The book of Proverbs is a collection of short sayings that express truths about life, human nature, and the consequences of righteous and wicked behaviors. This lesson provides teaching ideas for selected proverbs concerning the importance of trusting in the Lord and seeking wisdom.
Write the following on the board before class:
As class begins, ask students to help you fill in the blanks of this scripture mastery passage. Invite them to open their scriptures to Proverbs 3:5–6 if they need help. To help them memorize the passage, consider inviting the class to stand and recite it a few times. Then ask:
What do you think it means to trust in the Lord with all your heart and to lean not unto your own understanding? (You may want to explain that to lean not unto your own understanding means not to place your reasoning above the Lord’s wisdom.)
According to verse 6, what blessing is promised to those who trust in the Lord with all their heart?
How would you state a principle from Proverbs 3:5–6 using the words if and then? (Students may identify a variety of principles, but make sure to emphasize that if we trust in the Lord with all our heart, then He will direct our paths.)
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Ask the class to listen for a way we can show the Lord we trust in Him with all our heart.
“Our Father in Heaven has invited you to express your needs, hopes, and desires unto Him. That should not be done in a spirit of negotiation, but rather as a willingness to obey His will no matter what direction that takes. His invitation, ‘Ask, and ye shall receive’ (3 Ne. 27:29) does not assure that you will get what you want. It does guarantee that, if worthy, you will get what you need, as judged by a Father that loves you perfectly, who wants your eternal happiness even more than do you” (“Trust in the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 1995, 17).
According to Elder Scott’s statement, how can we show the Lord that we trust Him will all our heart?
Invite a student to read aloud the following scenario. Ask the class to think about how the young woman in the scenario could place her trust in the Lord and how she may be directed to paths of happiness as a result.
A Latter-day Saint young woman does not feel accepted among the other girls her age in her ward. Her bishop explains in an interview that he has felt strongly that the Lord wants her to be the president of her Young Women class. The young woman considers declining the call because she is afraid the other young women will not accept her leadership.
What advice would you give to this young woman?
Ask students to reflect on a time in their lives when they trusted in the Lord and felt that He directed their path. Invite students to testify of the importance of trusting in the Lord and perhaps share the experience they thought of. (Caution students not to share anything that is sacred or too personal.) As students share experiences, you may want to ask follow-up questions such as the following:
As you trusted in the Lord, how did you know that He was directing your path?
How has this experience helped you to have greater trust in the Lord?
How might this experience influence the way you respond in the future when you must decide between trusting in the Lord and depending on your own reasoning?
Consider sharing your own testimony of the principle that the Lord will direct our paths as we trust in Him with all our heart. Invite students to consider how they can show greater trust in the Lord, and encourage them to do so.
Write the following proverb on the board: How much better is it to get ____________ than gold!
Invite students to explain how they would complete the proverb and why.
Ask a student to read Proverbs 16:16 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, looking for the word that fills in the blank.
Explain that a primary purpose of the book of Proverbs is to impart wisdom (see Proverbs 1:1–4). Tell students that in their study of selected passages from Proverbs 10–30 during this lesson, they will have the opportunity to discover and “teach one another words of wisdom” (D&C 88:118). Provide students with copies of the following chart as a handout. (The chart highlights proverbs containing principles that may be relevant to students’ lives.)
Explain that students will have about five minutes to silently study some of the proverbs listed in the chart. Invite them to look for and choose a proverb they feel teaches an important principle that they would be comfortable teaching to their classmates. Explain that they do not need to choose an entire group of proverbs listed on the same line or in the same column, but that they can choose one or more verses from anywhere on the chart.
After students have had time to study and choose a proverb, invite them to prepare to teach it to others. Read aloud the following instructions or write them on the board. (If you provide students with copies of the chart, you may want to include these instructions on the same piece of paper. For your convenience, this has been done for you on a PDF available online.)
Read aloud the proverb you chose, and explain a principle it teaches.
Share an example or experience from everyday life that illustrates the principle.
Explain why the principle is important to you. (You might also consider sharing your testimony of the truthfulness of the principle.)
To provide an example for students, you may want to teach a principle in a proverb of your choice by using the preceding instructions. When students are prepared to teach, you could assign them to teach one another in pairs or in small groups, or you could invite students to teach the entire class.
Close by sharing your testimony of the truths taught in today’s lesson.
Write the following statement on the board: “Great are the words of Isaiah.” Ask students if they know who first made this statement. Explain that when Jesus Christ appeared to the Nephites after His Resurrection, He made this statement and commanded the Nephites to study Isaiah’s words (see 3 Nephi 23:1). Why do you think Jesus Christ would praise and instruct us to study the words of Isaiah? What makes Isaiah’s words so great? Tell students that in the next unit they will have an opportunity to study words and teachings of the prophet Isaiah.