Teaching Helps for Relief Society & elders Quorum

Turn any General Conference talk into a great lesson. Divine Code offers lesson plans and templates that help you develop an effective, memorable Relief Society or Elders’ Quorum class discussion. Encourage interaction and belonging in your group.  

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Five Steps to a Great Lesson

Template #2

4 Steps to a Great
Sacrament Meeting Talk

Here is a tried and true formula for preparing a talk. It may appear simple, but it flows nicely from the pulpit.

Quorum of 15 Apostles

Lesson Plans Done For You

Are you out of time? Find recent General Conference talks with 5 selected quotes. Plus, each quote has several discussion-promoting questions that are ready to use.

We need teachers who:

  • Start discussions and engage others instead of lecturing.
  • Fellowship, validate, and empower others instead of being the class focal point.

The principal role of a Relief Society or an Elder’s Quorum teacher is to initiate discussions, where the rest of the group does the talking. Learning retention increases by 73% when people actively participate in the topic.

Divine Code provides lesson plans that promote spiritual interaction and learning.

 

Fill the earth with the light and warmth of compelling truths. Empower people.

Links & Helpful Pages

9 Tips for More Class Participation

Teach with Confidence. Check out these proven methods for encouraging more engagement. 

How to Use This Site

Discover all the resources available on this site, along with descriptions. Plus a directory with links to help locate them.

Ministering Made Simple

A clear and easy guide. Build up the acceptance and importance of ministering – and it will do wonders.

Youth

Come, Follow Me Lesson Plans ready to go. 5 highlights from the scripture reading and include discussion promoting questions.

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59 Comments

  1. Scott Whitaker

    Thank you so much for the outlines on how to teach conference talks. I struggled for a year as an elders quorum instructor. I was stressed out for weeks before it was my turn to teach. I couldnt get much particiaption and didnt feel that the lessons were beneficial to anyone. I was ready to ask to be released. Then I found Divine Code. The last 5 lessons that I had to teach went great. I now get a lot of participation and several positive comments and thank-you’s after my lessons.

    Reply
  2. Anna

    Hi, I wanted to look at your page for Sister Runia’s talk but for some reason it is not opening correctly. I tried it on a few different devices but it didn’t work. Is there anyway I could get the lesson plan file?

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      It works for me…I don’t know!

      Reply
  3. Eldred Sessions

    Been asked to teach Elder’s Quorum lessons. My sweet wife steered me towards your site. Very excited and helpful. I enjoy teaching (being a retired teacher years ago) and now asked to teach again to my Ward brothers.

    Reply
  4. J McD

    Hello! I am a new relief society teacher and I am so grateful I found your site! Thank you for your thoughts and beautiful insights. I get to teach Elder Christofferson’s talk, “the Sealing Power”. It’s been a little tricky for me to wrap my mind around. Do you have any tips or are you planning on doing a lesson highlight on his talk? Thank you so much for your time!

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      I’m working on it and you’re right – it is a little tricky. Expect it by the end of the week.

      Reply
      • J McD

        Thank you so so much! It is perfect, beautiful and just what I need. <3

        Reply
  5. Craig A Berry

    I too was brought to very tender spirtual feelings from this talk and what you have provided is very well done! I think the guy Steve has to get a realignment. My goodness! 🙂

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      Because of a Church assignment, I’ve come to realize we have a lot of traditional and cultural teachings passed off as doctrine. Whenever you push back against tradition, it’s noisy. I’m not surprised by his reaction.

      Reply
  6. Lisa Hurst

    Thank you so much for sharing! I was asked to teach Relief Society this week for the very first time. SCARY!! This helps SOOOOO much!

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It was read and appreciated when you wrote it. Conference time is a crazy busy time on this site and I missed replying. Godspeed your kind, beautiful soul.

      Reply
  7. Steve

    Shawnie, what may be misunderstood in much of this discussion is the question: What is Doctrine? Read what Elder Bednar teaches about what is doctrine. Then the question is what makes someone uncomfortable about Doctrine that is taught. Our Leaders are inspired and I know they seek inspiration fro the Lord in their talk. Does that mean every word spoken comes from God? No! But what they teach does. So can it be said then that if one is uncomfortable with a talk given then they are uncomfortable with the teaching of Christ. I have never been uncomfortable with a talk given, but I may not have understood them all. If I am uncomfortable then I need to look within and find out why and make changes.

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      Just to be clear, you just outlined the false doctrine of infallibility. Our own apostles are publicly more discerning. May your beautiful faith allow you to open your eyes and not fear mortal error and mistakes. Everyone has a learning curve including church leaders. But, the Spirit sheds much light and joy and there is far more of that than anything else. Godspeed.

      Reply
  8. Jeni

    With much respect, I think that if you make the comment that parts of a particular talk are doctrinally incorrect then you should state what those doctrines are so that they might be studied, corrected and understood. If you would rather not share your thoughts, which is understandable, then it might be better to simply state that it wasn’t a talk you chose to work with. While there may be better options to teach from, there is truth in Elder Haynie’s words that may be lost for those that now choose to discredit his talk in its entirety. Just a thought.

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      It’s so easy to critique someone else’s efforts, right? I could write a whole post on Elder Haynie’s efforts and critique his as well. I choose not to do so. My response is honest and I stand by it. If I were to do as you suggest, then it degrades to disputing doctrine and an argument. It is okay to state I was uncomfortable with the talk, my goodness.

      Reply
  9. Heidii

    After this talk we spent a lot of time discussing whether we needed to flatten our water bottles that way… It was a joke from Elder Oaks. I thought it was funny until I realized people were conflicted about smashing water bottles now. This discussion diverged into other unprofitable topics. The prophets have given us spiritual guidance we need to follow to the best of our ability, all of which is more important than temporal things.

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      Oh dear, I’m sorry. Sometimes we have to redirect the discussion by asking a different question or moving to the next quote.

      Reply
  10. Anna DOUGLAS

    Hi Karina! I’m in the same boat! I’m truly thinking of switching with another teacher to skip this all together…..lol! Did you finally give your lesson based on this talk? If not, how’s it coming along? Any tips? Suggestions?
    Thanks!!

    Reply
  11. Barbie

    Hi Shawnee, Are you going to be doing President Oaks talk from April 2023? I’ve been assigned this talk for a RS lesson & am struggling with how to put it together & ask questions. I would appreciate any help!

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      President Oaks gave a list of scriptures and read them off. If I were teaching this lesson. I’d print up the list of scriptures, hand them out to everyone and ask which scripture especially touches them today. Ask them to read it and then share what thoughts they had. Allow additional comments as people raise their hands. Try to echo something they said and acknowledge each comment. Rinse and repeat. For a better experience, ask about 3 people ahead of time, like a week or more, to pick one out, read it and share their thoughts about it.

      Reply
  12. Angela Ocheltree

    I would love to know which statements you are referring to! I am also preparing a lesson for RS and would love to sidestep those statements if possible, so that I can focus on doctrine! Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      I totally understand you asking. My friendly, peaceful advice would be to skip him and use one of the apostles, the prophet or the two sisters who spoke instead. Those talks are more powerful anyway. I would prefer not to pinpoint those statements publicly, that’s not the intent of this site.

      Reply
  13. Karina

    Have you written a highlight for Elder Allen D Haynie’s talk “A living prophet for the latter days”? It’s a talk I’m supposed to give in RS and struggling a bit with it.

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      I actually started on Elder Haynie’s talk and decided I couldn’t highlight or promote his because he made several statements that are not doctrine. They bugged me enough that I put his talk away. I used to work for a dept. of the Church that had me discern between doctrine and cultural teachings – we have lots of cultural teachings! More than most people realize. Since his talk was based on a couple of prominent ones – I skipped him. I hope you will understand and not be offended. Please use “5 Steps to a Lesson” – it’s easier than you think.

      Reply
  14. Brooke P

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! It helps me so much to get the wheels turning on how to prepare my RS lessons.

    Reply
  15. Marie

    So smart. And so good. And many thanks for your recent additions of lesson outlines from our recent conference. Just the ones I personally was hoping you’d cover.

    Reply
  16. Catherine Murray

    Just found your site so far Wonderful looking forward to walking through and filling my spiritual; palate … Question : I’ve been asked to do a monthly RS/EQ ministering message /newsletter and looking for templates or samples do you have any of these???

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      When in RS leadership, I used to tell sisters:

      • Say hello at Church
      • Give a hug
      • Have a chat
      • Learn family names
      • Send a fun text
      • Call on the phone
      • Deliver treats
      • Find common interests
      • Pray for them by name
      • Share a gospel quote

      Hope that helps some!

      Reply
  17. Debbie

    I just want to thank you for your insightful questions and thoughts on these talks. I have been teaching for more years than I can even count and the hardest part has been to come up with discussion questions. I stumbled upon your site and it has been an answer to many prayers about what I need to do. Thank you so very much and also your willingness to share.

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      Debbie, thank you so much for your thoughtful, sisterly kindness. I am so grateful you found this useful. I’m also grateful you have served so much and seek to magnify your calling. Many blessings to you!

      Reply
  18. Wendy Bayles

    Where does it say where your upcoming lesson helps are?

    Reply
  19. Rica Ansuban

    Hi Shawnie, Your tips is really helpful to me as a teacher in RS. I am teaching again in RS class this Sunday about
    President Russel M. Ballard’s talk “Follow Jesus Christ with Footsteps. I saw that your lesson help was coming soon. Anyway it will be posted before Sunday?
    Thank you!

    Reply
  20. Lisa Jones

    Yes, praying for guidance! Thank you so much for your help!

    Reply
  21. Lisa Marie Jones

    Shawnie,
    I cannot figure out how to start my own message and can only reply to yours :). I am teaching RS this Sunday on A Framework for Personal Revelation by Elder Renlund. I saw that your lesson help was coming soon. Anyway it will be posted before Sunday?

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      It is scheduled for Thursday. I have read it through a couple of times and find it a bit challenging. Let’s see how it turns out! I’ve said my prayers.

      Reply
  22. Clifford Frani

    Hello Shawnie, thank you very much for these wonderful lesson guide. As EQ Teacher, it is challenging for me to think of the concepts on how to relay the Conference Talk in an EASY and RELATABLE manner. If it weren’t for your vlog post, I don’t know of to handle things on my own. You’re an inspiring Trainer of the Trainer . 🙂 You really inspire us to go extra mile and be more artistic on every discussion while instilling the values /concepts the the General Conference Speakers want to convey.

    Please know that at every end of my lesson, I keep on mentioning you to my EQ Students and acknowledge your work every time that I am the teacher.

    Regards , from the Philippines!

    Clifford

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      First, thank you for such a great compliment. You are kind to take the time and write this. Second, no one needs to mention my name – the fact that you do says a lot about your strength of humility and generosity. Those are the markings of a wide and deep soul – to give credit to someone else. I try to do that myself whenever possible – I guess it’s a way to show love to a brother or sister. Good luck with your next lesson – Sincerely, your sister in Christ.

      Reply
  23. Lillian M Hatch

    I ordered your Divine Code teaching helps President Nelsons Talk Overcome the World and fine Rest.
    I thought is was going to come in the mail. I cannot print your information. I requested in my order if you cannot deliver it by mail to please cancel my order. Can you help me with this request?
    Lillian Hatch

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      This website doesn’t sell anything and doesn’t take orders. It appears you placed your order on a different website other than Divine Code. Everything on this site is offered without price. Good luck!

      Reply
  24. Samantha

    Shawie – thanks so much for sharing your lessons. It’s been several years since I taught, and I’m teaching in a ward I just moved into a few weeks ago. I don’t really know anyone yet or what resonates with the group. Every time I listened to this talk, so much popped out to me that I was feeling overwhelmed. Your 5 points have really helped reinforce some of my take always and have helped me feel more confident. I love your discussion questions. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      Samantha, I loved your note the day you wrote it. Sorry I’ve taken a week to reply. I am tickled you like this site and that it helps out. I hope your lesson went well. Blessings to you always.

      Reply
  25. Merisa Jensen

    Hi Shawnie, your lesson highlights have been so beneficial to me as a teacher in Relief Society. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for me as I am scheduled to teach from President Nelson’s talk “Now is the Time,” which is basically a five-minute talk that ends with all of the temples being built. I’m not sure how to make a few paragraphs into an hour lesson. Any suggestions would be helpful, if you have time. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      That seems to be an oversight because there are like 3 paragraphs besides the opening greeting and the temple announcements. He does refer back to his Spiritual Momentum talk. I would get back to your leader, explain the challenge and ask permission to also pull from his main talk or use his two sentences about that talk and treat it like a review, pulling from that larger talk without talking to anyone. There’s enough material in that talk for 2 or 3 lessons anyway.

      Reply
  26. Wendy Bayles

    Hi Shawnie, I’ve been preparing my RS lesson from Elder Bednar’s talk, “With the Power of God in Great Glory” I’m so grateful for your 5 highlights on this talk. You are definitely right, his talks take effort to study, but it’s definitely worth it! I’m truly grateful for your inspiration and help for me on sharing this discussion with my class.

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      Wendy, I hope your lesson went wonderfully. Elder Bednar is definitely a keeper. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and encouragement – they go a long ways.

      Reply
  27. Shane Orton

    I lead the discussion in Elders quorum once a month, I say lead not teach because I am definitely NOT! a teacher, I really struggle with talking in front of people, be it in class or bearing my testimony, which I’ve only.done once, or the dreaded Sacrament talk! And I struggle to come up with questions for class etc, but since I’ve found this resource, it’s helped alot! I feel almost like km cheating because I’ll use your questions for a specific talk, which for tomorrow is The need for a church, I still struggle and am still uncomfortable leading but I appreciate your hard work and effort that helps those of us that need some guidance!

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      I loved everything you shared in your comment. Other people need to hear it because most people called to teach feel inadequate or nervous. That is normal – and no wonder – it really is a big deal to get up in front of people. The Savior designed his Church to grow us and this is definitely a growth experience. I used to be a terrible teacher. Somehow I kept getting called and I figured a few things out along the way. Bless your heart. I would love to be in your class when you teach.

      Reply
      • Shane Orton

        Thank you slot of people tell me I’m doing good but it sure doesnt feel like I to me! But like we’re taught, we sometimes get callings not for what we can do for others but what can help us grow.

        Reply
    • Mic Gibbons

      I couldn’t agree more Shane! I love this website

      Reply
      • Shawnie Cannon

        Thank you Mic – what a delightful comment!

        Reply
  28. Dawn

    I have the hardest time simplifying when I teach. Your tips have been an answer to prayer, literally.

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      Your comment is so touching. I am pleased to connect with you! Blessings to you as you lift the faith of others.

      Reply
  29. pamelaruben1991

    I am a counselor in our Relief Society and I am so grateful for your work! It doesn’t often happen, but sometimes one of our teachers can’t make it and I have to step in with only a day or two to prepare. Your lesson helps save me! They give me an outline (well more than that, actually) and enable me to put together an emergency lesson with very little stress.
    I really appreciate it, thanks!

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      Bless your heart for all you do for your sisters. I’ve been in that spot a few times myself.

      Reply
  30. Susi Pipkin

    Priesthood Session with Dallin H. Oaks speaking “What has our Savior done for us? Unable to access the 5 points of this talk via face book. Please help.

    Reply
    • Shawnie Cannon

      Hi Susi, I haven’t written 5 highlights for this lesson – sorry!

      Reply

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