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Why is work an important gospel principle?

The Lord has commanded us not to be idle. Developing the desire and capacity to work helps us contribute to the world in which we live. It brings an increased sense of self-worth. It blesses us and our families, both now and in the future.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and other resources. What inspires you to work?

Genesis 3:19 (We should labor in order to provide for ourselves)

Matthew 25:14–30 (The parable of the talents)

Galatians 6:3–5; 1 Thessalonians 4:11; Mosiah 10:4–5 (We are commanded to work)

Alma 38:12; D&C 58:27; 60:13; 75:29; 107:99–100 (Do not be idle or slothful)

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Two Principles for Any Economy,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 55–58

H. David Burton, “The Blessing of Work,” Liahona, Dec. 2009, 36–40

Work and Self-Reliance,” For the Strength of Youth (2011), 40–41

Video: “A Work in Progress”

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 last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Write two questions on the board from the previous lesson and ask the young men to suggest answers.
  • Ask a young man to talk about something he has worked hard to earn or achieve. What sacrifices did he have to make? How did he feel when he accomplished his goal? What did he learn from his experience?

Learn together

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

  • Write the questions “What did I learn?” “Why is it important?” and “What can I do?” on the board. Hand out a copy of For the Strength of Youth to each young man and assign each to read one of the paragraphs in the “Work and Self-Reliance” section. Invite him to study his paragraph and be prepared to provide answers to the three questions on the board. Share an experience from your own life that taught you the importance of work.
  • Assign each young man to read one of the scriptures suggested in this outline. Ask him to come to the front of the room and share (a) what he learns from his scripture, (b) why it is important, and (c) examples he has seen that illustrate what the scripture teaches.
  • Read Matthew 25:14–30 as a quorum. Suggest that the young men underline any phrases related to work and the results of work and circle any phrases related to idleness and the results of not working. Invite the young men to share what they found and any experiences they have had working hard at something. What were the results of their efforts?
  • Read the section “The First Principle: Work” from Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “Two Principles for Any Economy.” Ask the young men to choose a phrase from the talk that would be good to remember or read every day to inspire them in their efforts to work. Show the video “A Work in Progress” and ask the young men to find examples of what President Uchtdorf taught. What can they learn about work from Tyler’s example? How can they apply what he did to achieve their own goals?

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they understand why work is important? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this topic?

Invite to act

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

  • Share what he has felt inspired to do based on what he learned today.
  • Share with the quorum some needs in the ward that the bishop has identified and make plans for a quorum activity to help meet those needs.