Come Follow Me - New Testament
“The Son of Man Shall Come”
May 27–June 2
- Prophecies about the Savior’s Second Coming can help us face
the future with faith.
- We must always be ready for the Savior’s Second Coming.
- At the Final Judgment, we will give the Lord an account of
Scripture references for study:
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the Scriptures at LDS.org.
Lesson Handout (PDF)
Prophecies about the Savior’s Second Coming Can Help Us
Face the Future with Faith
"Jesus ... went upon the Mount of Olives. And as he sat
upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying: Tell us
when shall these things be which thou hast said concerning the destruction of
the temple, and the Jews; and what is the sign of thy coming, and of the end of
the world, or the destruction of the wicked, which is the end of the world?"
(Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:4)
Elder James E. Talmage: "In the course of His last
walk from Jerusalem back to the beloved home at Bethany, Jesus rested at a
convenient spot on the Mount of Olives, from which the great city and the
magnificent temple were to be seen in fullest splendor, illumined by the
declining sun in the late afternoon of that eventful April day. As He sat in
thoughtful revery He was approached by Peter and James, John and Andrew, of the
Twelve, and to them certainly, though probably to all the apostles, He gave
instruction, embodying further prophecy concerning the future of Jerusalem,
Israel, and the world at large." (Jesus the Christ, p. 569)
After teaching about the destruction of Jerusalem, Jesus turns the subject of his
discourse from ancient times to the Last Days, the time preceding the Second
Coming (see v21).
"For in those days there shall also arise false Christs,
and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch, that, if
possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the
- WHAT EVIDENCE DO WE SEE THAT THIS PROPHECY IS BEING FULFILLED?
- Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "False Christs are false
systems of religion, false ways of worship, false claims as to how and in
what manner men may be saved, all of which are taught by false ministers who
are false prophets. And such is the state of modern Christendom." (A
New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p626)
- Elder McConkie: "On every hand there are those who
suppose they know how to save society, to save nations, to save souls. They
preach all sorts of gospels -- a social gospel; a racial gospel; a gospel of
freedom or communism, of socialism or free enterprise, of military
preparedness or reliance upon the wispy promises of foreign foes; a gospel
of salvation by grace alone or of this or that doctrine. Streets and
stadiums and temples are overrun, as the ancient prophets foretold, with the
false ministers and teachers and politicians of the latter days." (A
New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p626)
- HOW CAN WE PROTECT OURSELVES FROM BEING DECEIVED BY FALSE PROPHETS?
- "And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be
"Behold, I speak these things unto you for the elect's
sake; and you also shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars; see that ye be not
troubled, for all I have told you must come to pass; but the end is not yet." (v23)
- "And they shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars." (v28)
- WHAT EVIDENCE DO YOU SEE THAT THIS PROPHECY IS BEING FULFILLED?
- THE LORD SAID THAT WE SHOULD "BE NOT TROUBLED" BY ALL OF THIS. HOW CAN WE
FIND PEACE DURING TROUBLED TIMES?
- "Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let
earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they
cannot prevail. Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more;
perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you. Look unto me in
every thought; doubt not, fear not." (D&C 6:34-36)
- Elder M. Russell Ballard: "Although the prophecies
tell us that these things are to take place, more and more people are
expressing great alarm at what appears to be an acceleration of worldwide
calamity.... Admittedly we have ample reason to be deeply concerned because
we see no immediate answers to the seemingly unsolvable problems confronting
the human family. But regardless of this dark picture, which will ultimately
get worse, we must never allow ourselves to give up hope!...
"...The Lord is in control. He knows the end from the beginning. He has
given us adequate instruction, that if followed, will see us safely through
any crisis. His purposes will be fulfilled, and someday we will understand
the eternal reasons for all of these events. Therefore, today we must be
careful not to overreact, nor should we be caught up in extreme
preparations; but what we must do is keep the commandments of God and never
"But where do we find hope in the midst of such turmoil and
catastrophe? Quite simply, our one hope for spiritual safety during these
turbulent times is to turn our minds and our hearts to Jesus Christ....
Armed with the shield of faith, we can overcome many of our daily challenges
and overpower our greatest weaknesses and fears, knowing that if we do our
best to keep the commandments of God, come what may, we will be all right." (General
Conference, October 1992)
"And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wheresoever
the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall
mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth." (v27)
"And again, this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be
preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the
end come, or the destruction of the wicked." (v31)
- Elder James E. Talmage: "The 'body,' as that of the
Church, is rendered 'carcase' in both authorized and revised versions." (Jesus
The Christ, p532)
- Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "And so we see the eagles of
Israel scattered by the four winds from one end of heaven to the other. We see
them flying in the skies of all nations in search of spiritual food, waiting
for a day when life-assuring morsels will come into view. They are free,
independent thinkers, anxious to escape the darkness of the night and to soar
into the dawn of a new day. The creeds of men do not feed their souls. They
are not at rest in the lands of their scattering. They yearn for that which
their fathers enjoyed in the days of their ancient glory.
"Then the food that will feed their souls is made available. The gospel
is restored; the Book of Mormon comes forth; the gifts and graces enjoyed by
the ancients are again found on earth. It is time for Israel to come home. The
eagles are invited to feast upon the good word of God. They seek the food that
satisfies the soul. They descend from their lofty heights of worldliness and
feast upon those things of which men may eat and never hunger more. The gospel
gathers Israel, and where it is, there the eagles of Israel shall be found." (The
Millennial Messiah, p352)
- HOW IS THIS PROPHECY BEING FULFILLED TODAY?
- The fulfillment of these verses began after the organization of the
Church when the first brethren went on missions to preach the good news of
the Restoration. What we see today is a quickening of what began almost two
centuries ago. Consider this quickening.
Membership: In the year of my birth, the membership of the Church stood
at just over 1 million members. When I went on my mission in 1971,
membership surpassed the 3 million mark. At the end of 2017, membership
stood at over 16 million.
Temples: I believe there were 8 working temples at the time of my
birth. By the time I went on my mission there were 5 more, with 2 under
construction. At the end of 2017, there were 162 temples in operation with
several more planned.
These statistics are indicators of growth. What is even more
significant in fulfilling this prophecy is how the face of the Church and
missionary work has changed. The number of missionaries serving has
increased significantly since I left on my mission in 1971. In the year of
my birth, the vast majority of the Church membership lived in the
intermountain west. Now, more than half of the membership lives outside of
the United States. There are now branches of the Church in such exotic
places as the Ukraine, Ghana, India, Thailand, Fiji, and Peru. What is
significant, is that so much of this change has taken place in the past few
years. The Lord's prophecy is rapidly being fulfilled.
"Behold I speak for mine elect's sake; for nation shall
rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there shall be famines, and
pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. And again, because iniquity
shall abound, the love of men shall wax cold; but he that shall not be overcome,
the same shall be saved." (v29-30)
- WHAT EVIDENCE DO WE SEE THAT THESE PROPHECIES ARE BEING FULFILLED?
- As we have seen a quickening in the extension of the gospel to the
inhabitants of the earth, we have also seen a quickening in the fulfillment
of these verses. As we look back at the 20th Century, we see a century that
was the most brutal in the history of mankind. Two great wars were fought
causing the deaths of tens of millions of people. Hundreds of smaller wars
and conflicts have been waged and continue to this day.
The numbers and intensity of natural disasters seem to be increasing.
Elder Ballard, in his October 1992 Conference address, indicated that
disastrous earthquakes increased in every decade of the 20th century over
the previous decade, except for the 1940s. This trend appears to be
continuing in the 21st century with powerful quakes in Indonesia and Japan
creating massive tsunamis, along with devastating quakes in other parts of
the world. The intensity of storms seems to be increasing as we view the
power of hurricanes like those of Andrew (1992), Katrina (2005), Maria
(2017), and Michael (2018), or the massive typhoons in
the western Pacific.
Iniquity seems to be growing as evidenced in the media culture. What we
see in the movies today, was not believed possible only a few years ago.
Television brings into our homes a culture that is the antithesis of what
righteous people stand for. Brutality is glorified. Immorality is made to
look desirable. It is becoming increasingly evident around us. There is
ample evidence that the love of men continues to wax cold when we see
disasters such as the Oklahoma bombing, school and other mass shootings, and the tragedy of
- Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "Ours is the dispensation
of desolation and war that will be climaxed by a worldwide Armageddon of
butchery and blood at the very hour of the coming of the Son of Man. Jesus
speaks thus for the elect's sake; none others can read the signs of the times.
Carnal men will consider war as a way of life and a norm of society, not as a
scourge sent of God to cleanse the earth preparatory to the return of his Son.
"Nor is war all we face; as the crusades of carnage increase, so will the
plagues and pestilence. Famine and disease will stalk the earth. And for some
reason, as yet undiscovered by modern geologists, earthquakes will increase in
number and intensity. These are the last days, and the judgments of God are at
"All this will be because iniquity abounds. Sin is the father of all the
ills poured out upon mankind." (Mortal Messiah, 3:441)
WHY IS THERE VALUE IN KNOWING THESE PROPHECIES?
Signs of the Times
- One of the first things I do every morning is to check the weather
forecast on my computer. Having that information helps me to make appropriate
plans for the day. I often travel to other cities and will also check their
forecasts as that information helps me plan for travel and clothes to wear.
Sometimes when checking the forecast we will see that a large storm is
approaching. If it is a major storm, we want to make sure we have sufficient
supplies to help us with possible challenges. Preparing after the fact may be
I recall a few years ago when we were living in the
Pacific Northwest. An ice storm came through and knocked out the power and for
some people it turned out to be several days. Traffic came to a stop.
Eventually we were able to make it over to the market. We were surprised at
finding so many empty shelves. Trucks were unable to deliver due to the icy
roads. If we had known how severe the ice storm would be, we would have
prepared a little better. As we study and learn the prophecies, they are like
the weather forecast. They tell us of impending events and we should be
encouraged to prepare both physically and spiritually.
HOW CAN WE PREPARE FOR THE CHALLENGES BROUGHT ON BY THE FULFILLMENT OF
- As previously discussed, the Lord taught his followers to "stand in the
- WHAT ARE SOME HOLY PLACES IN WHICH WE MAY STAND? HOW WILL THESE PLACES
PROTECT US DURING THE DIFFICULTIES OF THE LAST DAYS?
- President Ezra Taft Benson: "Holy men and holy
women stand in holy places, and these holy places include our temples, our
chapels, our homes, and the stakes of Zion, which are, as the Lord
declares, 'for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath
when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth'." (Come
Unto Christ, p115)
- Consider these notes from my Old Testament outline - Lesson 48:
- If we have studied the scriptures and the words of the prophets, we
know that difficult times are ahead. Brothers Blaine and Brenton Yorgason
wrote a wonderful book entitled Spiritual Survival In The Last Days. In
the first section of the book the Yorgason brothers outline some of the
difficulties that will challenge us as we approach the time of the Second
Coming. They then list some practices that will enable us to spiritually
survive through these difficult times. These include:
- Gaining a personal testimony.
- Sincere and humble repentance.
- Following the Lord's living prophets, which includes:
- Food storage.
- President Wilford Woodruff: "Lay up your
wheat and other provisions against a day of need, for the day will
come when they will be wanted and no mistake about it. We shall want
bread, and the Gentiles will want bread, and if we are wise we shall
have something to feed them and ourselves when famine comes." (Journal
- Avoiding debt.
- President Gordon B. Hinckley: "I am
suggesting that the time has come to get out houses in order....
"I urge you, brethren, to look to the condition of your
finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline
yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible.
Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from
bondage." (General Conference, October 1998)
- Living the Word of Wisdom.
- Sexual purity.
- Temple attendance.
- Receive personal revelation.
- Strive to rear spiritually unified families.
- "And again, I say unto you that the enemy in the
secret chambers seeketh your lives. Ye hear of wars in far countries, and
you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know
not the hearts of men in your own land. I tell you these things because of
your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the
wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a
manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which
shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear." (D&C
The abomination of desolation at the Second Coming.
- READ JS-MATTHEW
1:33-36. Sign of the Son of Man.
- Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "Jerusalem, this time
besieged by the armies of the earth, shall be direly desolated. But this
time there will be a different destiny. The Lord himself will come to fight
her battles; a remnant of the people will be saved; and the Gentile
Jerusalem will become again a Jewish Jerusalem. Sodomic influences will be
consumed with devouring fire, and the New Jerusalem will become, in all her
glory and magnificence, the spiritual capital of the world." (Mortal
- President Joseph Fielding Smith: "Shall we
slumber on in utter oblivion or indifference to all that the Lord has given
us as warning? I say unto you, 'Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour
your Lord doth come'." (General Conference, April 1966)
- Elder Marion G. Romney: "By spurning the
warning and rejecting the means of escape, we shall most certainly bring
upon ourselves the predicted destruction, for the words of Jesus, 'Although
. . . heaven and earth shall pass away . .. my words shall not pass away'
are still immutable.
"On the other hand, if men will hearken to and accept
the means of escape, the gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through the
Prophet Joseph Smith, the rewards shall as certainly follow. Fears will give
way to confidence; war clouds will fade; righteousness will come; peace will
reign. Again there shall return to earth that glorious state of felicity
which blessed the Nephites in the days of Jesus." (General
Conference, April 1958)
The glories attending our Lord's return.
- READ JS-MATTHEW
1:37. Jesus to return heralded by angels.
- President Ezra Taft Benson: "Today the world
is full of alluring and attractive ideas that can lead even the best of our
members into error and deception. Students at universities are sometimes so
filled with the doctrines of the world they begin to question the doctrines of
the gospel. How do you as a priesthood leader help fortify your membership
against such deceptive teachings? The Savior gave the answer in His great
discourse on the Mount of Olives when He promised, 'And whoso treasureth up my
word, shall not be deceived'." (General Conference, April 1986,
delivered at Priesthood Leadership Meeting, April 4, 1986)
We Must Always Be Ready For the Savior’s Second Coming
When will the Son of Man come?
- READ JS-MATTHEW
- Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "So shall it be with the
destruction of the wicked, which is the end of the world. Such shall come
without warning, as a thief in the night, where the wicked and ungodly are
concerned. But with the elect of God, it is quite another matter. Though
they do not know the day or the hour, yet the season and the generation are
clearly revealed. It shall be the season and the generation in which the
signs of the times are manifest." (Mortal Messiah, 3:455)
- The following words were spoken by President Harold B. Lee at the
closing session of the October 1973 General Conference. It is interesting to
note that this was the last Conference address by President Lee given prior
to his death a couple months later. Though they were spoken decades
ago, they most certainly apply to us in the 21st Century.
"Brothers and sisters, this is
the day the Lord is speaking of. You see the signs are here. Be ye therefore
ready. The Brethren have told you in this conference how to prepare to be
ready. We have never had a conference where there has been so much direct
instruction, so much admonition; when the problems have been defined and
also the solution to the problem has been suggested.
"Let us not turn a deaf ear now, but listen to these as
the words that have come from the Lord, inspired of him, and we will be safe
on Zion's hill, until all that the Lord has for his children shall have been
accomplished." (General Conference, October 1973)
- Elder Alvin R. Dyer: "The question of the
nearness of the second coming of the Son of Man rests upon many in our
present day. In pondering the question I have often thought of three things.
The first is observed in these words of the Lord: 'But of that day, and
hour, no one knoweth; no, not the angels of God in heaven, but my Father
"There are signs, however, which indicate the nearness
of this great event. For instance, and secondly, living in the last
dispensation; we must be aware of the fact that there will not be another.
It follows that all that God has intended for the redemption and salvation
of man upon the earth through the gospel plan will culminate in this
dispensation. Actually, the Lord identifies this present day, in particular,
as a time of preparation. ... The culmination of this dispensation in the
sequence of the Lord's time will see the glorious coming of the Son of Man.
"The third condition which I often ponder concerns the
day of the gentile, which day is now, wherein the gospel is being taken to
the gentile nations of the earth, that they may, if obedient to the call,
come in and be numbered with the house of Israel.
"Ye shall not fear, for as the Lord said upon another
occasion, the gathering and the faithfulness of the Saints is for a refuge
against the awesome conditions which we must face. The Lord has given to us
the pattern in all things that we may not be deceived, for Satan is abroad
in the land and he goeth forth deceiving the nations." (General
Conference, April 1971)
Watch, Pray, Take Heed, Be Ready!
- READ JS-MATTHEW
1:49-50. Blessed are those busy in doing good.
- WHAT CAN WE DO TO PREPARE FOR HIS COMING?
- Elder Dallin H. Oaks: "What if the day of
His coming were tomorrow? If we knew that we would meet the Lord
tomorrow—through our premature death or through His unexpected coming—what
would we do today? What confessions would we make? What practices would we
discontinue? What accounts would we settle? What forgivenesses would we
extend? What testimonies would we bear? If we would do those things then,
why not now?" (General Conference, April 2004)
25:1-13. Parable of the Ten Virgins. This parable continues the Olivet Discourse which began in Matthew
24 (JS-Matthew 1).
- This story calls to mind preparations we made a few years ago to update our emergency
preparedness and food storage. Among the items in our emergency storage are
two oil lamps. In our inventory I found a half a bottle of oil. Lamp oil seems
to go a long way, but we might have been stretching it with a half bottle. On
one of my trips to Fred Meyer, I scouted around the store and found a few
bottles of lamp oil. I purchased half of the entire inventory, which amounted
to eight one quart bottles. I thought to myself, "What will people do if there
is an emergency and they have not prepared?" The stores carry enough inventory
of this type to supply only a few homes. When living in the Pacific Northwest we
sometimes had wind and ice storms that were strong enough to knock out power.
In some areas the outage could last days, validating the necessity of
such preparations. We have been counseled to prepare for such emergencies, but
the Savior is talking about something more than stocking up on lamp oil.
- Once again, the Master is using a story that the people of his time could
relate to. This parable is based on Jewish wedding customs.
- In the time of Jesus, the bridegroom and his friends would escort the
bride from her home to the home of the bridegroom.
- Along the way, the friends of the bride waited to join the wedding
- Upon arriving at the bridegroom's home, the entire party would go inside
for the wedding.
- These weddings usually took place in the evening, so those waiting for
the bride and bridegroom carried small lamps fueled by oil.
- IN THIS PARABLE, WHOM DOES THE BRIDEGROOM REPRESENT?
- WHOM DO THE VIRGINS REPRESENT?
- Members of the Church. Marvin J. Ashton, "It can
be appropriately concluded the 10 virgins represent the people of the Church
of Jesus Christ." (General Conference, April 1974)
- WHAT DOES THE WEDDING REPRESENT?
- WHAT DOES THE OIL REPRESENT?
- Our preparation for the Second Coming.
WHAT DOES THE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS TEACH ABOUT PREPARING FOR THE SECOND
- We must be preparing at all times. Procrastination is not the order of the
day. If everybody rushes out to buy lamp oil when they see the storm coming,
Fred Meyer will be overwhelmed and run out of stock within minutes. If people
had been preparing all along, Fred Meyer would have incrementally increased
their stock to meet the increased demand.
- No person knows the exact time of the Savior's Second Coming. We might
liken it to an old friend who calls and says he will drop by sometime in the
evening. You don't wait until 9:00 PM to get the house in order. You
immediately set to the task so that you will be ready whether he comes over at
7:00 or 9:00 or whatever time he arrives. Why should it be any different as we
prepare for the Second Coming? The Master is our friend who has called to say
he will drop by in the evening. It is now evening, a fact we have learned from
the prophecies in Matthew 24. Now is the time to prepare.
- Consider this familiar ancient fable, The Ant and the Grasshopper:
"In a field one summer's day a Grasshopper was
hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content. An Ant passed by,
bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.
"'Why not come and chat with me,' said the Grasshopper, 'instead of
toiling and moiling in that way?'
"'I am helping to lay up food for the winter,' said the Ant, 'and
recommend you to do the same.'
"'Why bother about winter?' said the Grasshopper; 'we have got plenty of
food at present.' But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil. When the
winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger,
while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores
they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew: It is best to
prepare for the days of necessity." (Aesop's Fables)
Heeding this ancient wisdom would be a wise move on our part. The Second
Coming is approaching as surely as winter. Now is the day to prepare.
- President Spencer W. Kimball: "The day of the
marriage feast approaches. The coming of the Lord is nigh. And there are many
among us who are not ready for the great and glorious event."(Faith
Precedes the Miracle, p257)
"Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour
wherein the Son of man cometh" (v13).
- WHAT DOES THE COMMAND TO "WATCH" MEAN TO YOU?
- One who is watching for an event is actively preparing for it. One who
is not watching is occupied with other things and is not taking the time to
prepare. Children love to "watch" for Christmas. They eagerly anticipate
opening the windows on an advent calendar. They make decorations, help mom
make cookies, and sing Christmas songs. They are watching for Christmas. We
should heed their example and be actively "watching" and preparing for the
WHY WERE THE FIVE WISE VIRGINS NOT DECEIVED?
- "And at that day, when I shall come in my glory,
shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins. For
they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit
for their guide, and have not been deceived--verily I say unto you, they shall
not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day." (D&C
- According to this verse, those that are wise receive the truth and take
the Holy Spirit as their guide.
If I am to be prepared for a future power outage, I need to have my oil lamp
filled in advance though I know not the time of such an event. It is difficult
and dangerous to perform this task once the event has arrived.
- HOW CAN WE ADD "OIL" TO OUR SPIRITUAL "LAMPS"?
- President Spencer W. Kimball: "One type of oil is
the oil of family prayer. It illuminates us and makes us bright and cheery
but is difficult to obtain at midnight. One drop or two will not keep the
lamp burning long....
"Another type of oil is the oil of fasting. The last midnight is late
to start discipling our lives in preparation for the great day of the
"Another oil is the Word of Wisdom. This too is hard to find at
midnight. One cannot hope that the drops of oil accumulated in a moment can
make up for years of neglect....
"Another oil that is not available at midnight is the indispensable oil
of home service. This rare oil of service is accumulated through visits to
the sick, through lending a helping hand.
"There is another rare, indispensable oil without which no one can be
fully prepared. We must have the proper amount of this never exhausting oil,
the oil of temple ordinance."(from an address delivered in Kansas
City, Missouri, Sep 1978 - see Church News, 05/13/95)
- WHY COULDN'T THE FOOLISH VIRGINS BORROW THE OIL THEY NEEDED?
- As we see from President Kimball's teachings, the oil consists of that
which has taken years, maybe a lifetime, to accumulate. If we are not doing
those things, now is the time to begin.
- President Joseph Fielding Smith: "In that day the
members of the Church who have not kept the commandments and thus have no
oil in their lamps are in danger of being shut out of the kingdom when the
door is shut." (Answers to Gospel Questions, 2:23)
- Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "Salvation is a personal
matter. It comes only to those who keep the commandments and whose souls are
filled with the Holy Spirit of God. No man can keep the commandments for and
on behalf of another; no one can gain the sanctifying power of the Holy
Spirit in his life and give or sell that holy oil to another. Every man must
light his own lamp with the oil of righteousness which he buys at the market
of obedience. Few doctrines are more evil and wicked than the false doctrine
of supererogation, which is, that the saints, by doing more than is
necessary for their own salvation, build up an immense treasure of merit in
heaven, which can be dispensed and assigned to others so they too can be
saved." (Mortal Messiah, 3:468)
At the Final Judgment, We Will Give the Lord an Account
of Our Lives
25:14-30. The parable of the Talents.
- WHOM DOES THE MAN TRAVELING TO A FAR COUNTRY REPRESENT?
- WHOM DO THE SERVANTS REPRESENT?
- WHAT DO THE TALENTS REPRESENT?
- In New Testament times, a talent was a sum of money.
- It represents the gifts of God to each of us.
WHAT DID THE FIRST TWO SERVANTS DO WITH THEIR TALENTS? WHAT WAS THEIR REWARD?
- Jesus teaches in this sermon that they "traded with the same" to increase
- The Greek word for trade is "ergazomai" which has these possible
meanings (from Lexicon of New Testament Greek):
- To work, labor, do work.
- To trade, to make gains by trading, "do business."
- To do, work out, exercise, perform, commit, to cause to exist,
- To work for, earn by working, to acquire.
- The reward: They were made ruler over many things and invited to "enter
thou into the joy of thy lord."
WHAT DID THE THIRD SERVANT DO WITH HIS TALENT? WHAT WAS HIS REWARD?
- Unlike the two previous servants who used their money to increase their
wealth, the third servant buried his talent to preserve it.
- Reward: His talent was taken from him and he was cast into "outer
WHAT IS THE MASTER TEACHING US?
- Many teach that all we need to obtain salvation is to believe. The Lord
has sent us to this earth for a purpose and has given us gifts. What we do
with our time on earth and with these gifts determines the reward we receive
in the hereafter. That is clearly demonstrated in this parable when the man
rewarded each of his servants by what they had done with the talents.
- Jesus is also teaching that those who seem to have fewer gifts from God
will receive every blessing if they use their gifts to the fullest.
- President James E. Faust spoke of those who seem to have received fewer
talents or gifts: "If their talents are used to build
the kingdom of god and serve others, they will enjoy the promises of the
Savior. The great promise of the Savior is that they 'shall receive [their]
reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come'
(D&C 59:23)."(General Conference, April 1994)
- Elder Marvin J. Ashton: "It is our right and
responsibility to accept gifts and share them." (General
Conference, October 1987)
- Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "There is an eternal
principle that states: Service is essential to salvation. In the parable of
the ten virgins, Jesus dramatized the truth that to gain salvation men must
keep the commandments and be guided by the Holy Spirit. Thus, Obedience is
essential to salvation. By now giving the parable of the talents, he completes
the picture. Not only must mortals keep the commandments to gain an
inheritance in the Father's kingdom, but they must also get outside themselves
in service to their fellowmen. It is one thing to be virtuous and pay tithing;
it is another to persuade others to walk in paths of purity and to make their
means available for the building up of the Lord's earthly kingdom. The Lord
will not be satisfied with the salvation of Moses alone; he expects that great
lawgiver to guide all Israel to the summit of Sinai. Both obedience and
service are essential to salvation." (Mortal Messiah, 3:468-469)
- "But with some I am not well pleased, for they will
not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them,
because of the fear of man. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against
them." (D&C 60:2)
HOW CAN WE DETERMINE WHAT GIFTS THE LORD HAS GIVEN US?
- "For all have not every gift given unto them; for
there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.
To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited
thereby." (D&C 46:11-12)
- According to the above verse we have all been given gifts. Elder Marvin J.
Ashton said: "Let me mention a few gifts that are not
always evident or noteworthy but that are very important. Among these may be
your gifts--gifts not so evident but nevertheless real and valuable.
"Let us review some of these less conspicuous gifts: the gift of asking;
the gift of listening; the gift of hearing and using a still, small voice; the
gift of being able to weep; the gift of avoiding contention; the gift of being
agreeable; the gift of avoiding vain repetition; the gift of seeking that
which is righteous; the gift of not passing judgment; the gift of looking to
God for guidance; the gift of being a disciple; the gift of caring for others;
the gift of being able to ponder; the gift of offering prayer; the gift of
bearing a mighty testimony; and the gift of receiving the Holy Ghost."(General
Conference, October 1987)
WHY DO MANY OF US HIDE THE GIFTS WE RECEIVE FROM THE LORD?
President James E. Faust: "Some of us are too
content with what we may already be doing. We stand back in the 'eat, drink, and
be merry' mode when opportunities for growth and development abound. We miss
opportunities to build up the kingdom of God because we have the passive notion
that someone else will take care of it. The Lord tells us that He will give more
to those who are willing. They will be magnified in their efforts, like the
little blue engine as it pulled the train up the mountain. But to those who say,
'We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have'."
(General Conference, October 2002)
25:31-46. Parable of the sheep and goats.
- At his Second Coming, the Lord will separate us as a shepherd separates
the sheep from the goats.
- WHOM DO THE SHEEP REPRESENT?
- Those who give their lives in service to others. These are they who
inherit the kingdom of God.
- WHOM DO THE GOATS REPRESENT?
- Those who ignore others in pursuit of their own goals.
WHAT MUST WE DO TO PREPARE FOR THE SECOND COMING AND THE DAY OF JUDGMENT?
- Elder Marion D. Hanks: "Jesus taught his followers
the parable of the sheep and the goats, representing the judgment to come, in
which he clearly identified those who will inherit 'life eternal' and those
who will 'go away into everlasting punishment' (Matthew 25:46). The key
difference was that those who should inherit the kingdom with him had
developed the habit of helping, had experienced the joy of giving and the
satisfaction of serving. They had responded to the needs of the hungry,
thirsty, homeless, the naked, the sick, and those in prison....
"Nothing would seem more clear than the high premium the Savior put upon
selfless service to others as an indispensable element of Christian conduct
and of salvation. Helping, giving, sacrificing are, or should be, as natural
as growing and breathing." (General Conference, April 1992)
- Elder Mark E. Peterson: "We are living in a
day of tribulation. Peace has been taken from the earth. Tribulation will
continue among us. It may be that you and I may never be face to face with
starvation. It may be that you and I will never look upon the forms of our
little children ... in the last stages of starvation. We may not have a trial
of that kind, but I tell you that we are being tested here and now, whether we
realize it or not. Our everyday lives are demonstrating to the Almighty
whether or not we love him, whether or not we love his children, even our
neighbors as ourselves. We are demonstrating by our lives whether we are
selfish, whether we are grasping, whether we are willing to help the other
fellow, whether we are willing to share.
"How do we measure up? Are we willing to share by
paying fast offerings? Are we willing to share by laboring earnestly in the
Church welfare program? Or are we going to drag our feet? Are we selfish? Do
we love our neighbors as ourselves? Do we live the way we pray? Are we like
the priest and the Levite in the story of the Good Samaritan? Or do we love
the Lord our God with all our hearts, realizing that we cannot love God whom
we have not seen if we do not love our brother whom we have seen?
"Yes, we are in a testing ground, testing whether or
not we are worthy to be called Saints, whether we love the Lord our God with
all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves. We are being tried to see if we
are willing, even in a time of extremity, to share, if it is our last crust of
bread, with another who is hungry. Whom have you tried to bless today?"
(General Conference, April 1947)
We add oil to our lamps by the service we give.
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Most of us have had experiences of getting caught in inclement weather
unprepared because we either failed to check the forecast or we failed to heed
it. In the Olivet Discourse, the Savior has given us the forecast. We need to,
from time to time, compare the forecast to current conditions and make
adjustments in our preparation. It is one thing to get caught unprepared in the
rain, it will be quite another if we are caught unprepared as the events of the
Last Days continue to unfold. The great storm
described by the Master has started and we need to seek out "holy places" to
give us refuge from the latter-day storm.
The Savior's Second Coming is near at hand. Though we do not know the day or the
time, it is imperative that we do not procrastinate our preparation. We must be
diligent in keeping our lamps filled by keeping the commandments, developing our
talents, and giving service to others.
Record your thoughts on the teachings in this lesson. What can you
do to be better prepared for the difficult times that will precede the return of
the Savior? What did you do this week to add oil to your lamp? What are some of
the things you will do in the coming week to add oil? What gifts and talents
have you received from the Lord? What can you do in the next few weeks to more
fully utilize those gifts and give service to others?
Resources Used In This Lesson
A New Witness for the Articles of Faith by Bruce R. McConkie
Answers to Gospel Questions, Volume 2, by Joseph Fielding Smith
Come Unto Christ by Ezra Taft Benson
Faith Precedes the Miracle by Spencer W. Kimball
Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage
Journal of Discourses
The Millennial Messiah by Bruce R. McConkie
The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, Volume 3, by Bruce R. McConkie
The New Testament Greek Lexicon - King James Version (https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/#)
This outline is provided as supplementary material and is not
intended to replace the official lesson manual. It is not endorsed by The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am wholly responsible for the content.
I do my best to see that the content is in
harmony with the teachings and doctrine of the Church.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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