Lesson 32: The Importance of Life

Young Women Manual 2, (1993), 122–24


Objective

Each young woman will understand and appreciate the importance of life, particularly human life.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Picture 16, A Young Woman and the Savior, located at the back of the manual.

  2. 2.

    Obtain pictures of beautiful natural scenes such as sunsets, animals, or mountains. Display these at the front of the classroom.

  3. 3.

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

Suggested Lesson Development

Each Young Woman Should Gain an Appreciation for God’s Creations

Story

Tell the following story:

Many years ago a strong, healthy baby girl was born to Arthur and Kate Keller, who lived in the southern part of the United States. The parents, who named the little girl Helen, were delighted with their beautiful daughter. At the age of eighteen months, Helen suffered a serious illness that left her deaf and blind. However, through the love and patience of her parents and a teacher named Anne Sullivan, Helen learned to read and speak. She graduated from college with honors and spent her life serving other people.

President David O. McKay once told an experience of Helen Keller’s. He said:

“Have you ever read Helen Keller’s comment on a girl who had just taken a walk in the woods, who in answer to Helen’s question, ‘What did you observe?’ replied, ‘Nothing in particular.’

“‘How is it possible,’ Helen asked herself, ‘to walk for an hour through the woods and see nothing worthy of note? I, who cannot see, find hundreds of things to interest me through mere touch. I feel the delicate symmetry of a leaf. I pass my hands lovingly about the smooth skin of a silver birch, or the rough shaggy bark of a pine. In the spring I touch the branches of trees hopefully in search of a bud, the first sign of awakening Nature after her winter’s sleep. Occasionally, if I am very fortunate, I place my hand gently on a small tree and feel the happy quiver of a bird in full song.

“‘At times my heart cries out with longing to see all these things with physical eyes, but if I can get so much pleasure from mere touch, how much more beauty must be revealed by sight. And I have imagined what I should most like to see if I were granted the use of my eyes—even for just three days!’” (Treasures of Life [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1962], pp. 394–95).

Discussion

  • If you had the use of your eyes for only three days, what would you want to see? (Let the young women spend a few minutes considering the things that they enjoy seeing.)

  • How do you feel when you see something that appeals to you?

  • Why is it important for us to remember that our Heavenly Father created the earth we live on?

Scripture and discussion

Ask the young women to turn to Doctrine and Covenants 59:16–20, and ask one of the class members to read this passage. Point out the reasons the Lord gave us the good and beautiful things of the earth. Illustrate these reasons by using the pictures you have displayed at the front of the classroom. Be sure the young women recognize that the Lord gave us these things for more than food and clothing.

Instruct a young woman to reread verse 20. Then discuss this verse using the following questions or your own:

  • How does Heavenly Father feel about giving us all the things of the earth?

  • How should we use the things that Heavenly Father has given us?

Instruct the young women to turn to Moses 2. Point out that this chapter explains how our Father in Heaven created the earth, the plants, and the animals. It also tells how he placed Adam and Eve on the earth. Ask one of the young women to read verses 28–31.

After the scripture has been read, explain that Adam and Eve and all their posterity, which includes each young woman in the class, have been given the responsibility to subdue the earth and have dominion over it. This means that Heavenly Father expects us to govern and take care of his creations.

A Woman Has a Divine Role in the Creative Process

Picture and chalkboard

Display the picture of a young woman, and write on the chalkboard “You Are One of God’s Greatest Creations.”

Quotations

A prophet of God has said, “Man, I say, as the offspring of God, is the greatest of all his creations. He is greater than the moon, the sun, and the stars, which are the work of the fingers of God” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56], 1:63).

Explain that women can participate in the creative, life-giving work of our Father in Heaven.

Read the following quotations:

“Providing opportunity for the spirit children of our Father in heaven to come to earth and work out their own salvation is one of our sacred privileges and obligations” (Heber J. Grant, “A Promise of Possibilities,” Improvement Era, June 1941, p. 329).

“The greatest mission of woman is to give life, earth-life, through honorable marriage, to the waiting spirits, our Father’s spirit children who anxiously desire to come to dwell here in this mortal state. All the honor and glory that can come to men and women … is but a dim thing whose luster shall fade in comparison to the high honor, the eternal glory, the ever-enduring happiness that shall come to the woman who fulfils the first great duty and mission that devolves upon her to become the mother of the sons and daughters of God” (Melvin J. Ballard, Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin J. Ballard, comp. Bryant S. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1949], pp. 203–4).

  • How do you feel about the role you will have in bringing the spirit children of your Father in Heaven to this earth?

All Life Is Sacred

Chalkboard

On the chalkboard, under the phrase “You Are One of God’s Greatest Creations,” write “Life Is Sacred.”

Explain that it is a great sin to destroy human life.

Quotations and discussion

Read the following quotations about abortion:

“Abortion must be considered one of the most revolting and sinful practices in this day. … To interfere with any of the processes in the procreation of offspring is to violate one of the most sacred of God’s commandments—to ‘multiply, and replenish the earth.’ (Gen. 1:28)” (Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, p. 8; or Ensign, May 1975, p. 7).

“Again, abortion is a growing evil that we speak against. Certainly the terrible sin of premeditated abortion would be hard to justify. It is almost inconceivable that an abortion would ever be committed to save face or embarrassment, to save trouble or inconvenience, or to escape responsibility” (Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Apr. 1974, p. 8; or Ensign, May 1974, p. 7).

Discuss briefly with the young women the reasons why abortion is such a sinful practice.

Story

Invite the young women to consider, as you read the following story, why every human life is important:

“My name’s Cindy. I laugh a lot. I like flowers and dogs and cats, even though Daddy says I love them too hard. And I like to blow out candles on birthday cakes. I’m twenty years old now. I watch Mickey Mouse on TV and other cartoons too. I can tie my shoelaces all by myself. It makes me happy when I hear other people laugh. Then I laugh.

“You know what makes me smile most? When Mama says she called me her little china doll—I was a baby then. I don’t remember much about that but I remember some kids saying, ‘Cindy, Cindy, Cindy, yeah, yeah, yeah,’ and making funny faces, and Mama shooing them away and then holding me against her and crying. I don’t understand it yet.

“I can go real high in the swing, and I like to have a shower bath and let the water run over my head.

“I remember when Daddy worked on the new chapel in the evenings and he took me with him. He was a bishop then. He gave me a little bucket and I’d pick up things. Daddy would put me on his shoulders when we’d go home. That would make me laugh too.

“‘Cindy’s helping build the chapel,’ he’d tell Mama and swing me down. ‘It’s Cindy’s chapel too.’

“That made me feel funny inside, and sometimes I’d feel like I was bursting; but try as hard as I could, my words wouldn’t come out right, and Mama would look sad and turn away. I would be sad too because they couldn’t understand what I was saying.

“I’ve been riding on a horse, and I’ve seen a circus. I was afraid of the big elephant. But I wasn’t afraid of the clowns. They fell down and I laughed.

“I remember when a strange man came to our house when the chapel was finished. He was from Salt Lake.

“‘He’s an apostle of God,’ Daddy told me. I stood and stared at him and pinched his arm until Mama pulled me away.

“‘Don’t bother Brother Kirkham, Cindy,’ she said.

“‘It’s all right, Sister Abbott,’ he said. His eyes twinkled and he lifted me onto his lap. He put one hand on my hand.

“‘Cindy’s no bother.’ He smiled, and I felt something warm inside of me. ‘Brother and Sister Abbott, this spirit is so special in God’s eyes,’ he went on, ‘that she was sent to earth for her mortal body in such a way that she cannot be tempted by this world. She will return to God as pure as she came. You have been chosen to take care of this special spirit. Try to understand her for she certainly holds hands with God.’

“Mama didn’t cry as much after the apostle went away, and Daddy began to whistle. The children didn’t say, ‘Cindy, Cindy, Cindy, yeah, yeah, yeah’ anymore. They took my hand and said, ‘Come and play with us, Cindy.’

“Once I followed the children to school, but they wouldn’t let me stay in school, so Mama bought me a book with pictures in it. There were pictures of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and Brigham Young, and I looked and looked at them while Mama told me stories, and sometimes at night I’d think about the book and try to remember what Mama said.

“In church I’d hear a name and I’d find the picture in my book and pull on Mama’s sleeve.

“‘That’s very good, Cindy.’ She would smile.

“I wanted to stand up in testimony meeting and tell everyone I knew the Church was true too, but when I tried to stand up, Mama and Daddy held me down.

“‘The children will laugh at you, Cindy,’ they said. I would cry until Mama had to take me out.

“I can ride a bike and go to a school now. I’ve learned to stuff envelopes and I have some money in a bank.

“Every testimony day I tried to stand up, and Mama kept taking me out. One Sunday night after fast meeting, after I had cried all afternoon, Mama said she didn’t know what to do about me; maybe they shouldn’t take me to fast meeting anymore. No one seemed to understand. The turmoil inside me was more than I could stand, and I didn’t know what to do about it, but I knew I had to stand up and bear my testimony. Then all of a sudden there was a light in my room, but I knew Mama had turned out the lights. I got up to see if the moon was shining. I felt so strange; the light around me was warm and I got on my knees and prayed. Then I felt a hand touch mine, soft and warm like the light in my room.

“‘Cindy, Cindy, what is it?’ I heard Mama’s voice. She helped me up, and Daddy put his arms around me because I was crying. For a long time Daddy and Mama sat on the bed talking about how they could help me; I wanted to tell them about the light and the hand that touched mine.

“‘If Cindy feels that deeply about bearing her testimony,’ Daddy said, ‘then next month she must stand up. We surely can’t deny her the right or privilege to share her testimony with others.’

“I felt calm inside and went to sleep.

“I go on picnics with the school, and we go on big yellow busses. I have friends and we laugh at each other.

“It seemed like a long long time before testimony meeting came around again, and I sat there calm and listened. Then Mama handed me the microphone and smiled. I stood up.

“‘I love my Daddy. I love my Mother and I love my brothers and sisters. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.’

“It was just like I’d heard the other children say it. No one laughed. It was quiet for a long time. Mama was crying. Daddy too. Then a man stood up in front.

“‘These spirits are special in God’s eyes,’ he said. ‘They are sent to earth for their mortal bodies in such a way they can’t be tempted by this world. Cindy will return to God as pure as she came. We don’t know how deep their emotions run, but we do know these special children hold hands with God.’

“I felt a warm soft hand close over mine. This time it was my daddy’s hand” (Cindy Abbott, as told to Verna W. Holt, “Hold Hands with God,” New Era, Feb. 1973, pp. 48–49).

Discussion

Have the young women express their feelings about the value of each human life after hearing this story. Have them consider why it is so important to give other spirits the opportunity to come to earth.

Conclusion

Quotation

Reread the quotation by Melvin J. Ballard.

Ask the young women to prayerfully consider the importance of life and the creative role they have been given by their Father in Heaven. Suggest that each young woman express her gratitude to her Heavenly Father and her earthly parents for the life she enjoys.