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How does keeping the commandments affect my ability to learn the gospel?

Learning the gospel requires the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost can enlighten our understanding and testify of gospel truths. In order to be worthy of His influence, we must be obedient to the commandments. As we are obedient to the principles we learn, we prepare ourselves to receive additional truth from the Lord.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What will help the youth understand how keeping the commandments affects their ability to learn the gospel?

Daniel 1 (Daniel and his companions are blessed for their obedience with wisdom and understanding); see also the video “God Gave Them Knowledge”

John 7:17 (If we do God’s will, we will know of the doctrine)

2 Nephi 28:30; D&C 42:61; 50:24 (If we hearken to the Lord, we will receive more light and knowledge)

D&C 76:5–10 (The Lord honors those who serve Him)

Thomas S. Monson, “Obedience Brings Blessings,Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 89–92

Henry B. Eyring, “A Living Testimony,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 125–28

Richard G. Scott, “How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 45–47

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:

  • Ask the youth if they have any questions or comments about what they are learning in their other classes. Invite them to share personal experiences or impressions they have received as a result of their learning.
  • Write on the board, “How does obedience affect my ability to learn the gospel?” Give the youth a few moments to ponder this question, and then ask them to share their thoughts. Encourage them to continue thinking about this question throughout the lesson.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the youth understand how their obedience to the commandments affects their ability to learn the gospel. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Give class members copies of the first 11 paragraphs of President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “Obedience Brings Blessings,” and invite them to write a few sentences that summarize President Monson’s main message. As class members share their sentences, encourage them to share why they feel this message is important to youth today.
  • As a class, read Daniel 1 or watch the video “God Gave Them Knowledge.” How did Daniel and his friends demonstrate obedience? How were they blessed? What situations do the youth face that may be similar to Daniel’s? Invite each youth to read about another individual in the scriptures who was blessed with knowledge and understanding because of his or her obedience (such as Nephi in 1 Nephi 4 or Joseph Smith in Joseph Smith—History 1:11–17). Ask them to write a brief summary of what they read and teach the rest of the class about how the person they chose was blessed with knowledge because of obedience.
  • Invite each youth to select one of the following scripture passages: John 7:17; 2 Nephi 28:30; D&C 50:24. Ask the youth to read their passage and ponder what it teaches them about obedience and gospel learning. Then invite them to find someone in the class who selected a different scripture and share with each other what they learned.
  • Give the youth a flashlight that does not work, and invite them to examine it to determine why it doesn’t give light. Share the following statement from Elder Richard G. Scott’s talk “How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life”: “One must be ever mentally and physically clean and have purity of intent so that the Lord can inspire. One who is obedient to His commandments is trusted of the Lord. That individual has access to His inspiration to know what to do and, as needed, the divine power to do it. … Our obedience assures that when required, we can qualify for divine power to accomplish an inspired objective” (page 47). How does the broken flashlight illustrate the principles that Elder Scott teaches in this statement? Invite the youth to ponder what they must to do be “trusted of the Lord” and receive revelation from Him. Ask a few of them to share their thoughts.
  • Invite the youth to read part of President Henry B. Eyring’s talk “A Living Testimony,” from the paragraph that begins “So a seed of faith is already planted…” to the paragraph that begins “My feeling of their joy came….” How did President Eyring’s obedience help strengthen his testimony? What specific things can the youth do to follow President Eyring’s example?

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they understand how keeping the commandments affects their ability to learn the gospel? 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 a few of the youth to summarize what they learned today about the relationship between keeping commandments and learning the gospel. Invite them to consider what they could do or stop doing that might help enhance their ability to be taught by the Holy Ghost. Encourage them to write their thoughts in their personal journals.