Elder D. Todd Christofferson starts off with one of my favorite Old Testament scripture stories in his talk, “Firm and Steadfast in the Faith of Christ.” If you are struggling with a way to begin, read as a class. Elijah is such a great scriptural example to learn from!
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints suggests the following when teaching from this talk:
“You could begin a discussion of this message by drawing a line on the board with Socially Motivated on one end and Christlike Commitment on the other. Invite members to read the paragraph that begins ‘Most of us find ourselves at this moment on a continuum …’ and ponder where they feel they are on this continuum. What do we learn from the examples in Elder Christofferson’s message that inspires us to be firm and steadfast in affliction? (see also Alma 36:27–28). Encourage members to share examples of people they know who have shown Christlike commitment to the gospel, even when facing affliction.”
Questions to Ponder
How have you or your family members stayed firm in the faith in the midst of trials? How do you remain firm on a daily basis? How does that compare to someone who keeps a hard heart?
What was it that convinced the people of Israel that the Lord is the true God? How can this story help our testimony?
What are examples of how your testimony leads you to keep the commandments? How does keeping the commandments feed your testimony?
What are the roles of the Holy Ghost? Why is it important to receive a witness of truth from the Holy Ghost?
What can you do to help someone who is struggling with their testimony? What can you do when it is you that is struggling?
How does keeping our covenants help us remain firm and steadfast? How has temple attendance helped you?
What does it mean when you have not received an answer to prayer? What experiences do you have with struggling to feel an answer?
What does it look and feel like to have a life that is focused on Jesus Christ? What does it NOT look and feel like?
What tools has the Lord given us to move us along the continuum toward “that blessed state”? How might we ignore the tools or try to do it on our own?
How can we be comforted when a trial doesn’t go away in this life? Are you willing to endure to the end even when it’s uncomfortable? What can we do when healing doesn’t come when and how we want it? How can we be a constant support to those going through a never ending trial?
If you have become unbalanced, what helped you come back to firm ground? Share what others might be able to do to help you as well.
Why is only a few days of gospel saturated living not enough? How do we consistently live the gospel without getting burnt out?
How do you know when you are fully converted?
“When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Who are the brethren we need to strengthen? What experiences have you had with this? Has anything changed in how you minister because of this scripture?
What have you needed to do in order to gain a testimony about gospel topics you have struggled with?
How do you deal with questions or doubts and approach them from a place of faith? How do you remain firm and steadfast when there are things you don’t understand or questions that trouble you?
How do we determine if the gospel is the defining influence in our life and what do we do to move further down the continuum to being fully converted and committed to seeking the will of the Lord?
These are my ideas. My hope is reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
Place an everyday object into a box. Ask class members to roll and shake the box to try to identify the object. Then on the last try, whisper into their ear what the object is and let them peek. Then have them declare it to the class. Relate this experience to the quote “regardless of what others may say or do, no one can ever take away a witness bourne to your heart and mind about what is true.”
Discuss the role of the Holy Ghost as the true converter. Discuss how bearing testimony can strengthen the bearer and hearers. Allow for time for class members to stand and bear their testimony about what they know is true, and why.
Look up each of the scriptures Elder Christofferson mentions about being firm and steadfast. Divide into groups- assign by footnotes. Discuss what each person or group did that led to their ability to be firm and steadfast. What characteristics did they have? How can we develop the same ones? How did they change?
Display a picture of Christ, but cover it up with paper. Write down on the paper all of the influences that can be in someone’s life. Then discuss how to remove and refocus those influences. As class members give ideas, tear off each influence until only the picture of Christ remains.
Play a version of Jenga. Build the tower and explain that each block represents a doctrine or commandment. And then have class members remove blocks one at a time until the tower falls. Relate this to the quote, “They are selective about the doctrines and commandments they will follow and where and when they will serve in the Church. By contrast, it is in keeping their covenants with exactness that those who are ‘the elect according to the covenant’ avoid deception and remain firm in the faith of Christ.”
Assign groups each one of the “vegetables” Elder Christofferson mentions. Ask them to find supporting scriptures and promised blessings for each one as well as a way that we can “eat that veggie” everyday. Print out my veggies to easily assign to each group then have them put in a hand drawn basket on the board when you are done. Note: Veggies are definitely not to scale but rather a half sheet each to easily see around the room. You can also print off a poster to remind people to eat their veggies. There are two styles. Consider handing these out to those that can’t attend your class.
List the ways that we keep our physical heart healthy (exercise, diet, etc.) and compare that to how we keep our spiritual heart soft (scriptures, prayer, etc.). What are some daily things we need to do to keep our heart completely healthy?