Chapter 30: Valiant in the Cause of Christ,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith
Give 10 people in the class a piece of paper with the name of a stock on it. (Click on this link. If you scroll to the bottom of the page you will see the top 10 and bottom 10 performing stocks of 2007.) Tell the class that these people have a stock that is either at the top or the bottom in terms of return on investment. Ask the class to try and determine who has a top stock and who has a bottom stock. Have the class actually break the 10 volunteers with a stock into two groups–the top and the bottom groups. Talk bout why they put some of the stocks in each category. Then reveal the percentage of growth for each stock and see how the class did. Now ask, “What makes a stock go up or down in price?” (For an overview, click here.) Talk about how a company performs dictates how much growth or decline a stock will see. (You will want to move through this quickly because you don’t want to spend too much time on the attention activity and not have enough time for the actual lesson. Don’t get bogged down talking about stocks, it is just an example.) So, “Based on what we have talked about so far, how is the stock market like the Gospel?”
Have the class turn to page 354 and scan the section “The valiant strive…” to find the answer to that question. (The answer is that we all start with some talent, just like the volunteers started with a stock. How we act will determine how we grow or diminish. Eventually we will have to “cash in” with the Lord to show how valuable our stock has become.) Talk about these paragraphs to point out how we are supposed to grow and develop our talents.
Now lets talk about another principle of the stock market. Look at the section entitled “The valiant endure…” on page 355. What does this teach us about our progress? (Just like the stock market, there are ups and downs. Good times and difficult times, but we have to endure through the hard times to continue to grow and develop.) Talk about how some of our difficult times have made our talents improve faster. Why is this a necessary part of our growing and developing?
I would end with the paragraph on page 352 at the end of the section, “The valiant cheerfully…” that starts, “The Prophet said about…” This is a great paragraph to remind people that the Lord will give us the ability to develop our talents and to overcome the difficult times.
You may ask, “What are some of the talents that you are trying to work on? What have you done to improve your talents in the past?” Wait for answers! They will come!
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