I focused on these particular sections and divided them up among the class to fill out the worksheet:
unanswered questions, Mistakes of imperfect people, What about my doubts, I just don’t fit in with you people in the Church, I don’t think I could live up to your standards, I know a member of your Church who is a hypocrite. I could never join a church that had someone like him as a member.
Here is a handout that students can handout to friends or use as reminder of what the purpose of church is and invite others who are seeking truth, meaning, faith in action, and a place of belonging.
Of course we want to invite other to drink in the goodness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ but above all, I love what President Utchtdorf states: “It may break our hearts when their journey takes them away from the Church we love and the truth we have found, but we honor their right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience, just as we claim that privilege for ourselves.5“
This is how I presented this lesson using the worksheet below. Please remember that these are just suggestions and ideas. The inspiration you personally receive for your students as you prepare is far more valuable than a fixed lesson plan created by someone else.
• Ask girls why it is important to gain and education and develop skills. (Encourage an open discussion or go around and have each girl say something.}
• Pass out worksheet and have them fill out the first section with ideas they have already mentioned or heard talk about.
• Divide scriptures (found on side box of worksheet) among the girls and have them quietly read and write more insight based on their scripture and then share what they read, wrote or learned with the class.
HAPPY NOTE: the top half of this worksheet completes knowledge value experience 1!
This bottom half is about applying the lesson. I encouraged my students to cut off the bottom half and hang it somewhere where they could see it everyday. I believe that If you are reminded daily of what you value and want most, guess what??? You increase the chances of actually carrying it through! Getting started is the hardest part, creating an actionable step (and making it totally attainable) in the bottom box helps initiate the momentum to successfully accomplishing what you want.
GOOD NEWS, if they do it, it can help pass of the Individual Worth Project 5! Woot.
As Elder Holland says, our words really our SACRED! They have great power and effect on us and those around us. It is up to us to use them with great care and respect! They can destroy, corrupt and control or they can uplift, liberate and empower others and ourselves. Most importantly they can keep us connected to the Spirit or can separate us from our own light, and the Spirit.
I taught a Young Women’s called “Why was a restoration necessary” and it really put into perspective the significance of the restoration of the Gospel. It is so exciting that truths, revelation, ordinances, authority and prophets that were available when Jesus Christ originally set up His church is once again here on earth to guide and bless our lives!!
I LOVED Elder Scott’s talk, “Prepartions for the Restoration and Second Coming” because it was a clear and personal witness to me that God is willing and eager to bless His children with TRUTH anytime we are willing and ready to receive it. Even though the fullness of Christ Gospel was taken from the earth, Heavenly Father’s hand in guiding and inspiring mankind to receive it once again is evident throughout history.
It is interesting to me that there had to be lots of things set IN MOTION as mankind grew, matured and developed (just as we do individually) to bring about the right circumstances for a young boy to ask God which church he should join. There had to be a spiritual maturity in mankind itself for the Gospel to return in a sustainable way. This maturity was brought about by curiosity and a strong desire to know TRUTH. This included secular learning and questioning current social norms and widely accepted beliefs. Above all, a fierce trust in something and someone greater than themselves. Many gave up their LIVES for the sake of truth, after all!
To illustrate the chain of events that happened to bring about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ I brought these toy gears–once again my kid’s toys serving as inspiration 🙂 — I explained that there had to be certain events, inventions, exploration and mentalities put in MOTION that led the way to the restoration.
When it comes to organizing an event, I think the most delightful difference between females and males is probably that a females feel compelled to theme, color coordinate and cutsie every aspect of the experience. A male on the other hand…well…lets just say I grew up with 3 brothers and I clearly remember invitations to activities were swiftly hand written notes that were photocopied. I was also quite shocked to walk in on one of their big camp planning meeting (with only 2 week prior to the camp, no less) to find out that they had NO THEME, crafts planned, OR decorations for their camp site!!! When I asked about it, I remember those males were in bigger shock that we actually brought things like that up to camp.
My question is–What is the point if it won’t be pretty or over the top creative??
Anyway. With this year’s Mutual theme being, “O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.”, we all went nautical nutty and decided on a cruise ship theme. With a surge of genius, though not without the help of pintrest (my, have planning meetings changed. Each girl, phone in hand swiping upward to get some insPINation…) here is what the ladies came up with. Continue reading “Cruise themed YW New Beginnings-Free Printables”
I love the topic of grace! I have experienced the grace of our Savior carry me and take me through otherwise turbulent times. It is a power we can turn to in all moments of our lives. He enhances our efforts, our perspectives and lives. (Some stories and eg in my life here and here) It is a healing, guiding, sanctifying power! It transforms us. Ultimately, it is how we are saved!
It has been a huge blessing that I was called into the YW a little after I started this blog. Since I was planning, thinking and creating material for my lesson anyway, this blog became the perfect outlet to share what I was already doing. It also gave me the chance to share the dearest part of my heart and life-my testimony of the reality of Jesus Christ. Teaching YW provided topics and resources and became the perfect ground to talk about, share and fine tune for myself the beliefs I had.
Having said that, I hope these lessons, although initially intended to teach teenaged girls in a church group, can be read and applied to anyone’s life. Mothers, girls, women, boys and men. These are principles of a happy, fulfilling life.
With that said, the things I share are true feelings, beliefs and stories that I share with my YW but I share them to also hopefully help anyone else along too.
The lesson was I teaching on was Why do we have adversity? Which was timely for me.
The last couple weeks I’ve been pretty sick. I had a fever higher than I can ever remember having. It was 103-104 degrees for 4 days. I was weak and exhausted. I somehow still had to take care of my 3 sick kids on top of that. I knew complaining and getting frustrated at my situation would only make things worse so I did what I could to redirect my focus to what I COULD do and think (not to say I didn’t have my weak moments of utter defeat!). I thought of the YW lesson I was preparing to teach and thought, “Oh perfect. There is no better way to learn about why we have adversity than to go through this.” My thinking shifted to “What can I learn from this? and “How can this experience help me grow?”
That mental shift changed everything.
Here some of the things I learned.
Tribulations brings a softening and humbling of spirit and heart.
When I was so physically weak from illness, I was reminded of how I feel when I fast. The physical weakness and lack of energy can be turned to a precious moments of humility and direct one to a different power beyond physical strength-spiritual strength.
I have learned every experience, evening if unpleasant at the moment, can be used to create more room in ones soul to allow greater strength and experience deeper peace and joy later.
Feeling spiritually disconnected and alone
The most difficult moments for me are not the physically weak ones but the moments when I feel alone, left in the dark and disconnect from the source of peace and joy. The most trying challenge comes when I can hardly feel that spiritual strength and power within myself.
Being sick for that length of time combined with the demands of parenthood left me unbalanced in all sorts of ways. Despite my efforts, I wasn’t getting enough rest for what my body needed to recover. I didn’t leave for the gym in the mornings because I felt too sick. Which meant I didn’t get the exercise I usually get which helps keep me emotionally, mentally and physically afloat. This threw me for a mental/spiritual/emotional spin off. It left me feeling really down casted, unmotivated, depressed and easily discouraged by everything. It was that familiar dark place where it feel like something inside me has died. Life feels dismal and meaningless. Everything I was once excited about–my passions, my ideas, my insights– all seem to disappear. Thinking about things like that at the time of gloom seemed like foolish nonsense.
Having gone through this several times before (see “dealing with mommy blues“) I have learned that this is actually part of the test. It is the most difficult testing point for me. It is where I must make good choices when I feel no motivation for them. It is a slippery time when I feel my very faith and sentiment toward God seems dim and waning. It is where the darkness of doubt, fear and insecurities creep in again to confuse everything inside me.
I have learned that however seemingly illogical, I must still continue to seek the God I can no longer feel and the light that seems like is no longer there to guide me. I must make good choices for myself and respect others even when I don’t feel like it. It is the only way to get out the dark.
It is a moment where my FAITH becomes a principle of deliberate DECISION and ACTION instead of a genuine sentiment or feeling.
I thought of Joseph Smith and how he must have also felt abandoned when he cried out, “Oh God, where art thou?” in Carthrage Jail. I know my experience is not nearly as dramatic and devastating as that of the prophet but I believe that no matter our outer challenges it is the inner workings and battles of the soul in each of us that are the most challenging and ultimately where our character is built.
Heavenly Father answers Joseph’s plea with, “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;” (D&C 121:7)
I thought, “This too shall pass and I will enjoy greater happiness once I am able to overcome this yucky time!”
What is happening TO you is happening FOR you.
I used to stay in the dumps for a long time before I was able to climb out. I used to panic and condemn myself for what I was experiencing and it would start a vicious cycle that made it difficult to climb out of. Now I know to not freakout. I am getting quicker and better because of what I have learned. Doom and gloom are lies from the adversary we must learn to not believe. It is not because God has abandoned us. He is ALWAYS there, even in and especially during the times we can’t feel Him. He lets us experience dark moments and soul shaking attacks from the adversary because He knows we grow tremendously every time we can conquer those times with His strength. It is pressing forward in faith and continuing to make positive choices even when we don’t feel like it. Overcoming the dark cavities within ourselves create greater room for the Spirit to dwell with in us. It is preparatory for us to enjoy greater joy and peace and connection to God later. He allows these sorts of things FOR OUR OWN GROWTH and GOODNESS. Trust.
“Almost three years ago a devastating fire gutted the interior of the beloved, historic tabernacle in Provo, Utah. Its loss was deemed a great tragedy by both the community and Church members. Many wondered, “Why did the Lord let this happen? Surely He could have prevented the fire or stopped its destruction.”
Ten months later, during the October 2011 general conference, there was an audible gasp when President Thomas S. Monson announced that the nearly destroyed tabernacle was to become a holy temple—a house of the Lord! Suddenly we could see what the Lord had always known! He didn’t cause the fire, but He allowed the fire to strip away the interior. He saw the tabernacle as a magnificent temple—a permanent home for making sacred, eternal covenants.4
My dear sisters, the Lord allows us to be tried and tested, sometimes to our maximum capacity. We have seen the lives of loved ones—and maybe our own—figuratively burned to the ground and have wondered why a loving and caring Heavenly Father would allow such things to happen. But He does not leave us in the ashes; He stands with open arms, eagerly inviting us to come to Him. He is building our lives into magnificent temples where His Spirit can dwell eternally.
If you would like to use this analogy to teach your family, or church group, here is the download of the pictures in a PDF. It can be printed on paper (or cardstock) to display as you tell the story.
I think it is important to write down our thoughts and impressions we receive in moment of clarity and wisdom. Quotes and scriptures that touch us and help us through are essential to write down so we have positive references when life isn’t looking or feeling good. It’s all about REMEMBERING. I created this handout for anyone to use to help them remember the good stuff that will pull us through!
I’m teaching a YW lesson titled, “Who am I and who can I become”. I LOVE this lesson. Once we come to realize our true identities as children of God, EVERYTHING changes. Our choices, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors begin to line up to reflect our most sacred identity. I hope these lesson goodies will help out with understanding this.
We are the seed of God analogy:
Our souls, our character, or who we really are can be compared to seeds.
We are seeds of a Divine Being. We are divine by inheritance. Divinity already lives within us. We have everything inside of us to become like our Heavenly Father.
Even though we have it all inside of us, we must seek proper the nourishment for our seeds to grow into their full potential.
What kinds of things does a seed need to grow?
Light —> we need the Gospel light and its guidance. We must learn to follow the Light.
Soil —-> we need a good environment by surrounding ourselves with wholesome things
Water —> We need to seek the living water who is Jesus Christ by doing things to bring and feel His Spirit.
Weed out yuckies—> We need to weed out thoughts and behaviors that harm us. This includes abandoning our sins as well as learning to overcome destructive and mean thoughts about ourselves and other people.
Fake flower analogy (a side thought that might be helpful)
I think we all have ‘plastic’ flowers, or who we want to appear to be or want others to think we are. They are our outer image of ourselves or our egos. The motive our our ego (or natural man) is just to get attention or approval. We are constantly told by the world to buy or do things to get a better seeming ‘fake flower’.
The trouble with it is that it is NOT who we really are! And sometimes we can get so caught up with our fake plastic flower and other people’s fake plastic flower and how they compare that we forget our true selves! We forget about our true seeds inside of us waiting to be nourished so it can grow and bloom in a unique and beautiful way.
“You are here to BECOME not just to seem”
Our true selves require real spiritual sustenance. With this we can grow to be a real source of beauty and nourishment to others. We can bear true eternal fruit! We can become great and glorious beings just like our Heavenly Father and receive all He has in mind for us.
What it takes
Growing our true seeds takes time, patience, diligence and constant nourishment. In fact, as the seed develops underneath the soil it can be difficult to see results or the end product. Trust that there is growth and development even when your efforts are not immediately noticeable.
“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”
Here is the download if you want the to have something to use as a reminder (and color!)
Being human means that we will run into challenges and struggles. Sometimes those struggles can feel enormous and totally consuming and we just want out! Have you noticed that many times the answer we get when we turn to people of our faith ends up being, “Well, have you prayed about it? Or “Just read your scriptures?” Darn those sunday school responses!!! Do they really work?? Find out in this video:
Here is a handout that goes with object lesson, pdf download available below:
A fun object lesson and treat to go along with it is to include a wrapped chocolate or candy. Explain that any negative feeling can block us from feeling God’s love, just like like the wrapper is blocking us from tasting the chocolate.
To overcome our negative feelings, we must be willing to forgive others and ourselves. Once we are willing to change our thoughts and attitudes to overcome our negative feelings, through the help of the Spirit, we can once again come to taste the sweetness of God’s love within us.