Chapter 18: Living by Every Word that Proceeds from the Mouth of God
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith
- We show we love God by keeping the commandments.
- When we choose to follow the Lord, we become people worth of the Celestial Kingdom
Have a few members of the class stand up and create enough room so each of them can extend their arms to their sides (like they are an airplane). Show them what they are going to do by modeling how they are going to “flick the water off their fingers” by putting both hands in a fist (with your arms still extended) and then quickly flick all their fingers out (like you are doing popcorn popping on the apricot tree). Flick them quickly at about the rate of two flicks per second. It seems easy enough. Have the volunteers promise you that they will do it for one minute straight and not quit. Mark, set, go! They will begin and it seems easy for a while. After about 30 seconds their forearms will starts to burn a little and their hands will start to cramp up a little. Many will be tempted to quit all of a sudden when it gets hard and not live up to their word. Challenge the students to struggle through to the end. Watch them suffer the last 10 seconds! Compliment them most warmly when they are done and have completed it. It will be hard for them.
Now go to Section 2 and have them look at the first 2 paragraphs. How is this like what just happened with flicking of fingers? Sometimes we do the easy things of worship, but not the most difficult thing. We talk about keeping the commandments a lot and it rolls off our tongues like it should be easy, but when you get down to it, why is what Joseph Fielding Smith is asking of us so hard?
There are two possible reasons why we want to learn and keep the commandments. The first is to avoid negative consequences and the second is to obtain positive outcomes. President Smith talks about each of these in this chapter. Tell the class to look through the rest of the chapter for one example of each from what President Smith teaches. Give them about 5 minutes to do this and then spend the rest of the class discussing the ideas that they found. What is the most powerful reason he outlines about why we want to choose to follow the teachings of Jesus?