Prepare yourself spiritually
Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What will help the youth recognize God’s hand in their lives?
D&C 59:21 (God is offended when we fail to recognize His hand in all things)
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “O How Great the Plan of Our God!” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 19–22
Kim B. Clark, “Eyes to See and Ears to Hear,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 124–26
“How Great Thou Art,” Hymns, no. 86
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 experiences they have had this past week that have strengthened their testimonies of the gospel.
- Share an experience when you have recognized evidence that God is guiding your life, protecting you, or blessing you. Bear your testimony of Heavenly Father.
Each of the activities below will help the youth understand how to recognize the hand of God in their lives. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:
- Think of an everyday item that the youth in your class may take for granted, such as shoes. Invite them to discuss how life would be different without the item. Using President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “O How Great the Plan of Our God!” invite the youth to make a list on the board of things that we as Church members receive from God and might take for granted. Consider inviting a recent convert to explain the feelings that he or she had when learning about the truths of the gospel for the first time and how those truths changed his or her life. What can we do to better recognize God’s hand in our lives and be grateful for it?
- To help the youth learn to see the hand of God in their lives, invite them to read Elder Kim B. Clark’s talk “Eyes to See and Ears to Hear.” What do they learn from this talk about how to see Heavenly Father’s hand and listen for His voice? As a part of your discussion, you could talk about the benefits of physical sight and hearing and also the challenges of not being able to see or hear. How could you demonstrate the importance of seeing and hearing spiritually? What examples can you and the youth share of hearing and seeing spiritually?
- Show one of the videos suggested in this outline. Ask the youth to listen for reasons the people in the video believe in God. What evidence of His hand do these people see in the world around them? What additional evidence do the youth see? Invite the youth to share their testimonies of Heavenly Father’s influence in their lives.
- Invite the youth to read President Henry B. Eyring’s talk “O Remember, Remember” or watch the related video. What blessings came to President Eyring because he looked for God’s hand in his life? Invite the youth to think about experiences they are having and answer for themselves the questions suggested by President Eyring: “Did God send a message that was just for me? Did I see His hand in my life?” Encourage them to share their answers in pairs or small groups. Invite the youth to determine what they will do to “find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness.”
- Invite the youth to sing, listen to, or read the hymn “How Great Thou Art.” Ask them to make a list or draw pictures on the board of things in this hymn that indicate the greatness of God (they could also read the scriptures cited at the end of the hymn). What are some other things the youth could add to this list that testify to them of God’s power and love? Invite the youth to think of creative ways they can express their testimonies of Heavenly Father. For example, they could use their lists to write a short hymn of their own, or they could take photographs and prepare a slide show. Encourage them to share what they created in a future class.
- Write the following incomplete sentences on the board: “I would define a tender mercy as _______. One example of a tender mercy is ________. I may not notice a tender mercy if _______.” Invite the youth to think about how they would complete these sentences as they read the section titled “What Are the Tender Mercies of the Lord?” in Elder David A. Bednar’s talk “The Tender Mercies of the Lord” (or as they watch the video of the same title). Invite them to share their thoughts. What examples of tender mercies have the youth noticed in their own lives? How have these experiences strengthened their testimonies of Heavenly Father? Invite them to think of someone with whom they might share their experiences to help strengthen his or her faith.
Ask the youth to share what they learned today. What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they understand how to recognize Heavenly Father’s hand in their lives? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this topic?
Invite to act
Encourage the youth to try to recognize God’s hand in their lives during the coming week. At the beginning of next week’s lesson, invite them to share their experiences.