LDS Teaching Helps for "By Divine Design" by Elder Ronald A. Rasband

"By Divine Design" by Elder Ronald A. Rasband is one of those talks that make you look at all your interactions and relationships differently. Why is that person in your life? Why are you in theirs? There is so much we take for granted and do pass off as mere coincidences when it is so much more; it is by divine design.

 
 

One of my favorite things to remember is the above quote about the Lord being in the small details of our lives. Even though we are seemingly insignificant, "The Lord loves to be with us." What a wonderful blessing.


Questions

  • What are some past "coincidences" that are easier to see as "by divine design" now?
  • How have you seen the Lord in the details of your life?
  • "What are God's miracles that remind you that He is close, saying, 'I am right here'?"
  • In what ways can we allow God to make more of us than we could on our own?
  • What happens when we change our thinking about missteps as first steps "on the Lord's errand"?
  • When have you been in a situation where the Lord was able to use you?
  • How can we be more aware of God's "divine designs"?
  • How does knowing that God gives you specific opportunities change the way you approach your everyday?
  • What people have you felt were meant to e apart of your story? Why?

Teaching Thoughts

From the Church, "To encourage discussion about Elder Rasband’s message, it might be helpful to invite a few members to bring a sewing pattern, a blueprint, or a recipe and talk about why these are helpful. What examples or teachings from Elder Rasband’s message inspire members to recognize God’s design for their lives? Perhaps class members could share experiences in which they saw the Lord was directing their lives. What have they done to show God that they 'treasure' His direction? Why is it important to recognize God’s 'divine design'?"

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.

  • Before class starts, write on the board, "Do you believe in coincidences?" with a Yes and No section for people to vote. You can use post-its or markers with tally marks for people to cast their votes. You can begin by reviewing the results and discussing why people voted the way they did. Then read a quote from Elder Rasband about his view on coincidences.
  • This is a lesson where sharing of stories and testimony will be the most powerful. Ask a few people ahead of time or reserve some time for people to share. You could even break into groups to allow for more people to share.
  • Discuss agency and divine design. How do they work together, not apart? See Helaman 14. 
  • Talk about others who we know that have been foreordained using a chart like the one in my Primary 7 Lesson 3 handouts. 
  • I like the idea from the Church about using a recipe. You could bring in ingredients for cookies and mix it together in class as you talk about different ways the Lord may prepare us and guide us into situations for our own good. When you look at the ingredients by themselves, it seems like nothing special, however, together they are great. You can hand out cookies at the end if you want or use an egg free cookie dough recipe and give out some of the dough. My favorite one is in Mrs. Fields Best Cookie Book Ever. It's the Kids Bake' Em Cookies recipe which uses honey instead of eggs.
  • This is a great scripture poster to help demonstrate how we still have our free agency but God wants to help us out if we let Him. 
  • The story of Esther is a great example of God helping us be in the right place at the time. Here are two free posters you can use to help demonstrate the point as well.
  • A lot of this talk is about trusting the Lord as well. Do we trust that it is by divine design? Use these sticky notes helps as a pre-opener or pondering time during your lesson.