Lesson 20: Sharing the Gospel

Young Women Manual 2, (1993), 74–77


Objective

Each young woman will commit herself to fulfill the commandment to share the gospel with others.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Picture 12, Alma Baptizes in the Waters of Mormon (62332); and picture 13 of a woman being sworn in as a witness in a courtroom. Both are located at the end of the manual.

  2. 2.

    If you decide to use the role-play activity, prepare two name tags that read “Church Member” and two that read “Friend.” Then write out instructions on four separate pieces of paper for those who will participate in the role play.

  3. 3.

    You may want to ask a convert to the Church to talk about missionary work as a demonstration of love. (If no convert can help, ask your ward mission leader.) The person may want to discuss—

    1. a.

      How the person (member or missionary) who shared the gospel with him showed love for him.

    2. b.

      The effect the gospel has had on his life.

    3. c.

      Why it is important for every member of the Church to be a witness of Christ through missionary work.

  4. 4.

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

Suggested Lesson Development

Every Church Member Is under Covenant to Stand as a Witness of Christ

Picture discussion

Display the picture of the swearing in of a witness in a courtroom.

  • What is the person being sworn in about to do?

  • What kind of information do witnesses give at a trial?

  • How does the testimony given by a witness help in establishing the truth?

Chalkboard

Write on the chalkboard: “To stand as witnesses.”

Picture and scripture discussion

Explain that the prophet Alma taught the gospel to the people of his day. Since many of these people accepted his message, Alma taught them about the covenant of baptism.

Display the picture of the people of Alma at the Waters of Mormon, and ask a young woman to read Mosiah 18:8–9.

  • What does it mean to “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places”?

Ask another young woman to read Mosiah 18:10.

  • According to Alma, what did you promise to do when you were baptized?

Teacher presentation

Explain that all people who are baptized enter into a covenant to serve their Heavenly Father and keep his commandments. This includes, as it did for the people of Alma, standing as a witness of God at all times and in all places.

Discussion

  • How can we stand as witnesses of God? (By our example, by telling people about the Church.)

The Example and Preparation of a Young Woman Increase Her Opportunities for Missionary Work

Scripture discussion

Point out that one of the best ways a young woman can stand as a witness and share the gospel is by the example she sets. The Apostle Paul, writing to a young man named Timothy, told him to be an example to others.

Read 1 Timothy 4:12.

  • According to this verse, what are some ways you can be an example of those who believe in Jesus Christ? What are other ways not mentioned in this verse?

  • How can your good example open opportunities for you to share the gospel?

After a short discussion on this question, share the following story:

Story

A Latter-day Saint young woman was chosen to be the student director of a school dramatic production. Because of this responsibility, she and a friend, who was also a member of the Church, spent a lot of time with the drama teacher. One day the teacher asked, “Susan, what makes you and Laurie so different?” The young woman explained a little about the Church and asked the teacher if he would like the missionaries to visit him and his family. The teacher agreed. He and his family listened to the missionaries, gained a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, and were baptized. Four years later this man was called by the Lord to serve as the bishop of his ward.

Discussion

  • How did Susan and Laurie act as witnesses of the truthfulness of the gospel?

  • Have you ever had the opportunity to share the gospel because of your example?

Let the young women share their own experiences.

Quotation

“Members of the Church everywhere should remind themselves that the gospel is to be preached and taught by example and not just by word of mouth. The lives of all Church members should be shining examples of the gospel of Jesus Christ in action” (William H. Bennett, in Conference Report, Apr. 1972, p. 92; or Ensign, July 1972, p. 82).

Point out that in addition to example, there are other ways to share the gospel.

Stories and discussion

One summer Marilyn attended a special music workshop with other young people from throughout the country. Anticipating a chance to share the gospel and stand as a witness of her Father in Heaven, she packed three copies of the Book of Mormon in her suitcase to give to people she would meet. Just as she had hoped, she was able to tell others that she was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and give them copies of the Book of Mormon. Then she found that the people she met had questions to ask. She knew the gospel was true. She could bear her testimony, but she could not answer many of their questions. She could not give them reasons for the faith that she had.

Read 1 Peter 3:15.

  • What did Peter say we should be ready to do?

  • How could Marilyn have better prepared herself to share the gospel?

Ask the young women to listen carefully to discover how another young woman prepared herself to share the gospel.

“I was afraid! But I didn’t want to admit it to anyone. When others told about discussing the gospel with their friends, it sounded simple. But when I tried to discuss the gospel, it was a different story. …

“Everyone knew I am a Latter-day Saint because I don’t drink tea or coffee, and I do have a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. But still, I couldn’t say it. …

“[I decided to ask someone for help. I knew that Brother Clarke and Bishop Baker were always anxious to share the gospel, so I decided to ask them how they did it.]

“Brother Clarke is a popular Gospel Doctrine teacher. ‘Study!’ he said emphatically. ‘That’s the key to being a good missionary. When I couldn’t explain the gospel to myself, I certainly couldn’t explain it to anyone else. To solve my problem, I diligently studied the scriptures and other Church books. I examined the beliefs of other churches and tried to understand the needs of people around me.’ …

“Finally I asked Bishop Baker.

“‘Yes, I was once afraid, too,’ he said. ‘I neglected my missionary responsibilities because I feared choosing the wrong time or the wrong words. The only answer to my problem was prayer. I realized I had to be in tune with the Spirit constantly so I would know if the time was right to present the gospel and if my words were appropriate. Since then, I have seldom been inspired to avoid a religious discussion.’

“After I had talked with some self-made missionaries, the rest was up to me.

“… I began to study the scriptures every day, and became more aware of the needs of people around me. During moments of meditation I would say again and again: ‘I can … I can … I can …’ And I prayed” (Linda Archibald, “Are You Afraid to Ask?” Ensign, Oct. 1975, p. 54).

  • How did this young woman prepare herself to share the gospel?

  • What other things can you do to prepare yourself to share the gospel?

Encourage class members to tell of experiences they have had in sharing the gospel. Then have class members participate in the role-play activity.

Role playing (optional)

Call on two young women to participate in a role-play experience. Give each a name tag identifying her role and a slip of paper describing what she is to do.

Church Member 1: As you and a nonmember friend are studying together, your friend mentions that she thinks churches and religion have no value. Tell your friend that you know some people feel the way she does but that you have a special feeling about the gospel and the Church that you would like to share with her. You could tell her about answers to your prayers, about Joseph Smith and the organization of the Church, or about Church programs such as family home evening that have helped you and your family. Whether or not your friend accepts what you have to say, continue to treat her with love and understanding.

Friend 1: You do not belong to a church. As you are studying your schoolwork with a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you mention that you think churches and religion have no value. Listen politely to your friend, and ask her questions, but do not change your opinion.

Let the young women role-play for a minute or two. Stop the action when the conversation slows. Discuss the role play with the class members.

Ask the young women to share their ideas about what we should be prepared to explain about the Church and how we might interest nonmembers in the Church.

Discussion

  • What should you do if a person does not seem interested in your beliefs? (Continue to treat the person with love and respect. Do not be afraid to ask her again.)

Role playing (optional)

Call on two other young women to role-play a different situation. Give each a name tag and instruction.

Church Member 2: You are having a conversation with a friend who is not a member of the Church. Lead the conversation to the topic of religion, and ask your friend if she would be interested in learning more about the Church.

Friend 2: Carry on a conversation with your Latter-day Saint friend. Answer her questions. You are curious about the Church but are afraid to bring up the topic. Tell her that you have been impressed by the way she lives and are curious about what she believes.

Stop the role play after a minute or two and discuss what happened.

Discussion

  • Why was it important for the Church member to do more than be an example?

Guest speaker (optional)

Introduce the guest speaker to the young women. Let the guest talk about showing love by sharing the gospel.

Lesson Application

Suggest that the young women choose one of the following activities for the coming week:

  1. 1.

    Pray for the opportunity to share the gospel.

  2. 2.

    As a class, plan an activity to which you can bring a nonmember friend.

  3. 3.

    Share your testimony with a friend or family member.

  4. 4.

    Give a copy of the Book of Mormon to a nonmember friend.