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These first four chapters of Howard W. Hunter flow beautifully. Jesus Christ is our only way to real hope and joy (Chapter 1); we can find peace through Jesus (Chapter 2) even though adversity is part of God's plan (Chapter 3). Don't worry though, because there is always help from on high (Howard W. Hunter Chapter 4). How do you receive that help?
Start looking up more than down or around. We need to pray to our Father in Heaven. He wants to help us. He knows how to help us. He knows that we have to struggle a little so we'll grow but He will help us. That's the most comforting thing in the entire world. There is divine help and you and I have access to it.
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However, when we seek divine guidance, we must be open to it. We must trust in it even when it doesn't go with our original plan. We need to follow it even if it's hard. Life isn't easy. That's not the point of life! However, we don't have to go it alone nor should we!
- Where do you turn for help? Take a basic example like learning to garden. Where do you go for help? You turn to the experts. Where do we need to go for help with life? The expert, our Heavenly Father.
- I love the example of looking up. I wonder if you could put something on the ceiling above where you will be teaching to get people to look up. It could be a picture of the Savior or a scripture. How many people would notice right away and how long it would take others to notice? You could even use it throughout your lesson- pointing up as you talk or ask questions.
- Give an example of another problem. Try to make it a serious question that can also have several answers like, "My daughter is starting to think about college. She is looking for answers beyond the ones I can give her. What college or university do you recommend and why." Write your question on your Facebook wall or ward page and wait for the answers. Make strips of paper that hold all the answers you were given (you may want to leave off the names). Hang up the strips as you explain your question to your class. You can even take some of their answers before hanging up the other answer strips. Mention how some of the comments are funny while others seem to be more well informed. Point out the good as well as all differences between them. If you had to make a decision based on these answers, how confident would you be? Even though there is a lot of good advise, looking up, and seeking guidance from Heavenly Father is even more helpful as you make the decision. We should absolutely seek to make well informed decisions but we should also make sure God is part of that equation.
- Take time to talk about ways you find divine help: attending the temple, serving others, reading the scriptures, praying, pondering, etc. Discuss the example of Joseph Smith and how he went about the process of eventually praying and having the First Vision (be sure not to focus the whole lesson on this though as the next chapter is all about Joseph Smith).
- Use the repairman example. For instance- Your car's check engine light has come on. After about 3 weeks you finally take it into the auto shop. You were too busy before and really couldn't be bothered. As a result, there are a lot of things that need to be repaired. If you had taken it in sooner, you could have saved yourself a lot of money and repairs. In fact, if you would have taken it in for regular maintenance and oil changes, you would have probably avoided the problem all together. The same is often true for prayer. Even when we do encounter problems, they are much easier to overcome or bear if we have constantly been maintaining our relationship with God.
- Give your class the time to ponder for a few minutes in class. Give them the opportunity to realize how wonderful and important it is. Share ways you each find time to ponder and meditate regularly.
- Get approval from your ward leaders to listen or show the song, "Line Upon Line" from "Saturday's Warrior." Then talk about how we aren't perfect and why that's an important key to remember as we seek for divine help.
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Watch 3 more teaching ideas for Howard W. Hunter Chapter 4 below.
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"Awake, Ye Saints of God, Awake!"- Hymn #17
"Be Thou Humble"- Hymn #130
"Come unto Him"- Hymn #114
"Joseph Smith's First Prayer"- Hymn #26
"Prayer Is the Soul's Sincere Desire"- Hymn #145
"Secret Prayer"- Hymn #144
"Jesus, Lover of My Soul"- Hymn #102
"Guide Me to Thee"- Hymn #101
Questions to Ponder
- How have you been comforted by the promise of divine help?
- In what ways have you received divine help?
- What things can you learn from Joseph Smith's example to help you through times of confusion?
- How can you develop greater spiritual sensitivity?
- What can do you need to do in order to gain more spiritual knowledge?
- How can you increase your desire to gain more spiritual knowledge?
- How has spiritual knowledge helped you?
- What happens if you view God as only a repairman?
- How has prayer blessed your life?
- How do you develop spiritual strength?
- Why is it important to remember that perfection is not something you'll attain in this life? Should that discourage you?
- Why do you think struggle is necessary before you can usually attain greater spirituality?
- What happens as you "look up" more?
- In what ways have you been taught from on High?
Watch: Wrong Roads (about 4 minutes)
Watch: Daily Bread: Pattern (about 3 minutes)
"It Is Better to Look Up" by Elder Carl B. Cook
"Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer" by Elder Richard G. Scott
"Come Unto Him in Prayer and Faith" by President Thomas S. Monson
"Sweet Hour of Prayer" by President Russell M. Nelson
"Prayer" by President Henry B. Eyring
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