Don't you love how last week we had a lesson about being self-reliant and now we have Gordon B. Hinckley Chapter 14: Losing Ourselves in the Service of Others? It's hard to lift others up when we are sitting down ourselves.
Section 1 also puts service into a different perspective- our lives are gifts and now it's our turn to give back to God through serving others. We can do that. It's definitely achievable. We can lift with words of kindness, warm smiles, and offering a helping hand. Thanks to all of you that serve me that way. You are appreciated. Now onto the lesson!
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.
- How can you make serving others a way of life?
- Why does it mean to serve with an eye single to the glory of God?
- How has other's service blessed you?
- Why does service help overcome self-pity, selfishness, and loneliness?
- How has service brought you happiness?
- How can you and your family reach out and serve?
- How does losing yourself in service help you discover your true self?
- What can you learn from the stories in section 3?
- What blessings has Church service brought into your life?
- How does this attitude of service change the way you approach your calling?
- Have you ever put Mark 8:35 to the test? What was the result?
- What keeps you from serving?
- How does service bring light into your life?
- What does knowing your life is a gift from God mean to you?
- What opportunities for service did you see this week? How did you respond to each one?
- "If not now, when? If not you, who?" (section 1)
- What ills of yours have been cured through service?
- How do you serve within the church?
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.
"The Joy of Service" by President Thomas S. Monson
"The Greatest among You" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"Unselfish Service" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks
"Finding Joy through Loving Service" by Elder M. Russell Ballard
""I Was a Stranger'" by Sister Linda K. Burton
Preparation of Gordon B. Hinckley: Forget Yourself and Go to Work (about 2 minutes)- Story of the missionary letter he got from his dad.
Whosoever Will Lose His Life for My Sake Shall Find It (about 2 minutes)- Bible Video
Service Through Song (about 3 1/2 minutes)- A group shares love through singing hymns to a group of elderly residents.
Service (about 20 seconds)- Side by side comparison of showing love like Christ does (These short videos are great to share before or after your lesson through email or social media to keep the conversation going).
Dominoes (about 30 seconds)- How service continues to bless (all check out the other videos on this page)
JustServe (about 30 minutes)- Too long for class but watch it to further understand how JustServe.org works.
I Was a Stranger: Love One Another (about 3 1/2 minutes)- This is the one shown in the Women's Session April 2016
Check out 2 more pages of service videos.
These are my ideas. My hope is that reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
- Use the above quote as a visual in your class. I picked the flowers to decorate it due to the quote found in section 3 "...He who lives only unto himself withers and dies, while he who forgets himself in the service of others grows and blossoms in this life and in eternity." If you need the file instead to send to a print shop, please email me (give me at least 72 hours to respond please).
- Be sure your class is aware of the countless opportunities to serve by sending them to Volunteer on Church Projects page as well as JustServe.org (there is even an app). There are so many options! If you can, pull up the pages in class on a big screen and show people how to find and use these great resources.
- Need photos of service projects or quotes to share- LDS.org has several for you to use.
- This lesson is a great one to plug Visiting and Home Teaching... even change the perception of it. If we forget our complaints about it and lose ourselves in the service, it isn't something to complain about but a joy- both on the receiving and doing end.
- Get lesson quotes, discussion strips, and a treat handout idea with the My Computer is My Canvas lesson kit.
- In my video I mentioned the Service Scavenger Hunt found at A Year of FHE. Emilie always does such a great job.
- Write the scripture found in Mark 8:35 on the board and dissect it. What does it mean by saving your own life- losing it? How do you do that? How do you avoid it? What does that look like in daily actions? What other context can you give it? The verses before and after it are great too. Dive into the scriptures then connect quotes from the chapter with it.
- Go back to last Christmas when the LDS church has the campaign of #LighttheWorld. Discuss the acts of service your ward performed and one reason why Christmas is the most wonderful time of the world- because we focus on others and serving them. You could even show the video they made for that time to help people remember.
- Service can be as simple as using encouraging words or refraining from the negative ones. Challenge your class to give out compliment cards this week and really focus on the words they choose to say.
- Charity never faileth. It is the answer to everything. Discuss what this means in terms of serving each other and how it doesn't fail.
- Give time to your class to ponder possible service opportunities for the week during class. Give everyone paper and let them think and write down whatever comes to mind. Challenge them to take the opportunity to do this every day after they say their prayers and see what happens. Maybe they can even keep a service journal- not what they did but what they learned and felt as they did serve.
- President Hinckley says we can find our truer selves through service in section 3. So many people take a year off of life to discover themselves. What a gift it would be for ourselves and our children if we taught them to serve instead. Take this idea a step further by asking your class who they are- make a list on the board of all the answers. Then read a quote from section 3 and discuss how service allows us to see who we really are.
- Refer back to"I Was a Stranger." There are a lot of ways we can help others. That page also includes several video clips you may want to use.
- Pray Love Teach also has a class packet to help you teach. Hers include posters, note pages, a Power Point presentation, and more. Use chicken05 for an extra 5% off.
See the hymns listed under the topic of Service.