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What a great opportunity to take a deeper look into what faith really means and how we go about obtaining it throughout our lives. I really liked how Howard W. Hunter Chapter 21: Faith and Testimony pointed out several times how it's not something that comes easily. We have to choose to take the more difficult road to reach it.
This point is illustrated further by President Hunter's 2 scripture examples. Thomas believed after he saw while the blind man's faith allowed him to see. It reminded me of all the other examples in scriptures of people witnessing signs and even angels but not remaining faithful. Just because someone sees something miraculous doesn't mean they believe it. Faith is what allows us to see.
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Too often we expect faith to be easy and maybe in some instances it can be. A strong testimony, however, is built with struggles along the way, seeking for answers, and passing test that come.
- Begin your lesson by defining what the supreme achievement of life is- get several different answers then post the above handout about faith. Discuss why President Hunter said this.
- Faith is more than hope- it's evidence of things that seen. That's why we need faith, hope and charity. Start your lesson by tying in the last chapter about charity then expanding it to these 3 principles with the focus on faith.
- Developing faith is an "arduous task." Some choose not to take the path because it's easier to avoid it. Draw 2 paths on the board- 1 easy and one much more difficult. At the end of the each path write the rewards but keep them covered for the first part. Ask which path people would choose and why. After some short discussion, reveal the results at the end of both paths. Now which would they choose and why. Why is faith so much more work? Why is it worth it?
- Use the above handout "Seeing is Believing" to discuss the blind man's faith. We see differently when we have faith. You could attach cheap magnifying glasses, binoculars, glasses, or googly eyes to the handout to make it extra fun (especially great for those that can't make it to your lesson due to other callings or sickness).
- Save time at the end of your lesson for the sharing of testimonies. You can ask a few people ahead of time or ask your Presidency if they wouldn't mind if you opened it up to everyone.
- Two of the handouts above are actually the same but depicted differently depending on what you feel is right for your class. The gospel is a plan of action so hand out these worksheets and give your class time to write down how they demonstrate faith. The questions come from section 4. The map handout demonstrates the journey that comes as we strive to have faith always.
- Use these free testimony handouts instead of sharing testimonies out loud- give everyone a chance by writing their testimonies.
- Trusting the Lord is part of having faith. Split into groups and give each some of these free printable sticky-notes to answer and put on the board when they are finished answering. Then read the notes together and continue the discussion.
- Discuss how you build faith in the home. Use these 4 ideas to get started.
- More ideas in the video below. Remember to also see the ideas from others on our Private Facebook Group.
Questions to Ponder
- What is the role of faith in accomplishing the "supreme achievement of life" (section 1)?
- What experiences have helped you come to find God and know that He lives? (past and recent)
- Why is devoted effort necessary to gain a knowledge of the reality of God? Why is once not enough?
- Why must one keep the commandments in order to come to know God?
- How do the stories of Thomas and the man born blind apply to your life? What can you learn from these contrasting stories?
- How has exercising your faith allowed you to see?
- How do/can you act on your faith?
- How does faith overcome doubt?
- Why does faith require action in order to gain a testimony?
- How has acting on your faith helped your testimony become stronger?
Suggested Study Schedule
Please remember these articles are to enhance your knowledge and strenghten your testimony of this principle. They are not to replace your lesson in shape or form. Most the words you teach should still be from the manual.
Watch: Preparation of Howard W. Hunter: Always Had a Testimony (about 2 minute)
Watch: "Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind" (about 8 minutes)
"Finding Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ" by Elder Robert D. Hales
"The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Uncertainty and Testing" by Elder Richard G. Scott
"Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"'Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ'" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Men- "Faith Is Not by Chance, but by Choice" by Elder Neil L. Andersen
Women- "Returning to Faith" by Sister Rosemary M. Wixom