January Young Women Lesson: How Can I know my Heavenly Father?
The lessons from the new program Come Follow Me center on the nature of God. In our ward we typically do an overview lesson the first Sunday of the month to introduce the topic to all the Young Women at once, so for the month of January we would probably choose “What do we know about the nature of the Godhead”? The next several lessons then break down the Godhead into its constituent elements: The Father, The Son, The Holy Ghost and then, ultimately, you and your divine potential.
The lesson about Heavenly Father does not at all refer to our Heavenly Mother. However, I think in this class it is appropriate to discuss our Heavenly Parents. I should note that I taught this lesson last year and, I believe, agitated at least one of our young women in the process. My fellow leader backed me up to the Bishop and affirmed that I had taught nothing that was contrary to doctrine or in any way undermined our belief in our Heavenly Father. For some young women the idea of acknowledging a Mother as well as a Father may seem very foreign and frightening, but it is a topic worth addressing and this lesson seems to me to be the place to do so.
1. Begin the lesson by having the girls take turns reading the verses to “O my Father” (Hymn 292). What does this hymn teach us about our Heavenly Parents? How do you imagine your Heavenly Parents based on this hymn?
You may get a variety of responses, my class talked about feeling loved and wanted. I was the one who pointed out that it mentioned the presence of a Heavenly Mother and a Heavenly Father together. It may also help to bring up The Family: A Proclamation to the World and read passages that refer to having Heavenly Parents.
2. Personal Experience Discussion: When have you felt closest to your Heavenly Parents? What were you doing that enabled you to feel close to them? (You may want to think of a personal experience of your own in advance to help get the ball rolling)
3. Getting to know God:
Invite a Young Woman to read John 17:3. What is the difference between knowing about someone and knowing someone?
Ask them to think about someone they know very well. What have you done to get to know that person? (List responses on the board) How can we use similar methods to get to know our Heavenly Parents?
Invite half of the class to read Enos 1:1-7 and the other to read the first two sections of Elder Richard G. Scott’s talk “Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer.” Ask them to look for ways they can improve their communication with their Heavenly Parents. After they have discussed what they found, invite them to ponder their relationship with their Heavenly Parents for a few minutes and consider what they can do to improve it.
Emphasize that God promises us that if we seek, we shall find. If we do not know God now, we can if we desire it. (Doctrine and Covenants 88:63-64)
4. The story of Enoch and God
As a class read: Moses 7:28-33, 41 (God weeping for the wickedness of the world)
What evidence does this give of God’s love for us? How can these scriptures comfort us when we feel sad?
5. Conclusion of class
Allow a few minutes for the Young Women to write in their class journals any reflections they may have on the lesson. Ask them to write something that they plan to do to improve their relationship with God this week. If they feel comfortable, ask them to share with the class. This will be their assignment for the week, have them reread their commitment at the beginning of class next week to see how well they followed through.