"Our Campfire of Faith" by Elder Gerrit W. Gong Discussion Ideas

"Our Campfire of Faith" by Elder Gerrit W. Gong is such a great example of how sharing our talents with others can have lasting impact and help grow the testimony of others. When was the last time you offered to teach someone one of your talents? I love how we are still learning from Elder Richard G. Scott in this talk as well.

 
 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recommends the following for this talk:

Consider displaying a picture of a campfire and inviting someone to share an experience when he or she was grateful to have a campfire. Ask members to discuss what Elder Gong meant when he talked about a “campfire of faith.” Then you could divide members into groups and invite each group to review and share one of the five ways that Elder Gong suggests a “campfire of faith” can encourage us. Give members time to ponder how they might strengthen their own faith or the faith of someone they know.


Questions to Ponder

  • In what ways does having faith help you accomplish something you feel unprepared for or inadequate at?

  • What can we do to remember that God is the creator of all things more regularly?

  • In what ways is faith our warmth as we face darkness and uncertainty?

  • How have you felt your testimony grow?

  • How has your testimony encouraged you?

  • What experiences do you have where faith was able to strengthen you through dark times?

  • What kind of wholesome creative things do you find joy in doing? Who can you invite to do it with you?

  • How has been creative allowed your faith to grow?

  • How has having faith helped you to find joy in doing wholesome activities?

  • What challenges and joys has Jesus Christ helped you to meet?

  • What challenges have you faced when trying to have faith?

  • Think of a time when you have felt uncertain, alone, frustrated, angry, let down or disappointed. How have you refocused yourself so you can get back on the covenant path?

  • What things are you trying to do differently so you can minister in a higher and holier way?

  • How might we need to change in order to more fully serve with all our heart, might, mind and strength?

  • What blessings do you notice in your life when you establish a pattern of righteous living like Elder Gerrit Gong mentioned?

  • What do you notice about your life when you aren’t constantly trying to stick to the pattern of righteous living?

  • How can we show our faith in the new changes the church is implementing?


Discussion Ideas

These are my ideas. My hope is reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.

  • To discuss the idea of making enough time in your life for the pattern of righteous living (like prayer, scriptures, fasting, sacrament, temple work, etc), try the following object lesson. To prep ahead of time, fill a large mason jar with a few rocks or cuties (don’t put too many in that they go over the brim of the jar. These represent the things we should do to live a pattern of righteous living (prayer, scriptures, fasting, etc). Then fill the rest of the jar with sand or rice to the top of the jar. This represents the rest of the things we fill our life with. Take out these items and keep in bags to take to class. The jar represents our day. The rocks and the sand, when placed in the jar, represent the ways we spend our time. In this example, the rocks represent our holy habits, and righteous routines, and the sand represents other things we spend our time on like work, play, watching TV, hobbies, etc. Place the rice into the jar first and then the rocks. Notice that when you pour the rice in first, there is not enough room for the rocks to all fit. Now let’s place the rocks in first and then the rice. Notice that if you put the rocks in first, you have room for all the rice. Then take a cup of water and pour it in as well. Not only do you have time to do everything but you will be blessed with more than enough. How does this jar example relate to the time we spend on holy habits and other day to day tasks? Why did everything fit in the jar the second time? How is putting rocks in the jar first an example of showing faith? Note: You could add another item to your jar like marbles or something smaller than rocks but bigger than the rice to help take up room as well. Those things can represent the more temporal things that need our focus daily.

  • Write on the board, “My faith has…” then allow everyone in your class an opportunity to finish the sentence. Review some of the answers at the beginning of your lesson then transition into discussing Elder Gong’s five main points about how our faith can encourage it.

  • Display a plant to represent how our faith is like a growing plant that needs constant care. Have the class discuss ways we can grow our faith throughout our lives as well as things that might cause our faith to stop growing. Ask if anyone has an experience when their faith was wavering and how they strengthened their faith. When a plant starts to shrivel, does that mean we should just throw it out? No, we can still do things to help it out. Just because we have doubts, doesn’t mean we need to give up either. Then ask individuals if plants have ever changed their mood. How can our faith do likewise?

  • Break up your lesson into the five main ways Elder Gong discussed for what we can gain from our campfire of faith. You can divide your class into groups, giving them each a flame to focus on. Then as they present their main thoughts and ideas with the rest of the class, they can add the flame to the logs on the board. You can also talk about why fire is such a great analogy for our faith. How it can easily spread and warm us but it can also be extinguished.

  • Discuss ways we can help fan the flame of faith in others including our children. What are some things that have been helpful for you when you were struggling? How have you helped your children grow their faith? How have you helped others rely on their faith during times of discouragement?

  • Display a few pieces of artwork that show the beautiful creations of earth. Read the words to, or have a couple primary children sing the song to, “Heavenly Father Loves Me.” Discuss how observing the creation of the world can help us obtain faith? How does it make you feel when you can escape from the world and spend time in God’s creation? What can we do to put more trust in God since he knows us best?