FHE: Being an Example

Conference Talk:

For more information on this topic read "Now Let Us Rejoice," by Barbara Thompson, Ensign, Nov 2008, 114–16.

Thought:

We need to live so that our lives bear witness that we love our Heavenly Father and the Savior Jesus Christ and that we will do what They have asked us to do.

(Barbara Thompson, "Now Let Us Rejoice," Ensign, Nov 2008, 114-16.)

Song:

"Do As I'm Doing" Children's Songbook, p. 270.

Scripture:

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. (John 13:15)

Lesson:

Have a family member read aloud Alma 39:11 and tell how Corianton’s bad example affected the Zoramites. Ask them why it is important that we set a good example. Invite family members to share any examples they know of where the behavior of a Church member helped someone gain a testimony of the gospel. Ask how they think it would make them feel if someone rejected the gospel because of their bad example. How do you think you would feel if someone joined the Church because of your good example? Read together D&C 18:10-16 and then bear your testimony of the joy that comes from being a good example to others.

(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Book of Mormon, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003], p. 212.)

Story:

Elder Howard W. Hunter

Several years ago a young man came to my home to be interviewed for a temple recommend. He told me of the lovely girl who had consented to be his bride. I knew his parents were not members of the Church, and this fact led to our conversation. I asked him what had come about in his life to cause him to be interested in the Church and to influence him to accept the gospel and live its precepts. This is the story he told me.

Five years before this night we sat together, a little thing happened in his life - a simple thing, yet so extraordinary that it changed his course. He had been serving in the armed services and had been sent to a university in the East for some specialized training, along with two other young men.

The three of them traveled together on the flight which took them to their destination, and on their arrival they went through the procedure of registration and then were assigned to quarters. They were to room together.

He said that during the time they had traveled neither of these companions smoked, and he did not smoke because of his respect for them.

After the three became acquainted with their new quarters they drew straws for beds and then unpacked their cases. Although they were not well acquainted, they spent the evening chatting about their ambitions and their goals in life.

It was past the hour for a reasonable bedtime, and all evening he had been suppressing the desire for a cigarette. He finally suggested that they go to bed. The other two looked at each other, and then one of them said, "Shall we have prayer together before we go to bed?" Then to the other he added, "Will you speak for us tonight?" The two of them dropped to their knees, just as though they had done this all of their lives.

He said to me, "I was somewhat bewildered, but I followed their pattern and got on my knees." And as he did so, some strange fear came over him. He said to me, "I had never prayed in my life, but as this young man spoke to the Lord some warm feeling came over me - a feeling I had never experienced before."

They were soon on their feet, shook hands, and said good night to each other. In a few minutes they were in bed and the lights were out, but sleep did not come to this young man. Something had happened to him while he was on his knees, and he determined to find out what made these two young men different from other men he had known.

These three servicemen went to school the next day and, because of their heavy assignments, spent the evening in quiet study, followed by the chitchat that preceded bedtime. Then it happened again - the same thing that had happened the night before. On this occasion the one who offered the words of thanksgiving and petitioned for the blessings of the Lord was the other of the two.

As the lights went out, one of them said to my friend, "It'll be your turn tomorrow night." For the second night sleep did not come quickly. The thoughts of the words which had been spoken puzzled him for some little time, and he wondered if he would ever be able to express himself on his knees as had been done by the other two.

The next day in the classroom the assignment of that evening kept coming back to his mind. He had the same feeling he had had on many occasions in track meets when he was toeing the line in that tense moment just before the gun that challenged every ounce of strength.

He wondered about this fear that had come over him. In high school he had been a student body officer. For two years he had been a member of the debating team. Public speaking was not new to him, but this was different.

That evening, dinner was over and the three were studying, but it was difficult for him to keep his mind on the subject. He kept thinking of those few moments that would end the day. Then it came. All the courage he had mustered that day seemed to disappear from him and he said to the other two, "I guess I don't have much religion. One of you had better do this."

One of these young men, who had seen the same thing happen so many times during the two years prior to his military service, said to him, "Prayer is just a matter of thanking your Heavenly Father for the blessings you have received and asking him for the blessings you desire. It is just that simple."

With this encouragement he got on his knees and prayed - the first time in his whole life.

For the next few weeks, every third night he took his turn and expressed appreciation for the things that the Lord had given to them and asked for that which they desired.

Then he went with the other two young men to the branch of the Church in the mission where they were attending school. Finally a period was set aside each night for a little discussion in which they taught him the gospel.

Then came the decision and the day he described as the greatest day of his life. One of these young men baptized him and the other confirmed him a member of the Church.

They were soon separated after this brief time in school. He finished his military training, filled a mission for two years, and then met this lovely girl who was now to become his companion for eternity.

It all started from a prayer that night. Prayer has changed many lives. It has had an effect on our lives, both yours and mine. Prayer is that which brings us in close communion with God.

(Leon R. Hartshorn, Outstanding Stories by General Authorities, Vol. 1, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1970].)

Activity:

One person hold an object hidden in his hand and as he describes it the other players have to draw a picture of it.

Gospel application: Seeing something makes it easier to copy. Having an example to follow makes it easier to do what is right (or wrong).

(Alma Heaton, The LDS Game Book, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1968], p. 51.)

Refreshment

Chocolate Crunch

  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups Dream Whip
  • 2 5 1/2-ounce instant packages chocolate pudding mix
  • 5 1/3 cups milk
  • Whipped topping
  • Maraschino cherry

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together margarine and brown sugar. Mix in flour and nuts. Press into a 9 x 13-inch dripper pan and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese to soften. Add powdered sugar and cream together until smooth. Whip Dream Whip according to package directions and fold into cream cheese mixture. Spread mixture over top of cooled crust and chill for 20 to 30 minutes.

Mix together pudding mix and milk in a large bowl. Whisk with a wire whisk until mix is dissolved. Allow to thicken slightly. Pour pudding mixture on top of chilled cream cheese mixture. Chill until firm. Cut in 24 pieces. Garnish with whipped topping and a cherry.

(Lion House Desserts, [Salt Lake City: Eagle Gate, 2000], p. 51.)

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