This is one of a series of reviews from a Christian perspective on the weekly lessons found in the Come, Follow Me (New Testament, 2023) for Individuals and Families published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To find the index of these reviews, visit here.
Bold face type in this article comes from the Church’s curriculum. (Note: Not every sentence is being reviewed.)
November 20-26, 2023
1 and 2 Peter
Ideas for Personal Scripture Study
1 Peter 1:3–9; 2:19–24; 3:14–17; 4:12–19
I can find joy during times of trial and suffering.
The period after Christ’s Crucifixion wasn’t an easy time to be a Christian, and Peter’s first epistle acknowledges that. In the first four chapters, you’ll notice words and phrases describing hardship: heaviness, temptations, grief, fiery trial, and sufferings (see 1 Peter 1:6; 2:19; 4:12–13). But you’ll also notice words that seem joyful—you may want to make a list of what you find. For example, as you read 1 Peter 1:3–9; 2:19–24; 3:14–17; and 4:12–19, what gives you hope that you can find joy even amid difficult circumstances?
I agree, those times that are the hardest is when you can find the greatest joy when you fully depend on Jesus.
You might also read President Russell M. Nelson’s message “Joy and Spiritual Survival” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 81–84) and look for similarities between what Peter taught and what President Nelson taught. What is it about the plan of salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ that gives you joy?
In Mormonism’s “plan of salvation,” a person’s final destination is dependant on personal works. I’m not sure if this ought to give anyone “joy” because who can keep all the commandments all the time? The only Gospel of joy is the one that fully depends on Jesus and His grace to give us forgiveness of our sins. And that message is certainly not found in LDS teachings.
1 Peter 3:18–20; 4:1–6
The gospel is preached to the dead so they can be judged justly.
One day each person will stand at the judgment bar and “give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead” (1 Peter 4:5). How can God judge all people fairly when their opportunities to understand and live the gospel are so different? Notice how the doctrine that Peter taught in 1 Peter 3:18–20; 4:6 helps answer this question. How do these verses strengthen your faith in God’s fairness and justice?
To explore this doctrine further, study Doctrine and Covenants 138, a revelation President Joseph F. Smith received as he pondered these writings of Peter. What additional truths did President Smith learn?
It was obvious that these verses would be emphasized in this lesson. The idea of work for the dead is not a biblical teaching. For more information on this, visit the following sites:
2 Peter 1:1–11
Through the power of Jesus Christ, I can develop my divine nature.
Do you ever feel that becoming like Jesus Christ and developing His attributes is not possible? Elder Robert D. Hales offered this encouraging thought about how we can develop Christlike attributes: “The attributes of the Savior … are interwoven characteristics, added one to another, which develop in us in interactive ways. In other words, we cannot obtain one Christlike characteristic without also obtaining and influencing others. As one characteristic becomes strong, so do many more” (“Becoming a Disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 46).
As you read 2 Peter 1:1–11, ponder the attributes “of the divine nature” listed these verses. In your experience, how are they “interwoven,” as Elder Hales described? How do they build on each other? What else do you learn from these verses about the process of becoming more Christlike?
The link here deals with this issue and shows how this is not a biblical doctrine: 2 Peter 1:4: Can People Become Divine? And here are other verses misused by the church to teach something that the original authors were not saying: Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34: Ye are Gods
Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening
1 Peter 2:5–10.
As you read these verses with your family, consider using rocks to help family members visualize Peter’s teachings that the Savior is our “chief corner stone.” How are we like the “lively [living] stones” that God is using to build His kingdom? What do we learn from Peter about the Savior and our role in His kingdom? What is Peter’s message to your family?
These verses cited here are all about Jesus:
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”
7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
I’m not sure the questions really fit the text it’s supposed to be covering. The majority of the text is referring to Jesus. Key points in this passage include:
v. 6: The person who trusts in Jesus will never be ashamed
v. 8: If you don’t believe in Jesus and disobey His command to have faith in Him, then it will cause you to stumble.
vv. 9-10: The people of God who receive Him by faith (i.e., trusts in Him alone) who have received mercy and do not receive the due punishment owed to those who have sinned (everyone according to Rom. 3:23 and deserving of death according to Rom. 6:23).
1 Peter 3:8–17.
How can we “be ready always to give an answer” to those who ask us about our faith? Your family might enjoy role-playing situations in which someone approaches them with a question about the gospel.
Verses 15 and 16 are my life verses. Before you can do proper Christian “apologetics” (Greek: “answer”), you must “set apart Christ as Lord. I invite Latter-day Saints to study out their faith and determine the truth. If the LDS Church is true, the proof will be in the pudding. If it is not true, then there is hell (literally) to pay.
1 Peter 3:18–20; 4:6.
What can your family do to feel connected to your ancestors? Perhaps you could celebrate deceased ancestors’ birthdays by preparing their favorite meals, looking at pictures, or telling stories from their lives. If possible, you could also plan to receive ordinances for your ancestors in the temple (for help, visit FamilySearch.org).
Unfortunately, the LDS Church takes verses like these to creat a doctrine that supposedly makes them “saviors on Mt. Zion.” Yet Alma 34:32ff teaches opposite. What does a Latter-day Saint do with this passage. It says:
32 For behold, this alife is the time for men to bprepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of cthis life is the day for men to perform their dlabors.
33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many awitnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not bprocrastinate the day of your crepentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the dnight of edarkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful acrisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth bpossess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become asubjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth bseal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.
Check out this article that discusses this passage: Is it possible to choose salvation after death?
2 Peter 1:16–21.
In these verses, Peter reminded the Saints of his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration (see also Matthew 17:1–9). What do we learn from these verses about the teachings of prophets? (see also Doctrine and Covenants 1:38). What gives us confidence to follow our living prophet today?
As the writers have done so often throughout both the Old and New Testament series, they point to passages about apostles and prophets and correlate their “living” leaders to them. The context does not allow for this. It’s using the LDS presupposition to say something the original author was not saying.
Once more, this is not a “Bible study.” It is an indoctrination, with picking and choosing verses out of context (we call them “prooftexts”) to teach LDS, not biblical, doctrine. The idea of doing work on behalf of the dead or becoming divine in the next life is simply not true. A faithful member reading this series will have these false beliefs reinforced, with no critical analysis that maybe, just maybe, these teachings are wrong.