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How can I liken the events of the Apostasy and the Restoration to my life?

We should “liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning” (1 Nephi 19:23). To liken the scriptures means to see how scriptural events and circumstances are like the events and circumstances in our lives. Even though the events of the Apostasy and the Restoration occurred long ago, we can find ways to learn from these events and relate them to us today.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What will help the youth liken the events of the Apostasy and the Restoration to their lives?

1 Nephi 19:23–24 (We should liken the scriptures to ourselves)

D&C 61:36 (What the Lord says to one He says to all)

Joseph Smith—History 1:5–20 (Joseph Smith likens James 1:5 to himself)

Apostasy,True to the Faith (2004), 13–14

M. Russell Ballard, “Learning the Lessons of the Past,Ensign or Liahona, May 2009, 31–34

Likening,” Teaching, No Greater Call (1999), 170–71

Video: “What the Restoration Means for Me”

Make connections

During the first few minutes of every class, help the youth make connections between what they are learning in various settings (such as personal study, seminary, other Church classes, or experiences with their friends). How can you help them see the relevance of the gospel in daily living? The ideas below might help:

  • Invite the young women to share with the young men something they have recently learned about the Apostasy or the Restoration in their Young Women classes. Invite the young men to then share something with the young women that they have learned about the Apostasy or Restoration in their Aaronic Priesthood quorums.
  • Invite the youth to read 1 Nephi 19:23 and discuss what Nephi meant by “liken all scriptures unto us” (if needed, share with the youth the paragraph at the beginning of this outline). Show the video “What the Restoration Means for Me,” and invite class members to look for ways the youth in the video relate the events of the Restoration to their own lives.

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the youth understand how to liken the events of the Apostasy and the Restoration to their lives. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Invite the youth to read Joseph Smith—History 1:5–10 to learn about what was going on in Joseph Smith’s life when he was 14 years old. Then invite them to read verses 11 through 20 and identify what Joseph did to liken the scripture he read to his experiences. How can Joseph Smith’s example help the youth improve their own study of the scriptures? Give them time to write down ways they can liken Joseph Smith’s experiences to their own lives. Invite the youth to share with another member of the class what they wrote.
  • Invite the youth to read the section titled “Likening” on pages 170–71 of Teaching, No Greater Call and look for strategies they can use to liken the scriptures to themselves. Ask them to share with the class what they learned. Invite the youth to choose one of the scriptures cited in this section of Teaching, No Greater Call and follow the guidelines to apply it to their own lives. What other scriptures could the youth liken to themselves using these strategies?
  • On the board, write the headings “Great Apostasy” and “Personal Apostasy.” Ask the youth to read “Apostasy” in True to the Faith and list on the board the things that led to or resulted from the Great Apostasy. Help them liken the Great Apostasy to themselves by discussing how the things on their list could lead to personal apostasy. For instance, like the people who killed the apostles after the death of Christ, a person today who rejects or criticizes the living apostles is in danger of personal apostasy. What can the youth do to guard against personal apostasy?
  • Ask the youth how they would respond if a friend said, “I don’t like to read the scriptures; they talk about things that happened so long ago. What do they have to do with my life now?” Divide Elder M. Russell Ballard’s talk “Learning the Lessons of the Past” among the youth, and invite them to read their sections and look for ways they might respond to their friend.

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to liken the events of the Apostasy and the Restoration to themselves? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this topic?

Invite to act

Ask the youth what they feel inspired to do because of what they learned today. Encourage them to act on these feelings. Consider ways you can follow up.