FHE: Commandments

by | Sep. 02, 2010

Conference Talk: For more information on this topic read "When the Lord Commands," by Bruce A. Carlson, Ensign, May 2010, 38-40.

Thought: It is my prayer that each day will find us striving to be more obedient to the laws, ordinances, and commandments of the gospel of Jesus Christ in order that He may more fully bless our lives.

(Bruce A. Carlson, "When the Lord Commands," Ensign, May 2010, 38-40.)

Song: "Keep the Commandments," Children's Songbook, p. 146.

Scripture: And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. (Doctrine and Covenants 130:21)

Lesson: Have everyone read the scripture (above) aloud together. Ask: What does this scripture tell us?

Tell the family that Heavenly Father has made promises through the scriptures and his prophets that if we are obedient and obey his commandments he will bless us.

Point to the lists below (and place them side by side). Tell them that you will read a blessing and they must choose the commandment that best goes with it. Draw a line between the commandment and the blessing.


  1. Tithing
  2. Sabbath Day
  3. Word of Wisdom
  4. Fasting
  5. Book of Mormon
  6. Baptism
  7. The Sacrament
A. Helps us remember our baptismal covenants. When we do this, we should think about how much Jesus loves us. B. Helps us become more humble and receptive to the Spirit. C. Windows of heaven are opened and blessings are poured out. D. Takes away our sins. This is necessary for all people to have dome before they can become members in Christ's church. E. President Benson said that reading this brings peace to our lives. F. Can help us have a healthier body. G. Helps us feel spiritually new as we remember the Savior and his sacrifice for us.

(Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson, Sharing Time, Family Time, Anytime, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992], p. 53.)

Story: (Patriarch Eldred G. Smith)

I am often reminded of an experience that I had while on a mission in Germany. Once a month we went to the little town of Uelzen, which was a self-sustaining branch. We went there to get their reports and to help them as we could. My companion was assigned to the branch the same time I was, so this first visit to Uelzen was a new experience for both of us.

We took our seats in the first meeting we attended in the front of the hall. The branch president announced that the meeting would be started by the choir singing such and such a song. I looked about and found no choir up in front, but before I could ask any questions or discover an answer to the problem in my mind as to where the choir was coming from, my companion and I found ourselves the only ones sitting in the audience. The entire congregation, except for my companion and I, had gone up to the front and sang as a choir. It is no wonder we have Saints who can come here and produce a chorus such as we had yesterday.

I found from the reports that they not only all sang together, but they worked together. I found that there was 100 percent membership of the branch paying 100 percent tithing - and that was not just the month that I went there on that one visit, but that was the report I got all the time I was there. Attendance in their meetings was the same. They worked together in everything they did. I discovered also that there were two women in the branch at that time whose husbands had gone to America, and that the branch had agreed together, before these two men left, that they would all work together. They would keep the commandments of the Lord to the best of their ability; they would do all that was required of them without excuse; nothing would stop them from fulfilling the responsibilities given to them. Those who remained in the branch would see to it that the wives of these two men were taken care of, that they would not be in need.

The two men who left for America agreed that they would do likewise in living the commandments of the Lord, and that they would find jobs and work hard and save their money and send for their wives as soon as possible. It was not long until I was transferred from that section of Germany, and then soon after, I was released to come home.

Some twenty years later, after I became the Patriarch to the Church, I had an appointment to give a blessing to a young girl. When she arrived, her mother was with her. I found that the mother was one of those two sisters whose husbands had left Uelzen when I was over there. I had a long talk with this sister and her daughter. The daughter, of course, had grown up from a small child, and her mother told me this story: that one by one, or two at a time, as occasion came, different members of the branch would have the opportunity of leaving and coming to America, until finally, before World War II broke out, there was not one member of the Church left in that branch in Uelzen. They had all come to America safely before the war broke out.

Then she told me also that in the end of the war, when the American soldiers invaded that section of Germany, for some reason unknown to her, the German soldiers set up a resistance in Uelzen which resulted in a four-day battle. The bombings and general destruction were such that there was not a house left in the section where most of the Saints had lived, yet there was not a member of the Church left in Uelzen - a result and reward of unity, working together to keep the commandments of the Lord.

This is a challenge to us, brothers and sisters, that we might do as they did in Uelzen - that we might live the commandments of the Lord as they did.

(Leon R. Hartshorn, Outstanding Stories by General Authorities, vol. 2, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1971], p. 231.)

Activity: Divide the family into two teams and give each team a piece of paper. Tell them to number from one to ten on their paper. Ask each group to work together and list, in order, as many of the ten commandments as they can. Turn to Exodus 20:1-17 and correct each group's answers.

(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2009], p. 44.)

Refreshment Fresh Fruit Platter with Fruit Dip Celebrate the tastes of summer.

  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 small cantaloupe
  • 1 small honeydew melon
  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 1 pint basket strawberries
  • 8 red grape clusters
Wash and separate romaine lettuce leaves and place on eight serving plates or 1 large platter. Cut cantaloupe and honeydew melons in half. Remove seeds and cut each melon into eight wedges. Remove peel. Cut pineapple into eight wedges. Remove skin. Arrange all fruit on top of lettuce leaves.

Serve with Fresh Fruit Dip. Makes 8 servings.

Fresh Fruit Dip

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Stir together and serve with fresh fruit.

(Julie Badger Jensen, Essential Mormon Celebrations, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2005], p. 82.)

Click here to download the PDF version of this lesson.

Comments and feedback can be sent to feedback@ldsliving.com