For more information on this topic read "Unselfish Service," by Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, May 2009, 93-96.
"[There is an] eternal principle that we are happier and more fulfilled when we act and serve for what we give, not for what we get."
(Dallin H. Oaks, "Unselfish Service," Ensign, May 2009, 93-96.)
"Shine On," Children's Songbook, p. 144.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)
Tell your family they are going to do an activity called "It's New To Me." Divide your family into pairs. Have them silently read D&C 56:14-20 and find something they didn't know before. Have each pair tell each other what was "new" to them. Then ask each person to share what his or her partner said with the rest of the family. After everyone has finished, ask:
- What does it mean to "counsel in your own ways"? (To do what you want rather than what God has commanded.)
- Why do we sometimes do what we want rather than what God wants?
- Why does the Lord chasten the rich in verse 16?
- What is a "canker sore" and how does it feel?
- How can riches cause spiritual "canker sores" on our souls? (Verse 16.)
- Why do you think some rich people refuse to help the poor?
- What are some reasons the Lord chastens the poor in verse 17?
- Why do people steal?
- What does verse 18 say the poor need to do to receive the Lord's blessings?
- What are ways we as a family can help those in need? (Fast offerings, humanitarian aid, Perpetual Education Fund, local charities.)
- How was Joseph Smith an example of what is taught in D&C 56:14–20?
- What did you learn from this story?
Andrew Workman, an acquaintance of Joseph Smith, shared the following story:
"I was at Joseph's house; he was there, and several men were sitting on the fence. Joseph came out and spoke to us all. Pretty soon a man came up and said that a poor brother who lived out some distance from town had had his house burned down the night before. Nearly all of the men said they felt sorry for the man. Joseph put his hand in his pocket, took out five dollars and said, 'I feel sorry for this brother to the amount of five dollars; how much do you all feel sorry?' "
(Jack M. Lyon, Linda Ririe Gundry, and Jay A. Parry, eds., Best-Loved Stories of the LDS People, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997], 405-6.)
Have each member of the family write on a piece of paper some act of kindness he may perform for someone else and sign his name. Put the papers in a box and pass the box around the family as music plays. When the music stops the person holding the box takes a paper from the box. He will then receive the kindness written on the paper.
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup your favorite jam
(Hollee Eckman and Heather Higgins, All That Jam, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2003], p. 57.)