Learn more about God's providence - his love, his watchcare, his blessings - with a scripture, song, lesson idea, and story.
For more information on this topic, read “Thanks Be to God” by Russell M. Nelson (Ensign, May 2012, 7).
How much better it would be if all could be more aware of God’s providence and love and express that gratitude to Him. . . . Think of our physical sustenance. It is truly heaven-sent. The necessities of air, food, and water all come to us as gifts from a loving Heavenly Father. The earth was created to support our brief sojourn in mortality. We were born with a capacity to grow, love, marry, and form families. (Russell M. Nelson, “Thanks Be to God,” Ensign, May 2012, 77.)
“My Heavenly Father Loves Me,” Children’s Songbook, p. 228.
And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly. (Jacob 2:13)
Explain that providence means divine guidance or care. The Lord provides for and protects his children here on earth. Have family members read Mosiah 18:31–35 and discuss the following questions:
- How did King Noah finally discover Alma and his people?
- What was he going to do about them?
- How did Alma and his people escape?
Have your family mark the reference to Mosiah 23:1 in footnote a in Mosiah 18:34. Then have them turn to Mosiah 23:1 and look for who “apprised” Alma about the coming of Noah’s army. What does this teach us about the concern the Lord has for his people? If possible, share an experience your family has had where the Lord guided you or warned you to keep you from harm or danger.
(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Book of Mormon, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003], p. 137.)
One night [pioneer] Harriet Carter, who happened to be alone at the ranch except for her small children, was awakened by a terrible commotion out in the nearby corral. Cows were bellowing, calves bawling, and a most awful din broke the stillness of the night in the lonely ranch home. Accepting her responsibility as head of the house in the absence of any men folk, she struck a light, hastily dressed herself, and proceeded to investigate the cause of the trouble and disturbance.
As she hastily grabbed the heavy door, after warning the children to lie quiet until she returned, she found it held fast. Surprised but undismayed, she grabbed for the handle again, only to find that it would not budge an inch to her healthy grasp. Sensing that something was wrong, she quickly surveyed its surroundings to see if any heavy object could be holding it so tightly, but could find nothing whatever that should have prevented her from opening it as usual. A few more strenuous jerks, however, soon convinced her that she was locked tightly in the cabin, with no other openings large enough for her to get through. Stirred on by the uproar outside, she tried to peek through the tiny cracks, but only the blackness of the night met her anxious eye. After repeated attempts to open the fastened door, she finally gave up and went back to bed, after the bellowing and bawling had died down to an occasional snort of fear from one of the animals.
Awakening early, she at once dressed and upon going to the door, found that it yielded readily to her touch and swung silently inward on its hinges. Looking quickly around, she proceeded to the corral. There, to her surprise and horror, she found the fresh remains of a newly slain calf, surrounded by numerous cougar tracks. So the lion had come to her own yard for the kill. Returning thoughtfully to the house, she carefully studied her door and [realized that] a kind and merciful Providence had caused her door to be held fast.
(Jay A. Parry, Jack M. Lyon, Linda Ririe Gundry, Best-Loved Stories of the LDS People, Vol. 2, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1999], p. 321.)
Play “Fruit Basket Upset.”
Gather as many chairs as you have players, minus one.
Set all the chairs in a circle.
Assign each player a fruit, such as apples, oranges, kiwis, etc. Make sure that there are multiple players assigned to each fruit.
Choose a player to be in the middle first. All the other players should sit down in a chair.
The person in the middle starts the game by calling out the name of a fruit. When the fruit is called, each player assigned to that fruit must promptly stand and sit in another open seat that isn’t the one they just got up from. The player in the middle tries to take one of the empty chairs before another player can get to it.
Whoever is left without a chair is the new middle person.
The middle person can also call “Upset the fruit basket,” in which case ALL players must get up and find a new seat.
If the same person is in the middle three times, they are out of the game. The last two players are the winners.
- 2 c. oats
- 1⁄2 c. butter, melted
- 2 to 3 Tbs. brown sugar (or white sugar or granular fructose)
- 1⁄2 c. chopped pecans
- 5 to 6 apples
- 1⁄4 c. water
- 3⁄4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 375° F. Combine oats, melted butter, brown sugar, and chopped pecans; set aside. Peel, core, and slice apples and place in 9x13-inch pan. Sprinkle with water, cinnamon, and salt.
Cover with crumbed oatmeal topping and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or half and half cream.
(Elaine Cannon, Five-Star Recipes from Well-Known Latter-day Saints, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2002], p. 199.)