New YW Theme/Gift of Grace R.S. Lesson

For the discussion of spirituality -- from LDS and non-LDS sources
Post Reply
AmyJ
Posts: 927
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

New YW Theme/Gift of Grace R.S. Lesson

Post by AmyJ » 14 Oct 2019, 07:06

I gave a R.S. lesson on Sunday going over the new YW theme and tying in some quotes from President Utchdorf's "The Gift of Grace" talk.

Why the YW Theme for the majority of sisters over 45? (Aside from the "Why Not")?
  • It had available text sooner then the other talks.
  • I don't believe in modeling something without knowing what it is. How can we as R.S. sisters teach our new YW sisters/set an example if we don't know where they are coming from>
  • I overthought it and hoped that my daughter as a pre-YW would get something useful from the concepts tailored to her peer group in a few years.
  • Our sisters would have the opportunity to become better people by studying what is laid out more simply in the YW theme.

Highlights:
  • The sisters seemed engaged.
  • One sister came up to me afterwards and said a sincere thank-you (her body language implied that it was really helpful to her personally).
  • We spent a good 10 minutes talking about having Heavenly Parents - this was a whole-hearted animated conversation run by those I least expected to care.
  • I figured out how to use my phone and a portable speaker to play music (though I didn't wind up having the time to utilize it ).
The R.S. President made a point to appreciate having a lesson specifically going over it - but it might have been social nicety transition commentary). I am going with the belief that she appreciated the efforts to go that direction.

Side Lights:
  • My daughter was squirmy and un-engaged for the most part.
  • We had one of those awkward stories that spun off into weird pretend doctrine...
One of the sisters made a comment about grace kicking in after all our efforts (instead of grace always being there but we realize it more when we have done what we can) - which I was able to transition into a different view of grace being like the sun and you opening a parasol (so not necessarily feeling/seeing the sunlight). I also presented a quote by Utchdorf specifically squelching that belief that grace comes after all our efforts. I think that she was not offended by the different point of view (here's hoping - I know that I made efforts to create a bridge between the 2 paradigms).

Lesson:
Young Women Theme/President Utchdorf Grace Lesson
NOTE: The lesson is being pulled from the YW Theme presented by President Bonnie Cordon at General Conference. I am also including quotes from President Utchorf’s talk, “The Gift of Grace” from April 2015.

Identity
THEME QUOTE 1: I am a Beloved Daughter of Heavenly Parents, with a divine nature and eternal destiny.

• Does knowing that you are a beloved daughter of Heavenly Parents influence your actions? How?

QUOTE 2: “Notice the shift from “we” to “I.” These truths apply to you individually. You are a beloved daughter of Heavenly Parents. You are a covenant disciple of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I invite you to study and ponder these words. I know that as you do, you will gain a testimony of their truthfulness. Understanding these truths will change the way you face challenges. Knowing your identity and purpose will help you align your will with the Savior’s.”
- President Bonnie Cordon, “Beloved Daughters”, October 2019 General Conference

Musical Interlude: I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus

Discipleship
THEME QUOTE 3: As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I strive to become like Him. I seek to act upon personal revelation and minister to others in His holy name.

Group Work: Be comfortable and compassionate with each other.
• What are some of the characteristics of a disciple of Jesus Christ? Which one are you working on and how is that going?
• When was a time in the last 3 months that you sought to act upon personal revelation to minister to others?

Witness
THEME QUOTE 4: I will stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places.

What does it look/feel/sound like to be a witness of God?

QUOTE 5: “Trying to understand God’s gift of grace with all our heart and mind gives us all the more reasons to love and obey our Heavenly Father with meekness and gratitude. As we walk the path of discipleship, it refines us, it improves us, it helps us to become more like Him, and it leads us back to His presence. “The Spirit of the Lord [our God]” brings about such “a mighty change in us, … that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.”
- President Dieter F. Utchdorf, “The Gift of Grace” April 2015 General Conference

Principles and Ordinances
THEME QUOTE 6: As I strive to qualify for exaltation, I cherish the gift of repentance and seek to improve each day.

How does a person “cherish the gift of repentance”?

QUOTE 7: “If grace is a gift of God, why then is obedience to God’s commandments so important? Why bother with God’s commandments—or repentance, for that matter? Why not just admit we’re sinful and let God save us? Or, to put the question in Paul’s words, “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” Paul’s answer is simple and clear: “God forbid.”

PERSONAL REFLECTION
What self-improvement efforts are you inspired to work on? Is there anything that the sisters next to you could help you with in this area? What about our R.S. presidency?

THEME QUOTE 8: With faith, I will strengthen my home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, and receive the ordinances and blessings of the holy temple.

PERSONAL REFLECTION
What are you working on now to strengthen home & family, make & keep sacred covenants, or more fully receive ordinances & blessings in your life? What needs to change? What is the first step of that change?

Grace Transition
All of these concepts help refine us into becoming our best selves. However, the key concept that fuels these improvements is love – identifying the love of God and sharing that love with others. The WD-40 of Love is Grace.

Grace
QUOTE 9:
“The prophet Nephi made an important contribution to our understanding of God’s grace when he declared, “We labor diligently … to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

However, I wonder if sometimes we misinterpret the phrase “after all we can do.” We must understand that “after” does not equal “because.” We are not saved “because” of all that we can do. Have any of us done all that we can do? Does God wait until we’ve expended every effort before He will intervene in our lives with His saving grace?”
- President Dieter F. Utchdorf, “The Gift of Grace” April 2015 General Conference

In what ways do we live as if “after all we can do” equals “because all we can do”? Should we change that? How?

Roy
Posts: 5809
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: New YW Theme/Gift of Grace R.S. Lesson

Post by Roy » 14 Oct 2019, 09:45

Thank you for sharing this.
AmyJ wrote:
14 Oct 2019, 07:06
Witness
THEME QUOTE 4: I will stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places.

What does it look/feel/sound like to be a witness of God?
One very official way to be a witness of God is now available to women, YW, and all baptized members.
AmyJ wrote:
14 Oct 2019, 07:06
Grace
QUOTE 9:
“The prophet Nephi made an important contribution to our understanding of God’s grace when he declared, “We labor diligently … to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

However, I wonder if sometimes we misinterpret the phrase “after all we can do.” We must understand that “after” does not equal “because.” We are not saved “because” of all that we can do. Have any of us done all that we can do? Does God wait until we’ve expended every effort before He will intervene in our lives with His saving grace?”
- President Dieter F. Utchdorf, “The Gift of Grace” April 2015 General Conference

In what ways do we live as if “after all we can do” equals “because all we can do”? Should we change that? How?
I like something that Curtis has explained to me. Perhaps the "after all we can do" is not a qualifier. Perhaps it is meant to emphasize rather than limit the power of grace. As if to say, "for we know that, after all that we can do, it is by grace that we are saved." or "even after all that we can do, it is still by grace that we are saved." Perhaps Nephi is here echoing Paul from 1 Corinthians 13 "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have Grace, I am nothing.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16636
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: New YW Theme/Gift of Grace R.S. Lesson

Post by Curt Sunshine » 14 Oct 2019, 16:39

As always, thank you. They are fortunate to have you as a teacher.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Roy
Posts: 5809
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: New YW Theme/Gift of Grace R.S. Lesson

Post by Roy » 12 Nov 2019, 11:05

I really love this!

Heavenly parents,
Personalized relationship,
"The WD-40 of Love is Grace",
Gentle pushback on the concept of Grace as something that kicks in after all our efforts are expended.

:thumbup:
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Post Reply