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This Tuesday I decided to give ‘Facebook Live’ a try instead of Periscope. It’s pretty much the same thing as Periscope, but on Facebook. The nice thing is no need to download a new app, and if you already like me on Facebook, then chances are, you might have seen my video. You can still view my Talk Tuesday video, HERE, if you’d like to hear what LDS Teaching Tips I shared.
If you tuned in, then you know that I shared some fun LDS Teaching Tips for Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk: “Tomorrow the Lord Will Do wonders Among You”, and today I am sharing some of those ideas, here, on my blog. Enjoy!
I ended up studying Elder Holland’s talk for a good 1-2 hours on Sunday because I stayed home with a sick little lady. I began by reading through the whole talk without highlighting anything. I then read through it again, and highlighted quotes and scriptures that impressed or stuck out to me. After I did that, I decided to read through the highlighted parts to see what the main topic was and why I highlighted that particular quote or scripture. After doing this I realized that the main topic or teaching that I got out of Elder Holland’s talk was ‘Enduring to the End’. I decided that that is what I would focus my teaching tips on today.
I began preparing by thinking of different ways you could begin your lesson. The first thought of ‘enduring’ that came to mind was running a marathon, because that is something that is really difficult, and that you have to endure in order to finish. I have never run a marathon, and actually don’t like running very much at all. I did have a couple experiences though the that had to do with running. 🙂
You may find it funny that I don’t like running, but ran Cross Country for a few years in Middle School and High School. My freshmen year I made it to regionals in Cross Country. The days before the race were stormy and rainy, including the day of the race. When we got to the race we noticed that the trail was pretty much a mud pit. Everyone that ran ended up being covered in mud, some people even lost their shoes.
But isn’t life similar to my story? Some days are nice and sunny and absolutely amazing! And then we all have those days where we get covered in mud, where things get hard, and we feel like giving up. That leads me to my sophomore year of Cross Country. Once again I made it to Regionals, and luckily, this year was much better weather.
As I was nearing the end of the race I was tired! I looked around me at the group of girls running with me. I had a thought, and yelled, “What are we doing? We know we’re not making it to State, so why are we running?” So what did I do? I started walking, as did the rest of the girls surrounding me. This is NOT what we want to do when things get tough.
It was hot, I was tired, and I knew I hadn’t advanced to State…so I gave up. But what I said and did didn’t only affect me, it affected the girls around me. I DID end up sucking it up and began running again and crossed the finish line, and I actually laugh at what I did that day while running. But after studying this talk, I look at that experience in a different perspective, and hope that I won’t give up so easily when real life situations get muddy and tough. This experience can be likened to our mortal journey. As Elder Holland said, “please don’t be cast down in spirit and don’t give up.” Only the adversary, the enemy of us all, wants us to feel that way.
While thinking about running and marathons I had a different idea come to mind. I like this idea a whole lot better. 🙂 I remembered a booklet that I heard about a few years ago called: “Be the Chocolate Chip” (amazon link).
I bought this cute booklet, and planned to use it for YW, but never did. I love the idea behind this story and knew that it would be perfect for this lesson!
I thought it would be fun to actually bring in some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Set them up at the front of the room or pass them around and let everyone enjoy a delicious cookie while you teach. As you do this you will share the story of how chocolate chips were born.
“In 1930, Ruth Wakefield and her husband owned an inn outside of Wakefield, Massachusetts. Built in 1709, the old house was used as a rest stop for travelers to change their horses, pay their tolls, and get something to eat, earning it the name “The Toll House Inn.” The Wakefields kept the tradition of providing travelers with rest and good food through the Great Depression. Ruth Wakefield was well known for her baking, and often made Butter Drop Do Cookies. Her recipe required baker’s chocolate, which melted completely, producing a chocolate cookie. One day in 1937, as she began making the cookies, she realized she was out of baker’s chocolate, but happened to have a nestle semi-sweet chocolate bar on hand. She chopped it into chunks and put it in the batter, expecting it to disappear and melt into the cookie, producing the familiar chocolate cookie for which she had grown famous. To her surprise, the chocolate chunks did not disappear, but held their individual shape, producing a creamy texture and a fabulous new taste for the entire cookie.
These new cookies became incredibly popular. Nestle ® bought the rights to the recipe, and in 1939 introduced Nestle Toll House Real Semi Sweet Chocolate Morsels ®. The traditional “Chocolate Chip Cookie” was born! The most popular cookie of all time came about all because a bit of chocolate held its ground and didn’t melt when the heat was on.” (From Be the Chocolate Chip; Jen Brewer)
We too can be just like a chocolate chip! Satan will, and does, all that he can to ‘melt us’. But we must stand tall and be courageous and just keep on trying. Elder Holland encouraged us to,
“Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever.”
How To Be The Chocolate Chip
At the beginning of Elder Holland’s talk he talked about the wonderful feelings and spirit that we feel during General Conference weekend.
“None of us want tomorrow, or the day after that, to destroy the wonderful feelings we have had this weekend. We want to hold fast to the spiritual impressions we have had and the inspired teachings we have heard. But it is inevitable that after heavenly moments in our lives, we, of necessity, return to earth, so to speak, where sometimes less-than-ideal circumstances again face us.”
After asking someone to read the quote above, ask people to share how they use the General Conference addresses to help them keep feeling those wonderful feelings from Conference weekend? Yes, we must ‘return to earth’ as Elder Holland said, but we can try our best to invite the Spirit into our lives and our homes. If we do nothing, then eventually we run the risk of ‘melting’. Invite everyone to share ways that they use the General Conference addresses in their home or personally. Or maybe ask people what they do to keep themselves from ‘melting’. This could be a great discussion and get people talking.
I have even shared a few ideas here on my blog that you could share during your lesson to get people talking. For instance, my “25 Weeks of General Conference Printable“, is a great way to make the General Conference addresses a part of your life for the next 6 months. Maybe someone is super busy, and doesn’t have much time to sit down and study a talk every day, they could use my “General Conference Quote Jar”. For FHE have everyone look through the General Conference edition, and record some of their favorite quotes or scriptures. Place all the pieces of paper into a jar, and then pick a quote out each morning and/or night and read it aloud.
“Realizing that we all have to come down from peak experiences to deal with the regular vicissitudes of life”, Elder Holland offers [some] encouragement. “First of all, if in the days ahead you not only see limitations in those around you but also find elements in your own life that don’t yet measure up to the messages you have heard this weekend, please don’t be cast down in spirit and don’t give up.”
At some point in our lives, we will all experience moments or feelings like this. At times it will seem as if we have been placed in an oven and the heat has been turned up! But remember what Elder Holland said:
Please don’t be cast down in spirit and don’t give up. The gospel, the Church, and these wonderful semiannual gatherings are intended to give hope and inspiration. They are not intended to discourage you. Only the adversary, the enemy of us all, would try to convince us that the ideals outlined in general conference are depressing and unrealistic, that people don’t really improve, that no one really progresses. And why does Lucifer give that speech? Because he knows he can’t improve, he can’t progress, that worlds without end he will never have a bright tomorrow. He is a miserable man bound by eternal limitations, and he wants you to be miserable too. Well, don’t fall for that. With the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the strength of heaven to help us, we can improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed.
You could then ask your class the question, “How do you overcome feelings like this?” “Does anyone have an experience of a time where they felt discouraged, but didn’t give up?”
President George Q. Cannon once taught: “No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, [God] will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is not His character [to do so]. … He will [always] stand by us. We may pass through the fiery furnace; we may pass through deep waters; but we shall not be consumed nor overwhelmed. We shall emerge from all these trials and difficulties the better and purer for them.”
Once again we’ll turn to the cookie and the chocolate chip. Explain to your class that the cookie wouldn’t be as delicious without the chocolate chip and without a little ‘heat’. When baking cookies we place dough into an oven for 12-15 minutes (depending on the recipe). The cookie/chocolate chip must withstand the ‘fiery furnace’ and extreme temperatures. And we all know that it emerges from this difficult and HOT situation as something delicious and AMAZING!
We too will go through the fiery furnace, but we can emerge from it stronger and amazing!
If we give our heart to God, if we love the Lord Jesus Christ, if we do the best we can to live the gospel, then tomorrow—and every other day—is ultimately going to be magnificent, even if we don’t always recognize it as such. Why? Because our Heavenly Father wants it to be! He wants to bless us. A rewarding, abundant, and eternal life is the very object of His merciful plan for His children! It is a plan predicated on the truth ‘that all things work together for good to them that love God.’ So keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever.”
“For … the Lord … God will hold [their] right hand, saying unto [them], Fear not; I will help thee.”1
Other Great Handouts You Could Use
• You could pass out my Spiritual Inventory sheet. Have the sisters reflect on themselves and see where they can improve, because there is always something we can improve upon. And as we strive to improve and bring ourselves closer to Jesus Christ, our journey here on Earth won’t seem so difficult.
• My friend, Chrissy, over at Teepee Girl create this adorable printable (shown above) with a quote from Elder Holland’s talk. This would be great to have in a frame at the front of the room, or print smaller versions and hand the out at the end of your lesson.
I hope you enjoyed my LDS Teaching Tips and ideas, and that they are able to help inspire you when preparing your own lesson. I would love to hear what you think, and if you use any of the ideas that I shared today.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful day.