Prepare yourself spiritually
Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What will help the youth understand how their examples and testimonies can inspire others to obey the commandments?
Alma 4:19 (The power of pure testimony)
Thomas S. Monson, “Be an Example and a Light,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 86–88
L. Tom Perry, “Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 41–44
Ann M. Dibb, “Arise and Shine Forth,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 117–19
“Living What You Teach,” Teaching, No Greater Call (1999), 18–19
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 what commandments they are hearing about frequently in Church classes or meetings. Why do they think these commandments are being emphasized? What are they learning? What questions do they have?
- Invite the youth to think about (but not share the identity of) someone they know whom they wish they could inspire to obey the commandments. As a class, discuss what inspires people to live the gospel. How can the examples, experiences, and testimonies of the youth help them touch the hearts of the people they love?
Each of the activities below will help the youth understand how to inspire others to obey the commandments. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:
- Invite the youth to read Matthew 5:16 and 1 Timothy 4:12, the scriptures that inspired President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “Be an Example and a Light.” What do these verses teach them about the power of their examples? Invite the youth to search President Monson’s talk and find an attribute that he asks us to be an example of. Ask them to share a time when someone exemplified that trait and discuss the effect that experience had on them. What can the youth do to be better examples at home, online, at school, and in their community?
- Assign each youth to read one of the scriptures about example in this outline and then find someone in the class who read a different verse and share with each other what they learned. Continue this activity until the youth have heard about each of the scriptures. Why is being an example so important in teaching the gospel? Ask the youth to list on the board some teaching opportunities they have—both formal and informal. Then go to page 19 of Teaching, No Greater Call and read together the list of blessings that come to teachers who strive to be obedient to the gospel. How would these blessings help the youth be more effective in the teaching opportunities they listed on the board?
- Share the following statement from Elder L. Tom Perry’s talk “Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear”: “Our lives should be examples of goodness and virtue as we try to emulate His example to the world. Good works by each of us can do credit both to the Savior and His Church. As you are engaged in doing good, being honorable and upright men and women, the Light of Christ will be reflected by your lives.” Ask the youth to share experiences in which someone’s good example inspired them to live the gospel, or show the video “Let Your Light So Shine.” Invite them to ponder the influence their example may be having on others, and encourage them to set personal goals to inspire others to keep the commandments by setting a good example.
- Share a personal experience about a time when you chose to obey one of God’s commandments. As you share, follow these guidelines: do not speak of sacred experiences unless you are prompted by the Spirit, do not embellish your experiences, do not tell of experiences in order to draw attention to yourself, and do not talk about past sins or transgressions. Discuss these guidelines with the youth, and invite them to follow the guidelines as they share their own personal experiences with the commandments. Ask the youth why they think personal experiences are an effective way to teach others about the commandments.
- Invite the class to summarize the context of Alma 4:19 (if they need help, suggest that they read the heading for chapter 4). Read together verse 19, and ask the youth what they think “bearing down in pure testimony” might mean and how it could inspire the members of the Church to obey the commandments. How have the youth been influenced by the testimonies of others (such as parents, teachers, leaders, or other youth)? Ask the youth to think of examples of testimonies in the scriptures (for example, Matthew 16:13–19; Mosiah 3:17; Alma 5:45–48; 7:13; D&C 76:22–24). Read them together, and invite the youth to share why they find these testimonies inspiring. (Note: This activity is an opportunity to teach the youth how to bear testimony as they teach the gospel to others. For more on this topic, see Teaching in the Savior’s Way , 11.)
- Show the video “Leave the Party,” or invite the youth to read one of the stories in Sister Ann M. Dibb’s talk “Arise and Shine Forth” (the stories of Samson, Daniel, Joanna, or Karen). Ask them to discuss what they learn about the power of example to influence others to obey or disobey the commandments. What experiences have the youth had in which they influenced someone or were influenced by another person to be obedient?
Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to inspire others to obey the commandments? 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 the youth to act
Invite the youth to think of something they can do to inspire someone they know to obey the commandments. As appropriate, invite them to share their experiences in a future class.