After the marriage lesson, we of course have one about family. However, I really liked the title of Gordon B. Hinckley Chapter 11: Home- the Basis of a Righteous Life. As you focus on building homes of righteousness it really allows the focus to include all different styles of families including households of one.
It is so important though to continue to teach about family and to encourage the development of strong, righteous ones. "The strength of any nation is rooted within the walls of its homes" (see the Introduction). We must continue to build up our own families as well as be a support to the families around us. That is how we create a better world, one family at a time.
Questions to Ponder
Some of these questions are from the manual, others are ones that I thought of- use them in your preparation, lesson, or to help you think of your own.
- How does remembering and understanding that the family "encompasses the most sacred of all relationships" (section 1) affect your relationships with family members?
- How does understanding this sacred relationship affect the way you prioritize your time and activities?
- What does it mean for you to devote your "best efforts to the teaching and rearing of [your] children in gospel principles"? How do you do this? Why is it important to you?
- How has gospel teaching in your home blessed your family?
- How can parents improve in their efforts to help their children live the gospel?
- How can those without children at home aid in teaching gospel principles?
- Why does family prayer bring blessings? (section 3)
- What blessings have you experience because of having regular family prayer?
- How does family prayer grow your family's faith?
- What is lost when we neglect family prayer?
- What can you learn from President Hinckley's experience with FHE as a young boy? (section 4)
- How have you been blessed through Family Home Evening?
- What applications does the story of the locust tree (section 5) have for you?
- What can parents learn from the President Hinckley's teachings in section 6?
- What are some ways that parents and others can reach out in love to wayward children?
- Why is it important to discipline children with love rather than anger?
- What are some things you can do to discipline with love?
- How can family members nurture a spirit of love and respect for each other? (section 7)
- In what ways does a strong family strengthen the nation?
- What are the most important things you want your family to know?
- What are some ways you mistakenly begin to neglect our families? How can you overcome these obstacles?
- How can you continue to strengthen your family?
- How can friends help strengthen family?
Here are some articles to study as you continue to prepare for your lesson. They should NOT replace the manual but rather help answer questions and strengthen your own testimony so that it is easy to teach with confidence and answer questions that arise during your lesson.
"For Peace at Home" by Elder Richard G. Scott
"More Diligent and Concerned at Home" by Elder David A. Bednar
"Strengthen Home and Family" by Sister Mary N. Cook
"Family Councils" by Elder M. Russell Ballard
"Defenders of the Family Proclamation" by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson
"Why Marriage, Why Family" by Elder D. Todd Christofferson
The Family: A Proclamation to the World Study Journal
You can use this study journal as you prepare to teach this lesson or take pages from it to split your class into groups. Through the end of June, you can purchase it for 50% off with promo code HOME (all caps).
"This family study guide would be great not only for married couples and families, but for young men, women, and young single adults who are preparing for their own future families. It is filled with uplifting music, inspiring videos, and articles that venerate the divine calling of mothers and fathers, and declare the divine nature of families." -Elizabeth L.
"Learn in Thy Youth" (about 3 minutes)- Clip from President Hinckley
"The Family: A Proclamation to the World" (about 8 1/2 minutes)- from President Hinckley
"What Is the Purpose of Family?" (about 1 1/2 minutes)- The family is the building block of society
"Family Night" (about 1 1/2 minutes)- Video about family home evening
Family- Lots more videos about family
These are my ideas. My hope is that reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
- Help your class consider the sacredness of families by beginning your lesson with a focus on Heavenly Father's overall goal for us (Moses 1:39). How does he accomplish this goal? Through the Plan of Salvation. What is the key component of the Plan of Salvation? Families. God designed for us to come to earth as part of a family and made it possible for us to have our families forever. Because this is earth life, families are not perfect but the organization is divine. I like the above infographic from LDS.org to demonstrate this point. You could also end this point with the video mentioned above, "What Is the Purpose of Family?"
- I love the Take 5 and Try It handout included in My Computer is My Canvas class packet. It would make a great handout for those that can't attend the class as well as those that do.
- What are some ways you can build a home of faith? As you talk about Family Home Evening and Family Prayer, you can also include ways we can intentionally make our homes more centered on Christ. Build a house on your board. As you talk about each section in this chapter, add a wall, floor, ceiling, etc. End with a quote from the manual such as "The strength of any nation is rooted within the walls of its homes. We urge our people everywhere to strengthen their families in conformity with these time-honored values." (last lines in intro)
- In section 2, take a few minutes to share appreciation for the different talents men and women have (not comparison). Why do you suppose that all the gifts are not given to all? What does it teach us about family and the way they work?
- In my videos helps, I mentioned the engineering sized print from The Mormon Home. It's under July. I also mentioned my post, How Well Are You Guarding Your Nest with the 3 questions to ask.
- The Mormon Home also has a great post about filling our homes with love that may help you with your lesson.
- As you prepare to discuss Family Prayer, head back to Chapter 6 and remember the promised blessings (and get more ideas). How do these blessings expand as we have family prayer? Consider challenging your class to fill out this Prayer Thoughts printable or referencing their Family Council agenda before prayers.
- President Hinckley says it best, "If you have any doubt about the virtue of family home evening, try it." Have a few people share what works for them when it comes to FHE. It will be different for everyone but it helps to hear ideas. Try to get ideas from people in a variety of situations to comment such as those without children at home, those with young children, those with teens, and those by themselves. You may want to called people ahead of time. I have several helps and free printables available on the blog for FHE for those that need it such as these Singing Time signs or game ideas. Of course, there is always A Year of FHE for even more ideas.
- Use my Time banner to organize your lesson. Each letter has a coordinating word that goes with it. T= Teach (family prayer, FHE, etc) I = Immediate (goes with the tree story) M= Matters (Families are sacred) E= Eternal. Put up each letter as you cover the topic then show a Homefront where at the end it says, "Family, isn't it about time." You can also use the quote from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf that says, "In family relationships love is really spelled T-I-M-E."
- Focus on the tree analogy in section 5. Bring a tree or illustrate one on the board to give your class something visual. Tell the story part then give the title of the lesson to your class and ask them to draw an analogy. It's a great way to see things through another person's eyes. I think you could also compare the tree to when we try to make better choices- we cut down our own branches and try to grow a new one. However, if we don't constantly nourish that new habit or work hard at keeping it, it will bend easily.
- This lesson is a great one for discussion because no two families are going to do things exactly the same. Allow time for others to share their experiences, solutions, and even questions. One thing that really worked well for us in cultivating greater love is Family Fun Packets.
- Remember, Grady from This Mormon Life always does a podcast for each chapter too.
- Love Pray Teach also has a handout packet with note pages and more for this lesson. Use code chicken05 for 5% off.