5 Highlights for “Motions of a Hidden Fire” by President Jeffrey R. Holland

by | Apr 18, 2024

man in suit speaking at podium

5 Quotes Plus Discussion-Promoting Questions

See also Teaching Helps

President Jeffrey R. Holland gave one of the most memorable talks of his apostolic ministry. This talk is one you’ll want to read again and ponder. It makes for a meaningful lesson.

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 President Jeffrey R. Holland (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 (prayer)

President Holland spent a lot of time on prayer and instilled a clear urgency to pray more often and with more intention/effort. Below are five selected quotes on prayer from his talk—use any or all of them and put them in any order the Spirit prompts you.

Possible engagement tool: Tell the class we’re about to read a series of quotes about prayer by President Jeffrey R. Holland. Invite them to listen for promptings about their own prayers as we listen to these quotes.

Quote A

Possible activity: Have your class read these four quotes AFTER you ask the question: What does it mean to “ask not amiss”? (Accept all reasonable answers – then read the quotes.)

Possible visual aid: Put Elder Pearson’s bolded sentence on the board When we align our will with Heavenly Father’s will, answers and spiritual power will flow more freely.

Possible discussion questions: Why is prayer more powerful when we make it about changing us rather than changing circumstances? What does it mean to seek God’s will? What did Elder Pearson say will allow us to pray with more faith – how would you explain that to a friend?

Online Discussion

For an interesting online discussion on the social media platform ‘X’ about this topic – See people’s responses to the question: How would you explain or describe to a friend what “ask not amiss” means”?

social media X post
What does amiss mean?

Quote B

Possible discussion questions: What happens to the quality and experience of your prayers when you say them out loud—why is President Holland urging us to say prayers vocally whenever possible? How do you carry a prayer in your heart at other times? (I describe it as keeping an open conversation in your heart.)

Quote C

Possible discussion questions: Did you know that sincere prayer is considered a form of worship? Who else should we pray with? (Accept all reasonable answers – alone, families and groups of people) Have you ever used prayer to help you with a temptation or a weakness? (I sometimes plead to have help with my negative thoughts or feelings.) According to President Holland, is there ever a time we should not pray? How does God feel about our efforts to pray? (“…God, who yearns to communicate with His children at any and all times.)

Quote D

I sometimes pray that my enemies and those who despitefully use me can have the experiences and insights they need to walk higher paths. I pray the same for myself, then everyone wins.

Possible discussion questions: Has anyone ever started praying, not knowing what you would say ahead of time – but the words came anyway? Have you ever been surprised by the words that came out as you prayed or how your thoughts turned to entirely different perspectives and solutions? (Share a personal experience if you can)

Quote E

Possible discussion questions: Why is it important to know Jesus Christ prayed very often when He was on earth? What point is President Holland making when he says the Savior stood, knelt, and fell on his face when praying? (We can pray in every position and still be heard. I often say vocal prayers while walking a nature/woods trail behind our property. They might be some of my best prayers.)

Quote #2 (know me)

Possible discussion questions: How do you plan for eternal life? (Accept all reasonable answers – expect that you may find yourself on the other side of the veil at any moment, and you will reap according to the life you are living now.)

Possible activity: Have your class help you identify ways the Savior can recognize us as his disciples.

  • thoroughly committed
  • faithfully believing
  • covenant keeping

Possible discussion question: Read Doctrine and Covenants 41:5 and then ask, “Why does the Savior “knowing” us depend on our actions?”

Quote #3 (great faith)

Possible engagement tool: Ask your class to listen for what Elder Holland asks us to have more faith in.

Possible activity: Have your class help you answer this question, “What did President Holland tell us we need to have more faith in”?

  • angels
  • miracles
  • promises of the holy priesthood
  • gift of the Holy Ghost
  • the influence of good families and friends
  • power of Christ’s pure love
  • revelation
  • prophets
  • President Russell M. Nelson
  • powerful personal revelation of our own

Possible discussion question: Pick ONE you have a lot of faith in from our list and tell us what it means to you. Why is faith so important to us? How does your faith bring you peace and confidence in this troubled world?

Quote #4 (throne)

Possible engagement tool: Invite your class to listen to the eloquent way President Holland describes repentance.

Possible simple discussion question: What stands out for you from this quote? Can repentance sometimes make our prayers more powerful experiences? Read Luke 18:10-14 and then ask, “How does God feel about us when we confess our weaknesses, mistakes, and sins?”

Summary

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

Final Comment

This is a beautiful lesson on prayer and a more moving experience with God. Elder Holland has gifted us with deep inspiration, and his love and earnestness toward us are felt and heard. Thank you for preparing yourself to teach a memorable lesson! We love our teachers.

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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