How many of you thought of someone you could reconcile with as you listened to "The Ministry of Reconciliation" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland? I hope we all acted on it. It’s a humbling and courageous thing to do.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recommends the following:
“You could begin a discussion about Elder Holland’s message by inviting members to think of a relationship in their lives that needs healing or reconciliation. Then they could search Elder Holland’s message, looking for how Brad and Pam Bowen were able to help their father heal. What blessings came from this effort? What insights do members gain that can help them heal their own relationships?”
Questions to Ponder
How can you minister to our own family? What experiences have you had doing so?
How has holding grudges affected your life? What makes it easier for you to let go?
What experiences do you have of reconciliation? What joy were you able to find as a result?
What can we continue to do if someone doesn’t want to reconcile? How can we still find healing?
How does our relationship with each other effect our relationship with Jesus Christ?
How can you create peace in your life and your family’s?
What helps you remember the price Christ paid for us so you can be free from old sorrow and past mistakes?
When we are wronged, how can we find the strength to forgive and move on?
When we are wronged over and over by someone, how can we be strong continually, still show them love, and help ourselves?
What blessings have you received from reconciling old wounds?
How might the Lord bless us for ministering to those that have hurt us?
What blessings have you received from forgiving someone who has wronged you?
Why must we reconcile with others before we can come unto Christ?
What can you do to help heal your family or other relationships?
Who needs our encouragement to reconcile with another?
What do you think more reconciliation between members would do for the whole Church?
These are my ideas. My hope is reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
Write up on the board “Quick to Anger” and “Slow to Anger.” Ask the class to list the consequences to each and write them under the corresponding title. Ask the class for experiences they have had where they did not restrain their anger. What was the consequence? What did they do to reconcile their hurt feelings? Then ask for experiences where they were slow to anger and what those consequences were. How have you taught yourself to become more slow to anger? How can you help others?
Hand out the following scripture references. After each one is read, discuss how the Savior handled situations that could have created anger towards another. What other examples can we learn from Christ on how to be slow to anger?
At the beginning of the week, send a link to your class to this audio file on Mormon Channel about anger. In class, discuss ways we can be effective at dissolving anger.
When listening to talks like this one, we may feel discouraged about anger or hurt we have let build up inside of us. Discuss what things we can do when we feel this way and how to approach those we would like to reconcile with so we can have a better relationship with them and with Jesus Christ. Discuss the courage and humility it takes to do so but with God all things are possible. You may also want to refer to a video from the Addiction Recovery Program- Step Nine: Restitution and Reconciliation.
Is there contention among those in your class? Discuss ways your class can become more quick to forgive, more unifying, and less judgmental. You can also include growing bonds with our ministering families. There are times when we may feel they should have done more. We need to let those things go and allow them to minister to the best of their abilities. You can include the clip from Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf about refraining from judging and letting go of grudges. How have you learned to let go?
Discuss the story of Jonah. He falsely assumed the people in Nineveh were too wicked and repentance wouldn’t be possible. Do we sometimes do this with those we have wronged in the past? Do we run away and become swallowed by a whale instead of trying to make the reconciliation? Do we assume they are past feeling and won’t make restitution with us?
You could always tie in the famous song from “Frozen” called, “Let It Go.” Bring in some helium balloons and write on each one some ways people in your class have become offended. Ask in class for easy to write answers so you can do it in class with them (sharpies work fine but may still smear so be careful!). Then discuss ways, we can unburden ourselves of these things and let the balloon go. You may even want to discuss how we sometimes begin to let go but then quickly grasp it back down. How can we completely late go? Why do we hold on? Keep in mind, you will need to bring the balloons back down so make the ribbons on them nice and long so it’s easy to clean up. If you don’t want to hassle with helium balloons, use my free printable ones on the board instead. You can still add real ribbon for fun.