"Truth and the Plan" by President Dallin H. Oaks Discussion Ideas

President Dallin H. Oaks’ personality shines in “Truth and the Plan” with his organization and clearly laid out talk. I like how he shares some of the truths we know, where we can look for more, and what those truths me for us.

 
 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints suggests the following when discussing this talk:

“How does understanding ‘restored gospel truths’ help us when we face opposition to our beliefs and practices? To answer this question, members could review examples of fundamental truths in section II of President Oaks’s message. They could also review examples of how these truths are applied (see section III). It might be helpful for members to role-play how they would use some of these fundamental truths to respond to criticisms of a Church teaching or practice.”


Questions to Ponder

  • When you search for answers, what helps you find true sources of truth? How can President Oaks’s advice help us find more accurate truth?

  • What methods have you used in your pursuit of truth?

  • How does knowing the truths of the gospel lead to “true and enduring joy”?

  • How can you help another find sources for gospel truths? What can you do to teach young children about gospel truths?

  • What experiences have you had of becoming “new creatures in Christ”?

  • In what ways does God’s plan demonstrate that “the family is ordained of God”? What can we do to live this truth?

  • How can you properly defend the doctrines of the gospel, including the doctrine of gender and the family, in the face of opposition?

  • His “work and glory” is to bring about the “immortality and eternal life of man?” (Moses 1:39). How does knowing the doctrine of the gospel help with this work? What is our part in bringing to pass this work and glory?

  • What would your life look like without the knowledge you have of gospel truths?

  • When have you sought learning “by study and also by faith”? How did it make a difference to include faith in your learning process instead of simply study? Why does study need to be apart of the journey?

  • How has knowing who you are, why you are here, and where you are going made an impact in your life? Was there a time it brought you comfort? Has it guided you in your life choices? What difference has that knowledge made?

  • How can our current knowledge of gospel truths help us when there are things we might not understand as of yet?

  • What can we learn when our search for truth hits a dead end or we don’t receive an answer to prayer? Why wouldn’t we find an answer?

  • How has access to truth changed through history?

  • How does Satan, the father of lies, use truth to deceive? How can we increase our ability to discern truth?


Discussion Thoughts

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

  • Invite the full time missionaries to share a lesson about The Plan of Salvation. You could invite class members to role play the part of an investigator during the lesson but then switch after their instructional part is over allowing class members to be the missionaries answering questions that investigators might have.

  • Pass out copies of The Family: A Proclamation to the World and highlight doctrinal truths found therein. You might want to break up into smaller groups to read aloud together and highlight. Then come back together to discuss how principles from the Proclamation can be implemented into your family.

  • What cautions did President Oaks give us about our pursuit of truth? Discuss how when we write a research paper we look for credible resources, not just whatever anyone says. The same applies to searching for gospel truth. Discuss why it’s important for us to continue to seek and study truth even though we have the “fullness of the gospel of Christ.” Then review some places we can turn for truth and what we need to be weary of, including priestcrafts. You may want to demonstrate on a computer or smartphone, how to navigate the study features of Gospel Library and LDS.org. It is such a great resource!

  • Have class members search “truth” in the scriptures and discuss what the scriptures say about truth. Christ is often referred to as being full of “grace and truth” Discuss why this would be.

  • Give people time to review sections two and three quickly by themselves and write down any truths that come to their mind that they personally know. Then write in the next column using my handout how that impacts their lives. Ask for some to share after a few minutes. You could also ask people to do this ahead of time.

  • Invite a newly baptized member to talk about the truths that led them to becoming baptized and members of the Church of Jesus Christ. Then ask a long time member of the Church to share which truths have helped them hold strong to the gospel throughout their life. Which gospel truths are guiding you today?

  • President Oaks mentions six applications of eternal truths. Divide into 6 groups and discuss each application. Have each group come up with one more to add to the list.

  • Have the class ponder and write out a “battle plan” for when they are bombarded with opposition about gospel truths. You could draw a “battle plan” on the board and even refer to some of the Book of Mormon battles and their strategies to learn how we can use them today.

  • Print off a copy of this talk and cut apart sections two and three where it talks about the different truths we learn as well as the application of such truths. Divide your class into groups giving them one of each type strip. Ask them to come up with an application idea of the truth learned and share a testimony of the applied truth. You may also want to challenge them to think of another truth we learn from the Plan of Salvation or Proclamation.

  • The restoration was ushered in by the quest for truth from a young Joseph Smith. James 1:5 (If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God) led him to ask God, “What church shall I join?” What else has God revealed as a result of a search for truth? Search the scriptures for other examples. What do these examples tell us about revelation?

  • Compare the definition of truth as found in D&C 93:24 with the 9th article of faith. How are truth and revelation the same? How are they different? Is all truth revelation? Is all revelation truth? Use a Venn Diagram to illustrate.