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Family is everything. They may drive us crazy at times but they support us, accept our apologies, and understand us best. We spend countless hours laughing, crying, and working together. Family helps us define who we are. Do you take your family for granted or are you diligently keeping your relationships strong? Howard W. Hunter Chapter 17 discusses how we can preserve and protect the family, our family.
We need to protect the family in two ways. First we need to protect the Lord's definition of family. President Hunter stated, "The world's councils and deliberations will succeed only when they define the family as the Lord has revealed it to be." The word family has already been defined by the Lord. We don't need to rewrite it, we need to protect it.
Click the image above to print
Second, we need to protect our own families. What is coming into our homes? What kind of environment are we creating? We need to diligently strive to keep good relationships whether our family is all nearby or across the world. We need to do what is good and right for our families. How are you protecting yours?
- Use the Family Calendar (handout download above) in conjunction with the Weekly Family Agenda. I've found it's helpful to look a month at a glance then the week in more detail. Having a Family Council each week has improved our family life a ton.
- Use the blank house template above to really think about how you make your home holy. Each room has a purpose. Is it a holy one? I left 3 spots blank since our homes are all different.
- When talking about a holy home, ask the 3 questions in How Well Are You Guarding Your Nest?
- Discuss the various organizations within the church- Young Women's, Relief Society, Bishopric, etc. All of these are wonderful, however, the basic unit of the church is the family. Family is created in God's temples, supported through the church programs, and are eternally ours.
- I love the shields in this How Can I Strengthen My Family teaching packet from The Redheaded Hostess. You could incorporate these in your lesson as you talk about making each shield a part of your homes and families.
- Use the last free handout pictured above to discuss the proclamation in more detail. I divided the proclamation into several smaller points to discuss. Read each section, discuss what it means, how it impacts society, and what we can do to protect that principle. Use these for group work, ask a few people to plan something ahead of time for the class, or hand them out to the families so they can discuss in their own homes during dinners or Family Home Evenings.
- Get a beautiful free print of the Family Proclamation from In The Leafy Treetops.
- Study The Family: A Proclamation to the World in great detail with my 3 week study. You'll find more articles, video clips, and much more to help you.
- LDS Living has 9 Family Home Evening lessons based on the Family Proclamation. Read through them for extra thoughts and object lesson ideas.
- Start with a story of family going through crazy adventures just to get together for a couple days. Why do we put ourselves through such torture when we could talk on the phone instead? Because family is worth it. What is your family worth to you?
- Head to LDS.org and download a few of those short TV spots, called Homefronts. They are the ones that say, "Family. Isn't it about time?" Show a few to start or end your lesson.
- Discuss some little things that you do to preserve your family. One thing we've discovered is the bonding that occurs as we play family games or color together. Games allow us to support each other in small ways. Coloring allows us to quiet down and listen more to each other. Discuss more ideas with your class as well as how it helps.
- 4 more ideas in the video below. Join me for more teaching tips most Thursdays on my Facebook page.
Questions to Ponder
- Why is family important to you? Why not just surround yourselves with friends?
- What is the Church's responsibility to the family?
- How can you protect and strengthen your family?
- How can Mom and Dad partner together as the leadership of the home?
- How can parents become more united in raising their children?
- What can you do to resolve parenting differences with your spouse?
- How can you improve the "spiritual climate" of your home?
- In what ways can you build great unity and integrity within your family?
- How does family scripture study and family prayer bless your family?
- How might President Hunter's words in section 4 comfort parents of those who have strayed?
- How can you turn sorrow and pain into beneficial use?
- How can others help when children go astray?
- How can you make your home a "holy place"? What are some challenges you may face in doing this?
- What role do home and visiting teachers play in strengthening families?
- What are you doing to make love, prayer, and gospel teaching a part of your home?
- What benefits have you seen from having family councils?
- How can you measure your success as a parent?
Suggested Study Schedule
Remember to join our Private Facebook Group to discuss more ideas, videos, and articles.
Watch: Protect Our Nestlings (about 2 minutes)
Watch: Moments that Matter Most (about 3 minutes)
"What Matters Most Is What Lasts Longest" by Elder M. Russell Ballard "In today’s world, where Satan’s aggression against the family is so prevalent, parents must do all they can to fortify and defend their families."
"Defenders of the Family Proclamation" by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson "May I point out something obvious? Life rarely goes exactly according to plan for anyone, and we are very aware that not all women are experiencing what the proclamation describes. It is still important to understand and teach the Lord’s pattern and strive for the realization of that pattern the best we can."
"Eternal Families" by President Henry B. Eyring "Our priesthood obligation is to put our families and the families of those around us at the center of our concern."
"In Praise of Those Who Save" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf "As we emulate the Savior’s love, He will surely bless and prosper our righteous efforts to save our marriages and strengthen our families."
"The Importance of the Family" by Elder L. Tom Perry "We need to make our homes a place of refuge from the storm, which is increasing in intensity all about us. Even if the smallest openings are left unattended, negative influences can penetrate the very walls of our homes. Let me cite an example."
"In Our Lovely Deseret"- Hymn #307
"Teach Me to Walk in the Light"- Hymn #304
"Families Can Be Together Forever"- Hymn #300
"From Homes of Saints Glad Songs Arise"- Hymn #297
"Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth"- Hymn #298
"Love at Home"- Hymn #294
"Oh, What Songs of the Heart"- Hymn #286
"Up, Awake, Ye Defenders of Zion"- Hymn #248