- Read..."Teach Them To Understand" Elder David A Bednar Rick College Devotional 1998
- Read...."A Plea To My Sisters" President Russell M. Nelson October 2015
- Read one of these 2 talks....."Teaching In The Home a Joyful & Sacred Responsibility" Devin G. Durrant May 2018 OR "Small & Simple Things" Dallin H. Oaks April 2018
1-31-17 Follow Up: Legs of the Table
How did the week go? How did the homework go?
Class member: I listened to President Eyring’s talk twice and then started to read it in the Ensign. It stuck more that I needed to be more prepared for the Sabbath. That was a good step for me to do the preparation ahead of time.
My best conference study is when I am listening to them in the car and driving around.
Did anyone evaluate where you are with the Legs of the Temple?
Class member: We recommitted to work on Personal Progress and Faith in God. After they were done eating they both started working on their things. They spent at least an hour and started working on them. I noticed a difference in their attitude and behavior.
This is a 100% perfect example of intentional parenting. We hope they will do it by theirselves, but they don’t. That’s why they have a parent. They need to have someone to return and report to. This was living by the Spirit. The Holy Ghost prompting you.
A lot of kids now are big readers. They do a lot of reading. Parents will say they are reading, but not watching TV or playing devices. Think about what they are reading and how many hours they are reading it. It’s an escape mechanism that is taking them out of relationships, reality, and service. Think about the time they spend in it and think about intentional parenting. So often we have to look at the fact that the activity is not ‘bad’, but is it good.
Class member: We had decided to start reading the D&C this year. Our little ones are having a hard time. I was listening to Elder Natresses talk. Should we be reading the D&C or the Book of Mormon.
D&C is a story. It’s not written in a time line.
Class member (continued): All week we have been talking about the 116 pages that have been lost.
Take that story and go back to the Book of Mormon where it is prophesied.
Class member: We had a good week. Yesterday morning my oldest daughter was being a stink about eating breakfast. She is 5 ½. I have an “eat it or starve” policy. She came down with this little note that said I’m sorry. I know that wasn’t good. I promise to repent. We have been talking about what repentance really means. Then later than night for FHE we went to PoJo’s. She didn’t want to leave. She had a tantrum. It was the most horrific parenting dilemma. I tried really hard to follow up with positive reinforcement. I tried to magnify the things I am good at, but it was a challenge. In that crisis I felt like I kept my cool, but when she was making the other kids scared I lost my cool.
When we get to discipline in that experience you aren’t going to change the child that is throwing the temper tantrum. She’s not in a good place to learn. You can’t change that behavior until they get some of it out. It’s a process of learning. You will learn to remain calm enough that you will keep the kids calm and secure. You will affect those kids more.
Class member: We talked a lot about intentional parenting. We evaluated our day. I am stressed out because we have so many things. We have been putting them in karate and they were in 2 classes per week….6 classes per week. We pulled them out. Now we have time for homework and to do things at home.
You might think about having a ‘family’ class that is sometime during the week. You will have time to be together as a family.
Class member: I have an 8 yr old in ballet. Last week we had to make up a couple of classes so there was too much that week. We didn’t get the laundry done, but we had an hour to do it. It didn’t completely get dry. As she gets in ballet I’m watching her and she snaps out of it. She had a great time. It was one of those things were it was an entitlement generation. She still went and it was good.
When your kids have committed they need to follow through with it. Some of your kids get part way through and when they started with the team they need to stay with the team. As you teach them along the way. It’s good.
Class member: I was lamenting about my kid who is disagreeable. This morning I got a note from my son’s teacher that he is getting an award for being ‘most cooperative’.
At home kids are different than they were out there. Believe that your kids are fabulous in their class when someone tells it to you. They probably are.
Class member: I read this scripture in the D&C. It was in President Eyring’s talk. I like that it’s Christ’s voice talking. “Ye have not as yet understood the great blessings…ye cannot bear all things now….the riches of eternity are yours.” I could just see Him saying…”I have all of this for you. I know that you can’t handle all of it right now, but I will lead you along.”
I’m still leading you along through the hard things.
Class member (continued): Elder Bednar…when the father said, “help though my unbelieve” Perhaps he needed to have the power to believe that Christ could heal his son individually. He said…I know you can do it, but can you really do it for my son.
Part A: Write down what you think the biggest mistake you make in parenting.
Part B: What is the thing you do that makes you a fabulous parent?
Circle the answer of ‘what you do fabulous’. With real intent I want you to scribble out Part A and forget about it. I want you to focus on magnifying Part B.
HOMEWORK: Focus on the thing you do that makes you a fabulous parent.
We are living in a generation of disrespect.
Going back to when I was a child there was a respect for adults, authority, our country. Then we moved to a period of having disrespect for authority and leaders in the 60’s. Now it has swung further where no one respects anyone. Even youth treat each other terribly.
Our movies and our programs especially Disney Channel that they gang up against adults who are really dumb and then they gang up against each other. The role model is just disrespect. Look at what is going on in the world. Everyone has a cause against something. What we are lacking is Parental Authority. It doesn’t mean Parenting Discipline. I think a better word is Parenting Influence. We need to establish a relationship with our children where they will respect us.
Age 8 is the age of accountability. We have to create a position where we are the parent and not their ‘friend’. If we are their friend then they disrespect us. As a parent you have to set standards and consequences. As they go out in that environment they will have already established a respectful relationship with their parents.
Families have to come together and strengthen the family. We are fragmenting our families when they try to ‘become’ something (soccer player, dancer, etc). Pull your kids in and keep them home. If you are saying no you can’t do soccer and you can’t do this, but you have to provide something. You can’t just pull them into a vacuum. We have to pull them in to the family and make the family be something and stand for something. They need to be part of what that picture is. That needs to happen from the beginning.
By the time they are 8 they have to already have that strong feeling of ownership in their family. The family is where it’s happening. That creates Intentional Parenting.
Referee---You have to react to what they do and correct the misbehavior. If that is your only interaction you are not creating this cohesive unit. You have to Intentionally Parent. You have to make your home your number one priority. We do get involved in busy-ness of life. We have to be careful that the busy-ness of life doesn’t distract us from the core of parenting.
Ponder Pad…How often do I “Intentionally” think about how I parent? How often do I think about and create a plan about how to do something instead of just reacting to everyday?
Realize that parenting has to be intentional. Heavenly Father created the Plan of Salvation before he ever created the earth. He knew what he wanted.
We say…I want my children to be strong, have faith, before they leave home. That’s great, but what are you doing to make that plan happen. Our plan becomes ‘buy peace at home’. We give into a lot of things that may not be to the best interest of our home.
Class member: I was talking to my husband about a fun hobby. He said you need to figure out ‘why’ you want to do that. Then you can break it down into smaller subcategories. In Primary we learn that “I am a child of God”.
Class member: We adopted 3 kids a little over 3 years ago. I have 2 biological as well. It was very clear in the beginning that they didn’t have a sense of stability. My husband and I came up with a mission statement that we say after family prayer. This has carried on. Whenever there are people over it includes them. It gives them a sense of belonging. As they are going through and having memories of the past and having hard things come up. We talk about being a “Dixon”. We talk about into the future and how they are still part of it.
There has to be not a buddy. You have to be the parent. Being the parent gives them security. We are not helicopter mom’s or lawn mower mom’s. We have to teach them how to take care of themselves. You have to teach them that process of knowing how to do that. As they learn that they become less reliant on peers and the world because they know that within themselves they can do it.
We need to teach them how to feel part of this unity and structure and then learn that they have the power to handle their own problems and beliefs. You have taught them how. They don’t have to buy all the messages in the world. This world is going to QUICKLY go downhill. We are close to the Second Coming. I think things are going to change pretty rapidly. We need to fortify our children. You feel it in the church when they are ‘hastening’ the work. We have to prepare our kids to do that. Our children have to be strong enough to withstand what is out there.
“Raising Resilient Children” by Lyle Burrup
We think we are no good because we aren’t perfect. They think if they can do it they are good and if they can’t they are NOT good.
I am talking about the training and teaching we do in our home….both spiritual and temporal.
Most of us teach knowledge in our home. We are teaching them concepts all the time…knowledge. You teach them about the Joseph Smith story. They answer all the questions in Primary. We teach facts. We think if they can give the facts back to us then they ‘know’ it.
How many believe that flossing is good for your teeth? 97% said yes. How many of you floss occasionally? 60%. How many of you floss regularly? 32% You go from a high number of those who believe it’s right, but they don’t act on the principle.
What happens between knowledge and conversion? That is what we have to focus on. You are doing pretty good on the knowledge part, but the conversion isn’t good enough.
Even if they flossed every night and did everything right they will still have cavities (trials).
This is how you take learning and make it conversion.
Elder Bednar uses questions when he is teaching. You ask questions so you get whoever to learn. When someone ‘acts’ (raising their hand to answer) it invites the Spirit to begin to teach us and change us. We then can become converted to that principle.
How do I do this?
Class member: I just had this experience. After church every Sunday we talk about what their lessons were about. My 8 yr old was learning about Joseph Smith. As a family we are reading “Our Heritage”. My brother used to totally active and served a mission and went inactive 3 years ago because of Joseph Smith. I told him that he has to decide if it really did happen. We can tell you all day long this is true, but you have to decide for yourself because it will change your life if you decide. I felt they have to have their own testimonies. My parents taught us all the same way, but 2 of my siblings are not active.
There are 2 things missing. We look at these experiences and say, “If I teach this once then that is it forever.” These kinds of experiences have to happen over and over and over. You have helped him internalize, but he hasn’t acted on it. That is where we have opted out on parenting. You need to help them with real intent to make good choices. Wait for an opportunity where he is struggling with something. That is when you take this story and bring it back to him. “What did Joseph Smith do when he didn’t know what to do? Can I pray with you? Do you think that would help?” You set and example and you give them an application.
How many times have you been told read your scriptures and pray every morning? Do you do it every day?
Don’t get impatient. We need to not be impatient with our kids.
Understanding Church History by Study and by Faith February 2017 Ensign
Hang on to those things that are true and don’t doubt the things you don’t understand.
What are the prophets telling us to do over and over and over? Everything talks about the Sabbath Day and the Sacrament. We have to fortify ourselves there. They are preparing us and telling us how to do it.
Class member: We just recently moved and a Seventy in our ward talked briefly. As we move into the new year they just had an area meeting. They are still worried and concerned that we are going to lose focus on keeping the Sabbath Day sacred.
We are not putting the Savior first. Put aside your own things and do the Lord’s things. It’s the ability to focus on and make the Savior a priority. Come out of the world for one day. As time gets further down this is where we find our strength and peace. Satan carefully leads us down to hell.
Class member: This is where ‘Satan lulls you away’.
You aren’t ‘building the fort’ (fortifying). You have a sand castle when the winds come.
What you watch on TV or Netflix or music…media…desensitizes us to spirituality faster and with less consciousness than what is around us all the time.
Class member: We just had a FHE about the distractions. It’s not about that we are doing anything bad, but it’s a distraction from doing what is good. It’s so consuming.
I look at my life…why am I not indexing for an hour a week? I don’t have children at home. Look at “Good, Better, Best”. I’m doing good stuff, but am I doing ‘best’ stuff. Everyone needs to look at themselves and think about doing what is ‘best’.
All things are temporal AND spiritual.
This list is not your ‘to do’ list. It’s to help you start thinking. You are responsible to teach them in all areas so they have self confidence when they leave you. They need to learn they can make mistakes and do them over and fix it. They need to do it over and over until they become good at it.
These are maybe things you haven’t thought about….This is to prepare them for life. This is not gender specific.
Your children need to learn a lot of things.
In the Book of Mormon, Mormon was helping to prepare the Nephites for the Lamanites attack when there was no war. He build a ditch, put spikes around the city, stacked up dirt, built towers, fortifies Nephites with armour. He did all of this in times of peace so when the Lamanites came the Nephites had the advantage.
When we read the war chapters we wonder why it’s there. We TODAY are going to war against Satan. You will be targeted. Satan wants you because you have made targets. If you don’t have ears to hear or eyes to see then you hear the topic and you turn it off. If you have heard it and you hear it again you better pay attention to it.
My Mom wrote me a letter when I was in the early stages of parenting. She said sometimes I feel like we hear the same things over and over and we aren’t told anything new because we aren’t listening to and doing what he asks us to do.
HOMEWORK: As we talk about these 5 things evaluate where you are in them.
These are the latter day fortifications. These are things we do to build a fortress in our homes. They can be in the fortress until they go out on their own.
Must be meaningful and with intent. The attitude is probably just as important as what we actually say in the prayer.
President James E. Faust said, “Praying together as a family is a bonding experience. Younger children can learn how to pray as they hear the prayers of their parents and older siblings. … Individual prayer and family prayer are indispensable to personal and family happiness.”
Before prayer we need to discuss things that are happening.
Feb 2001 “No Substitute For Family Prayer”
If you want to have family prayer you will get on your knees and ask him how to make it happen. It doesn’t matter what you do, but that you do it. Whenever you have that desire and it’s a quest, Heavenly Father will help us find the way.
Blessings Promised by President Hinckley….The Blessings of Family Prayer Ensign Feb 1991
Don’t evaluate your success on the amount you cover and how much you think your children are hearing. Don’t get in such a box that you think it only has to be one way. The commandment is to have ‘scripture study’ each day. “Little children need to learn the language of the scriptures” Say the words and have your children.
“This Day” Henry B Eyring April 2007
President Ezra T Benson “Cleansing The Inner Vessel” April 1986
“I counsel you, my beloved brothers and sisters and friends everywhere, to make reading in the Book of Mormon a few minutes each day a lifelong practice. “I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to that counsel. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness.” (Marion G. Romney, in Conference Report, Apr. 1960, pp. 110–13.)”
Family Home Evening
President Hinckley “FHE won’t always be a spiritual high…it is the growth over time that reaps the blessings”
Promises: It will take away stress, give direction to our lives, adds protection to our home (increase capacity to not listen to inappropriate music or watch inappropriate videos), love will increase, obedience will increase, youth will gain power to combat the evil influences that will beset them.
C Scott Grow---BYU Devotional
Use the different levels of learning….Knowledge, Understanding, Internalize, and Act. It’s easier to be internalized over a period of time. Create opportunities to have these experiences. Keep a FHE journal of what you did. It will remind them of how much good they have done over the year.
The commandment is ‘regular temple attendance’. What is ‘regular’ and what is ‘often’? You pray about those words. This is where we go to meet God. You need to go and prepare yourself mentally. This is where you can be spiritually and emotionally fed. The temple is truly holy grounds. Listen to the words of those covenants. Come to understand the power of the blessings you have already been given. This is where you can come out of the world and be fortified to stand in the world. The temple and the sacrament should be the most sacred growing and reaching out places.
(Vaughn J. Featherstone)
1-If a man, you will become mighty; if a woman, powerful (D&C 109:22 And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them;)
2-It will serve as great "insurance protection" for your marriage (D&C 132:19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.)
3-The blessings of the Eternal Gods will be called down upon you. (D&C 109:12, 14 That thy glory may rest down upon thy people, and upon this thy house, which we now dedicate to thee, that it may be sanctified and consecrated to be holy, and that thy holy presence may be continually in this house; And do thou grant, Holy Father, that all those who shall worship in this house may be taught words of wisdom out of the best books, and that they may seek learning even by study, and also by faith, as thou hast said)
4-Unseen angels will watch over your loved ones when Satanic forced tempt them (Acts 27:33 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing.)
5-Your families will draw close to the Lord and there will be no empty chairs in the celestial kingdom. (Hymn#301 I Am A Child of God)
6-Your children will go on missions (D&C 109:58 That from among all these, thy servants, the sons of Jacob, may gather out the righteous to build a holy city to thy name, as thou hast commanded them.)
7-Your children will marry in the temple. (Conference Talks)
8-The veil will be thin, you will have great spiritual growth and many spiritual experiences will distill upon you. (D&C 138)
9-You will be prepared for exaltation--with a celestial mind, celestial body and a celestial personality (3 Nephi 12:3, 20 Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Therefore come unto me and be ye saved; for verily I say unto you, that except ye shall keep my commandments, which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.)
10-You will see clearly how to make critical decisions that weigh heavily on your mind (D&C 109:42 But deliver thou, O Jehovah, we beseech thee, thy servants from their hands, and cleanse them from their blood.)
11-You will become Christlike. (D&C 109:22-25 And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them;
“Temples & The Work Therein” David B Haight October 1990
Sabbath Day Attendance
“Gratitude on the Sabbath Day” Henry B Eyring October 2016
HOMEWORK: Read “Gratitude on the Sabbath Day” Henry B Eyring October 2016 and make a list of what to do.
Because the prophets have promised it we are headed for rough waters. Look at the media and nature. Look at the wickedness in the world. As a whirlwind passes through it’s going to get worse. We cannot be complacent. We have to fortify our family. Satan is anxiously engaged in destroying them. His time is short and he knows it. The Lord has told us how to do it. These 5 things are the beginning of fortifying our home. They all involved consciously parenting. They have to happen in your home in a Spirit of love and joy not fear and doom. We need to have Christ centered homes and even if the world falls your home will stand firm and he will be there because you have invited him through your obedience.
What did you get from last week? Did you pick one to be more exact with? Did you look at Sunday? Anyone want to share?
Class member: Kids…how do you feel about doing FHE every Monday with or without Dad? They wanted to wait for Dad. They decided to do it anyway. Then we went to Utah and got home at 9pm last night. They are going to help with FHE lesson. It’s going to be a FHE because I have no desire to do FHE. It will happen.
Class member: We have been trying to do better. It can be really difficult. We have been working on just one verse with reading scriptures. The Sabbath is probably the hardest thing with my family. It’s really hard to have a peaceful Sabbath.
Peace we translate to be “quiet”. You can have organized chaos on Sunday. You can play games together, make cookies together. Focus on what you “CAN” do. Have a box with only Sunday activities….play dough, markers.
Class member: I have an almost 7 year old and almost 2 year old. My daughter is wanting to read more. The advice was to have the 2 year old repeat after us. He has been much more involved.
Class member: Our Sabbath Day has been a lot better. Now we have a lot of family members that are widows. Everyone of them is assigned a family to come to dinner. We had everyone come to dinner for Valentine’s Day. It’s helped my kids get out of themselves. They are hearing family stories.
A little over a year ago Elder Packer & Elder Perry talked. There were 9 talks given on the family. 9 of the 15 spoke on family or marriage. About 9 months later the Supreme Court agreed to same sex marriages. Those times are coming. Our faith wasn’t shaken because we already knew the doctrine. The Lord’s principles/doctrine will stay the same.
In 2015 the First Presidency had a leadership conference and since then there have been talks on Sabbath Day observance. Why do you think that is critical right now? Why is it critical that we not only teach it, but implement it as a solid practice right now?
Class member: It’s going to change the world by starting with the family. We will bring more light into this world as we do this.
Class member: I think the kids need to know that there is no more ‘gray scale’. Things are black and white now. You have to have your stand. We need to raise our kids with ‘this is how a family is.’ We need to train them and teach them and show them the way. It’s also to weed those members out of the church that haven’t been as strong in the church.
Class member: I think Sabbath Day gives us time to communicate. I think they are inundated with all these other things. I think we need a longer span of time to communicate, a longer time to influence them. They need to know who they turn to so they can feel the Spirit. Every now and then I need a longer date to just get over the every day things to get to the dreams and other things.
There was a time after the 200 hundred years or after King Benjamin’s talk. It was the youth that fell away because they didn’t believe what was taught. You may have a really strong testimony, but do your youth? If we don’t ground them and found them and make the gospel not just principles we believe, but principles that we live that they will be influenced by the philosophies of men.
I have watched Christians become anit-Christs. They go to church, but the teachings of Jesus are great philosophies, but to believe in the divinity of the Savior they don’t necessarily believe that. Part of teaching our children their divinity is to teach them to keep the Sabbath Day holy. We need to teach them the Sacrament is more than just bread and water. It needs to be in our souls so it will govern us. The process of learning to feel the Sabbath Day and want the Sabbath Day and to hunger and go to the Sacrament Table has to be in us.
I think the prophets are saying if you want to be anchored during these times the Sabbath Day/Sacrament is where you need to be anchored. I think we need to study and prayerfully read and focus and make it a matter of prayer and focus to increase that deep feeling of the Sabbath day. To me this isn’t a casual topic out there. I think it is a serious warning. This is a life saver to our children.
Class member: About a week ago I shared a post on Facebook that said, “Laman & Lemuel were more than just a bad attitude.” It’s a lot deeper than that. That journey was probably terrible. What made Nephi different was that he knew who he was and that Christ was his Savior and he was there guiding him. Laman & Lemuel didn’t believe that in their core. If we didn’t have that core we would all have a terrible time. I feel like the Sabbath Day gives us that time to get to know Christ and develop that relationship with him. I feel like because the youth are so strong Satan is working that much harder on them to pull them away. That’s why we need to work harder as well.
Our youth aren’t chosen because they are ‘cool’. They were chosen to do the work. You are chosen to prepare the way. You are chosen because you have a work to do.
Question from Ashley
This question is related to my 8 year-old boy. I feel like he is both my easiest child and my hardest. He is a smart boy who is generally pretty mature for his age. Most of the time I feel like I can rely and trust him. He does well in school, makes friends easily, and according to his teachers, is a leader in the classroom.
But he gets in these moods.... If something happens to sour his attitude or get him in a bad mood, then we'd all better watch out. He can hang on to an angry moment or bad attitude and draw it out for a whole day or more if he wants to. When he gets in these moods, he does everything he can to make everyone else in the house feel as bad as possible. He is mean to his sisters. He pouts for long periods of time and can get disrespectful in ways that are not normal for him. He purposely tries to hurt or anger us by saying the things that he knows will get under our skin. Trying to talk with him or reason with him generally makes him dig in his heels more.
I'm especially worried lately because it seems to be happening more and more often on Sundays. He is only 8, and I am worried that if he becomes sour about church this young, we will have problems later. Something happens Sunday morning that gets the tone a little off. Or maybe nothing happened at all that we can tell, but something switches in him and the whole day is ruined in an instant. He will pout all through church and primary and refuse to participate or even go to class. He will stick his feet out when one of us is trying to get out of the pew, trying to trip us or keep us from getting out. He will tell us that he hates Sundays and that he hates going to church. (He knows that saying these things hurts us.) The sacrament will come by and he will turn his nose up at it.
Sometimes he will go the whole day angry and with a bad attitude and we never really know why or what set him off. He usually snaps back to normal almost as instantaneously as he changed. Usually these bad days go in spurts with rests in between.
So here are my questions:
How should we react to him when he is in the middle of these episodes at home or in a public place like church?
How should we react when it is over? Should there be consequences or should we largely just ignore it unless he majorly crosses the line? And what is majorly crossing the line?
What do you think might be contributing to his attitude and behavior and what can we do to avoid this or make it less frequent or shorter?
Should I be worried that this is going to be an ongoing life situation for us, or could this just be a phase?
We are not perfect, and I am positive that we sometimes do things that contribute to the situation. We are working on being more consistent, improving our reactions to him and our personal relationships with him as well.
Any advice is welcome.
Answer from Sister Tanner....
I can see that you are feeling very frustrated with a little boy that is struggling with growing up. A child not wanting to go to church can be a panic button for a devoted mother but this is not a sign that he is not going to have a testimony and go on a mission. He is just trying to find his way and needs your help.
It is normal for children to be good and then hit a place where they seem to push against all the boundaries. This is normal. You need to show them that the boundaries will not change but that you love them.
You need to find a time to talk with him, perhaps take him out for ice cream, and ask him what is making him so sad that he has such bad days. Express a desire to understand why he feels that way. Then together work out what he might do when he is feeling angry or frustrated. He is feeling these things but does not know what to do with the feeling and acts out. Help him feel validated and help him realize that he can have some self discipline in the situations. If he feels he cannot control himself in his anger then he needs to feel safe in seeking your help.
As far as the problem with church goes, the first thing I would do is be sure that he is not having problems with another child at church and then have a loving talk with him when he is in a good place emotionally...not on Sunday. Talk to him about how much Heavenly Father loves him. You may even share a time when you were young and found going to church to be difficult. Share your testimony with him about how Heavenly Father wants us to come each week and learn of Him and take the sacrament to remember how much He loves us. I would ask him how you could help him have a better experience on Sunday.
One sister did "super star" treats on Sunday which was a special dessert that the children would get that tried to behave well in church. You could even have him help make the treats on Saturday. I would have a FHE lesson on Sunday (all day Sunday) behavior and think of all the fun things you can do together as a family on Sunday. Make it a special day instead of a day to be dreaded by little ones. Have him feel special in his part to get ready for the day. Let him know how much you need him as the oldest child to help with the others. Children love to be needed.
You cannot force faith and spirituality to grow in a child but you can create the atmosphere where it can flourish. We can also create an atmosphere that will drive the spirit away and do it with the best intention of "teaching" reverent behavior.
I do not know your family situation, other than what you have shared, but sometimes a child will get an empty emotional bank account. He may need more love and one-on-one mini moments throughout the week to help fill his bucket.
Remember that if you want to teach him of spiritual things, the Holy Ghost has to be the teacher. You invite, through the way you talk, that spirit into the conversation. The Lord loves him and you and is so mindful of the struggles you are facing. He will give you the answer to your prayers if you ask what is the first thing you need to do to help your son.
Parenting is full of challenges but it is also one of the greatest joys we will experience in this life.
Let me know how it goes!
How did your Sunday go? What did you think about? What was the impact?
Class member: This is something I have talked to my husband about. We are working at becoming a closer knit family. Everyone is on electronics. I brought it up to being electronic free for the day. My oldest is 13 and youngest is 5. Last Sunday I worked on Personal Progress and Faith in God with my oldest. We tried to keep it fun and light and played games with the kids. I was so happy he was on board and willing to be on the same page as I was. We baked cookies and went and “boo-ed” people in our ward. I had given a lesson on the Sabbath Day a few months ago and it made me reflect then, but then you taught it. The week has gone a little better.
It’s amazing! If you keep the Sabbath day holy the rest of the week goes better.
Class member: Are you going to keep doing that?
Class member: My husband is starting military school so I will be doing all of it so yes we will keep doing it.
Remember we asked 2 questions. What is the sign between you and me? What sign did you give (non-verbal) to the Lord. We talked about Larry Lawrence’s talk about what’s hindering me from keeping the Sabbath Day Holy.
Class member: The next morning we did couple scripture study on the Sabbath. We refocused on a different subject that morning. We pulled out all the same scriptures. We went to Deuteronomy and we discussed different signs. There is a scripture that came to my mind. Matthew 25:10-11 (Ten virgins) “Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not” How come he didn’t know them? We decided that we needed to make a video on Sunday to send to a family overseas. It will be interesting this Sunday to see what the Lord tells us to do.
There is a difference between “knowing about him” and “knowing him”.
Class member: We were in Utah visiting family. We visited my husbands ward. We have gotten in a habit of only going just to Sacrament Meeting. It was a big “ah ha” that church is a social thing. Our kids didn’t want to stay because they didn’t know anyone.
How many adults go for the same reason? This is where last week’s lesson was simply an invitation to ponder where you are and getting a vision of a different purpose of what the Sabbath is for. Everyone is going to be somewhere different. The Lord just wants us to keep moving. We can’t move if we don’t know where we are at. It was a wake up call for me too.
Class member: We had a service project going on in our ward. We took that home and made Christmas Cards to missionaries for them. We tend to have the TV on with football. We are always together and playing as a family, but then when you talk about what are we doing? Are we just being lazy? It made me look at what we were doing. I said maybe we could just pick one game and then have the rest of the time. I saw it as slowly changing instead of wiping the slate clean. We took it as what are we doing within the walls of our home. We decided to make some changes.
Invitation…If you truly want to change it, a little at a time, or a whole new picture, and you have children or a spouse the first thing you do with your spouse is talk about it. Kids need the same thing. You need to start a new process or habit or vision with a FHE. Read the scriptures from Isaiah. Read the conference talks. Get a picture of what the Lord wants us to do on His day.
The scripture that impacted me the most was the Isaiah one. My key is “Is it something I want to do or something I want to do for the Lord?” Present your family with the principles and then let them decide what that means to us. Don’t present the list. Present the doctrine. Ask…What kinds of activities would help us meet the doctrine? They will gain a testimony of it because it’s internal not external. They have input into it. It’s hard when you want to change direction in your family.
Class member: I always feel like I get to be home with my kids. I am with my kids all the time and sometimes I need a break. I like the thought of spending time with just chatting with my kids. It was to be given the gift of time. We don’t give ourselves permission to sit down and play with our kids often.
Class member: You have used the word cooperation a lot. I realized that I may be the one not cooperating well. I have a strong personality. We have been married for 14 years he was like let’s read the scriptures every night. I made it miserable on him. He did it for the first 2 years of our marriage and I won. I quit doing it. My husband tried to be the priesthood leader and I squashed it. He started it back up. It just took me saying “I’m sorry.” My kids love it. We have 2 that can read and one that can’t. They love to read the scriptures. They are begging to read more. It’s been amazing this last week. Bedtime is pushed back later. They have their own scriptures. They are highlighting stuff.
You have a special husband. Because most men would say “Forget it! You had your chance. I’m impressed with your humility. Congratulations.
Class member: We do really well on the Sabbath. Part of it is just our stage in life and where we live. First thing in the morning the YW lead the music and the YM are doing the sacrament at the assisted living. After we are doing home teaching and my girls are working on Personal Progress and Faith in God. Our one that when you taught us was the one thing you didn’t want to give up. We are never together in the evenings. We do scriptures in the morning. So Sunday night we watch “Once Upon A Time” We love it. It is something we can do together. Sunday I went out with my husband my kids watched it while I went on visits with my husband. We decided we need to have a FHE lesson on it. We have that one blaring thing. It will be interesting when we talk to see what they think we should do better. I think we can always do a little bit better. For us we do things out of duty, not because we are giving the Lord that day. Instead of “I want to give you this day.” We need some attitude readjustments for the motivation of why we are doing it.
The purpose of what we do is to come to know and experience the Lord. That’s the difference between the list of right things and using the Sabbath in the Lord’s way. That’s the “Why”. That’s also where the power is. Why are we doing it? Does your activity bring you to know the Lord? That needs to be the heart of your prayers and your intent.
What are your favorite sins you don’t want to give up? Everyone has their favorite sins. Does that affect self-discipline in other areas of my life. Who governs…the flesh or the spirit?
DISCLAIMER---I apologize for being so late with the notes this week. I have been working on another HUGE project that demanded my time. I have included part of the links that I had quick access to and I have not had time to re-read what I typed so I hope it makes sense. Thanks for understanding. ~Andrea~
I am going to try and teach you something that the Spirit has be trying to get me to teach for awhile. With the past couple of Conferences and what we have been given by the prophet and the church leaders I feel strongly about. I feel a little unsure today because it is very ‘doctrinal’. This may feel a little more like a Gospel Doctrine class. I pray that you will have the Spirit for you to internalize. You have to be able to receive by the Spirit. I am going to try and give it to you by the Spirit. If you get it by the end of the class you will know you came with the Spirit. My emotions are very close to the surface today.
President Uchtdorf’s talk on “Forget-me-nots”. He talked about what was said, but then how are you going to apply it. That boils down to a list of “to-do’s”. He went on to say “Sometimes as we study the how of the gospel (the to do list) we forget the why.” The power of the gospel comes in the ‘why’. It’s that that lights the fire.
As we go through classes I tell you to teach doctrine and teach principle.
What is the doctrine for ‘morality’? We don’t know, but we know we can give them a list of to do’s. The power is in teaching the doctrine of the family and the plan of salvation.
I want to teach the doctrine. I’m hoping the Spirit will give you the to do list. It has to be for you in your family and your own list of ‘to do’.
Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy
Object lesson: I have a doll that my grandkids have loved. It’s a raggedy doll that has been well loved, well worn, and well loved. You would say go play with it. Love it. Play with it. Take it for a nap. I have another doll. She is a porcelain doll. She has beautiful curls and a beautiful dress. What if this doll belonged to my great grandmother who came across the plains. It was handed down from her to my mother to me. If my kids wanted to hold her would I let them. I would say yes, but they would need to sit by me and touch her gently.
What is the difference between the feeling of the two dolls? One is you think of great-grandma and all she went through. You are in awe. The other one is the every day doll to go play and have fun. This is the closest that I can help you feel the 6 days of the week and the Sabbath. There should be a feeling difference between 6 days of the week and the Sabbath day. It’s not just because we go to church.
The Sabbath day observance has been given much from the authorities. My nephew told me that the background of this emphasis had been discussed. He is a bishop in Utah county. Elder Terry of the 70 said the First Presidency had been concerned about how the people of the earth could increase the Savior more a central focus point? They fasted and prayer. They took their concerns to the temple often seeking guidance. This was in addition for several months the response to several months of earnest prayer. To increase in faith the Lord’s children needed to Hallow and Keep the Sabbath day.
As you think about your children and how to keep them away from the filth of the world, as you are praying about it…this becomes the answer. As we sustain the First Presidency it is interesting that this seems to be what is most on the mind of the Presidency. Therefore…this is the primary concern of the Savior and Heavenly Father.
Russell M Ballard in a world wide training to church leadership said, “Of all the organizational or training that could hasten the work we have determined that observing the Sabbath day is most essential in assisting the children of men.”
That training is coming down to us. That’s why you hear so many talks.
Sabbath & the Sacrament L. Tom Perry
The Sabbath is a Delight Russell M Nelson (May 2015)
This is about keeping the Sabbath Day holy. When Christ was on the earth they had problems with the Sabbath Day. The Pharisees set so many rules for the Sabbath day. They felt like all these rules helped you keep the Sabbath Day. If you kept the rules you kept the Sabbath Day, but there was no Spirit in it. It was simply a set of rules.
We tend to get in a set of rules. If our kids keep a set of rules…Don’t play outside, Don’t jump on the trampoline…we think our kids are keeping the Sabbath Day Holy.
Second commandment is “Keep the Sabbath Day Holy”. That was a commandment. Adam and Eve…the creation of the earth…this is not a new commandment. In 6 days God did his job and then rested. Every dispensation has been commanded to keep the Sabbath day holy. That is truth. That isn’t new.
This is an “If…Then…” If you do this…then you get this. This is power. This is the ‘why’.
Isaiah 58: 13 (IF…)
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
If…thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath (get away from all the things that I do every day)
All four of those things are self-focused. You say I’m not focused on me…I have to get my kids up, get dinner, my lesson, etc. Is it a ‘to do’ list or is it the Lord’s stuff. If you have to do it because you are the Mom it’s ‘your stuff’.
Heavenly Father is pointing out the problem with the natural man is that the day is all about me. The Lord would say, “This day is about me…the Lord…not about you. I give you 6 days to do all your stuff. This is your tithing in time and thought and heart to me. Can you give me one Sabbath?”
It is if you will give me the opportunity to bless you.
Class member: This last Sunday I got up and ready to go to Stake Conference. I woke up my 11 year old. I said, “Mom, do we have to go.” Heavenly Father has given us everything. He is only asking 1 thing from us. I think we can give him that.
I raised my kids with a strict list of ‘to do’s’ on Sunday. I’m not sure I did a good job of teaching the why. They did a great job for the rules. I taught my children obedience to the Lord and obedience to the Lord, mine are obedient. If anyone came into my home when my kids were growing up they didn’t have to wear the clothes they wore to church, they could put on something different. The girls had to stay in a dress. The boys had to stay in a docker/dress pants. They didn’t have to wear their ties, they chose to wear their ties. Most of my boys will still be in a white shirt and tie on Sunday. That’s just a reminder to them.
It is about obedience, but is so much more than that. What do you want more than anything else in the world? I want to live with Heavenly Father. I want to cross the veil and see his face. I want to kneel down and kiss his feet.
Ezekiel 20:20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.
This is my way to show Heavenly Father the level of my testimony.
To “know” is intimate, close relationship, unique. It’s not knowing about the Savior….the secular knowledge. This is heart to heart and soul to soul.
He is inviting you to have that relationship with Him, to experience Him. That comes through the Sabbath day.
How long did it take for that relationship to happen? What creates the intimacy in the relationship? You have to spend time together. You learn about each other. You don’t judge each other. You communicate with each other.
If you decide to take on this challenge today and you really do hard Sunday will you have that relationship at the end of the day. No. But you have the beginning of it. You are giving a sign. You will develop it over time. You will learn to come to experience Him. Can you imagine that? Joseph Smith experienced the Savior before he was called home.
Joseph Smith saw the Savior regularly.
Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
These are the blessings.
Heritage of Jacob…This is the Abrahamic Covenant. It is the fullness of all the priesthood…exaltation.
Delight thyself in the Lord….When we are so focused and do His will that it just fills you with joy.
Class member: I think that’s my pleasure with doing His will to be his hand here on earth.
Have you ever had a child just discover something? Something they have worked on then got it? How happy they were? You are just SO excited for them. It’s that joy that comes to us through doing his will.
Ride upon the high places of the earth…
Class member: I would say that’s when the mysteries of God are unfolded to us. We get more and more from him.
This is the Lord telling us “how” to experience Him. This is an encounter with Jacob…if we are the heritage of Jacob then we can use us.
He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.
What is your “waste howling wilderness”? The land around Jerusalem is horrible, awful. There is nothing there. It’s like a hilly desert. You have a “waste howling wilderness”? Is it you children? Health? Husband? Business? This is those trials and hard things.
What did the Lord do to Jacob? He led him about, instructed him and kept him as the apple of his eye. Wouldn’t you love it you were His ‘favorite’.
As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
This tells how we can have this experience with the Lord.
So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.
What did Jacob do? Had no other God. What is another God? Pinterest, Facebook, TV, video games, novels. Can you do them 6 days? Yes. On the Sabbath which is about the Lord and not about you. Are there other God’s before him?
He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;
When Moses made water come out of the rock could you see water in the rock? No. To them it was a rock, but when he made water come out of it. It is places that you didn’t think it could happen. I will give it to you.
The oil is that you will be prepared. I am going to fill your lantern. Oil is symbolic of spiritual and temporally. I will put oil in your lamp that you didn’t think was there. I’m going to show you how to do that.
The high places of the earth is the temples. The places the prophets went to meet God face to face. If you do this I will create this experience where we will meet face to face in sacred places. As you qualify yourself you will be worthy to see him face to face.
This is the promise we will be spiritually near to him as we keep the Sabbath Day.
Ezra Taft Benson (Ensign May 1971 pg 6-7) “The purpose of the Sabbath is for spiritual uplift, for a renewal of our covenants, for worship, for rest, for prayer. It is for the purpose of feeding the spirit, that we may keep ourselves unspotted from the world by obeying God’s command….It seems to me that the following should be avoided on the Sabbath: Overworking and staying up late Saturday so that you are exhausted the next day. Filling the Sabbath so full of extra meetings that there is no time for prayer, meditation, family fellowship, and counseling. Doing gardening and odd jobs around the house. Taking trips to canyons or resorts, visiting friends socially, joy riding, wasting time, and engaging in other amusements….Shopping or supporting with your patronage businesses that operate on Sunday, such as grocery stores, supermarkets, restaurants, and service stations.”
Spencer W. Kimball (Ensign Jan 1978 pg 4) “The Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts, and if one merely lounges about doing nothing on the Sabbath, he is breaking it. To observe it, one will be on his knees in prayer, preparing lessons, studying the gospel, meditating, visiting the ill and distressed, writing letters to missionaries, taking a nap, reading wholesome material, and attending all the meetings of the day at which he is expected.
The purpose is to come closer to the Lord. That is the key factor. It’s not a list. If you want to know if something is right or wrong on the Sabbath you go to the Lord and say, “Is this about Him or is this about me?”
Class member: The Lord gave us the Sabbath so we could obtain high places while we are mortal. We don’t have to wait until we die to see him. High places now and not later. When my husband and I were first married. We noticed that the grandchildren on my husbands side were leaving the church. It bothered us. My family wasn’t leaving the church. It went back to the grandparents. One set hallowed the Sabbath and one didn’t hallow the Sabbath. It’s making more sense now. The Sabbath affected generations not just the one grandparent. They didn’t get to high places.
You come to me and look what I am going to give you.
Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
Sacrifice means to give up.
Contrite heart is how I will do it.
And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
If you want to keep your family intact you have to keep them clean from the sins from the world. One day a week you create a totally different experience for them. Their first desire is to come unto the Lord.
If your heart is full of the Savior serving Him, keeping his commandments, wanting to come unto him, thinking about the Savior during the sacrament. As He comes to you, you spend the day giving that light to your family.
Class member: This was in my mind on Sunday. I normally take Sunday as taking a break. This Sunday I was in a mood…it’s was a good day for me. I decided I would spend time with my kids. We did a puzzle for 3 ½ hours. I hung out with my kids. We didn’t have one fight that Sunday. If I just plug in and bring them with me it really worked out fabulously.
Sunday will be the busiest day of your life for the week. Take your day off on Firday before they get home from school. To bring the Spirit requires effort. That Spirit goes to your children. Your job is to help them experience ethe Savior.
Harold B Lee… “My experience has taught me that the prompting of the conscience to a faithful Church member is the safest indicator as to that which is contrary to the spriit of worship on the Sabbath Day.” (Decisions for Successful Living pg 148)
If you don’t want to know don’t ask. If you have the desire to experience the Savior in this life, it’s honoring him and putting him first.
Larry Lawrence….”What Lack I yet?” As you consider the Sabbath day he made the comment… “I would like to suggest that each of you participate in a Spiritual exercise some time soon…ask What is keeping me from progressing? (add…on the Sabbath day). Then wait quietly for a response. If you are sincere….intended just for you.”
If you want to experience the Lord now then that’s the question. The Lord won’t tell you everything you need to do. He walks you through it step by step so you don’t get discouraged.
I don’t know what the Spirit will tell you. If you want to know the Spirit will tell you.
“What Lack I Yet?”
Years ago I read these words of President Spencer W. Kimball, which had a lasting impact on me. He said: “I have learned that where there is a prayerful heart, a hungering after righteousness, a forsaking of sins, and obedience to the commandments of God, the Lord pours out more and more light until there is finally power to pierce the heavenly veil. ... A person of such righteousness has the priceless promise that one day he shall see the Lord’s face and know that he is.”
Nephi talked about the children being afflicted by the firey serpents and all they had to do was look at the serpent.
And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.
Story of Naaman….because of the easiness of the way he almost wasn’t cured.
Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy is the ‘easy way’. If the prophet said, “You have to pack up and walk to Missouri.” We would do it because it’s such a big thing. Can you/will you keep the Sabbath Day holy? Will you change what you are doing now and make it better? Will you ask the Lord ‘What lack I yet?’ and do it?
It’s giving you being focused on me on the Sabbath and giving that day truly to the Lord. In return he says I will let you experience me.
I invite you to take His challenge and come to Him on his holy day. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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.