Julie Beck “And Upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit” April 2010
The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life. Qualifying for the Lord’s Spirit begins with a desire for that Spirit and implies a certain degree of worthiness. Keeping the commandments, repenting, and renewing covenants made at baptism lead to the blessing of always having the Lord’s Spirit with us.2 Making and keeping temple covenants also adds spiritual strength and power to a woman’s life. Many answers to difficult questions are found by reading the scriptures because the scriptures are an aid to revelation.3 Insight found in scripture accumulates over time, so it is important to spend some time in the scriptures every day. Daily prayer is also essential to having the Lord’s Spirit with us.4 Those who earnestly seek help through prayer and scripture study often have a paper and pencil nearby to write questions and record impressions and ideas.
Mom’s tend to give their kids a crash course the last 6 months they live at home because they want to make up for everything they haven’t done. We don’t need to panic. As we teach them to listen to the Holy Ghost they will have the best teacher we could ever give them.
Spiritual things have to be taught by the spirit. You invite the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost becomes the teacher of spiritual things. We need to create those experiences where the Holy Ghost can be the teacher. We need to help children identify when they recognize the Spirit. Little children when they don’t know the word they throw themselves on the floor in a tantrum. You have to give them the name of ‘frustrated’ or ‘fearful’. We also have to teach them to identify the promptings of the Spirit. If we don’t know it we can’t teach it.
How well do you recognize that Spirit in your own life?
We want kids to understand that DAILY we recognize the Spirit. Look at today or yesterday. You should have that influence daily after you have been baptized. I think that you already are, but you become so accustomed to that companionship that we don’t realize and appreciate the blessings of having the Spirit with us. We aren’t always sensitive to the promptings. We often think “that was just an idea”. We don’t identify it at the Holy Ghost. We are having those promptings.
Class member: I think there are times that we feel the Spirit strongly, but when someone asks something like “when did you last feel the Spirit?” we only think about the big things.
We teach our children that Joseph Smith had a vision when he prayed. So they think they should have a vision when they pray. We teach them they will feel a burning sensation. They think…I didn’t feel that so I don’t think I felt it.
As you look at the way you teach, the words we use can sometimes confuse them. They think that if the Holy Ghost is my constant companion then I should ‘always’ feel the warm comfortable thinking.
Class member: “If it prompts you to do good” then it is the Holy Ghost. (Moroni?)
Class member: I felt prompted to start a journal to note things that where we recognize the Spirit in our lives. There were times we listened and times we didn’t listen and what happened.
Class member: If it’s good it’s of God. I had my father give me a Father’s blessing. He said, “There are times that you have turned left instead of right and your life has been saved multiple times.” You just need to listen. You just do it.
Class member: I received a calling that is a big one. We are trying to get out the door and I’m yelling at my kids. Then I’m supposed to have the Spirit with me. How do I teach my kids how long it takes to feel the Spirit again? I can’t wait until Sunday for the Sacrament.
Look at that sincere righteous good woman. She is anxiously engaged in being a good Mom. She wants to understand the gospel and knowing that when she takes the sacrament she will be able to start over. There is a misunderstanding of the Atonement of the Holy Ghost. Everything that seem good, but they may not get it. So we still have to work through to get it. You can get it back immediately. As soon as you say, “Heavenly Father I can’t do this alone.” You can get it back. He is saying don’t wait. That’s why we can have it as a constant companion. As soon as we make a mistake and repent we can have it back. Repentance is just changing and turning it around.
As you go through this process you are teaching them that they can change and repent and have it back with them instantly. We want them to recognize when they don’t have it so they change and turn around to get it back.
This is a process that you have to teach over and over and over. Your children all learn differently. This is the process of becoming sanctified. We are going to do this all the way through this life. This is what we do in life. In teaching your children these spiritual things all of your children learn or hear it differently.
Some of your kids love to be hugged. Other children if you hug on them they are stiff as a board. That doesn’t say “I love you.” They think they just have to endure it. That child might be loved when you read that note. Some children want time some want gifts. If we only give our children love physically the one that doesn’t want to be touched doesn’t feel like you understand them.
We need to teach them in a language they can process. The Holy Ghost will speak to each person in their own language.
Class member: Even before the age of 8 we need to teach our children that they can feel the Spirit. You can have the Holy Ghost with you before you are 8. Once you are 8 you can have him there with you every day.
How often in our own homes when the Savior is there are we not focused on it? How often is our vision somewhere else? We are oblivious to it.
Ponder and think about…figure out yourself how children learn. You have to teach this over and over in different ways.
You feel like you have already taught it, but you need to teach it over and over so they get it.
You need to validate your little people can have feelings.
Example: “I hate Suzy.” You say, “In our family we don’t hate people.”
Give teenagers space to ‘feel’ what they are feeling.
Example: “There are monsters in my room.” You say, “There are no monsters in this room.”
They need to know that it is ok to feel feelings. None of them are right or wrong. It’s what we do with those feelings that is right or wrong.
Class member: I tell my 5 year old, “It’s ok to be mad. But what you can’t do is hurt the dog because you are mad. You can take some space, but don’t hurt others when we are feeling mad.”
The best thing to say is, “I can see that you are frustrated. I can see that would be horribly discouraging.” Don’t ever say, “I can understand exactly how you feel!” Her feeling would be, “No you don’t! You weren’t in the game. You weren’t doing it.” You can say, “I’ve had a similar experience.”
Class member: How do you teach your children it’s ok to feel the Spirit? My daughter was feeling the Spirit and she said, “I don’t like that feeling. I feel out of control.”
Usually kids that are in control and giving up that power is threatening to them. There is usually a comic relief in the class. They just don’t know how to feel comfortable with the Spirit. Little tiny people are spiritually sensitive. As they grow older and want power and control. You have to give up the power to have ‘faith’ and ‘trust’. Giving up and giving in means you are giving up temporal power and control to the Lord. That is consecration where we choose to give it back.
Reverence and respect have to be a taught thing. It doesn’t just come naturally.
In our society, everything that once used to be respected is no longer respected, especially spiritual things. We need to start when children are very young to teach respect and reverence.
HOMEWORK: Margaret Lifforth May 2009 “Respect and Reverence”
Teach our children to be respectful and reverent in FHE, family prayer, scriptures, Primary.
Class member: I have a 7 year old that just doesn’t hold still. We are trying to teach FHE and he won’t be reverent. How do I teach him and still use his language?
Reverence is taught over time.
The beginning process is to hold them on your lap at night and read to them 1 minute, then 2 minutes, then 3 minutes. You are helping them be comfortable and feel warm in a quiet environment. Then practice sitting reverent for more time. We stop teaching because the older ones are sitting reverent we let the little ones do their own thing.
Example: “Johnny we are going to have FHE. Find your ‘spot’.”
You have to continue to reinforce they stay in their spot. They may need to look at a family picture book while they are sitting.
They start learning respect in FHE.
Reverence is not just about being quiet it’s about being in tune with what is going on. You need to make FHE fun! You need to spend some time.
There is a period when little people need distractions while they are in sacrament meeting. We never outgrow that problem and get the distractions away from them.
Practice---I think it should be less desirable to be out of sacrament meeting than to be IN sacrament meeting. We need to train them. I thought if I am teaching them “Pavlov’s theory” when they walk into the bench they ask for cheerios then there wouldn’t be any more treats.
Children are like water. They will flow to the least resistance. You hold them accountable.
Class member: I remember being taught by the Spirit one day the creation came to mind. Before the Savior created anything there was a ‘space’. Until we create a space be taking out something negative it is difficult to give them a space to choose righteous things to fill it.
The space we need to create is quiet. In order for us to learn to feel the Spirit, from time to time we have to create quiet space.
We get so busy doing good things that we take ourselves away from the very strength we need. We have to slow down and take moments to be quiet and to be still. If you are quiet and let the Spirit in you have the power and the peace to make it work.
Our children are so busy that they don’t stop and we have to help them learn to stop and feel the Spirit. They have to stop and be quiet. The Spirit is soft.
Create experiences where the Spirit will be there. Taking them to the temple.
They need to record the experience so they can never go back and say that I haven’t had that experience. Teach them if it is a prompting to sit by someone that we do it quickly. Make it safe for them to talk to you. How many of you feel comfortable feeling really spiritual experiences in front of your spouse? These are sacred moments. We don’t make fun of them.
Part of this teaching process is that you share those experiences in your family. It needs to be one-on-one or in FHE. Your children feel scared when they see you cry. They need to know that you feel ok with crying and that it’s ok.
We need to help our children understand the importance of making and keeping small promises. Teach them that their word is their honor. You are learning to trust them and they are building that trust.
Preparing your children, your families, and yourself for General Conference
We need to listen to them and then act upon them. It’s what we do before conference, during conference and after conference.
Before Conference—Prepare! I would recommend you start this preparation two weeks ago. Help them become more familiar with who they are. There needs to be a connection before they stand up to speak.
Class member: We put words on cups that had candy in them. They get a candy each time they hear the word.
Conference Saturday & Sunday…it’s 2 days. In the beginning the goal is to have good feelings about conference. As they get older you can do the Conference packets. Color the ties like who is up there. Have them stand up and sing the songs. Have them raise their arm to the square. Have them participate. Your sons need to go to Priesthood session. The YW need to attend the General YW Meeting.
During Conference—Have them take notes.
After Conference—Be sure each child has their own Conference Ensign with their name on it. Then you as a family teach from different conference talks for FHE. Read talk prior. Have a child give the lesson. Make a to-do list.
The “I believe in living prophets” changes to “We do and follow what the prophet says.” This builds testimonies. They don’t lose their testimony when they have questions because they have already gained it.
Class member: In our home General Conference is a ‘holiday’. We go shopping just for General Conference.
Class member: I mentioned to my daughter that the General Women’s Conference was this weekend and she said, “Yes! Conference is next weekend.”
General Conference issues should become as sacred to you as your scriptures. Use them. Write on them.
Class member: Type the quote and they have to find it in their Ensign during the week. Who said it and what the talk was that week. Don’t tell anyone and don’t look it up on the internet.
Class member: Make memes to print for the wall with Conference talks.
Elder Holland April 2003 “A Prayer for the Children”
“Nephi-like, might we ask ourselves what our children know? From us? Personally? Do our children know that we love the scriptures? Do they see us reading them and marking them and clinging to them in daily life? Have our children ever unexpectedly opened a closed door and found us on our knees in prayer? Have they heard us not only pray with them but also pray for them out of nothing more than sheer parental love? Do our children know we believe in fasting as something more than an obligatory first-Sunday-of-the-month hardship? Do they know that we have fasted for them and for their future on days about which they knew nothing? Do they know we love being in the temple, not least because it provides a bond to them that neither death nor the legions of hell can break? Do they know we love and sustain local and general leaders, imperfect as they are, for their willingness to accept callings they did not seek in order to preserve a standard of righteousness they did not create? Do those children know that we love God with all our heart and that we long to see the face—and fall at the feet—of His Only Begotten Son? I pray that they know this.”
What did you think about the topic?
Class member: Last night we did a FHE lesson. My 11yr old came home with a First Vision Lesson from Activity Days. Everyone was sitting silently while she was teaching the lesson. Then my husband and I took turns bearing our testimony about the First Vision. I remembered to point out the Spirit to them so they could start to recognize it.
They need to know the Spirit is in the home and want to seek that. The peaceful feeling in their home they will want to accept that into their homes. Build on it in their homes and in their personal lives. As you are putting them to bed ask “Have you felt the Spirit today?” Most of them feel that the Spirit only comes in the big things. Our responsibility is that the Spirit is touching them multiple times a day.
Our kids often thing the Holy Ghost is a disciplinarian. It’s not just that. We have to teach them how to feel it every day. They need to be conscious of it so much that they can feel when it leaves. We want them to live so the Spirit doesn’t leave. Sometimes we become so accustomed to having the Spirit with us that we don’t know how to explain it until it leaves. Kids have to learn both sides of the equation.
Class member: I have 2 kids that are starting to feel the Spirit, but they are doing awkward things to break it. I was telling them that we need to feel the Spirit and sometimes we try to break it, but we need to pray to be ok to feel that and enjoy and don’t try to push the Spirit way. Try to enjoy the peace. It was interesting to see their body language change.
They are uncomfortable and they want to get back to where it’s comfortable.
Class member: I went back to my kids Tuesday night and I tucked them in bed and asked them what Tender Mercies they felt today. I told them that I would be asking them about them more often. She came home from school and asked if she could have a notebook to write down her miracles.
Where she is new at this talk to her and say that this can be a gift you give back to Heavenly Father. Maybe at Christmas you can give this as a gift back to Heavenly Father as a gift to Him. If you give her a goal and make a visual and they can see it they will stick with it longer. Part of your Christmas celebration ask her if maybe she would like to share some of those things she saw as her way of saying “Thank You”. You will find a sweet spirit will come when that happens.
Class member: Our 3 yr old is saying “I’m sharing. I’m happy.” Now it’s overboard because he’s saying “I’m happy.”
They sometimes are doing positive things to get attention. This will end up becoming irritating. Check your feelings. You will know that what they are doing is for undue attention. At that point don’t make a big deal about it. Don’t give them attention on demand when they are asking for it because they are becoming dependent on it. Say “I’m glad you are happy. We will talk about it tonight.”
Class member: Last week we talked about reverence too. It dawned on my that my 11 yr old is still irreverent. I listened to Sister Lifferth’s talk. This time it was ‘Reverence begins with you not the child.’ I need to look at me at church and see if I’m doing it.
Reverence is thinking about the Savior. It’s being focused on the talks. It’s figuring out what they could learn from talks.
If you don’t earn it you don’t get it.
Class member: We were doing things you suggested for Conference. We had the key words. In Sacrament meeting my 3 yr old leaned over and said can I have a Skittle they said ‘Jesus Christ’. At least he was listening. I told him he could have them when he got home.
Class member: The thing I liked about the talk too it begins with us treating them with respect.
Class member: A butterfly will only come to you if you are sitting quietly, but if you are wiggling it will fly away. The Spirit will come to you when you are sitting quietly.
Class member: So you can look back on them when you need to be reminded. I think the act of looking for them to record them helps you find them.
What is a tender mercy?
Class member: It can be as simple as being calm. It’s hard for me to get my 3 little boys to church on Sunday. I was working hard on having a good thought. Thoughts came to my mind and I was able to use those. My 8 year old didn’t flip out and we were able to go.
I get up at 4am to be at the temple by 5am. I am not a napper. If the sun is up I can’t nap. I had a speaking engagement at a Women’s Retreat in Mundo Hot Springs. It is 2 hours from Boise….up toward Ontario past Weiser. I was a little worried about driving home after the adrenaline is gone. I drove there. I got in the car and drove straight home. I was fine. As soon as I got home I almost couldn’t get ready for bed because I was so exhausted.
I want you to look at these things. All of these experiences are the Holy Ghost working in your life.
I was the Primary President and asked the children if they had an experience with the Holy Ghost. No answer. I asked the leaders. One lady raised her hand and told us about an experience that happened 30 years ago. If you have received the gift of the Holy Ghost you can have an experience all the time. We have to get better at recognizing it and giving it a name.
The best way to teach a child how to recognize it is by sharing experiences.
Elder Packer had an experience with the man on the plane with salt.
You teach spiritual things differently than you teach them temporal things. When you clean a bathroom you walk them through the process. A spiritual concept you can’t do that. You can’t force the Spirit.
President Boyd K. Packer said,
“You can no more force the spirit to respond than you can force a bean to sprout, or an egg to hatch before its time. You can create a climate to foster growth, nourish and protect; but you cannot force or compel: you must await the growth.” (Ensign, Jan 1983, p. 53)
You teach spiritual things by living them. It’s not a lesson. It’s your commitment and your testimony. They see it in you.
Elder Allan F. Packer, Quorum of the 70
Ensign, May 2009 pg 17 “Finding Strength in Challenging Times”
“When I was a young man in high school, one of my passions was American Football. I played middle linebacker. The coach worked the team hard, teaching us the basics. We practiced until the skills became natural and automatic. During one play against our biggest rival, I had an experience that has helped me over the years. We were on defense. I knew my assigned opponent, and as the play unfolded, he moved to my right into the line of scrimmage. There was a lot of noise from players and fans. I reacted as the coach had taught us and followed my man into the line, not knowing if he had the ball. To my surprise, I felt the ball partially in my hands. I gave it a tug, but my opponent didn’t let go. We tugged back and forth, amid all the noise I heard a voice yelling, “Packer, tackle him!” That was enough to bring me to my senses, so I dropped him on the spot.
I wondered how I heard that voice above all the other noise. I had become acquainted with the voice of the coach during the practices, and I had learned to trust it. I knew that what he taught worked.
We need to be acquainted with the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and we need to practice and apply gospel teachings until they become natural and automatic. These promptings become the foundation of our testimonies. Then our testimonies will keep us happy and safe in troubled times.”
By the time your children leave your home they need to be so familiar with the sound of the Holy Ghost and the feeling of the Holy Ghost that they hear it in the noise of the world.
Teaching the Holy Ghost starts when children are about 2-3yrs old. They have to be old enough that they recognize and they are beginning to communicate. They are beginning to think for themselves and conceptualize. You begin teaching the Holy Ghost. You do it by teaching children that feelings are good. We try to teach children that sometimes some feelings are good and others are completely unacceptable.
1. Validate feelings:
You have a child that comes in and says “I hate Suzy.” Or they come in the middle of the night and say, “I’m scared. There is a monster under the bed.” You invalidate that they have that right.
When you teach children to stuff feelings you are teaching them to be insensitive.
When they say “I hate her!” You can say…”I can see you are really frustrated. Something happened to make you feel that way. Do you want to tell me what happened?” At this point I’m not going to argue over the words. “She is bugging me and won’t leave me alone!” You can use distraction…have her come help you bake cookies. Have them work together and play together. Can she play a part of your game?
Validate their right to be afraid. “I can see that something in your room is really scaring you.” The next step is what are we going to do about it.
If the Holy Ghost is a feeling we need to connect that we “do” something about it.
As children learn that feelings are good and they have the right to have feelings.
2. Create the Environment for them to be able to feel the Spirit:
3. Identify the feeling
Do you have a greater understanding of what the Holy Ghost is more than ‘this is right and this is wrong’?
What does the Holy Ghost do?
Class member: We both prayed and we both got different answers. This thought came into my mind and said maybe it’s both. I said…maybe you should go to this activity, but maybe you shouldn’t watch a movie. I told him that he needed to go back and pray. Plans changed and they were so excited about it. I was grateful that when he encountered that the Spirit was there.
When you are teaching the Holy Ghost you are allowing the Holy Ghost to fix problems instead of you fixing the problems.
We often come predeciding what the answer is and then pray that the Lord will answer me. The inspiring influence of the Holy Spirit can be overcome or masked by strong emotions, such as anger, hate, passion, fear, or pride. When such influences are present, it is like trying to savor the delicate flavor of a grape while eating a jalapeño pepper. Both flavors are present, but one completely overpowers the other. In like manner, strong emotions overcome the delicate promptings of the Holy Spirit.
(To Acquire Spiritual Guidance by Richard G. Scott)
Make the decision, but go with an open door and be prepared to listen to what happens.
Class member: I have learned for me to pray 2 different ways. I pray is this the right thing to do? On one day and on another day I pray is this the wrong things to do?
When you want to know if the Holy Ghost is with me…these are indications you do have the Spirit in your life…..
“The gift of the Holy Ghost … quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being” (Key to the Science of Theology, 9th ed. , 101 Parley P Pratt). (The Spirit Which Leadeth To Do Good by L. Tom Perry)
If you don’t invite that Spirit in you can know it, but not internalize it.
The prayer says… “Receive the Holy Ghost”. It’s a commandment for you to do your part. You are not entitled to have it, but you have to open the door on your part to receive it.
We need to invite the Holy Ghost into our day every morning in prayer. He comes and lifts as we invite him.
We have to teach our children what it means to be reverent. They come to earth self centered. Sacred things are found in reverence. Our children need to be taught reverence so they can be comfortable with reverent things.
You will find that in your own home when the Spirit comes in they start feeling uncomfortable with that Spirit so they crack a joke and do something where the Spirit leaves. We need to teach it to where they want to be enveloped in it. They are more comfortable with chaos and noise and are uncomfortable if they aren’t there. We need to teach certain things in the home.
Class member: It’s ok to cry and be emotional when you feel the Spirit. It doesn’t make you a weak person. She is now starting to really love that feeling. It’s a feeling of vulnerability.
The environment that our children live in is not conducive to reverence. When there is no place in their life that teaches them about reverence it is unknown, uncomfortable, and weird. There is no honor for the country, leadership in the country, police officers, and parents and home environment. You will find a lot of flack against church leaders and individuals in the church. Because it’s nowhere your responsibility becomes twice as important because now they don’t feel it unless you create it.
Sister Lifferth teaches how to teach our children how to be more reverent in church. WE need to be more reverent in church. There is no reason to have electronics in church. Why don’t you see the General Authorities up there in General Conference with electronics. You are so easily tempted to look at other things…how difficult do you think it is for youth. They need to learn how to use them properly. They will use more and more of the media it becomes your responsibility to teach manners with it.
Sacrament Meeting is the time to bond with the Savior and now it’s not the time to be entertained.
Class member: It’s getting harder for kids to be present…with electronics or not. If they are on their phone they are not at church. They are physically there, but not ‘there’. That device is taking your somewhere else. If you aren’t at church you won’t get anything from it.
Sister Lifferth talks about ‘reverence is a process to be learned’. We have to take the initiative to be an example of it and find joy in being there. Set guidelines and help them understand what they can do.
Youth need to be called by their title. That is a form of respect. When they are little until they graduate from high school they need to call everyone who is older than them, Brother & Sister.
Class member: Our Stake President extended that to the youth in BYC. The youth had trouble knowing when it’s appropriate to call them by their first names.
In the beginning when you have 2-3 yr olds you bring them quiet books. They shouldn’t be brought out until after the sacrament. By the time they are 8 they shouldn’t need anything else.
Class member: Pull out a picture of Christ even a 2 yr old. He can have his Jesus picture.
Be sure you are focused on the sacrament.
Class member: We don’t watch ‘bad’ media at our house, but you have to start that at home. How much harder is it for the Spirit to talk to you if you are thinking about the TV? Clogging your brain with things that are not important doesn’t allow the Spirit in.
You can’t expect kids to go to church and behave without teaching them that at home. Have a shorter lesson for little people during FHE for a short time. They need to learn to fold their arms when they pray. If you don’t have a goal in mind you won’t get there. FHE and Family prayer they need to be reverent. Help them get there in a happy way.
Another thing is story time. After dinner it is quiet time. There was no TV, not tag, no gymnastics, no wrestling so they learned to be quiet.
Create these reverent moments in your home. Reverence is a process of developing self discipline at home.
Some ideas of activities that invite the spirit are:
When you have this ‘happy’ feeling that is the Holy Ghost telling us it’s a blessing to be in a family. You are identifying that the Holy Ghost comes in a lot of ways. Maybe it’s after a movie and someone is crying. That’s the Holy Ghost testifying how it’s nice to be kind to each other. You have to plug in the words…Holy Ghost and connect it to the feeling.
If you aren’t connecting feelings and the Holy Ghost they aren’t getting it!
What you do on Sunday, how you keep the Sabbath day. That is one of the most important ways you invite the Spirit into your home.
Bishop H. David Burton said,
“I know that remembering to keep the Sabbath day holy is one of the most important commandments we can observe in preparing us to be the recipients of the whisperings of the Spirit.” (Ensign, November 1998, pg 9)
You can do happy, reverent things.
After a child leaves home see what they do after church. Do they read the Book of Mormon every day? How do they dress afterwards? That is a good indicator of their testimony.
Elder Richard G. Scott said,
“Write down in a secure place the important things you learn from the Spirit. You will find that as you write down precious impressions, often more will come…Express gratitude for the help received and obey it. This practice will reinforce your capacity to learn by the Spirit. It will permit the Lord to guide your life and to enrich the use of every other capacity latent in your being.” BYU Devotional Jan 23, 2001 ‘To Acquire Knowledge and Use It Wisely’
You will have a day that is blue, or sad, or ugly. This journal is for you. It doesn’t have to be a paragraph. It can be as simple as ‘I had the impression to call someone. I went and visited’.
Class member: I have a victory journal. I find one victory each day that I have made. It is a 5 year journal (a line a day journal).
It will be interesting to see your growth. You will watch yourself develop.
Do that with your children. As you tuck them in bed that night ask them about a CTR moment. Did you have a good feeling? Did you reach out to someone? When they can write let them write. You might have to put them to bed 10 minutes earlier or let them stay up 10 minutes later.
Class member: I always ask my daughter what her favorite part of the day was. Sometimes it’s not what I even thought about them saying.
These mini moments you will find will give you the opportunity to talk about the Holy Ghost. Ask…Where do you think that feeling came from?
You writing the impression invites the Lord to send you more because it was important enough to write it down. Write it down and then do it! It will increase your capacity to see and do and be something more.
Our example is the most important thing in teaching your children about the Holy Ghost.
Sister Menlove points out in Carl Bloch’s “Healing at Bethsaida” ‘How often in our home can the Savior be there and no one acknowledges his presence? How often are holy things around us because we aren’t focused on that which is holy? How often do our children miss how deep our testimony is because we don’t show them?
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said,
“Nephi-like, might we ask ourselves what our children know? From us? Personally? Do our children know that we love the scriptures? So they see us reading them and marking them and clinging to them in daily life? Have our children ever unexpectedly opened a closed door and found us on our knees in prayer? Have they heard us not only pray with them but also pray for them out of nothing more than sheer parental love? Do our children know we believe in fasting as something more than an obligatory first-Sunday-of-the-month hardship? Do they know that we have fasted for them and for their future on days about which they knew nothing? Do they know we love being in the temple, not least because it provides a bond to them that neither death nor the legions of hell can break? Do they know we love and sustain local and general leaders, imperfect as they are, for their willingness to accept callings they did not seek in order to preserve a standard of righteousness they did not create? Do those children know that we love God with all our heart and that we long to see the face--and fall at the feet—of His Only Begotten Son? I pray that they know this.” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, May 2003, pg 87)
Teaching Children to Feel the Spirit
When this doctrine catches you will notice that your children will become governed by what they know is right. The do it from the inside out. The Spirit talks to us in what we need.
We need to make doctrine more than knowledge. Most of us ‘know’ the gospel, but do we believe it. Do we take it in to our heart? Do we know the Savior or do we believe the Savior? It goes to a different level. He cares…not to condemn me, but to help me. The feeling governs you.
Do you feel joy regardless of your situation because you ‘know’ Him? Do we know that He cares?
Class member: There was one talking about missing the mark, but if you are seeking that knowledge more than taking the Savior into my heart.
There were a lot of talks on the Book of Mormon. Reading the Book of Mormon every day is the avenue. You have to read it ‘with real intent’. You don’t just read it. When we study it we have to do it with the intent to come unto Christ so as you read the stories of the wars what does it teach you about coming closer to Christ. It’s the intent to find the Savior.
How do we get our children on that track? We have to teach them testimony. We have to teach them that it’s more than knowledge. It’s that belief that governs. When they stand in a hard place they will know where they need to stand.
We underestimate the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the medium that sanctifies us. It is the partnership we have that takes us back to our Heavenly Father. It is through the Atonement, but through the Holy Ghost that becomes the conduit from the Atonement to us that creates sanctification. We have to learn to live by the power of the Holy Ghost.
One of the problems with teaching our children to live by the Holy Ghost is that we don’t do it ourselves. We can’t teach them something they can’t see. They need to be able to feel it.
How much do you live with the Holy Ghost?
How you answer those questions is a good indicator of how you are living by the influence of the Holy Ghost….particularly #4. This means to serve your spouse, your children, your visiting teaching, and your calling. This is when you are anxiously engaged in something you want to be engaged in. Do you respond to that interruption joyfully or with irritation?
***She changed the topic from here on down. She said that she would come back and teach this topic next week though***
This requires you to examine the condition of your heart and we try to avoid that. As we honestly look at the condition of our heart and seek to change/repent and invite the Holy Ghost in that is the beginning of sanctification. The Holy Ghost takes us closer to becoming Christ-like. Do you see how important it is that we learn to live by the Spirit and then teach our children to live by the Spirit?
Class member: When I serve my husband he serves me back. I don’t get that same response if I don’t do it first. I know that’s the Holy Ghost working on both of us.
That is a perfect example, but the key is…she did it because she was prompted by the Holy Ghost, but she didn’t do it for feedback. You have to give the gift through the prompting as a free gift. If nothing comes back you do some more. You don’t live by payback. That is Satan. It’s not about payback. It’s about you living a Celestial life regardless of the people around you. It’s not about him. Your exaltation is about you. Are we keeping score? That’s not what it’s about.
Class member: Does anyone feel like it’s the woman in the home feel like it’s my responsibility and that my attitude affects my family? If I’m critical the whole mood in my family changes. Can everyone else just move on without being impacted by my mood/attitude?
Class member: The woman is responsible for the weather in the home. When I wake up and I’m grumpy everyone else takes from me. When I have focused on it before I can make it sunny or I can make it gloomy. Just to try and put out a little bit of sunshine.
President Howard W. Hunter (Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, pg 139)
" I suppose you would say it is a man's viewpoint to throw a burden upon a woman to maintain the stability and the sweetness of marriage, but this seems to be her divine nature. She has a superior spirituality in the marriage relationship, and the opportunity to encourage, uplift, teach, and be the one who sets the example in the family for righteous living. When women come to the point of realizing that it is more important to be superior than to be equal, they will find the real joy in living those principles that the Lord set out in His divine plan."
Most of your gifts have to do with feelings. Women are insightful and intuitive. They see the big picture. If Satan can get your feelings on a negative downward spiral that blocks your access to the Spirit.
But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.
Positive ThoughtsàPositive FeelingsàPositive ActionsàPositive HabitsàPositive Character
Depression & Discouragement (Parenting Class Links for more detailed info)
We think it starts in your actions, but what gets you into the Celestial Kingdom is the condition of your heart. My thoughts are about my duty. It creates the feelings behind the action. If my thoughts are about the Savior and all he gave them my feelings are about how he served. We try to change behavior without changing thoughts.
Example: I’m going to do kind things for my husband, but I’m going to do something nice because I’m supposed to be nice to him so I do it. He doesn’t say thank you. I say…I’m not doing that again. In the whole process my thoughts didn’t change so my heart couldn’t change.
The place to change your heart has to be in your thoughts.
Sometimes our thoughts are positive, but out thoughts are willing. I’m inviting the Savior in to make the difference.
Class member: I’ve learned the power of thought through another book I read. It starts with thinking. When we think negative thoughts you create a well worn path. It’s the easiest way to take. We have to take a machete and wack our way through. Eventually the ‘positive’ becomes our well worn path. You have to go through the process of actually changing the thought from negative to positive.
If we change at the ‘thoughts’ we invite through the Atonement the power of the Spirit to help us change.
When we entertain those thoughts it invites Satan in.
Gene R Cook said you have 8 seconds to change your thoughts before your thoughts become feelings.
That’s your window of agency.
How many of you live in discouragement?
Watch yourself---to pay attention to the thoughts you are thinking. We are choosing our thoughts. Look at what you are thinking about. You look at where you are and take inventory.
Watch your thoughts---that’s the first thing you look to. What are you thinking? Change those thoughts.
Watch your feelings---Your thoughts create feelings. Your actions flow from how you are feeling. You feelings flow from what you are thinking.
Watch your deeds---You talk according to how you feel.
Observe the commandments of God---we were observing those in our thoughts and wanting to just serve Him ourselves
What does it mean to perish? It means to lose the reward. You are losing the reward…peace, joy, contentment in your family.
Lord’s side of the line:
Love, joy, peace, hope, gratitude, clarity, energy, compassion, comfort, light
Satan’s side of the line:
Despair, confusion, burdened, heavy, darkness, fear, depression, heartache, hatred, lack of energy, hatred, blame, victim
Satan cannot cross over to the Lord’s side. He cannot give you light. The Lord will not cross over the line because of agency. If you are feeling despair who is moving across the line. If you feel hope and joy who is moving? You are. The entity that moves is you. Will Satan entice you to cross the line? Will the Spirit entice you to stay on the right side of the line? Yes. Who makes the choice? You make the choice.
If you are feeling the things on Satan’s side of the line who are you choosing to hearken to? Satan. How do you cross back over the line? You have to change your thoughts. Changing sides of the line doesn’t happen in an instance.
Right now all I can do is desire to be happy. I need to desire to be happy and sometimes that’s all you can do. If you go to the Lord and tell him that you desire to be happy and will he empower you. Then you invite the Spirit. At that invitation the Holy Ghost will come and will help you rise above your own weakness.
Class member: “Your crazy is showing you might want to tuck that in.” Tucking it in is that invitation.
The way to repent…
Using the Atonement (Parenting Class links for more detailed info)
Regardless of what you are experiencing….Stop what you are doing, thinking, or what you are doing that is wrong. Turn to the Savior. Pray for forgiveness and direction and the enabling power. If you do that with real intent you will be told something to do in that moment. You take that and act upon it immediately. By doing this you will have repented. That is why we use repentance 100x a day.
If you act on the prompting you are given in that moment (you have to act first) then you will receive the strength and the power and the Holy Ghost. Your willingness to act is the initiation for the Holy Ghost to empower you.
When we partake of the Sacrament, one of the things we want is to remember Him always. This process (Stop, Turn, Act) is the process of remembering Him always.
It is simple to understand and so hard to do!
Class member: What happens when you feel stuck on the “Satan side”?
How do we allow ourselves to be hurt more? I feel more vulnerable. All of the Jews hated the Savior, but he served them. What makes us vulnerable? I found as I worked through it that I had an unreal expectation. If I treat you nice you will learn to like me. That was an unreal expectation. When she said unkind things it couldn’t hurt me anymore. When the Spirit says serve I would pray for a greater understanding of her heart it’s because inside of her there may be a lot of pain. Allow her to have that problem without making it yours.
When you do something you do it as a gift. It’s for you to change your heart. It’s not for them. You have to do it with no strings attached and praying you will come to understand them. You don’t dismiss the prompting you act on it with no ‘unreal expectation’.
If the unseen agenda in the prayer is “Heavenly Father what do I need to do to change her?” that’s wrong. We don’t get to do that. Heavenly Father will work with you about you.
Class member: There is a book called the “Anatomy of Peace”. He talks about when our heart is at war when we aren’t living up to our own expectations.
Can He See Me? Theresa Star
If you look to Him and invite him you will feel His divine smile in your soul. That divine smile will come to you as you read the Book of Mormon with real intent and invite Him into your heart.
Sister Beck said, “The most important thing for women to learn is to hear and live by the Holy Ghost.”
That holds true then as parents that is our goal.
Class member said…I looked back on it but it was so quiet I thought it was just a passing thought. Had she not looked back she wouldn’t have realized it.
Sacrament Prayer…keep His commandments…the fact that you are ‘trying’ qualifies you to always have His Spirit to be with us.
Boyd K. Packer “The Gift of the Holy Ghost: What Every Member Should Know”
“When parents are teaching their children and when missionaries are teaching investigators, preparing them for baptism by water, they must also think of the gift of the Holy Ghost—baptism by fire. Think of it as one sentence. First comes the baptism of water and then the baptism of fire. I repeat, to be baptized and to receive the Holy Ghost--link those two together. “
Why? When we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost…Confirm you a member of the church and say unto you (a commandment) to receive the Holy Ghost. Why is it a continuous commandment?
Class member: It’s something all of us have to learn and still work on. We all have to listen and see what it says to us.
The Sacrament says you do this to always have His Spirit to be with you. Confirmation is to always receive the Holy Ghost. When we stop teaching that, our children don’t know how to receive the Holy Ghost. They are taught about the function of the Holy Ghost, but they don’t know how to receive it. Our responsibility is to teach them to receive that gift. Baptism, Confirmation, & the Sacrament we must teach them to receive the Holy Ghost.
It is easier to start teaching them when they are young. If you haven’t done it yet you should still do it. When they have been out in the world Satan has been working on them and it’s more challenging. Just like for you if you don’t listen to the Holy Ghost it is harder for you to hear the Holy Ghost.
Alma 50…They are fortifying Nephite cities when the Lamanites are going to come to fight.
Threw up walls
Spikes at the top
Moroni did this while they were not at war. He fortified not just the big cities but all of them. Moroni was the captain. He has worked diligently. He wasn’t the only one that worked. The people did the work. Moroni is the leader (you are the leader) it involves participation from the people (your family).
My mother in trying to teach me she said, “Carleen, I want you to think of it as an orchestra. Do you know what a piccolo sounds like?” She played some music with a piccolo…it is small, high, clear sound. I listened to this piccolo. “Now when you listen to the orchestra play see if you can hear the piccolo play.” It took a few times, but eventually I could hear it.
In the beginning they do not know what they are listening for. They don’t know what the sound is. They don’t know what they are listening for. Sometimes they go to church someone pulls up the scripture that says, “You will have a burning in your bosom”.
Boyd K Packer “a burning in the bosom is only one way the Holy Ghost can communicate with us..”
“We do not learn spiritual things in exactly the same way we learn other things that we know, even though such things as reading, listening, and pondering may be used. I have learned that it requires a special attitude both to teach and to learn spiritual things. There are some things you know, or may come to know, that you will find quite difficult to explain to others. I am very certain that it was meant to be that way.” Boyd K. Packer “The Candle of the Lord”
What do you see as the responsibility of parents?
Class member: As parents we have to have the right attitude. I thought of the EDGE method (from scouting)…Educate, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable. Give an example and say, you receive promptings like that too, can you think of any?
Class member: I teach the Laurels and taught about the Holy Ghost. Sometimes we think it has to be such a big thing. I told them I haven’t had a HUGE experience, but a friend of mine was pregnant and I was up with my baby at 4am and I thought about her and thought I should text her. She was awake and really hurting because it was towards the end of the pregnancy. It was something so little, but I was glad I acted on it.
We have to have an attitude. You have to have that yourself and then give your children experiences so they can have that attitude.
The first step in teaching children to feel the Holy Ghost is to teach them about feelings. ALL feelings are good. The feeling is not bad. What you do with the feeling can become bad. This identifies feelings with comical faces. Children do not come to the world knowing how they feel. They can’t identify these feelings. They can’t put a title with an emotion. That comes as you start to teach them.
Example: Sometimes when we are tired, or in a hurry, we invalidate our child’s right to have feelings because his feelings may seem silly to us or we don’t want to deal with them at the moment.
A child will say, “I am scared, there is a monster under my bed.”
We respond, “That is silly, there is no monster under your bed! Here see, I will look.
Now go back to sleep and I don’t want to hear any more!”
We invalidate their feelings by telling them what they think is not important and that they should not have that feeling. Thus they feel they are bad or dumb for feeling the way they do. They also begin to sense it is not safe to share how they feel.
How can we treat this situation differently so it is safe for the child to have his feelings and still teach him how to control his fear?
The child calls out and you go to his room and he cries, “I’m scared, there is a monster under my bed!”
This is a real feeling to the child and the first thing we need to do is validate his right to have that feeling and show we understand what he is telling us. We respond with a statement that shows our concern about his fear.
“You think there is a monster under your bed and that is scary isn’t it?”
Now he knows what he is feeling is okay. You have identified the feeling. You have given him the right to have that feeling. Now you teach him how to control his feeling by helping him find ways to handle the fear.
These are just ideas. It does not matter what solution you come up with as long as it validates his feelings and then helps him find an appropriate solution.
Example: They came in and said “I hate Mary.” You say, “You don’t hate Mary. What would Jesus think?” Right then, that is exactly what they are thinking. When you tell them they can’t hate and Jesus would never hate. They are hearing that they are bad. If I have this feeling then I am bad. You won’t love me and Jesus won’t love me. They will get angry and ‘hate’ someone again. It makes them feel like they are bad because they are having those feelings. Jesus doesn’t love me and you don’t love me.
When they have those experiences you have to VALIDATE their feeling.
Example: You have a teenager that comes home from school and they say I hate that class. The teacher is boring. Your normal reaction is buck up, that’s normal. We tend to side with the opposition. Grow up. Do your part. What should be our first response? Your first comment should be a validation of what they are feeling. You aren’t saying it’s ok you have to teach them that they are not a bad person or a wrong person for having a feeling. Feelings are ok.
Class member: What is a better way of doing that rather than repeating what I just said?
How do you validate?
Class member: I had an experience with my 11 year old. She has always struggled with a friend. I heard that her friend’s parents are going through a divorce. I sat down with my daughter and I said I want to talk to you about this friend. She is mean and she hurts me. I see that your relationship is really difficult with her.
Class member: I was raised with really good parents. I feel like I was taught feelings are bad. I can see that my oldest is tuning me out. How do I teach him?
Class member: My kids have been watching sad things on TV and I just tell them that it’s ok to be sad right now because we just watched something right now.
When we invalidate their other feelings, we invalidate their right to feel the Holy Ghost.
Unconsciously we give our children a lot of baggage to carry. The first thing we have to do as adults is use the Atonement to get through. You have to forgive your parents. That only comes through the power of Atonement. There is not a single child that has to be raised on this earth that has been raised by perfect parents.
I grew up never feeling loved by my Dad. I have to forgive him. It has been a long process, but I have. Coming to realize that through the Holy Ghost he loved me very much. He just didn’t say it in the way I could hear it.
Second thing is to change, to learn, to grow.
The Atonement does 2 things. We have our sins forgiven. That is the law of mercy. Second through grace the Savior through the Atonement empowers us to do more than we can do ourselves.
Start right here where we are right now. Your children should start learning this practice of validating other feelings instead of the lecture of what they should fix. We should immediately validate that you understand. Until they understand that you know where they are they aren’t going to listen to you. If they feel like you understand them they feel like Heavenly Father understands them and he will help them in controlling those feelings.
What do we do with angry feelings? You don’t get to punch someone. That is where we teach how to control feelings. It’s not the first thing out of our mouth.
Strong emotions anger, fear, frustration, blame, criticism…they are all strong emotions that deprive us of our power. We think that if they will change I will do better. We just want the situation to be better.
Richard G. Scott “To Acquire Spiritual Guidance”
“The inspiring influence of the Holy Spirit can be overcome or masked by strong emotions, such as anger, hate, passion, fear, or pride. When such influences are present, it is like trying to savor the delicate flavor of a grape while eating a jalapeño pepper. Both flavors are present, but one completely overpowers the other. In like manner, strong emotions overcome the delicate promptings of the Holy Spirit.”
You probably will not be able to hear the promptings of the Holy Ghost when you are in strong emotions. You may have to give yourself and your children cool down time so the attitude is correct.
We need to ask ourselves and our children… “What do I feel really down deep inside?” Because the Spirit is there it will prompt you and if you will really listen they will know.
“Helping Children Recognizing Holy Ghost “ Dec 2013
“We also learned that people “hear” the Holy Ghost in a variety of ways. I was teaching a Sunday School lesson to relatively new converts, and I asked the question, “How do you feel the Spirit?” Their answers were very enlightening. One said, “I feel clarity in my thoughts.” Another said, “I have a warm feeling inside,” while another shared, “I feel a deep sense of peace.” A woman who had been a member for a few months said, “I feel prickles all over!” And several stated that they occasionally would “hear” a voice speaking to them or that new ideas would come to them.”
When you have 3 different children you realize that they are all different. Children come with different personalities. If you watch them you will see that most of your children have their own way of learning. It’s important that you recognize that when you are teaching about the Holy Ghost. They need to be able to relate.
If you have a child that is “Auditory” that’s how they remember them and learn them. This child you could use things like music, Primary songs, good classical music. These all bring the Spirit. The hearing becomes the source of how they learn. Listening to John Bytheway talks.
If you have a child that is “Visual” you have to teach that way. I like reading the scriptures. I like seeing the words. Watching conference. Going to the temple is visual. That is the way I learn best. My house is covered with pictures of the Savior. That visually keeps the Savior close to me.
If you have a really active child that won’t sit and listen or sit and read, what do you do with them? Have them had activities…go for a walk, go camping, talk about the creation, show them the stars, talk about the trees changing colors. Invite them into activity that you can bring in spiritual conversations. Talk about the Savior and the gospel. They can’t do that. Let’s walk together, swim together, hike together, and I’ll teach you there.
How do your children learn?
After we teach them about feelings and then the feelings of the Holy Ghost the next thing is for us to create in our home an environment where the Spirit can be present. This has to do with the music you listen to, movies you watch, games they play, phones, etc. You have to be aware of and watch them in your home. If you have children who have always allowed to be on phones they will have a hard time feeling the Spirit. The Spirit comes very, very soft. It comes when you step out of the world and listen. They need to dock cell phones, dock Ipads, and shut down electronics so they can have moments when the Spirit can speak.
“The world shouts louder than the whisperings of the Holy Ghost.” Ezra T. Benson “Beware of Pride”
President Boyd K. Packer said,
“You can no more force the spirit to respond than you can force a bean to sprout, or an egg to hatch before its time. You can create a climate to foster growth, nourish and protect; but you cannot force or compel: you must await the growth.” (Ensign, Jan 1983, p. 53)
You put amazing effort into a FHE and you have done all this stuff. It is an absolutely profound experience have you converted your children? Why? It’s not a one time experience! This is a process. It has to happen over and over and over and over again.
Have you ever had the opportunity of going into some homes that just feel holy? Those are homes where these experiences happen on a regular basis. They have created an environment of holiness. What we want to do is create in our home that Spirit that feeling that atmosphere.
Class member: We have had experiences where it is ‘out of the ball park’ but most of them aren’t. We need to do it often enough for them to feel it more often.
How do we create that feeling in our home? What has to be done on a regular basis to keep that feeling in our home?
Class member: Try to recognize that we live good lives, but recognize when the Spirit leave. If you can recognize that and change those actions to keep the Spirit in our home it will help. The number one thing we hear from non-members when they come into a home and the Spirit feels different.
Some ideas of activities that invite the spirit are:
Disclaimer: I don’t have teenagers. I was a teenager. I have nephews that are teenagers. I am the YM president in my ward. I will be bold and share some personal experiences today.
The church teaches us on a foundation of principles and doctrines rather than a set of specific rules and guidelines. When we have a rule we can only go as far as the rules allow us. When we have doctrine we can progress as much as we can progress to where our Heavenly Father is.
I will share some of the ideas, but mostly I want you to listen to the spirit. You will receive rewards for doing and acting, but if you don’t you won’t receive those rewards. You can write down copious notes, but you will end up with copious notes, but focus on what the Holy Ghost is telling you for your home and what you will do to change it.
This is not a case that we can teach our children one thing and then do something different. This is a lesson for you. This is how you should more effectively use media yourself.
What doctrines and principles, if understood, would help me or you more consistently make appropriate choices regarding my selection of media and my usage of technology??
Knowledge---facts and figures
Understanding---In your heart
Actions—what you do about it.
Class member: 13th Article of Faith…anything virtuous lovely of good report or praiseworthy.
Is that a doctrine, a principle in your mind, a statement of belief, a law, or a commandment?
Elder Bednar doesn’t give you everything in your mind.
Class member: I was thinking of ‘light giveth unto light’. You are what you watch, listen to participate in.
Class member: The spirit accompanies certain media.
Dig a little bit deeper into doctrine.
Doctrine #1: Agency
What do we learn in this scripture?
D&C 101:78 That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.
What do we learn in this scripture?
Class member: We don’t all have to be exactly the same.
How does that help us in choosing media?
Class member: It also takes the ownership back to yourself.
If children understand that then it’s not Mom setting rules, Dad enforcing the rules, and the Child obeying the rules.
Class member: This has been coming up a lot because we have to be careful how we say things like that. “Our family chooses to not going to birthday parties on Sunday” instead of “We are Mormon and don’t do that.”
That is better, but it still says “I’m a rule follower in my family and roped in.” How about I choose not to do it because I obey the Sabbath? The blessings are so much greater to use the blessings that way. I’m not bound by those rules.
Class member: My 12 year old son is having the discussion of the PG-13 movies. He wants to be able to watch them. His friend watches all of them. He said, “People swear at school all the time.” I asked him, “Would you bring those friends into your home and allow them to swear?” He said, “No.” He understood the principle. He made that choice.
I think that is great. It was helpful to connect those one step further. We don’t teach the ‘Why’. The doctrine is the why. Maybe it’s because we are uncomfortable or don’t understand it ourselves. I want you to hold onto this. We have to talk about the PG-13 stuff.
What does “Pertaining to futurity” mean? (D&C 101:78)
Class member: We act and think about the future.
This is not what teenagers do. They act to gratify what they do right now.
“that every man may be accountable for his own sins” (D&C 101:78)
Kids will know that the choices they make will affect them and how it will affect them. We look to the future. This is what they will receive.
“If you put all of the doctrines of the church in boxes and laid them on a large floor and asked me to assemble them in some order, I would sort through the boxes and find one. It would be a long box and a heavy one, and it would say ‘Agency, Freedom, Agency.’ I would put that down first, and everything else we believe would be stacked in proper order on top of that. President Boyd K. Packer (Mine Errand From the Lord pg 176)
How does this help us in making choices in media?
Class member: It’s their choice. It really is them. It’s not our rules. Ultimately it has to be their choice.
You are right. You are thinking I am the parent and I do create the rules. You can set a standard in your home and let them live by that standard. It doesn’t need to be a dictatorship. They will come along willingly.
Class member: If I instill fear in my children they will obey, but if they go to a friends house they might not follow. They will make good choices because they want to or because they are afraid of me or they want me to approve of them. It’s because they can make good choices.
Doctrine #2: Plan of Salvation
If we have a testimony of the plan of salvation how will this affect my choices of media?
Abraham 3: 24-28
Class member: My kids were lying about their age so they could play some shooting games. They lost that ‘estate’ and it is password protected.
Class member: This goes back to agency. We are choosing what to do with it.
“If they do whatsoever the Lord commands them.” If they follow the rules then I will give them more. Heavenly Father has eternal rules. He shares them with us. “Glory will be added upon our heads forever and ever.”
Class member: It’s more the why. It brings you happiness.
That is the power. Not even because a prophet has said it. We do it because it is an eternal principle and will bring us happiness. Not because someone told me to do that.
Class member: How do you make teenagers care? They go through a period of whether they believe it or they don’t just care.
Question: How were you made to care?
Answer: I had to figure it out for myself.
This is the wrestle of parenthood. Our problem as parents is that we stay on the surface level of rules. Our rule is the prophet said not to watch PG13 movies. We never get down to truly testify to our children. When is the last time you testified to your children about an eternal principle? We have teenagers that just don’t care. Those of you who have children under the age of 5 it is easier. There is hope, but we need to stay grounded into the ‘why’ and the doctrine and teach them.
President Boyd K Packer “True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel.”
Class member: This actually goes back to agency. This shows what will happen if you use agency appropriately. Sometimes it’s easier to just give them the rule. That’s easy. There is truth to that. As they get older how do you teach them to care? When I take the time to show them what you are doing now (it’s a bigger time commitment) .
I have a guy I work with that chews tobacco. He asked me one time and said, “You can’t chew tobacco.” I said I disagree. I can choose to do it if I wanted to. Can you choose not to? He needed to feed an addiction from choices he made. We talked with our kids about that concept of the path that someone followed and through these choices he is addicted. Am I bound by that law or am I set free from that law? It takes more self control on your part.
The problem is we default to a dictatorship. I don’t care if you don’t understand. I’m the parent and I call the shots around here. We often will say we do this and you will get these blessings. Do we make them work for that answer? We have to listen and ask questions. They are working through the reasons in their mind.
Why do you think there is this standard? Don’t just say because we will get blessings. Let’s talk about your friends and what you see. We need to have these conversations.
They touch us because they are true and they are eternal principles.
Class member: That sounds so great, but what if they don’t have any experiences. We just don’t do sleepover. She has never heard about the horrible things that happen. She is 11. I feel very strongly because of all the things that could possibly happen. That’s more of a safety matter not a heart matter.
You have to be sensitive to the maturity of the child. If I were you I would have a frank conversation. Let’s talk about this. You are so driven by it. Let’s talk about the why. These are some of my feelings. I feel like sleepovers are not ok. It lets kids be in situations that are not safe. Pornography was there. Why would I subject anyone to that environment? So they don’t think you are this dictator that just gives these rules. If there are real reasons then share those to the extent that you can.
Class member: We have had that same experience with our 8 and 9 year old daughters. We talked about things that happened late at night like toilet papering. We implemented late-overs. If I say “Yes” now this takes away our family rule.
If you establish the rule and teach the why then when the circumstance comes up so why would you even want to do it even just once.
We will talk about it when we get to cell phones.
Class member: When teaching your kids you can make a good choice, but then not allowing our children to get into those situations and something bad could happen. How can I prove to you that they can make a good choice? (Where do you draw the line where I let you decide and where do you say these are our rules and this is how it is. You just need to abide by it.)
Where do you let them have their agency and let them fall on their face. That is a great question. I think you have to follow the Spirit. It is the most valuable tool. When it comes to issues of eternal consequence or worthiness when you fast forward 2 years from now, don’t let them make a mistake. You need to hold fast. They just need to follow the rule until they learn. Even though we talk about the why and the doctrine hopefully it will help them motivate them. You set those rules, but you have to teach the why.
Class member: Even though they have their own agency and they may choose the right, the other people in the situation can make their own choices and their choices will impact them because they are just there. There are other choices others make. You trust them (the child), but you don’t trust the environment.
Object lesson from a bishop….he was an entomologist. He studied ants and their behavior. He spread out powder and these ants would track the powder which you couldn’t see without black lights. He laced these gloves with powder. He had 3 people come up on put on these gloves he laced with powder. You put on glasses to protect you from what you see. Now you put on this mask. You put on this apron. All these things to protect yourself. Are you protected? Yes. Take it all off. You have had all this protection on. Are you clean? Yes. Think again. He turned on the black lights. The powder was all over them. Just because you read the scriptures, are baptized, and do FHE doesn’t mean you can go to the Friday night kegger. Don’t expose yourself to that. It was a powerful lesson. We have to help them understand really what is going on…on a deeper level.
Doctrine #3: Holy Ghost
D&C 68:25 And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.
It is your responsibility to teach them.
1 Nephi 4:1-6
How will that help me in how I select media and technology?
Class member: I don’t think you have to view what you are seeing. You don’t have to turn it off because you never viewed it to begin with.
There are G movies I don’t feel comfortable with. It is possible to have a movie that chases away the spirit. If I teach them the doctrine of who the Holy Ghost is and how he operates then they can be agents unto themselves.
Class member: Your Mom was talking about testifying to your children. My 7 year old & I stop at the library to get audio books instead of listening to the radio. In the first paragraph there was a popular phrase that my daughter didn’t know. It was “OMG” I was explaining it to her. She said, “That doesn’t make me feel good can we take this back to the library?” I had the opportunity to tell her that this was not a good thing for us to listen to. It was an awesome experience.
I had an experience in FHE, we shared a story and it was powerful. The Spirit was there. My 6 year old son said wow I just feel warm and sweaty inside. My wife started laughing. I said tell me about that feeling. We talked about it. Is it a good feeling or bad feeling? He didn’t know how to describe it. This is the Holy Ghost. It comes as a warm feeling. He associated things as hot as being sweaty. We had a great conversation of the Holy Ghost. It testified of truth. When did you feel it? How did you feel it? It was a good feeling and it’s one he wanted all the time. We have to capitalize on those.
“The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead, and as such like God the Father and Jesus Christ, He knows our thoughts and the intents of our hearts. He loves us and wants us to be happy. Since He knows the challenges we will face, He can guide us and teach us all things we must do to return and live with our Heavenly Father once again.” Elder Craig C. Christensen (An Unspeakable Gift from God)
He knows my thought. He knows our childrens thoughts.
Class member: In “Courageous Parenting” 17 year old son who wanted to go on a trip with friends. I just didn’t feel good about it, but didn’t have a specific reason. The son was disappointed. I said, “I don’t know why I just don’t feel good about it. I love you too much to ignore the feelings inside.” When our children understand what the feeling of the Holy Ghost is they will trust that we are really feeling that.
October 2013….Robert D. Hales “In recent decades the Church has largely been spared the terrible misunderstandings and persecutions experienced by the early Saints. It will not always be so. The world is moving away from the Lord faster and farther than ever before. The adversary has been loosed upon the earth. We watch, hear, read, study, and share the words of prophets to be forewarned and protected.”
That says….At some point we will experience those misunderstandings.
To what extent are my teenagers…watching hearing reading and sharing the words of the prophets? To what extent do we do that? The latest news, Facebook post, or anything else.
“The only safety we have. (President Harold Be Lee pg 84-85) You may not like what comes from the authority of the church…it may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord Himself, with patience and faith, the promise is the ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail again you;…and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good and his name’s glory.”
The prophets are teaching us and warning us. We need to listen.
“For Strength of Youth”
Class member: “For Strength of Youth” is the doctrine mixed with standards.
She is searching for ways to teach her kids. This is why you and I are here. Find something else so you can connect with them. Help them connect. The extent we can take it and go deeper to the doctrines that create these standards they will gain that additional testimony.
In my priests quorum in our ward, I asked “How do you view this ‘For Strength of Youth’ pamphlet…is it recommendations, tips for life, commandments from God. They said we view it as suggestions and guidelines….ideas that will help us to be happy. If you view it in that context and put it on a different plain of we need to be baptized to go to heaven. A commandment is a roadmap to true and eternal happiness. That is the way there. Baptism is the way to true happiness. Following FSOY guidelines is a path to true happiness. This is what youth struggle with.
Criteria for decision making…..
1. Increase your ability to learn
3. Become a force for good.
If something crosses my path I would ask myself those 3 questions.
Whatever you are exposed to has an effect on you.
Class member: Adults look at this as ‘for youth’ and not for me…adults. This lesson is for you.
Experience: This was my first week as YM president in our ward. I jumped in and the way it’s supposed to work it is a boy lead program. We are there to supervise. I asked one of my priests ‘what do we have for our activity this week’. It’s at my house…game night. I think ‘monopoly’…great. I want you to make sure it’s priest appropriate. The boys bring a couple things they start put in a screen as big as my house. I was the only adult in the room. They were still setting up. “Call of Duty” flashes on the screen. I have never viewed this. Is this ‘priest’ appropriate? Well….they are getting their paddles and they are choosing their weapons. I was behind the couch and they were still going. I said, “Hey is this priest appropriate?” One of them turns and said, “What?” Kind of like are you serious? I said, “Are you really going to play this?” They just kept going, but didn’t answer that question. Almost like…hurry let’s get going so it’s exciting and then he will leave us alone. There is this awkward silent moment. The decision they were making…I said this. That is not ok. This is no longer a priest quorum activity. You are friends meeting and playing together and I’m leaving. I left. I was so out of control.
Fortunately the leaders that had been in the other room came back and talked them through what happened. I live in Kuna. I went to a country road and took a long personal walk and thought about how I am failing. I turned off my cell phone and these boys started texting. The other leaders came in and said, “Brother Tanner left are you ok with that”. They helped them feel guilty enough to change their behavior.
They went over to the bishops office and asked him if he has seen Brother Tanner. He said, “No did you misplace him?” They replied, “Don’t worry about it.” They go to my house. “Have you seen Brother Tanner?” My wife said, “No I thought he was with you.” They said, “Don’t worry about it.” It becomes this fire storm to find Brother Tanner.
I lowered the hammer on Sunday. I talked about standards and choices and agency. It is their choice. I received a text from the boy that originally brought the game. He said, “I thought about your lesson today I feel that the decision I have made today to stop playing Call Of Duty and other violent games. I had to pray and study the section on For Strength Of Youth. Thank you.”
You and I must live it. I’m not there to be their friend. They have plenty of those. I’m there to be a leader to help them know what a good decision and a poor decision is.
IN ANY WAY….
Do you think that realistic gore is violent in some way? Even in a small way? Is graphic violence ‘violent in some way?’ Having the Spirit makes these choices easier to make.
Someone else said, “That means we can’t watch anything.” I think he was hoping that I would say it’s ok if you can put it in it’s place. If you are putting yourself in a situation where you are chasing away the spirit you lose the blessings of having the Spirit with us.
The rule in the family is we want to invite the Spirit. You cannot put your kids to bed and put on a PG movie that you can handle because you are an adult. If I really really want to be like President Monson and my Heavenly Father I will do what they can do.
This weekend we were watching a movie. The movie was “Tin-Tin”. Only 10 minutes into this movie there is a scene where a guy comes to the door and the guy gets shot and you see the bullet holes come through the door. I’m thinking my 6 year old just saw that. We do that all the time. We keep watching. We say “That’s bad” and then keep watching. We turn it off. That’s not good. It drives out the spirit. Let’s turn it off. We will find something else.
In New Jersey I was teaching early morning seminary. We had a problem in our ward some RS sisters were taking our daughters to Breaking Dawn. I thought I have to teach them standards. I read this line…”In any way…” I read the rating and then pulled out the rating. It has detailed reviews, “Rated PG13 for partial nudity…Edward and Bella have sex a few times, no nudity is seen except their naked bodies can be seen from the side.” Let’s go watch Edward and Bella have sex a few times, but that is what you are doing. Let’s go watch naked bodies from the side. You are effectively saying that. I went to that movie and I had aunts on either side. During the bad parts I closed my eyes. I felt like I was able to handle it. Guess who can’t handle it. The Holy Ghost can’t handle it. You just spent 2 hours of your life downgrading yourself because you aren’t spiritually stronger since you went in.
Approach any decision with “What will I get out of it? Am I downgrading myself?”
‘Select only media that uplifts you.’…makes you better. I feel like being a better person. Does that cut out a lot of media and entertainment. We all should be squirming in some sort of a way.
We create these criteria.
Class member: I came to your class last semester. I felt the spirit of that. I thought I would be a big giant weirdo if I did that. After awhile and a few conferences ago when he talked about keeping our nest safe we decided to make some changes. I really like shows so I had to be extreme and cancel our Netflix. It has made a big difference in our lives. My children to if they are not around me they won’t like to be around where the spirit isn’t.
You have to make the decisions first. We can’t be hypocrites.
Class member: The news is on in the morning on our TV during breakfast. It was so discouraging so I quit turning it on. My husband said, “You never have the news on anymore.” I said, “I just don’t like it on in my home.” He turned in on and within 5 minutes he turned it off. There is peace in our home. It doesn’t make you feel great.
When we cut these things out we ourselves are changed.
Trends….How long it took to reach 50 million users
Draw Something App---50 days
Cell phone stats….
Loneliness factor went up with more technology
Those that use media 7% developed depression over 7 years.
We give them an iphone or a gadget to entertain the kids.
Technology is not bad. The church uses it all the time. Companionships have cell phones. How do we teach them to use technology while avoiding the evils.
1. Make the rule early on!!
2. Be more restrictive in the beginning (it is always easier to give than to take)
3. Explain the rating system. Openly communicate about the standards.
Stake president gave his son a cell phone and he lost his son. He took his cell phone and smashed it. He said this is ruining our relationship.
4. Be consistent—No Exceptions
5. Remember, the rule is for Everyone, especially parents!
6. Most important: The ‘rule’ is already set, you just need to explain it.
The rule is the doctrine we are just learning how to live the doctrine.
What if someone that wants a cell phone. You can ask… “Why do you want a cell phone? You are 13. Do you have clients or business appointments you need set?” What is the ‘need’ or is it a ‘want’. Once they got over a need vs a want. You have to pay for yours as well. So no he calls on his ‘No phone’. Discover the need and have them be disciplined with it.
Err on the side of not ‘letting things in’ rather than letting them in and making a mistake.
Class member: We did the same thing with my husband’s tablet. We just didn’t like how it was affecting our family. My husband took it and smashed it and threw it in the garbage. My 4 year old came in and he acted like it was a pet. He wanted to see it in the garbage can and was crying. It’s been great every since.
Technology is for our use. We should be able to use it.
Homework: Read this talk by David A Bednar “Things As They Really Are”
There are 2 questions that should guide every decision…2 criteria he tells us in there. What are they?
Remember that the reason we have it is a tool. If 80% of our usage is fun, entertainment, relaxation we aren’t using it as a tool. Allow them to interact with it as a tool. I put my job lists on the Ipad. He watches Youtube as part of his structured lessons. Organizing, keeping yourself. Consider it a tool.
Follow the Holy Ghost and you will know how to do it.
There was a PowerPoint that Cory Tanner used in class that had all the "statistics" he talked about. As soon as he emails it to me I will try and post it on here for you to have access to.
Class member: We had a weird emergency. We had to clean up a rental where the renters had to be evicted. Took the 3 oldest kids with us to clean. We cleaned for 3 days. 1 day in I asked the kids ‘how is this making you feel about our house?” They said, “I don’t ever want to be in a house like this.” “Have you ever worked harder in your life to get something done?” My kids know that they can accomplish something big.
We need to give our kids experiences doing hard things.
Class member: I was trying to prep things for General Conference. I have lunch bags with treats. My 4 year old was so excited for Conference. My older son is having 30 band kids in my home having a General Conference party watching Conference and eating pizza.
Class member: I’ve really tried hard to help my kids recognize the spirit in different ways other than being somber. “Isn’t it fun while we are singing? Doesn’t it make you feel good?” My 6 year old really gets what the spirit is. My oldest daughter is drama and doesn’t like anything about spiritual matters. I think I did good. Also recognizing it for me too. I wasn’t taught to recognize it in different ways other than crying at the pulpit while bearing your testimony.
As parents we have to learn what the spirit feels like then we can teach them.
Class member: On Saturday after I prayed for more sensitivity I was at the store and I thought I need to buy these 5 items. I ignored it and that Sunday morning I was asked to feed the missionaries. Sometimes it’s just the little things. Yesterday I felt prompted to by a picture frame. I bought 20 of them. I was telling my friend about this and she was the YW president and she needed to buy them off her for Christmas gifts.
Class member: My son is 6 years old and he is in an older grade. He is struggling understanding the other kids. He came home and was saying inappropriate things on the bus. I thought about what we talked about. What was your heart telling you? I felt like it was wrong. That is the Spirit telling you it was wrong. You have to learn to trust the spirit. His Dad has a talk about respecting women. These kids were saying these things the next day. He got up and moved to another seat. He offered them gum so they would move away and not bother the girls.
What I want you to take from that is that if you listen to the spirit. We are so anxious to correct mis-behavior rather than trying to teach. Rather than correcting, punishing, yelling, to take the opportunity to teach. When we teach without the lecture series they become self governing. If he was just lectured he would feel guilty and feel bad. It escalates in a downward spiral. It’s very hard because you are taught by example of how you were raised that our responsibility as a good mother is to correct their mis-behavior. We feel like we need to make them feel worse so they will act better. That never happens. Discouragement and negative doesn’t encourage good.
Class member: I came here feeling bad because my son left for school yelling “I hate you!” What should I do?
Let’s talk about this for good. Number 1 I learned very early if they say they hate you, ‘Oh well!”
“Parenting is not a popularity contest.” Joe Christensen “Rearing Children in a Polluted Environment” November 1993 Ensign
We are there to raise them to a higher standard. We will talk about how to fill that. What you work on is to keep their emotional bank account full so when you discipline it doesn’t deplete them. Don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself a break. The fact that you wanted to do something. The fact that you didn’t do what was the very best isn’t bad. Don’t worry if he says he hates you. About taking the Ipod away…when we do discipline whatever we do needs to relate to the behavior…We have to find something that is related. We need to not punish them for not doing that
This is my box! This is what you and your children sometimes feel in your house. There is someone in the house. “Excuse me! Excuse me! Can you let me out of here?” Do you ever feel like that? Our kids feel like that sometimes. Heavenly Father has sent some strong spirits to us because he knew you could take care of them. We get into some fun challenging times.
I feel jealous of you. You are going to have an opportunity that you are going to have and I want it. You will have to share it with me. On November 7th (Thursday)…I am going to be out of town. Cory Tanner (my son) is going to teach. He said, “If I can teach whatever I want to.” Do you want to do ‘Work’ again? He said, “No I don’t want to teach that one.” He is going to teach you, “Teaching Children the Proper Use of Media & Technology”. He will have some great ideas for you. What are you going to skip? I may combine a couple of them so you get the cliff notes and don’t lose out on too much.
This is the protection and shield we create in our home. Teach our children to live every day by the influence of the Holy Ghost. If you knew that they could recognize and act upon the promptings you could feel safe sending them out into the world.
A while back I was a Primary President. Topic was on The Holy Ghost. I asked them to share with me a time they felt the Holy Ghost. I probed a little. If I said, “Do you believe in the Holy Ghost?” All the kids said yes. They had been taught what the Holy Ghost does. Teachers share with me an experience. She was in her 40s. She said, “When I was dating my husband and trying to decide if I should marry him. I had a wonderful feeling he was the one I was supposed to marry.” Haven’t you had a more current experience with the Holy Ghost.
Examples of 'Feeling the Spirit'
Joseph Smith goes to Sacred Grove.
Jonah swallowed by whale.
They don’t recognize they are having a prompting because they are expecting some big miraculous revelation. Most of you don’t know when you are getting a prompting either. If we don’t know when we are being prompted we have a hard time teaching them to recognize the promptings.
When I was a young man in high school, one of my passions was American football. I played middle linebacker. The coach worked the team hard, teaching us the basics. We practiced until the skills became natural and automatic. During one play against our biggest rival, I had an experience that has helped me over the years. We were on defense. I knew my assigned opponent, and as the play unfolded, he moved to my right into the line of scrimmage. There was a lot of noise from players and fans. I reacted as the coach had taught us and followed my man into the line, not knowing if he had the ball. To my surprise, I felt the ball partially in my hands. I gave it a tug, but my opponent didn’t let go. As we tugged back and forth, amid all the noise I heard a voice yelling, “Packer, tackle him!” That was enough to bring me to my senses, so I dropped him on the spot. "Finding Strength in Challenging Times" by Allan F. Packer Ensign April 2009
In practice he had learned the voice of the coach so when he got into the middle of the fight in the noise all around him, he picked out the voice of the coach and could hear the direction and follow it.
We have to teach them to pick out the voice of the Holy Ghost because they are living in such a busy world. We teach it to them when it’s quiet so they know what it sounds like.
How do you hear ?
Class member: It’s a thought.
Class member: Different for everyone…thought, goose bumps, voice.
Class member: Voice of the Spirit speaks through the voice of the conscience.
Class member: Thought, voice, prompting…you have to do this.
Class member: I don’t give credit to the spirit. They are coincidences.
Class member: Sometimes I have to quit being so stubborn.
Class member: Whether it’s your own thought or the Spirit if it is good you do it and then you receive more.
The Spirit will prompt us as a thought, but we rationalize it away. In this class you will have spiritual promptings. You need to write it down and think about it later.
"The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear." Boyd K. Packer October 1994 "Personal Revelation: The Gift, The Test, And The Promise"
It’s more of a feeling rather than a verbal paragraph. It’s a feeling that is a thought.
Class member: I feel momentum when I have those thoughts.
Class member: It’s the only voice in my head that is perfectly calm every time.
"The inspiring influence of the Holy Spirit can be overcome or masked by strong emotions, such as anger, hate, passion, fear, or pride. When such influences are present, it is like trying to savor the delicate flavor of a grape while eating a jalapeño pepper. Both flavors are present, but one completely overpowers the other. In like manner, strong emotions overcome the delicate promptings of the Holy Spirit." Richard G. Scott October 2009 "To Acquire Spiritual Guidance"
Class member: I would feel homesick. I started to realize that this isn’t where we were supposed to be. Some of it felt like we were just at home. We got really good at recognizing this is where we were supposed to be. If I can’t focus on something I need to be doing something different.
A lot of times when we are in major crisis we can recognize the spirit. Sometimes in our day to day we don’t hear it as well.
How do you teach your children to recognize the Spirit?
It starts with being able to teach them about feelings.
Class member: I have been thinking about this a lot this year. I have 5 kids under the age of 10. I was trying to think of a way to teach them about feelings. It takes time and experience to recognize and feel the Spirit. I don’t think as a child most of us are lucky to be in homes where the Spirit is there. We did a family night and talked about feelings. How does it feel to be scared? Angry? Hungry? They could list definitions of what they felt like. We described feelings that we have. Son had an experience and I followed up to help him realize that was a way for him to know.
Think about how you react. In the middle of the night…Johnny is screaming in his bedroom. You go into his bedroom. He says ‘mom I’m scared.’ The first thing out of their mouth is not validation of their feeling.
What we start to do is teach children that their feelings are bad. I am a bad person if I am scared in the middle of the night. Child thinks they are bad. As you learn it’s not safe to express your feelings you start to stuff them and you don’t share them. You eventually where you become desensitized to feelings that you have because you have stuffed them over and over.
If you have a sibling that says you are dumb for crying again, you feel like you can’t cry. The Holy Ghost is a feeling. It may be express in different ways, but it comes softly. If we don’t pay attention to it then it goes away.
Feelings are not bad. They are good. What we do with feelings can be bad or good, but having the feeling is neither bad nor good. The child should not feel demeaned because they have the feeling.
Johnny is scared of the monster. Take a breath. I understand that you are frightened and that’s ok. Validate the feeling and know that it’s ok. THEN you teach them what to do with the feeling. Let’s look under the bed. Do you want to look under there? I see your socks, shoes. Encourage them to come look and face their fears. Sing a song, pray, Monster Spray.
I can see that you are really angry with Johnny. What did he do? He took my doll. Why do you think he did that? Do you think maybe he is lonely? Maybe, but he can’t have my doll. What do you think we can do to help Johnny if he is lonely?
Asking questions in your best tool to help them resolve their problem!
Positive thought--> Positive feelings--> Positive actions--> Positive habits-->Celestial Character
Within 8 seconds of having a thought that thought becomes a feeling. If you have a positive thought within 8 seconds it starts to create feelings.
We try to get our children to change their actions. We are starting in the middle of the behavior. Stop hitting! That doesn’t work very often. They are still thinking how much they hate each other. If you want to change their actions you have to go back and change their thoughts. You control your thought. You control your feelings. Did he take away your agency to make you mad? NO. You chose to be mad. You had control over your thoughts and feelings and actions.
Agency we all have and that’s what makes us stand before the judgement bar as equals.
You and your husband have a discussion. You know he is wrong. He won’t admit he is wrong. You are angry because you want this to be your way because your way is the right way. Where are your thoughts? How come you can’t get it? Why can’t you see this? This is the right way and you are doing it the wrong way? What are your feelings towards your spouse. Anger. The next morning you get up and he goes to work. He focuses on work. You stay home and think about that all day. I should have said… I’m going to put it this way… What is happening to your feelings all day? A tsunami hits him when he walks in the door. He hasn’t thought about it all day. We are mad because it wasn’t important enough for him to think about that day. Change our thoughts. I need to stop and listen to his point of view. I need to focus on listening and his point of view and understanding. Are you angry? No you are thinking about him and not you. Your feelings become more charitable.
We have power over our feelings. If you are feeling frustrated with one of your kids or your husband change your thought about the situation. Look at it in a different light. Your feelings will change.
You have to help them calm down and listen. Spiritual things are difficult to teach because they aren’t tangible. They have to be taught differently. They have to be taught with patience and with experience. The only way a child can understand is to experience it. Your responsibility in teaching children is to create opportunities in your home to feel that Spirit. You have to take the initiative.
Class Member: We need to establish a relationship with our child so they can come talk to us. In my family that is something I had to set as a goal and work towards so when an opportunity presented itself. I could discuss it for her.
" Since it is the Holy Ghost who testifies of sacred truth, we can do at least three things to make that experience more likely for our families. First, we can teach some sacred truth. Then we can testify that we know what we have taught is true. And then we must act so that those who hear our testimony see that our actions conform with what we said was true. The Holy Ghost will then confirm to them the truth of what we said and that we knew it to be true." Henry B Eyring May 1996 "A Legacy of Testimony"
They have knowledge, not understanding. It’s not enough for them to have knowledge. We teach knowledge and leave it there. After we have taught, then we need to testify.
Start creating experience. Here are few ideas…. (Anything that Invites the Spirit)
In the car giggling—the Spirit isn’t just solemn. As a parent you stop and say, “You know how happy everyone is right now, that is the Spirit testifying how great it is to be a family.”
You lose your keys—I had the most amazing experience today. I lost my keys. I was so frustrated. I just knelt down and prayed and knew where they were.
1. Create the Experience
You testify that the Spirit is there.
Conference talk….“Parents had planned big trips all summer long, he and his son were laying out looking at the stars. His sons favorite thing was laying out. The Spirit was there”
Opens up scriptures
Brings things to your memory
It’s not just to teach them not to steal. We funnel it to a limited thing. The Spirit is in everything and everywhere.
Children will disrupt the spirit by joking because they don’t know how to feel that. You know the Spirit was really powerful here we were all feeling it, but when we do something silly invites the spirit to leave. Being silly is ok, but only in the right time and the right place.
2. Teach Reverence
We need to teach our children about Reverence. We do not teach our children about reverence. As I watch the children in the primary and watch the leaders in the primary react to the children, there is no expectation or raising the bar to make them be reverent. We just have to teach reverence. We teach it in our homes.
Our society has evolved to the point where no where is there respect for anything. We don’t respect the flag. We don’t respect the country. It’s joked about and demeaned. The president of our country is joked about. Everything has become more casual. Respect is not casual. It is a feeling towards sacred things. If your children are sitting in church with your arms folded are they being reverent? Maybe…maybe not. They need to have sacred feelings towards certain things. That is done as we teach them.
To teach reverence as parents….
"_ In today’s society, the standards of decorum, dignity, and courtesy are assailed on every side and in every form of media. As parents and leaders, our examples of respect for each other are critical for our youth and children because they are watching not only the media—they are watching us! Are we the examples we need to be?
Children do not come to earth knowing reverence. They have to be taught reverence in love. It is a loving feeling. There should be respect. I understand and I know that we teach our youth disrespect by calling adults by a title.
Call them by a title…Mrs. Jones, Sister Smith, Aunt Jamie.
When they call their friends by their first name, but if they call them by the proper title they treat them differently. Start with respect of authority. You need to call him bishop. Miss Tracy. Put a title with it so it takes them out of peer group/buddy-buddy.
Class member: We just moved. Refer to them by your last name.
This was the easy stuff and you are having problems with it.
Step children—calling you by their first name..blended families are a little different. I think that’s ok.
The church building…the chapel is your children’s temple. We go to the temple. We have a certain decorum. The chapel is your children’s temple. It’s where they go to meet and worship God. We as parents make the church building an extension of the playground and allow them to run around uncontained all over the church. We need to teach our children reverence in the church. I have seen children walk in and out of sacrament meeting with their arms folded. Kids can play at home for an hour. They can sit through a meeting for an hour. Do you see the big hand on the way to primary you can go to the bathroom. We need to raise the bar or expect it of them.
We are social people. The chapel is not a place to socialize. We shouldn’t go in and start chatting to all the people in the church. As you enter the chapel doors we should be on time and sit down. Our children shouldn’t be going around saying ‘hi’ to everyone. The foyer is where you should socialize. We shouldn’t do it in the chapel.
Teach your children respect for the sacrament. Not coloring, eating cheerios, reading books. They can sit quietly during the sacrament. It is a trained thing. It is based on your expectations.
Class member: When my children were smaller, youngest 2. It was noisy. She gave a talk on reverence in church. As a Mom with 3 small children and thought…this is crazy. We practiced sitting for 20 minutes quietly. That was the time they changed their attitude towards the sacrament. They started listening to the speakers. They started getting things out of it. It’s your expectation. They run to the lowest level. They will always go to the lowest level.
I had 9 children under the age of 12 what did I do? When we have ward parties. We enjoy visiting with other people and we lose track of our other children. They are running up and down the halls and through the chapel. That is not ok. Do they have to sit right by your side with their arms folded? No. They need to be where you can see them and help them make good choices. I have been to good programs that you couldn’t here. Parents need to continue to parent. The church building doesn’t change into a playground.
Class member: That should also apply to mutual, activity days and scouts.
Class member: Because the church is still the church, I have no problem stopping someone else’s kids in the church holding the accountable and raising their expectations. Other adults need to reinforce their children.
Teach our children respect for the office of the President. If we don’t like their policies we need to get involved and change them through voting.
3. Keep The Sabbath Day Holy
When we talk about reverence and sacred things and Deity and the Holy Ghost and then don’t keep the Sabbath day holy we are teaching 2 different things.
We need to work hard to create a feeling that day that coincides with a feeling of reverence. It should feel differently in our home. Go to church. Go home and have a day better than any other day. Most Sundays don’t feel that way especially with little children.
Things you should be thinking about doing….
Those things that make your family feel bonded
Love the Savior
Love each other.
Don’t focus on the “I can’ts”. It creates a negative feeling.
It’s not a day of rest for Mom’s. Dividends are powerful if you are willing to pay the price. They will reflect your feeling about it.
Class member: I have learned at church when there are special church books only on Sunday makes a huge difference. Those activities that can only be used on Sunday.
By the time your children are 8 they shouldn’t need anything in church on Sunday. Everyone talks about what one speaker said. Give them a notebook to write about what they are saying. Challenge them to step up.
I learned of this at the funeral service of a noble General Authority, H. Verlan Andersen. A tribute was paid to him by one of his sons. It has application wherever we are and whatever we are doing. It is the example of personal experience.The son of Elder Andersen related that years earlier he had a special school date on a Saturday night. He borrowed from his father the family car. As he obtained the car keys and was heading for the door, his father said: “The car will need more gasoline before tomorrow. Be sure to fill the tank before coming home.”
I challenge you to make it the most wonderful experience. Little people have a hard time sitting 8 hours listening unless we create an experience for them.
Class member: 8 ½ x11 at distribution center. Kids take turns finding that person to put on the wall.
Now is when you prepare your children for conference. Get children excited about it. Pray for them in all your prayers.
I bear testimony that teaching your children about the Holy Ghost is one of the most important things you can do.
As you teach your children and help them recognize that it’s the Spirit…they will start coming to you. At dinner time you are going to talk about a CTR moment. Anytime during the day when you have made a good choice. As they come back to the table and express them, these choices were made because the Holy Ghost helped them. It give them a time to recognize that. Get each of your kids a journal. They need to record their CTR moments..or spiritual experiences. They need to come to realize that the Holy Ghost is working in their lives every day. They will begin to see that the Holy Ghost is with them every day. It is your action that validates what the Holy Ghost has given you.
"Nephi-like, might we ask ourselves what our children know? From us? Personally? Do our children know that we love the scriptures? Do they see us reading them and marking them and clinging to them in daily life? Have our children ever unexpectedly opened a closed door and found us on our knees in prayer? Have they heard us not only pray with them but also pray for them out of nothing more than sheer parental love? Do our children know we believe in fasting as something more than an obligatory first-Sunday-of-the-month hardship? Do they know that we have fasted for them and for their future on days about which they knew nothing? Do they know we love being in the temple, not least because it provides a bond to them that neither death nor the legions of hell can break? Do they know we love and sustain local and general leaders, imperfect as they are, for their willingness to accept callings they did not seek in order to preserve a standard of righteousness they did not create? Do those children know that we love God with all our heart and that we long to see the face—and fall at the feet—of His Only Begotten Son? I pray that they know this."
Notes from classes and other information will be posted here. Also you can order syllabus and CDs from the store or check out the "Traditions" that class members have shared. You can also ask a Parenting and/or Marriage Question.
I will be posting my class notes from Thursday Parenting Class within a few days after class.