May 19, 2014

The Life of Christ (FHE)

Since we were on vacation, we got to do family home evening on the road.  Last week's lesson was based on the Gospel Principles manual chapter 11:  The Life of Christ.

Song:  We sang song #57 from the primary Children's Songbook, Tell me the Stories of Jesus. It goes as follows:

Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear,
Things I would ask him to tell me if he were here.
Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea,
Stories of Jesus, tell them to me.
Oh,  let me hear how the children stood round his knee.
I shall imagine his blessings resting on me;
Words full of kindness, deeds full of grace,
All in the love-light of Jesus' face.
Tell me, in accents of wonder, how rolled the sea,
Tossing the boat in a tempest on Galilee!
And how the Master, ready and kind,
Chided the billows and hushed the wind.

Lesson:  The life of Christ was predicted long before His birth by all ancient prophets.  Everyone who comes to earth depends on Jesus Christ to fulfill the promise He made in Heaven to be our Savior.  Because His mission was necessary, every prophet from Adam to Christ testified He would come and every prophet since has testified He did come.

Christ was the Only Begotten of Heavenly Father.  From the New Testament books Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John we learn that Jesus was born of a virgin named Mary.  God the Father was the literal Father of Jesus Christ (Luke 1:34-35).  He is the only person on earth to be born of a mortal mother and an immortal Father, which is why He is called the Only Begotten Son.  He inherited divine powers from His Father and from His mother He inherited mortality thus being subject to hunger, thirst, fatigue, pain, and death.  No one could take the Savior's life from Him unless He willed it for He had power to lay down His life and to take up His body again after dying (John 10:17-18).

Christ led a perfect life.  Jesus obeyed all that was required of Him by our Heavenly Father.  He loved and obeyed the truth.  When He was 12 years old, He understood He had been sent to do the will of His Father.  He went with His parents to Jerusalem, but when His parents were returning home they discovered He wasn't with their group.  They went back and found Him in the temple teaching doctors who were asking Him questions and were astonished at His understanding and answers (Luke 2:46-47).

In order to fulfill His mission, Jesus was to do the will of His Father (John 8:28-29).  When Jesus was 30 years old, He came to John the Baptist to be baptized in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:13-17).  Soon after He was baptized, He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights to be with God.  Afterwards, Satan came to tempt Him, but Jesus firmly resisted all of Satan's temptations and commanded Satan to leave (Matthew 4:1-11).

Christ taught us how to love and serve one another.  He began His public ministry after His encounter with Satan.  Part of His mission on this earth was to teach us how to live.  He taught there are two great commandments: to first love God with all our heart, mind and strength; and secondly to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:36-39).  His whole life is an example of how we should obey these two commandments.  Christ spent His life serving and teaching others.  He performed many miracles such as healing the sick, raising the dead, making the blind see and the deaf hear, controlling the weather, and feeding multitudes.  He taught us that when we serve others, we are serving the Lord (Matthew 25:35-46).  Jesus loved everyone.  He loved little children, the elderly, the humble, and He loved those who had sinned--even if they sinned against Him.  He wants what is best for each of us.  He taught, "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you" (John 15:12).

Jesus Christ organized the only true church.  He wanted His gospel taught to people all over the world, so He chose 12 apostles to testify of Him.  They received authority to act in His name and do the works they had seen Him do.

He redeemed us from our sins and saved us from death.  Near the end of His ministry He prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for all the sins of mankind.  The night before His Crucifixion, Jesus went to a garden called Gethsemane.  There, He suffered for all of our sins.  His suffering was so great it caused Him to tremble and bleed from every pore, and He suffered in body and spirit (D&C19:18).  No one else could atoned for our sins, only Christ.

The following day, He was beaten, humiliated, and spit upon.  He was crucified and suffered on the cross.  When the Savior knew His sacrifice had been accepted by the Father, He exclaimed loudly, "It is finished" (John 19:30).  "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46).  He voluntarily gave up His spirit.  His friends laid His body in a tomb where it was sealed up for three days.  During this time, His spirit went and organized the missionary work to other spirits who needed to receive His gospel (1 Peter 3:18-20, D&C 138).  On the third day, He returned to His body and took it up again.  He was the first to overcome death and because He did so, we can all be resurrected (John 20:9).

His sacrifice showed His love for His Father and for us.  Jesus willingly and humbly went through the sorrow in Gethsemane and the suffering on the cross so we could receive all the blessing of the plan of salvation.  To receive these blessings, we must come unto Him, repent of our sins, and love Him with all our hearts.  He said, "And this gospel which I have given unto you--that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.  And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me...that they may be judged according to their works...for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do...therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be?  Verily I say unto you, even as I am" (3 Nephi 27:13-15, 21, 27).

 Activity:  I chose a more simple activity since we were on the road for this family home evening.  I found this great game in the April 2014 Friend magazine, Seven Days til Easter.  I read each description and scripture designated, then June had to match the picture to the description.  She enjoyed the puzzle-matching quite a bit.

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