LDS Gospel Doctrine Lesson 7: “The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel”
Tell the class to imagine that they are in sacrament meeting. They doze off for just a few seconds, but of course it is just in between speakers! When they suddenly wake up they are no longer in sacrament. They are now in the wilderness. How would they get back to the Church? After you get a few answers ask, “What would you want to have with you to get back to the Church?” Take a few answers. If no one has mentioned to have a guide, ask, “If you could pick one person to be with you in the wilderness who would that be?” Talk about this for a minute. Then ask, “How is this example like our lives here on earth?” (Talk about how we are in the wilderness trying to make it back to heaven.) What is the process to make it back to heaven? Introduce that this lesson is about the 1st principles and ordinances of the Gospel.
Write on the board. “I don’t know________ but I know_______.” Now go to the two scriptures listed in the faith section. JSH 1:11-14 and JSH 1:29. Ask, “What did Joseph know in these scriptures and what did he not know?” “How does that describe faith?” You may use scriptures like Hebrews 11:1 as an example. What are some of the things that we don’t know in this life? What are some of the things that we absolutely need to know? So, what are some of the things we do know about Jesus that will help bring us to a better knowledge of the things that we need to know? What do we know about Christ that allows us to have faith in Him? A great follow up question can be used here. If someone answer that question by saying, “That Christ loves us.” You respond by saying, “How did you come to have faith in that truth?” You will start to get people bearing their testimony.
Next is repentance. Now you can start going back to your example of being in the woods with a guide. The next three tie in perfectly with that analogy. The Holy Ghost is our guide back to eternal life (or the Church). When we get off the path we lose the guidance of the Holy Ghost and have to get back on the path. And most importantly you have to just keep walking. We never know how far into the wilderness we are, we just have to keep going until eventually we get back to the Church. You can start this part of the discussion by simply asking, “How are repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end symbolic of the example of being in the wilderness and then have a class discussion. Just make sure you are ready to tie back comments into the scriptures so that it isn’t out of the scriptures for too long.
Return back to the analogy of the wilderness. Ask, “How have these principles helped you in your journey out of the wilderness to exaltation?”