Lesson 6: Finding Joy Now

Young Women Manual 1, (2002), 20–23


Objective

Each class member will feel the joy of being a Latter-day Saint young woman.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Bring paper and a pencil for each class member.

  2. 2.

    Bring a small mirror.

  3. 3.

    Prepare a poster of the following statement by President Harold B. Lee, or write the statement on the chalkboard: “Happiness does not depend on what happens outside of you but on what happens inside of you.”

  4. 4.

    Assign a young woman to read the passage entitled “Creation” (see page 22).

  5. 5.

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

Suggested Lesson Development

Introduction: Reflections

Object lesson

Pass a small mirror among the members of the class. Ask each young woman to think silently about these questions as she looks at her reflection in the mirror:

  • What do you see in the mirror?

  • Is the girl you see in the mirror happy? Why?

  • Is the girl you see the girl you want to be?

  • What do you like most about the girl you see?

  • What would you like to change about the girl you see?

  • What are the talents and blessings of the girl you see?

  • What do you want for the girl you see?

Happiness Is …

Rating activity

Distribute a sheet of paper and a pencil to each class member. Have each of them draw a vertical line down the center of the paper and label the two columns “Long-Range Happiness and Joy” and “Temporary Fun and Satisfaction.” Read the following list of activities to the class, and instruct class members to write each activity in the column that they think best describes their personal feelings about it. You may wish to adapt the list of activities to suit the interests and experiences of your local area and class members.

  1. 1.

    Swimming

  2. 2.

    Eating a dessert

  3. 3.

    Helping someone

  4. 4.

    Shopping

  5. 5.

    Getting good grades in school

  6. 6.

    Praying

  7. 7.

    Creating something

  8. 8.

    Sewing

  9. 9.

    Walking

  10. 10.

    Caring for a child

  11. 11.

    Cleaning your house or apartment

  12. 12.

    Talking with a friend

  13. 13.

    Reading scriptures

  14. 14.

    Winning a competition

  15. 15.

    Reading a good book

  16. 16.

    Finishing a big job

  17. 17.

    Listening to music

  18. 18.

    Cooking a favorite food

  19. 19.

    Dancing

  20. 20.

    Telling someone about the gospel

After the young women have finished rating the activities, ask them to think of other enjoyable activities and add them to either column. Emphasize that the lists and responses will vary because all have individual interests and will not respond in the same way.

Heavenly Father Wants Us to Have Joy

Definitions and discussion

After the class members have completed the rating activity, have them define the following words: fun, satisfaction, happiness, joy.

Discuss the differences between these feelings and relate them to the young women’s ratings.

Scripture discussion

Ask the class if they can recall what Heavenly Father has told us about joy and happiness. Explain that the scriptures use these two terms interchangeably. After the recollections have been discussed, write the following scripture references on the chalkboard. Have the young women locate these references in their scriptures and read them aloud together. Emphasize that Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and to have joy.

References: 2 Nephi 2:24–25; John 13:15, 17; Alma 41:10

Scripture discussion

  • Is this joy something we can have today, or is it something we will have only in the future?

Direct class responses to an understanding that the young women can be happy now and that they should strive for joy now.

  • Who is responsible for seeing that you have joy and happiness now?

To answer this question, invite the class members to find Doctrine and Covenants 58:27–28 and read it aloud. Emphasize the phrase “for the power is in them,” indicating that each young woman has the power to bring happiness into her own life.

Poster or chalkboard discussion

Read the statement from President Harold B. Lee that you wrote on a poster or on the chalkboard: “Happiness does not depend on what happens outside of you but on what happens inside of you” (“A Sure Trumpet Sound: Quotations from President Lee,” Ensign, Feb. 1974, p. 78). Briefly discuss the truthfulness of the quotation and how it applies to each of the young women.

Chalkboard discussion

Explain that even though we have the power within us to control our attitudes, we are often unhappy. Ask the young women to suggest reasons why we become unhappy. As class members respond, record the answers on the left side of the chalkboard. Leave room on the right side of the chalkboard to record ways of overcoming unhappiness later in the lesson. The following are examples of such reasons:

Reasons for Unhappiness

  1. 1.

    Disobedience to the Lord

  2. 2.

    No goals or purpose

  3. 3.

    Anxiety and fear

  4. 4.

    Poor self-image

  5. 5.

    Not accomplishing anything

  6. 6.

    Not loved or loving

  7. 7.

    Unsatisfactory home life

  8. 8.

    No friends

  9. 9.

    Loneliness

  10. 10.

    Self-centered

  11. 11.

    Poor relationship with Heavenly Father

We Can Have Joy Now

Chalkboard discussion

  • As a Latter-day Saint young woman, what do you know or have that could help you overcome each of these reasons for unhappiness and obtain greater joy?

Have the young women develop a list of things they can do to help them find joy now. Complete the list on the chalkboard by recording their answers, and have the young women record them on the back of their papers. Direct this activity to help them feel the joy of being what they are now—Latter-day Saint young women. Direct the discussion in a positive manner, emphasizing the following areas:

  1. 1.

    Each young woman is an individual, loved and valued by her Heavenly Father and by her family.

  2. 2.

    Each young woman has something to share that can help others.

  3. 3.

    Each young woman can develop her talents in a way that can bring real satisfaction to her.

  4. 4.

    Each young woman has the power and responsibility to change and direct her life into ways of righteousness and happiness.

  5. 5.

    Latter-day Saint young women have special opportunities and help to accomplish these goals.

Conclude that joy and happiness should become part of their lives now—not something just to be anticipated for the future.

Quotation

Have the previously assigned young woman read the following quotation to point out things that bring joy to an individual now. The world is full of beautiful things that can and should make each of us happy.

Creation

“In the beginning (but not really the beginning—only a moment in the span of existence that is always), I learned of a plan of my Heavenly Father for me and my spirit brothers and sisters. Himself exalted and perfected and holy, our beloved Father wanted us to have a chance to follow his path. His firstborn, our elder Brother, Jesus, would organize a world where we could live and grow and learn to love and truly care. It would be a difficult experience in a world of imperfect men and irrevocable law, and we must choose if we would follow him.

“And so, … I said, ‘Yes.’ And I waited for my turn.

“[Jesus] set about making a world for me and you, the Father’s children. And one day I left a place I cannot remember now to come here, to begin the union of my life with the earth.

“In the hazy brightness that is childhood, there was the first recognition of beauty—the smell of eucalyptus, the first encounters with sea and sun and sand, and fog—wet droplets on my face, a bee, flowers, and cypress trees bent strangely by the wind.

“And as I grew, so the world became more marvelous; and deep inside began the warm, sweet pain that is earth-love.

“[Jesus] made light that falls soft and silvery at night and makes shadow patterns in the wind—light, golden-blue, and gentle in the days of spring sun—and light that spreads its colors first faintly red to orange to golden, to dispel the blue-black that is night—sunrise. And I have eyes to see.

“And he made wind to rustle softly through a thousand leaves, glistening silver-slippery water to sing and stumble on its way to the sea, and birds to fill the morning air with soft flute-tones. And I have ears to hear.

“He made hands to touch in the bright warmth that is ‘How are you?’ or ‘I will help’ or ‘I begin to love you’; and eyes to speak, to see beyond the words, to understand, to discover.

“He gave me a heart that sees and hears and feels the earth he made, and deep within me earth-love swells to overflowing. He gave me tears of joy to shed.

“You have these things, too. They are gifts—blessings beyond our ability to receive.

“And someday when I have seen [Jesus] again and my Father has welcomed me back, I hope, with my mate, to be able to begin the direction of a world like this. And our children will turn in the cold sweetness of morning light to heavens of their earth with eyes that glisten with tears born of earth-love to say, ‘Thank you, Father’” (Ann Busath, “Creation,” Improvement Era, Sept. 1967, p. 56).

Conclusion

Testimony

Bear your testimony of the importance of being a happy person now and of the joys that can come from being true to the standards of a Latter-day Saint young woman. Be enthusiastic and encourage the young women to assume responsibility for their own happiness now.

Lesson Application

Have class members select one or two ways to help them find joy now. Suggest that they focus on these during the coming week.