Each young woman will learn how to make the scriptures more meaningful in her life.
Become familiar with the Topical Guide and Index that are found in the LDS editions of the scriptures. Be prepared to help the young women find scriptures using these resources.
Assign young women to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.
Suggested Lesson Development
The Scriptures Can Guide Us and Help Us Meet Daily Challenges
Introduce the lesson with the following experience told by President Harold B. Lee:
“Some years ago the president of the Sweden Mission related an experience when he was on a boat going out through a number of small islands toward Finland. As he watched the boat plow out into the sea, he noticed the meandering course of the pilot among the various islands. He wondered, Why doesn’t he take us to that more interesting island over there instead of this dismal place over here?
“He said, ‘As I sat there watching and wondering, I noticed what appeared to be broomsticks bobbing up and down in the water ahead. I then realized that someone had mapped out the safest course in these waters and had put out these guidelines to guide us safely.’
“Then he brought out this lesson: ‘Just so, God’s engineers have charted the safest way to us, and that safe way is written in the gospel of Jesus Christ, just as unmistakably as our ship was guided through those dangerous seas out into the safety beyond” (“Find the Answers in the Scriptures,” Ensign, Dec. 1972, p. 3).
Ask the young women to think of ways in which the scriptures can guide their lives on the safe and direct course back to their Heavenly Father. Guide the discussion to bring out the following:
The scriptures help us to know our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ (see John 17:3).
By reading the scriptures, we can gain a testimony of Jesus Christ and his gospel.
We can learn from Christ’s example. (If time permits, ask the young women to recall some of the incidents from Jesus’ life that have been examples to them.)
We can learn from the examples of the prophets and people written about in the scriptures.
The scriptures give us inspiration and comfort to meet life’s daily challenges.
Do you know how to find answers to your daily problems in the scriptures? How have you used the scriptures to help you solve your problems?
Do you have a favorite scripture that has helped you to meet challenges in your life?
Explain that as a class, you are going to learn how to find answers in the scriptures.
Scripture activity and case studies
Present the following case studies to the class members. After each case study, give them a few minutes to find answers in the scriptures that will help resolve the problem. You may need to give the class brief instructions on how to use the Topical Guide and Index to find applicable scriptures. Have the young women present what they have learned to the class. You may want to have them work in groups for this activity.
Case Study 1
Shauna was struggling with her faith in the power of prayer. She felt that she was not receiving answers when she prayed, and she was beginning to doubt the faith and beliefs of her childhood. Her Young Women adviser asked her to compile a notebook on prayer using only what she found in the scriptures. Find some scriptures that you think would help her regain her faith in prayer.
Case Study 2
Marie was aware that Layne, her fourteen-year-old brother, was lying more and more frequently to her parents about where he was going and what he was doing. Marie had tried to talk to him about it, but that only made him angry. He insisted that his little lies weren’t doing any harm. He just wanted to spend more time with his friends. Marie’s father assigned her to give the lesson in family home evening the following Monday. She decided to give it on the importance of being honest. Find some scriptures that might help Marie teach Layne about the value of honesty.
Case Study 3
Sarah’s mother had just died of cancer. Sarah was brokenhearted. Why had the Lord let this happen to her beautiful mother? She was so good and so young. The family had prayed fervently that she would be healed, and the bishop had helped her father administer to her mother. Using the key words of death and resurrection, what scriptures can you find to comfort Sarah?
We Can Make the Scriptures More Meaningful in Our Lives
Explain that there are many ways we can study the scriptures. Finding answers to specific problems is only one way. Ask the young women to suggest ways of studying the scriptures. You may want to list their responses on the chalkboard. The responses may include the following:
We can read them through from start to finish.
We can study them by subject, using the Topical Guide, Index, or Gospel Principles manual as our guide.
We can follow the seminary or Sunday School course of study.
We can compile and memorize a list of special scriptures that help and inspire us. (The scriptures to be memorized in seminary would be a good place to start.)
We can look for answers to a specific need or problem.
Explain that no one way is the best. Each young woman must decide which way works best for her.
What things often keep people from reading the scriptures every day?
What can we do to overcome these obstacles to scripture reading?
Elder Carlos E. Asay has encouraged us to imagine the time we spend studying the scriptures as a time of personal interview with the Lord. He said:
“I fear that many of us rush about from day to day taking for granted the holy scriptures. We scramble to honor appointments with physicians, lawyers, and businessmen. Yet we think nothing of postponing interviews with Deity—postponing scripture study. Little wonder we develop anemic souls and lose our direction in living. How much better it would be if we planned and held sacred fifteen or twenty minutes a day for reading the scriptures. Such interviews with Deity would help us recognize his voice and enable us to receive guidance in all of our affairs. We must look to God through the scriptures” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1978, p. 79; or Ensign, Nov. 1978, pp. 53–54).
How would following Elder Asay’s suggestion help you be more in tune with the Spirit as you study the scriptures?
Why is planning a regular time for scripture study so important?
Why is infrequent scripture study likely to be less satisfying than regular scripture study?
To help the young women understand the importance of dedicated scripture study, tell the following true story:
Sarah Pea Rich was converted to the Church in 1835 when she was seventeen years old. She and her family were living in the state of Illinois, and two Mormon elders had come to preach in her area. They told her family and her neighbors about the Prophet Joseph Smith and about the translation of the Book of Mormon from gold plates.
Sarah was anxious to see the Book of Mormon and asked one of the elders if she could see the book. She said: “I retired to my room and spent the rest of that evening and most of the night reading it. I was truly astonished at its contents. The book left an impression on my mind never to be forgotten. It appeared to be open before my eyes for weeks afterwards.”
The next morning the men left for Kirtland, Ohio, leaving a deep impression on the minds of the Pea family. The family thought they would never see the elders again. Sarah wrote: “After they had been gone six weeks, I had a dream concerning them. I dreamed on Friday night that they would come to our house the next evening, just as the sun was going down, and that they would first come in sight at the end of a long lane in front of the house.”
The next morning, her father and mother planned to go to town. Sarah asked them to return early because she was so sure the missionaries would come. Her father laughed and told her she must be crazy, for the elders were hundreds of miles away. He and Sarah’s mother soon left for town. Sarah, however, began preparing for the arrival of the missionaries.
Sarah recorded: “As the day passed, I began to look, once in a while, down the lane for those men. Sure enough, just as the sun was setting, they made their appearance, just where I dreamed I first saw them. I met them on the porch, and bade them the time of day. ‘I have been looking for you to come,’ I said. ‘Why,’ one of them answered, ‘had you heard we were coming?’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘I dreamed last night that you would come, and I felt sure you would be here.’ ‘Well,’ said one of the elders, ‘we had a dream that we were to return here and baptize you and build up a church in this region.’”
Sarah’s parents returned from town and were astonished to find the missionaries at their home. The missionaries taught the family and many neighbors. They stayed until they had built up a church of seventy members, including Sarah, her father, mother, and sister. (Quoted in John Henry Evans, Charles Coulson Rich: Pioneer Builder of the West [New York: Macmillan Co., 1936], pp. 38–40.)
How do you think Sarah felt about the Book of Mormon?
What can you learn about scripture study from her experience?
Read the following counsel from Elder Howard W. Hunter:
“It is certain that one who studies the scriptures every day accomplishes far more than one who devotes considerable time one day and then lets days go by before continuing. Not only should we study each day, but there should be a regular time set aside when we can concentrate without interference. …
“A quarter of an hour is little time, but it is surprising how much enlightenment and knowledge can be acquired in a subject so meaningful. The important thing is to allow nothing else to ever interfere with our study” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1979, p. 91; or Ensign, Nov. 1979, p. 64).
Express your feelings about the value of drawing close to the Lord by studying the scriptures. Allow the young women to express their feelings about this subject.
Suggest that if the young women do not have a regular scripture study program, they could begin one during the upcoming week. Each young woman may want to report to you personally about her experience.