5 Quotes Plus Discussion-Promoting Questions
See also Teaching Helps
Elder Anderson gave a stellar talk about Jesus Christ during the October 2020 General Conference. He shared great insights and understanding about how to increase our connection to Him. This will make a great class discussion!
His complete talk can be found 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 which resonate the most with you and which you feel will 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 Elder Andersen and in blue.
Quote #1 (anchor of our souls)
Like a guiding star in a clear, dark sky, Jesus Christ lights our way. He came to earth in a humble stable. He lived a perfect life. He healed the sick and raised the dead. He was a friend to the forgotten. He taught us to do good, to obey, and to love one another. He was crucified on a cross, rising majestically three days later, allowing us and those we love to live beyond the grave. With His incomparable mercy and grace, He took upon Himself our sins and our suffering, bringing forgiveness as we repent and peace in the storms of life. We love Him. We worship Him. We follow Him. He is the anchor of our souls.
I thought Elder Andersen hit it out of the park with this talk. I love the phrase “anchor of our souls.” One of his main points is we probably don’t talk about Christ enough. Here is a great chance to get people talking about Him in detail for a whole class.
Possible Discussion Activity: (Make sure each class member has a written copy of this paragraph in their hands or show it on the screen.) “Let’s take a couple of minutes to read this quote to ourselves and ponder Elder Andersen’s descriptions of Jesus. As you read, notice which 1-2 phrases stand out the most for you today.”
(After 2 minutes) Who would like to share which is their favorite description of Christ and why is it your favorite? What comes up for you as you read those words? (Great question to give out ahead of time – you’ll get a richer discussion.) Allow other members of the class to raise their hands and add comments to other people’s picks.
Quote #2 (President Nelson’s six-month challenge)
Speaking one year before his call, President Nelson invited us to more deeply study the 2,200 references of the name Jesus Christ listed in the Topical Guide.
Three months later, in April general conference, he spoke of how, even with his decades of devoted discipleship, this deeper study of Jesus Christ had greatly affected him. Sister Wendy Nelson asked him about its impact. He replied, “I am a different man!” He was a different man? At age 92, a different man? President Nelson explained:
“As we invest time in learning about the Savior and His atoning sacrifice, we are drawn to [Him]. …
“… Our focus [becomes] riveted on the Savior and His gospel.”
The Savior said, “Look unto me in every thought.”
In a world of work, worries, and worthy endeavors, we keep our heart, our mind, and our thoughts on Him who is our hope and salvation.
If a renewed study of the Savior helped prepare President Nelson, could it not help prepare us as well?
This is a wonderful chance to get members of your group opening up their scriptures and taking a look at what they can find. While this exercise may seem a bit youth-like => this is an invaluable skill to reinforce and gets a good share of your class engaged and thinking. Plus, it works whether they are the ones actually looking things up, or they are the second tier watching others in the class do it and talk about it.
Possible Discussion Activity: Have members access their Topical Guide either in their hard-copy scriptures or on their electronics (Gospel Library app under “Scriptures” => “Study Helps” => “Topical Guide”). Give them 2 minutes to find a meaningful verse or two in any of the topics which include Christ (ex: “Jesus Christ,” Jesus Christ – Atonement,” “Jesus Christ – Authority,” “Jesus Christ – Messiah” etc.)
(After 2 minutes) Who would like to share a verse about Christ they found in the Topical Guide? Which topic heading did you find it under? Would you mind reading it for the class? Why did you pick that one? What comes up for you today as you read that verse? (Again, great question to give out ahead of time – you’ll get a richer discussion.) Allow other members of the class to raise their hands and add comments to other people’s verses.
Quote #3 (a promise)
Read this promise as the previous discussion winds up:
I promise you that as you prepare yourselves, as President Nelson did, you too will be different, thinking more about the Savior, speaking of Him more frequently and with less hesitation. As you come to know and love Him even more deeply, your words will flow more comfortably, as they do when you speak of one of your children or of a dear friend. Those listening to you will feel less like debating or dismissing you and more like learning from you.
Quote #4 (speak more of Christ)
With those around us, let us be more open, more willing to talk of Christ. President Nelson said, “True disciples of Jesus Christ are willing to stand out, speak up, and be different from the people of the world.”
Sometimes we think that a conversation with someone needs to result in them coming to church or seeing the missionaries. Let the Lord guide them as they are willing, while we think more about our responsibility to be a voice for Him, thoughtful and open about our faith. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf has taught us that when someone asks us about our weekend, we should be willing to happily respond that we loved hearing the Primary children sing, “I’m trying to be like Jesus.” Let us kindly witness our faith in Christ. If someone shares a problem in his or her personal life, we might say, “John, Mary, you know that I believe in Jesus Christ. I have been thinking about something He said that might help you.”
Be more open on social media in talking about your trust in Christ. Most will respect your faith, but if someone is dismissive when you speak of the Savior, take courage in His promise: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you … for my sake. … For great is your reward in heaven.” We care more about being His followers than being “liked” by our own followers. Peter counseled, “Be ready always to give an answer [for] the hope that is in you.” Let us talk of Christ.
Possible Questions: Can you picture yourself talking more about Christ in your everyday life? Where and how would you do it? Can we share our faith and beliefs in casual conversation without expecting a commitment from someone? What happens when we share what love and understand the best? If someone has a question about an aspect of the gospel we’re not sure about, how can we respond?
(While writing this up today, I put a message about Christ and the Sacrament on my personal Facebook page. I have a lot of friends of different faiths and beliefs – so religion is not something I normally post about. It felt like a million bucks…seriously.)
It DOES feel like it’s time to talk about Jesus Christ more. Like Elder Andersen points out, “Like a guiding star in a clear, dark sky, Jesus Christ lights our way.”
Quote #5 (cherry-cheeked cherubim)
Nothing lifts my desire to speak of Christ more than visualizing His return. While we do not know when He will come, the events of His return will be breathtaking! He will come in the clouds of heaven in majesty and glory with all His holy angels. Not just a few angels but all His holy angels. These are not the cherry-cheeked cherubim painted by Raphael, found on our Valentine cards. These are the angels of the centuries, the angels sent to shut the mouths of lions, to open prison doors, to announce His long-awaited birth, to comfort Him in Gethsemane, to assure His disciples at His Ascension, and to open the glorious Restoration of the gospel.
Elder Andersen says whether we are still alive or have passed on, we will be there for the Second Coming if we are righteous. “Can you imagine being caught up to meet Him, whether on this side or the other side of the veil? That is His promise to the righteous.”
Possible Questions: How do you feel about the Second Coming? Do you look forward to it? Why or why not? Who will you look forward to seeing again?
This will be the family reunion to outdo all family reunions!
Remember, you were called to teach this lesson for a reason. Have faith in what you feel drawn to teach. Thank you for taking the time to prepare yourself! President Nelson recently said, teaching and lifting others is a part of gathering Israel.