By Utah National Parks Council
Jul 02, 2017

Let Them Lead: Solving Problems

A Come, Follow Me lesson on self-reliance explains, “Self-reliance includes the ability to find solutions to our own problems and challenges. Many of these solutions are found in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Our Heavenly Father is mindful of the challenges we face. He loves us and wants to help us.”

President Thomas S. Monson has promised:

“We were not placed on this earth to walk alone. What an amazing source of power, of strength, and of comfort is available to each of us. He who knows us better than we know ourselves, He who sees the end from the beginning, has assured us that he will be there for us to provide help if we but ask.”

Prepare yourself spiritually

What problems have you faced at church, school, home, work, etc.? How do you work to solve those problems? What resources do you use to help? What role do the Holy Ghost and the Atonement play as we find solutions to the problems we face?

How will having tools to find solutions to the problems they face help these young men and women?

Have you found solutions to your specific problems in the scriptures or from general conference?

Do the youth use these church resources when they face problems?

How can you help them see the value of this approach?How will this help them?

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What do you feel inspired to share with the youth?


Teaching in the Savior’s way

The Savior invited others to act in faith and live the truths He taught. He found opportunities for them to learn through powerful experiences. What can you do to help the youth see the importance of making Jesus Christ part of their lives?

Teaching tip: Watch this video to learn how to help the youth find answers to their questions and problems in the scriptures: “Searching for Answers in the Scriptures”

Make connections

During the first few minutes of this session, help the youth make connections between what they are learning in various settings (such as class or quorum meetings, other church meetings, skill challenges, personal study or other experiences). How can you help them see the relevance of what they’re learning in their lives? The ideas below might help:

  • Invite the youth to share an experience that helped them understand the things they learned about communication, vision, and goal-setting.
  • Ask each group to consider how making goals has brought them together as a group and helped them work together. Ask them to describe the difference between a group and a team? Lead the group to the idea that a team is a group that shares a common vision where members support and depend on one another.

Learn Together

Each of the activities below will help the young men and women understand the importance of having personal and group vision as they work toward worthy goals. Complete each of the three sections by prayerfully selecting one or more activity in each section that resonates with you and will work best for your class or quorum:

  1. Discuss the similarities between planning and problem solving

Choose from these activities:

  • Have each class or quorum solve the problem of the Blind Tent Pitch: While blindfolded, members of the class or quorum will properly pitch a tent. Each group is provided with a tent complete with poles and stakes. Each member is provided with a blindfold. Encourage each group to think about the challenge in terms of Vision—Goals—Planning. What is the vision? What goals will fulfill that vision? Make a plan to complete the goals. Troop guides can help blindfold members of their class or quorum. At the starting signal, all class/quorum members do their best to solve the problem of pitching a tent without being able to see what they are doing.
    At the end of the activity, ask each group to evaluate its problem-solving skills by applying the Start, Stop, Continue evaluation tool (In order to improve their performance, what should they start doing? What should they stop doing? If they were to do the challenge again, what should they continue to do?). Have each class or quorum share their ideas.
    If there is time, you may consider repeating this activity after the group has learned how to use the planning tool to solve problems.
    Other activities to demonstrate how planning helps problem solving as you are inspired.
  1. Apply the What, How, When, Who Planning Tool to solving a problem

Choose from these activities:

  • Explain that sometimes we run into problems as we attempt to follow a plan. Youth can use the same What, How, When, Who Planning Tool to adjust the plan to solve a problem that they used to make the plan in the first place:
    • Figure out WHAT is causing the problem
    • Figure out HOW to solve the problem
    • Figure out WHEN to solve the problem
    • Figure out WHO will take responsibility

Ask each group to share examples of problems they’ve encountered in the activities so far. How did they solve them? How could following these steps have helped them? Emphasize the similarities between planning and problem solving and show that problem solving is just making a new or altered plan when the circumstance has changed.

  • Using the NYLT slides, describe the different ways teams can work together to find solutions to problems, including the brainstorming, consensus, multivoting, and parking lot techniques. Choose one of the following sample problems to have the group solve, using one of these methods. After they finish, lead a discussion about what the solution was and how they decided.
    • You and your class get disoriented on a cross-country hike and aren’t sure where you are. You’ve got a compass and a map. What should you do?
    • Just as you reach your outpost camp, it starts to rain. Everyone is hungry, and it’s going to get dark soon. What do you do?
  • Other activities to demonstrate effective problem solving as you are inspired.

Invite to Act

Ask the youth how they will use what they learned about problem solving to change their actions in the future. What will they do differently today, tomorrow, this week, and this year? Have them write down their ideas.

Have each class or quorum briefly discuss how they can work together to solve problems they may face this week and in the future.

Discuss with the youth what their next skill application challenge will be. Ask them to consider how what they’ve learned about problem-solving applies to the challenge. Encourage them to apply their new skills and ideas to the activity.

This series was adapted from National Youth Leader Training to help leaders teach LDS youth leadership skills so that those leaders can confidently “Let Them Lead.”

Authors: Maria Milligan and Darryl Alder | LDS NYLT writing team; at Utah National Parks Council Maria is Chief of Staff and Darryl is Strategic Initiatives Director. Together they help LDS Stakes meet their camping and training needs a customized basis.

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