Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith
“Chapter 32: Responding to Persecution with Faith and Courage”
Ask the class to write down the objective for chess in as few words as possible. (Capture the King). Now ask the class as a whole or someone in the class to try to explain chess to someone who has never played before (bring a chess set in if you have one.) This becomes much more difficult because you have to know how each piece moves in order to play. Now we are going to relate this to the Gospel. Have the class write down the purpose of life in as few words as possible. (Return to Heaven, something like that.) Just like chess it becomes more difficult to explain how to do that because of different players. This chapter talks about three different players and how each one “moves.” Us, Satan, and God.
Each section in this chapter is about one of these three people. The remainder of class will be reading some of the text and talking about each one. For example, Satan is well defined in the last two paragraphs on page 372.
He attacks us when we are doing good.
Long and tremendous warfare
Righteous will be “continually arrayed against.”
Speak false things about the righteous
These paragraphs are really good and there are many more things included. So, make some lists of the characteristics of the three players in this life and talk about how the class have seen those movements in their own life.
The application of this chapter is to try to help us act like true Christians when the persecution and temptation is the hardest. Satan will always oppose, God will always support, so we are the only changing entity. We have the power to choose how we will respond to unchanging truths. Will we follow God diligently, or change and only follow when things go our way. Our job is to become as unchanging as our Father in Heaven in our constant righteousness.
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