FHE: Gaining Experience

*Conference Talk:* For more information on this topic read "Special Experiences," by Ronald A. Rasband, Ensign, May 2008, 11-12. *Thought:* As experiences accumulate in our lives, they add strength and support to each other. Just as the building blocks of our homes support the rest of the structure, so too do our personal life experiences become building blocks for our testimonies. (Ronald A. Rasband, "Special Experiences," _Ensign_, May 2008, 11-12.) *Song:* "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man," _Children's Songbook_, p. 281. *Scripture:* And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. (Doctrine and Covenants 122:7) *Lesson:* 1. Divide the family into pairs. Younger children should be paired up with the older ones. 2. Explain to the family that they will have three minutes to make a list of things that are useless without something else. Give them the following examples: A lamp is useless without a light bulb; a pen is useless without ink; a car is useless without gas. 3. When the time is up, have each group share what they have written down. They score one point for each set and a bonus point if no one else has it. 4. Explain to the family that there are many things in the gospel that are useless without other things. Using the statements at the end of the lesson, have each group write down as many things as they can to fill in the blanks. They will have thirty seconds for each statement. 5. After the time is up, each team shares the things they have written down and how the one makes the other useful. They receive a point for each item and a bonus point if no one else has written the answer. 6. Explain to the family that, most important of all, we are useless without God and all of the things that he has given us. We should recognize God's hand in our lives and thank him for his help and the opportunities we have to grow and increase our testimonies. A body is useless without [_something_]. The scriptures are useless without [_something_]. Death is useless without [_something_]. A leader is useless without [_something_]. The priesthood is useless without [_something_]. Repentance is useless without [_something_]. The resurrection is useless without [_something_]. A prophet is useless without [_something_]. A blessing is useless without [_something_]. Faith is useless without [_something_]. A family is useless without [_something_]. Baptism is useless without [_something_]. A temple marriage is useless without [_something_]. You are useless without [_something_]. (Allan K. Burgess and Max H. Molgard, _The Best of Fun for Family Night_, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003], p. 49-50.) *Story:* The Lee family loved the gospel. They learned to listen always to the promptings of the Spirit. Several times this helped save Harold's life. One day Harold was standing in front of an open door watching a heavy storm. The lightning and thunder seemed to be very close. Suddenly his mother gave him a push that knocked him to the floor. At the same instant a bolt of lightning flashed down the chimney, across the room, and out the open doorway. Had Harold still been standing there, the lightning might have killed him. Harold was just a small boy when he had his first personal experience with listening and obeying the voice of the Spirit. One day he was playing outside while his father was busy doing farm work. Harold saw some old buildings on the other side of the neighbor's fence and decided to go play there. He pretended the buildings were old castles to explore. As he started to climb over the fence he heard very distinctly a voice saying, "Harold, don't go over there." Thinking the voice was his father's, he looked around, but he saw no one. Then he realized that he was being warned of unseen danger, so he returned to his own yard. When Harold was eight years old, his mother sent him to the pantry one day to get a can of lye so she could make soap. The shelf was high, and the can slipped out of his hands and spilled all over him. His mother quickly grabbed Harold so that he would not run, kicked a lid off a large vat of pickled beets, and poured cup after cup of the red vinegar juice all over him. This neutralized the lye so it would not burn him. When Harold was seventeen, he had pneumonia. His mother used a mustard plaster on him, but that did not work. Then she sliced a panful of onion and put them in an empty flour sack. The wet, juicy sack lay on his chest while she prayed. The next morning the crisis was over, and he was breathing well again. When Harold was in his teens, he cut an artery on a broken bottle in the fields. His mother was able to stop the bleeding, but the would later became infected. She burned a clean black stocking to ashes, opened the wound, and rubbed the ashes into it very carefully. The wound healed quickly. One night Harold's mother asked his father to go find him. She felt that something was wrong, and she was right. Harold's horse had thrown him into the stream. He was bruised and wet, but unhurt. (Lynda Cory Robison, _Boys Who Became Prophets_, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1982], p. 62-3.) *Activity:* Play "Secret Search." Hide an object somewhere in the room while everyone's eyes are closed. Tell what the object is and have everyone look for it. When someone finds the object, instead of saying anything, he keeps it secret, leaves the object where it is, and sits down. As each person finds the object, he also says nothing and sits down. The searchers need to watch those who sit down to help them learn where the object is. A person can sidetrack the other searchers by searching a little longer after he has found the hidden object. The last person to find the hidden object loses the game. (George and Jeane Chipman, _Games! Games! Games!_, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 1983], p. 39-40.) Explain that each person must gain their own testimony through their own experiences. No one else can "find" the truth for you. *Refreshment* _Paradise Cake_ * 1 11.5-ounce can mandarin oranges, with juice * 4 eggs * 1/2 cup vegetable oil * 1 package yellow pudding cake mix * 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, with juice * 1 3-ounce package vanilla instant pudding * 1 8-ounce carton frozen whipped topping, thawed Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. Combine mandarin oranges,including juice, with eggs and oil in a mixing bowl; beat well. Stir in cake mix and beat again until well mixed. Pour into greased baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Drain pineapple, reserving all but one-fourth of its juice. Make topping by mixing crushed pineapple and reserved juice, vanilla instant pudding, and whipped topping. Spread onto cooled cake in pan. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 12 to 16 servings. (_Lion House Christmas_, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2006], p. 97.)
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