Lesson 36: The Importance of Truth in Living a Virtuous Life

Young Women Manual 1, (2002), 158–62


Each young woman will understand the importance of truth in living a virtuous life.


  1. 1.

    Prepare wordstrips as indicated in the first section of the lesson.

  2. 2.

    Prepare a poster of the chalkboard illustration as suggested in the second section of the lesson, or draw it on the chalkboard.

  3. 3.

    Optional: Prepare the handout as shown under “Lesson Application” (page 161).

  4. 4.

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

Suggested Lesson Development

We Can Know the Truth of All Things

Fill in the blanks

Write the following sentence on the chalkboard: “__________ is knowledge of things as they __________ and as they __________, and as they __________.” Ask the young women to turn to Doctrine and Covenants 93:24 to fill in the missing words of this definition of truth. After they have supplied the missing words, have each young woman mark this scripture. Ask one young woman to read it aloud.

Teacher presentation

Referring to the scripture, help the young women understand that eternal truth does not change. The truth that God has revealed to us here on earth is the same that was taught in our premortal life, and it will be the same eternally. It does not change.

Post the wordstrip “Truth Does Not Change.”

Scripture discussion

  • How do we find truth?

Ask two young women to find and read James 1:5 and Jacob 4:13. Emphasize that God is the source of all truth. We can pray to our Heavenly Father and ask to know his truth. We learn this truth through the Spirit.

Quotation and discussion

President Kimball gave us this guidance to help us in our search for truth:

“You may know. You need not be in doubt. … The necessary procedure is: study, think, pray, and do. … The Lord has promised repeatedly that he will give you a knowledge of spiritual things when you have placed yourself in a proper frame of mind. … ‘And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.’ (Moroni 10:5.)” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Absolute Truth,” Ensign, Sept. 1978, pp. 7–8; italics added).

  • What are the four steps that President Kimball suggested will lead us to truth?

As the young women respond, post the appropriate wordstrips: “We Can Know the Truth If We:” “Study,” “Think,” “Pray,” “Do.” Use the following scriptures to help the young women know how to apply the steps.


Elder Richard G. Scott told the following story:

“The Lord gives us truth when we live righteously. Sometimes it comes in response to an urgent, sincere prayer for help when we need guidance. I remember one night in the mission field, … I had a strong impression that one of the missionaries was in trouble. I tried to think who it could be but could not. I … went up onto the flat part of our mission home roof. All night long I labored, reviewing in my mind each companionship, everything I knew about every missionary, and pled with the Lord that he might let me know where that missionary was that needed help. Finally, as the dawn began to break, I was impressed to know in which part of the mission he lived. … I went there and through appropriate interviews found and helped the individual the Lord wanted to help. Yes, God answers prayer and gives us truth when we live obediently and exercise the requisite faith” (“Truth,” in Speeches of the Year, 1978 [Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1979], p. 101).

Teacher presentation

Point out how the mission president applied the four steps identified on the wordstrips. Emphasize that the Lord used an “impression” to give the needed help and that the mission president had to think, labor by reviewing information in his mind, and plead with the Lord before he was able to know what to do.


Tell the following experience of President Joseph F. Smith:

“As a boy … , I would frequently go out and ask the Lord to show me some marvelous thing, in order that I might receive a testimony. But the Lord withheld marvels from me, and showed me the truth, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, until he made me to know the truth from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet, and until doubt and fear had been absolutely purged from me. … By the whisperings of the still small voice of the Spirit of the living God, he gave to me the testimony I possess. And by this principle and power he will give to all the children of men a knowledge of the truth that will stay with them, and it will make them to know the truth, as God knows it, and to do the will of the Father as Christ does it” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939], p. 7).


Quickly summarize this part of the lesson by referring back to the wordstrips and restating them.

We Can Build a Virtuous Life on the Foundation of Truth

Scripture discussion

Read and mark the scriptures listed below. Using them as a basis for discussion, help the young women understand the points that follow.

  1. 1.

    Moses 5:58; 5:12. The truth of the gospel was taught to Adam and Eve, who taught it to their children.

  2. 2.

    Moses 5:13. Satan came among the descendants of Adam, deceiving many with his lies. “Rejection of God puts men under the influence of Satan. Under his influence they soon lose a knowledge of God and become carnal, sensual, and devilish” (Marion G. Romney, “Truth and Knowledge,” in Speeches of the Year, 1977 [Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1978], p. 63).

Poster or chalkboard discussion

Explain that one of the things we are here to learn is how to recognize the truth so we can choose good over evil. We need to realize that Satan will do all within his power to deceive us and lead us to become “carnal, sensual, and devilish.” Display a poster of the following chart, or refer to it on the chalkboard.

arrow paths

Referring to the chart, ask the following questions:

  • What is our condition as we enter earth life at birth?

  • As we grow and begin to form relationships, which of the two paths leads us along Satan’s course?

  • What behavior will take us along the course of God’s truth?

  • Which course represents what life is really like eternally?

  • Which course is a lie?


Point out that our Father in Heaven has given us a key to determine good from evil and recognize his truth. Have the young women read and mark Moroni 7:15–17. When we are faced with a choice or want to know whether something is good or evil, we can ask ourselves, “Does it invite me to do good? Will it strengthen my faith in Christ?”

Scripture and story discussion

Ask the young women to find and read together John 8:32. Then tell and discuss the following stories. These will help the young women understand the importance of truth, how to recognize it, and how to act on it.

Ann was faced with a difficult situation in a dating relationship. She had a great interest in a young man who was not a member of the Church. “I remember praying to find out what was right for me, and when I got the answer, I didn’t want to listen. I felt that if I ended the relationship with this fellow, there would be no one for me. I fought the feelings that I received in my prayers, but I recognized that they were right. I knew in my heart what to do. I knew that if I continued in this relationship it would lead me away from where I should be going. I struggled but finally got the courage to follow the promptings I had received in my prayers. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and hurts with us when we have to make hard choices.”

  • How did Ann learn the truth of her relationship with the young man?

  • What could have happened if Ann had turned away from the truth and continued to believe that this relationship was good for her?

  • How did learning the truth and following it make Ann free?

  • Which of the two courses represented on the chart is Ann following?

Jennifer was being interviewed by her bishop. He asked a question about a specific commandment. As he described the behavior associated with keeping the commandment, Jennifer suddenly recognized that she had done something wrong. Her heart beat faster and her hands began to perspire. She could mumble “Yes” and let the whole thing pass and get on to the other questions—or she could admit the problem.

Discuss which choices would be self-indulgent and which would require self-discipline.

  • What might happen if Jennifer ignored the prompting and chose to lie? Which of the two courses would she be on?


Read the following description of the consequences of avoiding the truth. “No man will ever be totally free who is living a lie. Only he who bears or who has borne such a continuing burden can relate appropriately to such a declaration. We should ever bear in mind that a wrong isn’t right just because many people do it. A wrong deed isn’t right just because it hasn’t become visible” (Marvin J. Ashton, in Conference Report, Apr. 1982, p. 14; or Ensign, May 1982, p. 11).

Point out that Satan actively tries to deceive us. If we want to avoid entering his paths, we must have the courage to do what we feel is right.


Teacher presentation

Explain that if we diligently study, think, pray, and do, we will build our lives on a sure foundation of gospel truth. We will understand the principles of the gospel, and as we strive to obey them, the Lord will sustain us in all our trials, afflictions, and hard choices. Being obedient to truth will free us from guilt, sorrow, and sin. We will be free to live a virtuous life and experience eternal joy, for “truth abideth forever and ever” (D&C 1:39).

Lesson Application

Optional handout

Give the young women the handout shown below. Ask them to use it to judge good from evil, or truth from error, by anticipating whether the behavior will lead them toward or away from the Lord.