A new YW lesson on shaming/bullying

How do I stand up to shaming/bullying?

lindsShame is one of the most powerful emotions we learn as children. We pretty much all can remember times when we were embarrassed by something we did or said and another or others made fun of us. That hot feeling of shame can stay with us a lot longer than other emotions and can fester into feelings of low to no self-worth. When we see people being shamed publicly, that is a form of judging others, or bullying and we can, as President Ucthtorf has implored us, do what we can to “Stop It.”

Prepare Yourself Spiritually


What scriptures talk about Jesus Christ standing up for bullying?

Matthew 25:40 (Who are those that are the least of these?)

John 8: 1–11 (How did Jesus Christ respond to the men who brought the woman to him to be judged?)

Romans 1:18 (How do we show that we are not ashamed of the Savior in standing up for those who are being bullied?)

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Merciful Obtain Mercy.”

Friends,” “Strength of the Youth” Pamphlet.

Video: “How to Cope with Bullying: Let Us Be Kind.”

Share Experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.


Introduce the Doctrine

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Write on the board, “We can stop bullying in all of its forms by ____________.” Why as young women of Christ, do we need to be extra vigilent in helping those who may be bullied?
  • Read together the story about a young woman standing in front of an entire mob of bullies in President Oscarson’s talk “Defenders of the Proclamation.” Ask the young women how they stand up to bullies in their life. Talk about how people can use technology to say and send mean and even inappropriate things and what to do when that happens.

Learn Together

Each of the activities below will help the young women learn how to stand up to shaming/bullying. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Divide the young women into groups. Have them find examples in the scriptures or church history of times when men and women stood up for what was right against bullies, even when it was frightening.
  • Invite the young women to tell of a time when they did not stand up for someone who was being bullied. How would they change their actions if they could?
  • Have them read the story “Being Brave.” Talk about times when they did stand up for someone and how that made them feel. Have them copy the quote from Bishop Burton on having the courage to stand tall.
  • Show them the resources on StopBullying.gov. Set out a plan as a mutual to support one another when they see bullying of feel bullied.

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand how that they have a responsibility to stand up against bullying whenever they can? And that they have friends and mutual leaders who they can talk to if they feel unsafe? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Complete Individual Worth value experience 3 or Integrity value experience 2 in Personal Progress.
  • Plan what they will do if they encounter bullying or shaming in any of its forms.


  1. What did I leave out? What could be said better?

  2. Fantastic. I would even suggest that the target audience goes beyond the Young Women to the Relief Society sisters and beyond. The amount of shaming that occurs among Relief Society sisters seems to outweigh that of YW and their peers.. We are the bullies. We are the Pharisees. From Uchdorf’s “You Are My Hands”:
    “I hope that we welcome and love all of God’s children, including those who might dress, look, speak, or just do things differently. It is not good to make others feel as though they are deficient. Let us lift those around us. Let us extend a welcoming hand. Let us bestow upon our brothers and sisters in the Church a special measure of humanity, compassion, and charity so that they feel, at long last, they have finally found home.”

  3. Michael says:

    This is excellent. I might add some class discussion about the severity of certain sins – is a transgression like breaking the Word of Wisdom (which primarily hurts only ourselves) worse than a sin that does substantial damage to another person? Should we rank it with crimes like theft, since we are stealing the self-worth of someone else?

  4. Fantastic! Especially the “Note to Teacher” section. The shaming has to stop!

  5. Oh my goodness, that President Uchtdorf quote is also so perfect. Let’s add that talk to the section on more resources.

  6. This is outstanding, EmJen! Thanks so much for putting it together! Here’s hoping people actually take your suggestion and use it.

  7. Oh my goodness, I love this so much. If only……
    I learned these types of bullying/shaming behaviors (as a youth) especially around female modesty. I wanted to demonstrate my own righteousness/worthiness as well as probably fight against something I didn’t yet know how to articulate but that made me angry. And so I shamed other women for how they were dressed. I think my jaw would have hit the floor if someone had pointed out that my behavior was bullying and doing what Christ fought against.

  8. All adult church members need this. Except the ones that really need to hear it and realize they are bullies are the ones that ignore the message. I have noticed that, for the most part, when parents are arrogant, holier than thou jerks the children are the same.

    Unfortunately leaders do not take bullying seriously, at least in my ward and stake. I really wish the First Presidency would address this problem in the church more frequently. If my family and I did not believe the church doctrine restored we would have left the church for good after a horrible bullying incident and the lack of empathy and action by the leaders and parents of the bullies. Hind sight is 20/20, I kick myself for not involving the police and pressing charges. The leaders failed my child.

  9. Perhaps a section on how shaming leads to a more prideful nature, along with the spiritual consequences of such pride (i.e. story of the debtors from the scriptures, bullying others due to race/culture/sexuality, and the harassment of anti-vaxxers recently).

  10. ErinAnn says:

    I would open up the language to include classes of both sexes and all ages.

  11. Pres. Uchtdorf recently spoke at a religious symposium at USC, and his talk was wonderful and, I think, very universally applicable. Here is a link: https://www.lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/fellow-travelers-brothers-and-sisters-children-of-god?lang=eng

  12. Mike H. says:

    In today’s Gospel Doctrine Lesson on Luke 15, I mentioned that the Church does not need to make more lost sheep by bullying anyone.

  13. Kevin Winterse says:

    Why the picture of Lindsey Stirling? Just curious…love her!

  14. Kevin Winterse says:

    People suck!!

  15. BHodges says:

    emjen, this is great!

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