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FHE: Happiness

FHE: Happiness

Conference Talk:

For more information on this topic read "Happiness, Your Heritage", by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Ensign, Nov. 2008, 117–20.

Thought:

Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Happiness, Your Heritage", Ensign, Nov. 2008, 117–20.)

Song:

“If You’re Happy and You Know It,” Children’s Songbook, p. 266

Scripture:

And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it. (Mosiah 2:41)

Lesson:

Explain that the scripture Doctrine and Covenants 61:36-37 gives us two reasons why we should be happy (be of good cheer). Before turning to the scripture, have the family guess what these reasons are. They will probably give many reasons for being happy. Agree, but do not, at this point, tell them whether or not they have guessed the reasons given in the scripture.

When they are through guessing, tell them to turn to the scripture to see if they guessed the reasons given there. The two reasons given are wonderful ones that we sometimes don’t think about. Discuss the two reasons with the family. Some of the following ideas my be helpful:

1. Jesus is in our midst; that is, he is with us and has not given up on us. Sometimes, when we are experiencing bad times or facing difficult decisions, we may feel alone, but this scripture gives us hope. Jesus can give us comfort and direct us if we accept his help and reach out to him. He is already reaching out to us.

2. Jesus promises us the blessing of the kingdom if we humble ourselves and follow his teachings and promptings. Even though we may have problems to deal with here, he wants us to look ahead to the blessings available to us in this life and in the hereafter, and he wants us to be of good cheer.

(Allan K. Burgess and Max H. Molgard, Fun For Family Night: Book Two, Church History Edition, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992], p. 183.)

Activity:

Give each family member a pencil or pen and a piece of paper.

Turn out the lights and have all family members close their eyes. Tell them that peeking will not be allowed.

Have everyone draw a picture of a beautiful lake with mountains in the background and trees around the edge of the lake. Tell everyone to draw a boat on the lake with members of your family in it. Tell them to do the best they can with their eyes closed.

When they are finished, turn the lights on and have them share their handiwork. Chances are the pictures will be barely recognizable.

Have them turn their papers over and draw the same picture again, this time with the lights on and their eyes open. Compare these to the first drawing.

Tell the family that drawing in the dark is like trying to go through life without the help of the light and direction that Jesus gives us. He wants us to be happy now and enjoy life in spite of the difficulties that we face.

(Allan K. Burgess and Max H. Molgard, Fun For Family Night: Book Two, Church History Edition, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992], p. 183.)

Story:

I’ve been thinking about laughter.

I think it’s in the Reader’s Digest that they call laughter “the best medicine.” Have you had times when a good laugh did make you feel like you’d had a dose of needed medicine? Do you ever hear or see or read or experience something and wish you could laugh even harder than you do? I probably feel that way too often, but I can't really explain what I mean. I just know I love to laugh.

One winter’s morning during a snowstorm I took my mother to the lab for some blood tests. We had to drive about twenty-six miles round-trip, and it was “white knuckle” driving for sure. We saw a bunch of “fender-benders”--accidents where no one was seriously injured but a whole lot of people sure had their day ruined. We were headed home and going around a corner very slowly. I would estimate we were going one mile an hour, if that. The car hit black ice, and slowly we headed for the curb and hit it with a “thunk!"

I asked Mom instantly, “Are you okay?” She said she was. I got the car away from the curb and we continued cautiously and slowly up the road. Then I said, in an oh-so-sarcastic kind of way, “So I suppose you’re going to sue me for whiplash . . .” Instantly she jumped in with some moaning, holding her neck. “Oh . . . ohhhhh . . . oh, my neck hurts . . . oh, I can’t move my head . . . oh dear, I have to call . . .” and she tried to say the name of one of the lawyers who advertises on TV that you should contact them in the event of an accident. It was so spontaneous and so hilarious that we both laughed until we were screaming unbecomingly. We eventually came up for air, but Mom kept the fun going for several days, calling me the next morning and moaning and whining about her whiplash the minute I answered.

Often, laughter is the shortest distance between two people, including two people who don’t have a common spoken language. And it can be like a needed break, a tiny vacation even.

I grew up in a home where there was happiness and laughter. We now just have to give the “punch lines” to get the laughter started at jokes and experiences that go way, way back. Try saying “It’s either a skunk or a weasel!” to someone in my family and see what happens!

Lighten your day by thinking about your own “family funnies.” This will really lift your spirits.

(Mary Ellen Edmunds, MEE Thinks [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2004], p. 20.)

This favorite FHE lesson was originally written by Shauna Gibby and published on LDS Living in January 2011.
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