The topic of this lesson is prophets, and it covers the books of Amos and Joel in the Bible. This lesson correlates with lesson thirty-five in the Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Sunday School Class of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. his lesson plan can be used by Sunday School or other church group teachers, Bible study groups, or individuals to enrich their study of the Bible. If you are teaching, feel free to adapt the material to the needs of your class and as prompted by the Spirit.
Scriptures (especially The Old Testament, but also The New Testament, The Book of Mormon, and The Doctrine and Covenants–abbreviated D&C)
Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Sunday School Class Teacher’s Manual of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (click here to view this portion of the lesson material online)
“Canaries with Gray on Their Wings”, Pres. Thomas S. Monson, June 2010 Ensign
As an attention activity, I asked for a few volunteers for the class. We then did a short role-play. Posing as a work colleague or friend, I asked them (one-by-one) what makes their church different from other churches, or what distinguishes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from other Christian churches. Afterwards, thank the class members for their help.
One of the main differences between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and any other church is that we have a prophet and continuing revelation today. We forget how unique and incredible this is. Most churches do not believe in contemporary revelation, nor in modern day prophets.
Write this question on the board and let members of the class answer. How has Heavenly Father always communicated with us?
Individually, we receive guidance through the Spirit. As a group, we are led by prophets. Heavenly Father has always led his people through a prophet. Throughout this Sunday School course, we’ve seen this time and again in action with prophets like Moses, Abraham, and Elijah.
Now we’ve come to the prophet Amos. Amos was alive approximately 720-740 BC. He was a simple, faithful shepherd who was called as prophet because he was pure in heart. Read Amos 7:14-15.
If you have time, you may want to discuss the fact that Amos was a shepherd previous to his ministry as a prophet. Other prophets who first labored as shepherds include David and Moses (who “kept flock” for his father-in-law, Jethro). This common and humble practice prepared these men to become shepherds of men. As shepherds, they learned to care for the needs of their flock, protect them, etc. As prophet, they needed to feed the Lord’s sheep with His word and care for and protect them.
As prophet, Amos prophesied about the apostasy and the restoration, the last days and the Second coming. He also preached repentance to the sinful Israelite nation. One of the things that he taught the people was about how the Lord communicated with them and how we should all learn the will of God.
Read Amos 3:7-8.
What is a prophet? Look at the definition in the Bible Dictionary.
If you have time, you may want to share some or all of these scriptures related to prophets and their role.
Hosea 12:10; D&C 1:38; Numbers 12:6; Luke 1:70; 1 Nephi 22:2; Acts:10:43.
Amos labored to call Israel to repentance. The prophet Joel issued a similar plea and promise to Israel that still applies to the penitent.
Read Joel 2:23-23 (what we need to do) and Joel 2:27-28 (what the Lord will do).
Throughout Old Testament times, there were prophets, culminating in the ministry of the Saviour. After the death of Christ and His apostles, the priesthood keys were lost. There was no longer a prophet. Most of the world still feels this way, but a loving Heavenly Father who never changes still wants to communicate with us.
He called a farm boy, Joseph Smith, as a prophet and through him restored the fullness of the gospel. There has been a prophet ever since.
You may want to discuss with the class and ask them if this is important and why?
Our prophet today is President Thomas S. Monson.
Ask the class if they know of anything that he has done or taught recently as prophet.
You may want to share some of his talks from the April 2010 General Conference( he taught 38 different points in his addresses in that conference). I found some of the things that he has been involved with in the past month or so, including dedicating temples in the Ukraine and Phillipines. He also oversaw the sending of church aid to areas in need, including parts of Pakistan affected by the recent floods. He and other church leaders have been in talks with Chinese government officials. In addition, he has been overseeing the meeting of the spiritual and administrative needs of the church. No single person, especially at his age, could do this on their own. He has been strengthened because he is not doing Pres. Monson’s work–he is doing the Lord’s work.
I closed by sharing extracts of his talk “Canaries with Gray on Their Wings” and bearing my testimony of our prophet today, and the importance of prophets to me.