For more information on this topic read "Learning the Lessons of the Past," by M. Russell Ballard, Ensign, May 2009, 31-34.
As you look to your parents and others who have gone before you, you will find examples of faith, commitment, hard work, dedication, and sacrifice that you should strive to duplicate. It's hard to imagine a scenario in which it would not be worthwhile to consider and learn from the experience of others.
(M. Russell Ballard, "Learning the Lessons of the Past," Ensign, May 2009, 31-34.)
"Teach Me to Walk in the Light," Children's Songbook, p. 177.
And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake. (Genesis 30:27)
Hold up a few pictures of church leaders and/or older family members, such as some of the Apostles and grandparents. Ask the family what these people teach them about the gospel. Sing the song "Teach Me to Walk in the Light" and have family members listen for three things that teachers and parents can teach (walk in the light, pray, know). Compare these with the suggestions the family mentioned. Sing the song one more and have each family member count how many times they sing the words "teach me."
Express your belief that Heavenly Father gives us leaders and family members to teach us how to keep the commandments and we should be grateful to Heavenly Father for those who have the experience and knowledge to guide us.
(Virginia B. Cannon, Our Children's Songs, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992], p. 186.)
As we traveled by sailboat week after week, month after month, from island to island, we learned to rely on the winds and the currents of the usually friendly seas and especially on the love of our Father in Heaven.
On one occasion, we received word that a missionary was very ill on a somewhat distant island. The weather was threatening, but we felt responsible for the missionary's well-being. After prayer, we left to investigate the situation. Extra heavy seas slowed our progress, and it was late afternoon before we arrived. The missionary was indeed very ill. Fervent prayer was followed by a priesthood blessing, during which the impression came very strongly to get him back to the hospital on the main island, and to do it now!
The weather had deteriorated to the point of a small gale. The seas were raging, the clouds were thick, the wind was fierce, the hour was late, and the sun was sinking rapidly, betokening a long, black night ahead. But the impression was strong - "Get back now" - and we had learned to obey the all-important promptings of the Spirit.
Many on the island expressed concern, and we talked much about the darkness, the storm, and the formidable reef with its narrow opening to the harbor we would be attempting to gain. Some found reasons to stay behind. But soon eight persons - including an ill missionary, a very experienced captain, and a somewhat concerned district president, boarded the boat. The spiritually prompted voyage began.
No sooner had we committed ourselves to the open seas than the intensity of the storm seemed to increase sevenfold. The small gale became a major storm. As the sun sank below the horizon, bringing with it darkness and gloom, my spirit seemed to sink into the darkness of doubt and apprehension. The thick clouds and driving rain increased the blackness of our already dark universe. No stars. No moon.
As we rolled and tossed closer and closer to the reef, all eyes searched for the light that marked the opening - the only entry to our home. Where was it? The blackness of the night seemed to increase; the fierceness of the raging elements seemed to know no bounds. The rain slashed at our faces and tore at our eyes - eyes vainly searching for that life-giving light.
Then I heard the chilling sound of waves crashing and chewing against the reef! It was close - too close. Where was the light? Unless we entered the opening exactly, we would be smashed against the reef, ripped and torn by that thousand-toothed monster. It seemed that all the elements were savagely bent on our destruction. Our eyes strained against the blackness, but we could not see the light.
Some began to whimper, others to moan and cry, and one or two even to scream in hysteria. At the height of this panic, when others were pleading to turn to the left or to the right, when the tumultuous elements all but forced us to abandon life and hope, I looked at the captain - and there I saw the face of calmness, the ageless face of wisdom and experience, as his eyes penetrated the darkness ahead. Quietly, his weather-roughened lips parted, and without moving his fixed gaze and just perceptibly shifting the wheel, he breathed those life-giving words, "Ko e Maama e" ("There is the light!").
I could not see the light, but the captain could see it, and I knew he could see it. Those eyes long experienced in ocean travel were not fooled by the madness of the storm, nor were they influenced by the pleadings of those of lesser experience to turn to the left or to the right. He calmly guided us forward. On one great swell, we were hurled through the opening and into calmer waters.
The roaring of the reef was now behind us. Its plan of destruction had been foiled. We were in the protected harbor. We were home. Then, and only then, did we see through the darkness that one small light - exactly where the captain had said it was. Had we waited until we ourselves could see the light, we would have been dashed to pieces, shredded on the reef of unbelief. But trusting in those experienced eyes, we lived.
That night I learned this great lesson: there are those who, through years of experience and training and by virtue of special divine callings, can see further, better, and more clearly than we can. They can and will save us in those situations where serious injury or death - both spiritual and physical - would be upon us before we ourselves could see clearly.
(John H. Groberg, In the Eye of the Storm, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1993].)
Before Family Home Evening gather two sets of 10 to 15 small household items. Place them on two separate trays and cover with cloths. Give each person a piece of paper and a pencil. Display the objects on the first tray. Let everyone look at them for about one minute. Then, cover them up with the cloth and have each player write down as many of them as they can remember. Each player gets one point for each item they remember. Play again with the second tray, but this time have the family members team up with another person. Discuss how much easier it is when you have someone helping you.
Refreshment Fresh Peach Cobbler
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 cups sliced peaches (6 medium)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons shortening
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- Sweetened whipped cream, if desired
2. Cut shortening into flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, the baking powder and salt in medium bowl, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in milk. Drop dough by 6 spoonfuls onto hot peach mixture.
3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm with sweetened whipped cream.
(Betty Crocker's Sunday Dinner Cookbook, [Hoboken, NJ; Wiley Publishing and Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2007] p. 170.)