“A Kingdom, Which Shall Never Be Destroyed”

Lesson 46 – Daniel 2

 

Introduction

Review the following growth statistics of the Church over the years:

 

 

6 April 1830

1880

1930

1980

1995

2000

Members

6

133,628

670,017

4,639,822

9,340,898

11,000,000+

Languages with published editions of the Book of Mormon

1

10

16

44

88 …

39 full and 49 partial translations

100 …

61 full and 39 partial translations

Stakes

0

23

104

1,218

2,150

2,581

Missions

0

10

30

188

307

334

Temples in operation

0

1

7

19

47

102

 

Daniel, an ancient prophet foresaw this triumph of God’s kingdom on earth—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Understanding his vision should strengthen our testimony of the restored Church of Jesus Christ and encourage us to help continue to build the kingdom of God on earth.

 

Daniel was shown King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and given its interpretation.

 

King Nebuchadnezzar had a troubling dream one night. He tested his advisers by telling them that he had forgotten it and commanding them to reveal it and its interpretation (Daniel 2:2-5; see footnote 5a). When they said that they could not describe the dream, Nebuchadnezzar ordered the death of all the wise men of Babylon, including Daniel and his friends (Daniel 2:10-13). When the king’s captain came to take Daniel to be slain, Daniel went to the king and asked for time to interpret the dream (Daniel 2:14-16).

Daniel prepared to interpret the king’s dream by asking his friends to pray with him.

Consider how the prayers of family members and friends have helped you in times of need.

Daniel 2:19, 27-28 - The prayers of Daniel and his friendss were answered in a vision.

Daniel 2:20-23 - After receiving the vision of the kinng’s dream, Daniel praised God immediately.

His words reveal his feelings of respect, reverence, and gratitude toward God.

It is important to show gratitude to the Lord because he has told us that he is offended when we are not grateful.

Daniel 2:2, 19-23, 28 – These verses contrast the sources to which Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar turned when they sought answers to questions.  The King chose to consult magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, while Daniel turned to the source of all truth and knowledge. 

Some people today certainly turn to questionable sources when they need help answering difficult questions or making decisions—like 1-800-psychic.  Lack of faith or lack of knowledge keeps many people from seeking God’s guidance in such situations.

 

Daniel described and interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

 

Daniel 2:31-33 - Daniel described the great image thatt the king had seen in his dream.

Daniel 2:31-45 - Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream included the ffollowing: 
“A stone … cut out without hands” (Daniel 2:34), Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon, Cyrus the Great, Media and Persia, Philip and Alexander the Great, Greece, The Roman Empire, and a group of European nations.

 

Daniel 2:36-43 The different parts of the image represented different kingdoms that would succeed each other as world powers. The following interpretation was provided by President Spencer W. Kimball:

·         The head of gold represented Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom of Babylon.

·         The breast and arms of silver represented Cyrus and his kingdom of Media and Persia.

·         The belly and thighs of brass represented Philip and Alexander and the Greek or Macedonian kingdom.

·         The legs of iron represented the Roman Empire.

·         The feet of iron and clay represented a group of European nations. (Ensign, May 1976, 8.)

In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, a stone destroyed the image that represented the earthly kingdoms. (See Daniel 2:34-35.)

 

Daniel 2:44-45; D&C 65:2 - The “stone … cut out without hands” represented The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  President Kimball taught: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was restored in 1830. … This is the kingdom, set up by the God of heaven, that would never be destroyed nor superseded, and the stone cut out of the mountain without hands that would become a great mountain and would fill the whole earth” (Ensign, May 1976, 8-9).

 

Daniel 2:34-35, 44 - Daniel prophesied that the Church in the latter days would consume the earthly kingdoms while it became a great mountain that would stand forever.

 

Daniel prophesied that the Church would:

Daniel 2:34 – In saying that the stone would be “cut out without hands”, the message was that it would not be man-made.

Certainly the restored Church of Jesus Christ is like a stone cut out without hands because it is a heavenly creation, not made by men, not run by men, but created by a loving God as a means to teach his children how to return to him and provide the ordinances and authority that would make that possible.

 

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said: “Our Lord and Savior stands at the head of this church and directs it through his servants. This is the Lord’s church; it is not a church of men” (Ensign, Nov. 1993, 5).

 

Daniel’s prophecy that the Church will “fill the whole earth” and “never be destroyed” continues to be fulfilled today. 

President Gordon B. Hinckley testified: “This Church is true. It will weather every storm that beats against it. It will outlast every critic who rises to mock it. It was established by God our Eternal Father for the blessing of His sons and daughters of all generations. It carries the name of Him who stands as its head, even the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. It is governed and moves by the power of the priesthood. It sends forth to the world another witness of the divinity of the Lord. Be faithful, my friends. Be true. Be loyal to the great things of God which have been revealed in this dispensation” (Ensign, Sept. 1985, 6).

 

 

Conclusion

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth and Jesus Christ leads it. The Lord wants and expects us to participate in building God’s kingdom on earth.

 

These lessons are posted on the Internet at http://www.geocities.com/jeninstitute/