4838

FHE: Benevolence


Conference Talk:
For more information on this topic read “Remember This: Kindness Begins with Me,” by Mary N. Cook, Ensign, May 2011, 118

Thought:
Benevolent is a lovely word that we don’t hear very often. Its roots are Latin, and it means “to wish someone well.” To be benevolent is to be kind, well meaning, and charitable.

(Mary N. Cook, “Remember This: Kindness Begins with Me,” Ensign, May 2011, 118.)

Song:
“Kindness Begins with Me,” Children’s Songbook, p. 145.

Scripture:
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.

(Articles of Faith 1:13)

Lesson:
Materials Needed: Five pictures of Christ serving others (available at lds.org), such as: Jesus Healing the Blind, Sermon on the Mount, Christ and the Children, Boy Jesus in the Temple, Mary and Martha.

Procedure: Display the pictures of the Savior. Ask what Jesus was doing (helping, serving, loving, and so on). Point out that Jesus always helped in a kind way.

Explain that Jesus taught us to always show kindness. Being kind was one way Jesus showed love.

(Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson, Sharing Time, Family Time, Anytime: Book Two, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1994], p. 59.)

Story:
Statistics of Service
Laurie Hansen

The following is a letter to the editor I wrote expressing my deep gratitude for the many heroes who helped my family during a time of great trial. I also sent a personal copy to many of those mentioned in the letter. The love, prayers, and service we received showed me anew that, even though it sometimes appears that we live in a discouraging time of selfishness and narcissism, there is indeed hope for today’s world.

My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer eighteen months ago and died this month at the age of forty-four. I was unable to keep track of visits, phone calls, and many expressions of love. But I did write down many of the acts of kindness we received. One small act of kindness, which may seem insignificant or trivial by itself, when combined with many other such acts can mount up to immense support.

During the last eighteen months we received over 100 meals, 125 plates of treats or bakery goods, and over 500 cards or letters of good wishes. Approximately 270 people have donated money, 70 have given gifts, and over 300 people have contributed toward flowers. I have kept track of at least 375 kind acts involving time or labor. The people I work with donated over 130 hours of their own vacation time so that I could have more time with Greg, giving us the greatest gift they could: time together while he was alive. People we didn’t even know gave us a condominium in Hawaii for a week, and others gave us the money to finance the trip. A stay at a beach house, tickets to Disneyland, and airline tickets for our entire family, along with spending money to enjoy two full weeks in southern California were given last year so that our five daughters could enjoy their father while he still felt well. Use of a home in St. George was provided for several quick getaways. At the time Greg was diagnosed we were in the middle of building an addition on our home. Many came to help him complete the task he had started.

At times when I felt discouraged, someone would call, drop off a treat, or send just the right card. Baptists, Catholics, Episcopalians, Jews, Lutherans, Methodists, Mormons, Presbyterians, and many others offered prayers in our behalf. I figure that if every person who sent a card, meal, or treat also prayed once a day for us over the last eighteen months, it would amount to 396,575 prayers! In truth, I know there were more than five times that amount, for entire families, congregations, and prayer groups also prayed for us, many of them more than once a day.

I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. You have pulled me through hard times and instilled in me a love for mankind for which I will be forever grateful.

(Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson, Sharing Time, Family Time, Anytime: Book Two, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1994], p. 59.)

Activity:
Play spider’s web.

Props: A ball of string.

Procedure: Participants form a circle, with the first person in the circle holding a ball of string. Start by tossing the ball to a participant, holding onto the end of the string as you throw it. State something you appreciate about that person you throw the ball to. The appreciation can be about something that recently happened or about the other person in general. The ball then travels across the circle to each player with everyone holding onto a piece of the string once the ball is tossed. Once everyone is holding onto the string, it is criss-crossed throughout the circle. Explain how they are all connected to one another. The leader then uses scissors to cut through the string. Leave each person a piece of string in their hand to remind them of the love and connections they have with each other.

Refreshment
Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

1⁄2 cup butter-flavored shortening
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1⁄2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
11⁄4 cups flour
3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
3⁄4 cup strawberry or raspberry jam

Glaze
1⁄4 cup real butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cream shortening and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Add in peanut butter and combine. Mix in egg and vanilla.

3. Add flour in small amounts at a time while the mixer is running. When about half of the flour is left, whisk the baking soda and baking powder into it. Combine well and then add the remaining flour mixture to the dough mixture and mix until everything is incorporated.

4. Reserve one cup of the dough and set aside. Take the remaining dough and press it into the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13-inch pan. Spread jam evenly over the dough.

5. Crumble the reserved pieces of dough over the jam. You can also flatten small pieces into small discs and lay them over the jam. Some of the jam will still show through when you’re done and that’s fine.

6. Bake for 20–30 minutes. The top should be set and just barely golden brown. Don’t overcook. When done, remove from oven and cool on a rack. Wait until they are completely cooled to room temperature to glaze.

7. Mix all the glaze ingredients together and whisk until smooth. Spread over cooled bars. Let the glaze set a bit to harden and then cut the bars into squares or triangles.

(Sara Wells and Kate Jones, Our Best Bites, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2011], p. 214.)

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