How can I be more Christlike in my service to others?

How can I be more Christlike in my service to others?  Awesome LDS teaching package for your class or family!

How Can I be more Christlike in my service to others?

This is a really great and impactful teaching package.  You will LOVE the study page for the Parable of the Good Samaritan!  It comes with tips and insights to help you study and have a great and meaningful discussion about this powerful parable.

This lesson also comes with LOCKER QUOTES.  These can be a great handout to help the youth you teach remember (every time they open their locker) the principles they learned in this lesson!

You can find this package (and see more pictures) HERE.

Becoming More Christlike.  October Young Women Lessons - all 5 lessons with tons of learning material!

Or it is available in our October combo package with all 5 lessons HERE.
This 2016 mutual theme package "Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ" includes so many things plus a theme song by HILARY WEEKS! #pressforward

Also – keep your eye out for our 2016 mutual theme helps coming soon!  The graphics and instructional helps in this package are amazing and Hilary Weeks wrote and is recording a theme song that is awesome!  Make sure to follow us on Facebook and sign up for our emails (bottom of our home page) to be the first to know when everything is released!

How can I learn to be more patient?

LDS young women and men "Come Follow Me" lesson helps!  Awesome study and teaching package for the October Come Follow Me Lesson "How Can I Learn to Be More Patient?".  Lots of study pages and hand outs!  Just print from home!

How can I learn to be more patient?

This lesson REALLY focuses on the necessity of developing patience now, and the gift that patience will be throughout the many phases of life we go through.  This package has some really great hand outs too!

You can check out this package on our site HERE.


Here are some great quotes about patience that you may find useful:

“Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. We want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter.

“Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace.”  (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, April 2010 General Conference)

“Patience is another form of self-control.  It is the ability to postpone gratification and to bridle one’s passions….  Patience is composure under stress.  A patient man also waits on the Lord.  We sometimes read or hear of people who seek a blessing from the Lord, then grow impatient when it does not come swiftly.  Part of the divine nature is to trust in the Lord enough to ‘be still and know that [he is] God’ (D&C 101:16).”  (President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, November 1986, p.47)

“Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father.  Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best – better than does God.  Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than his.  Either way we are questioning the reality of God’s omniscience.”  (Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, October 1980, p.28)

“The Lord, Jesus Christ, is our perfect example of patience.  Though absolutely unyielding in adherence to the truth, He exemplified patience repeatedly during His mortal ministry.  He was patient with His disciples, including the Twelve, despite their lack of faith and their slowness to recognize and understand His divine mission.  He was patient with the multitudes as they pressed about Him, with the woman taken in sin, with those who sought His healing power, and with little children.  Finally, He remained patient through the suffering of His mock trials and His crucifixion.”  (Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Hope, p. 156)

“There seems to be little evidence that the Creator of the universe was ever in a hurry.  Everywhere, on this bounteous and beautiful earth, and the farthest reaches of the firmament, there is evidence of patient purpose and planning and working and waiting.”  (Elder Richard L. Evans, CR, October 1952, p.95)


Becoming More Christlike.  October Young Women Lessons - all 5 lessons with tons of learning material!

This package is also available in our October combo package with all 5 lessons.  You can find it HERE.

This 2016 mutual theme package "Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ" includes so many things plus a theme song by HILARY WEEKS! #pressforward

Also – keep your eye out for our 2016 mutual theme helps coming soon!  The graphics and instructional helps in this package are amazing and Hilary Weeks wrote and is recording a theme song that is awesome!  Make sure to follow us on Facebook and sign up for our emails (bottom of our home page) to be the first to know when everything is released!

How Can I Develop Christlike Love? Article and Teaching Package

"How can I develop Christlike love?"  October Yw lesson teaching package.  Great for FHE too!  8 study and learning activities!  Just print and learn.

How Can I develop Christlike love?

There are a handful of doctrines that have changed everything for me. Doctrines that help me see everything else through a different lens. I can always trace it back to a day where things clicked and then everything else made more sense because I understood that pivotal doctrine. Charity is one of those doctrines for me.

I had been teaching seminary for three years and I was preparing to teach 1 Corinthians 13. I started to study this chapter and I started to dive into everything that Paul was saying Charity is and is not. You can read my scripture journal notes about this chapter HERE.

I encourage you to really study that chapter. But, here are a few things I have learned about charity since that day:

1- Charity is the “pure love of Christ”.

Pure means undefiled. So if I am able to love like Christ loves, I have no other motivation or agenda other than to love you and desire the best for you.

But what is “the best”? Moses 1:39 teaches “For Behold, it is my work and my glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” So there it is, because Christ loves us, he is focused on our gaining immortality and eternal life. He wants the best for us, and He knows what the best is.

Since immortality was taken care of with Christ’s resurrection, then the variable left is whether or not we will gain Eternal Life. Eternal Life is the kind of life that God lives. He has Eternal (limitless) knowledge, powers, Priesthood, and posterity. Therefore if I love you with Christlike love then I will do all I can to help you achieve Eternal Life. I will pray for you, teach you, praise you, cheer you on, correct you and help you any weaknesses holding you back.

So Christlike love is not just feeling or expressing love to someone. It is serving you so you can grow and grow.

2- Charity perfects you.

The beautiful thing about charity is that as you seek to help others you will perfect yourself. If I am seeking to help you gain eternal life, that will require a LOT of skill and knowledge on my part.

Teaching seminary was a good training ground for me on this.
I couldn’t just lecture my students and say, “well I told them all about that doctrine”. I may have told them, but not in a way that they could hear it. Many of them may require a different type of teaching. Maybe some of them learned better from stories, while others learned better with a hands-on activity where they discovered. Others do better in a discussion setting with a thought out set of questioning, while others learn as other students testify. And most of them learn best with a good variety of different techniques.

So, if I wanted to truly teach, then I had a lot of skills to learn. And it was a lot of work and effort to do that! But my ability to give them what they needed was the only thing I could change. So I had to respond to that.

This is the beautiful thing about the gifts of the Spirit. They are available for us and Charity is the great motivator for us to lay ahold of them. And as we lay hold of them for the benefit of others, in turn we become truly powerful and more influential.

3- Pride, Charity and the Good Samaritan.

Pride is the expert destroyer of Charity. It penetrates every home, neighborhood, school, workplace, nation, race, religion, opinion, and viewpoint. And often, we can confuse pride for charity.

For example:

– We may want our school to win this game because we love our school. Do you want them to win because they have worked really hard, or because you don’t want to lose to the other team? They are very different reasons. How do you feel when your school wins? Do you feel proud that your school is elevated over the other? “We’re #1” is a lot different than “good job”. Do you feel compassion for the other school when they lost? How do you feel when you lose? Do you feel increased hatred for the other school? If so, why? It is just another school with students just like you.

– A mother, who has great charity for her child, may be upset when someone else gets chosen for that part in the school play. Why? Can we feel compassion for our child while still feeling joy for the other person chosen? Or does our charity have limitations?

– In our families we may have feelings of resentment, jealousy or anger as we compare other’s successes to ours. The very people we love so much, we may compete with. Does it really have something to do with them, or would we do that with any person who would happen to be in our family?

The parable of the Good Samaritan teaches charity beautifully. The parable was given in response to this occurrence: “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25). This is a man who is not asking with a pure heart, he knows the law and he is hoping to trap Jesus.

He [Christ]said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?” (Luke 10:26). This response is brilliant.

And he [the lawyer] answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he [Christ] said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live [have eternal life] (Luke 10:27-28). So, this man knows the answer. But he also knows the Jewish law that there are certain people they were not to interact with because they were unclean, and such an interaction would defile you. So, he asks:

But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29) There it is. What is Jesus going to say? If he says “all men”, then they can accuse him of breaking Jewish law. How Jesus answered was perfect.

He answers by giving a parable about a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. Jericho was a place that the temple priests lived. When their time of temple service had arrived, they would travel the brutally hot and steep 28 miles to get to the temple, and then back home again by the same route. Often travelers would travel in a caravan to avoid the thieves who were hiding and hoping to find lone travelers who would likely be carrying money and valuables.

So who is this man who is beaten and lying half dead by these thieves? Likely a Priest. And who passes by him? A Priest and a Levite! Who should be most likely to help him? A Priest and a Levite!

Are we ever like the Priest and the Levite? Passing by someone who we, of all people, should be helping?

And who does help the man? A Samaritan. Samaritans were from Samaria and they were bitter enemies of the Jews. But HE helped! And He didn’t just give him a little help, but made certain that this man was fully taken care of. He served him exactly how he needed to be served, not merely doing only what was convenient for the Samaritan.

Go and do thou likewise” was the Savior’s conclusion of this parable. Stop the comparisons, the blame, the justifications, the competitions and the making of enemies. Love each other. This is how we gain eternal life.

1 Corinthians 8 is another chapter that addresses the danger of pride and the solution of charity. You can read an article I wrote about this HERE.

4- There is no fear in Charity

I John 4:18 says: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.

Charity is the great motivator because if we truly desire to help someone we will do it despite any fear we have.

For example:

– If I have a beautiful singing voice, I will volunteer despite my fears, so I can share the message of this song with you.
I will accept the invitation to speak in church even though my legs will shake, and I will do all I can to prepare a message that will bless those listening.

– I will study the scriptures even though they are hard to understand so I can know God’s will so I can give the best counsel to my children.

– I will call that lady in my ward to see how she is doing, even though she may think I am weird.

– I will give that compliment even though I may feel dumb.

– I will find a way to talk to this person who is making bad choices, because I love them even though they may attack me.

– I will go on a mission even though it really scares me to leave home.

– I will volunteer to pray for the class even though my voice may tremble.

– I will stand up for that girl my friends are talking about, even though they may turn on me.

Perfect love casteth out fear, because the charity we feel is so strong we are willing to do hard things. And, may I add, that with each of those situations above you could consider greater skills, work and effort put in to each situation so that we become even better and more effective at it, which allows us to give even more to those we love.

For example, if I want to be able to influence someone to make better choices in their life, I would work on my own skills first. I may learn how to listen effectively so I can know where they are really coming from. I may work and pray for the ability to explain things with power. I may become better at showing increased love outside of any crucial conversation we may have. I can’t just say, “well I talked to them” – that isn’t charity in its fullness.

5- Gaining Charity

Charity is not something we will just have one day. We can have our understanding increased in one day, but that will just set us on the journey of slowly chipping away at ourselves as we become more and more able to love like Christ loves. We have to put away the natural man in us and it will take a lot of self-awareness and repentance to do that.

For me, it is one of my great barometers of how I am doing spiritually. When I can look at others and have my heart filled with love for them, I know I am doing ok. But when I start being critical, easily offended and annoyed, I must check myself and realize that it isn’t at all about them, but that I need to do some re-aligning.

I suppose that is why Christ said to the twelve Apostles: “By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, that ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). That is how you can recognize a true disciple. And when we see it, we should stop and admire it, because they are walking witnesses that we can become like the Savior.


Here is our printable teaching package for the lesson “How Can I Develop Christlike Love?

How Can I Develop Christlike Love?  This is a learning-centered teaching package to help you teach your family or class study about what Christlike love is, and how we can develop it.  #octobercomefollowme

You can read more about this package HERE

Becoming More Christlike.  October Young Women Lessons - all 5 lessons with tons of learning material!

Or it is available in our October combo package HERE.

This 2016 mutual theme package "Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ" includes so many things plus a theme song by HILARY WEEKS! #pressforward

Also – keep your eye out for our 2016 mutual theme helps coming soon!  The graphics and instructional helps in this package are amazing and Hilary Weeks wrote and is recording a theme song that is awesome!  Make sure to follow us on Facebook and sign up for our emails (bottom of our home page) to be the first to know when everything is released!

How Can I Become More Christlike?

Really useful and thougth provoking ideas on becoming Christlike!

How can I become more Christlike?  What does it really mean to become like Christ?

When you think of “becoming like Christ” what comes to your mind? Ask your family or class this and see what kind of answers are given first – this will show their basic understanding of what “Christlike” means. I suspect that many may say some things like: “being nice to others”, “serving others”, “keeping the commandments”, etc.. Which are all wonderful, true and profound answers, but our job is to help them dig deeper so their minds and hearts are opened so they can really become like Him.

I imagine if we were to ask Peter or John, or any of the Apostles that served with him what it means to be “Christlike” they could tell us some amazing stories. Likewise the Nephites in 3 Nephi would do the same. “Be nice to others” may turn into something more like: “He saw the potential in others and did all he could to save them and help them become perfected.” Or “serve others” may be something like: “he was able to discern the true needs of others and gave them what they needed even if it was inconvenient.“ And “keep the commandments” may be more like “he studied and cherished God’s laws because he knew that was where joy, strength and power were.”

I believe the more we seriously study and seek to know Christ and his character, “Christlike” will take on meanings deeper and more profound than we have yet considered, which I suppose is part of life’s journey.

Attributes of Christ

In the Come Follow Me Curriculum it suggests that you:” Share with the young women the Christlike attributes listed in chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel, “How Do I Develop Christlike Attributes?” Ask the young women to select one of these attributes that they would like to develop. Give them time in class to learn about the attribute they chose, following the suggestions under the heading “Developing Christlike Attributes” on pages 122–23.”

I looked up that chapter and it is excellent and worth a serious study. Here are a list of those attributes that are suggested in that chapter:


  • Faith
  • Hope
  • Charity and Love
  • Humility
  • Virtue
  • Diligence
  • Patience
  • Obedience
  • Knowledge

I would have everyone write those down and then discuss what those attributes would look like in Christ. I may even have pictures of Him to display from various time periods of his life as well as the resurrection, when He appeared to the Nephites and to Joseph Smith. They each evoke different emotions and Christlike attributes. As you discuss them, if the class gets stuck I would ask something like, “what would Peter say?”. I like that question because it helps you step back and imagine what others witnessed in him. For example, Peter may say about Charity that Christ would walk from Galilee to Jerusalem and then immediately serve people even if he was really tired from the journey. That is a principle that we could all live a little better.

As a teacher or a parent, I would sit down and consider each of these attributes and study them enough so I could seek to bring them alive for my loved ones. It could be really easy to list them off and miss the power in them and what it means to be Christlike in that attribute. I would also focus on how each person is already becoming Christlike and how they are well on their journey already. Sometimes we focus on where we can improve and forget to cheer each other on for what we have already accomplished.  Satan wants us to believe we aren’t capable of becoming like Christ, so I think it is important to remind each other that we are.


Of all the attributes listed above, one attribute that I would like to mention is that of “HOPE”.  I think that may be the one the youth would need help understanding, and I have a little story that I will never forget that gave me great insight into this.
In seminary we had some tests that we gave to our kids a couple of times of year that come from the main seminary offices at church headquarters. They are anonymous and mostly multiple choice tests and after the kids complete them we would send them to church headquarters where they will score them and then send our results for the entire school and then also individual classes. The tests were mostly about basic doctrines and we could see where the kids were strong and where we needed to focus some teaching. There was also a section about beliefs where the youth could rank themselves on where they felt they personally were in that belief.

One night I was at a get-together with the seminary and institute teachers in my area and one of the main seminary guys from headquarters was speaking to us. He mentioned this test and an interesting experience they had with one particular question. I don’t remember the question exactly but it was something like “I believe the Holy Ghost speaks to me”. They were surprised because the results on this question were surprisingly low while other questions about faith and beliefs were high. So, as an experiment, they changed the question to “I believe the Holy Ghost speaks to people”. (Now I may be entirely off on the subject of the question, but what I do remember is that the question went from personal to general). And what happened? The results shot right up.

I will never forget what he said after he told us about the change in questions. He said: “They had faith and believed it happened to others, but they didn’t have HOPE that they were experiencing it too.” So I suppose they had hope for others, but not themselves.  That really struck me and I realized that is often a missing link. HOPE is a powerful principle that helps us hold onto promises and blessings that we may not have full evidences of yet in our life. For example, the youth who had HOPE may have responded to that question in a way like: I know I have the gift of the Holy Ghost and therefore He must be guiding me constantly, but I just don’t know how to recognize it easily.  So they would express FAITH that the Holy Ghost is able to speak to us, and HOPE that he is speaking to them.

Faith and hope and intricately tied together, and then charity closely follows.  If I have FAITH in God, and then HOPE that you and I can receive His promises, then I can love you as the Lord loves you (CHARITY). My words, actions, advice and counsel will be filled with the HOPE I have.

I will end with this amazing quote by President George Q. Cannon. He is speaking specifically about gifts of the Spirit, but these can go hand in hand. Pay particular attention to his analogue about the door opening and closing. I read this years and years ago and this has stuck in my mind ever since.

“How many of you … are seeking for these gifts that God has promised to bestow? How many of you, when you bow before your Heavenly Father in your family circle or in your secret places contend for these gifts to be bestowed upon you? How many of you ask the Father, in the name of Jesus, to manifest Himself to you through these powers and these gifts? Or do you go along day by day like a door turning on its hinges, without having any feeling upon the subject, without exercising any faith whatever; content to be baptized and be members of the Church, and to rest there, thinking that your salvation is secure because you have done this? …

“… If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. Have I imperfections? I am full of them. What is my duty? To pray to God to give me the gifts that will correct these imperfections. If I am an angry man, it is my duty to pray for charity, which suffereth long and is kind. Am I an envious man? It is my duty to seek for charity, which envieth not. So with all the gifts of the Gospel. They are intended for this purpose. No man ought to say, ‘Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature.’ He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to give strength to correct these things, and to give gifts that will eradicate them. If a man lack wisdom, it is his duty to ask God for wisdom. The same with everything else. That is the design of God concerning His Church. He wants His Saints to be perfected in the truth. For this purpose He gives these gifts, and bestows them upon those who seek after them, in order that they may be a perfect people upon the face of the earth, notwithstanding their many weaknesses, because God has promised to give the gifts that are necessary for their perfection.” (President George Q. Cannon, In Millennial Star, Apr. 1894, pp. 260–61.)


Here is our teaching package for this lesson:

"How Can I Become More Christlike?"  Awesome  LDS lesson with 6 study and learning activities.  #octobercomefollowme

This has all sorts of teaching and study aids to go with the lesson in the Come Follow Me Curriculum.

One specifically useful thing it has is a printable page of the formula suggested in Preach My Gospel, where you can then plug in the attribute you want to study.

You can find this package HERE.

Becoming More Christlike.  October Young Women Lessons - all 5 lessons with tons of learning material!

This is also available in our October Combo package with all 5 lessons found HERE.

This 2016 mutual theme package "Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ" includes so many things plus a theme song by HILARY WEEKS! #pressforward

Also – keep your eye out for our 2016 mutual theme helps coming soon!  The graphics and instructional helps in this package are amazing and Hilary Weeks wrote and is recording a theme song that is awesome!  Make sure to follow us on Facebook and sign up for our emails (bottom of our home page) to be the first to know when everything is released!

Why is it Important to Be Grateful? By John Hilton III

This is a great article about the importacne of being Grateful!  Really good classroom and FHE ideas!!



*  Everyone!  John has just come out with a new book that he co-wrote with Brad Wilcox.  That ALONE is a good enough reason to order it.  Mine is on my way to my house right now – I can’t wait!  John has written so many books that are some of my favorites in my personal library.  This new one is called 52 Life-Changing Questions from the Book of Mormon.  I was going to add it to my Christmas list – but I couldn’t wait that long!

52 Life-Changing Questions From the Book of MOrmon by John Hilton III and Brad Wilcox


Why is it important to be Grateful?

By John Hilton III

 Why is it important to be grateful - article by John Hilton III

Counting Your Blessings = Better Health

Imagine you went to the doctor because you had a really bad headache. If he gave you some medicine to help you feel better, would you take it? Of course.

There is a medicine that cures many ills – that medicine is gratitude. Researchers had one group of students write for 20 minutes each day about things they were grateful for, a second about things they were angry about, and a third about random topics like the color of their shoes. Guess which group was happiest at the end of the experiment? The ones who wrote about things they were grateful for of course! For the Strength of Youth says, “Live with a spirit of thanksgiving and you will have greater happiness and satisfaction in life.”

Gratitude Helps You See the Good

What do you see in this picture?

Article by John Hilton III about the importance of being grateful

Chances are you probably noticed the dark flowers first. That’s normal because, as Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said, “Our minds have a marvelous capacity to notice the unusual.” But there is a problem! Elder Wirthlin pointed out that unfortunately, “The opposite is true as well, the more often we see the things around us—even the beautiful and wonderful things—the more they become invisible to us. “That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world—the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds—even those we love. . . . Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.”


Did you notice the blue sky in the picture? The beautiful clouds? The mountains in the background? The dozens of flowers that weren’t discolored? There are so many beautiful things to be grateful for, and as we practice being grateful, we will notice them more and more.


How Can I Develop an “Attitude of Gratitude”?

One way to develop an attitude of gratitude is to think about all the things we do have. Have you students come up with a list of 100 things they are grateful for. At first, it sounds hard, but really it’s easy.

  • • List 10 living people you are grateful for.
  • • List 10 people who have died you are grateful for.
  • • List 10 physical abilities you are grateful for.
  • • List 10 material possessions you are grateful for.
  • • List 10 things about nature you are grateful for.
  • • List 10 things about today you are grateful for.
  • • List 10 places on earth you are grateful for.
  • • List 10 modern-day inventions you are grateful for.
  • • List 10 foods you are grateful for.
  • • List 10 things about the gospel you are grateful for.

Sometimes thinking about how little others have really can spark within me gratitude for what I do have. Everything is relative to our expectations. Consider this excerpt from the book Why?

great article about the importance of being grateful

There’s a video clip that is a little dated, but powerfully shows that we really have a lot to be grateful for. You might invite students to watch it before or after class; it’s called Teenage Affluenza.


You could also send a text message to students during the week asking them if they have acted on this lesson by having more grateful hearts.



Why is it important to be grateful?  Awesome LDS young woman teaching package.  #octobercomefollowme

Here is our teaching package of the Come Follow Me lesson “Why is it important to be Grateful?”

You can find this package HERE.

This has several things in the package, but a few of the highlights are:

–  A page with every letter of the alphabet for each person to list a blessing that begins with each letter

–  Study pages to study the story of the 10 Lepers.  This study pages includes cultural tips so you can get the most out of the story.

This 2016 mutual theme package "Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ" includes so many things plus a theme song by HILARY WEEKS! #pressforward

Also – keep your eye out for our 2016 mutual theme helps coming soon!  The graphics and instructional helps in this package are amazing and Hilary Weeks wrote and is recording a theme song that is awesome!  Make sure to follow us on Facebook and sign up for our emails (bottom of our home page) to be the first to know when everything is released!

2016 LDS Mutual Theme

This 2016 mutual theme package "Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ" includes so many things plus a theme song by HILARY WEEKS! #pressforward

Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ (2 Nephi 31:20)

We are getting a lot of questions about the upcoming 2016 LDS mutual theme:  “Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ” .

We really love this theme and are working on MANY things to help the youth use this theme to truly “Press Forward” in their individual lives. We have been studying the theme and have fallen in love with how this can bless the lives of the youth.

Here is the full scripture:  “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:20).

To get updates on this package and know when it is available, be sure to follow us on Facebook HERE and sign up for our Newsletter at the bottom of our home page HERE.

Among the things we are working on, are the following:

THEME SONG:  Hilary Weeks has written a theme song that will be available only on this site and will go with our printable kits.  The song is AMAZING and the thousands of Hilary Weeks fans out there will add a new favorite song to their collection!

TALKS:  MP3 talks by popular LDS speakers.  You will be able to purchase and download talks from some of the most popular LDS speakers.  There will be a variety of talks to help the youth “Press Forward with Steadfastness in Christ”.  These talks will be useful for homes, youth activities, and personal enjoyment.

ART:  We are in the process of creating art and prints to go with this theme.  We are going to great effort to help teach the power of the theme in a way the youth will love and connect to.

– JOURNALS:  These upcoming journals are unlike anything we have done before. We have taken our experience gained over the past few years and are making something that will really be a tool for the youth.  These will truly help the youth “Press Forward” every day, in church, and with Personal Progress!

PRINTABLE KITS:  These kits will contain everything you need from introducing the theme, to decorations, crafts, party decor, invitations, cards, calendars, agendas, etc.!  You can pick and choose and use the things that will work best for you.  There will be things for class, girls camp, and youth conference too!


More will come soon.  Meanwhile, there are some very talented people working to help you make the theme come alive in 2016!

Here are some articles about the upcoming theme:

Deseret News

Here are some articles about “Pressing Forward with Steadfastness in Christ”.  It could be a great thing to make packets of talks for your youth to read and prepare themselves for the new theme.

Press Forward and Be Steadfast (By Sister Elaine S. Dalton)

Press On (By Elder Wirthlin)

Steadfast in Our Covenants (By Sister Susan W. Tanner)

Therefore They Hushed Their Fears (By Elder David A. Bednar)

At All Times, in All Things, and in All Places (By Sister Elaine S. Dalton)

A Reservoir of Living Water (By Elder David A. Bednar [BYU speech])

Why is it important to be honest?


Why is it important to be honest?  September Young Women lesson (or FHE).  This printable package includes GREAT ways to teach about the positive consequences of honesty and the negative consequences of dishonesty.  Lots of great scripture and For the Strength of Youth activities.  Personal Progress Integrity experience #2 printable too!

Why is it important to be honest? (Come Follow Me September Young Women Lesson)

Here is our study and teaching package for the lesson: “Why is it important to be honest?”

You can find this package (and see more pictures) HERE.

Or it is a part of our seven lesson September combo package HERE.

Every righteous parent tries to instill the importance of honesty upon their children. The Come Follow Me curriculum has a fantastic lesson plan on this with really, REALLY good stories that are applicable to all ages.   You can find it HERE.  I would like to share a few thoughts that goes with the lesson ideas.

I don’t know if all youth connect their character and abilities to the little lies they may tell now and then, and I definitely don’t think all of them connect copying their friend’s homework to their ability of being a really powerful missionary.  But check out this quote in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet:

When you are honest, you build strength of character that will allow you to be of great service to God and others.”  (For the Strength of Youth, Honesty and Integrity)


Lets take cheating as an example, and I have mentioned before in other articles that it wasn’t uncommon for me to walk into my seminary classroom and see students copying assignments for their next class.  If your kids go to school, cheating is in their culture and they are faced with it every day.  The Come Follow Me Curriculum has some really good stories about cheating that will be great to share with your youth, and I wish I would have had the video in that curriculum to share with my students.  I dealt with the situations differently, but usually I would walk up to them, put my hand on their shoulder and say, “you will be happier if you don’t do that.”

Why is it important to be honest?  September Young Women lesson (or FHE).  This printable package includes GREAT ways to teach about the positive consequences of honesty and the negative consequences of dishonesty.  Lots of great scripture and For the Strength of Youth activities.  Personal Progress Integrity experience #2 printable too!

I used to draw a diagram like the one offered in our lesson package on the board.  I liked to show them the consequences to their choices and how there is only ONE positive consequence to cheating:  getting a good grade.  But, there are many negative consequences that are tied to that one positive.  “So,” you can ask them, “is it worth it?”

When it comes to cheating, there are three basic choices:

First: Don’t cheat and come prepared.

This is the ideal situation with the most long lasting and desirable consequences and shows the purpose of school and gaining an education.  This one has the brightest, most sure, future.  I don’t think one person wouldn’t want the consequences – but these consequences take work and courage.

Second:   Don’t cheat and come unprepared.

This choice does have some negative consequences, but there are also eternally positive consequences because they are choosing to take accountability (and not cover up) their lack of being prepared.  Of course we are not talking about perpetual unpreparedness – that will have its own set of consequences.

Third: Chooses to cheat

The reason students to choose to cheat is because they want a good grade and this is a way to get it.  What they fail to realize are the consequences that follow, like deceiving your teacher, not learning the subject, and loss of character.  I don’t think any youth would want any of those negative consequences – but they are part of the package. And the lasting danger is that they begin to shrug it off and are desensitized to it.

Many kids may focus on the importance of their grade and don’t want to upset their parents with receiving a low mark, but what they may not consider is that most parents would gladly take the lower grade for that assignment or test if it means that their child maintains their integrity and learns an important life lesson.

If you teach this lesson to the young men and young women, there will likely be many among you who will feel guilty for past occurrences.  The cool thing about this is that it is a really easy thing to change and take accountability for.  It is easy to never cheat again and you can help instill that confidence in them as they see the importance of living honestly in everything they do.

Teaching Why

Cheating is a good and relevant way to discuss the importance of being honest. After you discuss that diagram you could then make new diagrams that are applicable to other situations. For example: Lying to your parents vs. telling them the truth, exaggerating a story to your friends vs. telling them the real story, not putting in an honest days work vs. working your shift to your greatest ability, etc. Then you could discuss the consequences of each choice. The thing I like about this is you aren’t just saying “it is important to be honest”, you are helping them see “why” which always gives you more power.

I will end with a VERY good quote about the fundamental importance of honesty:

” If all mankind were honest, we could have heaven here on earth. We would have no need for armies or navies, nor even a policeman in the smallest community, for there would be no crime, no invasion of other people’s rights, no violence of one person against another.

“There would be no grounds for divorce, nor would we have errant husbands or unfaithful wives. Conflict between children and parents would disappear, and juvenile delinquency would come to an end.

“But in our society is there anything more widespread than the tendency to lie and deceive?

“It is the lie of the drug peddler that tempts a child to indulge, and the lie of the seducer that persuades a girl to surrender her virtue….

“It is the lie of the shoddy workman that hides a faulty repair….

“It is the lie on the lips of the neighborhood gossip that brings character assassination to many innocent victims.

“It is the dishonest one who seeks to take advantage of or to humiliate or to deliberately injure a fellow human being….

“We Latter-day Saints believe in God, and because we believe in him, we also believe there is a devil. But the devil himself is a liar—the father of lies—and those who choose to cheat and lie and deceive and misrepresent become his slaves.”   (Elder Mark E. Petersen, October 1971 General Conference)

Wow.  Isn’t that a fantastic and thought provoking quote?

Ok… here are a few more:

Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.
Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

It is a great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual, he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826);
3rd U.S. President

Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)



Why do we fast?

Why do we fast?  Great package with amazing study pages for ESTHER!  Seven great learning activities to help you ponder and learn about fasting.


Why do we fast?

This great teaching package is available HERE.

It is also part of our September combo package HERE.

Why do we fast?  Great package with amazing study pages for ESTHER!  Seven great learning activities to help you ponder and learn about fasting.

This package comes has 21 pages and 7 learning activities.

Why do we fast?  Great package with amazing study pages for ESTHER!  Seven great learning activities to help you ponder and learn about fasting.

Included are these illustrated study pages that help you study the story of Esther.  It leads up to chapter four where Esther asks the people to fast for her.  It is such a fantastic story about gaining strength from fasting.

These study pages help you look at specific verses and answer questions as you go.  There are also tips throughout to give guidance.

Esther story sticks

These story sticks also come in this package and you can use these to teach or review the story of Esther.  You can use them as you tell the story, or you can teach the story and then ask those you are teaching to retell the story using the sticks.

You can find this package, and see more pictures HERE.

Why are we commanded to keep the Sabbath Day Holy? By John Hilton III

Great article and teaching ideas about keeping the Sabbath Day holy!

John Hilton III has earned a reputation for being an amazing teacher, speaker and author! If you are a regular at Deseret Book, Time Out For Women, EFY or BYU Education Week, you probably already know him. We are SO lucky to have him sharing what he knows with us.

He was born in San Francisco and grew up in Seattle. He served a mission in Denver, and got a Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University. Along the way he met his wife Lani and they have five children. They have lived in Boise, Boston, Mexico and Miami. Currently, they live in Utah. John has a Masters degree from Harvard and a Ph.D from BYU, both in Education, and currently is an Assistant Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU. He has also written several books with Deseret Book, you can see them HERE. Besides being with his family, his favorite hobbies are learning Chinese and doing humanitarian work. For more information visit


Honor the Sabbath Day

As my friend Anthony Sweat and I wrote in our book Why?, “The Lord has told us to “Call the Sabbath a delight” (Isaiah 58:13); but some people feel like Sunday is a restrictive day, a day when they can’t do certain things. They might say, “Stuffy white shirts and ties, dresses and heels, shushes and hushes, talks, and more talks, early morning fast offerings and late evening firesides, no shopping or dating or dancing. And this day is a ‘delight’? Please tell us why!””

Idea #1: Teaching why we should honor the Sabbath day

Teaching Ideas for:  Why are we commanded to keep the Sabbath Day holy?

Show your students various hand motions that communicate (or send a sign) to other people. For example, you could do a friendly wave, shake your fist in anger, or perform a beckoning motion. Rhetorically ask your students, “How were you able to tell what I was communicating?” (The obvious answer is that your gestures signaled to students how you were feeling. Invite students to turn to Ezekiel 20:20 and have them look for the sign between us and the Lord. Ask students to explain a principle from this verse. One possible answer is that how we treat the Sabbath day sends a sign to the Lord about how we feel about Him. Is our Sabbath day observance sending a welcoming sign, or one that shows that we don’t really care?

Elder Mark E. Peterson of the Quorum of the Twelve taught, “Observance of the Sabbath is an indication of the depth of our conversion. Our observance or nonobservance of the Sabbath is an unerring measure of our attitude toward the Lord personally and toward his suffering in Gethsemane, his death on the cross, and his resurrection of the dead. It is a sign of whether we are Christians in very deed, or whether our conversion is so shallow that commemoration of his atoning sacrifice means little or nothing to us” (Mark E. Petersen, Conference Report, April 1975, 72). Testify to students that one reason why we should honor the Sabbath is to show the Lord how much we care about him.


Idea #2: Teaching How to honor the Sabbath Day

Show students this picture and ask them if it reminds them of the Sabbath (hopefully it doesn’t!)


President Spencer W. Kimball said:


The Sabbath is a holy day in which to do worthy and holy things. Abstinence from work and recreation is important but insufficient. The Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts, and if one merely lounges about doing nothing on the Sabbath, he is breaking it. To observe it, one will be on his knees in prayer, preparing lessons, studying the gospel, meditating, visiting the ill and distressed, sleeping, reading wholesome material, and attending all the meetings of that day to which he is expected. To fail to do these proper things is a transgression” (Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, [1969], 96-97).

Invite students to read and ponder Doctrine and Covenants 59:9-12. These verses teach that one of the purposes of the Sabbath is to “more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world.” Another primary purpose of the Sabbath day is to“pay thy devotions unto the Most High” (D&C 59:10). Some good questions to ask ourselves with our Sunday behavior is: Does the activity help me draw nearer to God?  Does it keep me unspotted from the world? Doctrine and Covenants 59:12 also says that on the Sabbath we should “offer [our] oblations” of “time, talents, or means, in service of God and  fellowman” (see D&C 59:12, footnote 12b).  In other words, does a particular Sabbath activity help me to give of myself in selfless service to God’s kingdom and those around me? Does it help me serve in my calling, visit the needy, and give of myself?

Suggest to students that there are lots of things that probably are not “wrong” to do on the Sabbath, but they can ask also ask themselves, “Is this the best thing I could do with my time on the Sabbath to help myself draw nearer to God, be unspotted from the world and serve others?” Honestly answering this question can give powerful guidance to making the Sabbath more meaningful.

Point out to students that on the Sabbath day they spend 3 hours in church, but 13 hours at home. Ask students to brainstorm some of the best activities they could during these home hours to draw nearer to God, be unspotted from the world and serve others? Invite students to keep the Sabbath day WHOLLY by planning out different things that they will during their Sabbath day (the below could be used as a bookmark where they write down their schedule and ideas). Follow up with students via a text message during the week to remind them to put their WHOLE efforts into keeping the Sabbath day HOLY.


Idea #3: The Sabbath Day and Homework




D&C 59:10 teaches that a principle of the Sabbath is “to rest from your labors.” For many students, their primary “labor” is school work. Should Sunday be a homework day? Invite different students to read each of the following accounts.

1. President Henry B. Eyring talked about his experience when participating in a very competitive graduate program. He was in a program where one-third of the students would fail – and he did not want to be one of the failing students. The competition was fierce though, and most of his classmates studied on Sunday. But President Eyring said, “For me, there was…no studying on Sunday” (Education for Real Life, CES Fireside).  Remember, schoolwork is usually the main daily labor for students; the Sabbath is designed to have us rest from our daily labors. When we use Sunday for a homework day, often our thoughts are more on the things of chemistry than the things of eternity.

2. President James E. Faust advised, “I would counsel all students, if they can, to arrange their schedules so that they do not study on the Sabbath.  If students and other seekers after truth will do this, their minds will be quickened and the infinite Spirit will lead them to the verities they wish to learn” (President James E. Faust, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 34). What a promise!

3. “I believed that I should labor hard for six days at my work, which was studying law, and should, therefore, refrain from student-like labor on the Sabbath…. Study was my work and the Lord had commanded us to labor for six days and rest on the seventh….I followed my father’s example and my mother’s gentle teaching, and I was also blessed for it” (Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Life’s Lessons Learned, 24).

Point out to students that President Henry B. Eyring, President James E. Faust, and Elder Dallin H. Oaks were extremely successful professionally, and also chose not to do homework on Sunday. Does this mean that we can be lazy and leave homework undone? Of course not. For the Strength of Youth says, “Prepare during the week so that you can reserve Sunday for the many uplifting activities that are appropriate for the Sabbath day. Such activities include spending quiet time with your family, studying the gospel, fulfilling your Church callings and responsibilities, serving others, writing letters, writing in your journal, and doing family history work. Your behavior and dress on the Sabbath should show respect for the Lord and His holy day.”

Invite students to go for one month without doing any homework on study. Invite them instead to prepare more during the week so they will not have pressing homework assignments due Monday morning. Invite them also to fill time that they would have used for homework with uplifting activities such as doing family history work, working on Personal Progress, or studying Preach My Gospel. Follow up with students on a regular basis to see what they experience as a result of taking this invitation.



Check out the Teaching Package for this topic:

Why are we commanded to keep the Sabbath Day holy?  This printable package has SEVEN awesome learning activities!  They are so impactful!  #septembercomefollowme

You can find this package HERE.

It is also available in our September combo package available HERE.

This 25 page PDF package has seven amazing learning activities, lesson prints, and a handout to help you study, discuss, and act upon what you learn.

Why are we commanded to keep the Sabbath Day holy?  This printable package has SEVEN awesome learning activities!  They are so impactful!  #septembercomefollowme

Included in this package are illustrations to help you teach the doctrines taught in For the Strength of Youth.  You can put them on the board or lay them out and have those you are teaching come up with lots of detailed ideas for each picture.

You can find this great package HERE.

How Do I Guard My Virtue?

How do I guard my virtue?  This LDS printable teaching package has 6 great learning activities, 2 Personal Progress experiences for Virtue, and  a great handout!  #ldsvirtue

How do I guard my virtue?

You can find this package and see more pictures HERE.

Also, check out our popular article on how to approach this important subject with the youth HERE.

We have been working on the study pamphlet and teaching package for this lesson and as I have studied the lesson I have loved EVERYTHING!

The stories in here are fantastic and they are the kind that really stick to you after you hear them.

Parents – this lesson is a great resource to you – you could probably design a dozen Family Home Evenings around the material they provide.

In this lesson it addresses pornography, and I think often we avoid this topic among the Young Women because we typically associate it with stuff the guys need to hear.

May I share a quote that I think is pretty alarming?

“Concerning spiritual wickedness, we could call attention to pornography, which is rampant. The use of pornography among our youth is growing. The new target audience for those who create pornography is young women. There are media messages everywhere that are antifamily, and our young people are very connected with media—Internet, television, the things they receive on their phones, all electronic devices are delivering antifamily messages to them every day. Increasingly, our youth are seeing no reason to form a family or get married in spite of all the teaching you give them. They are being desensitized about the need to form eternal families.”  (Sister Julie B. Beck, Teaching the Doctrine of the Family, Seminaries and Institutes of Religion Satellite Broadcast, August 4, 2009)

You can read this entire talk here.  Aren’t we so glad that there are inspired leaders who are watching out for our children?


How do I guard my virtue?  This LDS printable teaching package has 6 great learning activities, 2 Personal Progress experiences for Virtue, and  a great handout!  #ldsvirtue

You can find this study and teaching package HERE.

This is also part of our September combo package found HERE.

This package includes a pamphlet, 6 learning activities that help you learn and apply the lesson, printable posters, printable locker prints, printable stickers, and Personal Progress Virtue Experiences 2 and 4.

The stickers can be printed and stuck onto cell phones, stereos, computers, etc. as daily reminders to protect themselves by what they see, listen to, and engage in.

How do I guard my virtue?  This LDS printable teaching package has 6 great learning activities, 2 Personal Progress experiences for Virtue, and  a great handout!  #ldsvirtue

You can find this package and see more pictures HERE.

How Do the Things I Say Affect Me and Those Around Me?

How do the things I say affect me and those around me?  This lesson package has 7 great learning activities, plus a printable for Personal Progress Individual Worth experience #3!

How do the things I say affect me and those around me?

You can find this package HERE.

This package is also part of our September combo package HERE.

It will also be in our September combo package available soon.

Before I was married I would go around with the EFY program and speak around the country.  One of my talks was called “Are You a Lifter?”  And the entire talk was focused around the power our words have on each other. Here are some things I shared in my talk. I hope they help you and those you love.

Elder Holland quoted Joseph Smith and said:  “It is by words… [that] every being works when he works by faith.  God said, ‘Let there be light: and there was light.’  Joshua spake, and the great lights  which God had created stood still.  Elijah commanded, and the heavens were stayed for the space of three years and six months, so that it did not rain….  All this was done by faith… Faith, then, works by words; and with [words] its mightiest works have been, and will be performed.”  Then Elder Holland added, “words are sacred and must be spoken with care…”  (The Tongue of Angels, Ensign, May 2007)

So if it is by words that miracles are commanded and things are created – should we not consider the power of our words in our everyday lives?

A Strong Visual Lesson

During my talk I would draw some pretty weird pictures on the board – they would all be faces with their mouths open and then I would substitute the tongue for fire on one face, then a snake on another, and put an angel’s halo on another.

I would say to the youth, “If I commissioned an abstract artist to paint a portrait of me, I wonder what they would include.  Their goal is not to do a realistic portrait, but a symbolic one.   So if they thought I was very wise, maybe they would fill my head with eyes, or if I wasn’t wise at all – then maybe I would have no eyes.  If they drew these pictures of me on the board, what would each of these mean?”

We would then turn to James 3: 2-10 and the kids would figure out the interpretation.  I am quoting from the last part of that group of scripture here:

“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

“For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:

“ But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

Poison and Fire

What does fire do? It burns and destroys. And even a little spark can turn into a great fire and be unimaginably destructive. And poison? It can also destroy and disfigure.

So if my tongue was of fire, then I burned others when I spoke with or without the intent of destroying, that is the potential result.  Or a snake?  I speak words that destroy from the inside. It can spread slowly but the impact is there.

Fire burns and hurts quickly and has a lasting impact.  Have you ever had a burn?  They can take a while to heal and it is hard to find relief from the pain.  There are also varying degrees of burns. Poison can be a little more subtle.  You can be bit by the deceptive snake and not realize the kind of trouble you are in.

Ask the youth and they can recall times where words have been spoken to them that have felt like that.

It would be interesting to have a conversation with the youth about the impact of our words.

Give them some scenarios and let them consider the burning or the poisonous effect it has. They could be both situations where they are doing the speaking, to times when other’s words would impact them.

Here are a few common topics – you could come up with actual scenarios:

  • Gossipping about someone over something that did or did not happen
  • Someone calling you “stupid” or something like that
  • Swearing or words like unto them
  • Words said in a cruel tone
  • Cruel words said in a nice tone
  • Someone attacks your testimony
  • Telling someone you hate them

Not Even in Joking

I used to always point to the For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet where it says this:  “How you speak says much about who you are….  Use language that uplifts encourages, and compliments others.  Do not insult others or put them down, EVEN IN JOKING.”

“Even in joking” – even the best youth can be repeat offenders of this.  “It is just a joke” they would say, or “they know we don’t mean it.”

I would have them turn to John 1: 41-42.  This is the first meeting of Christ and Peter.  Peter, like us, a disciple before he has ever met Christ – and certainly he had anticipated this moment.  In fact, his brother Andrew met Christ first, and who did he run to tell?  Peter!  That is very telling of both the brotherly love between these faithful brothers, but also the heart and desire of Peter.  Here is the exchange that followed between Peter and Christ:

“And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou are Simon the Son of Jonah:  thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone.”

Imagine this!  First Christ immediately and outwardly expresses that he knows Peter!  Imagine how this would have made Peter feel!  The Messiah is approaching him in this manner!  How would you feel?  The Son of God, the Redeemer of man, the Creator of this world recognizes you.  And Christ knows more about Peter and his potential than Peter, himself, does – and Christ does not hesitate to help Peter see it.  He gives him a name “stone” or “rock” – how would Peter feel about himself after that?  What, in that little moment, did that do to Peter?

So if we want to truly be Christlike we should be seeking to build and to lift.  It is impossible to imagine Christ going up to his friends calling them names or insulting them just in joking.  His tongue was tamed and only filled with hope and love.


Speaking as an Angel would speak

In Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk “The Tongue of Angels” he says this:

“In his deeply moving final testimony, Nephi calls us to “follow the Son [of God], with full purpose of heart,” promising that “after ye have … received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, [ye] can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels. … And … how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost? Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ.”  Indeed, Christ was and is “the Word,” according to John the Beloved,  full of grace and truth, full of mercy and compassion.

“So, brothers and sisters, in this long eternal quest to be more like our Savior, may we try to be “perfect” men and women in at least this one way now—by offending not in word, or more positively put, by speaking with a new tongue, the tongue of angels. Our words, like our deeds, should be filled with faith and hope and charity, the three great Christian imperatives so desperately needed in the world today. With such words, spoken under the influence of the Spirit, tears can be dried, hearts can be healed, lives can be elevated, hope can return, confidence can prevail.”   (The Tongue of Angels, Ensign, May 2007)

So with that final picture on the board, the hope and desire for each of us is to have tongues of angels.  In James 3:2, he says:  For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.”  So basically, if I can tame my tongue, I can tame my entire body.

I don’t think that is just about self-control.  I think it is about replacing pride with charity.  We care too much about others than to say, or imply, or hint at something that would be destructive.

And I think this also applies to what we say to ourselves.  We can be our own worst tongues of fire.

Let me end with this poem:

Builder or Wreckers

I watched them tearing a building down,

A gang of men in a busy town.

With a ho-heave-ho and lusty yell,

They swung a beam and a sidewall fell.

I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,

As the men you’d hire if you had to build?”

He gave me a laugh and said, “No indeed!

Just common labor is all I need.

I can easily wreck in a day or two

What builders have taken a year to do.”

And I tho’t to myself as I went my way,

Which of these two roles have I tried to play?

Am I a builder who works with care,

Measuring life by the rule and square?

Am I shaping my deeds by a well-made plan,

Patiently doing the best I can?

Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,

Content with the labor of tearing down?

– Unknown



Here is the teaching package we have to go along with this lesson:

How do the things I say affect me and those around me?  This lesson package has 7 great learning activities, plus a printable for Personal Progress Individual Worth experience #3!

 You can find this package HERE.

This package has 7 learning activities that really help those you are teaching learn and act upon the important doctrines and principles in this lesson.  One of the learning activities will fulfill Personal Progress Individual Worth Experience #3 – so it would be great to do together, or send home as a challenge!

How can I be in the world but not of the world?

How can I be in the world but not of the world?  This LDS teaching package has 4 amazing learning activities.  Great way to discuss the standards in For the Strength of Youth!

How can I be in the world but not of the world?

You can find this lesson package HERE.

It is also available in our September combo package available HERE.

I think this is a fantastic lesson since so many youth are just starting school, and looking through the lesson outline, I also think it would make a fantastic Family Home Evening.  In fact, most of the lessons would make amazing Family Home Evenings and are a great starting point for parents.

I wanted to throw out a few situations that are common to youth today in case you want to talk through specific circumstances and apply this lesson to their lives.

So here are some situations – the lesson outline has great suggestions on how to discuss what it means to “live in the world but not of the world”, and it also suggests  a fantastic scripture activity.  So I would recommend discussing some of these situations after doing all of that.  I would also write on the board what they learned from the scriptures so as you discuss these situations they can look up at the board and apply the scriptures to the situations.

Note:  these situations are coming from my experience working with the youth, not from my memory of being one since it was so long ago – so each of these below have a story or two to go with them. Some I will mention and others I will not.

Situation #1

It is approaching school Homecoming and all of your friends are getting asked to the dance.  Most of you are still 15 but it doesn’t seem to be a big deal since it is a supervised school activity.

  • Remember, this is their first time being 15 and now that they are in High School they want to participate in High School things.
  • Part of the lesson package includes putting scripture teachings up on the board.  As you discuss various situations, have them look to the board and pick out doctrines and principles found in some of the scriptures to respond to the situations.  This is a great way to help them apply the scriptures to their daily lives and situations.

Situation #2

You didn’t have a chance to get your homework done and it is due in your next class.  Your friend offers to let you copy their assignment.

  • I know this happened all of the time because I saw kids copying assignments for another class during seminary.  I would walk by, pat them on the back, and say something like “you will be happier if you don’t do that.”  I imagine that this is a common practice in most high schools and something that every youth faces often.  So conversations on how to work through these moments can really bless their lives.

Situation #3

Same as the above but the tables are turned and your friend asks you if they can copy your assignment.

  • This may sound the same as situation #2 but there are some differences that can make it harder to decline.  In the first situation it is your problem and you can face the music with your teacher for not getting the homework completed.  In this one, someone else is asking you for help, and if it is a friend, then it makes it hard to say “no”.  It could be a good conversation to have with the youth about how they can help them without letting them copy your assignment.
  • Refer to the scripture sayings on the board again and ask them which ones could give them the power to do the right thing here.

Situation #4

There is a student at your school who is different than everyone else and is an easy target for others to make fun of, and you see it happen often.

  • When you give this situation most kids will have people pop into their head automatically.  Every seminary I worked at had kids like this come over to seminary to eat their lunch in order to be in a safe place.  I remember one young lady in particular; she was autistic, although the students didn’t know this.  She wore the same thing every day and came from a hard situation at home.  There were some amazing young women who took this young lady, bought her a dress and got her all dolled up and took her to her first school dance ever (as a senior).  And it didn’t end there, they took her to other events and found her at school to make sure she had friends to be with.

Situation #5

The current fashion trend is pretty immodest and most girls at school are dressing that way.

Situation #6

Your phone is really important to you and, even though it is hard to admit, all of the social options are interfering with how much you are getting out school, family, church activities and other important relationships.

Situation #7

The kids at school pick on a specific teacher.

Situation #8

You go to your friend’s house after a school activity and alcohol is offered to everyone.  Many of your friends decide to try it.

Situation #9

You hear your friend disrespecting their parents on the phone because they are unhappy with a rule they have.

Situation #10

Disrespectful language and profanity is common at your school – both in verbal language as well as online and in text messages.

  • You may also want to discuss the common practice of abbreviating swear words.  Even though they may be abbreviating a more acceptable phrase – what is the other person reading, or what does it represent?

Situation #11

Your friends like to skip out on school or seminary.  They often invite you to come with them.


The teaching package for this lesson really helps you dive into scripture and standards to help teach this important topic.

How can I be in the world but not of the world?  This LDS teaching package has 4 amazing learning activities.  Great way to discuss the standards in For the Strength of Youth!

This package really helps those you are teaching dive into the doctrines and principle taught in this lesson!

"How Can I Be In the World But Not Of the World?"  LDS teaching package


There are fun illustrated scriptures and note pages that make for a really fun scripture activity!

"How Can I Be In the World But Not Of the World?"  LDS teaching package


There is also a great activity (and note page) that incorporates the standards in For the Strength of Youth.

You can find this package (and see more pictures and a detailed description) HERE.