Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 2016 Youth Sunday School Lesson: Commandments

Last Sunday I taught our Youth Sunday School class about commandments.  Specifically touching on how the commandments help us learn to be more like Heavenly Father.
We started the lesson with discussing the "whys" of the Gospel.  Meaning why do we do the things we do and why the whys are so important.

"Sometimes, in the routine of our lives, we unintentionally overlook a vital aspect of the gospel of Jesus Christ, much as one might overlook a beautiful, delicate forget-me-not.  In our diligent efforts to fulfill all of the duties and obligations we take on as members of the Church, we sometimes see the gospel as a long list of tasks that we must add to our already impossibly long to-do list, as a block of time that we must somehow fit into our busy schedules.  We focus on WHAT the Lord wants us to do and HOW we might do it, but we sometimes forget WHY." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

This was such a great topic for my class.  We have an amazing young man that is a recent convert in our class and he's had a lot of people ask him why he does the things he does now.  I hope our discussion helped him realize he isn't alone.

We also talked about attitude.  A good attitude helps us enjoy what we are asked to do even more and realize all the blessing we do receive while following the commandments. And then we watched the video Following God (linked below) and read the definition of Obedience in True to the Faith.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf went on to say,
"While understanding the "what" and the "how" of the gospel is necessary, the eternal fire and majesty of the gospel springs from the "why."  When we understand why our Heavenly Father has given us this pattern for living, when we remember why we committed to making it a foundational part of our lives, the gospel ceases to become a burden and, instead, becomes a joy and a delight.  It becomes precious and sweet."

Speaking of sweet things, I decided to share with them one of my favorite hobbies.  All of them know I love to bake so I told them I wanted to share with them a recipe for the Perfect Peanut Butter Brownie Bites you can find the recipe HERE.  I switched the first recipe I gave them to have missing ingredients and very little instructions and asked them if they could make it.  They had tons of questions! I told them that the recipe stapled to this one was actually the correct recipe and that commandments are like the recipe for the perfect person.  We need specific instructions to help us become like Him.

Just like in baking you have specific things you add to a recipe to make it rise, taste good, etc.  Heavenly Father has done this with the commandments to help us become like Him in specific ways.
We then discussed each commandment and what attribute or blessing we would receive from Heavenly Father or how we would become more like Him by following that commandment.

"Heavenly Father understands that when we keep the commandments, our lives will be happier, more fulfilling, and less complicated.  Our challenges and problems will be easier to bare, and we will receive His promised blessings...The choices that you make here and now are forever important."
-President Monson

The choices we make define who we are, they show others what we care about, what we believe and who we are. Sometimes our standards can set us apart from others.  We then watched the video Leave the Party (linked below). 

I love that one girl in our class brought up how we are all one of those friends and it made her think which friend am I?  The one that decided to leave, the one that tagged along or the one that did it anyways to fit in.

I love that John went on to teach at a school in Japan.  It just goes to show that Heavenly Father does really have a plan for us and sometimes we may not know all the blessing in store for us.  He knows what's best for us and what we can become if we follow Him.

Just like John in the video the commandments and standards we have can set us apart, we may even feel completely alone.  Even President Monson has felt that way.  I also shared the video Dare to Stand Alone (linked below).

The word courage stood out to me in this lesson.  It takes so much courage and persistence to follow the commandments.  When we decided to follow them and understand why we follow them, we will grow closer to our Heavenly Father and we will never stand alone. 

So when it gets hard becoming the perfect person, remember that Heavenly Father has so much in store for you and that he is trying to help you become the best you-you can be.  He who created us and who loves us perfectly knows just how we need to live our lives in order to obtain the greatest happiness possible.  He has provided us with the perfect recipe which if we follow, will see us safely through this often treacherous mortal journey and make each of us grow closer to and become like Him.

Scriptures we read:
-D&C 82:8-10
-Exodus 20:3-17
-Matthew 22:34-40
-John 14:15

Videos we watched:
Talks I love and used in this lesson:
-Keep the Commandments By President Thomas S. Monson
-Forget Me Not By Dieter F. Uchtdorf
-The Blessings of Commandments By Dallin H. Oaks
This week happened to be Fast Sunday, but I still wanted to package up the Peanut Butter Brownie Bites so I gave them two for a little take home treat after they ended their fast, with the real recipe for them as well.

I also thought the little Keep the Commandments! tag could be attached to a single Reese's or a bag of their mini peanut butter cups so you don't have to make the cookies, but still give them a little treat!

If you'd like the printable for the Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe, as well as the NOT real one for the lesson, and the Keep the Commandments tag you can find them all HERE!

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