In Knowledge #4 you will learn how to research a gospel topic and present your findings in a talk.
There is no specific time allotment for this experience, so it can take as long as you like. You could study the topic for a week, write the talk in a day, and present the talk the next day. Take your time Do not rush through it.
If you have questions about how long you should spend on this experience, ask your parents or Young Women leaders for advice.
There are five steps to complete in experience.
- Select a gospel principle
- Research it using scriptures and words of latter-day prophets
- Write a five minute talk
- Give the talk
- Write in your journal how you can apply the principle into your life
Select a Gospel Principle
This is the easy part (well, it could also be hard if you do not know a topic you want to learn about).
What have you recently read in your scriptures which you would like to know more about?
What are you studying in Seminary, Young Women, or Sunday School which do not quite understand?
What is a gospel principle which interests you?
You could try flipping the Bible Dictionary open and picking the first gospel principle you see. (This may not be the most affective method.)
Sacrament Talk: If the bishopric in your ward asked you to give a talk, then use the topic they gave you, and complete this experience as you complete the talk.
FHE Talk: If your parents asked you to give a Family Home Evening lesson and gave you a topic, you can use this experience to help you.
Research the Talk
The scriptures are a great place to start when researching a gospel principle. Sometimes it is hard to find the scriptures. Here are some places you can go to find them.
Use the Topical Guide to help you find scriptures about your topic.
Go to lds.org and use their search engine. It will pull up scriptures, conference talks, Ensign/Friend/New Era magazines, manuals, and other articles about your topic.
After you found the scriptures, dig deeper and pull out their meaning.
Use the Institute and Seminary manuals. You can find these manuals online and on the gospel library app. Once you find a scripture, look what the manuals have to say about it. Not every scripture is in there, but if you use a well known scripture, it should be in there. The manuals also provide historical background, definitions, and quotes about the topic.
Use the Bible Dictionary to give you a quick overview of what your topic is about. I love using the Bible Dictionary! Sometimes you think you know the definition of faith, prayer, or charity, but the Bible Dictionary will expound upon it. This is just my personal opinion, but I think you should start by looking up your topic in the Bible Dictionary. As a bonus, sometimes there are scriptures in the definitions.
Look at the foot notes of each scripture. You will find other scriptures, definitions, translations, and historical dates.
Write the Talk
There are many ways you can write a talk. I could write a whole blog post on different ways to introduce the topic, present the main body, and conclude the talk.
The basic idea of the talk is teaching people what you learned about the gospel principle. If the bishopric gave you a specific topic, such as, How to Develop and Strengthen a Testimony, you would tell the congregation how to do that.
Here are some questions you can ask as you write your talk.
What did you learn about the topic?
What do you think is the most important thing you learned about it? Why?
Do you think about the topic differently? Why or why not?
What do you wish someone had told you two years ago about the topic?
Take your time (unless you have a deadline, in which case, do not procrastinate). Write a little, then take a break, and come back to it later.
Look at how General Authorities write their talks. Who is your favourite (or who are you favourites) speaker(s)? Why?
Do you love the way they tell stories? Do you love their energy? Do you love how they explain a gospel principle so clearly? Do you love how they give personal examples?
Find two or three of those answers and implement them into your talk.
This may sound silly, but when I read my talks, if I can hear one of the twelve apostles reading it, then I know I am on track.
The best advice I can give you about writing and researching a talking, is praying about it.
Tell the Lord what you are studying and ask Him to help you find the words you need to say in your talk. Pray, write a little, and pray more. When you think your talk is done, pray about it, and then read through it again.
Give the Talk
Again, I could write a whole other talk on the dos and do nots of giving a talk.
Again, look to the General Authorities. How do they give their talks?
Are the professional? How and why?
Do they give excuses of procrastination?
Do they explain how they were asked to give the talk?
Do they speak confidently?
Do they fidget with their hands?
Do they speak clearly?
Watch a couple different speakers in the latest General Conference and study and observe how they give their talks.
What do you like about the way they present? What do you dislike?
This is the last item on the checklist, but it does not mean you have to do it last. As you read about your topic, think of how you can apply it into your life. Make a list of things you can do and do them. Then include your experience in your talk.
Use These Skills in Other Areas
This is only a five minute talk, but the skills you learn in this experience can help you write a 10-15 minute talk, or even a 20 page biology paper.
This may sound hard to believe, but it is true.
This experience teaches you to research a topic, make it relevant to you, and then write about what you learned.
The next time you have to write an essay in school, think about this experience. How can you use what you learn from Knowledge #4 to write your school essay?