Young Women Lesson: How Can I Learn to be More Patient?

Bonzai by Zen SasakiThis lesson can be found here for Young Women (I often also look at the Young Men’s lesson for other good ideas. YM’s version can be found here.) This lesson help is not meant to replace the lessons but to provide supplemental material when helpful.

I put questions to the class and my notes in italics. Parts from the manual are in regular font.

Have the class define patience.

After they have made a few suggestions, I would have a class member read the quote from the lesson:

Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without being angry, frustrated, or anxious. We can develop patience by seeking to do God’s will and accept His timing, trusting that He will fulfill all of His promises to us. As we learn to be patient in small things, we prepare ourselves to face larger trials with patience.

I also like these suggestions from the manual on what to do with this quote:

  • Read the paragraph at the beginning of this outline, and invite the young women to share situations in their lives in which they might need patience (such as family life, education and career, marriage, or motherhood). Show several objects that represent times in your life when you had to demonstrate patience (for example, a college diploma, a wedding ring, or a missionary nametag). Have the young women guess what the objects have to do with patience, and then share the experiences you had.

I like another quote I came across, “Patience is also a form of action.”
What does that mean to you? Can patience be an active concept?

The lesson offers the story of Job and his patience, which is a great one. I think there are LOTS of stories about women in the scriptures who are patient. Consider sharing the story of Hannah (which the lesson suggests using as well), Esther (I love this Church video.), or perhaps if your Young Women’s class is up for a different story, consider sharing the story of Hagar in Genesis 21:9-21 (and see the excellent exegesis of this story here by guest poster, Nora Mansor-Clark). Whether you use the Job story or one of these, the questions the manual asks are excellent.

  • Write on the board a few questions about Job (What kind of man was Job? What tested his patience? What does he teach us about patience?) Read Job 1; 19:25–26 as a class, and discuss answers to the questions. What do the young women learn from Job’s example that might help them be more patient? How did his faith in the Savior help him face his trials with patience?

What do these stories teach you about patience and perseverance?

I would have the class also read the following scriptures:

Alma 26:27
D&C 24:8

What do these scriptures mean to you when it comes to having patience? Are they comforting? What happens when that doesn’t feel like enough?

I would then tell my own story of trials I have had to maintain my faith and testimony. Many of our Young Women are going through these same difficulties and will appreciate the honesty of how hard it is to gain a testimony. Then, read
James 1:3–4

This lesson also has several talks by men. I like this suggestion about President Uchtdorf’s talk:
Show the video “Continue in Patience,” and invite the young women to discuss what they learn about patience from the video. What are some situations in which the young women become impatient?

Sometimes, young women (and young men) also want to hear from a woman. I love this lesson from a series of Chieko Okazaki excerpts at Feminist Mormon Housewives. My favorite quote from President Okazaki in this lesson is, “Just like the bonsai artist, we can practice patience with our own growth, being gentle with ourselves as we try and fail and try again. We can lighten up on ourselves when we make mistakes, when our families can’t read our lips, let alone our minds, and when everything around us seems dark. “

I also like this suggestion from the Young Men’s version of this lesson as a fun class activity:

  • Show the young men several Mormonad posters from recent issues of the New Era or Liahona. Divide the quorum into small groups, and invite them to create their own Mormonad on the topic of patience. They could start by finding a scripture on patience (such as those listed in this outline) and think of a creative way to present it on a poster. Ask them to share their posters with the quorum and explain what patience means to them. (As part of this discussion, you may want to share with the quorum the definition of patience found at the beginning of this outline.)

Another interesting follow up to this lesson might be a follow-up activity on having patience, a yoga class on breathing techniques for stress management perhaps?


EmilyCC lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her spouse and three children. She currently serves as a stake Just Serve specialists, and she recently returned to school to become a nurse. She is a former editor of Exponent II and a founding blogger at The Exponent.


  1. Also like this one from Pope Francis when a child asked him what more he’d like to do in his life:

    There are so many things I would like to do. I would like to smile always–smile at God first of all to thank him for all the good he does for people. I would like to thank God for his patience. Have you ever thought about how much patience God has? God is very patient. God waits and waits for us.

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