Chapter 26: “Elijah and the Restoration of the Sealing Keys,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith
Set a timer or tell the class that you have two minutes to answer the following statement while you or a scribe write down all the answers the class gives on the board. “List as many signs and events of the Second Coming as possible.” Write answers for two minutes. Then ask, “How many of these do we have any control over?” This lesson will help us understand one sign that we do have control over.
Turn to page 313 and read the first paragraph. “What is one sign of the Second Coming?” (Elijah coming to restore the sealing keys.) One important point about this doctrine is when it first came up. Turn to page 309 and find the date when Joseph was first told about Elijah’s coming. (Sept 21 1823, the first visit from Moroni). “How does this help us understand the importance of this doctrine?” “Why do you think it was taught so early, even when Joseph didn’t know much about temples?”
There are two significant doctrines that need to be understood in this lesson. At this point erase the signs of the second coming that you have written on the board and simply write the number “1” and the number “2” at the top. These doctrines are the section headings found on 310 and 311. Priesthood keys and sealing of families. Have the class take 2 minutes to skim through these sections and find the most significant teaching from Joseph Smith in these sections and be ready to share. Give the class some time and then ask for ideas. As the teacher you will need to be ready to discuss these two sections in detail so you can lead the discussion. (One quick teaching tip here. When you ask for people to share, they will not immediately share. That is just the way it is. But don’t give in. Ask for volunteers to share their ideas and then wait. Don’t fall in the trap of asking a question, waiting 0.5 seconds, not getting an answer, and then moving on. This is a good question and a good activity and you will get answers if you are patient, even though it will seem uncomfortable for a minute. Someone in the class will start talking and that will start everyone talking. It happens that way 99% of the time.
If you haven’t already gotten to it, read the last paragraph on page 312. This is your application paragraph. If you already touched on it in the course of your discussion, go back to it again. “What is Joseph asking us to do?” (Be sealed to our children and then be sealed to our dead family members.) You can ask, “What are you doing to fulfill these two obligations?” (This question and discussion could last for 10-15 minutes if you would like. Again, ask the question and wait for answers and you will get good answers.)
A Great Book for This Lesson and This Year of Teaching