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Young Women Lesson 24: Agency

Discussion Questions:
  • When you face a trial or decision, how can you know which choices are right?
  • Matthew 4:1–11 is an account of Satan tempting Jesus Christ. What methods did Satan use to try to tempt the Savior? How in like ways does Satan tempt you?
  • How do your choices for right or wrong influence you, your family, your friends, and your future opportunities?

Excerpt from "Learning the Lessons of the Past" by Elder M. Russell Ballard:

Years ago when I was in business, I learned a very expensive lesson because I did not listen carefully to the counsel of my father, nor did I heed the promptings of the Spirit giving me guidance from my Heavenly Father. My father and I were in the automobile business, and the Ford Motor Company was looking for dealers to sell their new line of cars. Ford executives invited my father and me to a preview showing of what they thought would be a spectacularly successful product. When we saw the cars, my father, who had over 35 years experience in the business, cautioned me about becoming a dealer. However, the Ford sales personnel were very persuasive, and I chose to become Salt Lake City’s first—and actually last—Edsel dealer. And if you don’t know what an Edsel is, ask your grandpa. He will tell you that the Edsel was a spectacular failure.

Now, there’s a powerful lesson for all of you in this experience. When you are willing to listen and learn, some of life’s most meaningful teachings come from those who have gone before you. They have walked where you are walking and have experienced many of the things you are experiencing. If you listen and respond to their counsel, they can help guide you toward choices that will be for your benefit and blessing and steer you away from decisions that can destroy you. As you look to your parents and others who have gone before you, you will find examples of faith, commitment, hard work, dedication, and sacrifice that you should strive to duplicate.

It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which it would not be worthwhile to consider and learn from the experience of others. Many professions require internships, during which aspiring professionals shadow seasoned veterans to learn from their years of experience and accumulated wisdom. Rookies in professional sports are often expected to sit on the bench and learn by watching experienced players. New missionaries are assigned to work with a senior companion whose experience helps the new missionary learn the right way to effectively serve the Lord.

Of course, there are times when we have no choice but to venture out on our own and do the best we can at figuring things out as we go along. For example, there are not a lot of people in my generation whose experience can help when it comes to the most modern of technologies. When we have problems with modern technology, we must look for someone who knows more about it than we do—which usually means turning to one of you young people.

*To read the full talk, click here.
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