Lesson 37: The Word of God as a Standard

Young Women Manual 3, (1994), 132–35


Each young woman will determine how the word of God can be used as a standard in coping with worldly philosophies.


  1. 1.

    Obtain a picture of the present President of the Church.

  2. 2.

    Prepare a poster with pictures and newspaper headlines depicting some of the worldly philosophies and challenges the young women in your area must face. Opposite the poster, set up a picture of the prophet and a set of the standard works of the Church. Between these two, place pictures of young women in your class.

  3. 3.

    Assign several young women to prepare reports on the topics you select from the resource material at the end of this lesson. Provide each young woman with the information from the resource material on her assigned topic. You may wish to give her additional material from the scriptures, from recent Church magazines, and from general conference addresses. Give each young woman a time limit to fit your lesson presentation.

  4. 4.

    Prepare questions and material that will enable you to summarize and assist the young women’s reports.

  5. 5.

    Optional: Prepare a handout for each young woman (see the end of the lesson).

  6. 6.

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

Suggested Lesson Development

Every Young Woman Is Confronted with Challenges

Poster discussion

Show the poster you have prepared. Explain that it depicts some of the worldly philosophies and challenges young women face today. Have the young women name the worldly philosophies they can identify from the poster. Record their responses on the chalkboard. (See possible responses in the completed chalkboard illustration.)

  • Who is the author of these challenges and false philosophies? (Satan.)

  • How can these philosophies hurt young women?

Explain that Satan supports many false philosophies that deceive people and lead them astray. We do not have to be deceived, however. We are blessed to have scriptures and teachings of the modern prophets to combat each of the evil influences listed on the chalkboard.

Worldly Philosophies

Gospel Principles and Truths



No need to have children



Sanctity of life


Virtue and chastity


Scriptures and good books

Smoking, drinking, drugs

Word of Wisdom



Standards for Meeting Challenges Are Found in the Scriptures

Scripture discussion

Ask the young women to find and read 2 Nephi 31:20.

  • What does Nephi suggest that we do? (Go forward with steadfastness in Christ, love God and all men, feast upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end.)

Ask the young women to find and read 1 Peter 1:24–25.

  • What does this scripture teach about the difference between the philosophies of men and the word of God?


Direct the young women’s attention to the prophet’s picture and the standard works in the display. Point out that the young women can know the truth from Heavenly Father as taught by the prophets and as contained in the scriptures.

Class member reports

Invite the previously assigned young women to present their reports based on the resource material at the end of the lesson. Explain that these reports will show how the word of God can be used as a standard in coping with worldly philosophies. As each report is completed, write the gospel principle on the chalkboard opposite each worldly philosophy as illustrated.

Make sure that the scriptures and doctrines are clear. Emphasize ways that gospel truths will overcome the false ideas of Satan. Control the time of each report to fit the class period.


Scripture reading or handout

Explain that the following scriptures give counsel for overcoming Satan’s influences and living according to true principles:

These could be read aloud by the young women, or you could give the young women handouts containing the scriptures to study at home.

Suggested Activities

  1. 1.

    If a young woman has a special challenge in overcoming a worldly philosophy, assist her in reading and studying the word of the Lord and his prophets until she feels secure and at peace.

  2. 2.

    Have a qualified speaker, approved by your local priesthood leader, conduct a fireside on one or more subjects from the lesson. Allow time for questions and discussion with the young women following the talk.

Resource Material

1. Marriage

“We are taught that marriage is necessary for the accomplishment of God’s plan, to provide the approved setting for mortal birth, and to prepare family members for eternal life. ‘Marriage is ordained of God unto man,’ the Lord said, ‘that the earth might answer the end of its creation; and that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made’ (D&C 49:15–17).

“Our concept of marriage is motivated by revealed truth, not by worldly sociology. The Apostle Paul taught, ‘Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord’ (1 Corinthians 11:11). President Spencer W. Kimball explained, ‘Without proper and successful marriage, one will never be exalted’ (Marriage and Divorce [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], p. 24)” (Dallin H. Oaks, in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, p. 100; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, p. 74).

2. Bearing of Children

“President [Spencer W.] Kimball said, ‘It is an act of extreme selfishness for a married couple to refuse to have children when they are able to do so’ (in Conference Report, Apr. 1979, p. 6; or Ensign, May 1979, p. 6). When married couples postpone childbearing until after they have satisfied their material goals, the mere passage of time assures that they seriously reduce their potential to participate in furthering our Heavenly Father’s plan for all of his spirit children. Faithful Latter-day Saints cannot afford to look upon children as an interference with what the world calls ‘self-fulfillment.’ Our covenants with God and the ultimate purpose of life are tied up in those little ones who reach for our time, our love, and our sacrifices.

“How many children should a couple have? All they can care for! Of course, to care for children means more than simply giving them life. Children must be loved, nurtured, taught, fed, clothed, housed, and well started in their capacities to be good parents themselves” (Dallin H. Oaks, in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, p. 101; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, p. 75).

“The pattern for family life, instituted from before the foundation of the world, provides for children to be born to and nurtured by a father and mother who are husband and wife, lawfully married. Parenthood is a sacred obligation and privilege, with children welcomed as a ‘heritage of the Lord.’ (Psalm 127:3)” (Howard W. Hunter, in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, p. 8; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, p. 9).

3. Abortion

“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. How could one submit to such an operation or be party in any way by financing or encouraging? If special rare cases could be justified, certainly they would be rare indeed. We place it high on the list of sins against which we strongly warn the people.

“‘Abortion must be considered one of the most revolting and sinful practices in this day, when we are witnessing the frightful evidence of permissiveness leading to sexual immorality.’ (Priesthood Bulletin, Feb. 1973, p. 9.)” (Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Apr. 1974, p. 8; or Ensign, May 1974, p. 7).

4. Divorce

“Divorce is not a cure for difficulty, but is merely an escape, and a weak one. We have come to realize also that the mere performance of a ceremony does not bring happiness and a successful marriage. Happiness does not come by pressing a button, as does the electric light; happiness is a state of mind and comes from within. It must be earned. It cannot be purchased with money; it cannot be taken for nothing” (Spencer W. Kimball, Marriage and Divorce [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], p. 12).

5. Virtue and Chastity (see also For the Strength of Youth pp. 14–16)

“Solomon said that the price of a virtuous woman ‘is far above rubies’ (Proverbs 31:10). Young women, guard and protect your virtue as you would your very life. We want you to live the morally clean life all of your life. We want the morally clean life to be your way of life.

“Yes, one can repent of moral transgression. The miracle of forgiveness is real, and true repentance is accepted of the Lord. But it is not pleasing to the Lord to sow one’s wild oats, to engage in sexual transgression of any nature, and then expect that planned confession and quick repentance will satisfy the Lord” (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1986, p. 83).

“As you make your life’s choices, understand well, my dear sisters, that God is unchanging, and his covenants and doctrines are not susceptible to change. When the sun grows cold and the stars no longer shine, the law of chastity will still be basic in God’s world and in the Lord’s church. Old values are not upheld by the Church because they are old, but rather because through the ages they have proved to be right and because God has thus spoken” (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Nov. 1978, p. 105).

6. Pornography (see also For the Strength of Youth pp. 11–12)

“Members of the Church everywhere are urged to not only resist the widespread plague of pornography, but as citizens to become actively and relentlessly engaged in the fight against this insidious enemy of humanity around the world.

“Last year billions of dollars were spent worldwide on obscene motion pictures and literature. This smut is surfacing in bookstores, magazine shops, motion picture theaters, and unfortunately, in some department stores, food markets, and even drugstores. …

“‘Pornography degrades sex and humanity. Sex is an extremely delicate part of our human relationships. When you assault that and degrade it, you make it an animalistic act and it is an assault on our humanity generally.

“‘As that spreads, it has an over-all effect on our population. Obscenity is counter to civilization. It attacks our basic beliefs. It’s an attack on the family ethic.’ (Larry Parrish, U.S. Assistant Attorney, in ‘War on Pornography,’ p. 76.)” (Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Oct. 1976, pp. 5–6; or Ensign, Nov. 1976, pp. 5–6).

7. Word of Wisdom (see also For the Strength of Youth pp. 12–13)

“As to drugs, ‘… the Church has consistently opposed the improper and harmful use of drugs or similar substances under circumstances which would result in addiction, physical or mental impairment or in lowering moral standards.’ We affirm this positive statement” (Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Apr. 1974, p. 8; or Ensign, May 1974, p. 7).

“The world may have its norm; the Church has a different one. It may be considered normal by the people of the world to use tobacco; the Church’s standard is a higher plane where smoking is not done. The world’s norm may permit men and women social drinking; the Lord’s church lifts its people to a norm of total abstinence” (Spencer W. Kimball, “President Kimball Speaks Out on Morality,” New Era, Nov. 1980, p. 41).

8. Astrology

Astrology pretends to tell fortunes by deciphering the influence of the stars in people’s lives. Ancient civilizations were frequently deceived by the snares of astrologers. Enlightened members of the Church avoid these things, for they are of Satan.

Astronomy is the science that studies the stars—their creation and motion. The greatest astronomers of history have been prophets like Moses, Abraham, and Enoch. They received their knowledge from the Lord himself. (See D&C 88:41–47; Moses 1:27–39; Abraham 3:1–18.)

“The stars can’t control your acts. … God gave you free agency, and He does not allow even the stars to interfere with it. He is the Creator of the stars but He did not devise the peculiar cult of astrology” (editorial in the Church News, 14 Oct. 1972, p. 16).