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How can I help others understand my standards?

Others will often ask us about our standards. We can be prepared to answer their questions and testify of the blessings that come from obeying God’s commandments. In this way we can be a light unto the world.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What will help the youth understand how to answer questions about the Church’s standards?

Romans 1:16; 2 Timothy 1:7–8; 2 Nephi 8:7 (Do not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ)

1 Timothy 4:12 (Be an example of the believers)

3 Nephi 11:29 (The spirit of contention is of the devil)

D&C 11:21; 84:85; 100:5–8 (The Lord will help us know what to say)

Thomas S. Monson, “Preparation Brings Blessings,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 64–67

Obedience,” True to the Faith (2004), 108–9

Answering Gospel Questions

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 to share an experience they have had recently that reinforced something they are learning about the gospel.
  • Invite the youth to make a list of questions that friends or family members have asked them about the Lord’s standards or commandments. How did the youth explain their standards? What do they wish they had done differently?

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the youth learn how to explain their standards to others. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class. Allow time for the youth to practice explaining their standards to each other.

  • Bring to class several copies of the New Era or Liahona. Invite the youth to search these magazines for stories that tell about people who had to defend or explain their standards to others. Ask them to share what they learn from these stories. (During the week before class, you may want to search a few issues of Church magazines to find copies that have articles that seem especially relevant to the youth you teach.) Do the youth have any similar experiences from their own lives that they could share? What do they learn from these experiences that can help them explain their standards to others?
  • Give each youth a copy of President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “Preparation Brings Blessings.” Ask the class members to quickly scan the talk, looking for the Church standards that he explains (such as modesty, honesty, and the Word of Wisdom). Invite each youth to select one of these standards, read what President Monson says about it, and share with the class how President Monson explains the standard and anything they find that they could use to help others understand this standard better.
  • Ask each class member to read one of the scriptures in this outline. Invite the youth to find words and phrases that indicate what our attitude should be when we explain our standards to others. Ensure that each youth has a copy of For the Strength of Youth. Ask them to choose one of the standards in the booklet, read about it, and plan what they might say if a friend asks them to do something that violates that standard. How would the youth help their friends understand why they choose to live by the Lord’s standards?
  • Invite the youth to read the second paragraph of “Obedience” in True to the Faith (pages 108–9). How would they use the information in this paragraph to respond to a friend who says the commandments are too restrictive? What scriptures, examples, or personal experiences could they share with their friend to help him or her understand the purposes of God’s commandments?

After the youth have participated in one or more of these activities, give them time to practice explaining their standards. For example, they could role-play situations they might face, or they could write down how they would help their friends understand why they choose to live the Lord’s standards.

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they know how to help others understand their standards? 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 think about a situation they will face in which they will have the opportunity to explain their standards to others. How will their experiences in today’s lesson help them do this effectively?