Come, Follow Me Resources for February

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What is the purpose of life? 


Why should I treat my body like a temple?

Get both handouts

Other Teaching Ideas

What is the plan of salvation?

Have each class member work with a partner. Have them study the plan of salvation, as taught in Preach My Gospel. Then have them role play teaching it as missionary companionships to an investigator (or investigators).

What happened in my premortal life?

Have your class study the section titled Premortal Life in True to the Faith (pages 115-116). Have them each draw a picture of what happened in Premortal Life and share with each other.

Why do the choices I make matter?

Bring two oranges and two containers filled with water and use this object lesson as written on Mormonshare.com. Ask the youth what they can learn from the two oranges.

Why do we have adversity?

I always love it when we can use women from the scriptures as role models! So, I really love this study guide from The Red Headed Hostess about what we can learn about adversity from the women of the scriptures. You can learn more about it and the rest of the teaching pack for this lesson here.

How can I find comfort when someone I care about dies?

Watch this video and ask your class members to summarize what Elder Wirthlin says.

 

Find more resources on grief in the Gospel Topics section on LDS.org

For more ideas or help, you can join my Facebook group, check out my Pinterest board or try the February teaching combo pack from The Red Headed Hostess. 

 

5 Ways to Have LDS Youth Help You Teach

Have you felt unsure with how to go about letting the youth teach Come, Follow Me? Maybe you’re not sure they can handle teaching a full lesson. Maybe you’ve asked them to teach and they’re too scared to say yes. Well, in any case, giving them some ways to help you teach can be a great start to preparing your youth to be ready to teach an entire lesson. I’ve also noticed that it helps the quieter kids participate more. Here are some things I do to help them.

Let Them Write on the Board

Any time we have a discussion where I want responses written on the board, I ask one of my class members to do the writing. This gives them some practice being at the front of the room. Sometimes, I use my sense of humor and challenge the rest of the class to wear their arm out with their ideas. This works well for loosening their tongues.

Have Them Divide the Class into Groups

Sometimes, when I split the class into groups, I let one of my students do it. It’s another easy, non-threatening way to give them a small teaching responsibility.

Ask Them to Pick Up or Drop Off Materials from the Library

I am only one person. It can be a little overwhelming to try to pick everything up from the library, set up for my lesson, teach, and then clean up after. This takes some of the pressure off of me, and gives a class member a chance to help out. This is a great way for kids who aren’t comfortable getting in front of people to participate.

Assign Them to Teach Part of the Lesson

This is a great test for how well they can handle teaching the whole lesson. I start by letting them choose the lesson they want to teach. Then we both study the lesson material on our own during the week. On Friday or Saturday before we teach, we get together for about 15 minutes (this could easily be done on the phone or via Skype) and plan the lesson together. I let them choose the part of the lesson they want to teach: introduction, main lesson or weekly challenge. I also let them choose how they teach it. This is a great opportunity to help them prepare and ask you questions about teaching. One of my class members asked me what they should do if they ask a question and no one answers. We had a great discussion about how to handle it.

Have a Lesson Where They Study a Resource and Teach a Mini Lesson

Any time the lesson is very discussion-based and the youth do more talking than the adults, the youth are teaching in a very informal way. You can take that up a notch and have them teach a short lesson (2-5 minutes) on what they learned from any Church-approved resource.

Now it’s your turn. What are some ways you’ve had success in getting the youth in your class to help teach? Share your experiences in the comments. 

The Study Guide that Will Change Your Family Scripture Study

This is a sponsored post. Heidi Hillman of A Lively Hope Provided a copy of her Study Guide for Families: Book of Mormon to review. My opinions, as always, are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you use one to make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Do you ever feel like it’s a struggle to hold family scripture study? I love Heidi Hillman’s approach to this. I feel like our thoughts are pretty similar. I included some of her tips with mine in this post.

Keep It Simple

Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but if it’s simple I am more likely to get it done. The more steps I have to complete, the more I feel like I have obstacles in my way. I find that demotivating really fast!

Try a Variety of Methods

This guide includes discussion questions, lists-making, drawing, recording what you learned, writing your testimony and drawing the story in comic-book style (she calls them story strips). Get creative and find out what your family really likes to do to get them into the scriptures.

Do What Works for Your Family

As you try different methods, you’ll learn that some work for you and others don’t. For example, I really don’t like to draw. Keep the methods that work and reuse them. Discard the ones that don’t. Continuing to use them can create negative feelings around holding family scripture study.

Every Little Bit Counts

Having a family can be chaotic. If all your kids can handle one night is one verse, it’s okay. You still had family scripture study! This isn’t something that needs to be done perfectly.

For more ideas on how to improve your family scripture study, check out the book Study Guide for Families: Book of Mormon by Heidi Hillman.

 

9 Common Young Women Leader Problems and Their Solutions

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. To help with my costs of bringing you great content, I have affiliate links in this post, which if you use, I make a small commission. This helps me cover my website expenses. I only recommend products and services that I trust and believe will be helpful to you.

Communication

It’s really important to know the best way to contact your leaders, young women and even parents. Creating a directory of young women and leaders will help you have a place for this information and a way to easily share it with everyone in your organization. It can be something as simple as a Word document or a spreadsheet. If you want a template that you simply need to fill in, The Red Headed Hostess has one in her 2018 Ultimate Young Women Leader Combo Kit. 

Monthly newsletters can also help improve communication. If nothing else, they provide information in writing. Both Word and Excel have templates you can use for this. The Red Headed Hostess has editable newsletters that look really nice. All you have to do is fill them in. You can find them in the Young Women Leader Helps Combo Kit. 

Organization

One thing that helped me a lot as a young women leader was to have an organization calendar. Toward the end of the year, my secretary and I would sit down together and plan the upcoming year. Read about how it do it here. 

Word and Excel both have calendar templates you can use for this. You can also get it as part of the Ultimate Young Women Leader Combo Kit.

Birthdays

First, create a birthday list so it’s easy to see when they are.

Then, come up with some simple ways to recognize birthdays. The YW Birthday Kit provides a variety of treat labels, poster and badge to make it easy and simple to make their birthdays special. You can  purchase it separately or in the Young Women Leader Helps Combo Kit or 2018 Ultimate Young Women Leader Combo Kit. 

Weekly Activities

I’m a huge fan of planning activities with a purpose. If you want to learn more about my process you can read more about it here. Once you have a purpose, sometimes a “library” of ideas for activities can be very helpful. I find Beehives can really benefit from that. The Red Headed Hostess includes a list of 180 ideas for activities in her 2018 Ultimate Young Women Leader Combo Kit. 

They’re even organized by category!

Personal Progress

Want to track your young women’s progress and keep it all in one place? The Red Headed Hostess Personal Progress tracker is perfect for that! It’s also included in the 2018 Ultimate Young Women Leader Combo Kit. 

There’s also an Honor Bee tracking sheet, too!

Young Women in Excellence

These Personal Progress displays would go really well next to each young woman’s display table.

You can also do a display for each girl working on her Honor Bee.


You can find both of these in the Young Women Leader Helps Combo Kit.

For decorations, go to the heading Promoting the Mutual Theme for the Year.  

New Young Women

When a new Beehive joins young women, her adviser and class president visit her and give her a copy of For the Strength of Youth, a torch pendant and a Personal Progress book. Wouldn’t it also be nice to give them an info sheet about upcoming activities, leaders and girls in their class?

You can use the Getting to Know You sheet to learn more about them. These are included in the Young Women Leader Helps Combo Kit.

Promoting the Mutual Theme for the Year

The Mutual theme teaching pack includes 38 pages of visual aids, quotes and teaching ideas. That’s enough that you could have an activity based on the theme using these resources once a month for a year and you’d probably still have some left over. This is great, because you can pick and choose with your class presidency what works best for your young women and implement it.

There is also a special events pack that includes decorations, invitations, and treat labels to help you with New Beginnings, Young Women in Excellence and birthdays. My personal favorite included in that pack is the compliment card. Everyone writes what they love about the person whose birthday it is and then you give it to them! I know that a card like that would mean a lot to me!  This pack could also be used to help with decorations for camp, too.

Christmas and Birthday Gifts

Give them the gift of music! You can buy multiple licenses for either of the music downloads by Hilary Weeks. With 20 licenses, it works out to be about 63 cents per person. You can  choose between Peace in Christ or More Holiness Give Me.

You can also buy licenses for Anthony Sweat’s talk, Finding Peace in Christ to give as gifts. For 15 licenses, that works out to $1.20. He tells a great story about how we shouldn’t mistake being active in the church for conversion. It’s a great thought. Regardless of how we come to the Church, we all need to become personally converted.

If you are lucky to have a bigger budget for gifts, you really should check out the 2018 Peace in Christ study guides and journals. They are beautiful! I honestly want my own for Christmas! There’s one for Personal Progress, gospel study, Sunday journaling and Come, Follow Me. How do you know which one to get? Here’s a little about each one:

Personal Progress

This is a daily journal that is designed to help young women keep the Personal Progress value they are working on in their minds on a daily basis. Each page for Sunday allows for them to work on a Personal Progress experience.

Gospel Study

This is a daily journal with a question that relates to the 2018 Mutual Theme. This will help keep your young women thinking about the Mutual theme every day.

Sunday Journal

This journal is arranged by the Come, Follow Me topics and is a place for young men and young women to write down notes from their Sunday lessons.

Come, Follow Me Study Guide

This is for youth who want to study along with the Come, Follow me lessons. It includes all of the young women lessons, all of the Sunday School lessons and most of the young men lessons. This is also ideal for teacher prep.

Now it’s your turn. What young women leader problems did I miss? Do you have a favorite resource you’d like to share? Tell me in the comments. 

 

 

 

The Shocking Truth about Goals and Leadership

Actively setting and pursuing goals can greatly help you improve as a leader. Many of the skills you need to be a great leader, especially one who works with youth, can be developed indirectly by working toward a goal. You can even set goals to directly address areas where you would like to improve as a leader. Consider the following things that making and achieving goals can do for you:

Having a definite target positions you for success

It’s really good to get clear about what you want and what you’re trying to accomplish. Otherwise, how will you know when it’s done? Class and quorum presidents need help with determining objectives for their callings and may need you to help them get that clarity. If you know how to do that for yourself, it will be easier to help someone else to do it.

Goal-setting helps with self-mastery

This life is a journey of self-mastery. Much of our role as youth leaders requires a certain level of self-mastery. It takes some self-mastery to not come unglued when a teenager is deliberately rude. It takes self-mastery when an activity completely falls apart one hour before it’s supposed to happen. It takes self-mastery to help our youth self-discover an answer to a problem when we already know it.

Making progress on a goal creates a sense of accomplishment

Great youth leaders have good self-esteem. Setting and achieving goals helps with that. I also think that your self-esteem is contagious. People who feel good about themselves build others and help them to feel good about themselves.

Goals help you break down a big project into smaller pieces

Many of the objectives we have in the youth programs of the church are pretty big projects, whether we’re talking about helping our youth prepare to go to the temple one day, planning camp or a Mutual activity. Those are all objectives that are best reached by breaking them down to smaller steps. If you are already practicing this in your life, you will be better able to help the youth “baby-step” their way through everything that needs to be done in the young men and young women programs.

Goals help you get the best results

This might be my favorite reason to set goals. Everyone wants to get the best results they can, don’t they? I know I do. Your class and quorum presidencies probably do, too.

You’ll be better-prepared to set goals with you class and quorum presidencies

Goal-setting and achieving is a skill that needs practice. As you counsel with your youth leaders, there will be times when it will make sense to set goals. You will be a great guide and mentor to help them do that in a way that will help them be successful. That success leads to a sense of achievement and that sense of achievement helps support good self-esteem.

 

2 Ways to Help LDS Youth #LIGHTtheWORLD

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is gearing up for their Christmas social media campaign and I’m so excited about it! This year (2017) we are using the theme #lighttheworld to encourage people to engage in Christlike service. Every day in December through Christmas, there will be a scripture to focus on to help you come up with simple acts of service.

To help you encourage the youth you work with to participate in #lighttheworld, I put together a service bingo board and a service scavenger hunt. Here’s how you can use them.

Light the World Bingo

 

A bingo board has 25 spaces, so it works really well for service for 25 days in 25 ways! I included a free space where they can write down what they did. You can hand this out the last Sunday in November to your class and have them report back. You can do this every week until Christmas and try to get them to black out the board or for as little as one week and have them go for 5 in a row. You can give them a small treat every time they get 5 in a row or for blacking out their board. The thing I think will make the biggest difference to them is to have them share with each other a meaningful moment from their service.

Light the World Scavenger Hunt

This is designed to use as an activity. You will need to provide a few supplies, like paper, pens, cards, cookies, etc. All you need to do is  make copies, divide the youth into teams, provide an adult leader for each team, give them a time limit and have a prize for the team that earns the most points. You can have a class or quorum president lead a short discussion at the end where the youth can share some of the experiences they had while they were out serving others and why service is important to really help it be a learning experience.

Sound good to you? Click the link below to get both!

Get the pack

For more #LighttheWorld resources, visit The Red Headed Hostess. 

December Come, Follow Me Resources

To help with my costs of bringing you great content, I have affiliate links in this post, which if you use, I make a small commission. This helps me cover my website expenses. I only recommend products and services that I trust and believe will be helpful to you.

It’s hard to believe it is the end of the year! I know some of you are looking for something Christmas-y to teach. I think the lesson on using our spiritual gifts is perfect for this! You could download the 5th Sunday lesson on Light the World and use elements from both to create a great Christmas lesson!

Here are the rest of the resources I gathered for December!

How can I invite others to come unto Christ? 

Get the handout.

How does Heavenly Father want me to use my spiritual gifts? 

Get the handout. 

How can I prepare to establish a Christ-centered home? 

Get the handout. 

What can I do to help new members of the Church? 

Watch the video about Georgia Elias and use the discussion questions on Life’s Journey to Perfection.

How can I help my less-active friends return to church? 

Bring some burned matches and ask your class if it is possible to light them again. Read more about this object lesson on Mormonshare. 

What is Zion? 

I really like these scripture quote and question cards. I think it’s always to good to teach our youth how to find answers in the scriptures.

How can I participate in the hastening of the Lord’s work? 

Sometimes, it’s really helpful to give my class a worksheet to guide them through the lesson. It keeps me from having to repeat the questions and it gives class members a place for taking notes, if they want to. These sheets are based on three conference talks in this lesson.

Want more ideas? See the December Combo Pack from The Red Headed Hostess, my Pinterest Board or join my Facebook group

 

 

 

5 Clever Ways LDS Youth Leaders Can Make Their Family a Priority

I often hear from LDS youth leaders who feel they struggle sometimes to take care of their family and their calling. I get it. Both take time and dedication. And, let’s face it. We can’t do everything. We have to make decisions about what’s most important. When we make those decisions, we also decide what we’re not doing, too.

You want to do a good job in your calling. You love the youth and want to tend to their needs. These are good things as long as we are not overlooking our family’s needs.

Before you put on your youth leader hat and get to work, please consider these tips.

  1. Daily Family Prayer and Scripture Study- In our family, we share something from our personal study right before we pray.
  2. Family Home Evening- These can be short and simple. You can hold it any night of the week. Some of my friends do Sunday night, some on Friday and we stick with Monday.
  3. Family Dinnertime- We don’t succeed at having this every night, but we do for most. It’s a good time to connect with each other.
  4. Weekly Planning- This helps us know what everyone else is doing and gives us a chance to resolve scheduling conflicts.
  5. Regular Family Councils- These provide opportunities to problem solve together, resolve conflicts and help each other to become better individuals.
  6. Family Fun Dates-We do these on a weekly basis.
  7. Regular One-on-One Time with Each Kid- My husband does these on a weekly basis. They could also be parent-child dates. Carving out a little extra quality time on a weekly or monthly basis could make a big difference.

Now, I don’t expect you to implement every last one of these. What I hope is that you’ll find ways to make sure your family is getting the time it needs while you are fulfilling your calling as a youth leader.

Your turn. What’s your favorite way to make your family a priority? 

How to Be a Great LDS Youth Leader and Strengthen Your Marriage

What does your marriage have to do with being a great leader? Awhile ago, I wrote about the importance of leading yourself. For those of us who are married, it’s also important to “lead” your spouse. I’m sure some of you are wondering about that. Marriage relationships are made of up of two equal individuals. Let’s substitute another work for lead here- influence. Leadership is influence. We tend to think of leadership as holding a position, but it’s so much more than that. If you truly have the attitude of a leader, people will be influenced for good by you, regardless of the position you hold. Your marriage can be a great place to work on those skills of influence. I also firmly believe that we will be our best at our callings when things are going well in our marriage and our spouse is supportive.

I strongly advocate prioritizing marriage over our callings and not just saying it, but taking a series of actions to keep it there. Here’s what it looks like in my marriage. Yours may look a little different than ours. That’s okay. What matters is that you have a plan and you’re acting on it.

Daily Prayer and Scripture Study

Every morning, we take a few minutes to read from the Book of Mormon and share our thoughts on what we read. Then we pray together. It really is a blessing to hear my husband when he talks about me in his prayers. We spend about 10-15 minutes on this. That’s not a lot of time. It helps bring the Spirit into our home and relationship when we do this.

Weekly Date Night

Weekly date nights are a great time to connect with each other. It’s time where you can focus on each other, share an experience and have fun together.

I’ve been a huge fan of date night since my youngest was a baby. One of my friends was a bishop’s wife and she told me that she needed to go on a date with her husband every week to maintain her sanity. She’s someone I admire and I thought that was a pretty good example. It’s helped me keep my sanity through the demands of raising kids and tough callings.

Monthly Date Night Planning

This is something we started doing about 4-6 months ago. We take turns planning our dates and kept forgetting whose turn it was! Now we take 15 minutes once a month to get out our calendars and record when and who for our dates.

Weekly Finance Check-ins

We’ve tried doing this alone, with me entering most items on our budget and just found that it didn’t work for us. Not being on the same page when it comes to finances can lead to marital problems.  Taking a few minutes each week to talk about what was spent and make needed adjustments for unanticipated (or forgotten) expenses can help you stay on the same page.

Monthly Budget Planning

Taking a little time before a new month to come to an agreement on what your expenses are can also prevent disagreements and arguments. This also gives you some time to work out compromises on items where you might disagree.

Taking time to invest in your marriage can make such a big difference in so many ways. It can even help us to be better in our callings because we will be developing our influence and our spouses will be more likely to be supportive.

What is your favorite way to strengthen your marriage? 

4 Delightful Ways to Empower LGBTQ Youth

This is a sponsored post. I received a copy of That We May Be One to review, my thoughts and opinions are my own. To help with my costs of bringing you great content, I have affiliate links in this email, which if you use, I make a small commission. This helps me cover my website expenses. I only recommend products and services that I trust and believe will be helpful to you.

Meet Tom Christofferson, Elder Christofferson’s brother, Mormon, and gay. He recently published a book that shares his thoughts on family and faith and tells his story of growing up as a gay teenager in the Church, leaving the Church in his search for happiness and then returning.

I am certainly not a mental health expert, neither is he. At the same time, there were several things that stood out to me as I read this book that we can do as youth leaders that I think are worth sharing.

Take Time to Understand the Ambiguity

LGBTQ church members deal with quite a bit of ambiguity. We teach that God loves and knows every single one of us. We also teach a moral code that can directly conflict with things that they may deeply feel.What comes naturally to them must not be acted upon. It’s important to recognize that they may be feeling that ambiguity. We can accept them as they are and love them, just as the Savior would.

“The Savior provides us the clearest example of loving those whose life choices have been less than He would have hoped, allowing His kind acceptance and regard to show them a higher vision of their own possibilities than they had previously grasped.” Tom Christofferson

Help Them Live One Day at a Time

I love this one, because I think it is true for everyone. We can get pretty far ahead of ourselves. Sometimes it’s best to slow down and take one thing at a time. Very often, we don’t have all the answers and we certainly can’t see into the future to know what will happen.

Tom points out that more and more young women are identifying themselves as LGBTQ a “decade or more before a decision would need to be made about the direction of their lives.”

Sometimes we can be very quick to attach final judgments on ourselves or someone else because of choices being made today. Those judgments can be wildly inaccurate and harmful.

We simply don’t have all the answers to a lot of things. It’s okay to not know something. As a matter of fact, I see it as a sign of courage to admit that.

Draw them closer to you

Tom’s direct advice to youth leaders who have youth who come out to them is to draw them closer to you. Find ways to continue to include them. Please do not push them away. Loss of a relationship can be a risk factor for mental illness and they are already in a vulnerable place in their lives.

“identifying themselves as queer, for example, does not mean that they are having sex or doing anything inappropriate. They are learning about themselves and trying to live honestly in the world.” Tom Christofferson

It is important that we let them know that we love them and that we want them to come to our activities and that they will be treated with kindness and acceptance.

One of the best examples of this is the conversation Tom had with his bishop when he decided he was ready to come back to Church. He asked if he would be welcome. His bishop responded that both he and his partner would be. Their ward was striving to become better disciples of Christ and that all were needed in that effort.

A good question to reflect upon is how LGBTQ youth can help us to become better disciples.

What can you encourage them to do today that will bring them closer to Christ?

My favorite chapter in this book was on acceptance vs. condoning. It’s something that I wanted to better understand. I love the overall principle that he teaches here. He says,”If my circumstances are such that I feel I cannot do everything I would like to in order to become like the Savior, at least for today there are many important things that I can do.”

They may decide to take a same-sex partner. They may even decide that leaving the Church would be best for their mental and physical health.  You can still love them. Please remember that they are still the person you loved before they came out to you. If you want to help them continue to connect with God, he makes a couple of suggestions that I really like:

  • encourage them to find a partner who will pray with them. Heavenly Father always wants to hear from His children.
  • encourage them to observe a monthly fast that includes time for reflection, prayer and giving to those in need.

I think mostly, we can reflect on the question at the top of this heading: What can you encourage them to do today that will bring them closer to Christ?


For more information on Tom Christofferson’s story, please check out That We May Be One by Tom Christofferson.

Here are some places you can find it:

Amazon

Deseret Bookshelf Plus (listen for free with at trial membership)

Barnes and Noble