Prepare yourself spiritually
What scriptures and talks will help the youth learn how to identify the blessings that God promises to the obedient?
Isaiah 58:6–11 (The blessings promised for obeying the law of the fast)
Malachi 3:10–12 (The blessings promised for paying tithing)
D&C 20:77, 79 (The sacrament prayers)
D&C 59:9–20 (The blessings promised for keeping the Sabbath day holy)
D&C 89:18–21 (The blessings promised for obeying the Word of Wisdom)
L. Whitney Clayton, “Whatsoever He Saith unto You, Do It,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 97–99
Jeffrey R. Holland, “Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 124–27
Von G. Keetch, “Blessed and Happy Are Those Who Keep the Commandments of God,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 115–17
“Obedience,” True to the Faith (2004), 108–9
“Promise People Blessings,” Preach My Gospel (2004), 197–98
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 to share any experiences they had during the past week that helped them understand the importance of obeying the commandments.
- Help the youth understand that commandments in the scriptures and words of living prophets are often accompanied by promised blessings or warnings; being able to identify them for ourselves and for those we teach will inspire us and others to keep the commandments. Demonstrate to the youth how to identify promised blessings by reading with the class the “Message to the Youth from the First Presidency” in For the Strength of Youth (pages ii–iii). Invite the youth to raise their hands every time they hear a promised blessing. Why are these promises important to the youth?
Each of the activities below will help the youth identify the blessings of obedience. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:
- Elder L. Whitney Clayton mentioned several examples from the scriptures of people who received blessings after exercising their faith to be obedient. Review some of the scriptural accounts that you feel would be most relevant to the youth in your class (see the scripture references in the notes at the end of his talk). How were these people blessed because they obeyed? What role does faith play in being obedient? Invite the youth to review Elder Clayton’s talk, looking for the blessings he said follow simple acts of obedience. What do they feel inspired to do to more faithfully perform the “simple, daily practices of faith”?
- Invite the youth to think of a friend who is struggling to feel that he or she “measures up.” The friend may feel that the standards of the gospel seem too high and that he or she will never reach perfection. What advice does Elder Holland give in his talk “Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You” that they could share with their friend? What blessings does Elder Holland promise to those who are trying their best to obey the commandments? Invite class members to share what they found with each other. They could also share advice from the talk with a friend or post it on social media.
- Show one of the videos suggested in this outline. Ask the youth to summarize in one sentence what they learned from the video about the blessings of obedience. Invite the youth to share their sentence with the class and discuss things from the video that inspired them to obey the commandments. Invite them to think of someone they could share the video with and to make a goal to do so.
- Invite a few class members to draw on the board a barrier or restraint that protects us from harm, and invite the other class members to guess what the drawings represent. How are these barriers like the commandments? Ask a class member to come to class prepared to share the story about the barrier at the beach as told by Elder Von G. Keetch in his talk “Blessed and Happy Are Those Who Keep the Commandments of God” (or show the video “Blessed and Happy Are Those Who Keep the Commandments of God”). Invite the youth to work together in pairs to come up with other comparisons that could help them understand how the commandments keep us safe. How have they been blessed and protected by keeping the commandments?
- On one side of the board, write “Commandments,” and on the other side write “Promised Blessings.” Invite the youth to look for places in the scriptures where the Lord promises blessings to those who obey His commandments. For example, they could look in the scriptures suggested in this outline. Or, if necessary, show them how to use the Topical Guide to find scriptures about a commandment. Invite them to write on the board the commandment they read about and the promised blessings they found. How does reading about these blessings make them feel about the commandments?
- Invite the youth to randomly select a recent general conference talk (such as those suggested in this outline) or a section of For the Strength of Youth and read it to find blessings that the Lord’s servants promise to us if we obey the commandments. Give each youth a chance to share what he or she finds. Encourage them to share experiences in which they received one of these promised blessings.
- As a class, read “Promise People Blessings” from Preach My Gospel (pages 197–98). Ask the youth to think of a commandment they might need to teach to someone else, and invite them to practice teaching someone in the class about that commandment, following the guidelines in “Promise People Blessings.” Invite a few of the youth to talk about their experience.
Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they know how to identify the blessings Heavenly Father promises to the obedient? 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
Invite the youth to look for promised blessings in their personal gospel study. Encourage them to share what they find in a future class.