Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Lesson - What can I learn from living prophets and apostles? - What I Did.

*  Before class, I wrote on the board, "Why is it important to listen to general conference?"

1.  Making Connections

I handed out the following worksheet at the beginning of class.  I had answers of my own prepared in case they couldn't think of anything themselves, just to kind of give them an example of what I wanted them to think about, but they did really well without needing my help.  Here's the worksheet:

Making Connections

Directions: Write the answers to each of these questions in the spaces provided.

1.  Share a recent experience in which someone asked you a question about the gospel. How did you respond?




2.  Be prepared to tell us about a talk that impressed you from the most recent general conference. Why was is meaningful to you? (Below is a list of talks and names of the speakers to help refresh your memory.)





Saturday Morning Session

Welcome to Conference By President Thomas S. Monson
These Things I Know By President Boyd K. Packer
A Sure Foundation By Bishop Dean M. Davies
We Are Daughters of Our Heavenly Father By Elaine S. Dalton
The Savior Wants to Forgive By Elder Craig A. Cardon
“This Is My Work and Glory” By Elder M. Russell Ballard
“Come unto Me” By President Henry B. Eyring 

Saturday Afternoon Session

For Peace at Home By Elder Richard G. Scott
Personal Peace: The Reward of Righteousness By Elder Quentin L. Cook
The Lord’s Way By Elder Stanley G. Ellis
The Gospel to All the World By Elder John B. Dickson
We Believe in Being Chaste By Elder David A. Bednar
Catch the Wave By Elder Russell M. Nelson 

Priesthood Session

Stand Strong in Holy Places By Elder Robert D. Hales
The Power of the Priesthood in the Boy By Elder Tad R. Callister
Your Sacred Duty to Minister By David L. Beck
Four Titles By President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
We Are One By President Henry B. Eyring
Come, All Ye Sons of God By President Thomas S. Monson 

Sunday Morning Session

The Hope of God’s Light By President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
It’s a Miracle By Elder Neil L. Andersen
The Words We Speak By Rosemary M. Wixom
Marriage: Watch and Learn By Elder L. Whitney Clayton
Obedience to Law Is Liberty By Elder L. Tom Perry
Obedience Brings Blessings By President Thomas S. Monson 

Sunday Afternoon Session

“Lord, I Believe” By Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Followers of Christ By Elder Dallin H. Oaks
The Father and the Son By Elder Christoffel Golden Jr.
The Home: The School of Life By Elder Enrique R. Falabella
Being Accepted of the Lord By Elder Erich W. Kopischke
Beautiful Mornings By Elder Bruce D. Porter
Redemption By Elder D. Todd Christofferson
Until We Meet Again By President Thomas S. Monson 

General Young Women Meeting

Your Holy Places By Ann M. Dibb
When You Save a Girl, You Save Generations By Mary N. Cook
Be Not Moved! By Elaine S. Dalton
Your Wonderful Journey Home By President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

The kids were glad that I provided a list.  It helped to jog their memories a little bit.  I had the Mia Maid/Teacher group in with my class, so it was a bigger group, but I felt impressed to have each and every student share their answers.  It took a little while, but the Spirit was there, everyone was listening to everyone else, and the kids shared some really neat things.  A couple of girls pulled out little journals where they had written notes from conference and referred to those.  (These kids are incredible!!)  In fact, this activity ended up taking the entire time!!  But I kept feeling like we needed every person to share.  So I went with it. You gotta go with those feelings.  Here is what I had prepared for the rest of the lesson:
2.  Why it's important to listen to general conference 
I was just going to point to the question on the board and have them come up and write down as many answers that they could think of - just like the lesson suggested.  
Then I was going to hand out some scripture references and snippets of President Monson's talk, "As We Gather Once Again."  Here were the slips of paper I was going to hand out:
Read the following scripture. Look in the scripture for reasons we listen to general conference. If you find something in your scripture that hasn't been listed on the board yet, go to the board and write it down. If you find something in your scripture that's already been listed, go to the board and put an asterisk next to it.


Mosiah 8:16-18


Read the following scripture. Look in the scripture for reasons we listen to general conference. If you find something in your scripture that hasn't been listed on the board yet, go to the board and write it down. If you find something in your scripture that's already been listed, go to the board and put an asterisk next to it.


D&C 1:38


Read the following scripture. Look in the scripture for reasons we listen to general conference. If you find something in your scripture that hasn't been listed on the board yet, go to the board and write it down. If you find something in your scripture that's already been listed, go to the board and put an asterisk next to it.


D&C 68:3-4


Read the following portion of President Thomas S. Monson's talk from April's General Conference, “As We Gather Once Again.” Look for reasons we listen to general conference. If you find something in this section of the talk that hasn't been listed on the board yet, go to the board and write it down. If you find something in this section that's already been listed, go to the board and put an asterisk next to it.


My beloved brothers and sisters, as we gather once again in a general conference of the Church, I welcome you and express my love to you. We meet each six months to strengthen one another, to extend encouragement, to provide comfort, to build faith. We are here to learn. Some of you may be seeking answers to questions and challenges you are experiencing in your life. Some are struggling with disappointments or losses. Each can be enlightened and uplifted and comforted as the Spirit of the Lord is felt.


Read the following portion of President Thomas S. Monson's talk from April's General Conference, “As We Gather Once Again.” Look for reasons we listen to general conference. If you find something in this section of the talk that hasn't been listed on the board yet, go to the board and write it down. If you find something in this section that's already been listed, go to the board and put an asterisk next to it.


Should there be changes which need to be made in your life, may you find the incentive and the courage to do so as you listen to the inspired words which will be spoken. May each of us resolve anew to live so that we are worthy sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. May we continue to oppose evil wherever it is found.


Read the following portion of President Thomas S. Monson's talk from April's General Conference, “As We Gather Once Again.” Look for reasons we listen to general conference. If you find something in this section of the talk that hasn't been listed on the board yet, go to the board and write it down. If you find something in this section that's already been listed, go to the board and put an asterisk next to it.


Now, my brothers and sisters, we have come to be instructed and inspired. Many messages will be shared during the next two days. I can assure you that those men and women who will address you have sought heaven’s help and direction as they have prepared their messages. They have been inspired concerning that which they will share with us.


Read the following portion of President Thomas S. Monson's talk from April's General Conference, “As We Gather Once Again.” Look for reasons we listen to general conference. If you find something in this section of the talk that hasn't been listed on the board yet, go to the board and write it down. If you find something in this section that's already been listed, go to the board and put an asterisk next to it.


Our Heavenly Father is mindful of each of us and our needs. May we be filled with His Spirit as we partake of the proceedings of this conference. This is my sincere prayer in the sacred name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.


Here are the notes I took in my notebook.  I was going to add any of the following points if the kids missed writing them down:

Mosiah 8: 16 - 18 - a prophet can make past, future, and hidden things known.
                             - a prophet can work miracles
                             - a prophet can greatly benefit others.
D&C 1:38 - the Lord's words are spoken through the prophet
D&C 68: 3 - 4 - what the prophets speak are scripture
                     - prophets are the voice of the Lord
                     - prophets bring us salvation
As We Gather Once Again - Paragraph 1 - we are strengthened
                                                                - we are encouraged
                                                                - we are comforted
                                                                - our faith is built
                                                                - to learn
                                                                - get answers to our questions
                                          - Paragraph 2 - helps us want to change
                                          - Second-to-last paragraph - speakers are inspired by the Spirit
                                                                                       about what to share
                                          - Last paragraph - we can feel the Spirit


3.  Challenges of the Youth Today

I did this activity last August.  You can find that lesson plan here. The lesson plan they gave us last August was a little different, but you can see what I did last year, if you want.  I did something completely different during the first half, and I did the following activity for the second half.  When I saw they still suggested that the kids search this recent conference for answers to challenges that the youth face, I pulled out the posterboard that I had made last year, but I changed the challenges and responses to match this most recent conference.  I taped the challenges to the board, and then I was going to hand out the responses to these challenges to each of the kids.  Then I was going to have them match the answers to the challenges.  When we did this activity last year, it went really well.


So here are the challenges and the answers to the challenges that I found in this last conference:


Jane has a lot of problems in her family life. She feels a lot of sorrow and a lot of worry as a result of her family members' choices. What can she do to dissipate the darkness that she feels all around her?

First, start where you are. The very moment you begin to seek your Heavenly Father, in that moment, the hope of His light will begin to awaken, enliven, and ennoble your soul.5 The darkness may not dissipate all at once, but as surely as night always gives way to dawn, the light will come.

Second, turn your heart toward the Lord. Lift up your soul in prayer and explain to your Heavenly Father what you are feeling. Acknowledge your shortcomings. Pour out your heart and express your gratitude. Let Him know of the trials you are facing. Plead with Him in Christ’s name for strength and support. Ask that your ears may be opened, that you may hear His voice. Ask that your eyes may be opened, that you may see His light.
Third, walk in the light. God sent His Son to this earth to illuminate the way and show us how to safely cross the stumbling blocks placed in our path. He has given us the gospel, which teaches the way of the disciple. It teaches us the things we must know, do, and be to walk in His light, following in the footsteps of His Beloved Son, our Savior.
As we seek to increase our love for God and strive to love our neighbor, the light of the gospel will surround and uplift us. The darkness will surely fade, because it cannot exist in the presence of light. As we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.6 And day by day, the hope of God’s light will grow within us, “brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”7

- Elder Dieter Uchtdorf, April 2013 General Conference, “The Hope of God's Light”

Lately, John has become a little lazy about church stuff. He's been slacking off in his scripture reading and personal prayer, and though he goes to church, he daydreams and doodles on a piece of paper the whole time and doesn't participate.

All who strive earnestly to follow the Christ are called His disciples. Although we recognize that none of us are perfect, we do not use that fact as an excuse to lower our expectations, to live beneath our privileges, to delay the day of our repentance, or to refuse to grow into better, more perfect, more refined followers of our Master and King.

  • Elder Dieter Uchtdorf, April 2013 General Conference, Priesthood Session, “Four Titles”

Janice is often frustrated by the lack of spirituality in her seminary class. She finds it difficult to improve her spirituality when others are so disruptive, and it angers and frustrates her a lot.

As President Grant said, the Savior’s peace can “blot out our hates.” Judgment is the Lord’s.
Emma Lou Thayne’s beloved hymn asks the appropriate questions: “Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace when other sources cease to make me whole?”23 The answer is the Savior, who is the source and author of peace. He is the “Prince of Peace.”24
How do we stay close to the Savior? Humbling ourselves before God, praying always, repenting of sins, entering the waters of baptism with a broken heart and contrite spirit, and becoming true disciples of Jesus Christ are profound examples of the righteousness that is rewarded by abiding peace.
Temples are where many of these sacred ordinances occur and are also a source of peaceful refuge from the world. Those who visit temple grounds or participate in temple open houses also feel this peace.
  • Elder Quentin L. Cook, April 2013 General Conference, “Personal Peace, the Reward of Righteousness”
Josiah just got his mission call. He's very nervous and not at all sure that he's prepared.
Search the scriptures with diligence. Let me provide but one reference which has immediate application to our lives. In the Book of Mormon, the 17th chapter of Alma, we read the account of Alma’s joy as he once more saw the sons of Mosiah and noted their steadfastness in the cause of truth. The record tells us, “They had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.
“But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.”4
  • President Thomas S. Monson, April 2013 General Conference, Priesthood Session, “Come, All Ye Sons of God”

Jillian's dad has been assigned by his employer to work in a different country for a very long time. Jillian is very close to her dad and is depressed and upset that she won't see him at home every day. She worries that their relationship will change. She worries about his safety and comfort. How will she get by without talking to him every day? She's just really sad.

Brothers and sisters, we need not falter in hope and good cheer, because God is with us. To His Saints in our day, the Savior has said, “Be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you” (D&C 68:6). Trials may come, and we may not understand everything that happens to us or around us. But if we humbly, quietly trust in the Lord, He will give us strength and guidance in every challenge we face. When our only desire is to please Him, we will be blessed with a deep inner peace.

  • Elder Bruce D. Porter of the Seventy, April 2013 General Conference, “Beautiful Mornings”

Janell has had a lot of problems and drama with her friends lately. She's so tired of it and so frustrated.

A girl named Kate, who was experiencing a very difficult trial, said: “It was so hard. I knew I could make it a springboard for growth or allow it to be a roadblock. I didn’t want to let it ruin my life. I tried to be as close to the Lord as possible. I read my scriptures a lot. I prayed a lot. I wrote in my journal as often as I could. I kept my testimony vibrant by writing it down. I went to church and to Young Women every week. I kept close to caring relatives and especially to my mom, who was the anchor in our family. I sought out priesthood blessings from my grandfather and other priesthood holders.”

  • Mary N. Cook, First Counselor in the Young Women's Presidency, Young Women's Conference, “When You Save a Girl, You Save Generations”

Jeremy doesn't feel that his testimony is very strong. Sometimes he feels the Spirit, but he doesn't feel that he has very much gospel knowledge. He's trying to figure out if he should serve a mission in a couple of years.

In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes. The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know. I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Furthermore, you have more faith than you think you do. Please don’t hyperventilate if from time to time issues arise that need to be examined, understood, and resolved. They do and they will. In this Church, what we know will always trump what we do not know. And remember, in this world, everyone is to walk by faith.

  • Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, April 2013 General Conference, “Lord, I Believe”

Jason has a hard time wanting to go to mutual on Tuesday nights. He thinks the activities are kind of lame. He doesn't really have a close relationship to any of the guys in his priesthood quorum, and he's not really attracted to any of the girls in his ward.

Be sure to participate in family, quorum, class, and combined Mutual activities. Enjoy wholesome fun together. Through these experiences you will come to respect and appreciate one another’s spiritual gifts and the eternal, complementary natures of the sons and daughters of God.

- Elder Robert D. Hales, April 2013 General Conference,“Stand Strong in Holy Places”

Here is what I planned to have the poster looking like when we finished:

Some of the answers can be interchanged, so if your students don't match up the challenges and answers the way I did, it's not a huge deal.  And that is that!  I'm out!
 



 
 
         

3 comments:

Jolaine Garner said...

As a professional educator, and now a Sunday school teacher for the youth, I am so impressed with the time and creativity that you have presented and outlined in these lesson helps. Thank you for sharing.

Jolaine Garner said...

As a professional educator, and now a Sunday school teacher for the youth, I am so impressed with the time and creativity that you have presented and outlined in these lesson helps. Thank you for sharing.

Brandon Garside said...

I really enjoy your lessons. They help me so much in preparing for mine. Thank you for posting!

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