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What a perfect lesson to study this December! Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 24: A Christ-Centered Life is certain to get you focused back on what's most important this season and it's not all that stress! President Benson said, "Walking in His way is the greatest achievement of life. That man or woman is most truly successful whose life most closely parallels that of the Master." Not only is that an excellent gift to give to the Savior, it's the perfect one to give ourselves this month. I especially love the following quote,
We forget that it actually IS possible to become like Him! How do we do it? One thing at a time. Begin with our thoughts. "Looking unto the Lord in every thought is the only possible way we can be the manner of men and women we ought to be." Our thoughts will turn into actions which will turn into habits. Don't get overwhelmed! We all know we can always improve. Pick one Christlike attribute listed in this chapter and study it. Find out what it means, read scriptures about it, and make yourself realistic steps that you can achieve on your path to gaining that attribute. Then move on to the next one. The key is to always continue to progress and never get too comfortable where we are at.
Why do you think it takes courage to think of Christ every day, to learn of Him, and to walk in His steps? What must we have courage against? Sometimes it's the natural man inside of me and sometimes it's Satan and his forces. It does take courage to believe each new day and to say, "Yes, I will follow Him today." It is a choice you have to make each and every day. When you stop actively making that choice, you stop doing those other things that are important. Remember to say "Yes" everyday and to focus all you do around our Savior. And most importantly, don't give up!!
Thanks for joining me this year as I've shared my thoughts and ideas with you! I'm already starting on next year's manual and I hope you continue to go on this journey with me. Merry Christmas!
- Use some of the simple Christmas devotionals available on the blog- they each focus on something we can do to be more like Christ (free). Print out some of the posters to send home and encourage people to share the message with their families or put it up as a reminder for the week.
- You can also use some of the Christmas Scripture Study (free) or encourage people to study the life of Christ this month. After each day’s study, encourage them to ask themselves, “What I can learn from these verses that will help me better my life?” “How does this bring me closer to Christ?” “What does the Lord want me to do because of what I now know?” in addition to the questions already suggested in that day’s study.
- Point out simple ways you can exemplify these attributes. These attributes all start by doing the little things. For example, here’s a list of 9 simple ways to answer someone’s holiday wish. What attributes do they exemplify? How easy is it to do these things this week? It doesn’t have to be a huge event to become Christlike. It’s line upon line- one step at a time. It’s those little things that will end up making a big difference.
- Focus some of your lesson on “The Living Christ.” Go back to last year’s challenge and ask your class to memorize a line or all of it for Christmas. You can print out a couple of lines from it here. Challenge your class to ponderize it this month. How will it change their attitudes, their thoughts, their actions? You could make a journal page with these questions or have them use the Ponderize Study Journal pages each week– it’s free.
- Come join our Private Facebook Group and discuss ideas with other teachers like you.
- This Names of Christ Devotional is wonderful to use during December. Make it a part of your lesson too by talking about the attributes that are associated with each name. It'd be fun to hang each of these ornaments up or even assign a couple of these names to others to present.
- Print out Names of the Savior Christmas Subway Art to display during your lesson. Print extras to send home as a reminder of all the different attributes and different ways we can think about Christ to make Him the center of our homes.
- Watch this video for 4 more ideas! In this video I mentioned a Names of Christ Advent. You can read more about it here and enter to win your own copy through November 24th.
- Still need ideas? I have 3 more pages full of ideas for you plus extra discussion questions, resources, and handouts in the Chapter 24 Study Journal.
The Christ photo can be found on LDS.org. If you need this one in another size, please let me know. If you like these lesson helps, show it by liking Chicken Scratch n Sniff's Facebook Page too. Thanks!
"Come, Follow Me"- Hymn #116
"How Great the Wisdom and the Love"- Hymn #195
"Lord, Accept into Thy Kingdom"- Hymn #246
"Lord, I Would Follow Thee"- Hymn #220
"Love One Another"- Hymn #308
"Nearer, Dear Savior, to Thee"- Hymn #99
"The Lord Is My Light"- Hymn #89
"The Time is Far Spent"- Hymn #266
"With Humble Heart"- Hymn #171
"Abide with Me: 'Tis Eventide"- Hymn #165
"Abide with Me!"- Hymn #166
"Guide Me To Thee"- Hymn #101
"I Know That My Redeemer Lives"- Hymn #136
"Jesus, Lover of My Soul"- Hymn #102
"Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me"- Hymn #104
"Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer"- Hymn #103
"Where Can I Turn for Peace?"- Hymn #129
Questions to Ponder
- How has the Savior influenced your life?
- How has his life impacted the earth?
- In what ways does your life change as you think on Christ?
- How are our thoughts and attributes connected?
- How can you further develop the Christlike attributes mentioned in section 2?
- How does the message in section 3 give you hope as you continue your journey to become more Christlike?
- In what ways have you been blessed in your efforts to follow Him? How has He helped you?
Suggested Study Schedule
Get even more out of your study and preparation with the Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 24 Study Journal!
"The Christ-Centered Life" by Elder Neal A. Maxwell
"Christlike Attributes- the Wind beneath Our Wings" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"Living a Christ-Centered Life" by Elder Merrill J. Bateman
"'Come unto Me'" by President Henry B. Eyring
"To Look, Reach, and Come unto Christ" by Sister Anne C. Pingree