Gordon B. Hinckley Chapter 24: The Atonement of Jesus Christ: Vast in Its Reach, Intimate in Its Effect is the perfect lesson to have around Christmas time as well as end the year. The Atonement of Jesus Christ allows us to become clean again and start afresh. I love that we don't have to wait a whole year to really start over.
One thing I have gained more appreciation for while I was in the hospital was the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I definitely need its sustaining power as I went through so much, however, it was the sacrament that really made me ponder more. Each week we partake of the sacrament in our wards which is such a wonderful blessing. Having to request someone to bring it down to me in the hospital and having it prepared for just me really drove home the point of how individual and intimate the Atonement of our Savior really is. I hope we each remember the tremendous blessing it is to partake of the sacrament each week and put the Atonement into action in our lives.
Video at the bottom!
Questions to Ponder
Some of these questions are from the manual, others are ones that I thought of- use them in your preparation, lesson, or to help you think of your own.
- Why did Heavenly Father give us the "gift of His Only Begotten Son"? (see section 1)
- What can you do to show gratitude of this gift?
- What are your thoughts and feelings as you read President Hinckley's summary of what the Savior has done for us?
- Compare the words President Hinckley uses to describe death with the words he uses to describe resurrection (see section 2). What do you learn from the differences in these words?
- How does your testimony of the Savior's Resurrection influence your life?
- What do you learn from President Hinckley's testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ? (see section 3)
- How has the Atonement blessed you personally?
- What are your feelings as you ponder the Savior's sacrifice for you?
- What can you do to gain a better understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ? How can you help your family do the same?
Here are some articles to study as you continue to prepare for your lesson. They should NOT replace the manual but rather help answer questions and strengthen your own testimony so that it is easy to teach with confidence and answer questions that arise during your lesson.
"Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives" by President Russell M. Nelson
"Is Faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ Written in Our Hearts" by Sister Linda K. Burton
"Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease" by Elder David A. Bednar
"The Priesthood and the Savior's Atoning Power" by Elder Dale G. Renlunch
"Strengthened by the Atonement of Jesus Christ" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks
"The Atonement" by President Boyd K. Packer
DESERET BOOKSHELF PLUS RECOMMENDATIONS
Remember, as a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS member, you can access as many of these eBooks or audio books anytime. Find out more about Deseret Bookshelf PLUS.
"The Infinite Atonement" by Tad R. Callister
"Christ in Every Hour" by Anthony Sweat
"Amazed by Grace" by Sheri Dew
Testimony of Gordon B. Hinckley (about 2 1/2 minutes)- President Hinckley testifies of Jesus Christ
King of Kings (about 1 minute)- President Hinckley testifies of the Savior.
Is Faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ Written upon our Hearts? (about 1 minute)- Clip from Sister Linda K. Burton
Handel's Messiah: Debtor's Prison (about 3 1/2 minutes)- President Nelson compares our own redemption to the prisoners in debtor's prison. There are several other videos about the Atonement on this page as well.
These are my ideas. My hope is that reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
- Make a timeline of the Savior's life and divide it up into the 5 categories found in section 1. Write a few highlights in each part of the timeline as you go through it. You could also break into groups and have each one summarize a part of the timeline, thinking about a few specific words or phrases to put on the board.
- OR ask people ahead of time to prepare a summary of one of the 5 categories in section 1. If you really want to get into it, have them dress up as someone who observed the happenings at that time.
- In the intro to the chapter, President Hinckley calls the Savior several different things such as His Friend, Redeemer, etc. Use these names to tie in different parts of the lesson. Print my ornaments off on colored paper and hang them on a tree as you go through each one. Consider asking others to help you present each ornament and share their testimony of it. If you want more decorative ornaments, I love Heidi's at A Lively Hope. Hers has several different names that you could definitely tie back into the Atonement.
- Do you remember the #BecauseofHim campaign a few years back? Because of Jesus Christ, what can you do? You can write the question on the board and give everyone a sticky note to write their answer. They can post it on the board before class or save some time for people to add to it during your lesson. Then read a few and at the end of your lesson testify of all the things we have because Jesus Christ atoned for our sins.
- Use the Mormon.org Christmas campaign this year, "Light the World," to discuss some of the teachings of Jesus Christ and how we can share the light with others this year (Note: This won't be available in its entirety until November 24). The Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Resurrection is why we have light to share.
- Use these cute handouts and treat ideas to help organize and add some visuals to your lesson.
- In section 2 it states Christ "taught as none other had previously taught." What were some of the things he taught and how was it different from the norm back then? This is also a great way to tie it into "Light the World" as each day mentions a specific teaching.
- Discuss how the Atonement covers all mankind but it is specifically for the individual. It is far reaching yet intimate (see section 3).
- In section 3 it states that "the three-year ministry of the Master is prologue. The magnificent substance of the story is His sacrifice, the totally selfless act of dying in pain on the cross of Calvary to atone for the sins of all of us. The epilogue is the miracle of the Resurrection." Try dividing your lesson into these three categories.
- There are several excellent Bible videos that you could include in this lesson to help bring in the Spirit and encourage pondering. You could show a couple of the shorter ones or watch one longer one.
- There are several great scriptures to contemplate as you go through this lesson. Continue the study with these 52 Scriptures to Help You Remember the Savior All Year. Assign people ahead of time to share one of their favorite verses and what it means to them.
- Give time as suggested in section 3 (and the questions) to ponder silently the wonder and majesty of the Son of God. Then have a short testimony meeting (with approval of your Presidency).
- This would be a great lesson for a power point presentation. Grab some images from LDS.org (remember to follow their copyright as it varies on images) and Bible videos then flip through it as you go into the different sections of the chapter. You could also do a simple slideshow with music when you give time to ponder in your class.
- In the video I mention the 12 Days of The Living Christ as well as the journal page that you can print using the button below.