Second- and Third-Sunday Meetings
On the second and third Sundays of each month, Melchizedek Priesthood quorums and Relief Societies study the teachings of Church leaders from the most recent general conference. Emphasis should be given to messages from members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; however, based on local needs and inspiration from the Spirit, any message from the most recent conference may be discussed.
In most cases, the quorum presidency, group leadership, or Relief Society presidency will select a conference message to study based on the needs of the members, although the bishop or stake president may give input. Leaders may choose a message related to the topic discussed in theÂ first-Sunday council meeting, or they may chooseÂ another message based on the inspiration of the Spirit. Leaders and teachers should find ways to encourage members to read the selected messages in advance and come prepared to share insights. The suggested learning activities below, which are based on principles in Teaching in the Saviorâs Way, can engage members in learning from general conference messages.
Ask members of your quorum or Relief Society to think about how their lives have been influenced for good by a righteous and faithful woman. Consider inviting a few members to share how this woman illustrates one or more of the characteristics of righteous women outlined in Sister Eubankâs message. What do we learn from Sister Eubank about how we can become âa significant force in both the numerical and the spiritual growth of the Church in the last daysâ?
This message can help members who may feel separated from Heavenly Father or from those around them. What would help those you teach understand what a breach is? Maybe you could bring pictures of different kinds of breaches. How does Sister Marriott define breach? What can cause breaches in our relationships with God and others? Invite members to search Sister Marriottâs message for suggestions about what we can do to repair breaches in our lives. Give members time to write down what the Spirit prompts them to do to draw closer to God and others.
What blessings flow into our lives when we understand our divine identity? To answer this question, members of your quorum or Relief Society could review together the stories of Mariama, Renu, and Taiana in Sister Jonesâs message. What counsel does Sister Jones give to help us âremember and embrace our divine identityâ? Invite members to find and discuss a scripture passage or a quotation in Sister Jonesâs message that helps them understand their true worth to God. Invite them to share one of these scriptures or quotations with someone who needs a reminder of his or her divine worth.
One way to review President Uchtdorfâs message would be to divide the quorum or Relief Society into small groups. You could assign each group to read about one of the sisters in President Uchtdorfâs message. Each group could write a letter to that sister summarizing his counsel and share what they wrote with the other groups. What can we do to be more like the third sister? How can we make our quorum or Relief Society a âsafe homeâ for those who are struggling?
How can you help those you teach recognize how God is using them to bless others? You could invite them to review the section of President Uchtdorfâs message titled âGod Will Use You,â looking for promises made to those who strive to serve in Godâs kingdom despite their weaknesses. Reading this message may also remind members of experiences they could share in which God used them to bless othersâor when He used others to bless them. Give members time to ponder what they feel inspired to do because of this discussion.
One way to start a discussion about Sister Oscarsonâs message is to give everyone a piece of paper with âWho needs me today?â written at the top. Members of your Relief Society or quorum could take a few minutes pondering and listing answers to this question. Then they could search Sister Oscarsonâs message for ideas about how they could serve the people on their listâor add names as inspired. Maybe a few could share what they have learned.
How will the members of your quorum, group, or Relief Society act on Elder Oaksâs invitation to âteach [and] live byâ the family proclamation, at home, in the community, and at church? Invite them to share ideas with each other. It might also help to search the message for some doctrinal statements from the family proclamation. How do these statements help us respond to âcurrent challenges to the familyâ? Section IV of Elder Oaksâs message contains some examples of such statements.
Here are some questions that Relief Society and quorum members could have in mind as they review Elder Christoffersonâs message: What is holiness? How do we seek after holiness? How does partaking of the sacrament help us in our efforts? Members could share words from Elder Christoffersonâs message that help answer these questions. How do we help each other as âfellow Saintsâ in our efforts to become more holy?
Some of those you teach may feel that they do not measure up when it comes to living the Saviorâs teachings. What does Elder Holland teach that can comfort and encourage those who might feel this way? You could invite Relief Society or quorum members to look for something in this message that they might share with someone who is struggling to feel that they are âgood enough.â Or they could find something in the message that inspires them to feel âgreater love and admiration for [Christ] and a greater desire to be like Him.â
Have any of your quorum or Relief Society members experienced a solar eclipse? If so, you could invite one of them to explain the analogy that Elder Stevenson shares about a âspiritual eclipse.â What obstacles can âblock out the magnitude, brightness, and warmth of the light of Jesus Christ and His gospelâ? How can social media distract us from âthe beauty, warmth, and heavenly light of the gospelâ? How do we put on âgospel glassesâ that protect us from spiritual blindness? What does Elder Stevensonâs analogy teach us about maintaining a gospel perspective?
Elder Cookâs message reminds us of the importance of striving to be humble in various ways. One way to discuss what he teaches is to divide members into two groups. Ask one group to look for suggestions in Elder Cookâs message that might help us develop humility, and the other group to look for ways that people manifest pride. Invite each group to share their description with the other group. Members could also share ways they can show more âeveryday humilityâ in their lives and consider how this humility might help them prepare to meet God.
To encourage discussion about Elder Rasbandâs message, it might be helpful to invite a few members to bring a sewing pattern, a blueprint, or a recipe and talk about why these are helpful. What examples or teachings from Elder Rasbandâs message inspire members to recognize Godâs design for their lives? Perhaps class members could share experiences in which they saw the Lord was directing their lives. What have they done to show God that they âtreasureâ His direction? Why is it important to recognize Godâs âdivine designâ?
President Nelson invited members to think about three questions: (1) âWhat would your life be like without the Book of Mormon?â (2) âWhat would you not know?â (3) âWhat would you not have?â Invite members of your quorum, group, or Relief Society to ponder these questions and share how they would answer them. What do they find in this message that inspires them to value the Book of Mormon more than âdiamonds or rubiesâ?
How can you help members of your quorum or Relief Society understand how the priesthood helps make the blessings of the Saviorâs Atonement available to them? You might write these two headings on the board: âWhy we need the Atonement of Jesus Christâ and âHow the priesthood âdeliversâ the blessings of the Atonement to us.â Then invite members to search Elder Renlundâs message, looking for phrases to write under each heading. How do the priesthood and its ordinances help fulfill Heavenly Fatherâs purposes for His children?
Invite members to search President Uchtdorfâs message and identify how the presence or absence of divine light can affect our lives. You could invite members to study some of the scriptures that President Uchtdorf references and identify truths related to spiritual light. What does the metaphor about the eclipse teach us about the role of agency in seeking spiritual light? What can we do to share Jesus Christâs divine light with others, especially with our families and with âour youth, who are seeking lightâ?
Invite the members of your quorum or Relief Society members to share experiences in which they needed to develop faith that their calling or anotherâs calling came from God. How did they exercise their faith? How did they come to learn that the calling was from God? Invite members to search President Eyringâs message and identify truths he learned from personal experience that can help us trust and be patient with ourselves and others whom the Lord has called.
Sister Binghamâs message can help members of your Relief Society or quorum understand how to find joy, despite lifeâs difficulties, as we come unto Christ. One way to discuss her message might be to draw a path on the board leading to the word joy. Invite several members to write on the path a suggestion from Sister Binghamâs message that leads to true joy. Encourage members to consider ways they can act on Sister Binghamâs counsel. Invite several members to share their thoughts.
To help members of your Relief Society or quorum discuss Elder Bednarâs message, you could put pictures on the board to represent the Sabbath, the temple, and our homes. Invite members to read the corresponding sections of Elder Bednarâs message and write on the board how the Sabbath day, the temple, and our homes help us focus on Godâs promises to us. What things in our lives might pull our attention away from these promises? What steps can we take to make sure that we remember them?
President Eyringâs message can help those you teach find the courage and faith to do good in the world. You could invite a few members to summarize the examples of faithful people President Eyring shares. What do these examples teach us about how to serve others? What do these examples suggest about ways we can serve as a quorum or Relief Society?
Another way to discuss this message is to review the blessings that President Eyring saw from following President ThomasÂ S. Monsonâs counsel to study the Book of Mormon. What blessings have we seen from studying the Book of Mormon?
To begin a discussion about Elder Ballardâs message, you could invite someone to share an experience when they had a destination but discovered they were on the wrong route. How do examples like these relate to our personal âtrekâ back to Heavenly Father? Members could then search for counsel and warnings that Elder Ballard gives that can help us know if we are headed in the right direction in our own lives. Give members time to ponder their own paths and to discuss ways we can help and encourage others in their âtrekâ back to Heavenly Father.
Perhaps members of your Relief Society or quorum could share an experience in which a general conference message felt particularly meaningful to them. Why were these messages meaningful? What does Elder Andersen teach about the significance of general conference messages and the effort and process involved in preparing them? How should this knowledge affect the urgency with which we study and heed these words? Consider making a list of invitations from the most recent conference. What have we done to act on these invitations?