Lesson 1: Drawing Closer to Jesus Christ

Young Women Manual 2, (1993), 2–4


Objective

Each young woman will desire to draw closer to Jesus Christ.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Pictures 1, Jesus the Christ (62572); 2, Jesus Washing the Disciples’ Feet (62550); 3, Jesus Healing the Nephites (62541); 4, Jesus Praying in Gethsemane (62175). All are located at the back of the manual.

  2. 2.

    Optional: Obtain a picture of a famous person (see the Introduction).

  3. 3.

    Assign a good reader to prepare to read for the class 3 Nephi 17:1–3, 5–7, 9–13, 15–25.

  4. 4.

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

Suggested Lesson Development

Introduction

Discussion

Write the name of a well-known government or Church official, or other prominent person whom the young women would not know personally, on the chalkboard. You may want to place a picture of the person selected at the front of the class.

  • What do you know about this person?

Have the young women briefly name all the facts they can about the famous person, such as place of birth, vocation, reason for the person’s fame or importance, and name of the person’s spouse.

  • How many of you actually know this person?

Point out that knowing about a person does not mean that we know him personally. Put away the picture.

Each Young Woman Needs to Know Jesus Christ

Picture and discussion

Place the pictures of Jesus Christ in front of the class.

Discuss what the young women know about Jesus—his life, his actions, his attributes, and his character traits.

Thought questions

  • Even though we have all this information about Jesus, do we really know him?

  • Why is it important that we know Jesus Christ?

Scripture and teacher explanation

To help answer these questions, ask class members to turn to John 17:3, and have one of the young women read the passage aloud. Explain that we can all come to know Jesus Christ. As an indication of what it is like to be with and know the Savior, read (or have a good reader present either in person or on tape) the following excerpts from the Savior’s visit to the Nephites: 3 Nephi 17:1–3, 5–7, 9–13, 15–25.

Teacher testimony

Bear your testimony that Jesus Christ loves each of us. He gave his life for us, atoned for our sins, and desires that we each come to him.

The Example of Jesus Christ Will Inspire Each Young Woman to Draw Near to Him

Chalkboard discussion

Ask the young women what characteristics they would like to have in a friend. List these on the chalkboard. Answers might include understanding, kindness, loyalty, patience with weaknesses, and willingness to listen.

Ask the young women to recall some incidents from the life of Jesus that show he is the type of person they would like to have as a friend. You may wish to relate their responses to the list on the chalkboard when appropriate.

If the young women are having difficulty responding, you may wish to refer them to the pictures of Jesus you have displayed. Or you could distribute one of the following scriptural references to each young woman. Have her look it up and read it silently. Ask her to tell the class what characteristics Jesus showed that she would value in a friend. Be familiar with each incident so you can help anyone who is having difficulty.

  1. 1.

    Mark 10:13–16. (He greatly loved children.)

  2. 2.

    John 13:3–5. (He was humble and willing to serve, as evidenced by washing the feet of the Apostles.)

  3. 3.

    3 Nephi 17:5–7. (He remained with the Nephites to heal their sick, lame, and blind.)

  4. 4.

    John 4:5–14. (He was friendly with the Samaritans, who were looked down upon.)

  5. 5.

    Luke 15:11–32. (He was forgiving and taught others to be forgiving in the parable of the prodigal son.)

  6. 6.

    Matthew 18:11–14. (He cared for each person individually as taught in the parable of the lost sheep.)

  7. 7.

    Luke 7:36–50. (He loved even the sinner.)

Explain that the examples mentioned help show us that Jesus is a kind, loving person we would like to have as a friend.

Discussion

If it was not brought out in the above discussion, you may wish to point out that one important part of friendship is sharing experiences and problems with someone who understands and really cares.

Ask the young women to name some things that make them unhappy or depressed. (Rejection, feeling unloved, loneliness, being talked about by others, temptations that must be faced.)

Ask them to name experiences Jesus had that might have discouraged him. Possible responses include the following:

  1. 1.

    Jesus was rejected in his hometown of Nazareth. (Mark 6:1–6.)

  2. 2.

    He was talked about because he made friends with people who were not popular. (The story of Zacchaeus; Luke 19:1–10.)

  3. 3.

    He was tempted. (Matthew 4:1–11.)

  4. 4.

    As he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, his Apostles fell asleep. (Matthew 26:36–46.)

  5. 5.

    Peter denied knowing him three times. (Matthew 26:69–75.)

(The scriptural references in parentheses need not be read in class.)

  • How do these examples show us that Jesus can understand and help us?

Through Her Efforts, a Young Woman Can Draw Closer to the Savior

Scripture and discussion

Explain that Doctrine and Covenants 88:63 gives us some general guidelines about how we can each develop a closer friendship with the Savior. Have one of the young women read this scripture aloud.

  • What three words from this verse tell us how to draw near to the Savior? (Ask, seek, knock.)

  • What are some of the ways we can ask, seek, and knock as we try to draw near to Christ? (Pray, study the scriptures to find out what Christ did and what he taught, and try to live a Christlike life.)

  • According to this scripture, what are we promised if we draw near to Jesus? (That we will find him; he will draw near to us.)

Quotation

Elder Bernard P. Brockbank called this process of asking, seeking, and knocking a “God-given formula on how to reach and know your Heavenly Father and your Savior, Jesus Christ” (“Be Worthy of Celestial Exaltation,” in Speeches of the Year, 1974 [Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1975], pp. 378–79).

Teacher presentation

Point out that becoming like the Savior is not an overnight process. It takes time, effort, and genuine desire. One of the reasons we have the Church is to help us grow closer to Jesus.

Tell the young women that the lessons this year will help them draw nearer to Jesus by helping them develop characteristics that he has, such as patience, love, forgiveness, and charity. Drawing closer to the Savior will be a great source of strength and comfort to all the class members, as it was to the girl in the following story:

Story

“It had been one of the worst days I’d had since we’d moved. For the most part, things had been going very well in these past months. Our new ward was friendly, and the girls my age had made a special effort to include me in the group. They brought cookies and flowers soon after we arrived and even held a breakfast in my honor. But somehow, remembering these things didn’t help on this particular night.

“There had been a misunderstanding with one of the boys in the ward whom I especially liked, and a few words were spoken that left me hurt and confused. I came home feeling depressed. My mother’s cheery ‘hello’ and reminder that it was my turn for the dishes only made me more upset. I went to my room and lay down on my bed.

“I thought of my brother Robert who had left on his mission just a few weeks before. If only he were still home, he would understand my problem and help me. Then I started thinking about our move. As I thought of this, I began to doubt the sincerity of my new friends. Little words or glances that hadn’t bothered me before now became proof that these friends really didn’t like me very much. Even some little problems at school started to grow larger.

“Then a picture of my father came into my mind. He had died several years before, and I began thinking about how hard it had been for us since then. These things only deepened my loneliness and despair, and it seemed like all the warmth and security I had known were rapidly slipping away from me. All of these feelings welled up inside of me and finally exploded in tears—tears that came freely from a deep well of frustration and loneliness. I cried for over an hour.

“Then almost unnoticed, other thoughts began to tumble over one another in my mind until they slowly made sense. I had been crying for someone to understand and help me. I had been crying because I felt there was no one to turn to. But all the time, Heavenly Father and Jesus existed and only waited for me to recognize their great love and willingness to listen. As my feelings changed to a grateful security, the feeling in my room changed also. It was almost as if I could feel Heavenly Father and Jesus there with me.

“I realized that they could fully understand my problems. Jesus had gone through the experience of mortality and suffered far more than I was suffering. He and my Heavenly Father knew me better than I knew myself, for they had been with me in the premortal life, and they also knew of my earth life. They could and would listen with a feeling of concern coming from the vastness of their love. That night, I exchanged my burden of loneliness and frustration for the calm assurance of their love and the special knowledge that they live much closer to us than I had known before.”

Conclusion

Scripture

Have a young woman read Doctrine and Covenants 88:63 again.

Testimony

If you feel so impressed, share your testimony of the Savior. Perhaps some of the young women in your class could also bear their testimonies. Invite the young women to draw near to Christ and to receive his promise that they will find him.