Top

Teaching Relief Society from a Conference Talk

If you are here, you have likely been called to teach Relief Society on a 2nd or 3rd Sunday. This has only been my calling for a few months, so in no ways do I consider myself an expert. I have however come up with a system that works for me, and have created multiple graphic organizers for specific talks I have been assigned. Each of these organizers can be found in the exclusive digital resource Living on Lemon Lane Library. All you need to do is subscribe for access

The majority of my adult life in the church has been ironically spent in Young Women’s. YW will forever hold a special place in my heart, as will the new Come Follow Me curriculum. With a degree in teaching I see so much overlap, and inspiration with how the lessons are organized and instructed to be given. Teaching in the Savior’s Way

Though sad to leave my post in Young Women’s I was excited for my calling to be in Relief Society. This was a new feeling. Relief Society and Visiting Teaching had always felt disconnected with an added sense of guilt an even a bit of dread. Much of this created in my own head, stemming from my own insecurities. The idea of Visiting Teaching terrified me. I was willing, just clueless. I remember pleading to a Relief Society President when I was first married to partner me with someone that could take me under their wings and show me the ropes.

When they made the announcement that there would no longer be visiting teaching and instead Ministering…. and that Young Women would be stepping into the role… tears streamed down my face. Every bit of me pulsed with conviction that our Savior Jesus Christ is at the helm. When the call was extended to teach in Relief Society I was excited.

As my first week approached to teach, I quickly realized that teaching  from someone else’s talk posed a few difficulties that I didn’t foresee. In the Youth’s Come Follow Me curriculum you are given a topic or question to teach and supported with multiple addresses, questions, and suggestions for how to deliver the message and lead the discussion. If you are reading this now, you have likely discovered that you are given the specific talk, and a small paragraph of direction and suggestions. I hope the following will help you as you prepare.

Tips for Teaching Second and Third Sundays. 

  1. If you haven’t already, take the time to read and ponder Teaching in the Savior’s Way, as well as reading through the introduction of the Come Follow Me curriculum given to Elder’s Quorum and Relief Society. You can access both through the links above.
  2. Study and listen to your assigned Conference Talk. You can find your assigned talk through the church’s website, the Mormon Channel, and even Youtube. I try to listen to the assigned talk multiple times before actually sitting down to prepare the lesson. Listen while you drive, go for a walk, exercise, clean the house…etc. While you listen think of questions that could be used in a discussion. The more familiar you become with the address the better.
  3. As you go about your week pray for guidance and direction, as well as to have your attention brought to experiences or scriptures that relate. You may even find that you have had an experience that feels specific to what you will be teaching on.
  4. Prior to your lesson find a way to encourage members of the class to read the talk you will be discussing. “Leaders and teachers should find ways to encourage members to read the selected message in advance and come prepared to share gospel truths and ideas about how to act on them.” This invitation can be given through e-mail, text, facebook groups, or at the end of a Sunday Lesson.
  5. It is helpful to print off the talk. I wait until I am familiar with the order and main idea of the talk before printing. This time as I read through the printed pages I like to separate the talk into natural breaks, topics, stories, ideas. Writing the topic or a title for each section in the margin. As I read I also highlight key takeaways, questions posed, any call to action, “an answer to a question, an inspiring passage, or an example of a principle.” I also write down any questions I think of in the margin next to the text it relates to. This can also be done digitally through google docs or Word documents.  If you choose to do this digitally, I suggest you copy and paste the entire talk into a google document. Once copied, highlight the talk again>right click>remove formatting. This will allow you to format the text to your liking without ending up with 25+ pages of material!
  6. Hidden Gems: The next thing I like to do is go through the references listed at the end of the talk. ***This is best done online. Pull up the talk through the church’s website, scroll to the bottom, and then expand the references section.Here you can find the inspiration to much of the address.
    1. Let me give an example of a hidden gem I came across recently. As I was preparing to teach “Young Women in the Work” by Bonnie Oscarson I noticed a random reference note attached to the beautiful phrase as shown in the picture. Notice that tiny little reference 5… When I clicked on it I was lead to this scripture that isn’t even mentioned in Sister Oscarson’s talk. (Matthew 10: 39) 39 aHe that findeth his life shall blose it: and he that closeth his dlife for my sake shall find it.       In Teaching in the Savior’s Way we are encouraged to use the scriptures and use them often. “at every opportunity, inspire those you teach to turn to the word of God for guidance, answers to questions, and support.”  The reference list is the perfect place to start your search for scriptures and latter day scripture to guide your discussion.
  7. Ponder and pray for inspired questions. Inspired questions lead to inspired discussion. Hopefully at this point you have already thought of a few questions that can be posed. Remember in that small paragraph you are given from the Come Follow Me there should be at least 2 questions, and that’s a start 😉. Also I have found it helpful when thinking of questions to search for teaching helps or suggestions. Chicken Scratch and Sniff is a site I look to often! Below are some of the basic questions I use. Many have lead to meaningful discussions:
    1. How does this relate to you or your life
    2. How do we apply this princible
    3. What changes are you prompted to make in your own life after reading/discussing this?
    4. Do you have a scripture or scripture story that comes to mind?
    5. Have you had an experience in your own life that illustrates this?
    6. Why is this relevant to the topic/gospel?
    7. Going forward what changes will you strive to make?
    8. What can we learn from this?
  8. Decide how you are going to deliver the material. I always try to have at least one additional method besides the teacher reading and the class responding.
    1. My go to is video clips. After sectioning the talk off in to topics, I watch the video and assign the segment of time on the video to each topic. That way I can share and pause the pieces easily without having to search. Less that 3 minute video segments are ideal but I have gone upwards to 5 if it stays focused. If you are wanting to use a video segment that is 5 minutes or longer, consider pausing it to discuss what has been said or asking a question to be discussed. The simplest way I have used video clips is ON MY PHONE through the TV. All you need is an HDMI cord that connects your phone to the TV from the library. The TV then displays whatever is shown or playing on your phone. You can purchase one through Amazon, or encourage your ward to purchase one that can be kept in the library! ****When using video clips consider prefacing each clip with something the class should be listening for. This allows students to be more focused and attentive with purpose.
    2. Other options to consider would be breaking the class into small groups 3-5 people per group in my experience is about right. Assign a topic, section, question, or scriptures to each group as well as an objective. When everyone is finished they will be teaching the class, summarizing, answering a question… You will want to plan your time for this appropriately and may need to support some of the groups. This is a great way to get everyone involved and talking, while taking the pressure away of participating in front of the entire class.
    3. Are there materials you could bring, display, or play that would add to the lesson. Besides video clips, consider a piece of music, graphic organizer, a poem, a picture… In my Small and Simple things lesson, at the end of the class I passed around an i-pad with examples of Pointillism Art and asked the members to come up with a correlation between the two. What was said was far more beautiful and inspired than what I would have come up with on my own. In another lesson I displayed a painting of the Vision of The Tree of Life, (I was able to do this DIGITALLY, through my phone, using the HDMI cord. Using my phone allowed me to zoom in on details being discussed!) The majority of the lesson ended up in a beautiful discussion about details the sisters noticed and how it related to our lives, this all stemmed from a simple question, and a simple, yet beautiful picture.
    4. The following two come from my experience as a school teacher.
      1. Socratic method: Each member of the class is given a slip or slips of paper and asked to participate in a discussion. When they participate they can put a slip of paper on the floor or in a community pile. The hope is that at the end of the lesson no one will have a slip left.
      2. Gallery Walk: This is extremely flexible. Basically you post things around the room, and ask member to walk around to each one and respond or reflect. This can be done with quotes, pictures, questions, a combination of all of these… You can place posters with a quote and a question and each member will write their response on the poster. You can either give them a total amount of time to pace themselves, or you can give an allotted amount of time at each poster and have them rotate after each interval. At the end of the respond and reflect you could then assign a poster to a small group and give them the assignment of reading through, and then summarizing the thoughts for the rest of the group.
      3. Technology: I haven’t yet but I am hoping to find a way to incorporate a few of my favorite teaching tools like plickers or, kahoot
  9. Consider the order you will deliver the message. Do not feel bound to chronological. Remember you organized the talk into sections. Decide what is the overall message you want members to walk away with and prioritize your lesson based off of that. As you organize consider stories, experiences, questions, and methods of delivery.
  10. Testify and Call to Action… The most important part of the lesson. What truths will you testify of to close your lesson, what will the members be inspired to do? Invite them to change, give them something to work on, to do, to take away from the lesson that they can apply and immediately start working on in the coming week. This can be an invitation to act as an individual that they decide upon personally or an invitation to act as a group. Either way this is where conversion takes place, this is the purpose of the lesson. ***Pay attention to the talk you have been assigned most of the time there is if not one, but many calls to action, or an invitation to act.
    1. Remember we have been asked to come back and reflect each week on the previous lesson. Here is where we would discuss the invitations to act, what they brought about, feelings experienced, here again we testify. “Share experiences with acting on impressions and invitations received in previous priesthood or Relief Society meetings (led by a presidency member).

I hope these thoughts were helpful as you plan and prepare your next lesson. Make sure to check out the Exclusive Digital Library where you can download Graphic Organizers that I create specific to the talk assigned.

A Few Teaching Tips from a School Teacher

  • Expectations are Everything. If you wish a class would participate more…. tell them. If you wish people would stop distracting from your lesson by visiting or looking at a device….tell them. At the beginning of each lesson I make sure to stress how much their contribution is needed. There is a responsibility on the teacher to prepare, invite, and guide. Often we forget about the responsibility of the student to participate, think, and to ponder. Remember you can not hold someone to an expectation if they don’t know what the expectation is. List your expectations to the entire class at the beginning, then facilitate an atmosphere conducive to your expectations.
  • Guide on the Side not a Sage on the Stage: 

    “Don’t try to dazzle everyone with how brilliant you are. Dazzle them with how brilliant the gospel is. Don’t worry about the location of the lost tribes or the Three Nephites. Worry a little more about the location of your student, what’s going on in his heart, what’s going on in her soul, the hunger, sometimes the near-desperate spiritual needs of our people. Teach them. And, above all, testify to them. Love them. Bear your witness from the depths of your soul. It will be the most important thing you say to them in the entire hour, and it may save someone’s spiritual life.”

    Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

  • Inspired Questions lead to Inspired Discussion: Steer clear of questions that can be answered by a simple yes, or no, or very important….. Exp: How important is _________ in our lives? Answer: Very important🤦‍♀️
  • Don’t be afraid of silence: It’s ok to have an uncomfortable silence, even if you are dying on the inside… Stand confident. Give it some time. Ask the question again, rephrase it if you can. Some of the best responses will come from a good awkward silence. Worst case scenario, assign the question to someone and say we will come back to it and discuss. Have everyone turn to a neighbor and discuss it with them, next asking a partnership to share what as discussed. You can even ask a partnership to share their thoughts before the discussion so they know they have a responsibility to fulfill.
  • Stay on Track: Sometimes you might have a member of the class that dominates the discussion, or loves to share stories that aren’t pertinent to the discussion (especially with the youth) 
    • A teaching tactic you can try with a student dominating or distracting from the discussion is a neighbor turn and talk. Have everyone turn to their neighbor and share their thoughts, if time allows ask if anyones neighbor had a thought worth sharing. This typically encourages other members of the class to participate, while still validating the person’s need to be heard.
    • If you have a student that distracts from the lesson with remarks that are off the wall, intended for laughs, or meant to discuss the location of the 3 Nephites, it might be helpful to remind or revisit what you are listing as your expectations at the beginning of the class. What is the purpose of everyone’s attendance. List the purpose, and ask for participation focused on that purpose.

If you are searching for a little reading material about teaching, you might be interested in reading Teaching and Learning in the Church by Elder Jeffery R. Holland. This was given in 2007 prior to the new Teaching in the Savior’s way and you can see much correlation between the two.

I would love to hear any tips, or ideas that you have used in your own lesson or plan to use! What has worked well for you?

 

Comment below if you’re starting the COUNTDOWN TO GENERAL CONFERENCE Paper Chain! With two versions available you're good not matter how old your kiddos are. I've included videos from a couple of my favorites, @latterdaykids @angiemaek and @davidbowmanart as well as a podcast episode of Gordon B. Hinkley’s perspective on Joseph Smith that is INCREDIBLE. ...

I’m so late posting this! BUT SO EXCITED!! General Conference is a week away, to help you prepare I’ve created a FREE Countdown to General Conference Paper Chain! This download is editable and includes 2 READY-TO-GO versions.
Version 1: Made with toddlers and young children in mind
Version 2: Families & Youth
.
.
.
To keep things as simple as possible each link includes a QR code that once scanned will quickly bring you to one of my favorite videos, podcasts, songs, or illustrated stories with an emphasis on preparing for Conference, Joseph Smith, and the Restoration of the Gospel Of Jesus Christ! Head to the website, download now, and get started TODAY! Complete one activity for the next 7 days💛💛💛
...

SO excited to share this FREE with you for #comefollowme this week! Get ready to study the account of Enos, while pulling out the specifics and pattern of his prayer... then relating that same pattern to your own life! The idea for the activity came from a suggestion from @theensignmagazine the download included both the answer key **shown, and the response page! You will get access to the digital version meaning you can alter the text, or complete online as opposed to printing and completing! This activity is perfect for a wide range of ages even starting with my 4 year old! .
.
Head to the website to download this FREEBIE now! .
.
Do me a favor and tag a friend or share this image to your story💛 With all of us worshipping at home there has been an increase in people searching for supports for their home based church 💛 Sharing and tagging is one of the best ways to support the efforts of @livingonlemonlane
...

Enos records, “I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.” It wasn’t easy. Faith did not come quickly. In fact, Enos characterized his experience in prayer as a “wrestle which [he] had before God.”But faith did come. By the power of the Holy Ghost, he did receive a witness for himself. -Elder Robert D. Hales
.
.
.
Head to the website for this week’s Come Follow Me, FREE Resource Roundup! This week includes free videos, activities, coloring pages, articles, and printables! .
.
You can also download this weekly reading assignment reminder along with other graphics to share through social media, or text!
...

Come Follow Me: Book of Mormon
Enos-Words of Mormon
.
.
Head to the website to see this week’s round up of FREE resources to help your study of Come Follow Me! From Printables to Videos, to Podcasts to Activities! This week is JAM PACKED with awesome resources! .
.
Comment your favorite resource for this week below, I’ll share mine in the comments😍 .
.
As always do me a favor and share an IG post from @livingonlemonlane to your story or tag a friend in the comments! With this new focus on Home Centered Church many are looking for resources and helps for Come Follow Me, sharing is one of the best ways to support the efforts of @livingonlemonlane 💛🍋💛
...

This week we’re doing it a little differently... In light of Jacob 5, the LONGEST chapter in the Book of Mormon and the chapter that always caused the wheels to fall off my reading wagon, I wanted to create a tool that would better help (me) you and your family better understand the WHAT and the WHY of the Allegory of the Olive Tree. Instead of an object lesson I’ve provided my favorite resources for teaching the allegory to toddlers/ youth, and individual study. This FREE download is included. .
.
Comment below how your FIRST Home Centered Church Supported Sunday went!! Any highlights?? What about low lights?? What went well? I want to hear it all! .
.
Don’t forget to tag a friend in the comments and share the love, we could all use a support and pick me up during this crazy, social distanced time!
...

“These surely are the latter days, and the Lord is hastening His work to gather Israel. That gathering is the most important thing taking place on earth today. Nothing else compares in magnitude, nothing else compares in importance, nothing else compares in majesty. And if you choose to, if you want to, you can be a big part of it. You can be a big part of something big, something grand, something majestic!” -President Russel M. Nelson
.
.
.
Share this image to your story or Facebook as a fun visual reminder for this week’s study! .
.
Head to the website for this week’s free resources and study tools for better understanding Jacob’s Allegory of the Olive Trees 🍋
...

If you’re like me, when you realized we had finally made it to Jacob 5, your breath may have been shortened as you realized you were about to embark on the Olive Tree Allegory with your family. This is a section of scripture, where admittedly I try to get in and get out and with that plan of attack I am left getting little to nothing out of it. I wanted this to be different. Instead of planning an object lesson this week, instead, I wanted to dive into this allegory and give it the time and attention I’m told it deserves. So my hope this week is to give you the tools necessary to “GET” these chapters, no matter how old your kiddos are, or what stage of life you are in.
.
Head to the website for my favorite FREE resources | tools for teaching the Allegory of the Olive Trees. .
Do me a favor and tag a friend in the comments, I’ve noticed a large influx of others looking for resources for #comefollowme with the renewed focus on home centered church 💛💛💛
...

Surely by now you know I love giving you FREEBIES. #piday is no exception! Head to the website to download TWO Of my favorite FREE Activities for Pi Day. You will also find some fun activities and inspiration to make this year’s Pi Day Festivities the best day ever! My ALL time favorite is where you actually make PIE in the classroom using MATH and ZIPLOCK Bags!!! Head to the website to learn more 🥧
Comment below and tag a friend or teammate that needs a free activity to celebrate Pi Day on Monday! 💛
...

Utah schools are officially closed for the next two weeks! Comment below if your school is closed or not and where your from! .
If you are still in school or need a fun St. Patrick’s Day project to assign make sure to head to the website where I’ve linked my favorites, (FREEBIES INCLUDED) In case your didn’t know I’m a bit obsessed with all things Irish. I think it all started with this throwback to Notre Dame Stadium to watch the #fightingirish🍀 Anybody else fascinated with all things Irish?? I’ll go to Ireland one day.... maybe just not today 😳🤧🤒
...

With all the madness going on... you could use a FREEBIE. In case you didn’t know I have a bit of an obsession with all things Irish and St. Patrick... I can’t describe how much I LOVED learning about the man behind the holiday. St. Patrick’s story is inspiring. He truly believed in something and went up against all odds, naysayers, and dangers to achieve it. Not to mention you throw in a little Celtic mythology with fairies and leprechauns and I’m all in! 🍀🌈☘️🌈☘️🌈
I hope this product brings you joy and a little peace amongst the Chaos. You are STRONG. .
Tag a friend in the comments to share the love, link in story and profile!
...

It doesn’t take long for the crumbled crayon boxes and loose, scrambled crayons lead you to slowly lose your sanity.... I love this tip from @heidisongs I also organized my crayons in drawers but her drawer separators are taking it to a whole other level!!! This makes my teacher heart so happy! .
How do you stay ahead of the scrambled Crayon Game???
...

What’s your Game Plan for this week?? Did you check out this week’s Come Follow Me Resource Roundup? All Free and all WONDERFUL! .
Make sure to comment or tag a friend below!
...

Jacob 4:6

When we are troubled, our first reflex must be to search the scriptures and the words of the living prophets. Their writings are beacons that cannot deceive us: “Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken” -Bishop Gérald Caussé
.
This weeks resource roundup is live! Excuse my tardiness I’ve been a little under the weather but am working to be two weeks ahead again 💛💛
...

This week’s object lesson is all about comparing our testimony’s to a tree. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the metaphor of our leaves or branches being shaken!
Comment below💛
...

Guys.... I’m not usually one to toot my own horn.... but 🎺 🎺. You HAVE to try this in your classroom. I racked my brain to come up with a pie recipe that didn’t require melting butter, a hand mixer, oven, or mess, that still incorporated math and fun. When plastic bags came to mind I couldn’t find anything that supported the idea of whipped cream in a bag but, in theory it should work.... IT. DOES. Every “piece” of that pie #punintended is made in a ziplock bag with ingredients that simply require measuring. Best part, it’s delicious. This is SURE to be a favorite and memorable activity with your class! 💛 be sure to tag me, I can’t wait to hear all about it!.
Link can be found in my story! You should know by now I’ve got FREEBIES for you for Pi Day as well 💛💛💛 .
.
Comment below if you plan to try this activity with your class! Also what day are you celebrating Pi day??? Friday or Monday?? Let me know!
...

PSA: If you are wanting to try these in your own classroom, (outfit your whole grade level for less than $15!) Follow the link in my profile and order supplies through Amazon Prime👊 While you’re at the website check out the detailed step by step video tutorial for the lucky charm bracelet! Notice no glue or flame required to make this pretty little thing! Also make sure to download the FREE and EXCLUSIVE St. Patrick’s Day resources while you’re there🍀🌈☘️🌈🍀🌈☘️
.
.
.
Tag a team member or friend that needs to try this with you!
...

With it being National Women’s Day Yesterday it seems only appropriate to highlight a woman I love and admire... My mother. Some find it funny or strange that I hope to be just like her, but I truly mean it. She epitomizes what I believe the divinity of femininity is. She is soft and kind, all while being strong and grounded. She is all-giving and self-sacrificing all while knowing her worth. The needs of others especially those she loves will always be put before her own. Oddly enough this could be considered her weakness, which at the end of the day speaks volumes of the type of person she is. What a blessing it is to know her, how grateful I am to call her mom. .
.
.
Who do you think of on National Women’s Day? Comment below!
...

What was your favorite FREE Resource for #comefollowme this week?? Did anyone download the Feast Upon the Words is Christ Scripture Tracker? Comment below:
.
.
.
...

“Craving the Lord’s companionship, the scriptures infuse my spirit with the Spirit. They will do the same for you. They will enlighten you, lift you, comfort you, strengthen you. They will envelop you in a warm blanket of heavenly love. How do I know? Because they do that for me. It is Heavenly Father’s promise to us. It is eating at the Lord’s table.” ...