LDS Gospel Doctrine Lesson 5: “This Is the Spirit of Revelation” Receiving Personal Revelation
Tell your class a riddle. One example would be something like: “Romeo and Juliet are dead. There is broken glass, some water, and a rock. How did they die?” The students can only ask you yes or no questions. See if they can figure it out within 20 questions (answer: Romeo and Juliet are fish, and someone broke their fishbowl with a rock). Ask the class, “How is this activity like receiving revelation from God?” This is one of those questions that you may need to wait a little before you get a response. (See Teaching Tips)
The main part of this lesson is about receiving revelation. If you look through chapter 6 you will see multiple verses that talk about being obedient (vs. 2, 6, 9, 13, 18, 20, 33, 35, and 37). The main point in chapter 8 is on having faith (vs 1, 2-3, 8, and 10) and chapter 9 is all about coming with solutions rather than just waiting for answers (vs. 5-11). These are the same principles that are important in 20 questions. First, you have to follow the rule about only “yes or no” queststions (obedience). Second, you have to believe that if you ask the right questions you will come up with the right answer, or you would just give up without asking any questions (faith). And third, you have to come with good questions not just wait for the teacher to give you the answer (diligence). The point of this lesson is to make that connection. In order to receive revelation you have to do those three things, just like in 20 questions. Take the class through each of these chapters, you can give them the verses and see if they can figure out what those verses teach about the key to revelation. Then tie it back to 20 questions and discuss how they have come to understand that principle or how they have seen that principle in action in their lives.
One area that you may want to spend time on is in 8:2-3. It is intersting that the Lord picks Moses crossing the Red Sea as the example of revelation and how the Spirit speaks to us. Moses must have received revelation to do that great miracle. Aparantly it came as an impression to his mind and heart, not some great voice or vision. It was something that was literally a miracle and had never been done before. There are so many applications to our lives. Often we have to just have faith that things will work out, even in bleak situations (like the Egyptians coming to kill you!). We may be asked to do things we have never done before. We may be asked to do things that seem impossible. We just have to have faith (8:10) and God can make it work.
Section 9 also provides a great class discussion. You can talk about what class members have learned about the work that is required of them in receiving revelation. Why would a God who knows all the answers make us go through all that work? Why do you think Oliver didn’t do what he needed to do in order to translate. (This is a great question because there could be so many answers!) Do we ever fall into the same types of problems that Oliver had? A great verse is verse 11. What opportunites could we miss out on if we don’t take advantage of what we are supposed to do? You have a lot of options here and a lot of great scriptural content.
If you follow along with the lesson here you should hit a lot of chances for application. The question for younger classes may revolve around doing the work to find out for themselves that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. For older classes it may revolve around what issues they face where they would need revelation and what they will do this week to make themselves more worthy to receive it.