Relief Society Lesson 30: Valiant in the Cause of Christ
This is a powerful lesson that seeks to teach us what it means to be true disciples of Jesus Christ. If I were teaching this lesson, I would focus on the courage and conviction it takes to be one of Christ’s disciples. I might start the class by asking what the word “valient” means to members of the class. After several answers have been given, I would have a class member read the story from the life of Joseph Smith (found here).
- Ask the class members how Joseph Smith exhibited valiency?
This might be a good place to share a personal experience. For example, my great-grandmother was a late convert to the Mormon church but was known in her community for her acts of charity. After she joined the church, my great-grandmother sought to teach her family what it meant to be a true Christian. She would often bring my father into her room and read him stories from the scriptures and talk to him about Jesus Christ. My great-grandmother had an unwavering testimony of the power of the atonement and the mission of Jesus Christ to bring all his brothers and sisters back to God. As my father grew older, it was his grandmother’s steadfast faith in Christ and the restored gospel that convinced him to join the church. The story is told in our family that as my great-grandmotherlay dying, she asked my great-uncle to stand her on her feet one last time. Once on her feet, my great-grandmother said, “I stand for Christ…I have stood for Christ.” This has been our family’s mantra ever since. I strive to know what my great-grandmother knew, that to stand for Christ brings purpose and joy.
If you cannot think of a story to share, you could transition into the rest of the lesson at this point.
The valiant love the cause of Christ and strive to develop Christlike qualities.
Sister Chieko Okazaki tells the story of when she was a little girl and her mother began teaching her to be a kigatsuku (an inner spirit to act without being told what to do).
When my mother swept the floor, she would say, “Chieko, what would a kigatsuku girl do now?” Then I’d run and get the dustpan. I recognized my mothr’s teaching when I read that wonderful scripture:
“Verily, I say, [you] should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many thyings of [your] own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in [you], wherein [you] are [an agent] unto [yourself].” (D&C 58:27-28)
You are powerful! Where does that power come from to “do many things of [our] own free will”? It comes from the Savior himself. Feel that desire to serve in your own heart. Sense within yourself that strength to choose!
Joseph Smith said: “I am a lover of the cause of Christ and of virtue, chastity, and an upright, steady course of conduct, and a holy walk.”
What does it mean to be a lover of Christ?
What are some characteristics you would expect in someone who says he is “a lover of the cause of Christ”?
What are some ways we can develop qualities of discipleship and be valiant to the cause of Christ?
President Julie Beck has said:
In order to do our part as women under the Lord’s plan, we must stand strong and immovable in faith, strong and immovable in family, and strong and immovable in relief. We must excel in these three important areas which set us apart as the Lord’s disciples. Through Relief Society we practice being disciples of Christ. We learn what He would have us learn, we do what He would have us do, and we become what He would have us become. When we gather with this focus, the work of Relief Society is relevant whatever your circumstance—whether you are 18 or 88, single or married, have children or not, or whether you live in Bountiful, Utah, or Bangalore, India…
These are essential things which must be done before nonessential things. These are simple, indispensable practices that almost seem mundane when we talk about them. However, they are marks of discipleship which have always been foundational for Relief Society sisters. No one can do these things for us—these are personal practices and habits that set us apart as strong and immovable for that which is correct.
What a different world and Church this would be if every Latter-day Saint sister excelled at making, renewing, and keeping covenants…if every sister studied the scriptures and doctrines of Christ and knew them so well that she could teach and defend those doctrines at any time or place. Think of our combined strength if every sister had sincere prayer every morning and night or, better yet, prayed unceasingly as the Lord has commanded. If every family had family prayer daily and had a family home evening once a week, we would be stronger. If every sister was self-reliant enough to be able to give freely of her knowledge, talents, and resources and if every sister’s discipleship was reflected by what she said…we would be immovable in that which is correct.
Joseph Smith gave some ideas on qualities that we can develop in order to show our valiance to the cause of Christ:
“Strengthening our faith by adding every good quality that adorns the children of the blessed Jesus, we can pray in the season of prayer; we can love our neighbor as ourselves, and be faithful in tribulation, knowing that the reward of such is greater in the kingdom of heaven. What a consolation! What a joy! Let me live the life of the righteous, and let my reward be like his!”
“As one that greatly desires the salvation of men, let me remind you all to strive with godly zeal for virtue, holiness, and the commandments of the Lord. Be good, be wise, be just, be liberal; and above all, be charitable, always abounding in all good works. And may health, peace and the love of God our Father, and the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord be and abide with you all, is the sincere prayer of your devoted brother and friend in the everlasting Gospel.”
The valiant endure faithfully to the end and will receive a crown of celestial glory
I really like this quote by Elaine Jack. “Indeed, the path is not soft, green grass; it is not without hardship and heartache. it is often an uphill climb strewn with rocks, many of them in the shape of mighty boulders. We can’t predict what our challenges will be because our lives are all different. though the path is narrow, our moves are not scripted. there are diversions which attempt to lure us from the straight and narrow. It is our covenants that are the road signs to eternal life. Just as it is more difficult to read the signs on the main road from a side street, so too it is more difficult to hear the still, small voice of warnings, rough road ahead, when we have distanced ourselves from our covenants.”
- In what ways can our knowledge of the gospel help us to rejoice and endure to the end?
Joseph Smith said, “You cannot be too good. Patience is heavenly, obedience is noble, forgiveness is merciful, and exaltation is godly; and [they] that hold out faithful to the end shall in no wise lose [their] reward. A good [person] will endure all things to honor Christ, and even dispose of the whole world, and all in it, to save [their] soul.”
- What are we willing to endure for Christ? Are we willing to stand for Christ?
“Our trust is in God, and we are determined. His grace assisting us, to maintain the cause and hold out faithful unto the end, that we may be crowned with crowns of celestial glory, and enter into the rest that is prepared for the children of God.”
End by bearing your testimony.
What Latter-day Saint Women Do Best: Stand Strong and Immovable by President Julie Beck. (This is the talk that the above quote is taken from. There are several good sections that could be used in talking about how to be valiant women)
Discipleship for a Priestly People in a Priestless Period by Joan Chittister. (This is an amazing speech given by a Catholic nun. It really gets to the heart of what it means to be a disciple and talks about the amount of courage it takes to truly be valiant to the cause of Christ.)
Due to the high volume of requests we received for a game that we didn’t have, we recommend the following if you have a lesson suggestion that is longer than can be put in a comment:
1. create a blog (very easy to do with blogger.com) where one can share her lesson prep–feel free to link it in the comment field here.
2. If you want to share here, post a comment stating that you have something to share and leave your own email address spelled out (for example jane at gmail dot com). Spelling out an email address cuts down on the potential for spam etc. Only the person who has something to share should leave an email address. That way people who want the game, outline, etc. can email her directly rather than leaving comments asking her to email them.
These options streamline the process for everyone and allow exponent comments to be about lesson content rather than filling them with requests for lesson aids.
Thanks for your cooperation.