Don't you always look forward to the Easter themed lesson each year? This year it is Gordon B. Hinckley Chapter 8: Look to Christ. It interesting to me that they chose to introduce this chapter by discussing what the symbol of our religion is. It is not the cross but rather the lives of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
How does that symbolism relate to looking to Christ? As we live our lives in accordance to His teachings, when people look at us, they can instead see Christ. What a great way to look at each new day- an opportunity to represent Christ. However, that only happens as we ourselves, look towards Christ- actively, purposely look to Christ. This is a great lesson. Don't worry if you aren't teaching this at Easter after all- this lesson is great any time of the year.
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 are you grateful for the Savior's ministry and Atonement?
- What accounts and teachings from the Savior's life have special meaning to you?
- How does your testimony of Christ influence your day-to-day living?
- How can President Hinckley's 3 simple rules (section 2) help deepen your spiritual understanding?
- "What shall [you] do with Jesus who is called Christ?"
- How would your life be different if you did not know of the Savior's teachings and example?
- How has the Savior been an anchor, a rock, for you?
- When have you felt the Savior's strength and comfort?
- How is Christ your "one bright hope"?
- How is Christ your "beacon to a better way"?
- In what ways is your life a symbol of your worship?
- Do you actually believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Redeemer of the world?
- How have you come to know the Savior is real?
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.
"To Look, Reach, and Come unto Christ" by Sister Anne C. Pingree
"Look Up" by Elder Adrian Ochoa
"Look to God and Live" by President Thomas S. Monson
"The Resurrection of Jesus Christ" by Elder D. Todd Christofferson
"What Thinks Christ of Me?" by Elder Neil L. Andersen
"Jesus Christ: Our Savior and Redeemer" by President Ezra Taft Benson
"We Look to Christ" by President Gordon B. Hinckley (some of this chapter is from this talk)
I highly recommend Deseret Bookshelf PLUS. My whole family loves it! You can listen or read more LDS books about this subject and even General Conference talks. Try it out for 30 days free.
"'He Is Not Here: for He Is Risen'" (about 2 1/2 minutes)- President Hinckley speaks about the Resurrection in front of the Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.
"Jesus Is Resurrected" (about 4 minutes)- Bible video
"Look to Christ and Come Alive" (about 30 seconds)- Clip from President Hinckley
"Look to the Light" (about 4 1/2 minutes)- Personal experiences about choosing to follow Christ.
"Rescued by Christ" (about 3 1/2 minutes)- Personal story about being rescued by Christ.
"Who Is Jesus Christ? A 60-Second Overview"- Animated portrait of Jesus Christ.
This video page includes several of the Easter videos about Christ including last year's "Hallelujah", "Follow Him", and the "World's Largest Virtual #Hallelujah Choir". Great resource- This year's Easter video will be out very soon 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.
- I love that this chapter is title "We LOOK to Christ." Looking implies so much- direction, seeking, seeing with purpose. Do a looking pre-opener in your class. Place a few pictures or phrases around your room- one can be a beautiful landscape, another an inspirational quote, and finally a picture of Christ. Where did your class look when they came in? Did they see all the pictures and words? Did they look to see more once they discovered the first one? Did they look at any of them more closely? Then take the picture of Christ and ask your class to look again at it. What do they see? What feelings does it evoke? Would they like to look at it everyday? Why?
- In Section 1 (right before the photo), there is a paragraph that talks about the triumphant response to the question that everyone faces- "Where is Christ?" The simple words, "He is not here, but is risen" can bring such comfort to us all. Ask someone ahead of time to share their testimony of Christ's resurrection and what these words mean for them. You can download the He Is Risen poster to print and size as you need- make a poster for the board or print individual copies. The image is from LDS.org. You can access more posters relating to Christ's mission in my free online Easter study.
- Write the scripture in 2 Nephi 25:26 on the board and discuss each of the actions as you go through this lesson- talk, rejoice, preach, prophesy, write.
- When you discuss the Resurrection of Christ, use this list of 20 scriptures concerning the appearances of the Resurrected Christ or send it home for study.
- To discuss various scripture stories of Christ, make a Powerpoint Presentation with the images available on LDS.org (remember to follow their copyright laws). Before you show the presentation ask your class to ponder some of the questions in the manual or what example from Christ's life has the biggest impact lately on their life and discuss after the presentation.
- Since this lesson focuses on the living Son of God, you can tie in this year's Easter campaign (even if you teach it after Easter- the Resurrection isn't limited to one time a year). This year's theme is #PrinceofPeace and includes 8 principles that help us have peace in our lives. Find great resources for #PrinceofPeace from several bloggers including myself and The Redheaded Hostess.
- In discussing the resurrection of Christ, I love the questions, "Why seek ye the living among the dead?" It's a great question to ask ourselves today- Why seek ye Christ through binge watching TV shows? Why seek ye Christ through food? Why seek ye Christ through non spiritual sources? I know we don't purposely watch hours of TV in hopes of finding Christ but we may watch hours of TV seeking the comfort and peace that only Christ can provide. Are we unconsciously seeking Christ- or the promised blessings that can be ours through Christ- in the wrong places?
- Every time you go to get a temple recommend, you are given the chance to bear witness of Christ through simple yes and no questions. Give your class a similar experiences by asking the questions in section 2 out loud and asking your class to answer in their minds as you go along. It's a great way to strengthen testimony and remember what you do believe and how great it feels to believe!
- Use my 4 Resurrection Scripture Gift Tags in your lesson. Place each tag inside in a gift and ask different people to open them and read the scripture out loud then express their feelings about the scripture. You could also attach an object to it and ask them to draw a parallel.
- Make wordstrips of President Hinckley's hymn- each line on one strip. As you discuss different parts of your lesson, put a part of the hymn on the board. At the end, have your class read it with you.