Lesson 3: Following the Example of Jesus Christ

Young Women Manual 1, (2002), 9–12


Objective

Each young woman will strive to follow the example of Jesus Christ.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Picture 2, The Savior, located at the back of the manual.

  2. 2.

    Assign a young woman to sing or read the hymn “Come, Follow Me” (Hymns, no. 116), or prepare to lead the class in singing it.

  3. 3.

    Optional: Prepare the handout suggested at the end of the “We Can Learn to Follow Jesus Christ” section.

  4. 4.

    Assign young women to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.

Suggested Lesson Development

Introduction

Discussion

  • What does it mean in your life to follow Jesus Christ? (Explain that Jesus Christ is a perfect example for everyone to follow.)

Hymn

Ask the assigned young woman or the class to sing the hymn “Come, Follow Me” (Hymns, no. 116), or have the words read.

Jesus Christ Set a Perfect Example for Us to Follow

Scriptures

Have the young women read and mark the following scriptures:

The Savior asked his twelve Nephite disciples, “What manner of men ought ye to be?” Then, answering his own question, he said, “Verily I say unto you, even as I am” (3 Nephi 27:27). The same teachings apply to all young women. The answer is the same.

Have the young women read and mark John 13:15.

Chalkboard

Ask the young women to name some of Jesus’ qualities and traits that we can follow. List their suggestions on the chalkboard and discuss examples of these traits. Some of these could include:

    Meek and humble

  • Matthew 11:29 (Jesus was “meek and lowly in heart.”)

  • Philippians 2:8 (Jesus “humbled himself, and became obedient unto death.”)

    Resisted temptation

  • Matthew 4:1–11 (Jesus resisted the temptations of Satan.)

  • D&C 20:22 (Jesus did not listen to temptations.)

Teacher presentation

Explain that in all things Jesus Christ set the example for us to follow. We have been commanded to follow him. When we are obedient to that commandment, we will feel great joy in our lives. Refer to the list on the chalkboard.

Discussion

  • How can we show humility in our lives? (For instance, we can be obedient to our parents and to God’s commandments; we can place the needs and righteous wishes of others above our own.)

  • What are some everyday ways we can follow the Savior’s example? (You may want to have class members consider some specific temptations they have to overcome each day.) How can Christ’s example help you overcome these temptations?

We Can Learn to Follow Jesus Christ

Quotation

Ask the young women to listen to Marion G. Romney’s explanation of how he learned to follow the example of Jesus Christ:

“During my early teens a small book or pamphlet titled ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ came into my hands. … The question posed epitomized the desire I had had from my childhood. Countless times as I have faced challenges and vexing decisions I have asked myself ‘What would Jesus do?’ … As I pondered [that] question [I turned] to the scriptures in search of the answer. There in the Gospel as recorded by St. John, I found the clear and certain answer: Jesus would always do the will of his Father. This he himself repeatedly declared … ‘… I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

“‘And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.’ … (John 7:15, 16, 18; 8:26, 28, 29; 10:30). … Having learned that Jesus would always do the will of his Father, my next objective was to find out what Jesus would do to ascertain the will of his Father. Searching the New Testament, I discovered that one thing he did was to thoroughly familiarize himself with what his Father had declared his will to be, as recorded in the Old Testament. That he did this is evidenced by the fact that in his statements as recorded in the New Testament, Jesus quoted or cited scriptures from the Old Testament more than one hundred times.

“Finally, and most importantly, I learned that he communed constantly with his Father through prayer. This he did not only to learn the will of his Father but also to obtain the strength to do his Father’s will. He fasted and prayed. … It would seem that during his earthly ministry he never made a major decision or met a crisis without praying [see Matthew 4:2; Luke 4:2; 6:12–13; Matthew 26:39; Luke 22:42, 44]. …

“Relying upon the foregoing and companion scriptures, I decided in my youth that for me the best approach to the solution of problems and the resolving of questions would be to proceed as Jesus proceeded: foster an earnest desire to do the Lord’s will; familiarize myself with what the Lord has revealed on the matters involved; pray with diligence and faith for an inspired understanding of his will and the courage to do it. …

“The most satisfying solutions to problems and the best answers to questions that I have been able to make in my own life, I have arrived at as follows:

“1. From my youth I have searched the scriptures.

“2. I have tried to honestly face the challenge or question presented with a sincere desire to solve it as Jesus would solve it.

“3. I have, through diligent study and prayer, sought to weigh alternatives in light of what I knew about gospel principles.

“4. I have made a decision in my own mind.

“5. I have then taken the matter to the Lord, told him the problem, told him that I wanted to do what was right in his view, and asked him to give me peace of mind if I have made the right decision” (“What Would Jesus Do?” New Era, Sept. 1972, pp. 4–6).

Chalkboard discussion (or optional handout)

Discuss the five ways President Romney used to learn what Jesus would have him do. List these ways on the chalkboard, or have them prepared as a handout for the young women. Discuss how the young women could use each of these steps in their own lives to follow Jesus’ example by learning what he would have them do.

Summary quotation

“By following this pattern, Jesus lived a perfect life. We cannot, of course, equal his performance. We can, however, make greater progress toward it by emulating him than in any other way” (Romney, “What Would Jesus Do?” p. 5).

By Following the Savior’s Example, We Can Improve Our Lives

Teacher presentation

Explain that our following the Savior’s example in even the smallest things can bring great improvement in our lives. The following story shows how a young woman practiced the teachings of Jesus and saw improvement in her life.

Story

“Charlotte had come to a hard time in her life. She was filled with discontent. Everything seemed wrong. … Her friends were commonplace; her home unattractive; her own personality unlovely, as she was well aware. The problem was too much for Charlotte.

To obtain help, Charlotte went to Margaret Ames, a lady who was leading the kind of life that Charlotte wanted to lead. “Charlotte poured out the story of her heartache over her frustrated, unhappy life. … Margaret after a gentle word of sympathy said, ‘You can change all that if you really have the will to do it.’ …

“[To begin the new life, Mrs. Ames suggested to Charlotte]: ‘Live for twenty-four hours as if Christ were right beside you, seeing everything that you do. Then come to me again, and we’ll talk it over. Will you do that?’

“… Somewhat … doubtful, she answered, ‘Yes, Mrs. Ames.’ …

“It was late afternoon when Charlotte went home. She knew that she was expected to help get the supper onto the table. She went to the drawer and took out a wrinkled tablecloth. When she spread it on the table, she noticed several soiled spots. And here she had her first thought of change.

“‘If Christ were going to eat with us, I wouldn’t put on a soiled cloth,’ she said to herself.

“She got a fresh cloth. And with the same thought she brought in a small bowl of flowers from the yard. She put the butter on a fresh plate instead of on the soiled one. She cut the bread with care. …

“‘Company tonight?’ asked her father. …

“‘Just you, Daddy,’ smiled Charlotte. …

“Her mother, worn and hot, … sat down, saying, ‘I don’t know what’s got into her to fix up so just for us. I suppose she’s expecting someone to drop in before we’re done.’ …

“… ‘I don’t know of anyone I’d rather fix things up for than our own folks,’ she said.

“The family simply stared for a minute. That wasn’t like Charlotte. …

“In the living room [after dinner] Charlotte slipped a magazine out from the bottom of the pile and began to read. She had brought the magazine home herself, and she kept it [hidden]. After a few minutes she put it down. … ‘I wouldn’t be reading this if Christ were sitting where he could read with me,’ she thought. And she carried it out, and put it in the wastepaper bag. …

“[The next day Charlotte] went to work again. … She disliked her job very much. …

“‘Christ beside me,’ she thought as she walked into the store. … She said good morning smilingly to all she met.

“… She was even able to solve problems with rude customers as she reminded herself of how she would act if Christ were beside her. That evening she returned to Margaret Ames’s home to discuss the experiment.

“… ‘I tried it, Mrs. Ames, just as well as I could, and—well, it made everything different. I think I can see what you mean. Of course, it didn’t change the things that are bothering me. I’m still poor, and can’t go to school, and I live in an ugly house. …’

“‘Ah, my dear! But you only started the seed-sowing twenty-four hours ago. … Can you keep on as you’ve begun? … You have the [key] word. It is Christ. Fretting … doesn’t change things very much; but Christ does. Just remember to keep your daily walk very close to him.’

“‘I’m going to do it,’ said Charlotte” (Janet Craig, in Stories That Live, comp. Lucy Gertsch Thomson [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1956], pp. 34–43; quoted in The Latter-day Saint Woman: Basic Manual for Women, Part B [2000], pp. 7–8).

Discussion

If time permits, discuss what things the young women might change in their daily lives if they did as Charlotte and followed the example of Jesus Christ.

Lesson Application

Encourage each young woman to set goals that will help her become more like Jesus Christ by following his example. Challenge them to change how they do things as Charlotte did.