Why is Jesus Christ important in my life?
Introduce the doctrine
Post the following questions:
- “Who is Jesus Christ?”
- “What has He done for us?”
- “How do we know that He lives today?”
Invite the young women to silently read “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” to find answers to these questions, then discuss the answers they found.
Through Christ’s resurrection, he overcame death so all could live again. Through Christ’s atonement, he made it possible for us to repent of our sins and return to live with God again after we die. When we talk about the power of Christ, we often talk about these two great miracles: overcoming physical and spiritual death, as well we should, for only Christ has the power to overcome death and save us from our sins. But Christ’s power does not only help us after we die.
Share this quote by President Russell M. Nelson:
Our Heavenly Father never intended that we would deal with the maze of personal problems and social issues on our own. God so loved the world that He sent His Only Begotten Son to help us. And His Son, Jesus Christ, gave His life for us. All so that we could have access to godly power—power sufficient to deal with the burdens, obstacles, and temptations of our day. –Pres. Russell M. Nelson, April 2017
Write the words, “Burdens,” “Obstacles” and “Temptations” on the board. Ask the young women to list some of the burdens, obstacles and temptations that godly power could help them with in their own lives.
In his April 2017 General Conference talk, President Nelson suggested four ways to draw into our lives the power of Jesus Christ.
- We begin by learning about Him.
- We choose to have faith in Him and follow Him. …Faith that motivates us to action gives us more access to His power.
- We make sacred covenants and keep those covenants with precision. Our covenants bind us to Him and give us godly power.
- [We] reach up to Him in faith. Such reaching requires diligent, focused effort. See Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into our Lives by Pres. Russell M. Nelson, April 2017
Share some examples from scripture and history of people who drew the power of Jesus Christ into their lives, or your own personal experiences applying these principles. Ask class members what they can do to draw the power of Jesus Christ into their lives. Here are some stories from history and scripture you might use:
Antoinette Brown: Power through Learning
In 1840s America, most Christians believed women should keep silence, most colleges and universities did not admit women, and most churches did not allow women to give talks, sermons or speeches. In 1848, Antoinette Brown graduated from Oberlin College, the first college in America to educate women alongside men, and the alma mater of Lorenzo Snow. She applied for postgraduate studies at Oberlin’s divinity school. Oberlin was progressive for its time, but it had never occurred to its administrators that a woman would want to attend divinity school. They decided that they would allow her to attend but that they would not give her a diploma when she finished her studies, which would most likely prevent her from using her education to work as a minister like the male students.
Antoinette was almost universally criticized for her decision to attend divinity school, both by those who wanted to maintain the male-only status quo and by other women’s rights advocates, like herself, who criticized her for agreeing to such an unfair arrangement: attending the program although she would not be allowed to graduate. Antoinette responded,
“I came back to study theology and get knowledge. I do get it.”
As Antoinette devoted herself full-time to studying the life of Christ, she felt his power. About her time at Oberlin divinity school, she said:
“I learned then to cast myself on the Lord as I had never done before and I learned to pray to him as I had never prayed before. …I have learned to talk with God as I would talk with a friend and I feel that to have His sympathy is all I need. …When anything troubles me I can tell it all to God and he certainly does comfort me even in the most trifling griefs.”
The power that came to her through her studies of Jesus Christ would help her through the rest of her life, which she devoted to helping the powerless as an advocate for women’s suffrage, temperance, and women in ministry.
See Brown, Antoinette. Letters to Lucy Stone, June 1848 and July 1850. Available in Lasser, Carol & Merrill, Marlene Deahl (1987) Friends and Sisters: Letters between Lucy Stone and Antoinette Brown Blackwell, 1846-93 (Women in American History) University of Illinois Press: Urbana and Chicago.
Bill Wilson: Choosing Faith and Taking Action
Bill became addicted to alcohol during Prohibition. With his alcoholism threatening both his health and his livelihood, he sought treatment at a rehabilitation center, where he learned to understand alcoholism as not only a temptation, but also as a disease.
But medical treatment and education about the science of addiction were not enough to prevent relapse for him. It was during a relapse that his friend, Ebby Thacher, who had also been an alcoholic, told him that he had stopped drinking after recently becoming converted to Christianity. Bill realized that it must have been godly power that helped his friend quit drinking.
”Had this power originated in him? Obviously it had not. There had been no more power in him than there was in me at that minute; and this was none at all.”
The next time Bill was hospitalized for alcoholism, he made a conscience choice to exercise faith to be healed.
“I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would. I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction. I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without him I was lost.”
During this hospitalization, he finally quit drinking altogether and his faith motivated him to action to help other alcoholics. He said:
“While I lay in the hospital the thought came that there were thousands of hopeless alcoholics who might be glad to have what had been so freely given me. Perhaps I could help some of them. They in turn might work with others. My friend had emphasized the absolute necessity of demonstrating these principles in all my affairs. Particularly was it imperative to work with others as he had worked with me. Faith without works was dead, he said. And how appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survey the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed.”
Bill Wilson went on to be a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, which continues to help millions of people find power to stop abusing alcohol by drawing on Godly power and by helping others to quit drinking.
The Woman with an Issue of Blood: Diligently Reaching for Christ
In the scriptures, we read about a woman who literally drew close to to Jesus to draw on his power. Health problems had caused her to bleed for 12 years. She had spent all of her money on physicians, but no one could help her, and the problem only became worse.
When Christ arrived in her town, he was immediately surrounded by crowds that wanted to see him. She thought, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” She reached for him through the crowd, just managing to touch the border of his clothing. The bleeding stopped and she knew that she was healed.
Jesus stopped walking and said, “Who touched me?”
The apostle Peter, who was walking alongside Jesus at the time, thought is was a funny question to ask in such a crowded place, where everyone was bumping into each other. He said, “Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?”
But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; for I noticed that power had gone out from me.”
Then the woman came forward. She was trembling. She fell down before him and told him why she had touched him, and that she had been healed.
“Daughter, be of good comfort,” Jesus responded. “Thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”
President Nelson described this woman as an example of someone who diligently reached for Christ’s power, and said that we could do the same:
“When you reach up for the Lord’s power in your life with the same intensity that a drowning person has when grasping and gasping for air, power from Jesus Christ will be yours. When the Savior knows you truly want to reach up to Him—when He can feel that the greatest desire of your heart is to draw His power into your life—you will be led by the Holy Ghost to know exactly what you should do. When you spiritually stretch beyond anything you have ever done before, then His power will flow into you.” –Pres. Russell M. Nelson, April 2017
See Luke 8:43-48 & Mark 5:24-34 Note: In the King James Version of the Bible, Jesus is quoted as saying virtue went out of him. The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible uses the word, “power” and in the notes to Pres. Nelson’s April 2107 talk, Nelson says that “power” is a more accurate translation.
Live what we are learning
Invite the young women to complete Faith value experience 5 in Personal Progress.