"Strengthen Thy Stake"

Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 23: "Strengthen Thy Stakes" is a tough one. We normally don't have lessons specifically about stakes which is what makes this lesson both challenging and good. The most popular way we think of stakes is like with a tent- helping to hold it down and provide that shelter. President Benson point out that:

God has provided yet another way we can find help, direction, and protection. Think about what your stake does. Do you dread stake activities or are you filled with gratitude for the blessing they are in your life? As you choose to participate in these stake events, you will build up Zion and find your refuge from the storm. Think about it, when you go on a stake temple trip, you are being strengthened as an individual and a group. As children attend youth conferences they are provided with tools and knowledge to have a defense against the enemy.

Stakes are made for us. The Lord gave them to us because He knows they will provide those things that we need. Are you taking advantage of them?

Teaching Ideas

  • What topics were covered in your last stake conference? Write down a couple of points or quotes and discuss them. Talk about how they are perfect for your area and how you can follow the counsel. Put the key points on the board.
  • Check out your Stake Calendar. What activities are planned or already taken place this year? How do these activities set the stake as a standard? Do these activities provide a refuge, a defense? 
  • End with the last scripture in the chapter- 1 Nephi 22:17. Testify how you know the Lord wants to protect you. He wants to help you. He knows what is ahead of you and has provided a safe path for you. Stakes are part of that plan. It is up to us to choose its standard, defense, and refuge. 
  • Find 2 more pages of additional ideas in this chapter's Study Journal here.
  • Come discuss and share your other ideas over on Chicken Scratch n Sniff's Private Facebook Group. It's a great place full of teachers like you!
  • Watch 3 more ideas here.

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Questions to Ponder

  • Why are we organized into stakes?
  • How has your stake strengthened your home?
  • How have you seen your stake come together to set an example for the world? How have you been blessed by these activities?
  • How do stakes provide protection from enemies?
  • What opportunities are available to participate in your stake? What blessings come from these opportunities as you do so?

Suggested Study Schedule

If you really want to get the most out of studying for this lesson, try our better than ever Study Journal. You'll gain additional insights, handouts, and lots of teaching ideas. 


Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 23: "Strengthen Thy Stakes"

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Isaiah 25:3-5

Matthew 5:14-16

Moroni 10:31-33

D&C 101:17-21

D&C 133:7-9

Watch: Cape Verde, Land of Light (about 8 minutes) and Gather in Stakes (about 1 minute)


"Come to Zion" by Elder D. Todd Christofferson


"Come: Let Israel Build Zion" by Elder Bruce R. McConkie


"A Defense and a Refuge" by Elder Boyd K. Packer


"Strengthen the Stakes of Zion" by President Harold B. Lee


"The Kingdom's Perfecting Pathway" by Elder Dale E. Miller