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Why do the choices I make matter?

Heavenly Father has given us moral agency, the ability to choose and act for ourselves. While we are free to make our own choices, we cannot choose the consequences of those choices. Good choices lead to lasting happiness and eternal life. If we ask Him, Heavenly Father will help us make wise choices.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study the following scriptures and resources. What do you feel will help the young men understand the importance of making wise choices?

Joshua 24:15 (We can choose to serve the Lord)

John 14:15 (Our good choices show our love for Heavenly Father and our desire to do His will)

2 Nephi 2:16, 27; Helaman 14:30–31 (We are free to choose and act for ourselves)

Moroni 7:14–15 (It is given to us to judge between good and evil)

Thomas S. Monson, “The Three Rs of Choice,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 67–70

Russell M. Nelson, “Decisions for Eternity,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013

Quentin L. Cook, “Lamentations of Jeremiah: Beware of Bondage,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013

Agency,True to the Faith (2004), 12–13

Agency and Accountability,For the Strength of Youth (2011), 2–3

Videos: “Stay within the Lines”; “No Regrets”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to review the doctrine from last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Show an object that represents something the young men learned last week, and invite them to share what the object has to do with what they learned.
  • Label one end of a stick “Choice” and the other “Consequence,” and use it to show that every choice we make has a consequence attached (sometimes positive, sometimes negative). Invite a young man to hold the stick as you describe a choice he may face. The young man could describe the consequence of that choice. Discuss how our choices affect our lives, families, and priesthood service.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help quorum members understand the doctrine of agency. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your quorum:

  • Invite a quorum member to teach a portion of this lesson. He could do this as part of his Duty to God plan to learn and teach about agency (see “Understand Doctrine,” page 18, 42, or 66).
  • Invite each young man to silently read “Agency and Accountability” in For the Strength of Youth and share what impresses him. Quorum members could then choose another standard in the book and share some choices they’ve made in relation to that standard and the blessings that came from their choices. For example, you might discuss as a quorum the blessings they’ve received for following the counsel to avoid addictions (see page 27).
  • Give each young man portions of President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “The Three Rs of Choice” or Elder Quentin L. Cook’s talk “Lamentations of Jeremiah: Beware of Bondage” to read on his own. Then invite the young men to share things that impressed them. They could do this in small groups or with the entire quorum. Invite them to discuss how the counsel they studied could help them make better choices.
  • Use tape or string to create a “V” on the classroom floor. Invite a young man to start where the tape or string meets and to walk down the “V” keeping one foot on each side. Eventually he will need to choose to walk on one side of the tape. Invite the young men to explain what they learn about choices from this experience. Invite the young men to read the first paragraph of Elder Russell M. Nelson’s talk “Decisions for Eternity” and identify phrases they would like to remember. Invite the young men to share how they have seen “decisions determine destiny” or the results of other phrases from Elder Nelson’s talk.
  • Invite each young man to find an example of someone making a choice in the scriptures (for example, they could contrast the choices made by Nephi and by Laman and Lemuel in 1 Nephi 3:1–8 and elsewhere in 1 Nephi). What were the consequences of these choices? How did the choices affect others?
  • Show one of the videos suggested in this outline. Invite the quorum members to look for the consequences of the choices the young men in the video made. Ask them to share what they find. Invite them to share experiences in which they made a choice that had far-reaching consequences. Invite each young man to read one of the scriptures in this outline and share how it can help him make the right choices in the future.

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand the doctrine of agency better? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Share examples of good choices he has made and describe how those choices have affected his life and the lives of others, including his family. He could invite other quorum members to share as well.
  • Invite quorum members to evaluate privately the choices they are making that affect their ability to be faithful priesthood holders. He could encourage them to plan ways to continually improve.