5 Quotes Plus Discussion-Promoting Questions
See also Teaching Helps
This delightful, “heartfelt” talk is about finding balance and the strength to do everything we know we should. Through charming and straightforward analogies, Elder Uchtdorf makes balance an achievable goal. Contemplating this talk has incredibly blessed my life and given me hope.
It was tough to turn “Our Heartfelt All” into a lesson; this is one of those talks you just want to hit the “play” button and not miss a word. However, re-playing conference talks videos is not an effective way to get people engaged. It’s too much information all at once, and the better share of your group will zone out. Videos reduce the amount of discussion and learning that takes place.
The best lesson prep is to painfully pick out five great discussion points and be happy with the quality experience your Relief Society or Elders Quorum will undoubtedly have.
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 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 Dieter F. Uchtdorf and in blue (unless otherwise noted).
Possible Lesson Plan: Whichever quote you feel is the most inspiring content for your group should come first. For me, that would be 2, 3, 4, 1, and 5.
Quote #1 (how is it possible)
After going through these five highlights, you may decide to skip #1 or use it as the last quote if you have time. See “Possible Lesson Plans” at the end of this quote.
Also, this quote could be an intro rather than a discussion point.
Because of the number of quotable quotes from Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk – quickly summarize the story of the widow’s mite, like a 2-3 sentence version. Here’s something I might say:
Elder Uchtdorf started his talk by sharing the story of the widow’s mite; who, you might remember, only put two mites into the temple treasury for the poor. The Savior said she gave the most of all because she gave everything she had.
With this simple observation, the Savior taught us how offerings are measured in His kingdom—and it’s quite different from the way we usually measure things. To the Lord, the value of the donation was measured not by the effect it had on the treasury but by the effect it had on the heart of the donor.
In praising this faithful widow, the Savior gave us a standard to measure our discipleship in all of its many expressions. Jesus taught that our offering may be large or it may be small, but either way, it must be our heartfelt all.
But how is this possible? To many of us, such a standard of whole-souled commitment seems out of reach. We are already stretched so thin. How can we balance the many demands of life with our desires to offer our whole souls to the Lord?
The last question is the basis for the whole talk. If you’ve ever looked for balance, more energy, or motivation – Elder Uchtdorf is a great help.
Possible lesson plans
Because of the amount of material – you may opt to skip quote #1 and start with Elder Uchtdorf’s central question. Something like, “Elder Uchtdorf asks, “How can we balance the many demands of life with our desires to offer our whole souls to the Lord”? Let’s talk about his suggestions.”
Start with quote #2 or any other quote.
Another lesson option: Save quote #1 for the end. Use Elder Uchtdorf’s main question to wrap up the lesson and let people volunteer what they’ve learned. Start the class with quote #2 or any other quote instead.
Quote #2 (balance)
Possible Intro: Elder Uchtdorf told several stories during his last General Conference talk. One was about him and his wife riding bikes together, and he said:
“…whenever I watch someone learning to ride a bike for the first time, I’m reminded that it’s not easy balancing yourself on those two narrow wheels. It takes time. It takes practice. It takes patience. It even takes falling down a time or two.
Most of all, those who succeed in balancing on a bicycle learn these important tips:
Don’t look at your feet.
Keep your eyes on the road in front of you. Focus on your destination. And get pedaling. Staying balanced is all about moving forward.
Similar principles apply when it comes to finding balance in our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. How to distribute your time and energy among your many important tasks will vary from person to person and from one season of life to another. But our common, overall objective is to follow the Way of our Master, Jesus Christ, and return to the presence of our beloved Father in Heaven. This objective must remain constant and consistent, whoever we are and whatever else is happening in our lives.
balance: harmony, proportion, steadfastness, composure, stability, self-control, poise
Tip: Avoid asking questions with the intent to identify right and wrong answers (like playing “guess what I’m thinking.”) Validate every answer and learning curve that you can. Positive feedback invites more participation.
Possible questions: Given these definitions of “balance,” which word stands out for you today? Why? What is the top priority in finding balance (accept all answers)? What are some examples of looking at our feet? What does Elder Uchtdorf tell us to keep our eyes on? (follow Christ)
Quote #3 (lift)
Elder Uchtdorf ties “moving forward” on a bicycle together with airplane “lift.”
Put simply, an aircraft flies only when air is moving over its wings. That movement creates differences in air pressure that give the plane lift. And how do you get enough air moving over the wings to create lift? The answer is forward thrust.
The airplane gains no altitude sitting on the runway. Even on a windy day, enough lift isn’t created unless the airplane is moving forward, with enough thrust to counteract the forces holding it back.
Just as forward momentum keeps a bicycle balanced and upright, moving forward helps an aircraft overcome the pull of gravity and drag.
What does this mean for us as disciples of Jesus Christ? It means that if we want to find balance in life, and if we want the Savior to lift us heavenward, then our commitment to Him and His gospel can’t be casual or occasional. Like the widow at Jerusalem, we must offer Him our whole souls. Our offering may be small, but it must come from our heart and soul.
I interpreted this to mean we need to 1) “move forward” to find more balance and 2) the lift comes from engaging the Savior with our hearts and souls.
Possible questions: What is the difference between “moving forward” on a bicycle and an airplane’s “forward thrust”? (How much seeking the Savior and His work that we put into our everyday lives.) What are some habits or actions that would create a forward thrust? (Dedicated prayer, purposeful gospel study, thoughtful actions and words for others, outreach, forgiveness, journaling, magnify your calling, be fully present at church on Sunday, go to classes, contribute to the ward’s well-being, ministering, etc.)
Quote #4 (sacrifice vs. consecration)
Possible quick intro
“It requires letting some things go and letting other things grow.”
- Write the above short quote on the board.
- Tell the class – When comparing sacrifice and consecration, Elder Uchtdorf said, “It requires letting some things go and letting other things grow.”
- Which one is sacrifice? (letting some things go)
- And which one is consecration? (letting other things grow)
This simple exercise will help people internalize Elder Uchtdorf’s points in the next couple of quotes.
And what about the many tasks and responsibilities that make our lives so busy? Spending time with loved ones, going to school or preparing for an occupation, earning a living, caring for family, serving in the community—where does it all fit in? The Savior reassures us:
“Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
We all have things, large and small, we need to sacrifice in order to follow Jesus Christ more completely. Our sacrifices show what we truly value. Sacrifices are sacred and honored by the Lord.
Possible questions: As we read this quote, something probably came to your mind that needs to be let go – does anyone mind sharing what came to you?
(I deleted all video games off my iPad and phone – I’m replacing them with more productive and uplifting go-to’s. I set up some cross-stitching and put some books I’ve always meant to read by my bed. I also made an ongoing list of little physical activities to do whenever I need a break from brain work. The list includes stuff in the yard and around the house that will feel good to get out of the way. The list has no deadlines nor expiration dates – so there is no pressure. It is working like a charm!)
More possible questions: What happens when we include plenty of God in our AM morning routine? Has anyone ever noticed that the amount of time in a day improves when you put God first? Why are sacrifices good for us? (they build character and stamina) Have you ever sacrificed something to be closer to God?
Consecration is different from sacrifice in at least one important way. When we consecrate something, we don’t leave it to be consumed upon the altar. Rather, we put it to use in the Lord’s service. We dedicate it to Him and His holy purposes. We receive the talents that the Lord has given us and strive to increase them, manifold, to become even more helpful in building the Lord’s kingdom.
Possible questions: What kinds of things could we consecrate which would help build the Lord’s kingdom? Elder Uchtdorf mentions “letting other things grow.” What are real-life examples of this? Would anyone mind sharing something they feel inspired to let grow? (Be prepared to give an example if no one offers. When you are forthcoming, you free others to be more open.)
Quote #5 (one)
This quote is a summary of the previous ones. It makes a nice closing if you have time.
As we seek to purify our lives and look unto Christ in every thought, everything else begins to align. Life no longer feels like a long list of separate efforts held in tenuous balance.
Over time, it all becomes one work.
One holy purpose.
It is the work of loving and serving God. It is loving and serving God’s children.
When we look at our lives and see a hundred things to do, we feel overwhelmed. When we see one thing—loving and serving God and His children, in a hundred different ways—then we can work on those things with joy.
This is how we offer our whole souls—by sacrificing anything that’s holding us back and consecrating the rest to the Lord and His purposes.
Summarize class discussion highlights and/or share your testimony and feelings about Elder Uchtdorf’s talk. Thank your class for their excellent contributions and insights.
I am entirely impressed you went out of your way to look for additional resources to teach. Your efforts bring a better quality experience to your group of personalities. God BLESS you. Have faith in what you feel drawn to teach. If you would like some tips on how to feel more confident while teaching – try “9 Tips for More Class Participation.” Please put the five quotes in any order that makes sense to you.