Guidebooks and Callings
32: Creating Lessons from Conference Talks and Other Resources
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“32: Creating Lessons from Conference Talks and Other Resources,” Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching (1999), 100–101

“32,” Teaching, No Greater Call, 100–101


Creating Lessons from Conference Talks and Other Resources

A structured lesson manual is not provided for every teaching occasion in the Church. In some settings you may teach from articles in Church magazines or from general conference addresses. In other settings you may teach from a book that includes study questions but no lesson plans.

When you prepare lessons from these resources, you should follow the suggestions in “Preparing Lessons”(pages 98–99). As you do so, the Spirit will guide you in your decisions about what to teach and how to teach it.

Example of How to Plan a Lesson from a General Conference Talk

Consider this excerpt from a general conference address by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin:

“The last part of the thirteenth article of faith states, ‘If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.’ Articles of Faith 1:13

“The word seek means to go in search of, try to discover, try to acquire. It requires an active, assertive approach to life. For example, Abraham ‘sought for the blessings of the fathers … and to be a greater follower of righteousness’ (Abraham 1:2). It is the opposite of passively waiting for something good to come to us with no effort on our part.

“We can fill our lives with good, leaving no room for anything else. We have so much good from which to choose that we need never partake of evil” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1992, 120; or Ensign, May 1992, 86).

The following example shows one way to prepare a lesson based on this statement.

1. Read Elder Wirthlin’s statement.

Prayerfully think of those you are to teach, pondering how this passage applies to them.

2. Decide what should happen in the lives of those you teach as a result of the lesson.

For example, if you are teaching youth, you might want them to set goals that will help them seek after things that are good. This could include goals regarding scripture study, wholesome recreation, or uplifting activities with friends.

3. Decide on the main principle or principles you will teach, along with any supporting ideas.

What you choose to emphasize should depend on the needs of those you teach. As you are diligent and prayerful, you will receive guidance from the Spirit in making this decision.

For example, to teach youth the importance of seeking after that which is good, you might focus on Elder Wirthlin’s statement that “we have so much good from which to choose that we need never partake of evil.” Supporting ideas could include that we must actively seek after good things and that we can seek the Lord’s help as we do so.

As you prepare to teach these principles, you might turn to the Topical Guide and look under the heading “Seek, Sought.” There you would find scripture passages to help you. For example, you would find Doctrine and Covenants 6:7, which says to “seek not for riches but for wisdom,” and Doctrine and Covenants 46:8, which says to “seek … earnestly the best gifts.” While studying these passages, you would identify those that would be most useful in teaching the principles in the lesson.

4. Consider how you want to teach the main ideas and the supporting ideas you have selected.

Search carefully through the teaching methods described on pages 159–84. Ideas will come to you as you consider how to teach your class.

For example, you might conduct a chalkboard activity in which learners list different ways they can spend their time. This could lead to a discussion of whether they are fulfilling Elder Wirthlin’s counsel to “fill our lives with good, leaving no room for anything else.”

As you consider conducting such discussions, begin thinking of questions to ask (see “Teaching with Questions,” pages 68–70). For example, as you talk about the importance of living according to Elder Wirthlin’s counsel, you might ask, “What changes could we make that would help us fill our lives with good?”

The more carefully you ponder the specific needs of those you teach and the more you study the various teaching methods found in this book, the more confident and creative you will be in developing ideas for teaching.

Preparing lessons from general conference talks and other resources will require added creativity. As you prepare diligently and seek the Spirit, you will be inspired in the preparation of such lessons. You and those you teach will be blessed as a result of your preparation.