5 Quotes Plus Discussion-Promoting Questions
See also Teaching Helps
Tracy Y. Browning and this talk are both delightful and refreshing. Sister Browning has her own style and her own way of communicating precious gospel truths. Tracy is a powerful witness of Christ and I have infinite respect for that. A big AMEN to everything she shared. I hope you have a great class discussion!
You can find Sister Browning’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 Tracy Y. Browning (unless otherwise noted).
Important Discussion Tip: While the Holy Ghost and Heavenly Father are necessary, today’s focus is on Jesus Christ and His specific role in our life.
Quote #1 (glasses)
I’ve had poor eyesight for as long as I can remember and have always needed the aid of prescription lenses to correct my vision. When I open my eyes every morning, the world appears very disorienting. Everything is out of focus, grainy, and distorted. Even my dear husband is more reminiscent of an abstract portrait than the well-loved and comforting figure he really is! My reflexive need, before I do anything else at the start of my day, is to reach for my glasses to help me make sense of my surroundings and enjoy a more vibrant experience as they help me navigate throughout my day.
Over the years, I’ve come to recognize that this behavior illustrates my daily dependence on two things: first, a tool that helps me to clarify, focus, and ground the world around me; and second, a need for tangible guidance to continually point me in the right direction.
Possible discussion questions: Can you relate to Sister Browning’s parable about glasses? What gospel tools help you clarify, focus and ground the world around you? What gospel habits help guide you?
Quote #2 (cloudy corners)
As covenant children of God, we have been uniquely blessed with a rich supply of divinely appointed tools to improve our spiritual vision. The words and teachings of Jesus Christ as recorded in scripture and messages from His chosen prophets and His Spirit received through daily prayer, regular temple attendance, and the weekly ordinance of the sacrament can help to restore peace and provide the necessary gift of discernment that brings Christ’s light and His understanding to the corners of our life and in a world that may be cloudy. The Savior can also be our compass and our pilot as we steer through both the calm and the turbulent waters of life. He can make plain the correct path that leads us to our eternal destination. So what would He have us see, and where would He have us go?
Please note these tools and benefits are specific to Jesus Christ.
Possible activity: Using a board, have your class help you pull ideas out of this quote. Something like – “Using this quote – let’s list the tools and benefits we can enjoy from Christ”? (Accept all reasonable answers – don’t expect them to name them all.)
Tools we can use:
- Words and teachings of Jesus Christ
- from the scriptures
- messages from the prophet
- His Spirit (Spirit of Christ)
- from daily prayer
- temple attendance
- taking the Sacrament
The benefits of these tools:
- light and understanding
Christ acts as a:
- pilot to steer through troubled waters
- guide to the path upward
Deepen the understanding: looking at the benefits of these tools – can they get better? To have peace daily, to have discernment for better outcomes daily, and to have light and understanding! I am so grateful for these blessings. Sometimes we don’t realize how extraordinary such gifts are until we lose them and then regain them. They are a big deal – especially in today’s world. These blessings can change our daily sense of well-being and stability.
peace: tranquility, calm, goodwill, harmony, order
discernment: discrimination, insight, perception, foresee
light: illumination, awareness, context
understanding: comprehension, education, grasp, intelligence, knowledge
Possible activity: hand out lists with these word definitions on them – have your group take 30 seconds to glance at them and then ask the following quick question: Which of these tools and blessings especially stand out for you today? Why are they important to you?
Possible discussion questions: Do you believe Sister Browning can go where the Savior wants her to go? What has been an effective tool for you? How did it help you? What is your favorite way to feel Christ more in your life? Why is it important to you to specifically have Christ in your life? What does being close to the Savior look and feel like for you? What do you feel He would have you see? Has anyone felt inspired as we read these quotes and discussed them? Does anyone mind sharing?
Deepen the Teacher’s Understanding
The following isn’t for class discussion unless you feel inspired to use it. It’s a deeper, profound concept to study each of the Godhead and the different roles they each play.
Did you know is Jesus Christ’s specific mission to enlighten you? (D&C 84:45 and D&C 88:6-7, 11)
45 For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
6 He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth;
7 Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made.
11 And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;
For more insights, consider “Each Member of the Godhead Speaks to Us” or “The Difference Between the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Ghost.”
Quote #3 (make time)
Our dear prophet has taught that “our focus must be riveted on the Savior and His gospel” and that we must “strive to look unto Him in every thought.” President Nelson has also promised that “nothing invites the Spirit more than fixing your focus on Jesus Christ. … He will lead and guide you in your personal life if you will make time for Him in your life—each and every day.” Friends, Jesus Christ is both the purpose of our focus and the intent of our destination. To help us to remain fixed and heading in the right direction, the Savior invites us to see our lives through Him in order to see more of Him in our lives.
One of the most powerful sentences from this quote is President Nelson’s words: “He will lead and guide you in your personal life if you will make time for Him in your life—each and every day.
if – iF – IF!
Those instructions are clear. Make time specifically and intentionally for Jesus.
Possible discussion questions: How do you like to fix your focus on Jesus Christ? In what ways have you found joy through the Savior? How can you make time for Jesus Christ daily (specifically Him)? Why is it important to look to Jesus in every thought? What part of the day works best for you to worship and focus on the Savior? Has anyone felt inspired as we read these quotes and discussed them? Does anyone mind sharing?
36 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. (D&C 6:36)
Deepen the Teacher’s Understanding
This is not meant for class discussion. Some people aren’t ready to hear these things, which will create awkward pushback.
Consider the title of Sister Browning’s talk. “Seeing More of Jesus Christ in Our Lives.” This talk is meant to talk about our relationship and interactions with Jesus Christ specifically.
President Nelson did not say to make time for that non-specific God/Lord fuzzy-in-your-head Father/Son person. (You’d be surprised how many members think of “God” almost exclusively in those terms.) President Nelson did not even bring up Heavenly Father in this particular statement (though certainly, we make time for Him and our prayers to Him – hopefully 3x each day.) But he said -> make time for Jesus Christ daily. Have you ever done that?
Nephi’s words (2 Nephi 25:29):
29 And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.
If that is a new idea for you and you would like to know more – I’ve attached more information at the end of this article.
Quote #4 (why?)
As an early follower of the gospel, I encountered many who observed and perceived changes in my behaviors, practices, and choices after I joined the Church. They were curious about the “whys” of what they were seeing—why I chose to be baptized and join this congregation of believers, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; why I refrain from certain practices on the Sabbath; why I’m faithful in keeping the Word of Wisdom; why I read the Book of Mormon; why I believe in and incorporate the teachings of modern-day prophets and apostles into my life; why I attend weekly Church meetings; why I invite others to “come and see, come and help, … come and stay,” and “come and belong.”
At the time, those questions felt overwhelming and, transparently, sometimes accusatory. But as I grappled with people’s scrutiny, I came to realize that their probing was, in fact, my first invitation to pick up and put on a pair of spiritual lenses to clarify, focus, and solidify what motivated my adherence to gospel practices and standards.
Possible Questions: What motivates you to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How has it changed your life? Is opposition to our faith always a bad thing? Have you ever had to dig deeper because of someone’s challenges to your faith? How did that turn out? (Several times, it has dropped me to my knees, leading to powerful answers and greater understanding.) Do we sometimes forget WHY we are a member of the Church – can that consciousness get lost sometimes?
Quote #5 (every day)
I learned then, as I know now, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, directs our feet to meetinghouses each week to partake of His sacrament, to the house of the Lord to make covenants with Him, to the scriptures and teachings of prophets to learn of His words. He directs our mouths to testify of Him, our hands to lift and serve as He would lift and serve, our eyes to see the world and each other as He does—“as they really are, and … as they really will be.” And as we allow Him to direct us in all things, we receive testimony that “all things denote there is a God,” because where we look for Him we will find Him—each and every day.
This is a powerful principle. With practice, intent and humility, we can find Jesus each and every day. It changes the whole day and our greater path when we stop and let Him into our lives.
Possible discussion questions: When was the last time you specifically looked for Jesus Christ? How do you feel about Jesus Christ? Why do you love Him? Can we sometimes forget Him? What is your testimony of Jesus Christ? Has anyone felt inspired as we read these quotes and discussed them? Does anyone mind sharing?
Summarize class discussion highlights and/or share your testimony and feelings about Sister Browning’s talk. Thank your class for their excellent contributions and insights.
I love Sister Browning’s teaching style and no-nonsense delivery. You could tell she fully felt and bore witness to every word she spoke. This will make a wonderful lesson. Thank you so much for being here and for making those extra efforts to prepare yourself!
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.“
For Your Personal Study and Delight
This is for you – these quotes and verses will not make good class discussions; people aren’t ready – but I hope they bless your life immeasurably!
James E. Faust Outlines 5 Steps to Get Closer to Christ
Please note that these teachings and quotes are in addition to our prayerful, intimate relationship with Heavenly Father. They do not replace our regular prayers; instead, these quotes and verses are teachings to upgrade and add to your spiritual life.
From his General Conference talk A Personal Relationship With the Savior – Oct 1976.
“May I suggest five beginning, essential measures which will greatly clear the channel for a daily flow of “living water” from the very source of the spring, even the Redeemer Himself [Jesus Christ].“
First: A daily communion involving prayer [a conversation with Christ]. A fervent, sincere prayer is a two-way communication which will do much to bring His Spirit flowing like healing water to help with the trials, hardships, aches, and pains we all face. What is the quality of our secret prayers when only He [Jesus] listens? As we pray, we should think of Him as being close by, full of knowledge, understanding, love, and compassion, the essence of power, and as having great expectations of each of us.
Does this seem like a new idea? Consider these verses from the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants:
1 Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I Am, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins;
2 Who will gather his people even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, even as many as will hearken to my voice and humble themselves before me, and call upon me in mighty prayer. (D&C 29:1-2)
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;
2 And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world; (D&C 93:1-2)
62 And again, verily I say unto you, my friends [Christ speaking], I leave these sayings with you to ponder in your hearts, with this commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall call upon me while I am near—
63 Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. (D&C 88:62-63)
President Nelson recently said:
“When you reach up for the Lord’s power in your life with the same intensity that a drowning person has when grasping and gasping for air, power from Jesus Christ will be yours. When the Savior knows you truly want to reach up to Him—when He can feel that the greatest desire of your heart is to draw His power into your life—you will be led by the Holy Ghost to know exactly what you should do.”
When you spiritually stretch beyond anything you have ever done before, then His power will flow into you.”
“The gospel of Jesus Christ is filled with His power, which is available to every earnestly seeking daughter or son of God. It is my testimony that when we draw His power into our lives, both He and we will rejoice.” (Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ Into Our Lives – April 2017)