Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"Why Do the Choices I Make Matter?" Lesson and Handout

I am a very kinesthetic learner, so when I teach I like to employ  a variety of different methods of teaching to increase the likelihood that the lesson will actually connect with each of the students.   I often create a simple worksheet to go along with the lesson--not to make it feel like school, but to give them a place to jot down answers and ideas throughout the lesson.  I have found that employing this simple idea has made our discussions more meaningful and made it easier for every person to be involved in the discussion.   Since they've already taken a few moments to write down their ideas, they're less likely to have been caught off-guard or feel put on the spot. 

For an attention getter at the beginning of the class, I taped a large 'V' onto the floor and told them to try to walk down both "paths" at the same time.   They could for a little bit, but eventually the "paths" got far enough apart that they could no longer keep a foot on each path.   They had to choose one or the other.   Then I asked them to go back to the beginning and pick the correct path, without telling them which one was correct.  They acted confused and each picked their own correct way…one of them even walking down the middle of the two.    

We then read this  quote from President Monson:  
Let us not find ourselves as indecisive as is Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland."  You will remember that she comes to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. She is confronted by the Cheshire cat, of whom Alice asks, “Which path shall I follow?”
The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.”7Unlike Alice, we all know where we want to go, and itdoes matter which way we go, for by choosing our path, we choose our destination.
And read this scripture (Matthew 6:24):   
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
We talked about the importance of knowing our path before embarking on it and that while each individual's path in life will vary from the next person's, but  that in the end we should all have the final goal the same--eternal life.

Then they each filled out on the worksheet, some of the goals they had for their lives.

We then read Proverbs 3:5-6:
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall directthy paths."

We talked in more details about how to make choices and discussed President Monson's three "R"s of choice.

If you have time, you could have the girls write on the illustrated part of the worksheet things that they can do better at to help them reach their ultimate goal of eternal life.

Lastly we talked about the importance for making time to feel God's help and direction in our lives.  I showed them this picture and quote and talked about how easy it is fill our lives with things--not necessarily bad, but in the long run that are completely meaningless.   I encouraged them to allow themselves time to "Be still" and allow God's influence into their lives.  

I ended by bearing testimony of the importance of looking at the big picture, to not getting caught up in the day-to-day fluff and lose sight of what our end goal really is.  I encouraged them to go home and write some of their goals into their journals and what they would do to reach them.

I also emphasized that if we ever were to find ourselves on a wrong path in life, that  through Christ's atonement and the gift of repentance, that we can get back on the right path again.   It's easier to stay on the right path in the first place, but it's NEVER too late to change direction, and that God is always there with his arms outstretched to help us to find our way back again.


#1As I’ve contemplated the various aspects of choice, I’ve put them into three categories: first, the right of choice; second, the responsibility of choice; and third, the results of choice. I call these the three Rs of choice.  President David O. McKay, ninth President of the Church, said, “Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct that life is God’s greatest gift to man.”1  We know that we had our agency before this world was and that Lucifer attempted to take it from us.
Next, with the right of choice comes the responsibility to choose. We cannot be neutral; there is no middle ground. The Lord knows this; Lucifer knows this. As long as we live upon this earth, Lucifer and his hosts will never abandon the hope of claiming our souls.
I speak of the results of choice. All of our choices have consequences, some of which have little or nothing to do with our eternal salvation and others of which have everything to do with it.   Whether you wear a green T-shirt or a blue one makes no difference in the long run. However, whether you decide to push a key on your computer which will take you to pornography can make all the difference in your life.”  Thomas S Monson

#2  “How do we make correct choices? A choice involves making a conscious decision. To make an intelligent decision we need to evaluate all available facts on both sides of an issue. But that isn’t enough. Making correct decisions involves prayer and inspiration.” 1  James E Faust

#3  And lastly, we must examine our motives. A good check and balance in decision making is to look at our motives for making our decisions. We should ask ourselves, “Are my motives selfish, or is there charity in the decision I am about to make? Is this decision in keeping with the commandments, both in the spirit and the letter of the law? Is my decision basically right, honorable, and compatible with the golden rule? Have I considered the impact of my decision on others?””  Robert D. Hales

#4  “And we do not need to achieve some minimum level of capacity or goodness before God will help—divine aid can be ours every hour of every day, no matter where we are in the path of obedience….
...beyond desiring His help {though}, we must exert ourselves, repent, and choose God for Him to be able to act in our lives consistent with justice and moral agency. My plea is simply to take responsibility and go to work so that there is something for God to help us with.”   Elder Todd Christofferson

#5  “The Lord has given us a spiritual safety net that can strengthen decision making. That support may come through many means, including a patriarchal blessing, counsel from parents, a father’s blessing, a bishop’s counsel, prayer, temple worship, scripture study, and conversation with faithful friends. However such support comes, it is usually accompanied by the whisperings of the Holy Ghost.”

Sunday, February 15, 2015

"Why should I treat my body like a temple?" lesson helps

Why should I treat my body like a temple?:
#1--    ”The primary blessing that comes from obedience to the Word of Wisdom is spiritual in nature, not necessarily physical.   Certainly, we all recognize the physical benefits of adhering to the lifestyles and dietary guidelines contained in the Word of Wisdom.  But please notice how {it is} emphasized that the link between what we take into our bodies and our ability to receive spiritual communication.  And secondarily the Word of Wisdom also produces physical benefits.  Just as only worthy persons are permitted to enter into the house of the Lord, so we should likewise be careful to take into our bodies only those things that will positively affect us both spiritually and physically. “   Elder David A. Bednar

#2--  “The body that has been given to us was for the purpose of allowing the spirit to exalt itself to a nobler condition. The lightning that is seen flashing from cloud to cloud, from mountain top to mountain top, is an electrical force that may tear down buildings, set fire to property, and destroy life. Conduct electricity through the dynamo wire, and motor, and behold its wonderful results working for the service of man, accomplishing something under the control of a physical instrument, it thus becomes a power for good. So with steam, if allowed to evaporate freely it does little good, but restrain it in the boiler, send it through the engine, and under its power you may travel across the continent or sail from shore to shore. And so, too, with this highest, most potent of all spiritual forces, the intelligence that is in man; enshrine it in a spiritual body, that it may have the experiences of spiritual life; and then give it a physical body, that it may enter into and obtain the joy and experiences of physical life, and you have enlarged its powers immeasurably” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1912, 107).

#3-- “Satan learned these same eternal truths about the body, and yet his punishment is that he does not have one. Therefore he tries to do everything he can to get us to abuse or misuse this precious gift. He has filled the world with lies and deceptions about the body. He tempts many to defile this great gift of the body through unchastity, immodesty, self-indulgence, and addictions. He seduces some to despise their bodies; others he tempts to worship their bodies. In either case, he entices the world to regard the body merely as an object. In the face of so many satanic falsehoods about the body, I want to raise my voice today in support of the sanctity of the body. I testify that the body is a gift to be treated with gratitude and respect.”   Susan W.  Tanner

#4--  "When we become other-oriented, or selfless, we develop an inner beauty of spirit that glows in our outward appearance. This is how we make ourselves in the Lord’s image rather than the world’s and receive His image in our countenances. President Hinckley spoke of this very kind of beauty that comes as we learn to respect body, mind, and spirit. He said:
“Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth” (“Understanding Our Divine Nature,” Liahona, Feb. 2002, 24; “Our Responsibility to Our Young Women,” Ensign,Sept. 1988, 11).
#5--  “We are not less, but more like Heavenly Father because we are embodied. I testify that we are His children, made in His image, with the potential to become like Him.   Let us treat this divine gift of the body with great care.”     Susan Tanner