Teaching Helps for "Precious Gifts from God" by President M. Russell Ballard

President M. Russell Ballard kicked off April 2018 General Conference with his talk, "Precious Gifts from God." It is a great reminder of the gifts that we have so readily available as members of Christ's true church. 

 
 

His talk was a great transition from participating in the Solemn Assembly to learning and listening to the talks given throughout General Conference. He also mentioned several great classic scriptures to help us see even more of what we should be. 


Questions

  • How did you feel during the Solemn Assembly?
  • How do you know that President Russell M. Nelson is a prophet of God?
  • What are some mountains in your way?
  • In what ways does the smallest amount of faith help fill your life with joy, happiness, hope, and love?
  • How has Christ helped strenghten you to do the things you needed?
  • What are some precious gifts from God that have made your life better?
  • How has your Sabbath been better after these past months of increased focus?
  • What helps you (and your family) unplug?
  • How does service open your eyes to understand Christ's life and minstry better?
  • What are you doing to keep Christ in the center of your life (and your family's)? 
  • Why is real ministering referred to as pure religion?

Discussion Thoughts

From the Church, "President Ballard’s message addresses a variety of topics—including prophets, faith in Christ, the sacrament, and service—and members of your quorum or Relief Society may find different topics especially meaningful. Invite members to share something from this message that inspires them. What invitations or promised blessings do we find in President Ballard’s message? Consider inviting members to ponder for a few minutes what they feel inspired to do as a result of this discussion."

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.

  • Begin by allowing your class to share how they felt during the Solemn Assembly. President Ballard urged each of us to record our feelings of this occasion, encourage your class to do the same.
  • President Ballard also noted that having President Nelson as our prophet-president opened a new chapter in church history. Talk about what you would include so far in this chapter and what your hopes are for the future in terms of your group carrying out some of the new changes.
  • Since President Ballard mentions several precious gifts, you could bring a beautiful gift bag. Fill the bag with tissue paper as well as a few pieces of paper with gifts that were mentioned in this Conference talk (the Sabbath day, the Atonement, a living prophet, etc). Then pass the bag around the class asking each person to mention a precious gift from the Lord to them. If they can't think of any, they can draw a piece of paper from the bag and discuss it briefly (make sure they put it back in though for others to use unless you have enough papers for the whole class). There is always the option to keep passing the bag as well if the person chooses. 
  • Bring a mustard seed to pass around the class as you talk about how small it is. Even that much faith can bring us joy! You could also attach a mustard seed to each handout for people to bring home.
  • List all the precious gifts President Ballard mentions on the board beforehand then ask your class to continue the list. 
  • Here's a great free coloring page from Just What I Squeezed In about doing all things through Christ that strengthens us. It makes a great handout especially to those that can't or don't attend. I also love her journal coloring book.
  • Use the old tootsie pop commercial where the kid asks the owl how many licks it takes to get to the center of the tootsie pop (the answer is 3). The metaphor being Satan will constantly try to get to our center to put something else in its place. How do we keep Christ at the center of our lives at all times?
  • Use the scripture in 2 Nephi 25:26 and discuss how each action is done and how we incorporate it into our lives in order to keep Christ at our center.