GS 120L: Lesson 9


Speaking Partner Appointment: The Principle of Work

Read the following portion of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's October 2009 General Conference talk to your speaking partner. The first principle in this talk is about "Work". Read one time through and discuss pronunciation, unfamiliar phrases, or vocabulary words. Read another time through and discuss the principle of work.  

Adam and Eve

Two Principles for Any Economy

"To this day, I am deeply impressed by the way my family worked after having lost everything following World War II! I remember my father-a civil servant by education and experience-taking on several difficult jobs, among which were coal miner, uranium miner, mechanic, and truck driver. He left early in the morning and often returned late at night in order to support our family. My mother started a laundry and worked countless hours doing menial labor. She enlisted my sister and me in her business. With my bike I became the pickup and delivery service. It felt good to be able to help the family in a small way, and though I did not know it at the time, the physical labor turned out to be a blessing to my health as well.  

It wasn't easy, but the work kept us from dwelling too much on the difficulties of our circumstances. Although our situation didn't change overnight, it did change. That's the thing about work. If we simply keep at it-steady and constant-things certainly will improve.

How I admire men, women, and children who know how to work! How the Lord loves the laborer! He said, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread," and "The laborer is worthy of his hire," He also gave a promise: "Thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you." Those who are unafraid to roll up their sleeves and lose themselves in the pursuit of worthwhile goals are a blessing to their families, communities, nations, and to the Church. 

The Lord doesn't expect us to work harder than we are able. He doesn't (nor should we) compare our efforts to those of others. Our Heavenly Father asks only that we do the best we can-that we work according to our full capacity, however great or small that may be."
(President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Two Principles for Any Economy," Ensign, November 2009)

You may want to discuss the following:

  1. President Uchtdorf refers to "menial" labor that his father and his family were required to do after World War II because of the circumstances. If you have had employment, work, or responsiblites that you did not enjoy, what did you learn from that experience?
  2. Why do you think we are required to work and to work hard in this life?
  3. Discuss what it means to "thrust in your sickle with all your soul," Why do you think the next part of that verse states that "your sins are forgiven you" if you do "thrust in your sickle with all your soul" (D&C 31:5)?
  4. Not only are we told to "thrust in your sickle with all your soul," but we are also told not to "run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided" (D&C 10:4). We are also told that "it is expedient that he should be diligent" (Mosiah 4:27). How do we find the balance and learn to be obedient to all of this counsel at the same time?

If time allows, go over some of the Vocabulary list and discuss definitions or how the words are used.