Lesson 39: “How Beautiful upon the Mountains”
Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine
- We are sometimes unaware of our needs regarding the Atonement
- When we keep the Atonement in proper perspective, we have an easier time fulfilling our responsibilities.
Bring in a variety of items, maybe 7-10 items. Things like a bag of cereal, car keys (to represent your car), a pillow, a blanket, a TV remote, a shirt, etc. For each item have the class write down a number from 1-10 of how important that item is with 10 being the highest. Have one of your items be an empty container with a lid. All that is in it is air. At this very moment, how important is that container? Probably a 1, meaning it is not very important at all. Now imagine that all of the air is suddenly sucked out of the room. How important does the air inside that container become? Now it’s a big 10! More important than any other item you’ve brought in. Share the following quote from Ezra Taft Benson: “Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ. No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effect upon all mankind.”(President Ezra Taft Benson, The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants, Ensign (CR), May 1987, p.83) How is this quote like the experience we just did?
We need the Atonement in our lives. The verses in section 2 of the lesson plan outline many aspects of the Atonement. Have the class spend 5-7 minutes reading through some of the scriptures and identifying the key aspect of the Atonement taught in each scripture. As they read have them be ready to answer the question, “What do these verses teach about the Atonement? What need does this aspect of the Atonement fill for us?” For example, the first verses Isaiah 50:5-7 teach about the attitude the Savior had regarding the Atonement. That fills a few needs for me: it reminds me that he was willing to do what he did because he loves me, it teaches me how to act when I face temptation, trials, and ridicule in my life, and it reminds me that Christ can help me be positive in the face of opposition. You can have this type of discussion for all the verses.
Once you have talked about many of the verses and discussed the needs that the Atonement fills for us, wrap up by having the class read 1 or more of the verses in section 3 of the lesson manual. These verses outline our responsibility as those who want to benefit from the Atonement.
After sharing 1 or more of the scriptures ask, “How does a deeper understanding of the Atonement affect your willingness to do what the Savior has outlined as our responsibilities?”