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I know a lot of you are nervous about teaching Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 15: The Sacred Callings of Fathers is Mothers because it can cause mixed feelings- guilt, sadness, anger. I think the most important thing to do when teaching this lesson is to build on all the good. Focus on the key doctrines taught in this lesson and the Spirit that will accompany you as you testify of those truths. I've included an article below in the Study Guide that will address some concerns as well as additional resources in the Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 15 Study Journal.
One of the quotes that stood out to me in this lesson is this one:
Why is fatherhood leadership and what does leadership really mean? Some of the best reminders of what leadership is for me comes from Simon Sinek. One of his quotes about leaderships says, "Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge." That is exactly what a fatherhood is. As you look through the leadership resources and principles the church encourages, leadership is service and love. I started defining a leader in the wrong way then realized that my immediate definition was the worldly view, not what leadership actually is. As I read through the 10 ways a father can be a spiritual leader my understanding grew.
My whole life I wanted to be a Mom. I always thought the responses I received in return were weird. Why weren't people as happy about my answer to become a Mom as they were about my sister's answer to become a teacher? It was a "that's nice" or "that's all" response instead. There is more influence and power in motherhood that what is mostly portrayed today. I love this quote from Sister Benson:
Don't underestimate the power of good you do. Motherhood is most important. We need to elevate the terms "homemaker," "mother," and "father." It is time to actively defend and honor these sacred roles. We need to be intentional mothers and fathers who actively encourage our children to become so as well.
- Begin the lesson talking about the qualities we admire in our Heavenly Parents then apply them to our lives
- Looking for more viewpoints on this subject? 6 bloggers recently shared their thoughts on the divine roles of mothers and fathers in this round-up defending the family. Scroll to the bottom of the post to see the other bloggers.
- If you can, have a multi-generational family come in (grandma, mom, daughter, etc) and each share their thoughts on motherhood or fatherhood.
- Ask a primary class to come in and sing one of the beautiful primary songs about parents like "Love at Home."
- Have people "shout" out things that they are already doing as moms or dads that they love. Build on the successes instead of focusing on improvement.
- Build a scrapbook whiteboard presentation. Bring in large enough pictures (framed with pieces of paper) and put the all over the chalkboard. Write simple captions like "Talking with Mom after school" that highlight different points in the manual. Try to use photos from several different sisters instead of just one individual.
- Define leadership before you talk about the divine role of a father and see how they go hand in hand.
- Ask what things are on a mother's daily to-do list. See if any of those things go along with the 10 effective uses President Benson states. These things won't just happen, they need to be initial acts. They need to be planned into our daily lives.
- Remind everyone that while roles of fatherhood and motherhood are divine, there isn't one right way to parent. Simply because one sister doesn't allow TV in her home doesn't make her a better mom than the sisters who have one. Seek the spirit to know what's right for your family.
- Make these yummy handouts- just leave off the Happy Mother's/Father's Day labels. The characteristics go great with the lessons. See the Mother's one here and the Father's one here.
Click the images to print
"Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth"- Hymn #298
"Love at Home"- Hymn #294
"From Homes of Saints Glad Songs Arise"- Hymn #297
"Dearest Mother, I Love You"- Children's Songbook pg. 206
"I Often Go Walking"- Children's Songbook pg. 202
"How Dear to God Are Little Children"- Children's Songbook pg. 180
"Fathers"- Children's Songbook pg. 209
Questions to Ponder
Grab the Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 15 Study Journal to help organize your thoughts, gain more insight, and find new handouts.
- In what ways can earthly fathers pattern their lives after our Father in Heaven?
- How can the 10 ways to give spiritual leadership influence children for good?
- How do you uphold or even defend the role of motherhood and the term homemaker?
- What examples of good fathers and mothers do you have in your life? What makes them good examples?
- What blessings come from spending time as a family?
- How does unity between mother and father bless the home?
- How can you be more unified at home?
- How can single parents receive strength to fulfill their obligations?
Looking for more help? Come join our Private Facebook group to ask your questions and find more ideas!
Grab the Family Proclamation Study Journal here to gain additional insight
"Fatherhood, an Eternal Calling" by Elder L. Tom Perry
"Are We Not All Mothers?" by Sister Sheri L. Dew (and I would add, "Are we not all Fathers?")
"Our Duty to God: The Mission of Parents and Leaders to the Rising Generation" by Elder Robert D. Hales
"Becoming Goodly Parents" by Elder L. Tom Perry
If you like this Study Guide, you'll love the Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 15 Study Journal! Grab it in the Market now.