This week's FHE lesson topic comes from the Come, Follow Me reading in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19. Check out this week's Come, Follow Me study ideas on LDS Living for additional resources and suggestions.
“If we could truly understand the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, we would realize how precious is one son or daughter of God.”
(M. Russell Ballard, “The Atonement and the Value of One Soul,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004)
“And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39).
Share the following statement with your family: “President Ezra Taft Benson said that what transpired in the Garden of Gethsemane ‘was the greatest single act of love in recorded history.’” (Church News, May 27, 1995, 14.) Write the following question where all can see it: “How was the Atonement the greatest act of love?” Ask family members to ponder that question as they take turns reading Matthew 26:36–46. Then ask them what they learned.
When finished, tell your family that other scriptures give added insights into what took place in Gethsemane. Invite family members to write the following references in the margin of their scriptures: Luke 22:39–44; Doctrine and Covenants 19:16–19; Mosiah 3:7; Alma 7:11–13; and Isaiah 53:3–5. Have family members take turns reading aloud some or all of the references. Share the following quotations:
Elder James E. Talmage: “Christ’s agony in the garden is unfathomable by the finite mind [cannot be understood by mortal man], both as to intensity and cause. . . . He struggled and groaned under a burden such as no other being who has lived on earth might even conceive as possible. It was not physical pain, nor mental anguish alone, that caused Him to suffer such torture as to produce an extrusion of blood from every pore; but a spiritual agony of soul such as only God was capable of experiencing. No other man, however great his powers of physical or mental endurance, could have suffered so; for his human organism would have succumbed, and . . . produced unconsciousness and welcome oblivion. In that hour of anguish Christ met and overcame all the horrors that Satan, ‘the prince of this world,’ could inflict. . . . In some manner, actual and terribly real though to man incomprehensible, the Savior took upon Himself the burden of the sins of mankind from Adam to the end of the world.” (Jesus the Christ, 613.) Ask:
Why was Jesus willing to suffer so much? (See John 15:13)
How does it make you feel to know Jesus did this for you and me?
How can you show your love and gratitude in return?
Share your feelings about the Atonement and allow time for other family members to share their feelings.
(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The New Testament, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006])