5 Quotes Plus Discussion-Promoting Questions
See also Teaching Helps
Elder Eyring’s talk is easy to listen to and hard to turn into a lesson. I think it is because he interlaces his main ideas throughout his talk so that the beginning, middle, and end sound much like each other. It’s challenging to pull out different ideas. I hope this lesson plan is helpful!
You can find Elder Eyring’s 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 right in with Lesson Template 1 or Template 2. You can also check out several other General Conference Talks with 5 Highlights.
All blue quotes by Henry B. Eyring (unless otherwise noted).
Possible Quote Sequence
- .I would do 1, 2, 4, 3, and 5 in that order. Please do not expect to cover them all. We’re here to discuss these topics because that is how people learn. Discussion deepens the concepts. It’s better to do just 2 quotes with lots of discussion than 5 quotes with minimal discussion.
Quote #1 (test)
I encourage you to continue striving to qualify to return to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Wherever you are on the covenant path, you will find a struggle against the physical trials of mortality and the opposition of Satan.
As my mother told me when I complained of how hard something was, “Oh, Hal, of course it’s hard. It’s supposed to be. Life is a test.”
She could say that calmly, even with a smile, because she knew two things. Regardless of the struggle, what would matter most would be to arrive at home to be with her Heavenly Father. And she knew she could do it through faith in her Savior.
Possible discussion questions: How does knowing struggles and setbacks are expected – helpful to you? (Accept all reasonable answers – I would say I don’t feel singled out and ill-favored by God when I have them.) Elder Eyring’s mother described life as a test. What does that mean to you? How can we pass that test? (accept all reasonable answers. Mine is to prioritize God and demonstrate faith in the Savior personally. Develop a relationship with Him.) Have you ever known someone who could stay positive and pleasant even when life goes wrong? Do we sometimes need to work on our negativity? (my answer…oh yes! I live for the day when I can handle all the bumps with grace and light-heartedness)
Quote #2 (meekness)
As much as I love this quote, I think Elder Soares said it even more powerfully. His quote is included here in case you would like to use it along with Elder Eyring’s or even in place of it.
“But behold, my beloved brethren, I judge better things of you, for I judge that ye have faith in Christ because of your meekness; for if ye have not faith in him then ye are not fit to be numbered among the people of his church.”
Mormon saw meekness as evidence of the strength of their faith. He saw that they felt dependent on the Savior. He encouraged them by noting that faith. Mormon continued giving them encouragement by helping them see that their faith and meekness would build their assurance and their confidence of success
Meekness is one of the most vital attributes we can strive for. Elder Soares does a beautiful job of describing meekness.
“Mormon taught that a man “cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.” He added that without such attributes, “faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart.”
“Meekness is vital for us to become more Christlike. Without it we won’t be able to develop other important virtues. Being meek does not mean weakness but behaving with goodness and kindness, showing strength, serenity, healthy self-worth, and self-control.
“Meekness was one of the most abundant attributes in the Savior’s life. He Himself taught His disciples, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” (Be Meek and Lowly of Heart – Oct 2013)
(Elder Soares also noted only the meek get answers to their prayers.)
Possible discussion questions: How would you compare the world’s perception of meekness to our gospel definition of meekness? Is meekness a subservient or weak attribute? How can the Savior be mighty and yet meek and lowly of heart? (He knows everything he has and can do was given to Him by the Father.) Elder Soares gave a list of meek attributes – which one stands out for you and why?:
- behaving with goodness and kindness
- showing strength
- healthy self-worth
Another possible question: What kinds of moments make charity the most difficult? (I would say baggage that builds up in family relationships and forms bad knee-jerk reactions and bad habits)
Quote #3 (pure)
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
“But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure.”
charity: kindness, compassion, affection, generosity, goodwill, grace, love, mercy, tenderheartedness, fellow feeling
Possible discussion questions: How much priority is placed on charity in our age and culture? What importance does charity have in your personal life? How would you describe the attribute of charity to a friend? Have you ever fallen short of the pure love of Christ? How can we increase our charity? (I think, perhaps, purposely challenge yourself to practice it, pray for it regularly, and review your reactions and attitudes often.)
Quote #4 (ministering)
I love this nod to ministering! It’s short, simple, and to the point.
All of us need such encouraging examples and loving friends.
[Isn’t that the whole point of ministering?]
When you sit with someone as their ministering sister or brother, you represent the Lord. Think of what He would do or say. He would invite them to come unto Him. He would encourage them. He would notice and praise the beginning of the changes they will need to make.
When it comes to ministering – these are my favorite references:
President Jean B. Bingham (General Relief Society) asks, “What Does Ministering Look Like? It looks like going for a walk, getting together for a game night, offering service, or even serving together. It looks like visiting in person or talking on the phone or chatting online, or texting. It looks like delivering a birthday card and cheering at a soccer game. It looks like sharing a scripture or quote from a conference talk that would be meaningful to that individual. It looks like discussing a gospel question and sharing testimony to bring clarity and peace. It looks like becoming part of someone’s life and caring about him or her.” (Ministering As the Savior Does – April 2018)
The Church’s Ministering website lists these six priorities for ministering:
- Make contact with those to whom you have been assigned to minister. This can be done in a variety of ways. Reach out to them in person; by phone, text message, or social media; or even with a letter.
- Get to know them. Learn about their lives, relationships, and circumstances. By doing so, you’ll be able to anticipate their needs and either meet those needs yourself or call on your ward leadership to access additional resources.
- Become a friend by letting them know that you care. Make the effort to be the kind of friend that they need.
- Pray for them and for guidance. Nobody knows the needs of those you are assigned to minister to better than Heavenly Father. Seek His help and pray for inspiration to serve them in the best way—His way. Finding inspired answers to questions you have and using all available methods for making contact are key to inspired ministering.
- Minister to them in individualized and customized ways to fit their needs.
- Maintain the relationship. Life can change quickly for people. Regularly touch base with those to whom you minister, and you’ll be better prepared to help and serve them when needs arise.
Ministering went from “scheduled visiting teaching” to “spontaneous friendship.” Be yourself and be spontaneous – the Spirit is very spontaneous. Ministering will probably be mostly one-on-one (like the Good Samaritan). Phone calls, texting, letters, social media, and being a true friend certainly describe individual acts. There is no emphasis on waiting or coordinating ministering with your companion’s schedule. If the Spirit prompts you, it’s time to minister.
Possible discussion questions: What does ministering mean to you? In what ways can ministering be an essential part of Church life? Have you ever gotten the impression to do something for someone else? What happened? Are impressions usually timed well, like when we have lots of time on our hands? (Seldom.) Why is it important to pay attention to promptings?
Quote #5 (gift)
I would use this as a closing quote if you have time.
The Savior knows your struggles in detail. He knows your great potential to grow in faith, hope, and charity.
The commandments and covenants He offers you are not tests to control you. They are a gift to lift you toward receiving all the gifts of God and returning home to your Heavenly Father and the Lord, who love you.
Summarize class discussion highlights and/or share your testimony and feelings about Elder Eyring’s talk. Thank your class for their excellent contributions and insights.
Elder Eyring is such a sweetheart. We enjoy his wisdom and his unique perspectives on gospel truths. You were asked to teach this lesson for a reason – you have valuable insights and have prepared yourself. (Thank you!) Have faith in your calling or assignment. Talk less and listen to your people more. Discussion is invaluable for deepening people’s understanding.
Put the quotes in any order that makes sense to you. If you would like tips on how to feel more confident while teaching – try “9 Tips for More Class Participation.“