In this week’s lesson helps for Come Follow Me Romans 7-16 “Overcome Evil with Good” (August 12-18), you’ll notice a new format to how I’m sharing these helps. It’ll continue to evolve a bit more but here’s a glimpse of the new format you can now expect for these lesson helps.
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Questions to Ponder
How have you been able to balance the spirit and letter of the law?
When have you seen good overcome evil?
How have commandments kept you safe?
When sin is left uncheck how can it harm your soul?
What does it mean that you are a joint-heir of Christ? How does that knowledge affect the way you see yourself?
How has being spiritually minded helped you have peace in your life?
When have you felt the witness to your soul that you are a child of God?
How have you been able to overcome trials that have seemed insurmountable with help from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?
How have you been formed and created by God?
In what ways can I confess that I know the truth? What are some unique ways to share my testimony?
How have you been helped to endure the trials of mortality? How have you helped others endure their trials? Who needs your help enduring the trials of mortality now?
How does taking care of your body show Heavenly Father you are grateful for the gift of a body?
How can being slow to wrath help you keep the spirit?
How can you be a true saint who fellowships others? When has someone fellowshipped you?
Dive Into Romans 7-16
For a better understanding of what you will be reading, I recommend using the Seminary or Institute New Testament Teacher manuals. They give background information and additional quotes to enrich your study. I use them for my individual study before teaching my family. Sometimes the Seminary one will have object lessons as well.
The following Activity Cards printable includes a brief summary of the following activities to help you plan out your week.
Worthy of Our Promised Blessings (about 11 1/2 minutes)- Talk by Sister Linda S. Reeves
The Challenge to Become (about 17 minutes)- Talk by President Dallin H. Oaks
What Shall a Man Give in Exchange for His Soul? (about 2 minutes)- Story from Elder Gay’s talk
Set up an obstacle course in your house or outside. Use couch cushions, buckets, whatever you have to make it challenging to get through the course blindfolded. Place a fun reward at the end of the obstacle course (brownies, a favorite game, etc). Ask who would like your reward. Pick one person to come and get the reward but before they can reach it, say something like, “Oh yeah, you have to wear this blindfold and successfully go through the obstacle course alone.” After they struggle for a bit, remind them that while they are alone, they can ask for help from the Spirit. Designate someone to act as the Helper which can be compared to how the Spirit might work. The Helper can’t move or touch the person but can give directions to help them safely reach the end.
Discuss: Was going through the obstacles worth the reward? (Compare to Romans 8:17-39) How did you like going through the course without a Helper? How does the Helper compare to the Spirit working in our lives? How can the Spirit help us overcome sins and obstacles? How can we seek to have the Spirit with us more fully? (see Romans 8:9, 23-25)
Make the obstacle course harder by allowing the rest of your family or class to tell the person in the obstacle course to go in the wrong directions. Remind the person doing the course to listen only to the Helper.
What are some others that we must work for in order to gain a sweet reward? How did it feel when you finally received that reward? How much greater will it feel when we receive our eternal reward? What can help us keep our eye on the goal?
Additional Study Suggestions
“The Music of the Gospel” by Elder Wilford W. Andersen
The Music of the Gospel (about 5 1/2 minutes)- story from Elder Andersen’s talk
Get dancing! Freeze Dance is a fun game you can play while discussing “hearing the music.” When the music is on, dance all you want. When it stops, you stop too. If you move while the music is off, you’re out and get to help spot others who move.
Discuss: What is the music of the gospel? How can we be more in tune with the music? What happens we stop hearing the music? (We freeze!) What happens when we try to dance without music in real life?
Grab some bubble wrap to make it even more fun! You can buy big rolls at Wal-mart and office supply stores. Roll out the bubble sheets on the floor and dance on top of it! What could you compare the bubble wrap to?
Romans 10:17, 15:4
Additional Study Suggestions
“The Key to Spiritual Protection” by President Boyd K. Packer
“The Power of Scripture” by Elder Richard G. Scott
“13 Ways to Study the Scriptures” by Kristen G. Walton
“The Power of the Word” by President Ezra Taft Benson
“How Rare a Possession- the Scriptures” by President Spencer W. Kimball
Daily Bread: Pattern (about 3 minutes)- How we need daily sustenance
Advice for Studying the Scriptures (about 2 minutes)- Tips from Elder David A. Bednar
How Is this Different? (about 2 minutes)- What it means to truly study the scriptures
Make your own family scripture board! Use an old bulletin board or make your own with a picture frame and some chicken wire (it’s easy- I just made one after reading the instructions). Put out some paper or print my quote templates out and write down scriptures that stick out to your family throughout the week and some of your other favorites. By the end of your week, review the scriptures you’ve added.
Write your scriptures on my conversation quote bubbles and add them to your family pictures instead so it looks like they are saying it!
Don’t want to deal with a board? Use sticky notes instead!! Put out pads to write your favorite verses or references on throughout the week. Stick them on your mirrors, on the fridge, your kid’s favorite cereal box, and more. Psstt… the decorative sticky notes in my Come Follow Me Sticky Note pack would be perfect for this!
Pick a keyword that can be found in the scriptures. Every time you come across that word in your readings, have your family do something silly like pat their heads and rub their tummies. It’s a great way to practice listening closely to scriptures.
Grab your old church magazines and cut out images that you can tie back to a scriptures (you can always use the search bar on ChurchofJesusChrist.org to help you find good scriptures to go with your images). Hide the images on the page of the scripture or General Conference magazines. See how many your family can find and if they can figure out what verse or phrase the image goes with. Set a time limit for an extra challenge and award points.
Romans 13:9-10, 14:13-21
Additional Study Suggestions
“The Merciful Obtain Mercy” by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“Charity Never Faileth” by President Thomas S. Monson
“‘Judge Not’ and Judging” by President Dallin H. Oaks
“Loving Others and Living with Differences” by President Dallin H. Oaks
Judging Others? Stop It! (about 3 1/2 minutes)- Clip from Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Looking through Windows (about 2 1/2 minutes)- Story from President Thomas S. Monson
The Merciful Obtain Mercy (about 17 minutes)- Talk from Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Bullying- Stop It (about 10 1/2 minutes)- Video about the harmful effects of bullying
I Was a Stranger: Love One Another (about 3 1/2 minutes)- About helping refugees
- Have you heard of the positive clicking experiment? Hilary Weeks shared it a few years back (don’t go to the site the video says, she didn’t renew the domain and now a not great site has taken over the name). Try the clicker activity in your family too! I ordered these clickers from Amazon for my family. Our negative thoughts are often judging others so if we focus on our positive thoughts, not only will we feel better but we’ll think of and treat each other better too!
- Another experiment that we'll be trying is the Rice Experiment. For this one, you take three clean jars and put the same amount of rice in each jar. Then you label one Love, one Ignore, and one Hate (print mine above). Every day you say lots of good and grateful things to the Love one, completely ignore the Ignore one, and say awful things to the Hate one. In theory, the Hate and Ignore one get really gross while the Love one stays beautiful. It's our first time doing it so I have no idea if it really works but I'm looking forward to trying it out. There are a ton of blog posts about others doing it successfully. Print my experiment cards out for the directions. Then discuss how judging can harm in similar ways as well as how we need to reach out and love one another more.
- Bring social media into your conversation too. People judge much harsher online than in person. They often feel it's okay to be mean and share judgement online anonymously. How can you be an uplifting positive influence online? What can you do to show love online? What should you do when others are being mean to you on social media? You can reference this New Era article about surviving social media.
- Take it a step further and find uplifting social media accounts to follow to help keep your thoughts positive and judgement free. There is so much good we can absorb and share too.
- Start your own uplifting social media account. Everyone in your family or class can share on it but it has to be uplifting and judgement free items only.