There is a lot going on in John 7-10 "I Am the Good Shepherd" (April 29- May 5). Some of pieces might not seem to go together at first but as you keep your focus on the love of the Savior for each one of us, everything comes together.
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“Good Shepherd, Lamb of God” by Elder Gerrit W. Gong
“Becoming a Shepherd” by Sister Bonnie H. Cordon
“Our Good Shepherd” by Elder Dale G. Renlund
“Forgiveness” by President Gordon B. Hinckley
“Mercy- The Divine Gift” by President Thomas S. Monson
“Do We Trust Him? Hard is Good” by Elder Stanley G. Ellis
“The Merciful Obtain Mercy” by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“Seeking Knowledge by the Spirit” by Elder Mathias Held
“The Eye of Faith” by Elder Neil L. Andersen
“The Tender Mercies of the Lord” by Elder David A. Bednar
Deseret Bookshelf PLUS Recommendations
These are great to listen together in the car on the way to school. My whole family loves listening to the youth speaker ones especially. Remember, as a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS member, you can access these eBooks or audio books anytime. Find out more about Deseret Bookshelf PLUS.
Watch a video and discuss it after dinner, recap a part of the lesson before Church on Sunday, share a video in a group and discuss it together, or pause and discuss a video as part of your main lesson.
The Grandeur of God (about 16 minutes)- talk from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Go and Sin No More (about 3 1/2 minutes)- Bible video
Be Ye Converted (about 11 1/2 minutes)- talk from Sister Bonnie Oscarson
Our Good Shepherd (about 15 1/2 minutes)- talk from Elder Dale G. Renlund
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind (about 8 minutes)- Bible video
Other Sheep (about 1 1/2 minutes)- Clip from President Dallin H. Oaks
The Good Shepherd and Other Sheep I Have (about 3 1/2 minutes)- Bible video
Hang one on the fridge, mail it to a friend, cut it into a puzzle, and more! Bright Idea posters come from the Friend, Mormonads are from The New Era, and others are images found throughout LDS.org You can download the Gospel Art Kit at ChurchofJesusChrist.org
Woman Taken in Adultery- Bible video still
Christ Approaches the Woman Caught in Adultery- Bible video still
Christ Reaching to Help Woman- Bible video still
Questions to Ponder
Use these questions to help you ponder as you do your personal studies, encourage journaling for your kids, text them to a friend or child to get the conversation going, or take them with you in the car and randomly draw from a bag as you carpool to school or your next practice. These go beyond the questions in the manual.
Can you think of a time when you had a question about the doctrine of the church, what did you do? How can we resolve doctrinal questions the Lord’s way?
How have you been blessed by following the doctrine of Christ’s church? Have you been blessed for following even if you didn’t fully understand? How was your testimony increased?
How have you witnessed the mercy of God in your life?
What does righteous judgement mean?
When have you misjudged another based on their appearance? What did you learn about that experience?
How can you better seek to truly know someone before judging them?
How can you better know and recognize Christ in your life?
How has God been manifested in your life’s challenges?
Why is it important to remember that we are all sinners? How can that help us be more loving and kinder to all of God’s children?
When has Christ been your light?
How does knowing the truth set you free? When has repentance helped you to be free from sin?
What are you doing to ensure your work is done?
When have you had to stand up for the teachings of Jesus Christ? How were you received? How did it make you feel?
When have you felt that Heavenly Father and Jesus were aware of you? In what ways have they helped to meet your needs?
How can we avoid being like the Jews who wanted Jesus to spell it out for them that he was the Christ when He already had?
These are my ideas. My hope is that my thoughts may be a springboard to your own great ideas that are right for you and your family.
John 7:24, 8:2-11
Play a Guess Who game as you discuss not judging others (often we judge by physical appearances). You can play a bunch of different ways but here’s a quick and easy one: Pick one person to be the guesser and the rest of the people go and find different shoes or socks to wear. Everyone lines up behind a curtain so only their feet show. The person then needs to guess who each person is based on their footwear. If they guess correctly, have them share one thing about that person that you can’t tell simply by looking at them such as quick to forgive. If they guess incorrectly, they can either come back to them after they have guessed some others correctly or give them an another physical clue such as they have blue eyes.
Use my traffic signs to discuss Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk, “The Merciful Obtain Mercy.” In it, he talks about how we need to Stop It! Stop judging others and love each other for the great things we each have inside. Use the other traffic signals and signs to make your own list of tips of how we can stop judging other immediately and allow ourselves to get to know one another better. For example, you could write, “Love First” on a sign.
Add actions to each of your judgement signs and put them up around your house or outside like an obstacle course. As you come to each sign, you must read out loud what the sign says then do the action.
Elder Uchtdorf mentions in his talk the sticker he saw one day that said, “Don't judge me because I sin differently than you.” Use this quote to discuss the story of the woman taken in adultery. All present had sinned yet they were judging this woman publicly and wanted to condemn her. How can we be more accepting as individuals while not accepting the sin?
Instead of casting stones, grab some fun treats. Pile them up high on a plate and make them look absolutely delicious. Then invite all those who are without fault to come and eat a treat. You may have to list specific examples to help your audience understand that we are all have mistakes. How are we able to partake of the delicious treats even though we have faults? Explain how the Savior’s mercy is available to all of us. If we let the Savior into our lives, He will help us. You can then have your family or group earn the treats by answering questions about the lesson or repeating a phrase such as, “The Savior’s mercy is available to all.”
John 8:31-36, John 9
Using my block or white board object lesson, discuss how God can manifest Himself through our challenges. How do we sometimes miss seeing His hand in our lives? What can we do to allow God to be more in our lives? Relate this to how the blind man wasn’t blind because he or his parents did something wrong. A lot of the challenges we face are simply part of the plan or path back to God. However, it take spiritual sight to see that (like the whiteboard example).
You could also use the block example to show how we sometimes become slaves to sin. It’s only when we choose to allow Christ in our lives and repent that we can be free from the pile of sins on top of us. Sometimes when we are under the pile we also feel it’s easier to add another block than to find our way out from the bottom. Discuss how can we dig ourselves out and become free.
Color your own picture of the Good Shepherd. Add some cotton balls for extra fun. You can assign a name to each sheep in the photo and draw in extras so there is one for each member of your family or group. There is another Good Shepherd coloring page you can use included with my free New Testament Spot It download.
Make your own sheep tracing your hand on black paper. Then glue a bunch of cotton balls on the body, using the figures as the legs and the thumb as the head. As you share your creations with each other discuss how we as sheep can choose to follow the Good Shepherd and what that may look like in our daily lives.
Play some fun listening games to practice being in tune with the Shepherd’s voice (John 10:4). Then discuss how we can improve our spiritual hearing. Listening games:
Classic Telephone- Whisper into the ear of one person to the next and see what the last person winds up hearing
Draw that Sound- Take a clipboard, some paper, and crayons and draw all the things you hear on your walk. You could also go to the park and sit while you listen.
How Many Things Did You Hear?- Similar to the previous game but this time you are counting instead. You could do this on a walk or prepare some sounds to use while everyone’s eyes are closed and see if they guess correctly.
Name that Sound- Grab several containers that are solid colors (you don’t want to be able to see what’s inside). Put some other objects inside and have everyone guess the sound.
- Dive into the parable of the Good Shepherd further with some fun! Use my sheets to play a game similar to Telestrations. Instead of writing what the object is, however, write down what the object does. Next draw an object that does that action. For example, if the first person draws a door, the next person would write down “open and closes.” The next player might draw a jar with lid. See how the different definitions and objects help you gain further insight into the parable. Remember! Each player only sees what the previous person has put down. The rest is folded over before the next player gets the paper. Of course, you can play the original way as well.
- Instead of passing the papers around, have one person fill out the entire sheet. Encourage them to think of different words and objects each time. Was it hard? What did you learn because of it?
- Use the game pages to play Pictionary instead. Draw the object on a white board or big piece of paper so everyone can see (I'm all about keeping a big roll of paper around for things like this). Once someone guesses it, describe what that thing does. Once you get through all the words piece it together with your answers and interpretations.
- Play your own shepherding game! Blow up a bunch of balloons and grab your broom, a hockey stick, or anything else you think would work as a shepherd’s crook. Pick a destination for your “sheep” and see how long it takes to get them all in the pen. You can pick a room or even use masking tape on the floor as your pen. (Note: If you really want to get in on the sheep fun, there are super fun walking sheep helium balloons you can order. You can take them to a place to blow it up for you if you don't have a tank. We go to the dollar store. You could have so much fun with these sheep balloons!).
- Need something simple for the little ones? Try this great Good Shepherd file folder game from Green Jello with Carrot.
- Get additional insights and lesson helps from The Red Headed Hostess. Her kits include scripture marking ideas, study pages, activities, and more.
I’m now linking to the category pages for available on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. They have stories, activity pages, and some media options available under each topic. Definitely check out the latest addition of the Friend and New Era as well.
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