Hold to the Rod

Hold to the Rod


Last year we had a “Hold to the Rod” activity. Many adults from our ward were asked to help out. They played roles to try to get the kids to let go of the Rod. Some were big foot ball fans wanting then to skip church and watch the big game at a BBQ at their house,
one was all spiffed up in a sweet car and outfit throwing money at them, a mom and dad combo were bikers trying to get theri own son to let go. Our Bishop and his wife were hippies saying, “peace, chill out, just relax”. Some were offering ice cold soda (it
was during the summer). We had another adult being Joseph Smith. He convinced them to “Repent” and hold to the rod again. Every time the youth let go of the “Rod”, they got a sin dot. It was all very elaborate. They set it up in an orchard. At the end of the Rod
was a Tree with beautiful white tissue paper flowers tied to it. They sat under the tree with cold water to drink and discussed what they had seen, felt, and heard.They made a DVD presentation out of it and each youth got one.

How To Give a GREAT Talk

Be prepared. –If you were not given a topic to speak on then you need to choose one.

Don’t say things like, “I didn’t have much time to prepare my talk…” or “I don’t know much about the atonement…” because you’re basically telling everyone “I have nothing to contribute so I’m going to waste your time for the next ten minutes.” If that is the case you shouldn’t be up there. 🙂

Never announce your topic… How about:

“Ezra Taft Benson said that the atonement was the greatest single event in human history.”

“Websters dictionary defines atonement as _________, but as part of the restored gospel it is ____________.”

“The word atonement can be visually divided into three parts ‘at,’ ‘one,’ ‘ment.'”

You could start with a poem, story, words from a hymn, scripture, quote, etc. and follow up with a segue like:

“It is clear that the atonement of Christ was known by all the prophets from Adam to the present.”


Make it flow.–Every talk, whether it’s 2 or 20 minutes long, should have a beginning, middle and end. Make sure you tie your ending to the beginning so your talk is a continuous circle of knowledge and information for your audience. Bear your testimony and close.

Get the scoop.–Find some interesting facts, stories, and quotes or poems to include in your talk that correspond with the scriptures you will be using.  It adds interest and excitement to an otherwise simple talk. Don’t take your scriptures and other resources up to the podium. If you want to read a scripture verbatim, write it down. If you want to quote another resource, copy the quote. Don’t haul the books up to the stand and then thumb through them looking for the reference while everyone waits–

Attitude.–The way you present your talk is a reflection of your attitude. If you seem disinterested in the topic then your audience will, too. Be animated. Be relaxed.

It is important to be extremely familiar with your talk, but I would never memorize one. Not only is it unnecessary, but it usually causes *less* comfort and confidence. The talk should, however, be so well-rehearsed that it is *almost* memorized. Never read a talk. People hate to be read to!

*Practice your speech almost to the point of memorization, so that you need only to glance down occasionally at your notes to keep you on track and so that you don’t forget important points.

*EYE CONTACT! Look up at the congregation. No one wants to stare at the top of your head. If you can’t look in people’s eyes, look at the tops of their heads (they can’t tell the difference). Also be aware to look at those on the sides, not just in the center.

*Avoid distracting affectations. (Swaying, nervous giggling, hand wringing, hair twirling/flipping/brushing, lip-licking, etc.)

*Use good diction and correct pronunciation.

*Use material from authoritative sources.


Giving a talk is EASY


A- APPLY it to a Gospel Principle

S- Use the SCRIPTURES to reinforce the principle

Y- Bear YOUR testimony