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We all know what it’s like to be in an absolutely dark room. When electrical power is functioning, we simply flip a switch and we can once again see. But what about when life itself gets very dark? This lesson teaches about a profound gift God gives to help us in the darkest of times. Time for some FHE Fun!
Opening Prayer. By invitation.
Time to Celebrate. What happy moments did your loved ones have this past week? You might take one or two minutes at the beginning of each FHE to celebrate successes. This way your children will notice they do have strength sufficient to face challenges and to serve others.
Emergency Prep Minute. Just a little bit of weekly preparation can empower your children as they mature. What emergency tip could you share or work on with your family this week?
Favorite Scripture Time. When kids and adults share favorite verses or scripture stories, they help each other find joy in scripture reading. You could include a few moments at the beginning of each FHE to share any new “favorite” scriptures found the previous week. This brief devotional also helps bring the Spirit and helps settle the children for the lesson.
Activity. We offer a suggested FHE activity, but do feel free to choose what you feel is most suited to your family’s needs this week. And if you have young children, feel free to adapt. Enjoy this weekly time with your loved ones!
- Paper and pencil (for each person)
- Internet access
Before beginning the lesson, you may want to read the following quotes from the LDS.org website:
“Your patriarchal blessing will see you through the darkest night. It will guide you through life’s dangers.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Your Patriarchal Blessing: A Liahona of Light,” October 1986 General Conference
“[Jesus Christ’s] Church provides patriarchal blessings to give each recipient a vision for his or her future as well as a connection with the past, even a declaration of lineage back to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” (Russell M. Nelson, “Covenants,” October 2011 General Conference https://apps.lds.org/pbrequest/#/)
Ask the family what “patriarchal blessings” really are. After family members share, invite them to prepare to draw a picture of each of the different stories that President Monson shared in 1986 when he was Second Counselor in the First Presidency. Pass out a piece of paper and a pencil (or crayons) to each person. Play the video of President Monson’s talk. (You may want to point out each of the stories as they are mentioned.)
Discussion Points after the Video is Finished:
As you lead the following discussion based on President Monson’s remarks, you may want to appoint a family scribe to record in a family journal the valuable thoughts shared:
- What has the Lord prepared for us that is rare, priceless, and will chart our course to safe passage to our heavenly home?
- Who may have a patriarchal blessing?
- What must happen for those promised blessings to occur?
- What kind of men are patriarchs?
- True or False: Blessings promised in patriarchal blessings can occur either in this life or in the next. (True)
- Why is patience required “as we watch, wait, and work for a promised blessing to be fulfilled”?
Handbook 2 states: “Each patriarchal blessing is sacred, confidential, and personal.” Further, “Church members should not compare blessings and should not share them except with close family members. Patriarchal blessings should not be read in Church meetings or other public gatherings” (20.12.2). They should not be distributed or shared through electronic means such as FamilySearch, social media, websites, or blogs.
“Your patriarchal blessing is your passport to peace in this life. It is a Liahona of light to guide you unerringly to your heavenly home.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Your Patriarchal Blessing: A Liahona of Light,” October 1986 General Conference)
What is a goal your family would like to set this week to explore these profound principles of strength and peace that come from understanding the value of patriarchal blessings? Is there a family ancestor for whom you could obtain their patriarchal blessing to study and learn from?
Closing Prayer. By invitation.
Refreshments. These Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods would make for a fun FHE-themed treat as you discuss the power of a staff that supports a mountain climber who sometimes must navigate tricky paths. Our patriarchal blessings can be the same for us; they can support and steady us as we make our way through life’s tricky turns.
Topics: “Patriarchal Blessings,” LDS.org
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
A family’s finest hour is when it stands united. As parents, it is imperative we gently offer a steady beacon of love and guidance, so that our children will want to be part of that unified family unit. When we build upon the gospel of Jesus Christ, as parents seeking to obey His commandments with exactness and integrity, He will aid us in building an eternal family.
In fact, one of the family’s finest hours each week could very well be during Family Home Evening. Put all those “finest hours” together and you have created a powerful family — one that lasts unitedly throughout the eternities!
C.S. Bezas obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Communications with an emphasis in training programs and human resource development. She earned her Master’s in Adult/Organizational Learning and Leadership with a focus on using transformative learning in dealing with life’s challenges. She is the author of Powerful Tips for Powerful Teachers and the creator of soothing-music found at CSBezasMusic.com. She and her husband have four children.