FHE: Priorities

Shauna Gibby - July 29, 2011

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How can we learn to tune out less important things and give attention to the things the matter most?

Conference Talk:

For more information on this topic read “Desire,” by Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, May 2011, 42.

Thought:

Readjusting our desires to give highest priority to the things of eternity is not easy. We are all tempted to desire that worldly quartet of property, prominence, pride, and power. We might desire these, but we should not fix them as our highest priorities.

(Dallin H. Oaks, “Desire,” Ensign, May 2011, 42.)

Song:

“Seek the Lord Early,” Children’s Songbook, p. 108.

Scripture:

Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given. (Doctrine and Covenants 46:8)

Lesson:

Have your family look for reasons William Marks and Newel K. Whitney had tarried in Kirtland as you read together D&C 117:1–9. Discuss these questions:

• Which of the Ten Commandments is spoken of in verses 4 and 8? (Thou shalt not covet.)

• What was the object of their covetous desires? (Property—see verse 4.)

• What do you think is the “drop” and what might be “more weighty matters”? (See verse 8.)

Share the following description about verse 8 from Elder John B. Dickson of the Seventy.

“As we examine a drop of water, we observe that it is not permanent and will evaporate. In this case, the men’s personal property was important by their standard of measure but was temporary in the sense that it was earthbound and could not pass through the veil with them as they departed this short mortal life.

“In our day, the dwellings we live in are extremely important in most of our social situations. They should be well-kept, comfortable places where our family can be drawn around us, but we need to realize that as we leave this life we cannot take them with us. The same could be said about our automobiles, computers, jewelry, televisions, and thousands of other earthly possessions. As much as we enjoy them and need many of them, they will stay here, remain temporary, and are but a drop when considered from an eternal perspective.

“Our children must be taught that the ‘more weighty matters’ help them qualify for and ultimately enjoy eternal blessings. While there is nothing wrong with certain possessions and wealth, righteously attained and handled, we must teach our children that the weighty matters include the gospel of Jesus Christ, His Atonement, the family, the priesthood, Christlike attributes, knowledge, and gospel ordinances and covenants.

“We need to teach them never to give up eternal blessings in pursuit of the temporary things of the world. . . . We must teach our children never to give up those things that matter most in pursuit of those things that matter least.” (Ensign, September 2003, 12.)

Discuss with your family what family priorities may need to be altered in light of Elder Dickson’s advice.

(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Doctrine and Covenants, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2004], p. 204.)

Story:

Let’s talk about some of the consequences of seeing yourself first, foremost, and always as a Christian. The first consequence is that the juggling stops. If you think of all your tasks, jobs, and roles as balls that you somehow have to keep in the air, then your religious service is just another ball to add. Sooner or later, you’re going to drop the balls, because no one can juggle forever. But if you are a Christian, then that is your permanent identity and everything else is temporary. Think of this example.

You dash into the grocery store to pick up some ice cream for supper. You’re a harried mom, a frantic shopper, eager to get in and get out. Other people are in your way—the person stocking the shelves, the people ahead of you in the checkout line, the checker. You’re even more frazzled when you reach the car.

But suppose you go in as a Christian disguised as a shopper. You see other people on your way to the ice cream, excuse yourself and smile when you reach past the person stocking the shelves, comment on the weather to the person standing in front of you at the checkout stand, and thank the checker who whisks the ice cream into a bag for you. You reach the car having had three very pleasant encounters and feeling good.

If we see every place, every job, every responsibility as an opportunity to be with another precious child of God who needs our ministry, the ministry we can bring as a Christian and as a disciple of Christ, then even a very busy schedule doesn’t feel like juggling any more. Something has taken the fragmentation out of it and given us a unified purpose.

(Chieko N. Okazaki, Aloha!, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1995].)

Activity:

Family members line up standing side-by-side, separated by the distance obtained when players stretch their arms sideways. Fingertips should touch between players. The first player in line takes and inflated balloon, and bats it towards the second person in line, who bats it to the third person, on down the line and back again. The only rule is this: once the players have taken their stance, they may not move their feet. If a balloon falls to the floor, or if someone moves his feet in an attempt to reach the balloon, the first person in line must run and get the balloon, and take it back to the starting line to begin again.

Refreshment

Mud slides

Pour milk into a 1-quart container with a tight-fitting lid. Add pudding mix, cover tightly, and shake vigorously at least 45 seconds; pour evenly into 6 glasses. Gently stir 2 cups of the cookie crumbs into whipped topping until blended. Spoon evenly over pudding in glasses; sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 6.

*You can also chill the pudding in glasses that have been set at a 45-degree angle in the refrigerator for a true mudslide effect.

(Jill McKenzie, 52 Weeks of Proven Recipes for Picky Kids, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2008], p. 6.)

Click here for the PDF of this lesson.

© LDS Living, 2011.

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