The gospel means “good news,” which means members of the Church should be the happiest people around! Our lives are full of and centered on learning and sharing good news. We have the scriptures and living prophets to teach us the fullness of the gospel and how to live it better each day.
This year, the Relief Society and Priesthood manuals will focus on the life and teachings of President Howard W. Hunter. Though he served for less than a year as President of the Church, his influence and testimony have been far-reaching.
However, going to Priesthood and Relief Society is only part of the learning process! It takes a little effort on our part as well. Here are 8 easy ways to help make the teachings of President Howard W. Hunter a little more meaningful this year.
1. Apply what you learn
You can study, or even memorize, each lesson in the manual, but that won’t mean anything unless you actually apply the principles to your daily life. Find one specific change you can make each week. Challenge yourself to improve. Let the Spirit change your heart. Each lesson offers suggestions to help you stretch yourself and take meaningful action, so do it. That’s the whole point of studying the scriptures!
2. Make use of fun artwork
Beautiful artwork can touch your heart in a way that words alone cannot. Hang one of the pictures from the week’s lesson somewhere in your home where you will see it. Remember the principles taught, as well as your commitment to change. If you don’t have access to a paper copy, why not change your phone or computer screen saver to one of the handy memes or wallpapers the Church has created for each lesson? (Access these memes and pictures on the Church’s website here.)
If you want to make a more long-term investment for your family’s FHE lessons, purchase a Gospel Art Book from Church Distribution, which has over 130 pictures and a useful index that connects each image to the scriptures.
3. Try adding a little music
Music can effectively invite the Spirit almost better than anything else. So why not try finding a hymn that corresponds to each lesson’s theme that you can sing and memorize with your family during the week? You could start learning it for Family Home Evening and keep it in mind throughout the week. This is not only a great way to start thinking about next week’s lesson but also a way to help your children start learning the hymns we sing in sacrament meeting.
4. Use quotes posted around the house
Quotes from Church leaders can be used to inspire the mind and uplift the heart. Hang or write a quote from one of the lessons somewhere in your home so you and your family can read or memorize it during the week. It can be as simple as writing it on a whiteboard, or posting it on a sticky note somewhere where the entire family sees it regularly.
5. Come up with object lessons
The Savior often used physical objects that were familiar to His listeners to illustrate simple principles. Involve your family in your study of the lesson by inviting them to find an object to set out on a counter or somewhere in your home that will remind you all of each week’s lesson. For example, you could fill a jar with kind words for each other during lesson 17 about the importance of family. Get creative and introduce the topic at each week’s Family Home Evening to see what your family can come up with!
6. Watch videos with your family
The Church has some excellent videos that can be used to introduce each week’s lesson topic. Watch them as a family for FHE, or just as a quite Sabbath activity. And the best part of these videos is you don’t have to do a thing to prepare—just sit back and enjoy! After you watch them, discuss them with family members and use it as a learning opportunity.
A fantastic series of videos that is available online is called “The Life of Jesus Christ Bible videos.” You can find them here. Or check out Mormon Messages and LDS Public Affairs on YouTube for more options.
7. Learn your scripture mastery
There’s nothing more comforting than having inspired words from the scriptures come to our minds exactly when we need them most. But, often these touching moments don’t come by chance—they come from our effort. That’s why learning scripture mastery is so important. As you learn this inspired set of scriptures, you can begin to make more connections as you study the Priesthood/Relief Society for the week and remember different principles. Plus, if you have teenagers in seminary, you can grow closer to them by helping each other memorize the Lord’s chosen words. For fun and great scripture mastery activities, check out the Church’s seminary manuals and resources here.
8. Study Preach My Gospel
The Church is currently experiencing a wonderful wave of missionaries as the Lord hastens His work. But, missionaries aren’t the only ones spreading the good word. Thanks to technology and social media, the world is becoming more and more aware of Mormons, and this gives Church members a chance to share their faith like never before. That’s why it’s important for every member to read Preach My Gospel.
Many of the sections within Preach My Gospel correspond perfectly with this year’s Relief Society and Priesthood lessons. Each week, read those sections together as a family and consider how they relate to your life, as well as missionary work.
Studying this year’s Relief Society and Priesthood manuals will help you turn to Christ each day, not just on Sundays.
Not only should we read the scriptures and have a meaningful gospel study plan, but we need to feast on the scriptures and the words of the Prophets. The 2016 course for studying the words of President Howard W. Hunter can serve as helpful tools to help you dive even deeper and get even more from your time at church!
For more helpful insights from Trina Boice, check out Ready Resource for Relief Society 2016: Presidents of the Church – Howard W. Hunter.