5 Highlights for “Covenant Confidence through Jesus Christ” by Elder Soares

by | Apr 24, 2024

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5 Quotes Plus Discussion-Promoting Questions

See also Teaching Helps

Elder Soares gave an amazing talk at this last General Conference. It is full of direction and power, and I love his words and clear delivery. Elder Soares points the way to a fulfilling spiritual life.

You can find his full talk 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 with Lesson Template 1 or Template 2. You can also check out several other General Conference Talks with 5 Highlights.

All blue quotes by Elder Ulisses Soares (unless otherwise noted).

Lesson Prep

At least a week ahead of time, I would assign 2 to 3 people to read a quote from the lesson and be ready to share their thoughts on that quote in class. Try to ask people who don’t speak up all the time. The discussion quality often increases when you give people time to think about the quotes and/or questions.

Please do not worry about covering every quote! Quality discussion makes a lasting impact; sometimes, your group needs to discuss one topic more than another.

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Quote #1 (confidence)

Possible engagement tool: Ask your class to share what it feels like to have confidence. Write or post the definition of confidence on the board. Either use one of their definitions or the following definition:

confidence: A feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own developed abilities or qualities. Not in an arrogant way, but in a realistic, secure way.

Possible activity: Have your class help pull out the power we get from covenants. (Accept all reasonable answers.) And then list the blessings.

Power to

  • change our hearts
  • renew our spirits
  • deepen our relationship with God

Blessings

  • sanctifies our souls
  • experience a sacred bond with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
  • inherit (exalted) eternal life
  • increased confidence in everyday life

Possible discussion questions: What stands out for you today from this quote; what words or phrases make an impression? (If they say “all of them,” say, “Okay, let’s pick one and talk about it. Who would like to pick one”?) How does having confidence improve our daily lives? What happens when we lack confidence? Has anyone experienced one of the powers or blessings Elder Soares brings up? What happened, or what does that feel like? (Be prepared to share one of your own if you don’t get responses after waiting a few seconds.)

Possible engagement tool: Tell your class that sincerely devoting ourselves to sacred covenants increases our finer capacities and reflexes over time. Elder Soares mentions several of them in the following quote.

Possible activity: Have your class name the abilities that Elder Soares mentions. It is not necessary to name all of them. You can write them on the board, but I suggest you do this verbally for variety. Ask, “Who can name one ability that Elder Soares mentions in this quote.” (Accept all reasonable answers and attempts to participate.)

Personal Abilities

  • increased gratitude and devotion to Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice
  • increased ability to love and serve others
  • feel strength in a dark, discouraging world
  • overcome (1) doubt and despair, (2) fear and frustration, (3) heartache and hopelessness
  • stronger hearts against the buffeting, influence, and negativity of Satan

Possible discussion questions: Which of these abilities do you especially appreciate today? (If they say “all of them,” say, “Okay, let’s pick one and talk about it. Who would like to pick one”?) Does anyone have an experience with one of these they would like to share? (Be prepared to share one of your own if you don’t get responses after waiting a few seconds.)

Possible Final Question: How valuable are these powers, blessings, and abilities in today’s chaotic world?

Quote #2 (talk)

Possible visual aid: Post this question on the board: Is there someone in your life who might need to hear about your confidence and devotion to covenants?

Possible discussion questions: Why is it important to talk to family and friends about the positive good of sacred covenants and our experiences with them? How does it help us to be in class together and discuss them? Who have you talked to about making covenants and how they bless us? What’s a good way to share our thoughts about covenants and devotion in a natural way? (Accept all reasonable answers – perhaps talk about how you feel after you’ve been to the temple and the difference it makes or share a special moment.)

Quote #3 (preparation)

Possible engagement tool: Tell your class that Elder Soares used the word “prepare” or “preparation” ten times during his talk. As they listen to the following quote, ask them to think about what helps them prepare for the temple and have a better experience.

Possible discussion questions: How do you feel in the temple? Is it possible for us to have more powerful experiences in the temple, more often? What might help prepare you for a better experience in the temple? (Accept all reasonable answers – for me, one of my favorites is arriving earlier than needed and reading scriptures in the temple chapel.) You don’t need to share what it was, but has anyone had a personal revelation in the temple?

Quote #4 (growth)

The Lord expects a lot and gives even more. But His expectations are entirely for our benefit.

Elder Soares uses “be prepared” in the same way one would say, “be willing to do something” or “make yourself ready or able to do something.”

Being “prepared to understand” means being open to inspiration and instructions from the Spirit.

Possible discussion questions: (Accept all reasonable answers and attempts to participate.) Why is it important to understand our covenants with great clarity? How does being willing to experience our privileges and responsibilities change our experience with covenants? How does one center their life on Jesus Christ and the temple covenants?

Quote #5 (unkind)

This quote hangs on my office wall.

Possible discussion questions: How do unkind feelings cast away our confidence? Why do words matter? (Accept all reasonable answers – then read the verse.)

Possible discussion question: What can we do about unkind feelings? (One possible answer – Consciously choose not to dwell on them) What is the fastest way to have better words and actions? (Accept all reasonable answers – PRAY FOR HELP; work on your heart, thoughts, attitude, and mindset. Pray for more help every day.)

attitude: frame of mind, way of thinking, mental state, point of view, OVERRIDING SENTIMENT

mindset: perspective, philosophy, temperament

Possible discussion question: Have you ever prayed when you needed help with your feelings or anger?

Summary

Summarize class discussion highlights and/or share your testimony and feelings about Elder Soares’s talk. Thank your class for their excellent contributions and insights.

Final Comment

Elder Soares has a wonderful way of teaching powerful truths in a simple, straightforward way. Thank you so much for studying and sharing these truths with your class. Our world needs teachers who prepare themselves so the Spirit can teach and testify.

Teach with confidence, and if you would like some tips on how to feel more confident while teaching – try “9 Tips for More Class Participation.” May the Spirit bless and guide your efforts.

PDFs for Download – click the blue word links to view online.

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1 Comment

  1. Shelagh Jakins

    Thank you for your work in helping us with these lessons! While I don’t always follow your outline exactly it gives me a good starting point and I have learned a lot from your outlines and my lessons usually turn out great!

    Reply

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