First things first. Don't get scared off because Gordon B. Hinckley Chapter 5: Daughters of God, focuses on one gender. There have been plenty of lessons in the past about men, and now we get one on women. You can absolutely have a great lesson in Priesthood about Daughters of God even though you are not a woman. Everyone is a child of a daughter of God. If you are not a woman, many of you are married to one and even if you are not, you have plenty of good examples in your life that you can draw on.
I love the section of this chapter that focuses on applying to all of us the section in the Doctrine and Covenants given to Emma Smith. Seeing how a prophet directly applies those scriptures to our lives (male and female) makes it easier to apply other scriptures to our lives. This is an excellent example. There are sections in this chapter that could easily be made into a whole chapter so you will want to choose which sections you really want to focus on for your lesson. What does your class need the most? The most important take away for me? Women are divine and have a high and sacred place in the eternal plan of God. We all have an important work to do on this earth. We need to rise to the divine stature within each us. What is your take away?
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.
- What did you learn from President Hinckley about how God feels about His daughters?
- Why is it important for you to know that in God's eternal plan, women hold a "high and sacred place"?
- In Section 2, what aspects of the Lord's counsel to Emma are especially helpful to you?
- What can you learn from section 2 about being faithful?
- What is an "elect lady"? How does a woman become one?
- What does Section 2 teach you about applying the scriptures to yourself?
- What does being faithful to yourself include? (see Section 2)
- Why do you think President Hinckley suggests to all women to write? (see Section 2)
- What impressions did you receive as you read President Hinckley's counsel to mothers in Section 3?
- How have you been blessed by a mother's influence?
- Parents, why is "no obligation more binding" than rearing your children "in love and peace and integrity"?
- What examples of strong and capable women in the Church do you have?
- How can women help bring to pass "the immortality and the eternal life of all of the sons and daughters of God"?
- Why is it important that men and women work together to move the Lord's work forward? What examples have you seen of this?
- What are some of the blessings that come from Relief Society? (see Section 5)
- What are some blessings that have come to you as a result of Relief Society sisters? (Remember Relief Society Sisters also serve in Young Women and Primary)
- What can you do to strengthen the Relief Society in your ward?
- How can Relief Society help women increase their influence for good?
- How can you gain a better vision of what God sees your potential to be?
- How can you progress towards reaching your potential?
- When have you seen the "marvelous... power of women of faith"?
- How does remembering you are a daughter or son of God impact the way you live?
- What helps you "stand strong and immovable for that which is correct"? (Section 5)
- How can you teach your sons to honor womanhood?
- How can you teach your daughters to walk in virtue?
Learn more about Marjorie Pay Hinckley
It's hard to read through this lesson without thinking about Sister Hinckley. I love this woman so much! Learn more about her in Glimpses Into the Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley or Letters. I have read both and appreciate so much her openness, virtue, humor, and kindness. Small and Simple Things is another great book of hers that includes one liners you will love if you are looking for something shorter. You could even use a few of her quotes to begin your lesson talking about one great example of a strong and virtuous woman and the resulting impact she has had.
Here are some articles and other things 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.
Daughters in My Kingdom is a great place to start.
"The Influence of Righteous Women" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf- Since this is a First Presidency Message you will find some questions and ideas at the bottom too.
"A Plea to My Sisters" by President Russell M. Nelson
"Behold Thy Mother" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
"Sisterhood: Oh, How We Need Each Other" by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson
"We'll Ascend Together" by Sister Linda K. Burton
"The Moral Force of Women" by Elder D. Todd Christofferson
"Forget Me Not" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"LDS Women Are Incredible!" by Elder Quentin L. Cook
I also really enjoyed listening to Sister Elaine S. Dalton's book, "No Ordinary Women: Making a Difference Through Righteous Influence."
The Women in Our Lives (about 2 1/2 minutes)- President Hinckley honors the divine gifts possessed by women.
Sweet Is the Work (about 3 1/2 minutes)- Elder Quentin L. Cook and Sister Julie B. Beck testify of the rich blessings of Relief Society.
A Long Line of Faith Righteous Women (about 3 minutes)- About Relief Society both past and present.
Be Not Moved (about 2 minutes)- Clip from Sister Elaine S. Dalton's General Conference talk April 2013.
Virtue- This page has 10 different video clips all relating back to Virtue. Show one as you discuss what walking in the path of virtue means.
These are my ideas. Every class is different and needs different things so I try to provide a few different ideas in hope that as you read through, you will find some inspiration of your own.
- Section 6 talks about rising to the divinity within. In that section, President Hinckley talks about not doing more than you are able but doing what you can. After you discuss this section a little, use the above handout and encourage everyone to write down some things that they can do- things that are feasible, don't stress them out, don't make them reach beyond what they are able but talents they can use and further develop. They can write specific ways to use their talents or simply the talents. Then encourage everyone to hang it somewhere as a reminder. The handout above also includes a poster sized version of the quote.
- Check out the LDS.org page Women of Conviction. You will find great stories that you can easily include in your lesson and plenty of inspiration. You can also find the book, The First Fifty Years of Relief Society, here.
- Bring The Family: A Proclamation to the World into your lesson. It's a great way to dive deeper into roles of women and men as well as how they work together to bring to pass God's plan. Pass out Family Proclamation cards to everyone or project it on the board so all can read it easily.
- Write the scriptures in D&C 25 that President Hinckley dives into on big pieces of posterboard beforehand if you can (otherwise get to class early and start writing!). As a class dissect each verse and talk about what it means to you and how to apply it in your life. Read the quotes from President Hinckley when applicable. You could also do this in a group setting. This would make a great main focus of your lesson.
- Search the #ItwasMom hashtag on Instagram. Holy Handouts has a great free Young Women's theme.
- Using the posters mentioned in the previous point- ask a few people in your class to underline or circle a few keywords or lines that stick out to them before class. When you get to the part of your lesson where you discuss these verses either ask the person to explain why they chose what they did OR ask someone else why they think that part is underlined.
- This chapter frequently mentions working together in unity- "If [its members] will be united and speak with one voice, their strength will be incalculable." (Section 5). The Relief Society can do so much good when it is united but we are often the ones that get in the way. We draw comparisons, put ourselves down, and nitpick. Identify some problems you may have in your organization (general, not specific) and how you can work together to fix them. What virtues can overcome those problems? How can men support the Relief Society?
- Begin your lesson with some quotes from Sister Marjorie Pay Hinckley- an excellent example of a daughter of God. Use the quotes to show the potential, daughters of God have and tie it back into several points in the lesson.
- President Uchtdorf shared a great example of one daughter of God on his Facebook page not too long ago. She chatted with his mother while standing in line waiting for whatever supplies they could get. Then she invited them to go to church with her that Sunday. This was a small act that made a huge difference. Often we don't recognize the good that comes from small acts. Ask for other examples of seemingly small acts performed by women in your life that in fact had a huge difference. Close the sharing with the scripture Alma 37:6. You can even do one step per story told in this origami object lesson. When we live up to our divine potential, even the small things can have lasting impact.
- Follow the counsel to write (see Section 2). Hand out one of the #52Stories Printables and get your class writing for 5 minutes then discuss the counsel. Read more about why 52 Stories on Family Search's blog. You could also use some of these free journal printables.
- Reflect what it means to be a child of God as President Hinckley suggested in the first section. Use the story of Esther and this great printable to help your class reflect on this profound statement. Why does it matter to you that you know you are a child of God?
- Tie January's Visiting Teaching message in (Yes, men you can do this too). Or So She Says has a great printable to go along with the purpose of Relief Society that you can discuss- including how it requires unity. Little LDS Ideas has a great handout (and treat idea) that you can use for free as well.
- Make a slideshow of the women in your ward or stake. Use it as you point out one of the sections in the manual- daughters of God, living up to our divine potential, the power of Relief Society, etc. There are many ways you can tie this in. It's a great way to quickly insert how this lesson applies to each of us.
- Discuss the purposes of Relief Society. How does your ward accomplish these? Why do we want to support these purposes? How does the purposes of Relief Society help everyone? How does it help build the kingdom of God?
- Remember to come discuss and share your ideas in our Private Facebook Group. I'll being doing a video soon as well with even more ideas.