The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life. Qualifying for the Lord’s Spirit begins with a desire for that Spirit and implies a certain degree of worthiness. Keeping the commandments, repenting, and renewing covenants made at baptism lead to the blessing of always having the Lord’s Spirit with us.2 Making and keeping temple covenants also adds spiritual strength and power to a woman’s life. Many answers to difficult questions are found by reading the scriptures because the scriptures are an aid to revelation.3 Insight found in scripture accumulates over time, so it is important to spend some time in the scriptures every day. Daily prayer is also essential to having the Lord’s Spirit with us.4 Those who earnestly seek help through prayer and scripture study often have a paper and pencil nearby to write questions and record impressions and ideas.
Mom’s tend to give their kids a crash course the last 6 months they live at home because they want to make up for everything they haven’t done. We don’t need to panic. As we teach them to listen to the Holy Ghost they will have the best teacher we could ever give them.
Spiritual things have to be taught by the spirit. You invite the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost becomes the teacher of spiritual things. We need to create those experiences where the Holy Ghost can be the teacher. We need to help children identify when they recognize the Spirit. Little children when they don’t know the word they throw themselves on the floor in a tantrum. You have to give them the name of ‘frustrated’ or ‘fearful’. We also have to teach them to identify the promptings of the Spirit. If we don’t know it we can’t teach it.
How well do you recognize that Spirit in your own life?
We want kids to understand that DAILY we recognize the Spirit. Look at today or yesterday. You should have that influence daily after you have been baptized. I think that you already are, but you become so accustomed to that companionship that we don’t realize and appreciate the blessings of having the Spirit with us. We aren’t always sensitive to the promptings. We often think “that was just an idea”. We don’t identify it at the Holy Ghost. We are having those promptings.
Class member: I think there are times that we feel the Spirit strongly, but when someone asks something like “when did you last feel the Spirit?” we only think about the big things.
We teach our children that Joseph Smith had a vision when he prayed. So they think they should have a vision when they pray. We teach them they will feel a burning sensation. They think…I didn’t feel that so I don’t think I felt it.
As you look at the way you teach, the words we use can sometimes confuse them. They think that if the Holy Ghost is my constant companion then I should ‘always’ feel the warm comfortable thinking.
Class member: “If it prompts you to do good” then it is the Holy Ghost. (Moroni?)
Class member: I felt prompted to start a journal to note things that where we recognize the Spirit in our lives. There were times we listened and times we didn’t listen and what happened.
Class member: If it’s good it’s of God. I had my father give me a Father’s blessing. He said, “There are times that you have turned left instead of right and your life has been saved multiple times.” You just need to listen. You just do it.
Class member: I received a calling that is a big one. We are trying to get out the door and I’m yelling at my kids. Then I’m supposed to have the Spirit with me. How do I teach my kids how long it takes to feel the Spirit again? I can’t wait until Sunday for the Sacrament.
Look at that sincere righteous good woman. She is anxiously engaged in being a good Mom. She wants to understand the gospel and knowing that when she takes the sacrament she will be able to start over. There is a misunderstanding of the Atonement of the Holy Ghost. Everything that seem good, but they may not get it. So we still have to work through to get it. You can get it back immediately. As soon as you say, “Heavenly Father I can’t do this alone.” You can get it back. He is saying don’t wait. That’s why we can have it as a constant companion. As soon as we make a mistake and repent we can have it back. Repentance is just changing and turning it around.
As you go through this process you are teaching them that they can change and repent and have it back with them instantly. We want them to recognize when they don’t have it so they change and turn around to get it back.
This is a process that you have to teach over and over and over. Your children all learn differently. This is the process of becoming sanctified. We are going to do this all the way through this life. This is what we do in life. In teaching your children these spiritual things all of your children learn or hear it differently.
Some of your kids love to be hugged. Other children if you hug on them they are stiff as a board. That doesn’t say “I love you.” They think they just have to endure it. That child might be loved when you read that note. Some children want time some want gifts. If we only give our children love physically the one that doesn’t want to be touched doesn’t feel like you understand them.
We need to teach them in a language they can process. The Holy Ghost will speak to each person in their own language.
Class member: Even before the age of 8 we need to teach our children that they can feel the Spirit. You can have the Holy Ghost with you before you are 8. Once you are 8 you can have him there with you every day.
How often in our own homes when the Savior is there are we not focused on it? How often is our vision somewhere else? We are oblivious to it.
Ponder and think about…figure out yourself how children learn. You have to teach this over and over in different ways.
- Visual learners—you learn by pictures, sunsets, videos, object lessons, reading
- Audio learners—you learn by hearing someone telling it to you, CD’s of conference, music, Primary songs, talks
- Tactile learners—you learn by feeling and touch. They have to handle, feel, touch things, flashcards, toys, make projects, do things with their hands, create
- Kinesthetic learners—you learn by moving. They can’t sit still. Teach while you are playing basketball or riding a bike.
You feel like you have already taught it, but you need to teach it over and over so they get it.
You need to validate your little people can have feelings.
Example: “I hate Suzy.” You say, “In our family we don’t hate people.”
Give teenagers space to ‘feel’ what they are feeling.
Example: “There are monsters in my room.” You say, “There are no monsters in this room.”
They need to know that it is ok to feel feelings. None of them are right or wrong. It’s what we do with those feelings that is right or wrong.
Class member: I tell my 5 year old, “It’s ok to be mad. But what you can’t do is hurt the dog because you are mad. You can take some space, but don’t hurt others when we are feeling mad.”
The best thing to say is, “I can see that you are frustrated. I can see that would be horribly discouraging.” Don’t ever say, “I can understand exactly how you feel!” Her feeling would be, “No you don’t! You weren’t in the game. You weren’t doing it.” You can say, “I’ve had a similar experience.”
Class member: How do you teach your children it’s ok to feel the Spirit? My daughter was feeling the Spirit and she said, “I don’t like that feeling. I feel out of control.”
Usually kids that are in control and giving up that power is threatening to them. There is usually a comic relief in the class. They just don’t know how to feel comfortable with the Spirit. Little tiny people are spiritually sensitive. As they grow older and want power and control. You have to give up the power to have ‘faith’ and ‘trust’. Giving up and giving in means you are giving up temporal power and control to the Lord. That is consecration where we choose to give it back.
Reverence and respect have to be a taught thing. It doesn’t just come naturally.
In our society, everything that once used to be respected is no longer respected, especially spiritual things. We need to start when children are very young to teach respect and reverence.
HOMEWORK: Margaret Lifforth May 2009 “Respect and Reverence”
Teach our children to be respectful and reverent in FHE, family prayer, scriptures, Primary.
Class member: I have a 7 year old that just doesn’t hold still. We are trying to teach FHE and he won’t be reverent. How do I teach him and still use his language?
Reverence is taught over time.
The beginning process is to hold them on your lap at night and read to them 1 minute, then 2 minutes, then 3 minutes. You are helping them be comfortable and feel warm in a quiet environment. Then practice sitting reverent for more time. We stop teaching because the older ones are sitting reverent we let the little ones do their own thing.
Example: “Johnny we are going to have FHE. Find your ‘spot’.”
You have to continue to reinforce they stay in their spot. They may need to look at a family picture book while they are sitting.
They start learning respect in FHE.
Reverence is not just about being quiet it’s about being in tune with what is going on. You need to make FHE fun! You need to spend some time.
There is a period when little people need distractions while they are in sacrament meeting. We never outgrow that problem and get the distractions away from them.
Practice---I think it should be less desirable to be out of sacrament meeting than to be IN sacrament meeting. We need to train them. I thought if I am teaching them “Pavlov’s theory” when they walk into the bench they ask for cheerios then there wouldn’t be any more treats.
Children are like water. They will flow to the least resistance. You hold them accountable.
Class member: I remember being taught by the Spirit one day the creation came to mind. Before the Savior created anything there was a ‘space’. Until we create a space be taking out something negative it is difficult to give them a space to choose righteous things to fill it.
The space we need to create is quiet. In order for us to learn to feel the Spirit, from time to time we have to create quiet space.
We get so busy doing good things that we take ourselves away from the very strength we need. We have to slow down and take moments to be quiet and to be still. If you are quiet and let the Spirit in you have the power and the peace to make it work.
Our children are so busy that they don’t stop and we have to help them learn to stop and feel the Spirit. They have to stop and be quiet. The Spirit is soft.
Create experiences where the Spirit will be there. Taking them to the temple.
They need to record the experience so they can never go back and say that I haven’t had that experience. Teach them if it is a prompting to sit by someone that we do it quickly. Make it safe for them to talk to you. How many of you feel comfortable feeling really spiritual experiences in front of your spouse? These are sacred moments. We don’t make fun of them.
Part of this teaching process is that you share those experiences in your family. It needs to be one-on-one or in FHE. Your children feel scared when they see you cry. They need to know that you feel ok with crying and that it’s ok.
We need to help our children understand the importance of making and keeping small promises. Teach them that their word is their honor. You are learning to trust them and they are building that trust.
Preparing your children, your families, and yourself for General Conference
We need to listen to them and then act upon them. It’s what we do before conference, during conference and after conference.
Before Conference—Prepare! I would recommend you start this preparation two weeks ago. Help them become more familiar with who they are. There needs to be a connection before they stand up to speak.
Class member: We put words on cups that had candy in them. They get a candy each time they hear the word.
Conference Saturday & Sunday…it’s 2 days. In the beginning the goal is to have good feelings about conference. As they get older you can do the Conference packets. Color the ties like who is up there. Have them stand up and sing the songs. Have them raise their arm to the square. Have them participate. Your sons need to go to Priesthood session. The YW need to attend the General YW Meeting.
During Conference—Have them take notes.
After Conference—Be sure each child has their own Conference Ensign with their name on it. Then you as a family teach from different conference talks for FHE. Read talk prior. Have a child give the lesson. Make a to-do list.
The “I believe in living prophets” changes to “We do and follow what the prophet says.” This builds testimonies. They don’t lose their testimony when they have questions because they have already gained it.
Class member: In our home General Conference is a ‘holiday’. We go shopping just for General Conference.
Class member: I mentioned to my daughter that the General Women’s Conference was this weekend and she said, “Yes! Conference is next weekend.”
General Conference issues should become as sacred to you as your scriptures. Use them. Write on them.
Class member: Type the quote and they have to find it in their Ensign during the week. Who said it and what the talk was that week. Don’t tell anyone and don’t look it up on the internet.
Class member: Make memes to print for the wall with Conference talks.
Elder Holland April 2003 “A Prayer for the Children”
“Nephi-like, might we ask ourselves what our children know? From us? Personally? Do our children know that we love the scriptures? Do they see us reading them and marking them and clinging to them in daily life? Have our children ever unexpectedly opened a closed door and found us on our knees in prayer? Have they heard us not only pray with them but also pray for them out of nothing more than sheer parental love? Do our children know we believe in fasting as something more than an obligatory first-Sunday-of-the-month hardship? Do they know that we have fasted for them and for their future on days about which they knew nothing? Do they know we love being in the temple, not least because it provides a bond to them that neither death nor the legions of hell can break? Do they know we love and sustain local and general leaders, imperfect as they are, for their willingness to accept callings they did not seek in order to preserve a standard of righteousness they did not create? Do those children know that we love God with all our heart and that we long to see the face—and fall at the feet—of His Only Begotten Son? I pray that they know this.”