For more information on this topic read “Mother Told Me,” by Bradley D.Foster, Ensign, May 2010, 98–100.
In a world where everyone is granted agency, some of our loved ones may stray for a season. But we can never give up. We must always go back for them—we must never stop trying.(Bradley D. Foster, “Mother Told Me,” Ensign, May 2010, 98–100.)
“Love One Another,” Children’s Songbook, p. 136.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another(1 John 4:11)
Read the words of the hymn, “Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd” (Hymns,no. 221). Ask:
- According to the hymn, what are a shepherd’s responsibilities?
- How would you describe a shepherd that fails to care for the flock?
Read together Zechariah 11:15–17 and notice how the shepherds of Zechariah’s day fulfilled their duties. Ask:
- Who is the flock these shepherds are supposed to take care of? (TheLord’s people.)
- How do you think the Lord feels about these types of shepherds?
- Who are our shepherds today? (Priesthood leaders, parents, etc.)
- What could happen if our parents and leaders do not care about us?
- What blessings come from parents and leaders who do their best to help us?
- When have you been blessed by the love and caring of your “shepherds”?
- How do you think it feels to have the responsibility of a shepherd?
Bear your testimony of the joy that comes from serving and caring for those you love.(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2009], p. 245.)
Years from now when I think about the movie Cast Away I will remember a compelling storyline, some extraordinary special effects, and a remarkable acting performance by Tom Hanks.
But mostly I’ll remember holding hands with Elizabeth.
We went to see the film as a family, which is why I wasn’t sitting by my wife, Anita. We have found that keeping 11-year-old Elizabeth and her 9-year-old brother, Jon, away from each other is the best way to keep them from fighting in the dark. So we sit between them.
Just a few minutes into the movie—and I hope I’m not spoiling this for anyone—there’s a frighteningly realistic plane crash. In fact, it was a little too frightening and a little too realistic for Elizabeth’s taste. She leaned up against me, her head pressed against my shoulder, and reached over and took my hand, squeezing it tightly.
“It’s okay, Sweetie,” I said. “Remember, it’s only a movie. Just close your eyes, and pretty soon it’ll all be over.”
And pretty soon it was. Within a few minutes the scary part was over for Elizabeth, and she was sitting up in her seat, happily independent, her hands busy with popcorn and soda.
It wasn’t long, however, before another scary part came along. Only this wasn’t a scary part for Elizabeth—this was a scary part for me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been claustrophobic. You want to scare me to death? Put me in a crowded elevator—and then make it stop. So when Tom Hanksstarted exploring that cave, I started cowering in my seat. Heart pounding. Palms sweating. Afraid to look—afraid not to. And I’m thinking, If there are any spiders or snakes in this cave, I’m outta here.
Suddenly I felt a hand reaching out in the darkness—a calm, steady, 11-year-old hand, slightly seasoned with salt and butter-flavored topping. It grabbed onto my hand firmly, squeezing reassuringly,as Elizabeth again leaned up against me, her head again pressed against my shoulder.
“It’s okay, Daddy,” she said. “Remember, it’s only a movie. Just close your eyes, and pretty soon it’ll all be over.”
And pretty soon it was. Only this time, I didn’t let go of Elizabeth’s hand after the scary part was over, and she didn’t let go of mine. We just sat there through the rest of the movie, holding onto eachother and helping each other through the film’s subsequent ups and downs.
That’s how Elizabeth and I made it through Cast Away. And it occurs to me that that’s how we all make it through life, too. Although we like to think of ourselves as happily independent and self-reliant, when the scary parts of life come—as they always do, eventually—it’s comforting to be able to lean against family and friends, to hear their reassurance that it’s okay, and to reach out in the darkness to find a calm, reassuring hand.
With or without the butter-flavored topping.
(Joseph Walker, Look What Love Has Done, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2007], p.171.)
Play a favorite board game together.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup milk
- favorite jam
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Melt butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Pour melted butter into aseparate container for use later, leaving a coating of butter on the inside of the skillet. Beat eggs withflour until smooth. Add salt and milk, mixing again until smooth. Pour batter into skillet and drizzlemelted butter on batter, covering center area but not the edge. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. (Besure oven is to temperature. The heat makes the pancake rise.) Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake foran additional 10 minutes. Slice into wedges, serve with warm jam.
(Hollee Eckman and Heather Higgins, All That Jam, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2003], p. 5.)
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