Is there anything more uncomfortable than sitting in a classroom at church, the teacher asks a question and nothing but awkward silence answers. We’ve all been there – so what exactly went awry? Did the question lead to yes/no or other obvious “Sunday School” answer? Did the instructor give the answer to the question within the question? or Ask something too difficult or too long to remember? In the wise words of Dr. Seuss:
So go ahead and uncomplicate things! One of the most important things to learn in our quest to become master teachers, is how to ask THE RIGHT QUESTION. We must provide our students with questions that will help them think deeply about gospel truths. We should encourage students to share experiences about living the gospel. You’ll be amazed and what follows a simple “When have you seen, felt, or experienced…?” This will help them see ways to apply the doctrine in their every day lives. Isn’t that our ultimate goal? In lesson planning, create questions that you feel work well, then try to answer them yourself – or even better – have your teenage daughter give a reply! Always keep in mind, insightful questions lead to meaningful discussions.
Teach in the Savior’s Way. He asked questions that caused them to think and feel deeply. He was sincerely interested in their answers and rejoiced in their expressions of faith. He gave them opportunities to ask their own questions and share their own insights, and He responded to their questions and listened to their experiences. Because of His love, they felt safe sharing their thoughts and personal feelings.
To give you some help and direction, the following are the remaining Come Follow Me units/lessons for 2013. The following questions have been written with the Young Women in mind, but the Aaronic Priesthood lessons are very similar and could easily be adapted to fit the needs of your quorum. I am also working on questions for Sunday School and will try to post in the next day or so.
Consider these examples in your lesson planning, try to provide at least three discussion questions during your lesson (I like to call them learning experiences) for the most successful outcome. Give class members time to think about the answer, have class members discuss answers to the question individually, in small groups or pairs, or as a class to encourage more participation. Lastly, always respond positively to their willingness to share. These questions will contribute to meaningful classroom discussions; more will contribute, participate and be edified through the hearing and sharing of personal experiences and applications of the gospel in their lives.
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How can I be in the world but not of the world? (Hyperlink available)
What are some of society’s standards that are not compatible with the standards of the Church?
When have you chosen to stand for what is right? How have your actions affected your life and the lives of others?
How does the world attempt to influence the way you view the Lord’s standards?
How can you prepare now to resist temptations?
What motivates you to stay true to gospel principles even when it’s “unpopular” and you have to stand alone?
What are some ways you can influence your friends and family members to be more obedient?
Consider how living a virtuous life brings peace to you. What effects does pornography have on the world and on families?
How have you been a guardian of virtue?
How might your language, actions, and appearance affect others?
How might you be exposed to pornography? What gospel principles and preventive measures can help you keep your thoughts and actions pure?
In what areas in your life do you need to learn self-discipline to make sure you life a virtuous life?
How does living the commandments bring you freedom and safety?
Consider the power of words. In your life, how have you used words to inspire, teach, comfort, and communicate?
How have the world’s standards of appropriate language changed during your lifetime?
How can you strengthen yourself when those around you choose not to obey the commandments?
How do your friends influence your desire to be obedient?
What are some of the reasons you have fasted, and what were the results of your fast?
What do you do to make fasting meaningful?
Why is it important to understand the principle of fasting?
What obstacles might you face in enjoying the full blessings of fasting?
What blessings do you enjoy because you keep the Sabbath day holy?
How do you know what is and what is not appropriate on the Sabbath?
Why is it important that you attend your Sunday meetings?
Why is it important that we have a Sabbath day?
What do you think it means to be honest in all things?
Why do you feel it is important to be honest?
How have you or someone you know been affected by the honest or dishonest decisions of others?
What tests of honesty do you face in your lives?
What blessings come from being honest and courageous in all situations?
Think about the spiritual and temporal blessings you have received from paying your tithes. What experiences have you had that you could share?
Why is it important for you, as young women, to pay tithing?
Why should you be obedient to the Lord even though you don’t always understand why?
How might you explain the principle of tithing to a nonmember friend?
OCTOBER: BECOMING MORE CHRISTLIKE
What are some of the attributes of Jesus Christ?
Which of these attributes do you most need to develop? Whom have you seen or known in your life who exemplifies these attributes?
Which Christlike attributes do you seen in the members of your class?
How can you encourage each other to follow the Savior’s example and become like Him?
What stories from the scriptures show how the Savior treated others and how you should treat them?
What are you doing or what can you change in your life to become more like the Savior?
When have others shown you Christlike love?
What effect has this had on you? When have you felt Christlike love?
How do you develop Christlike love for others?
Why is it important that you learn how to love others as Christ did?
How can you reach out to others when you feel lonely or feel like giving up?
How can you learn to be more thoughtful about others and their feelings and needs? How will this make a difference in your life?
What have you learned from the scriptures about how Christ served others?
When have you been blessed through the Christlike service of others?
How have you followed the Savior’s example of service?
What opportunities do you have for service?
When have seen members in your class serving others? What experiences can you share?
How might your families be affected as you seek to serve them more?
How has your service to others made a difference in their lives?
What are some ways you can serve in the Church besides having a calling?
What blessings have you received through the service of Church leaders and teachers?
What experiences have taught you about patience (including both major trials and less dramatic experiences)?
What has helped you to be patient during challenging times?
What influences do you face in today’s society that may lead you to become impatient?
How might you learn patience and trust in the Lord’s timing and promises?
What blessings will come to if you are patient?
What are some things you are most grateful for?
How has being grateful increased your happiness?
What can you do to develop an attitude of thankfulness?
How could having a grateful attitude be a blessing to you now and in the future?
NOVEMBER: SPIRITUAL AND TEMPORAL SELF-RELIANCE
How have you used the blessings and abilities God has given you to care for yourself and your family?
How has being self-reliant allowed you to bless others? What other blessings of self-reliance have you experienced?
Why is it important for you to become self-reliant?
How will self-reliance help you endure times of adversity? How will it bless your future families?
With the increase of natural disasters in the world, what are you learning to help yourself and others in case of emergency?
Why is it important to gain an education?
How will your education help prepare you for your life experiences? How can it help you become more self-reliant?
How do you feel about education? How will education and skill development help you in your future roles?
What role has work played in your life? How has it blessed you and your family, both temporally and spiritually?
Do you think of work as an opportunity or as something you want to avoid?
How can you recognize the many blessings of work and develop a desire to work?
How has maintaining your health allowed you to serve the Lord more effectively?
What other blessings have you received as you have strived to live a healthy life?
What temptations do you face that could harm their health?
What blessings will you receive as they observe the Lord’s law of health?
Why is this principle important?
How have you sought to follow the example of the Savior in providing for others? What experiences could you share?
What principles of providing in the Lord’s way do you need to understand? How will understanding these principles help you become better disciples of Christ?
How has the gospel provided solutions and comfort during your challenging times?
What issues or challenges today do you face? What challenges might you face in the future?
What principles of the gospel will help you successfully cope with these challenges?
What does it mean to govern yourself? How do knowing and following the Lord’s standards help you govern yourself?
How can you improve your relationship with your parents? How can you gain a relationship and keep your parent’s trust?
DECEMBER: BUILDING THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN THE LATTER DAYS
What spiritual gifts do you have? How have they blessed you and others? How have the spiritual gifts of others blessed you?
How have you identified your gifts? Why is it important for you to know about your spiritual gifts?
How will this help you prepare for your future roles, homes, and families?
How can you identify what your spiritual gifts are? How can you help celebrate other’s gifts around you rather than be threatened by them?
How have you used your spiritual gifts to bless the lives of others?
What do you contribute in making your home a defense against sin and a refuge from the world?
What experiences are you having now that will help you raise your own righteous family?
What have you done to help strengthen new members?
What did others do to help you after you were baptized?
How have you helped other young women your age adapt to being members of the Church?
What do you do to reach out to less-active members you know? What experiences can you share?
How do you treat members of their class who are less active?
What are some ways you could reach out to these young women?
How can you help your friends keep the Lord’s standards?
How do you strive to live the principles of Zion in your life and family?
When have you felt a spirit of unity in a ward or in your family?
Are the young women in your class unified as a sisterhood?
What can each of you do to help establish Zion?
What obstacles might you face in establishing Zion?
“That when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man [and woman] may have an equal privilege” D&C 88:122