5 Quotes Plus Discussion-Promoting Questions
See also Teaching Helps
Elder Rasband gives us a needed reminder to look for God’s power in our lives. When we look, more miracles and tender mercies become obvious – our gratitude facilitates more to happen. Peace is one of the most important miracles.
His complete talk can be found here. Unless you opt to spend a lot of time on a particular quote, try to pick around 2 questions per quote. Choose the questions that resonate the most with you and make a meaningful discussion for your group of personalities. These highlights and questions fit right in with Lesson Template 1 or Template 2. You can also check out several other General Conference Talks with 5 Highlights.
All quotes by Ronald A. Rasband and in blue (unless otherwise noted).
Quote #1 (More Than You Realize)
Elder Ronald A. Rasband uses some helpful descriptive words to define miracles.
Many of you have witnessed miracles, more than you realize. They may seem small in comparison to Jesus raising the dead. But the magnitude does not distinguish a miracle, only that it came from God. Some suggest that miracles are simply coincidences or sheer luck. But the prophet Nephi condemned those who would “put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain.”
Miracles are wrought by divine power by Him who is “mighty to save.” Miracles are extensions of God’s eternal plan; miracles are a lifeline from heaven to earth.
Possible blackboard activity: Let’s take a look at some of these descriptions about miracles. Which definition stands out for you today and why?
- The size of miracles doesn’t matter
- Miracles are wrought by divine power
- Miracles are extensions of God’s plan
- Miracles are a lifeline from heaven to earth
Possible questions: Have you ever looked back on an experience or an event and realized Heaven had a hand in the outcome? “Tender mercies” is another term for small, personalized miracles. What tender mercies have you seen in your life recently? How do you feel about Elder Rasband’s statement that there may be more miracles than you realize? Do you believe that God is intentionally involved in your life? What helps you to feel close to Him or see His involvement?
Quote #2 (a miracle story)
Let me introduce you to Jorge – a true friend from Ecuador. When my husband and I visited the country a month ago, Jorge made sure we had contacts and someone to show us around the capital city of Quito, even though he was five hours away in another town. His thoughtfulness blessed our lives immensely.
Recently, Jorge and his family were featured in a Church film about miracles and the Savior. The film opens with the story about the Savior calming the seas. Since it is in Spanish with no subtitles, I cut that part out but wanted to mention it.
Jorge’s story is in Spanish, but the English subtitles are clear, and his story is super touching. It’s worth the time and matches Elder Rasband’s talk so completely. (Approx 5 minutes)
Jeffrey R. Holland said: “There will always be more blessings than burdens—even if some days it doesn’t seem so.”
Possible Activity: Invite group members to share how hard times have blessed them and what they learned about God and themselves. You can assign a couple of people ahead of time and then invite additional sharing from the class, especially if hands go up.
Quote #3 (broadcast miracle)
Note: If you are pressed for time, this is the quote I would skip.
Elder Rasband shares the miracle of the restoration of power right before an important young adult broadcast. Because of its length – I would summarize this story or have someone else give a 1-minute version of the event. I included it here for convenience:
Last fall Sister Rasband and I were on our way to Goshen, Utah, for a worldwide Face to Face event being broadcast to over 600,000 people in 16 different languages. The program was to focus on the events of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, with questions submitted by young adults from around the world. Sister Rasband and I had personally reviewed the questions; they gave us the opportunity to testify of Joseph Smith as a prophet of God, the power of revelation in our lives, the ongoing Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the truths and commandments that we treasure. Many listening today were part of that miraculous event.
Initially the broadcast was to originate in the Sacred Grove in upstate New York, where, as Joseph Smith testified: “I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” That, brothers and sisters, was a miracle.
The worldwide pandemic forced us to relocate the broadcast to Goshen, Utah, where The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has re-created, for filming, a section of old Jerusalem. Sister Rasband and I were within a few miles of Goshen that Sunday evening when we saw thick smoke coming from the direction of our destination. Wildfires were blazing in the area, and we worried the broadcast might be at risk. Sure enough, at 20 minutes to 6:00, our broadcast time, the power in the entire complex went out. No power! No broadcast. There was one generator that some thought we might be able to power up, but there was no assurance it could sustain the sophisticated equipment at hand.
All of us on the program, including narrators, musicians, and technicians—even 20 young adults from our own extended family—were fully invested in what was to take place. I stepped away from their tears and confusion and pleaded with the Lord for a miracle. “Heavenly Father,” I prayed, “I have rarely asked for a miracle, but I am asking for one now. This meeting must happen for all our young adults around the world. We need the power to go on if it be Thy will.”
Seven minutes after 6:00, as quickly as the power had gone out, it came back on. Everything started working, from the music and microphones to the videos and all the transmission equipment. We were off and running. We had experienced a miracle.
As Sister Rasband and I were in the car returning home later that evening, President and Sister Nelson texted us with this message: “Ron, we want you to know that as soon as we heard the power was out, we prayed for a miracle.”
Possible Activity: If you have not already done so – invite several people ahead of time to share a miracle in their own life.
Possible questions: What stands out for you about this story? When they were not able to utilize the Grove for their broadcast – they relocated the whole event. How is that an important message for us in our personal lives? What can happen when we unite in prayer? Have you ever prayed for someone else and witnessed a miracle or tender mercy happen? Why are prayers an important part of the process of miracles?
Quote #4 (probably not made to order)
Our suggested/wanted answers to our prayers are sometimes not His answers to our prayers.
Miracles can come as answers to prayer. They are not always what we ask for or what we expect, but when we trust in the Lord, He will be there, and He will be right. He will suit the miracle to the moment we need it.
There are times we hope for a miracle to heal a loved one, to reverse an unjust act, or to soften the heart of a bitter or disillusioned soul. Looking at things through mortal eyes, we want the Lord to intervene, to fix what is broken. Through faith, the miracle will come, though not necessarily on our timetable or with the resolution we desired. Does that mean we are less than faithful or do not merit His intervention? No. We are beloved of the Lord. He gave His life for us, and His Atonement continues to release us from burdens and sin as we repent and draw close to Him.
There are times I’ve hoped for a miracle to fix a broken situation, and instead – I came out of the process stronger, wiser, and often with some new skill or understanding. Now I pray for a larger heart and greater understanding when dealing with difficult people or circumstances. That’s the best outcome you can hope for because it steers and blesses your life with increased capacity moving forward. Trusting God and trusting the process is an important way to worship God.
Possible questions: Do you trust God? What helps you to trust God and His answers to our prayers? Have you ever been thankful for unanswered prayers? Do we sometimes think we see the whole picture of our lives only to realize that God had an even bigger, better picture for us later? What unexpected answers have you received, and how did they bless your life?
Quote #5 (peace)
The Lord has reminded us, “Neither are your ways my ways.” He offers, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”—rest from worry, disappointment, fear, disobedience, concern for loved ones, for lost or broken dreams. Peace amidst confusion or sorrow is a miracle. Remember the Lord’s words: “Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?” The miracle is that Jesus Christ, the Great Jehovah, the Son of the Highest, is responding with peace.
This may be one of the most important lessons of my life…that sometimes our problems don’t go away, but our ability to face them and be equal to them increases after prayer, fasting, and/or temple attendance. Now, sometimes I pray and ask, “please make me equal to or greater than what I face.” Peace, confidence, and well-being are fruits of the Spirit.
Possible questions: By raise of hands, have you ever experienced unlikely peace during or after a hard experience? Who would like to share? How did you feel? What brings you peace today? How can you find peace when others are not peaceful?
I am so grateful you took the time to prep yourself for this discussion. You bless the lives of others and increase understanding all around. Blessings to you.