Purpose: To teach children what they can do to help bring the Spirit to their home and help their family be happy.
Scripture: Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God. (Doctrine and Covenants 88:119)
Lesson: We have been told that our homes should be next to only the temple in sacredness. Use this lesson to help your family identify ways to bring more peace and love to your home.
Sister Kristen M. Oaks’s new children's book, My Home Can Be a Holy Place, follows a little girl as she talks about the different ways her family makes their home a special place, identifying the following topics as an important part of bringing the Spirit to your home. (If you do not have the book available to read together, simply list the following categories in a place where all family members can see them):
- Create a holy environment
- Hold family prayers
- Establish family traditions
- Work together
- Study the scriptures
- Respect priesthood power
- Eat meals together
- Exercise faith
- Unplug from the world
- Honor the Sabbath
- Hold FHE
- Share the gospel and your home with others
- Love one another
- Understand the importance of the temple
Talk about some or each of these topics with your family. Have each family member share one thing that they feel your family does a good job with in your home, and one thing they think your family could improve. Keep a list of both. Maybe your family is really good at finishing all of their assigned chores. Or maybe you all have a hard time turning off your phones and listening to one another.
After each member of the family has told one positive and one improvement category, go back through your improvement list and together pick one category that you can focus on as a family this week. Then talk about a way to achieve it. For example, if your family wants to do a better job of eating meals together, look at everyone’s schedules and pick a time to have dinner each week when everyone is at home. Or set a consistent dinner time with the expectation that other things will be scheduled around dinner.
If your family struggles with creating a holy environment, take a trip to the store and pick some new gospel art to hang on your walls, or give each child a 5X7 print of the Savior to hang on their mirror. If you need some extra incentive for a certain topic, you might even consider setting up a rewards system, such as a jar that family members can put a quarter in every time they stop an argument or complete a chore. Then use the money for a special family outing.
As you study and talk about the principles shared in the book, adapt them to your own family. As you do so, you can begin to make small steps towards making your home a peaceful, sacred refuge from the world.