There are some people who say that the idea of families was invented by people. But we know that's not true. Before the earth was even created, we lived as part of a family. We had a Father in heaven and we were His children. God created families because He loves us and wants us to be happy. Coming to earth to live in a family is an important part of God's plan for us.
There is a song that teaches these principles:
The Family is of God (verse 1 and chorus)
Why did God give us families? (listen to the song or come up with your own ideas; here are just a few possible answers)
to bring happiness
to help us learn correct principles in a loving atmosphere
to prepare us for eternal life
You are like this craft stick. If you were sent to earth all by yourself, how strong would you be? Would it be easy for Satan to break you? That's why families are such an important part of the plan. A family is like a group of sticks all bundled tightly together. Is this easy to break? Together, in families, we are stronger and more able to resist evil.
Are all families strong? What helps some families to be stronger than others?
There is a sentence in The Family: A Proclamation to the World that we are going to use as our scripture this week:
"Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." (link to printable scripture)
In other words, the gospel of Jesus Christ helps families to be stronger and happier.
(Optional: If you have only younger children, you may want to end here.)
There is a hymn in our hymnbook called Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth (#298). It teaches us that the righteous things we do in our homes are directly linked to blessings of happiness, safety, and joy.
Let's sing the song (all verses). Then let's look at the lyrics and make a chart. In one column, list all the things the family does. In the other column, list the blessings they receive. (Your chart may look different than mine. That's great! It's included only as a help to get you started.)
What the family does: love (warmth, kindness, charity), gathering each week (FHE), serving with cheerful hearts, parents teach and lead, children honor and obey parents, pray daily, search the scriptures faithfully, sing hymns
Blessings received: home feels like heaven, happiness and joy, safety and security, home is a place we want to be, grow in truth and light, we'll feel His love, hearts and minds are nourished
Which things do we do as a family? Are there things we could do better? (Perhaps pick one to work on.) Are there blessings we would like to experience more fully?
Bear testimony of the doctrine of the family, that it is ordained by God, and that learning and living the gospel will bless all families of the earth.
(Optional treat idea: As you bake something together, discuss how it takes different ingredients to make a recipe work. Have you ever forgotten an ingredient? What happened? Families are like that: individual ingredients coming together to create something wonderful.)
THIS WEEK FOR FAMILY SCRIPTURE STUDY:
-- Sing EITHER "The Family is of God" OR "Home can be a Heaven on Earth" (your choice)
-- Recite the scripture: "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ."
-- Assign a family member one of the following:
1. Read this sentence from the Family Proclamation: "The family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children." In your own words, what does this mean? Bear testimony of this week's principle.
2. Read this quote from President Harold B. Lee: "The most important of the Lord’s work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes." What does this mean? Give an example. Bear testimony of this week's principle.
3. (for a younger child) Sing the first verse of I am a Child of God. What does it teach you? What has God given you? Bear testimony of this week's principle.
4. Sing "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man". Read Helaman 5:12. How could this apply to families? Give specific examples. Bear testimony of this week's principle.
5. (for a younger child) Show a picture of the nativity. Tell about how Jesus Christ was born into a family when He came to earth. Bear testimony of the importance of families.
6. Read Deuteronomy 6:5-7. What do these verses mean? How can our family apply them? Bear testimony of this week's principle.
7. Sing "From Homes of Saints" (Hymn #297). What do you learn from the lyrics? In verse two, it lists three things that "God's truths" will do. What are they? Give an example from your own life of a time when God's truths protected or lifted you. Bear testimony of this week's principle.
8. Sing "Home" (CS pg. 192). What do you learn from this song? How have you felt God's love in your home? Bear testimony of this week's principle.
9. Read 1 Corinthians 12:14-26. How could this apply to family members? How is each person needed? Do we all rejoice when one family member is honored? Bear testimony of the importance of love and unity in the family.
10. Read Isaiah 54:13. What does this scripture mean to you? Bear testimony of this week's principle.
11. Read Mosiah 4:13-15. Read Ephesians 6:1-4. What responsibilities do parents have? What responsibilities do children have? How can you use these scriptures to strengthen your family? Bear testimony of this week's principle.
12. (for a teenager) Read Psalm 127:3-5. How does this make you feel about becoming a parent in your future? How is this different from what the world teaches about motherhood or fatherhood? Bear testimony of this week's principle.
13. Show a picture of the family of Adam and Eve (GAK 119). Read Moses 5:12. How can your family be like Adam and Eve's family? Bear testimony of this week's principle.
14. (for an 11 year old) Do Faith in God -- Preparing for YM/YW #5: Read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” Make a list of things you can do to help strengthen your family and make a happy home. Share the list with your parents.