Monday, September 8, 2014

Heavenly Father Reveals His Gospel in Every Dispensation (PMG Lesson 1 Principle 3)

Lesson 1 Principle 3: Heavenly Father Reveals His Gospel in Every Dispensation

Once there was a man named Adam, the very first man on earth.  Because Adam was obedient, God gave him the priesthood, which is the authority to administer the ordinances of the gospel.  God also called him to be a prophet and teach his descendants (children) the gospel.
      Sing the first verse of Follow the Prophet (CS p. 110).
One way God shows His love for us is by calling prophets to teach us the gospel.  But God also loved us enough to give us all the gift of agency, which means we can choose whether to accept or reject the gospel.  What happens when someone chooses to NOT follow the prophet?  They will go "astray".  What does that word mean?  When people choose to ignore or disobey the gospel, they distance themselves from God and begin to live in spiritual darkness.  Eventually this leads to "apostasy".
       Sing the chorus of Follow the Prophet
Did the people listen to Adam?  Did they follow the prophet?  No.  Eventually, there was so much apostasy on the earth that God withdrew his authority to preach the gospel from the earth.  It was the end of Adam's dispensation. (A dispensation is a period of time starting with the calling of a prophet and ending with widespread apostasy.)

But all was not lost! Several years later, God found another obedient man to call as a prophet.  His name was Noah. (Have someone tell the story of Noah.) Noah began a new dispensation of preaching the gospel.
     Sing the Noah verse and chorus.
Did the people listen to Noah?  Did they follow the prophet?  No.  But what about Noah's descendants after the flood?  Eventually, most of them went astray, and once again the priesthood authority to preach the gospel was removed from the earth.

But God still loved His children.  So as soon as the people were ready, he called another prophet to begin a new dispensation.  His name was Abraham.  God called Abraham to restore what had been lost and to teach the gospel anew.  (Have someone tell what they know about Abraham.)
     Sing the Abraham verse and chorus.
Did Abraham's descendants obey the gospel?  Eventually, they too rejected the gospel, and once again, the gospel stopped being preached on the earth.  It was the end of Abraham's dispensation.

But God continued to love His children.  So he watched and waited for someone who could again preach His gospel with authority.  So he called Moses as a prophet.  (Have someone tell about Moses.)
     Sing the Moses verse and chorus.
Did the children of Israel listen to Moses?  Did they keep the commandments?  No, they didn't.   They became more and more wicked until they too fell into apostasy and the true gospel was once again forgotten.

Throughout history, there have been MANY instances of God speaking to prophets, as well as MANY instances of apostasy. But through it all, one thing is sure: God loves His children.  He continues to call prophets so that His children can have access to the gospel and priesthood ordinances.  That pattern continues today with our prophet, Thomas S. Monson.
     Sing the final verse and chorus.

Our scripture this week is Amos 3:7 (printable scripture)
"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."

What does this scripture mean?  Could you rephrase it in your own words?
Why is it important to know that?  Think of the chorus of the song.  How does this scripture relate to "He knows the way"?

Bear testimony.

Optional activity #1: The song Follow the Prophet was based on a Jewish folk song.  Learn to dance the hora while singing the chorus. (there are many tutorials online)

Optional activity #2: Learn the verses for the other prophets (Enoch, Samuel, Jonah, Daniel) or write your own verses for Book of Mormon prophets or Latter-day prophets.  Here are some of my favorite extra verses to try:

Nephi was a prophet, Sent to get the plates.
He dressed up as Laban by the city gates.
Nephi was courageous, valiant, and true -
What the Lord commanded, he would go and do.

Samuel was a prophet, Lamanite by birth,
Prophesied the time when Christ would come to earth.
Tried to cry “Repentance!” Shouted from the wall.
Many would not listen, tried to make him fall.

Moroni was a prophet, last to tell his tale;
finished up the gold plates, hid them really well.
Came to Joseph Smith and taught what he should do
To bring the Book of Mormon unto me and you.

Joseph Smith the prophet- first one in our day;
He saw God and Jesus when he knelt to pray.
Asking with great faith to know which church was true,
Jesus said “Join none; The truth shall come through you.”

Thomas S Monson has a gentle heart.
Visiting the sick, He always does his part.
Now he is our prophet loyal, kind and true
If we serve as he does, we'll be happy too.

Here is a doctrinal verse I wrote to go along with Preach My Gospel:
Heavenly Father loves us, wants us to return
So he gives us prophets who help us to learn
In each dispensation, we can know what's true
If we heed the prophets, we'll know what to do

-- Sing Follow the Prophet
-- Recite the scripture: "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."  Amos 3:7
-- Assign a family member one of the following:

1.  (for a teenager)  Look up "Dispensations" in the Bible dictionary.  Explain what you learned.  Bear your testimony.

2.  Read D&C 1:37-38.  Rephrase it in your own words.  What does it teach about prophets?  Bear your testimony.

3.  Read Luke 1:70.  What important principle does this teach about prophets?  Bear your testimony.

4.  Read, recite, or sing the 9th Article of Faith.  What does this teach about prophets and revelation? Bear your testimony.

5. (for an older child)  Read Acts 10:34-35.  What does it mean when it says "God is no respecter of persons"?  How does this relate to prophets and dispensations?  Bear your testimony.

6.  (for a teenage boy)  Study the doctrinal topic "Prophets" for your Duty to God.  Teach what you have learned.  Bear your testimony.

7.  Sing the first verse of "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet" (Hymn #19).  Bear your testimony of prophets and obedience to the gospel.

8.  (for a younger child) Choose a prophet to teach us about and tell why you are thankful for that prophet's teachings.  Bear your testimony.

9.  (for a young child)  Place pictures of the old testament prophets around the room.  Sing Follow the Prophet and walk from prophet to prophet as each verse is sung.  Pretend like you are walking through dispensations of time.  Bear your testimony.

10.  Read Mormon 9:9.  What does it mean when it says "God is the same yesterday, today, and forever?"  How does this relate to prophets and dispensations?  Bear your testimony.

11.  Read Matthew 10:40.  This is Christ sending His apostles to preach the gospel.  What is He saying?  Bear testimony of prophets.

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