We actually used this as a mini YW lesson to help the girls pass off a choice and accountability value experience, but as I was teaching it I thought that it would make for a great family home evening lesson for older kids and teens as well. A printable version of the handout can be found here.
Opening Song: Hymns #266, "The Time is Far Spent"
Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 3:1, Doctrine and Covenants 60:13, Article of Faith #13
Materials Needed: A clock, the video, and handout (click here to get it in a printable version)
Discussion: Imagine for a second that each and every day, your bank account is credited with $86,400. But at the end of each day the money disappears. What would you do?
You would try to use up every penny of it every day.
Show: Show them a clock and tell them that each and every day they are given exactly 86,400 seconds to use as we choose. We can't save them for another day. Once the seconds are passed, they are gone and it is up to us how we use them.
Discuss: According to studies, the average person spends 35-40 hours in front of a television or computer screen. That is an average of 5-6 hours (=18,000 seconds) per day, which equates to approximately 20% of every day. Think of what we could accomplish if we tried to cut that time down by half or fourth.
If you have a twenty-hour-a-week television habit and would repent and convert in into a gospel study habit, in one year you could read the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price, and the entire Bible. In addition, you could read Jesus the Christ, Gospel Principles, the Relief Society manual, Preach my Gospel, the Miracle of Forgiveness, and this would still leave you time to read the Ensign, New Era, and Friend each month. This is based on your ability to read only ten pages an hour.
paraphrased from Elder William Bradford
Video: Choose This Day (embedded below)
Recite Article of Faith #13 (emphasizing "seeking after praiseworthy pursuits"):
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
Discuss: What kinds of things qualify as "praiseworthy"? The answers could be reading scriptures, serving others, developing a talent, being a better friend, sharing the gospel, writing letters to grandparents or missionaries, helping a family member, staying caught up in school, doing family history, etc.
Conclude: Encourage students to try to prioritize their time in such a way that they can use a greater portion of their time each day in more praiseworthy pursuits. Bear your testimony of how you've been blessed as you've tried to use your 86,400 seconds each day more wisely.
Closing Song: Scripture Power