Prepare yourself spiritually
Study the scriptures below, and complete one of the Choice and Accountability value experiences in Personal Progress. As you do, make note of things you learn about agency that you could share with the young women.
Joshua 24:15 (We can choose to serve the Lord)
John 14:15 (Our good choices show our love for Heavenly Father and our desire to do His will)
Moroni 7:14–15 (It is given to us to judge between good and evil)
Carole M. Stephens, “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 118–20
Dallin H. Oaks, “The Parable of the Sower,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 32–35
Russell M. Nelson, “Decisions for Eternity,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 106–9
D. Todd Christofferson, “Free Forever, to Act for Themselves,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 16–19
“Choice and Accountability,” Personal Progress, 46–49
“Agency,” True to the Faith (2004), 12–13
“Agency and Accountability,” For the Strength of Youth (2011), 2–3
At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.
Introduce the doctrine
Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce this week’s lesson:
- Invite the young women to think of some things they might do when others challenge their standards. How does Satan try to confuse us about the consequences of our choices? Encourage them to look for truths during this lesson that help them combat Satan’s lies.
- Ask the young women to list some choices they have made recently. How have their choices affected them? How have their choices affected others?
Each of the activities below will help the young women understand the doctrine of agency. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:
- Invite the young women to search the four bolded sections of Sister Carole M. Stephens’s talk “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments,” looking for insights on keeping the commandments and why it’s important to make righteous choices. With permission from the bishop, invite some of the exemplary sisters in the ward to participate in a discussion about how choosing to keep the commandments has blessed their lives. Include single sisters as well as married sisters in this discussion.
- Invite the young women to do one of the Choice and Accountability value experiences in the Personal Progress book (individually or in groups). Before class is over, invite each young woman to share something she learned from her study about agency. Invite a young woman to share with the rest of the class what she has done on her own to complete one of the Choice and Accountability value experiences.
- Invite each young woman to silently read “Agency and Accountability” in For the Strength of Youth and share what impresses her. Class members could then choose another standard in the book and share some choices they’ve made in relation to that standard and the blessings that came from their choices. For example, you might discuss as a class the blessings they’ve received for following the counsel to avoid addictions (see page 27).
- Give each young woman portions of Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s talk “Free Forever, to Act for Themselves” or Elder Dallin H. Oaks’s talk “The Parable of the Sower.” Invite the young women to read on their own and then share their insights. They could do this in small groups or with the entire class. What do they learn about the consequences of our beliefs and actions? Invite them to discuss how the counsel they have studied could help them make better choices.
- Use tape or string to create a “V” on the classroom floor. Invite a young woman to start where the tape or string meets and to walk down the “V” keeping one foot on each side. Eventually she will need to choose to walk on one side of the tape. Invite the young women to explain what they learn about choices from this experience. Invite the young women to read the first paragraph of Elder Russell M. Nelson’s talk “Decisions for Eternity” and identify phrases they would like to remember. Invite the young women to share how they have seen “decisions determine destiny” or the results of other phrases from Elder Nelson’s talk.
- Invite each young woman to find an example of someone making a choice in the scriptures (for example, contrast the choices of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38–42). What were the consequences of these choices? How did the choices affect others?
- Show one of the videos suggested in this outline. Invite the young women to look for the results of the choices the people in the video made. Ask them to share what they find. Invite them to share experiences in which they made a choice that had far-reaching consequences. Invite each young woman to read one of the scriptures in this outline and share how it can help her make the right choices in the future.
Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand the doctrine of agency better? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?
Live what we are learning
Invite the young women to consider how they will live what they have learned today. For example, they could:
- Write in their journals about the temptations they face and how they plan to respond to them through the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
- Continue to work on the Choice and Accountability value experiences in Personal Progress.