- 3.)
Verse 67: Who are the “innumerable company of angels”? Why are the innumerable? Why are “general assembly” and “church” parallel to each other? Why are “church of Enoch” and “church of the Firstborn” parallel? What does each description teach us?
Verse 68: This verse tells us that the names of those wh are part of the Church of the Firstborn are “written in heaven” and that, there, God and Christ, who make no mistakes, make all the judgments. What is this verse teaching? What is the significance of the names being written in heaven rather than, presumably, on earth? What is the significance of saying that the Judges in heaven do not make mistakes?
Verse 69: What does it mean to be a just person? What level of glory do the just inherit? What does it mean to be “made perfect”? Who makes us perfect? How? What does it mean to say that Christ is the mediator of the new covenant? What does a mediator do?
Verse 70: What does “glory” mean? What does it mean to have a celestial rather than a terrestrial or telestial body?
D&C 88:14- 18
Verse 14: What does “redemption” mean in this verse? Redemption from what?
Verse 15: This is an important doctrine, for traditional Christianity has often denigrated the body, seeing it as a hindrance to our spiritual lives. Because of that denigration our culture still often looks on the body as a hindrance (or, in backlash, it thinks of the body as the only thing). The privilege and acclaim we sometimes give supposedly intellectual professions over more physical professions is one of the remnants of this misunderstanding of the body and the spirit. In what other ways do we sometimes forget this necessary unity of spirit and body? Note: though “soul” is defined here as the unity of the spirit and body, it isn’t always or even often used that way in other scriptures. This definition is one which seems to have been saved for the latter- days. Therefore, when you read the word “soul” in scripture, you must ask yourself whether the writer meant “spirit” or “soul” as it is used here.
Verse 16: How is the resurrection of the dead the redemption of the soul? If everyone is guaranteed resurrection, it follows that everyone is guaranteed redemption of the soul? Why doesn’t that contradict the doctrine that only some will receive an inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom?
Verse 17: What does it mean to say that Christ quickens all things? In what sense does he quicken all things? Why does he insert here a reminder of his decree that the poor and the meek will inherit the earth? How is that particular decree relevant to this particular discussion?
Verse 18: To what does “it” refer at the beginning of the verse? How is it to be sanctified?
Verse 33: What does it mean to say “man is spirit”? To what does the word “elements” refer? Why would spirit and element need to be connected inseparably in order to “receive a fulness of joy”?