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.
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.
- You look under the bed for him/with him
- You can help him sing a song
- You can help him say a prayer
- You can leave a night light on
- You can get a can of room freshener and put a label on it that says, “Monster Spray” and let him keep it by his bed to spray when he is frightened.
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:
- Sing together
- Family home evening
- Family prayer
- Family fun outings
- Family scripture reading
- Family dinner
- Father’s blessings
- PPI’s with each child
- Attend church meetings and activities
- Quiet one-on-one time with each child
- Watch movies together that are faith promoting (17 Miracles)
- Play good music in your home
- You have to have in your home sometime as quiet time. They can’t learn to feel the Spirit if it is never quiet or have down time.
- You really need to bear your testimony frequently to your children about principles. Share with them when you have had experiences with the Holy Ghost. Those should be regularly. You don’t want to share experiences that happen once a year. The Holy Ghost prompts and is with them every single day. You have to be the example and share with them how that works. As they see it and you testify of it they can see it in their own lives.
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)
That is an inventory we should take on ourselves. Do our children know it more than just in their head? Can they feel our love for Him? Do they truly know it? One of the ways we can answer yes to those questions is how we treat the Sabbath Day. That is one of the best guides. This teaches a love, a guide, a devotion to the Savior. In the last conference several talks on keeping the Sabbath Day holy and the Sacrament. These are areas we need to look at and improve.
“How we keep the Sabbath day is the best indication of our conversion to the Savior.”
We can get up and testify that we believe, but what do we DO. It’s not what we say, it’s what we do. It’s critical in showing our devotion.
“Keeping the Sabbath Day holy is the best way to receive personal revelation.”
That becomes our doorway and link to have His Spirit with us always.
Class member: Elder Oaks came to our valley, “Before every conference they get together and pray about what the church needs right now. What will save the church in the coming days? The Sabbath Day.”
“Keep us unspotted from the world…”
How can they hear the Holy Ghost if every day is ‘of the world’?
Conference is this weekend. This is where we testify by our actions, enthusiasm, and Spirit our testimony of the prophets and apostles.
What kind of traditions do you have in your family that makes conference exciting for kids?
Class member: We have cinnamon rolls. We have a Conference notebook. We color their ties, we write notes
If we make it fun and exciting to provide something for them to retain it with.
Class member: My kids call it candy conference. We have different sections and a key word for each section. It helps them listen a little. We have activity books.
Class member: We did the same thing. It doesn’t die off. I’ve been answering this question for 2 months now.
This week is the time to take the apostles and do a bio on them. What did they do before they were an apostle?
Online…one of the things you can order are the magnets of the apostles. We mix them up and put them in order.
Class member: In the Friend they have little stories about the apostle and 5 facts about them.
Class member: It helps when I let my kids help in preparing. They come up with the ideas. They give themselves assignments to help get things ready.
Class member: I have lots of ‘active’ learners. We dressed in dark clothes and we fill up a bunch of cheap knee highs with flour and have a flour war. It gets out energy.
There is a whole bunch of stuff online. Go to Traditions>General Conference.
You have 1 day to figure that out to make it special and exciting. The Women’s session last Saturday was the first part of Conference.
Conference does not stop Sunday at 4pm. I would recommend in 2 weeks that you get Conference Ensign for everyone in your family. Write their name on the front of it. This creates a feeling of ownership. Have them keep it with their scriptures. You need to focus taking Conference into your FHE. You should teach from Conference. It doesn’t do any good if we don’t teach and live and implement the words of the prophets. That is the guideline for the next 6 months.
Little people are fascinate with stories. Use those stories. Go back and say, “Do you remember that story?” Everyone underline that story. You are teaching them how to use conference as a workbook. Teach them how to use it as a workbook. Have them get into it, find it and look at it. Open up their Ensign and mark it. With teenagers have them pick their favorite talk and you teach us on it. Have them get into it. They need to touch it, feel it, see it. They need to use the words of the prophet as a guidebook.
We as adults struggle with this.
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
We have to teach our children to recognize, create the environment where they can, and then help them record spiritual experiences. As we record…the act of recording (Tender Mercies-Elder Bednar) is your way of saying ‘thank you for the experience.’ Your gratitude softens your heart and opens the way for more experiences. The very act of recording includes the invitation to receive more.
Get a notebook and call it “CTR Moments”, “Tender Mercies”. What is the value of this journal?
Class member: It’s my ‘why I believe’ journal. When I go back through my journal I can go back and say I had a lot of amazing experiences. I realize I am having things happen to me. What a great thing to leave for my children.
This book becomes your personal scriptures. These are the scriptures the Lord has written to you, for you, by you. They are your personal scriptures.
Story: Ensign “Can He See Me” by Theresa Starr January 2014
“It was the morning before my son, Daniel, had his first day of kindergarten, and he had a few concerns about leaving home to attend school. I wanted to make sure that he felt prepared to meet the challenges in the “real world.” I told Daniel that I would miss him very much while he was away. I assured him that even though I couldn’t be with him at school, he would never need to feel afraid or lonely because his Father in Heaven would watch over him. I reminded him that he could pray anytime, anywhere and that God would always hear him.
As I spoke, Daniel, barely five years old, listened very intently. After some thought he responded, “Can He see me when I’m in my house?”
“Yes,” I assured him.
“Can He see me when I’m outside?” he asked.
“Yes, He can always see you,” I replied.
With a look of excitement, Daniel ran immediately to the backyard. I followed closely behind him. Daniel looked upward at the cloudless, blue sky and asked, “If I look up at the sky and smile, will He see me and will He smile back?”
Rendered speechless from the lump in my throat and the tug on my heartstrings, I nodded, “Yes!”
Still looking heavenward, this time with squinted, searching eyes and perfect, childlike faith, Daniel thoughtfully asked, “Can I see Him?”
“You might not be able to see Him,” I replied, “but you will know He is there because you will feel His smile in your heart.”
Daniel stood smiling as he gazed into the heavens. From the peaceful look on his angelic face, I knew he was experiencing that divine smile deep in his soul.
From the mouths of babes we learn much about pure faith—the faith we hope they’ll cling to forever. Inevitably they discover that although life is good, it’s sometimes hard. We pray that their faith will sustain them.
When times get tough in my own life, I remember Daniel’s example, and with all the childlike faith a grown-up can muster, I too look searchingly heavenward and ask, “Can He see me?” Then, Daniel-like, I quietly ponder, “Can I see Him?” As I consider the multitude of His tender mercies in my life, the Holy Ghost confirms that I have truly felt Heavenly Father’s love. Renewed in my faith and inspired by hope, the Spirit assures me that I always can.
I testify He is always there. The distance is when we move away from Him. He is always reaching out to lift us and help us carry the crosses we have. He cares. He is in charge of Conference. It will be His words we hear. As we fear this life and this world that we can cling with faith and hope to the direction that he gives us this weekend. It will lift us and give us strength for the next 6 months. He will appear this weekend to those that are ready to receive Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.