"Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done" Lesson Plan and Handout
An October 2011 General Conference Talk
by Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
1. Ask everyone what they think "Waiting up the Lord means. Write the responses on the board.
2, Ask for scripture examples of people who had to wait upon the Lord? Write responses on the board.
3. Who has suffered the most and had to "wait upon the Lord" more than anyone? Have someone read the quote:
"His preparation began in the premortal life as He waited upon His Father, saying, “Thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.”1 Beginning in that moment and continuing today, He exercises His agency to accept and carry out our Heavenly Father’s plan. The scriptures teach us that through His youth, He went “about [His] Father’s business”2 and “waited upon the Lord for the time of his ministry to come.”3 At the age of 30, He suffered sore temptation yet chose to resist, saying, “Get thee behind me, Satan.”4 In Gethsemane, He trusted His Father, declaring, “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done,”5 and then He exercised His agency to suffer for our sins. Through the humiliation of a public trial and the agony of crucifixion, He waited upon His Father, willing to be “wounded for our transgressions … [and] bruised for our iniquities.”6 Even as He cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”7 He waited upon His Father—exercising His agency to forgive His enemies,8 see that His mother was watched over,9 and endure to the end until His life and mortal mission were finished.10"
4. Read quote:
What, then, does it mean to wait upon the Lord? In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust. To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end.
To wait upon the Lord means planting the seed of faith and nourishing it “with great diligence, and … patience.”17
It means praying as the Savior did—to God, our Heavenly Father—saying: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.”18 It is a prayer we offer with our whole souls in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Waiting upon the Lord means pondering in our hearts and “receiv[ing] the Holy Ghost” so that we can know “all things what [we] should do.”19
As we follow the promptings of the Spirit, we discover that “tribulation worketh patience”20 and we learn to “continue in patience until [we] are perfected.”21
Waiting upon the Lord means to “stand fast”22 and “press forward” in faith, “having a perfect brightness of hope.”23
It means “relying alone upon the merits of Christ”24 and “with [His] grace assisting [us, saying]: Thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours.”25
As we wait upon the Lord, we are “immovable in keeping the commandments,”26 knowing that we will “one day rest from all [our] afflictions.”27
And we “cast not away … [our] confidence”28 that “all things wherewith [we] have been afflicted shall work together for [our] good.”29
Point out and write on the board all the highlighted areas that define "waiting upon the Lord."
5. Ask "Why would the Lord ask his servants to wait upon them?" "What is the purpose of waiting?"
Point out that he states "until we are perfected." What does that mean?
6. Is waiting upon the Lord an easy thing to do? Listen to responses.
7. Sometimes we don't receive an answer to our prayer right away. Why not?
Have someone read:
"In my life I have learned that sometimes I do not receive an answer to a prayer because the Lord knows I am not ready. When He does answer, it is often “here a little and there a little”33 because that is all that I can bear or all I am willing to do.
Too often we pray to have patience, but we want it right now! As a young man, President David O. McKay prayed for a witness of the truthfulness of the gospel. Many years later, while he was serving his mission in Scotland, that witness finally came. Later he wrote, “It was an assurance to me that sincere prayer is answered ‘sometime, somewhere.’”34
Point out high lighted areas
8. Have someone read:
"We may not know when or how the Lord’s answers will be given, but in His time and His way, I testify, His answers will come. For some answers we may have to wait until the hereafter. This may be true for some promises in our patriarchal blessings and for some blessings for family members. Let us not give up on the Lord. His blessings are eternal, not temporary."
9. Have someone read:
"Waiting upon the Lord gives us a priceless opportunity to discover that there are many who wait upon us. Our children wait upon us to show patience, love, and understanding toward them. Our parents wait upon us to show gratitude and compassion. Our brothers and sisters wait upon us to be tolerant, merciful, and forgiving. Our spouses wait upon us to love them as the Savior has loved each one of us."
10. Have people give examples from their life on how they have "waited upon the Lord." What did they gain from this?
11. End with quote:
"Every one of us is more beloved to the Lord than we can possibly understand or imagine. Let us therefore be kinder to one another and kinder toward ourselves. Let us remember that as we wait upon the Lord, we are becoming “saint[s] through [His] atonement, … submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father.”
12. Bare testimony.
Here is a handout to use. I chose snowflakes because each of us is different, just like each snowflake is different. We will all experience different trials.