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FHE: Agency

Shauna Gibby - January 30, 2012

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One of the greatest gifts our Heavenly Father has given us is the power to choose. With that power, we show Him what our hearts really desire.

Conference Talk:
For more information on this topic read “Choose Eternal Life,” by Elder Randall K. Bennett, Ensign, Nov 2011, 98.

Thought:
In reality we have only two eternal choices, each with eternal consequences: choose to follow the Savior of the world and thus choose eternal life with our Heavenly Father or choose to follow the world and thus choose to separate ourselves from Heavenly Father eternally.

We cannot successfully choose both the safety of righteousness and the dangers of worldliness.

(Elder Randall K. Bennett, “Choose Eternal Life,” Ensign, Nov 2011, 98.)

Song:
“I’m Trying to Be like Jesus,” Children’s Songbook, p. 78.

Scripture:
Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

(2 Nephi 2:27)

Lesson:
Draw a line down the middle of a large sheet of paper or poster board. Have your family read Alma 29:4–5 and find the opposites contained in the verses. List one word on the left side of the board and its opposite on the right side of the board. When finished, the board might look something like the chart below:

Life | Death
|
Salvation | Destruction
|
Good | Evil
|
Joy | Remorse of conscience

Ask your family which list they would rather have and why. What would they be willing to do to enjoy those things?

Look again at Alma 29:4–5 and underline phrases showing that God allows us to have what we want (for example, “he granteth unto men according to their desire”; “he allotteth unto men . . . according to their wills”; “it is given according to his desires”). Ask:

• How might knowing that the Lord “granteth unto men according to their desire” in this life affect our decisions for the future?
• What can we do to show the Lord that we want life and salvation more than death and destruction?

(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Book of Mormon, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2004], p. 196.)

Story:
by Bishop Robert L. Simpson

[One] night my high-school-age son persuaded me to sit down and watch the second half of a football game. I have always made it a policy that no sacrifice is too great for my boy. So we sat down and watched football. While watching this game, some facts became very apparent. In fact, it had gospel application and priesthood application.

I noticed, for example, that there were no shortcuts to the goal line. It was a hundred yards in both directions. I also noticed that the team that seemed to have had the most practice, that did the best planning, that executed their plays the best, and that had the best team attitude, was the team that made the most points.

I also noticed that when team members cooperated and helped one another, the team made the most yardage.

It was also obvious that when someone broke the rules, there was always a penalty imposed. It sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it? In talking about this to my boy, he said, “Fifteen yards is nothing; but, Dad, when you ground me for three days, that is too much.”

We also noticed that no one was allowed to make up his own rules as the game progressed. They all lost their free agency to do that when they agreed to join the team and play according to the established rules.

And last but not least, I noticed when it was all over, the winning team was a lot happier than the team that lost.

Now brethren, we believe that “men are, that they might have joy”; and joy can best come as we obtain victory in the game of life, played according to the only acceptable rules—those set down by our Heavenly Father.

(Leon R. Hartshorn, Outstanding Stories by General Authorities, vol. 2, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1971].)

Activity:
Seat everyone in a circle. Position one person with a thimbleful of water in the center of the circle. The person in the center picks a category that has a limited number of items in it. For example: states, plays of Shakespeare, names of those in the room, U.S. Presidents, units of English measure, countries in Europe, and so on. He then secretly writes down one item in the category.

As the person in the center moves from one person to the next, those seated have to name one of the items in the category. Items may not be repeated.

When a person names the written item, the person in the center throws the thimbleful of water into the face of that person. People also get splashed if they name an item already mentioned. The person who is splashed trades places with the person in the center, and the game continues with a new category.

(George and Jeane Chipman, Games! Games! Games!, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 1983], p. 44.)

Refreshment
Crispy Taquitos

12 sticks sharp cheddar cheese
24 10-inch flour tortillas
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each cheese stick in half lengthwise to make 2 thin sticks. Place 1 thin stick on edge of each tortilla; roll tortilla tightly around cheese. Brush edge of tortilla with water to seal. Press to seal. Repeat with remaining cheese and tortillas. Place taquitos, seam sides down, on cookie sheet. Brush each lightly with oil. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until edges of tortillas are golden brown and cheese is melted.

Serves 6.

(Jill McKenzie, 52 Weeks of Proven Recipes for Picky Kids, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2008], p. 116.)

To get the PDF version of this lesson, click here

© LDS Living, 2012.
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