Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Strong Foundation in Christ Creates Strong Families FHE Lesson

I talk about making life meaningful.  I believe in treasuring time with our families, and teaching our kids that we are all in this together.  As an LDS family, we believe that families can be together forever.  That family relationships continue after we die.  Every week we gather as a family and have a "family night" or Family Home Evening (FHE).  We talk, teach, play games, and have treats.  It's a great way to stay connected and teach vital lessons to our children.  One of the lessons I created is about having a strong foundation.  It's about building a strong foundation in the gospel of Jesus Christ which brings personal and family happiness as it leads us to the temple where we can be sealed together forever.  This family night lesson works great for teaching primary children at church too.  All you need is a some blocks (I used Jenga blocks), a temple figure or picture (or one of Jesus Christ), and your scriptures.

Strong Foundation in the Gospel = a Strong Family

*  Suggested Song: Families Can Be Together Forever (CS, 188 ); How Firm a Foundation (Hymn 85); The Wise Man and the Foolish Man (CS, 281)

*  Have someone read Helaman 5: 12 and/or Matthew 7:24-27.  Talk about what a foundation is for a house or a building.  If a foundation is not strong, the whole building will collapse when storms or problems hit.

*  From The Family: A Proclamation to the World read and discuss the following quotes.

"Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ."

"Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."

"Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."

*  Do the following activity:

1.  In advance of this lesson, prepare some blocks (preferably the same size) like Jenga blocks with words and phrases of good actions and choices pertaining to following Jesus and keeping the commandments.  I just typed out a quick list and then taped them on my Jenga blocks.  These can include many different things that your family is working on, for example:

Be honest                                           Follow the prophet
Read scriptures                                  Pay tithing
Pray daily                                          Dress modestly
Use clean words                                Repent of past sins
Keep Sabbath day holy                     Attend church
Speak kindly                                     Listen to the Holy Ghost

2.  As you start this activity during your lesson, divide out all the blocks among family members.  Explain you are going to build a strong family foundation (or personal foundation) for going to the temple someday as a family and/on your own.

3.  Take turns having each person come up and read the words on their blocks and build the foundation.  Build your blocks up just like you would for the original Jenga game.  Three blocks going one direction, and then the next three blocks going the other direction (as pictured).  Continue until all blocks have been used.

4.  Finally, place a temple figure, picture, or other religious-type statue or item on top of the tower of blocks.  Talk about how all these good choices and activities help us come closer to Christ and make it so we can someday enter the temple.  We have a strong foundation in Jesus Christ. 

5.  Now take out one block at the top.  Talk about what would happen if we quit doing that good choice.  For example, as shown, I pulled out "Pray Daily".  If we stop praying daily, does our foundation fall?  No.  But it has already started to weaken.  When we stop praying that leads us the stop making other good choices.

6.  Have family members come up one by one and take out of the blocks, like in the game Jenga.  Carefully poke them out, and read what each block says.  Talk about each choice and how not doing each of those good things makes our foundation weaker and weaker.

7.  Continue taking out blocks and see how many it takes to make the whole thing fall.   Emphasize the importance of good decisions and daily building our foundation in Christ so that we can someday go to the temple and stay strong in the gospel--otherwise, we will fall.

8.  If desired, build the foundation up again and talk about how each member of the family and the choices they make helps the family foundation in Christ become stronger.  Family unity is vital.  Each person is important.  Express hope to all go to the temple together someday as a family.  Bear testimony and express love for your family.

*I recently shared this over at Cranial Hiccups as part of the celebration of 20th Anniversary of The Proclamation of the Family

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