"His Spirit to Be with You" by President Henry B. Eyring is another great reminder on how important it is to be in tune with the Holy Ghost at all times in our lives. President Eyring mentions a few times where it would have been hard to listen or choose to be open to the Holy Ghost yet the wonderful blessings that come when we do.
Listen to the Holy Ghost as you prepare this discussion to understand what it is that your class really needs to discuss as this is a common topic. What focus would bring the most help, assurance, and comfort to those in your class?
- What did the Holy Ghost testify to you this week?
- How has the Holy Ghost reassured you in times of tragedy?
- How would you describe how the Holy Ghost feels?
- How do we open ourselves up to receive the Holy Ghost?
- How do we sometimes block or ignore the promptings of the Holy Ghost?
- What can we do to be more responsive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost?
- How has the Holy Ghost prompted you to serve others? What was the outcome?
- How can the Holy Ghost help you become a better ministering brother or sister?
- Why do you personally need the Holy Ghost?
- In what ways does the sacrament teach us about the Holy Ghost?
- When have you felt the Holy Ghost teach and guide you? What have you learned from those experiences?
- What have you learned about recognizing communications from the Holy Ghost?
- What experiences have you had with gaining spiritual knowledge?
- How have you been blessed by the Holy Ghost?
- What are some other names we give to the Holy Ghost? Which names resonates with you the most?
- How have you been strengthened because someone else listened to a prompting?
- How has the Holy Ghost been a pillar of light and strength for you?
For this talk, the Church suggests, "To increase our desire and ability to receive the Holy Ghost, President Eyring shares several personal experiences and gives specific direction. After reviewing his experiences, what similar memories can members of your quorum or Relief Society share when the Holy Ghost touched their hearts or affirmed truth? Perhaps members could list on the board the guidance that President Eyring shares to help 'open our hearts to receive the ministration of the Spirit.' How will following his direction help us in own lives and in our families? In our quorum or Relief Society?"
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.
- Discuss the different names of the Holy Ghost- the Comforter, Testifier of Truth, etc. Write them on the board during your discussion or do it as a pre-opener activity by passing out markers to people before class starts. What do these names help us learn about the Holy Ghost? What name resonates the most with you? Why?
- Take the above activity a step further and involve more people in your pre-opener. Send an email or post on your ward's Facebook group challenging people to come up with as many names for the Holy Ghost as they can (or you can ask for roles of the Holy Ghost). This simple act involves those that can't attend your discussion on Sunday and if you offer it as challenge, it'll inspire some to really get into it (tell them how many you thought of and see if they can do the same or better). The real goal is to take all the names your ward thought of and put them in a chart- one name per square. Leave enough room to write a few notes in each square. On Sunday, pass it out and challenge your class to write examples down of when they have felt that name for the Holy Ghost to be appropriate in their lives. For example, for Comforter I would write about a time when I was deep in trials but felt peace and comfort even though I didn't have all the answers. Some will be able to fill it all out, others only some. The goal is to think of the Holy Ghost beyond one role, one name. He does so much more. Then discuss your experiences. You can also pass out the chart with the challenge to those that can't attend your class as well- Primary, Nursery, Young Men/Women's, those that are sick, etc.
- Discuss how Joseph Smith prepared himself to be ready to receive an answer from the Holy Ghost- President Eyring mentions the four choices he made to receive continual direction and comfort. Why do you think he focused on these four keys? How can we apply them in our lives? Why is the fourth choice so important to remember with the recent announcements in General Conference?
- I'm a fan of writing since it allows everyone to participate including those that don't love to speak up and gives people time to think before they answer out loud. President Eyring reminded us that memories of the Holy Ghost are precious. Take a few minutes to remember what promptings your class had this week using my journal sheets above then allow some to discuss their answers or explain what writing it down did for them.
- End or begin your discussion by singing the hymn, "Abide with Me."
- Elder Bednar has done some great video clips about receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and recognizing the promptings. There are also other videos about the Holy Ghost on the page to look at as well.
- While this Tootsie Roll handout is intended for Primary ages, you could do a fun spin on it for adult classes or at least toss out tootsie rolls for those who read for you.
- Take the typical baptismal talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost and make it work for your class. Instead of explaining what each object means, give an object to each group or various people and ask them to draw a parallel between the object and the Holy Ghost. Then have them share a personal example. The Red Headed Hostess also shares this version of the talk which focuses more specifically on how the Holy Ghost helps us learn.
- Give a few minutes for the people in your class to share their testimonies based on how they feel prompted to do so. It could be a great way to end your lesson- by allowing others to act on the principles. Then close with your testimony.
- Challenge your class to write down and act upon on impressions received throughout the week- either the week before your lesson so you can discuss the results together or after your lesson. Again, you can give them my handout to encourage them to record their promptings.
- Take time to discuss the spiritual wrestling that Enos went through. Sometimes the knowledge we seek won't be given until we have thoroughly studied it out in our minds, prayed, fasted, and wrestled with it. It's part of the growing process! The key is knowing where to turn to find the answers throughout your struggle- the words of the prophets. Read more about this wrestle in Sheri Dew's book, Worth the Wrestle (included in your Deseret Bookshelf PLUS subscription).