Thought: Moral discipline is the consistent exercise of agency to choose the right because it is right, even when it is hard. (D. Todd Christofferson, "Moral Discipline," Ensign, Nov 2009, 105-8.)
Song: "Choose the Right," Hymns, #239.
Scripture: For thus saith the scripture: Choose ye this day, whom ye will serve. (Alma 30:8)
Lesson: Ask your family what the consequences are for the following choices: Touching a hot stove with your bare hand.
Not paying your phone bill for several months.
Going to work late every day.
Write the following sentence on paper large enough for everyone to see and invite your family to rewrite that first situation by filling in the blank: "If you touch a hot stove, then ________."
Remind your family that often gospel principles fit that "if/then" format. It is a reminder that consequences are an important part of agency. Leviticus 26 contains the consequences for obedience and disobedience, and is written in an "if/then" format.
Turn to Leviticus 26:3-4 and ask your family to mark the words if and then. In the same manner, read Leviticus 26:14,16 and mark the words If and I also will. Read together Leviticus 26:3-12 and 14-28. Ask:
- What blessings are listed for obedience?
- What cursings come when we violate God's commandments?
- What do D&C 130:20-21 and 82:10 add to help us understand why this is so?
- How does understanding this principle make you feel?
- What do you believe the Lord specifically expects of you?
- What promises has He made to you?
- Do you believe He will keep those promises if you do what He expects?
(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2009], p. 60.)
Story: Elder Howard W. Hunter
I recall a young man in our stake when I served as a stake president. He traveled around with a crowd that thought it was smart to do things that were not right. On a few occasions he was caught in some minor violations.
One day I got a call from the police station and was told he was being held because of a traffic violation. He had been caught speeding, as he had on a few other occasions prior to this time. Knowing that the things he was doing might prevent him from going on a mission, he straightened up, and when he was nineteen years of age he received his call.
I shall never forget the talk we had when he returned. He told me that while he was in the mission field he had often thought of the trouble he had caused by the mistaken belief that the violation of little things was not important. But a great change had come into his life. He had come to the realization that there was no happiness or pleasure in violation of the law, whether it be God's law or whether it be the laws that society imposes upon us.
He said to me, "When I drive a car now and the speed limit is sixty miles an hour, I feel it is morally wrong to drive a single mile faster."
I was impressed by the great change that had come over this young man while he served on his mission and studied moral principles. How unfortunate it is that he had to learn his lesson the hard way, but what a great blessing comes when there is the realization that one cannot be in violation and feel good about that conduct.
(Leon R. Hartshorn, Outstanding Stories by General Authorities, vol. 3, [Salt Lake City, Deseret Book, 1974].)
Activity: Use tape or yard to draw a large circle on the floor. This is the den. Pick someone to be the werewolf and stay inside the den.
The object is for the other players to taunt the werewolf by daringly stepping into the den. If the werewolf bites (tags) someone who is completely or partially in the den, then he also becomes a werewolf and helps the first werewolf catch others. The last person caught becomes the werewolf for the next round of play.
(George and Jeane Chipman, Games! Games! Games!, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 1983], p. 58.)
Gospel application: When we choose to put ourselves in situations where we can be tempted, we will often get caught. We need to choose to stay far away from the things that are wrong.
Refreshment Cinnamon Chips
- 6 large flour tortillas
- 4 Tbs. sugar
- 1 Tbs. cinnamon
(Elaine Cannon, compiler, Five-Star Recipes from Well-Known Latter-day Saints, [Salt Lake City: Eagle Gate, 2002], p. 14.)