Each young woman will extend friendship to young women of her own age and encourage them to take part in Church activities and meetings.
Assign young women to present any scriptures, stories, or quotations you wish.
Suggested Lesson Development
Introduction: Find the Similarity
Read the following situations aloud to the young women. Have them try to find one thing that is missing in each situation. (A friend—someone who cares.)
A man, lying robbed and beaten at the side of the road, is ignored by those who pass by.
A young woman wears clothing that is old, faded, and too large. She walks to school day after day alone while others her age walk in groups a short distance ahead of her.
A young man remains home every Sunday because he feels nobody in his priesthood quorum really cares about him.
We Can Be Friends with Many Kinds of People
Two dogs were playing at the side of the road one day when a cat wandered by. “May I join you in your play?” asked the cat.
“No!” came the rough reply from one of the dogs, and the cat continued down the road.
“Why did you do that?” the other dog asked.
“Dogs don’t play with that kind of animal. Cats are different than we are. They make strange noises and want to climb trees all the time. I want to play with someone more like me.”
A few minutes later a lonely looking turtle plodded slowly down the road. He too stopped and asked the dogs if he could join in their fun. Again the one dog said no, and so the turtle proceeded on again.
“And why couldn’t he play?” his friend inquired of him.
“Did you see how he looked? He doesn’t look like us, and he’s slow too. He probably couldn’t run as fast as we could or chase things the way we do. I want someone more like me.”
“Oh,” said his friend.
Minutes passed and a gray rabbit came hopping down the road. He noticed the two dogs at play and stopped to see if he might be included. He too was rejected. He, however, wanted to know why he could not play.
The dog who had refused him stopped playing and looked at the rabbit.
“You’re different from me. You aren’t the same color. You don’t look the same. You don’t do the same things. You don’t sound the same. I want someone more like me.”
“What do you like to do?” the rabbit asked.
“I like to run and jump,” was his reply.
“Well …” said the rabbit.
Pause here and ask the young women to suggest how the fable ended. Then conclude the fable:
The rabbit challenged the two dogs to a race in the nearby woods. At the end of the course the rabbit was far ahead. He turned and waited for the dogs to catch up with him.
“I like to run and jump too,” said the rabbit.
“You look different and you sound different than we do, but you’re just the same in some ways,” said the second dog. “We just didn’t know you.”
How could you relate this story to your own life?
Why did the first dog not want to play with any of the other animals?
Why did the dogs eventually play with the rabbit?
How could you apply these ideas in your life?
Can you think of any young women in your area who might need a friend?
How do you find out if they might have similar interests?
Explain that sometimes we ignore others and do not include them in our associations because of their different color, clothes, or habits. We need to take time to know them better and to discover their good qualities and our similar interests.
We Can Reach Out to Others
Explain that Jesus had much concern for those who were lost. In one parable he tells of a lost coin. Have the class turn to Luke 15:8–10 in their Bibles. Ask one of the young women to read the parable.
Point out that the lost coin in this parable could be compared to a person who is lonely or lost. The woman could be compared to one who misses and actively seeks out this person. Reread the parable verse by verse and discuss how it could apply to young women who do not have many friends or do not come to church regularly. Have the young women explain how the Lord can tell when we are really concerned about someone else.
Case studies and discussion
Ask the young women to discuss what might be done to help a class member become a participating member of the Church. Emphasize that feeling and showing real concern is important. Present the following situations to the young women and have them solve the problems:
You meet a less-active classmate in a store. You want to show her that you are interested in her. What do you do?
You invite a less-active friend to class. She hesitates before giving an answer. Then she says that maybe she’ll come sometime. What could you do?
You invite a less-active friend to your Young Women class. She says she does not want to go and have people stare at her because she is attending church. What should you do and say?
You encourage a less-active member to attend class, and she replies that she does not like the meetings. What would you do?
You ask a less-active member to class and she says no. What could you do?
Point out that there is not one right answer for many of the situations that young women encounter when trying to encourage a less-active member to attend church. It is important to show concern and interest for the individual in each situation. A caring attitude can overcome many difficulties and affect someone more than anything else.
Draw three candles on the chalkboard as shown below:
Point to the first candle with a full flame. Tell the young women that this candle might represent them. Write the word you beneath the first candle. Explain to the young women that the second candle represents a less-active member—one whose flame was once lit but has temporarily gone out. Through the power of a lighted candle the second candle can be relit. The relighting of the candle might represent bringing a less-active person into greater activity. Draw a flame on the second candle.
Who do you feel the third candle might represent? (A nonmember.)
The third candle has never been lit, but if it is touched by a source already on fire, it can glow like the other two candles. Point out that the candles are basically the same with all the parts necessary to burn, but they need an outside source to start a flame. People are also basically the same, but if they are touched by the Holy Ghost, they can become a light to the world, like the candle. Have a class member turn to Doctrine and Covenants 103:9 and read what the Lord has said about the Saints.
What are some ways that we can be a light for someone else? (List class responses on the chalkboard to the side of the candles. Possible responses might include going on a mission, or being a light through example, friendship, fellowship, and service.)
Draw a flame on the third candle.
Share the following story of someone who was the source used to light another’s candle in the gospel:
“She was my best friend, the one I had grown up with and known since that first frightful day of first grade. Since then we had shared everything from doll cradles and humpty-dumpty cookies to high school classes and slumber parties. There was only one big difference between us. You see, she did not yet know the truth and I did.
“It took me 12 long years to realize that the gospel belonged not only to me but to her too and that it was through me that she might be able to find it.
“I took my problem to our missionaries, thinking I would give the job to them; but I was fooled.
“‘You ask her and we’ll teach her,’ they said.
“Teaching her seemed to be no problem. I had the most difficult job of all.
“I called her on the phone.
“‘Hey, how would you like to come and see a movie at my house tonight?’ I said. ‘The new missionaries in our ward are showing it.’
“She came. She saw the film and left without saying much about it.
“A week later the elders dropped by. ‘Have you set up a time when she can hear the gospel?’ they asked.
“‘Well, she hasn’t really said much about the movie. I didn’t know whether to ask her again or not.’
“‘Call her and ask her,’ said one. He was the type who hated wasting time. Well, I couldn’t argue with an elder, so hesitantly, shakily, I picked up the receiver and dialed. I’ve always wondered why things like this are so hard.
“‘Hi, Cheryl,’ I said. ‘I was wondering … well, the elders are here now and … well, I was just wondering if sometime you’d like to come and … learn some more about the Church?’
“There was a long pause.
“‘Well, yeah, I guess so.’
“I breathed a sigh of relief. ‘When can you come?’
“‘Anytime you want me to, I guess.’
“‘Yeah, that’s all right.’
“I turned to the elders. ‘Is tomorrow night all right?’
“They nodded enthusiastically. …
“‘Hey thanks, Cheryl,’ I said as I started to hang up.
“‘Just a minute, Patti,’ she said. ‘I want you to know that I’m not going to agree with what they say.’
“‘Oh, that’s okay. Just come!’
“‘But I might argue with them, and I don’t want to.’
“‘If you want to disagree with them, it’s all right. They don’t mind.’
“The second step was taken.
“By the end of the fourth visit she hadn’t argued once. In fact, she had agreed wholeheartedly with everything the elders had told her. That night the younger elder was speaking, and as he closed he looked at her and said, ‘We would like to set up a baptism for you on Saturday. How about it?’
“The older elder gasped. He hadn’t expected it to come so soon. My heart beat faster, and all I could do was hold my breath. There was silence for a moment.
“Cheryl nodded and said, ‘Yes.’
“I did not move, but I started to tremble when they asked her to pray.
“She prayed, a very simple and beautiful prayer.
“I kept my head bowed. I could not look up. The missionaries left in silence.
“Then I felt her arms around me, and we both wept together.
“‘Patti,’ she said, smiling through her tears, ‘thank you.’
“She was thanking me for something she could only give herself, thanking me, when she had given me the greatest gift I could ever hope to receive—her acceptance of my most precious possession, the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Patti Wiltbank, “The First Step Was the Hardest,” New Era, Jan. 1976, pp. 18–19).
Point to the candles on the chalkboard. Explain that the Lord has said we should not hide our light under a bushel (see Matthew 5:15–16). We should share it with others. The light of one young woman does make a difference.
Bear witness to the young women that if they will honestly try to extend friendship to others, the Lord will bless them for their efforts. Encourage them to conscientiously share their light with others.
Invite the young women to choose a person that they, as a class, would like to reactivate or introduce to the gospel. Have them develop a plan to do this. Have a class member take notes of the ideas as they are discussed. Choose an item from the list of ideas that the young women can begin working on now.