What did you think about Gordon B. Hinckley Chapter 12: Obedience: Simply Live the Gospel? Another great name for the chapter is "Becoming like Christ" because that is what obedience does.
I love the story of the baggage car and the hinges of a gate. Those little decisions matter. You can use the above Mormonad in your lesson as well when you tell the story in the manual. The best part? Even when we do go on the wrong path, because of Jesus Christ we have the opportunity to repent and get back on the right track. Be sure to testify of not only the joys that come from obedience but also the wonderful cleansing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Questions to Ponder
Some of these questions are from the manual, others are ones that I thought of- use them in your preparation, lesson, or to help you think of your own.
- Why is it that as the Lord's covenant people, we "cannot be ordinary people"?
- What are some ways your covenants influence your daily life?
- How do you sometimes compromise your convictions?
- How can you strengthen yourself to resist temptation?
- How can you apply the story of Elijah to your life?
- How would you respond to someone who feels the commandments are too restricting?
- How have the commandments brought you freedom, safety, and peace?
- How have you been blessed by following the counsel of Church leaders?
- What can you learn from President Hinckley's story of the lost luggage car in section 5?
- How can small decisions make a big difference in your life?
- What is a small decision that made a big difference for you?
- How can you better recognize small deviations that can lead you away from God's path?
- How does living the gospel help you cope with uncertainties in the world?
- How can living the gospel simplify your life?
- How can you actively strengthen the Church and help God's work grow across the earth?
- In what aspects of your life can you "stand a little taller"?
- What do your covenants mean to you?
- In what ways is the gospel "a simple way"? (section 20)
- How have you been blessed as you have lived the gospel?
Here are some articles to study as you continue to prepare for your lesson. They should NOT replace the manual but rather help answer questions and strengthen your own testimony so that it is easy to teach with confidence and answer questions that arise during your lesson.
"Obedience Brings Blessings" by President Thomas S. Monson
"Obedience to Law Is Liberty" by Elder L. Tom Perry
"Obedience through our Faithfulness" by Elder L. Tom Perry
"He Will Place You on His Shoulders and Carry You Home" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"'If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments'" by Sister Carole M. Stephens
Throughout preparing this lesson, I kept going back to the phrase, "Stand a little taller." We have this daily scripture and quote book that we read whenever we need a little pick me up or a good way to bring the Spirit back into our home. Each day has a theme, scripture, and quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley. It's a great to focus your thoughts and improvements on one area of your life at a time.
These are my ideas. My hope is that reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
- Get out your stools and take the phrase, "stand a little taller" literally. Ask a few people to come up and stand on the stool for you. Then ask them, "What happens when you stand taller?" You can see more- the perspective changes and you see things differently. So what does President Hinckley mean when he asks us to "stand a little taller" and how does it apply to obedience? After the discussion, pass out the cube papers. Don't make them into cubes (unless that's something you love doing), just pass out the papers. Have your class write on the different parts of the cube reasons why they want to be obedient or ways they have been blessed because of obedience. There are two cubes to choose from- one with words and one without. You can do the same activity either way. You can have your class make them into cubes then or have them take them home to transform later.
- If you don't have a large class, you can get some cheap wooden rulers and write "Stand a Little Taller" on them as a great reminder...especially when doing those simple, everyday tasks.
- Start by discussing the seasons and things that go on in each one. For example in the fall we all love to view the beautiful colors and smell the air. Then ask what season you are in now.... the answer you really want is found in the intro of the chapter. "This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is time to be found keeping the commandments...." You could keep going with that quote, it's all good. Instead of the 4 seasons you could also refer to seasons of life. No matter where we are in life or the time of the year, this quote applies to everyone. How can we embrace this season?
- Focus on the simple part of this lesson with My Computer is My Canvas handout tags included in her class packet.
- At the end of the introduction President Hinckley talks about judging how far we have come in the last 10 years since his original invitation to "stand a little taller" was given. It's been another 12 years since then. Take time to reflect back and see if we really have risen to the challenge. Are we happier with ourselves 12 years ago or now? How about the church? What changes do you feel reflect the answer to the challenge?
- Here's a great object lesson idea from Maria Eckersley....just don't let your class see the video before you teach!
- Discuss the story of Abraham where he receives what we refer to as the Abrahamic Covenant. Challenge your class to define the Abrahamic Covenant in 10 words or less. What is it really and how are we living it today? Come up with a clear, solid definition of it because how are we keeping it unless we know what it is. Elder Dallin H. Oaks has a video clip that can also help answer this question. Also see this summary. What are some other covenants we have made? How would you define those? Do you have a clear understanding of them?
- In section 2 President Hinckley says, "We must cultivate the strength to follow our convictions." Use the cultivation example with garden. We have to plant our seeds of faith, nourish them, and help them grow. At times we have to draw upon those plants to help us have the strength to follow what we know is right. However, if we run out of plants to pull, we're in trouble. We have to consistently plant new seeds of faith through doing those daily simple things that gospel asks of us.
- Love Pray Teach also has a Power Point presentation included in her handout packet. When you use the code chicken05 you get an extra 5% off.
- Use the free handouts from He and I to share quotes on your ward's social media pages beforehand and a get a discussion going.
- Tell the shark story from Elder Von G. Keetch talk, "Blessed and Happy Are Those Who Keep the Commandments of God." Ask for examples from your class when keeping the commandments had this type of obvious safety benefit. Then tie it into how it doesn't really matter where in the world you live, or which political party you belong to, true freedom and safety comes from keeping the commandments.
- Proverbs 6:23 says, "the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light." Bring a lamp and ask people to explain that scripture. Take it a step further and bring several different objects and ask a few people beforehand to try an analogy to the "random" items on the table to get people's wheels turning.
- End with a special musical number of "Do What is Right."
See the hymns under the topic of Obedience.