Sunday School Old Testament: Lesson 25

22 March

old-testament-gospel-doctrine-teachers-manual-355700001When I opened up the link to this next study to begin my assessment of the lesson I was astonished to see that they only spent one class period in the book of Psalms. My jaw dropped to the floor as I read the advisement the class and teachers are given to “study the scriptures discussed here and as much of the book of Psalms as you can.”(Emphasis mine)

Why not just spend more time in the book rather than telling the class members and teachers to cram all they can into one class period or one week’s worth of study into one lesson?

The lesson touches on some of the prophecies fulfilled by Jesus, and their application in the Mormon’s life. In my critique of this lesson I’d like to touch on some of the things they don’t say, but in the interest of time I’ll keep my remarks short.

Jesus is our eternal high-priest

Psalms 110:4 The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

This is fulfilled in Hebrews 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Jesus is our supreme high priest, His priesthood is eternal. Hebrews 7:24-25 confirms this:

But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

It’s interesting to note that Numbers 3:6-10 says there can be only one high priest at a time. So if Jesus holds that authority now and forever how can Mormons usurp that position from Him?

Jesus is the chief cornerstone

Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

The fulfillment of this prophecy is in Matthew and Acts.

 Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

Acts 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

While Mormons say that Jesus is the chief cornerstone of their faith in reality the very basis of their religion rests on the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith. Everything about their religion hinges on whether or not he told the truth.

At General Conference in October of 1984 Gordon B. Hinckley stated:

 “I should like to speak briefly of these four essential cornerstones which anchor The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I mention first the chief cornerstone, whom we recognize and honor as the Lord Jesus Christ. The second is the vision given the Prophet Joseph Smith when the Father and the Son appeared to him. The third is the Book of Mormon, which speaks as a voice from the dust with the words of ancient prophets declaring the divinity and reality of the Savior of mankind. The fourth is the priesthood with all of its powers and authority, whereby men act in the name of God in administering the affairs of his kingdom.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, October 1984 Ensign “The Cornerstones Of Our Faith”)

If you have Jesus as the chief cornerstone for your faith what more do you need? What else needs to be added that He can’t provide?

Jesus in Gethsemane

According to Mormonism the atonement began in the garden and was carried over to the cross. However, they tend to focus mainly on Gethsemane and believe that is where Jesus actually took on, suffered, shed His blood, and atoned for our sins.

In the lesson they give Psalm 69:20 as a prophecy of Jesus in the garden and the fulfillment in Matthew 14:32-41.

Psalm 69:20 it reads:

“Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.”

 The prophecy they believe Jesus fulfilled in this verse is that He “suffered in the garden alone”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In Luke 22:43 we read:

“And there appeared an angel unto Him from Heaven, strengthening Him.”

Even though Luke is the only one who makes a reference to an angel being with Him Jesus was certainty not “alone”. God was with Him up until He was on the cross then He asks God why He has forsaken Him

In Matthew 27:46 Jesus cries out “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? (that is to say,) My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

Which is a fulfillment of Psalm 22:1 “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?”

All things are up under Jesus’ rule.

Psalm 8:6 “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet”

This is fulfilled in 1 Corinthians 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

And again in Hebrews 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

If everything is under Christ’s rule and control why do they need prophets, or the priesthood? And why did do they believe God needed Joseph Smith to restore things?

I think it all comes down to one thing, trust. They don’t Jesus to be all those things and do all the things He said He would.

In Christ,
Melissa Grimes (melissa@lifeafter.org

Reference:

Teachers Manual

Class Members Manual

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