Teaching the Book of Daniel

There is so much to teach in the Book of Daniel! In this post, I’ll focus on three specific suggestions: (1) Finding one-liners, (2) Focusing on Daniel 7 (perhaps the most important chapter in Daniel and one that we often skip), and (3) Highlights from the Daniel Bible movie (if you liked the Jeremiah movie you’ll like this one too).

One Liners

Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, “The scriptures contain so many jewels over which we pass too lightly, especially some stunning one-liners.”

A one-liner is a short, simple phrase that carries a lot of power—and the Book of Daniel has several of them and it’s fun for students to be able to find and explain them.

“Daniel purposed in his heart” (Daniel 1:8)

“Stand forever” (Daniel 2:44) (Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge’s BYU Devotional on this topic is awesome!)

“But if not” (Daniel 3:18) (see this great talk by Elder Dennis E. Simmons)

“Break off thy sins by righteousness” (Daniel 4:27)

“His windows being open” (Daniel 6:10) (it’s interesting to contrast that sometimes God wants us to openly follow him in spite of royal commands, and sometimes we’re prompted to do so in secret (compare Mosiah 24:10-12).

More info on finding and teaching other about one-liners here.

Teaching Daniel 7

Daniel 7 is an exciting chapter that describes terrible beasts and how they will be conquered. Jesus Christ alluded to this chapter when he was on trial before the Jewish authorities—it’s a chapter worth understanding and teaching.

Here’s a short video I created to help explain the connections between Daniel 7 and Christ’s trial before the Jewish authorities.

The Book of Daniel – 2013 Movie

The Book of Daniel is a 2013 movie distributed by Pureflix that faithfully portrays Daniel 1-6. You can find the whole movie here. I think it would be great to watch as a family (although there are a few intense parts) If I were teaching the book of Daniel in a classroom setting, I would select a couple of short clips as variety to go along with the scripture texts and classroom discussions. Here would the clips I would be most likely to consider sharing:

Choosing not to eat the king’s meat (Daniel 1, about seven-minutes).

Daniel interpreting the king’s dream (Daniel 2, about four minutes)

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3, about three and a half minutes)

The writing on the wall (Daniel 5, about eleven minutes—it’s a longer clip, but covers a chapter many students aren’t familiar with).

Daniel and the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6, about 21 minutes, which might not be worth the class time since it’s such a well-known story.)