Lesson 43 A Chosen Generation - 1 Peter, 2 Peter, Jude
These Letters were written by Peter one of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were written to Congregations of Christians Scattered throughout Asia. These were Members of the Church who had been taught the gospel and were the Elect of God. (1 Peter 1:1-2).
Atention Activity - A Chosen Generation - Those who have taken upon them a New Name
“Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Pet. 2:9).
What does it mean to be a Chosen Generation?
Who is he talking to?
Ensign 1999 - January - Words of the Prophet - President Gordon B. Hinckley
Combined together these basic, divinely given principles, laws, and commandments must constitute your value system. If you will shape your lives according to their pattern, I do not hesitate to promise that you will know much of peace and happiness, of growth and achievement. To the degree that you fail to observe them, I regretfully say that the fruits will be disappointment, sadness, misery, and even tragedy.
You of this generation, this chosen generation, this royal priesthood, this holy nation, you of this peculiar people, you cannot with impunity follow practices out of harmony with values you have been taught. I challenge you to rise above the sordid elements of the world about you (from Ensign, May 1992, 71).
Elder Bruce R. McConkie defined a chosen generation as “not those living in a particular period or age, but … the house of Israel both anciently, in the meridian of time, and now in these latter-days. … [It includes] faithful members of the Church who have taken upon themselves the name of Christ and been adopted into his family” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1966–73], 3:294).
Thus the Chosen Generation is all people in any age that have taken upon themselves the name of Christ and have been adopted into his family. They are written to us and apply to us as they did to the people of his time.D&C 76:24
Peter himself is one of these chosen generation as well. Another interesting point concerning those who are of this chosen generation is that they are people who have taken upon them a "New" Name. Let us look a little bit into this. Peter was originally named Simon by his name was changed by Jesus to be Peter - a Stone see: Math 16:13-20.
Why did the Lord Change Peter's name?
New Name - Significance in Jewish Tradition
In Jewish Culture an individual took upon himself a new name for a variety of reasons.
- The desire to change ones fate - events bound to an individual because of choices
- The taking upon oneself a new covenant
Remove/Change the consequences bound to onself by bad choices
The idea that changing one’s name can change one’s life is part of Jewish tradition. The custom of changing a person's name, as a tribute to his achievements, or as a sign that his condition will be improved, or particularly as an aid to his recovery from illness.
This practice derives from the Gemara, the second part of the Talmud, which says: “Four things annul the decree that seals a person’s fate; namely, alms, prayer, change of name and change of deeds.”
Taking Upon oneself a new covenant:
Generally speaking a covenant may have four parts associated with it. (Very much like a treaty in Old Testament Times) - Old Testament Covenants -
- The ritual/ordinance done through the priesthood – Symbolism involved
- The promise/oath – a promise/commitment to do something, action is required
- The name – the taking upon one’s self a new name or designation – you are different afterwards - you are unbound to your previous life rewards/punishments of old choices.
- The blessing/reward/protection provided to this new life
Based upon this look again at the story in Mathew about the changing of Peter's name. This was a sign of his accomplishments(the receipt of revelation) as well as to demonstrate to him that this was a new life to him, and to remind him and us all that it is not through a man but rather through revelation that the Lord will reveal his word/doctrine to his church.
As members of the church we have done this many times. - Write this up on the board previous to class:
- Baptism symbolizes death, burial, and resurrection, and can only be done by immersion
- Witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments to the end, and repent of our sins.
- Take upon us the name of Christ
- Always have his spirit to be with us/ forgiveness of sins.
- Ordinance of marriage
- Unity in sickness/health purpose and life, total fidelity
- Bound under one name – same name one household
- Eternal Union and Eternal Family, Eternal progression – Live life like God’s Life
Oath and Covenant of Priesthood D&C 84:33-41
- Ordination – to Melchizedek Priesthood
- Magnify our callings, and fulfill our stewardships
- Take upon us the name of our office - Elder, Teacher, Priest, High Priest etc.
- All That God Hath or No forgiveness in this life or in the world to come
As a Chosen Generation and a member of the family of Christ we have a Lively Hope for Salvation:
1 Peter 1:3-9 We should be able to say as some of our Christian brothers that we are "Saved" or have a hope for salvation.
Why would the trial of our faith be more precious than Gold - vs 7?
What is the result of Salvation - the blessing promised to us? vs 9 - salvation of souls - exhaltation.
Remember that we have been saved through the precious blood of Christ - not by any merit on our behalf.1 Peter 1:18-23
Teach one another the doctrines of the Kingdom - D&C Section 88:77
Group Discussion - How should we live as we obey our covenants?.
We need to lay aside all of our evil behavors: 1 Peter 2:1-2,
As strangers and pilgrims - abstain from Fleshy Lusts Have Gentiles Know by your good works 9-12
Obey Governments and Laws of the Land 1 Peter 2:13-17
We need to endure suffering and not take it upon ourselves for vengence 1 Peter 2:19-24
Wives be subject unto husbands Husbands be kind to Wives 1 Peter 3:1-7
Compassion and Love one to another: 1 Peter 3:8-12
Sanctify ourselves - be ready to give an answer to any that ask 1 Peter 3:15-17
Elders feed the flock - not for filthy luchre - 1 Peter 5:1-4
False Teachers/Priests in Church - 2 Peter 2:1-3,10,12-19
Gain attributes of God, 2 Peter 1:4-9
We are told to make your calling and Election sure.
Peter exhorted the Saints to “give diligence to make your calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10). What does it mean to make your calling and election sure? (To receive from the Lord the assurance or promise of exaltation in the celestial kingdom. A person whose calling and election is made sure knows that he or she is “sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy” [D&C 131:5]. Joseph Smith received this promise from the Lord, as recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 132:49.)
What must we do to have our calling and election made sure?
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost (by the laying on of hands), … then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 150).
Joseph Smith's comments on this topic - BYU religious studies center