DOWNLOAD Old Testament 2018 Teaching Plans for Gospel Doctrine Lessons 36–40 where Darryl models "Come, Follow Me" lesson plans.
“The glory of Zion will be a defense”
Now we’re going to make an assumption here— I’m going to get up to the whiteboard for just a minute. Imagine that during the week, if I was using the Come, Follow Me format, I would have sent you notes to read Isaiah 1–6, to read these sections in the Doctrine and Covenants 45:32; 87:8; 101:22 and to read 2 Nephi 11, for personal study to be ready for Sunday school today.
I would have also prompted you to watch this video: Following Prophetic Counsel (Isaiah 1-12) and read these talks
Since making this video we have added additional scriptures, talks, and videos:
Rise to Your Call, Henry B. Eyring, Oct 2002
These could all be integrated into what we’re covering today. As you can see on the screen that’s kind of your preparation where I reminded you a minute ago, you should pray and study. These would be the things that you’re reading, but if you can get your students to read them, good things will happen in the classroom.
In the youth curriculum, the instructors are supposed to connect with the seminary teacher, with the parents, with the young men or young women’s leaders, to see what they’re teaching and what dynamics are happening in the classroom. This is probably pretty challenging, but if you live in a place in the world where texting is common or if there’s email, it should be still easy to connect to members of your ward. Let them see progressively during the week the discoveries you’re making in this study.
Now, remember the thing about Isaiah that is challenging, is that we have just moved from historical chapters like Chronicles and Kings where we were looking at stories. Not so much so with Isaiah, this is going to be a little bit different.
One of the things that you need to be able to do is find your own conference talks. I selected two today as I showed you on the whiteboard, but you need to go to General Conference> Speakers> Topics as shown here:
Then you can just scroll down through or you can search a topic.
I searched ‘Stand Ye in Holy Places’ and found the talk from President Monson and the one on serving. I just typed in the word ‘serve’ and found and it replicates Isaiah experience, so that’s pretty useful.
Also, you should try and get familiar with the Old Testament video library that the church has prepared:
Lessons don’t always include those videos for you, so you may not have time to do them in class, but there’s an excellent video from Elder Ballard with this lesson that talks about Isaiah, 1 through 12, and I don’t think you should miss that out.
So, as you can see here on the screen, videos listed by scripture. This is the Old Testament videos, LDS media library, and you just need to go to that last section, search Isaiah through Malachi and check to see if there are scriptures related to what you’re teaching the rest of the year.
I’m going to remind you again as we sort of end this summary, the key is to connect with your students regularly, not just on Sunday. So, you might write people Tuesday morning, ask them to tell you about something they did at family home evening or that they are finding challenging in their family, that you could work into your lessons.
The idea is we’re not so interested in knowing everything that happens in these first 6 chapters in Isaiah, but we’re very interested in trying to make things very relevant in the classroom discussion.
I’m going to remind you once again, now that I’m moving into the actual lesson, you’re going to want to download the pre-formatted lesson plan. It’s just waiting there if you’ll click.
One of the things that Teaching, No Greater Call (p. 164) suggests is that we start with an object lesson. And I have to tell you I was charmed by this one.
Sunday School Object Lesson
So, my wife always liked Whitman’s Samplers; a little, teeny Whitman’s Sampler has 4 chocolates in it. She grew up in a family of 8, six of them were girls. So that’s what their dad would buy them, as kind of as a little token gift. My problem with the way most of us in the church approach Isaiah is that that’s about the most we’ll do, is take a sampler.
We recently conducted a survey at SearchIsaiah, where we asked people if they skip, skim or read Isaiah. Two-thirds of the church responded that that’s what they did, but not study Isaiah.
Christ has commanded us to study Isaiah diligently; let me just show you what you’re really missing. Having a Whitman’s Sampler is fine, but the idea here is if you take all of Isaiah, you get all of this, plus another layer underneath. There are treats waiting for you galore in Isaiah if you’ll really search it diligently.
Sunday School Lesson Introduction
A couple of background things before we jump in and I think this is important in each of your classes, before you break into the group discussions, try to give people some background. I want you to know that the book of Isaiah is not chronological, it’s kind of like teachings of the prophets that we’ve been studying the last few years in relief society and priesthood, sort of a collection of talks or thoughts.
That presents some challenges for some people because it seems odd that things present that way. For example, when we read chapter 6 today, Isaiah receives his call and you start asking yourself, well, why isn’t that in chapter 1? Well, section 1 of the Doctrine and Covenants wasn’t given first, it was given later. So, it’s that same kind of thing.
Also, in the background, Isaiah served during the reign of four kings:
The first king was okay, the next was bad—evil, then a king that was righteous and good, and then a king that was very bad. Bad enough, according to tradition, to put Isaiah in a log and saw him in half and that was the end of Isaiah.
Isaiah served longer than most other prophets did, and he served in the king’s court. There were other contemporary prophets like Micah and other prophets around the country also teaching and preaching. He served in a time of war and fear.
The twelve tribes were not a unified nation anymore. The northern tribes, known as Israel, were being threatened and eventually taken captive by Assyria.
So, let’s take a little step back and get a feel for what we’ve covered. The first 1000 years in the Old Testament that we’ve been talking about over the last few months, we’ve talked about the creation and Adam and Eve and raising their children. And we’ve talked about Noah and the flood. And then we moved to the Patriarchs with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, and the Israelites all being led into Egypt then being let out, and how Joshua brought them back into Israel. And how judges had now ruled for 500 or 600 years. And these were great times.
But the Israelites wanted kings and so contrary to what the Lord asked, Samuel and Saul and David and Solomon all became kings. This is the period in Israel’s time of the golden age, when the temple was built and where a great deal of wealth and commerce came into being. In fact, it was during Solomon’s reign that instead of land and food or grain, wealth was measured by money. So that was a big change.
Then the kingdom split, one of Solomon sons, Rehoboam served as the king of Judah, and that was primarily the tribe of Judah, Benjamin and there were Levites and a few others. And then the king of Israel was a servant of Solomon, Jeroboam, Then another series of their kings came quickly in the northern kingdom. Within about a 200-year period, they were decimated as a country and lead northward into Assyria and assimilated. We know them as the lost ten tribes.
Isaiah served during king Uzziah, Ahaz, Hezekiah and Manasseh’s periods, almost 40 years, it’s a really long term of service. All during this period, as you can see here on the map, Assyria was coming further and further south until they eventually were at the gates of Jerusalem as depicted.
Assyria was a brutal nation and just a world power. So, when Isaiah talks about Assyria, he’s talking about that kind of power, later he talks about Babylon, that’s more about economic wealth.
Those are some good insights in the background.
I’d like to remind you once again that the lesson outline can be a little confusing at this point because we’re breaking into discussion groups. I’m going to model three kinds for you, so you ought to download the lesson plan. It’s available right here if you’ll just click it.
Sunday School Classroom Discussions
Obviously, an easy way to get six discussion groups is using the six chapters in Isaiah. Victor Ludlow recommended that a way to get into Isaiah’s chapters pretty simply is to read the chapter headings. So, if you divided your group up that way and gave them the scripture assignments and you let them discuss one chapter each and maybe do the comparative chapters in 2 Nephi, (2 Nephi from chapter 12 forward will cover these same 6 chapters).
Only chapter 1 won’t have a parallel chapter in the Book of Mormon, but there’s plenty of chapter 1 for discussion. So, let me just read you one heading so you have an idea. This is chapter 1:
“The people of Israel are apostate, rebellious, and corrupt; only a few remain faithful—The people’s sacrifices and feasts are rejected—They are called upon to repent and work righteousness—Zion will be redeemed in the day of restoration.”
In this chapter, this is Isaiah 1, but we’re just looking at that little chapter heading. In this particular chapter, Isaiah starts to introduce us already to some very powerful images he uses. He talks about ‘crimson and scarlet.’ And he talks about ‘snow and white as wool.’
Those contrasts help us begin to explore the atonement which is a major theme of Isaiah if you really take time to ponder and study it.
The second way we could divide up is into study groups. This based on the actual lesson as you can see here we have five study groups, each with a series of scriptures to read and a conference talk.
||3. Isaiah describes the condition of the world in the last days.|
|2. Isaiah describes the condition of the world in the last days.||4. The gathering of Israel in the latter days.
5. Isaiah responded willingly to his call to be a prophet.
Give your class members maybe 10 minutes, 15 if you can afford it, to talk these through after you’ve done a quick orientation.
In that orientation that I did at the beginning only took 10 minutes. So, in your class period, if you have 30 minutes left, give them 15 minutes of study time. Then let them report.
Stand Ye in Holy Places is one of the topics. Isaiah describing the condition of the world in the last days. I split that into two parts because there were so many verses. And then the gathering of Israel and the focus on a President Nelson’s worldwide devotional. And then Isaiah’s willingness to accept his call to be a prophet after he accepted the atonement.
This particular lesson has an unusually good service for us in the section called the additional teaching, which you can see her on the screen. There are 6 topics, making our religious observances acceptable to the Lord. It’s a great and relevant discussion for your classroom. The blessings of forgiveness, avoiding worldliness and appearance and calling evil good, and good evil, being wise in our own eyes and understanding his hand stretched out still, which could be a hand reaching to us or a hand ready to slap us for being bad.
Sunday School Lesson Conclusion
At this point in the lesson, I want to introduce you to a Search Isaiah tool called a Search Hack. And this is Hack #1, I’m going to play it for you right now:
This lesson features Search Hack 1. Show it to your class using Facebook, to avoid LDS Church firewalls that block Youtube
“The book of Isaiah in the Old Testament is purposefully difficult to read because of the many powerful truths and prophecies it contains, but that’s exactly why we are commanded to search it.
“In 3 Nephi 23: 1, the resurrected Christ is visiting the Nephites in the Americas. He says, ‘A commandment I give unto you that you search these things diligently for great are the words of Isaiah.’
“Isaiah is the only scripture, Christ himself tells us to search. And Jesus wasn’t the only one, Nephi, Jacob and Abinadi collectively quote 19 full chapters of Isaiah plus other select passages.
“You can download this study bookmarked pdf in the description that shows where these sections of the Book of Mormon are. Then in your library app, use the tag tool writing Isaiah in the tag then make the tag brown to denote the passages quoting Isaiah, whether it’s a full chapter or a verse.
“Isaiah is also quoted up to 70 times in the New Testament and 5 times in the April 2018 General Conference.
“As you study Isaiah, ask yourself, how can we apply Isaiah to things happening in our day? You decide.”
I hope you enjoyed that search hack and summary. There are 5 of these hacks, 1 for each lesson. We hope they’ll help you learn to use the Gospel App a little better.
This particular one introduces us to Isaiah as the most quoted prophet. He’s the most quoted in the Book of Mormon, most quoted in the New Testament by Jesus, and he’s quoted a great deal by our own general authorities.
Sunday School Home Study
It also covered the command where Jesus commanded us to search diligently, not to try the Whitman’s Sampler, but to get in the whole box and dive deep. We also introduced you to a tool in the gospel library app called the tag tool. We’re going to show you how to mark your scriptures over the next few weeks in your gospel library because so many of you are using handheld devices.
Also, to help you with your diligent study, I’ll give you links and direct you to SearchIsaiah.org, Discover with Darryl.
As you can see here in the first column I give you the King James version, the comparison with the Book of Mormon and a piece of commentary, and that’s going to help you a little bit.
I’m going to remind you now, what Jesus said about searching diligently in 3 Nephi. He said, “great are the words of Isaiah” and it’s the only place that we’re commanded to read another prophet’s scripture. Jesus obviously believes in what Isaiah had to say. He quoted him extensively in his appearance among the Nephites and then commanded us all to study diligently.
I testify the words of Isaiah teach us things about the latter-days. Studying his counsel, we learn to stand in holy places and avoid the evils of the world. By following his example, we will be more willing servants of our Father in heaven.
I remind you once again, if you’re a Sunday school instructor, you can download this lesson and get all 5 Isaiah lesson plan and slides in a Come, Follow Me format for Gospel Doctrine Lessons 36-40 by clicking this link.
Teaching a Sunday School class? Worried about the “Come Follow Me” next year. Isaiah Lessons (Lessons 36-40)? Don’t miss this opportunity to teach something valuable, with these full lesson plans.