For January the topic for "Come Follow Me" is,
Here are the links to each organizations page for the month: Young Women, Aaronic Priesthood, Sunday School
Since, each organization has their own outlines and each lesson will need to be specified to the individual class members and there are already amazing outlines that can be used for guidance, I am only going to share some general ideas that can just be used as supplements. The great thing about this program is to allow the spirit to guide you to the needs of the youth in your class. Prepare before hand, Pray for guidance, Listen to the Promptings of the Spirit and invite the youth to do the same.
Here is the Scripture for the month:
“We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost” (Articles of Faith 1:1).
Lesson Ideas: There are so many topics to choose from this month. I am just giving supplemental ideas to a few of them. Please refer to the church's website for the wonderful outlines they have for all of the topics, see links below. A great idea to begin each lesson is to invite each class member to come with a scripture or spiritual thought to share with the rest of the class. (When I was a youth we did this in one of my classes, it is a class I loved to attend and had the most participation in it.)
- What do we know about the nature of the Godhead? Begin Class by handing out a piece of paper to each member of the class or the printable below (see Godhead printable). Write the phrase, "The Godhead" at the top of the board. Ask the class how many members of the Godhead there are (three). Ask them who the members of the Godhead are? Make three columns and write a header for each one: God the Eternal Father, Jesus Christ, The Holy Ghost. Invite the class to take a couple minutes and write on their paper everything they know about each member of the Godhead. Then invite them to share what they have written about God the Eternal Father. Discuss with the class what we know about our Heavenly Father, use scripture references. Then invite the class to share what they know about Jesus Christ. Discuss with the class what we know about our elder brother Jesus, use scripture references. Next invite the class to share what they know about The Holy Ghost. Discuss with the class what we know about the Holy Ghost, use scripture references. Discuss how each member of the Godhead is distinct individuals. Draw a circle around what you have written on the board and write the words they are united in the same purpose. Invite the members of the class to share what that purpose is? (To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man). Discuss the love God has for His Son and the love Jesus has for His Father. Discuss the love that they both have for each of us.
- How can I know my Heavenly Father? The week prior ask the Father's of the young women in your class to write a letter to their daughter. Explain that in the letter you would like it to include how "he feels about his daughter, what he hopes she achieves in life, and how he hopes to help her succeed." Ask him to put it in an envelope with his daughter's name on in and give it to you before Sunday so you can give it to his daughter during class. At the beginning of class, ask the young women to think about someone that they know who their name and face, but don't really know personally. Then invite the young women to think about someone they know really well. Invite the young women to ponder the difference between the two. What have they done to get to know the person they know well? Write on the board, "I can KNOW my Heavenly Father". Invite the young women to think about and then share how they can know their Father in Heaven. Discuss how we might pay attention to how we pray to our Heavenly Father. Are we merely just saying words or are we truly trying to communicate with Him? Also, discuss that we might pay attention to our own scripture study. How can be come to know Heavenly Father through reading the scriptures. Draw a Heart on the board. Ask the young women why has Heavenly Father provided a way for us to communicate with him? Discussion might include that he Loves Us! Give each young women the letter from their father. (be sensitive to yw without a father, it could be a letter from a mother, brother, grandfather, etc). After reading their letters. Invite the young women to share their feelings on the correlation of how their father (family member) feels about them and how our Heavenly Father feels about us. Read the scripture: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) Play the video: Prayer Discuss the video with the young women. Explaining that our Heavenly Father loves us so much, He knows us, He wants us to know Him. He desires to answer our prayers and fulfill our needs.
- Why is Jesus Christ important in my life? Place pictures of the Savior on the walls in the room. Invite the young women to look at the pictures and think about the Savior, what He has done for them, their relationship with Him and how they feel about Him. While they are looking and pondering have the song, "Come Unto Christ" playing in the background. Invite the youth to share their thoughts and feelings of the Savior. Write the following questions on the board: “Who is Jesus Christ?“ “What has He done for us?” “How do we know that He lives today?” Read, “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” As you read this as a class, stop frequently to discuss the questions on the board. Invite young women to share their experiences with "Coming Unto Christ".
- What are the roles of the Holy Ghost? Begin class by giving each young women a sheet of paper (see Holy Ghost Experience paper below). Invite the young women to take a minute to ponder and then write about an experience where they have felt the Spirit. When they are finished write on the board, "Roles of the Holy Ghost" Using the True to the Faith Book, invite the young women to take turns reading the roles of the Holy Ghost. (See page 82). Discuss these roles with the young women (Witnesses, Guides, Receive Gifts by him, Comforter, Teaches, Sanctifies, Confirms Priesthood Ordinances) Show the video: Voice of the Spirit. Discuss the video as a class. What are some things we can do each day to tune ourselves into the right channel to receive the influence of the Holy Ghost?
- Who am I, and who can I become? Write on the board, "Who am I?" Then next to it write, "Who Can I Become?" Write the word "potential" above "Who can I become?". Give each of the young women a copy of the pintable below, "Who am I?". Invite the young women to take a minute to write on their paper, Who they are and Who they can become. Ask them to not fill anything out under the column "Godlike Quality". When the young women have filled out their papers invite them to share with the class what they have written about, "Who am I?". Write their answers on the board. Then invite them to share their answers to, "Who can I become?". Write these on the board also. Have the young women to fold there paper so only the column "Godlike Quality" is showing. Then invite the young women to pass their paper to the person on their left. Invite everyone to write a "Godlike Quality" that person possesses on the persons paper that they have. Invite them to hand the paper back to the person. Invite each of the young women to share what they wrote about their classmate and why they feels she has that quality. Play the video, "Our Tue Identity". Invite the young women to share their feelings about the video. Invite the young women to focus throughout the week on their divine potential. Invite them to think about how our Heavenly Father sees them and what their Heavenly Father wants for them. Invite them to LIVE up to their potential.
***update: 1/9/2105***I taught this lesson last week, I added a few things to the idea above. I loved the talk by Sister Wixom, titled, "Discovering the Divinity Within". I screen shot some pictures of some phrases from the talk and used it during the lesson. I've shared the images below. The thing I love about the Come Follow Me program is that we can prepare ourselves, and then let the spirit help us carryout the lesson. I had prepared kind of what I wanted to do, but totally relied on the spirit during the lesson to help me know what actually needed to be taught and when it needed to be taught during the lesson. The things I added was I showed them each a packet of watermelon seeds. I took one of the seeds out and explained that we know that this is a watermelon seed because it came out of this pouch and it tells us it is a watermelon seed. I invited the girls to write on the papers, who they think they are? Then, I had them share with me some of their answers and I wrote it on the board. I showed them the seed again and explained that, just as the seed knows it is a watermelon seed, we also know that we are daughters of God. I then showed them the seed packet and explained that this little seed has the potential to become this beautiful watermelon. I invited the girls to write on their papers who/what they can become. Then I invited them to share what they wrote and I wrote it on the board. I explained that just like the seed had the potential to become the beautiful watermelon, we have the potential to become like our Heavenly Father. We have the potential to become gods and goddesses, to live with him and our families eternally. I placed the seed on the table and I asked the girls, what does this seed need to grow and to reach it's potential? Can I simply just say grow seed, grow? Will it grow? I then had the girls share with me some of the things the seed will need to grow. It will need good soil, it will need water, it will need sunlight. I then asked them if we could just give it a whole bunch of water at once and then never again? No, it needs constant care and nurturing. I explained that it is the same with our divine nature. We need to be constantly nurturing it and helping ourselves grow, so we can reach our potential and develop into the person Heavenly Father wants us to be. I invited them to share ways they can nurture their divine nature. I then invited them to fold their papers so the Godlike Quality was the only thing showing. I invited them to pass it to their right and have that person write on it the godlike quality they think that person possesses. Then I had them pass it back and pass it to their left and do the same. Then I invited them to share either what they had wrote about someone else or what someone else wrote about them. Then I showed the video, "Our Tue Identity". I explained that sometimes the world makes us feel like we are these ugly ducklings, but in all reality we are the beautiful swans and that is how our Heavenly Father sees us. I told them that that is also how I see them. We need to try to see ourselves how our Heavenly Father sees us. I spoke about his unconditional love for them. How it does not matter what they do, his love for them does not change. That He knows exactly what trials to place in their lives that will help shape them into who he needs them to be. That he is always there to help them through these trials. I asked them to think to themselves, "Do they really know and believe that they are a daughter of God, do they know that he loves them?" If they don't, I invited them to go home that day and pray to Heavenly Father and ask him. I testified to them again that I know that he loves them. I wanted to close by playing the song, "Daughter of a King" but it wouldn't work, so instead I sent that to them later in a text and I played, "I can do all things" (from the 2015 Youth Music Album)
Insert these into your lesson where they would fit best :)
Aaronic Priesthood: (See ideas above under Young Women)
- How does the Holy Ghost help me learn? Begin by asking the class if they have ever tried to listen to a radio station on a radio that has an antenna. Explain that to listen to the radio station they want to listen to they have to first tune the radio into that station and make sure the antenna is in the correct position to receive the signal. Invite the class members to share how they feel this applies to the Holy Ghost (in order to hear and feel the promptings and influence of the Holy Ghost we need to position ourselves in a way that we can receive those promptings. We do this by living our life in accordance to our Heavenly Father's commandments. We tune ourselves into recognizing and listening to the Spirit.) Explain that in the talk by A. Roger Merrill, titled, "Receiving by the Spirit" he discusses ways we can receive by the Spirit. Invite one of the youth to read the word strip, "Seek". Discuss as a class how we can seek to receive by the Spirit, invite class members to share experiences. Next invite a class member to read the word strip, "Feel". Discuss as a class different ways we can feel of the Spirit. Invite class members to share their experiences of when they have felt the Spirit. Then invite a class member to read the word strip, "Intend to Act". Discuss as a class this word strip and invite class members to share experiences. Give class members the Holy Ghost handout below. Invite them to seek, feel and intend to act.
- How can studying the scriptures help me learn about Heavenly Father? Before Sunday, ask class members to bring their scriptures to class. Begin class by showing the video: "The Blessings of Scripture" Invite members of the class to ponder the importance of the scriptures. Invite the class members to share their thoughts about their importance. Give each class member a scripture reference. Explain that in the scriptures we can learn about our Heavenly Father. Invite each class member to read their scripture to themselves and ponder about what they can learn about Heavenly Father from that scripture. Give them 5 or so minutes to do so. Then one at a time invite the class members to share what their scripture was about (or read their scripture) and then explain what they learned about their Heavenly Father from that scripture. Here are some scripture references: Isaiah 55; 2 Nephi 26:23–33; Mosiah 2:19–25; Doctrine and Covenants 1:17–39.
- How can I help others learn about Heavenly Father? To begin class invite the youth to come up one at a time and write on the board things the know or believe about Heavenly Father. Divide the youth into partners or groups of three. Give them the a copy of the True to the Faith section about Heavenly Father. Invite the youth to read the section together in their groups and discuss what they are reading about Heavenly Father. Give them time to do this. When time is up, invite the youth to discuss with the class what things they could say to a friend or family member who is unsure about the existence or their belief of God.
- How can I learn to see Heavenly Father’s hand in all things? Write the phrase, "Tender Mercies of the Lord". Begin class, by inviting the youth to think about what that phrase means and to share their thoughts. Show the video: "The Tender Mercies of The Lord". After the video invite the youth to play a game with you. Invite the first person to say, "Heavenly Father has.... (then say something that Heavenly Father has given them or done in their life)." Then the next person will say, "Heavenly Father has... (then will say what the first person said and then say something that Heavenly Father has given or done for them). " Continue going around the circle with each class member saying what the class members before had said and adding what Heavenly Father has given or done for them. Then discuss as a group what we must do to receive the tender mercies of the Lord. Invite the youth to continue to acknowledge their Heavenly Father's hand in all things.
- How does the Holy Ghost help me teach the gospel? Write on the board, why is it important to teach by the Spirit? Invite the class members to share their thoughts, write them on the board. Read the following quote: “When a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men” (2 Nephi 33:1). No mortal teacher, no matter how expert or experienced, can bring the blessings of testimony and conversion to another person. That is the office of the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit. People come to know that the gospel is true by the power of the Holy Ghost (see Moroni 10:5; D&C 50:13–14)." Discuss this as a class. Divide the class into two groups. Give one group the first part of "Lesson 6: The Spirit Is the True Teacher," Part B: Basic Principles of Gospel Teaching—Teach by the Spirit" Titled, "The Spirit’s Role in Gospel Teaching", Give the other group the last part, titled, "Humbly Serving as Instruments in the Lord’s Hands". Invite them to read and discuss it as a group. Then emphasis that you would like them to let the Spirit help them teach/discuss what they have read with the rest of the class.
Idea's for Mutual: Here is a link to the Youth Activities Planning Site. *** This site is amazing! We recently had a short little training on this site at one of our Round Tables. It is a great resource for planning activities. It will only continue to grow as wards submit more ideas. One really need thing about it is it can link the activities right into your stake or ward calendars. ***