Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Trials Make Us Stronger FHE Lesson

It's been a while since I posted a lesson here, but I wanted to take this opportunity to check in and share this new lesson that is very applicable to our lives right now.  I don't know how many of you check in on my family blog,  but on January 10th our oldest son (16) was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia (AML) and he has spent almost every day since then in the hospital undergoing heavy duty chemo.   To say that it's been a challenging year so far would be an understatement and I hope you'll understand why I am often unable to respond to my emails right now.    He is currently in his third round of chemo and so far is responding well to treatment, but with as aggressive as it is, we potentially still have a long road in front of us.  We have felt God's love and support through this trial and this family home evening lesson was very meaningful to us.   We especially enjoyed the visualization of the paper airplane object lesson. 

Lesson by Donna Cummings, Digitized by Lara Goold

Suggested Songs:

"Dare to Do Right,"  Children's songbook, page 158
"Quickly I'll Obey," Children's Songbook, page 197
"Seek the Lord Early,"  Children's Songbook, page 108

Lesson Purpose:  To help family members realize the importance of opposition and adversity in our lives. 

1.  Prepare word strips with the following words:  Day, Night, Freedom, Captivity, Dark, Light, Little, Big, Up, Down, Create, Destroy, Mother, Father, Righteousness, Wickedness, Sister, Brother, Sorrow, Joy, True, False
2.  Gather paper for paper airplanes.  You may also want to practice folding a few paper airplanes prior to the start of FHE. (for object lesson).  Here's a website with some cool airplane patterns. 
3.  Prayerfully study 2 Nephi 2:11-30
4.  Prayerfully study Doctrine and Covenants 122


LESSON:   Display the word strips randomly on the floor or table.  Have family members take turns finding pairs of opposites. 

After the activity, read 2 Nephi 2:11 and share with your family the thoughts and feelings you had as you studied the verses previously.  Be sure to point out the fact that opposition was present even in the beginning (verse 15).  Explain that in order for us to have free agency, both good and evil has to exist (verse 16).  Discuss verses 22-25 to help your family understand that opposition is essential in order for Heavenly Father's plan to be fulfilled.  Conclude the discussion by reading verse 27 and emphasizing the fact that we are free to choose for ourselves between good (liberty) and evil (captivity).   

Show this picture of Joseph Smith.  
(click to make larger and print or right click to copy and paste into a word document, so you can change the size)

Discuss:  Opposition can also make us stronger.and relate the story of Joseph Smith found in D&C 122.  Explain that according to the Lord, every trial he endured was for his own good and gave him experience.  God was always with him and will remain with him forever. 

The trials we face in our lives may be different than Joseph Smith's, but they are for our own good and give us experience.  God will likewise, be with us as we seek him. 

OBJECT LESSON:  To demonstrate how trials can actually make us stronger, hold up a flat piece of paper and try to make if "fly" through the air.  Point out how poorly the paper flies.  Now begin folding and creasing the paper into an airplane.  Explain as you fold the paper that each crease represents a trial (mention possible {or current} trials as you fold).  With each fold (trial) the paper becomes strong until eventually it can fly through the air gracefully.  Our lives are very similar.  Just like the folds make the paper stronger, trials make us stronger.  Some of our trials may seem at the time, but Heavenly Father is always mindful of us.  Each trial that we endure brings greater strength and experience into our lives. 

ACTIVITY:  Pass out paper to everyone and have fun making paper airplanes.  Have a contest to see whose plane flies the farthest, fastest, highest, etc. 


REFRESHMENTS:    Reese's Rice Krispy Treats formed into airplane shapes. 


Jill said...

So sorry to hear about your son. I hope he continues to improve. Your family shows a lot of faith and strength. I really appreciate all you've done on this blog. I use your FHE lessons often. Thank you.

Melanie said...

Thank you for all of your great FHE ideas- you have helped create many happy FHE memories for our family. God bless you and your family.

Danielle said...

I too have found your blog to be incredibly helpful for getting inspiration for FHE lessons. Thank you for sharing this very personal lesson with all of us. I am going to use it for a primary activity and I will be thinking about you and your family. Blessings to your son in particular, and to the rest of you lots of strength to help hold him up. I hope this turns out to be a trial he faced long ago in his happy, successful life.

Janis said...

What a great picture of your family. I have wondered how your son was doing, and I'm happy to see this picture and read your updates. Thanks for taking the time to share your FHE ideas with all of us.