Each young woman will understand the eternal perspective of life and be better prepared to face the trials of mortality.
Write or type each of the following two scriptures on a card. Use only these words, and do not write the reference on the card.
“How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.”
“Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.”
Assign young women to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.
Suggested Lesson Development
Give one of the young women the first card (the verse is found in 1 Samuel 1:14). Ask her to read it aloud.
Ask if anyone can answer the following questions:
What are your first impressions of this passage?
Who is speaking?
Who is he or she talking to?
What was happening at the time?
Explain to the young women that this scripture refers to Hannah, the mother of Samuel the prophet. She was pouring out her heart to the Lord in the temple because she could not have children. Eli, the high priest, thought she was drunk. When Eli found out who she was, he promised her that God would grant her prayer.
How do your feelings about the verse change when you know what was going on?
Have another young woman read the second card (the verse is found in Ruth 1:16). Ask questions similar to those used in the first example. Since this verse is better known, some of the class members should know the answers to the questions. Point out that when they know what is happening in the story both before and after the verse, they can understand better.
An Eternal Perspective Helps Us See Things As They Are, Were, and Will Be
What is perspective? (The ability to see things in their true relationship.)
Explain that, for example, a proper perspective allows you to realize that a telephone pole some distance down the road is actually the same size as a closer one that looks bigger. From a distance, the mountains appear to be solidly covered with trees, but a person with the proper perspective knows there are actually bare spots among the trees.
Tell the following story:
A young woman was involved in a training exercise in the desert. During the exercise she was separated from the others and became lost. She had the impression that the others were miles and miles away from her. She kept walking until it was too dark to travel further.
Finally she decided the best thing to do was to wait until morning and hope that the next day the others would find her. As darkness closed around her, she prayed with all her heart. She spent a sleepless night and at dawn discovered that she had spent the entire night in a ravine. She climbed to the ridge. With this new perspective, she could see the others camped on top of the ridge, about a half mile away.
What does this story tell about perspective? (If we have the proper perspective, we can determine where we are and how we can get to our destination.)
What is an eternal perspective?
Allow the young women to respond to this question. Then have them read Doctrine and Covenants 93:24.
How does a knowledge of truth improve our perspective?
To illustrate this point, draw the following diagram on the chalkboard:
Explain that as we gain knowledge of the truth, our perspective becomes more and more like God’s. It becomes eternal in nature.
Quotations and discussion
Have one of the young women read the following quotation by Joseph Smith:
“The nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1938], p. 51).
What helps us see things as they really are?
Elder LeGrand Richards said: “God bless you to realize where you came from and the great privileges that are yours. If the veil were rolled back and you could just see one glimpse of God’s great eternal plan concerning you and who you are, it would not be hard for you to love Him, keep His commandments, and live to be worthy of every blessing that He has had for you since before the foundations of the world were laid” (“Patriarchal Blessings,” New Era, Feb. 1977, p. 7).
How can an eternal perspective help you face the challenges that come in your life?
How might your patriarchal blessing add perspective to your life?
An Eternal Perspective Helps Us Have a Positive Attitude in Facing Trials
Explain that an eternal perspective can help us face our trials with a positive attitude and with faith.
Relate the following true incident:
Jill returned from the doctor’s office with the tragic news that she had contracted a rare form of spinal meningitis that is usually fatal. She was given six months to live. The thought of leaving her husband and their three small children was agonizing to her.
The pain she suffered with this disease was occasional but always severe. During one of these terrible seizures of pain, she felt impressed that one of the most difficult, yet important, things for her to do at that time was simply to smile. She knew that no matter what happened, she would still have her family after this life, so she wanted to preserve the good spirit of their relationship.
This change of attitude soon became a source of strength not only to her but also to her loved ones. Jill gradually became consoled by the fact that if she could endure this pain and suffering, she and those around her would be able to benefit from her actions, and the months ahead would be much more bearable.
How did an eternal perspective help Jill and those around her face this test?
In what ways do you think her eternal perspective affected her attitude?
Ask the young women to share examples from their own lives or the lives of friends to show how an eternal perspective helps us face trials with faith.
Tell the following two stories about how early members of the Church maintained an eternal perspective in the midst of great opposition.
In March of 1832, the Prophet Joseph Smith was dragged from his home in the middle of the night by an angry mob. He was beaten, choked, and tarred and feathered by his assailants. They then left him on the cold ground.
After a while, he was able to get up and make his way back to the house. His friends spent the rest of the night scraping the tar off him.
The next day was Sunday. The Prophet dressed and went to the Sabbath meeting, where he preached a sermon to the congregation. Among the people in the meeting were some of the mobbers of the night before. In the afternoon of that day, three people were baptized. (See History of the Church, 1:261–64.)
Charles Pulsipher told the following story from his experiences during the early years in the Salt Lake Valley:
“We raised a good crop of corn in . … That gave us seed for the next year. However, in the year that the crickets nearly took our crops, and we were short on rations, our flour was nearly all gone. Many others were pretty short on provisions, also. We had just about 1 quart of flour in the house.
“One of our neighbors came and asked if we could loan him just enough flour to make a biscuit for his Wife, who was sick, and had not eaten anything for days. So, I asked how much flour we had. The reply was, ‘Just about 1 quart, but we will divide it with this man, and we will have enough for our breakfast in the morning.’ So we gave him half of the flour. He took it and said, ‘May the Lord bless you that you will not want.’
“The next morning when we went to get the flour, there was still a quart of flour in the bin. This same thing happened every day for a week or more, until we could get another sack of flour. So, we did not want” (quoted in Richard Cottam Shipp, Champions of Light [Orem: Randall Book, 1983], p. 82).
How do you think an eternal perspective helped Joseph Smith and Charles Pulsipher in these situations?
What can you learn from these stories about maintaining an eternal perspective in your life?
Explain that if we develop an eternal perspective, our attitudes will become positive. We will find greater joy and peace in life, and others will be able to gain strength from our example.
Bear your testimony to the young women about how an eternal perspective has helped you in your life.
Have the class members prepare a list of things they can do now to have a better perspective on life. They might consider seeking a testimony of the truthfulness of the Church, gaining a better understanding of the Savior’s mission and atonement, preparing for and receiving a patriarchal blessing, and overcoming weaknesses such as procrastination or anger.