Relief Society Lesson Plan: “Missionary Work: Sharing What is in Your Heart” by Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Link to the talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2019/04/14uchtdorf
There is so much material in this talk, and as if often the case with Elder Uchtdorf, sometimes what he doesn’t say is as important as what he does say.
Elder Uchtdorf begins by talking about the recent trip to Rome, where all 15 Apostles were present for the dedication of the Rome Temple. (show a picture of them all gathered)
Why do you think President Nelson wanted them all there?
What do you think was accomplished by their trip and time together in Rome?
- Sort of like a retreat, where you leave the workplace/home and go somewhere else to meet together and figure some things out; create harmony
- Busy men, always traveling, good time for all to be in one place at some time
- Not so much to show the world, but to reaffirm to themselves and to us as members that the role of an apostle is important, and this is where it started
What is significant about Rome (try not to focus too much on Catholicism, but rather as the cradle of Christianity)
What do we know about Paul and Peter’s time in Rome?
- Paul was summoned to Rome, as a Roman citizen, imprisoned for 2 years and as able to preach/teach during that time. He was martyred there.
- There was persecution of the early Christians and the church did grow despite this.
Elder Uchtdorf shares some statistics about the number of members of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints compared to the world population: 16 million members in a world of 7.5 billion people.
The church continues to grow although the growth rate has decreased. (This is not the point of his talk, so try to to get caught up in this).
Instead of dwelling on the chapel half-empty scenario, Elder Uchtdorf sees it as a chapel half-full, with room for more. You could have someone read 4 paragraphs starting with
“Even in the Lord’s church…
Elder Uchtdorf acknowledges that missionary work is more natural for some than for others and offers Five Simple Suggestions to help us participate in the Savior’s work.
These suggestions are way to help ourselves as well as help others.
First: Draw Close to God (the first commandment)
- Do I really believe in Heavenly Father (and Heavenly Mother)?
- Do I trust them? Do I love them?
- Why is this Elder Uchtdorf’s first suggestion?
- If you don’t know God, you can’t introduce others to God/Jesus
- The closer you draw to God, the more light and joy will shine and attract others to you
Second: Fill your Heart with Love for Others (the 2nd great commandment)
- How do you cultivate a desire to love others?
- Try to see everyone as a child of God, regardless; minister to everyone
- Can someone share an example of being in an unlikely relationship and loving someone you might not normally be friends with?
Third: Strive to Walk the Path of Discipleship
How can we strengthen our commitment to follow Jesus?
- Personal revelation
- Our own experience: That good feeling we get when we help others–positive reinforcement
- Learning from others: family, friends, people in scriptures, modern prophet and apostles
Elder Uchtdorf says when our love for God and mankind deepen, our commitment to follow Jesus will follow.
If you can’t get many answers here, call on someone to read Elder Uchtdorf comments in this section.
Fourth: Share What is in Your Heart
Ask someone to read the 1st 2 paragraphs in this section of the talk
What are some normal and natural ways to share what is in your heart?
- Social media kindnesses (nice comments about others etc)
- Inviting people to your home
- Getting to know your neighbors, classmates, coworkers
- Find a commonality
- Talk of Christ, even when we are of different denominations
- Allow others to share their beliefs, even when they are not Christian
- Talk about something that happened at church, or some experience that was affirming of your belief
- Invite people to come and see without the expectation that they will be baptized
Fifth: Trust the Lord to Work His Miracles
Ask someone to read the 1st paragraph
“Understand that it’s not your job to convert people. That is the role of the Holy Ghost. Your role is to share what is in your heart and live consistent with your beliefs.”
How can we keep from being discouraged if our invitations are not accepted?
- Remember, we are asked to invite, not convert
- Remember the Lord is in charge, he works in mysterious ways
If there is time and you ward/class is open to this sort of thing you might discuss the Spectrum of Belief and put it out there that everyone is at a different place in their beliefs.
You might ask a question like these:
- What if you are unsure of your testimony on a specific point of our doctrine? Is it still possible to be a missionary? (let that sit out there for a while)
- Why do you think Elder Uchtdorf titled this talk, “Sharing What is in Your Heart?”
- What is it about authenticity that is attractive and inviting?
- Do we need to have all the answers in order to be a missionary?
- Are there any of these Five Suggestions that apply to everyone, regardless of where they are in their beliefs?
- Some might say all are applicable to all
- Maybe the first 2 steps are all someone can do right now, and it’s okay.
Idea 1: You can read Elder Uchtdorf’s closing remarks where he invokes a blessing.
“As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I bless you with the confidence to be a living testimonial of gospel values, with the courage to always be recognized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with the humility to assist in His work as an expression of your love for Heavenly Father and His children.
My dear friends, you will rejoice in knowing that you are a significant part in the long-foretold gathering of Israel, preparing for Christ’s coming in “power and great glory; with all the holy angels.”20
Heavenly Father knows you. The Lord loves you. God will bless you. This work is ordained of Him. You can do this. We can all do this together.
I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
Idea 2: Go back to the beginning of the lesson with the apostles together in Rome.
When our leaders recently gathered together in Rome, they most likely had a powerful experience. They were there, where Christianity took hold and spread forth to fill the earth.
The responsibility to carry the mantle continues.
No matter where we are as individuals, may we appreciate the great Atonement of Jesus Christ and the responsibility, as his disciples, to share what is in our hearts.