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How can I stand as a witness of God?

When we are baptized, we covenant to “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9). Because the standards of the world are diverging from the commandments of God, we are often required to defend our faith. In doing so, we should follow the example of the Savior, who was both courageous and loving in His defense of truth. If we are built on the “rock of our Redeemer,” the “mighty storm” of the last days will have “no power over [us] to drag [us] down … because of the rock upon which [we] are built” (Helaman 5:12).

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What will inspire the youth to courageously stand as witnesses of God?

1 Nephi 8:24–34 (Lehi’s vision of the tree of life and the great and spacious building)

Romans 1:16–17 (Do not be ashamed of the gospel)

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

1 Peter 3:12–17 (Be ready to give an answer to those who ask about our beliefs)

D&C 100:5–8 (Promises to those who declare the word of God)

1 Nephi 17:48–55; Mosiah 13:1–9; 17:1–4; Moroni 1:1–3 (Examples of people who remained true to the gospel despite persecution)

Thomas S. Monson, “Be Strong and of a Good Courage,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 66–69

Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 6–9

Neil L. Andersen, “Spiritual Whirlwinds,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 18–21

Video: “No Cussing Club”

Make connections

During the first few minutes of every class, help the youth make connections between things 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 you:

  • Ask the youth to share a recent learning or teaching experience they had outside of class. How did the principles taught in previous weeks help them?
  • Bring two magnets to class, and demonstrate how the magnets attract each other. Then turn one of the magnets over, and demonstrate how they repel each other. Ask the youth how these magnets could be used to illustrate this statement by President Thomas S. Monson: “Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider” (“Priesthood Power,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 66).

Learn together

Each of the activities below will inspire the youth to stand as witnesses of God in spite of opposition. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • As a class, read 1 Nephi 8:24–34, and ask the youth what connections they see between this part of Lehi’s vision and their lives. Share a personal experience in which you had to stand up for your belief in the face of criticism or opposition. Invite the youth to share any similar experiences they may have had.
  • Invite class members to share examples of individuals in the scriptures who remained true to the gospel despite persecution (the scriptures in this outline give some examples). As a class, read the accounts of these people. What do class members learn from these examples that applies to them today? As part of this discussion, the youth could explore some of the other scriptures suggested in this outline.
  • Invite class members to watch the video “No Cussing Club” and look for statements in the video that inspire them to stand as witnesses of God. What situations do they face in which their beliefs and standards are challenged? What are they doing to defend their beliefs? How might they follow the example in the video?
  • Divide the class into three groups, and give each group one of the talks in this outline. Ask the groups to review their talks and make a list of powerful statements they could share to encourage someone to defend the truths of the gospel. Let each group tell the rest of the class how they could share these statements with others. For example, they could create a picture quote and share it with other class members during the week as a reminder of what you have discussed in class.

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they feel inspired to stand as witnesses of God? 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 the youth what they feel inspired to do because of what they learned today. Encourage them to act on these feelings. Consider ways you can follow up.