FHE: Optimism

by | Jan. 15, 2009


*Conference Talk:* For more information on this topic read "'Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time'," by Quentin L. Cook, Ensign, Nov 2008, 102-6. *Thought:* Regardless of our trials, with the abundance we have today, we would be ungrateful if we did not appreciate our blessings. (Quentin L. Cook, "'Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time'," _Ensign_, Nov 2008, 102-6.) *Song:* "If You're Happy," _Children's Songbook_, p. 266. *Scripture:* And now, verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you. (Doctrine and Covenants 61:36) *Lesson:* Give each family member a pencil or pen and a piece of paper. Turn out the lights and have all family members close their eyes. Tell them that peeking will not be allowed. Have everyone draw a picture of a beautiful lake with mountains in the background and trees around the edge. Tell everyone to draw a boat on the lake with members of your family in it. Tell them to do the best they can with their eyes closed. When they are finished, turn the lights on and have them share their handiwork. Chances are the pictures will be barely recognizable. Have them turn their pictures over and draw the same picture again, this time with the lights on and their eyes open. Compare the two drawings. Explain that the scripture in this lesson (see above) gives us a reason why we should be happy (be of good cheer). Have the family name the reason. (Jesus is in our midst). Tell the family that drawing in the dark is like trying to go through life without the help of the light and direction that Jesus gives us. Turning on the light is like having him guide and direct us. (adapted from Allen K. Burgess and Max H. Molgard, _Fun for Family Night: Book Two, Church History Edition_ [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992], p. 183.) *Story:* Janet Lee, wife of the late Rex E. Lee, former president of Brigham Young University, remembers an occasion when Sister [Marjorie Pay] Hinckley's optimistic outlook changed her own perspective: Several years ago, during the Christmas season, President and Sister Hinckley came to BYU for a musical event. Before the program, there was a buffet dinner, and at one point while the men were away from our table, the women began to talk about the frustrations of getting ready for Christmas. Our conversation focused on the fact that everything about the season was becoming a burden for women. We bear the responsibility of selecting gifts, organizing social events, preparing everyone's favorite food, and making certain that family, guests, and even the less fortunate have a merry Christmas. We felt overwhelmed if not resentful. Sister Hinckley listened patiently, and then without the slightest edge of criticism in her voice said, "I love Christmas. It is the most joyful of all seasons. I love seeing the eyes of little children light up on Christmas morning. I love giving gifts. I love being with my family. We just need to simplify and remember what we are celebrating." After she had spoken, something magical happened. Our attitudes shifted, and we began to talk about the birth of our Savior and the spirit of giving. In the years that have passed since those words were spoken, a burden has been lifted for me during the holidays. As I shop, prepare food, and join with friends and family to celebrate the birth of our Savior, her words nurture and calm me. "I love Christmas," I hear her say, and I let her teach me to relax and enjoy the season. (Virginia H. Pearce, _Glimpses into the Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley_ [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1999].) *Activity:* Perform the following experiment. Fill a glass half full with vinegar. Add one tablespoon of baking soda. Watch the mixture fizz violently. Explain that as long as we are unenthusiastic we are like the plain glass of vinegar. We can go through the motions of living life and being active in the Church without really changing our own lives or helping others to change. But true conversion and enthusiasm cause a great change within us. We will put a new spirit into the things we do. We will be happier and tell others about the gospel. (Alma Heaton, _Tools for Teaching_, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1979], p. 14.) *Refreshment* _Grandma's Lemon Pie_ * 1 small can lemonade concentrate (6 ounce size) * 1/4 cup lemon juice * 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounce size) * 1 container whipped topping (9 ounce size) * 1 graham cracker crust Put the lemonade, lemon juice and milk in a blender. Mix well. Pour into a big bowl and add the whipped topping. Mix well. Pour into a graham cracker crust. Chill in the refrigerator for about three hours. (Karla C. Erickson, _Kids in the Kitchen_, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1980], p. 21.) Click here for the PDF version.
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