5 Quotes Plus Discussion-Promoting Questions
See also Teaching Helps
Why two parts? President Nelson’s Sunday morning talk was 19 minutes long and full of substantial doctrine. He prophesied; he left a blessing on us. If there was ever a talk meant to be reread – this is it! Please see Part I for 5 highlights from the first half of President Nelson’s talk.
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 blue quotes by President Nelson (unless otherwise noted).
Possible Quote Sequence
- If I were teaching, I’d probably do Quote #2, #3, #4, #5, and #1 – in that order. I would budget the most time for quotes #2 and #3.
Quote #1 (lighter burdens)
First, President Nelson asks the question:
How does overcoming the world bless our lives?
“The answer is clear: entering into a covenant relationship with God binds us to Him in a way that makes everything about life easier. Please do not misunderstand me: I did not say that making covenants makes life easy. In fact, expect opposition, because the adversary does not want you to discover the power of Jesus Christ. But yoking yourself with the Savior means you have access to His strength and redeeming power.”
Possible quick question: What does a “covenant relationship” mean to you?
It seems like President Nelson contradicts his first statement, “entering into a covenant relationship with God…makes everything about life easier. He turns right around and says “I did not say that making covenants makes life easy.”
Possible quick discussion: How can both President Nelson’s statements be true?
If no one has immediate or partial answers – Consider sharing this scripture from Mosiah 24:14-15. It’s the story of Amulon (the wicked priest), who put Alma and his people under severe slavery and bondage. He didn’t immediately deliver Alma’s people from bondage until after they experienced a mighty miracle:
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
Possible discussion questions: Which matters more: what the burden is or how heavy the burden feels to us? The Lord is more interested in developing a stronger version of you with increased capacity, experience, abilities, and endurance — rather than a person without troubles. Which version benefits us more in the end -that you are more robust from trials or free from trials?
Note: I have noticed that when I pray to have problems removed or solved (or difficult people zapped by lightning) – that doesn’t get too many results. But when I humbly and sincerely pray to be made equal or greater than what I face – that always gets answers. It’s one of my life’s greatest lessons.
Quote #2 (ezra!)
How does overcoming the world bless our lives? (continued)
President Nelson calls out a stellar quote from Ezra Taft Benson – it’s one of my favorites.
Possible engagement tool:
- Tell your class they’re about to hear a list of blessings from Ezra Taft Benson. Extend an invitation to notice which blessing stands out to them as they listen to this quote.
I reaffirm a profound teaching of President Ezra Taft Benson: “Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, … lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace.”
What a list!
- deepen your joys
- expand your vision
- quicken your mind
- lift your spirits
- multiply your blessings
- increase your opportunities
- comfort your soul
- raise up friends
- pour out peace
Possible activity: Write each of the above list on a piece of paper or poster board. (Or print them in large letters.) Hand them out to people at the beginning of class. Tell them to walk up front when they hear the phrase mentioned in Ezra Taft Benson’s quote and hold the sign so everyone can see it. Instruct the sign holders to remain standing in a line until the last person walks up, and you tell them to sit down. (It doesn’t matter if they stand in order.)
Possible discussion questions: (While the sign holders are still standing) Which of these blessings stands out to you today? Why is that? (After a few answers, have the sign holders sit down.) President Nelson uses the phrase “overcome the world” the same way President Benson says, “turn your life over to God.” Which one resonates with you more? (I like “overcome” because it gives me a clearer sense of the effort I need to make.)
Quote #3 (journal your prayers)
This is new.
I’ve heard of journaling your scripture thoughts and impressions, or journaling anytime impressions come to us. This is the first time I’ve listened to a prophet instruct us to do journaling with our prayers going forward. These are unique, specific instructions. I sense they are designed to help us survive the days ahead.
My plea to you this morning is to find rest from the intensity, uncertainty, and anguish of this world by overcoming the world through your covenants with God. Let Him know through your prayers and your actions that you are serious about overcoming the world. Ask Him to enlighten your mind and send the help you need. Each day, record the thoughts that come to you as you pray; then follow through diligently. Spend more time in the temple, and seek to understand how the temple teaches you to rise above this fallen world.
Specific instructions from President Nelson:
- rest from the intensity, uncertainty, and anguish of this world
- overcome the world through faith to your covenants
- talk to God directly about overcoming the world
- show Him you are serious about it through your actions
- ask Him now to enlighten your mind and send help
- write down the thoughts that come to you as you pray
- follow through with those thoughts
- go to the temple MORE
- seek to understand what the temple teaches you about rising above a fallen world
Possible activity: (this will make an important point)
Version A: Make sure everyone has some paper and a pen. Tell them you’re going to read through President Nelson’s nine sets of instructions. As they listen to the list, please write down one or two of the list items that especially stand out for them today. Also, write any other impressions like how or when to do it.
Version B: Same as above, except give them the list printed on a piece of paper and have them read them on their own and write on their own. It takes about 2-3 minutes. Either play some music or use silence.
Activity question: What did you notice when you started writing? (Answer – more ideas and inspiration sometimes comes to you.) Writing opens up different parts of the brain and thought centers. The Spirit and the written word are strong partners, and the Holy Ghost sometimes works through our pen as we write. Writing is a proven way to get more personal revelation.
Possible discussion questions: President just gave us a list of specific instructions for the road ahead. Which ones stand out to you? Are there any you want to start doing or start doing more of? Who wouldn’t mind sharing one? Why do you think President Nelson counseled us to ask for specific blessings from God as we pray? (If you don’t do the activity, ask, “Why is it essential that we write our impressions?”)
Quote #4 (most important)
Ask your class: What is the most important work on earth today? You’ll get a variety of answers.
Several answers have been right in the past, or they sound right – but President Nelson states the MOST important work in his talk, and it may be different than what you thought. We are indeed approaching the Second Coming.
As I have stated before, the gathering of Israel is the most important work taking place on earth today. One crucial element of this gathering is preparing a people who are able, ready, and worthy to receive the Lord when He comes again, a people who have already chosen Jesus Christ over this fallen world, a people who rejoice in their agency to live the higher, holier laws of Jesus Christ.
I call upon you, my dear brothers and sisters, to become this righteous people. Cherish and honor your covenants above all other commitments. As you let God prevail in your life, I promise you greater peace, confidence, joy, and yes, rest.
Possible discussion questions: Who has felt the Spirit prompting them to do more? Who would like to share some of those promptings? Who has felt spiritual power come from President Nelson’s words? What are some higher, holier laws of Jesus Christ? (accept various answers, but point out our temple vows are higher laws and higher standards) What does it mean to you to cherish and honor your covenants above all other commitments?
Quote #5 (apostolic blessing)
This can be used as a perfect ending to all your discussions, or it can be used as another class discussion.
Possible engagement tool:
- Tell your class they’re about to hear President Nelson’s apostolic blessing on each of us who are willing. Extend an invitation to notice which part of the blessing stands out as they listen to this quote.
“With the power of the holy apostleship vested in me, I bless you in your quest to overcome this world. I bless you to increase your faith in Jesus Christ and learn better how to draw upon His power. I bless you to be able to discern truth from error. I bless you to care more about the things of God than the things of this world. I bless you to see the needs of those around you and strengthen those you love. Because Jesus Christ overcame this world, you can too. I so testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
Possible activity: Write “quest” on the board. Ask, “what does quest mean in your words.” Accept additional answers if hands are going up.
Quest: 1: an effort to find or do something (i.e., a quest for answers). 2: a typically adventurous journey made in search of something (i.e., a quest for lost treasure).
Possible discussion questions: What part do we play in realizing President Nelson’s blessings? (It has to become our quest to overcome the world.) Did a particular part of the blessing that stood out to you today? How do you feel about President Nelson giving you a blessing?
Summarize class discussion highlights and/or share your testimony and feelings about President Nelson’s talk. Thank your class for their excellent contributions and insights.
Put the quotes from Part I and Part II in any order you prefer. 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.” If you feel like you just drank from a fire hose – we both share that experience. Blessings to you as you prepare and teach!