Discussion Ideas for Elder Gerrit W. Gong "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" and Elder Ulisses Soares, "Prophets Speak by the Power of the Holy Spirit"

I combined "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" by Elder Gerrit W. Gong and "Prophets Speak by the Power of the Holy Spirit" by Elder Ulisses Soares into one lesson helps since they are shorter addresses by our two new apostles. 

 
 

The titles of their talks give a great jumping off point of further discussion but you can also take a little bit of time to get to know these brethern better. 


Questions

  • How are prophets a sign of God's love for us?
  • How have you been blessed by exercising faith and following a prophet's teachings?
  • What can you do to be "knit together in unity and love" with members of your family? Members of your ward? Members of Heavenly Father's family?
  • In your experience, how do nonmembers of our church view the doctrine of "binding on earth and in heaven"? Do you agree with Joseph Smith that this is a bold doctrine?
  • What counsel have we recently received from a living prophet?
  • How can you specifically live according to the prophet's counsel to us?
  • What can parents do to encourage their children to follow a prophet?
  • What difference has your testimony of the Savior's Atonement made in your everyday life?
  • What examples have you seen of people strengthened in trials by their knowledge of the Resurrection?
  • What gospel principles are better understood when we have a testimony of the Resurrection?
  • How has your testimony of the Resurrection been strengthened through your covenants? Through trials? Through service? Through your role in your family?
  • What is the invitation found in John 1: 39? How do we accept this invitation?
  • Why has there been prophets in every dispensation?
  • What are the roles of a prophet?
  • Why is it important to have an continual stream of revelation flowing from God to His living prophets?
  • What are some teachings from the last general conference that have influenced your life?
  • What answers did you receive in the last general conference?
  • How can you make general conference a more powerful influence in your life? your home? your family?
  • How have the words of the prophets clarified doctrine for you? 
  • How do you allow yourself to receive of the spiritual abundance available to us because of living prophets?
  • How do you gain a testimony of the words spoken by the prophet?

Discussion Ideas

For Elder Gong's talk, the Church suggests, "What can members of your quorum or Relief Society learn from Elder Gong’s message about our covenants and the Atonement of Jesus Christ? You could invite members to search the message, looking for blessings that the Savior’s Atonement and our covenants—working together—offer us. Then consider asking questions like the following about what they found: How do our covenants and the Atonement work together to 'enable and ennoble' us? What do they help us hold on to and let go of?"

The Church suggests for Elder Soare's talk, "Elder Soares’s message can inspire us to act in faith when we feel inadequate in doing the will of the Lord. How did Elder Soares receive comfort and assurance when he received his new calling as an Apostle? What did he learn from his experience of being called as a mission president? What can we learn from his experiences? Give members time to share experiences when they felt unsure about something the Lord wanted them to do. What did they do to find the faith to move forward?"

These are my ideas. My hope is that reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class. Remember you are leading a discussion, not teaching a lesson so you may only need one of these ideas.

  • Read Exodus 4:11-12 about Moses. Discuss if anyone has had a similar experience where the Lord helped them be more than they could be otherwise.
  • Discuss the story of when Elder Soares needed a visa to serve as a mission president. What insights about the role of a prophet do you gain from this story?
  • Watch "We Need Living Prophets" and discuss how class members have received confirmation that President Russell M. Nelson is a prophet of God.
  • Discuss how overwhelming some callings can seem when you first receive them. How were you able to accept the calling anyway and trust in the Lord? What did you do in order to meet the challenge adequately?
  • Take a little bit of time to get to know the new apostles, Elder Gong and Elder Soares, with my info cards. How is it helpful to know a little bit more about these brethren? You can also look up a few of their previous General Conference talks using LDS.org.
  • Discuss why ordinances and covenants matter and the impact they have in our lives. Because you have made covenants, what do you choose to do differently? See also this page of LDS.org for more info about covenants.
  • How do you make General Conference apart of your life? Have someone write down all the answers shared then send an email with them as a reminder after class.
  • Allow time to share about miracles others have experienced as they have followed the counsel of the prophets as did Elder Soares.
  • You might also want to combine the discussion from Elder Soares with the other talks about the prophets.  Elder Gong's talk goes well with Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf's "Behold the Man!"