What is the role of agency in learning the gospel?
PREPARE YOURSELF SPIRITUALLY - Think about something you learned recently.
What did you do to learn it? How did you feel? What are some different ways youth can be
involved in learning the gospel? Who in your class seems to be actively involved in learning?
Who is not? How can you work with other teachers to encourage the youth to actively
participate in learning, in class and on their own?
Agency: The Gift of Choices by Elder Spencer J. Condie
The Three "R's" of Agency by President Thomas S. Monson
(Idea by Amber Isenhour / ga01052011) In preparing for this lesson I was thinking about how if we make the right decisions with our Agency that our path in life will be a lot smoother. I started to think about how I could get this across to 13 year old boys and girls, and what better way than with candy. I am going to use a Rocky Road candy bar and this little poem I came up with. Hopefully when the time come for them to choose a path they will remember “Rocky Road” and choose to go another way. [Click here for handout of poem]
Before we came down to earth, you and me
we were given the gift of our agency.
A gift that would help us return back to Him,
but we need to be good and try never to sin.
We could make any choice we wanted to make
Some would be hard… some as easy as cake.
What choice will you make with your agency?
Will you pick the smooth path or a Road that’s Rocky?
Forks in the road - There are some good ideas to think about and perhaps share in your lesson
Give class members pens or pencils and paper. Ask them to think of the choices they have made so far today and list as many as they can in one minute. At the end of a minute, invite them to share some of the choices on their lists. Then ask: "Which of your choices today do you think was the most important?" Have class members circle this item on their list. Invite a few volunteers to tell which choice they circled and why they feel it was most important. "Where did you get your ability to choose?" Have a class member read aloud Moses 7:32. Suggest that those who are using their own scriptures mark this verse. Explain that Heavenly Father has given us agency—the power to choose between good and evil. But agency is more than just the ability to do what we want; agency is one of the most basic and important of all gospel laws. [Source]
Kar's Kith and Kin
Testify that each of us possesses the gift of agency, the freedom to choose between good and evil. We exercised our agency wisely to earn the right to come to earth. Now, in this life, we are responsible for each choice we make. Making righteous decisions puts us on the path toward eternal exaltation. [Source]
The Red Headed Hostess
"God gave you moral agency and the opportunity to learn while on earth, and He has a work for you to do. To accomplish this work, you have an individual responsibility to seek learning. The key to your future … can be found in the new For the Strength of Youth booklet under the standard of education and in the Young Women value of knowledge." - Mary N. Cook, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency.
In the October 2011 General Conference, Matthew O. Richardson explained that teaching by the Spirit involves giving your students opportunities to use their agency: "Those who teach after the manner of the Spirit help others by inviting, encouraging, and providing them opportunities to use their agency . . . . Rather than asking, 'What can I do for my children, class members, or others?' they ask, 'How do I invite and help those around me to learn for themselves?' . . . . The Holy Ghost is unrestrained as individuals exercise their agency appropriately" ("Teaching After the Manner of the Spirit," LDS General Conference, October 2011). Discuss this quote with your class and why we learn best when we are invited to exercise our agency and to learn for ourselves.
"We want our children and their children to know that the choice of life is not between fame and obscurity, nor is the choice between wealth and poverty. The choice is between good and evil, and that is a very different matter indeed. ...Our lives are made up of thousands of everyday choices. Over the years these little choices will be bundled together and show clearly what we value. The crucial test of life, I repeat, does not center in the choice between fame and obscurity, nor between wealth and poverty. The greatest decision of life is between good and evil." - Boyd K. Packer, “The Choice,” Ensign, Nov. 1980, emphasis added.
If Family Home Evening Video Supplement (53276) is available, show “True to the Faith,” a nine-minute segment. (check with your church library)
The Gift of Agency
The Sting of the Scorpion
What is the role of agency? by Marta Hammond