This lesson on tender mercies is found in Emily Freeman’s book, Making It Through the Middle: Hope and Help When the Journey Seems Long. This book is filled with great life lessons, not to mention more family home eveing ideas! Buy it today at Deseret Book!
Song: “How Firm a Foundation” (Hymns, no. 85)
Scripture: “But behold I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance” (1 Nephi 1:20).
Conference Talk: “The Tender Mercies of the Lord,” by Elder David A. Bednar, Ensign, April 2005, 99.
Have a family member read the story of Moses and the Israelites receiving manna from the Lord (Exodus 16: 2-8, 11-18), then read these quotes from Emily Freeman’s Book, Making It Through the Middle: Hope and Help When the Journey Seems Long.
I believe in a God who continually ministers to His people. One of the definitions of the word minister is “to tend to.” The Lord tends to us with mercy. Consider those two ideas together and you come up with a phrase that is familiar to us--tender mercy. I believe it is the personal ministering of His mercy that makes those moments so tender. A friend told me that in Finnish the phrase tender mercies is written lempeat armoteot, which translates directly as “gentle works of grace.” I love that translation. The Lord is tender and gentle in His ministry to us. Just as the children of Israel experienced blessings from heaven daily during their middle moments, we can too. Theirs came in the form of manna; ours came in the form of tender mercies.
There is great importance in remembering the tender mercies of the Lord. A record of those mercies can bring us strength in times of hardship, for in moments when we wonder if the Lord will help us through, we can look back at the times when He has done so before. Daily recognizing His tender mercies and pausing to remember them will bring continual strength in our middle moments and will feed our soul like manna.
The grace, or enabling and strengthening power, we desire will be given according to the needs of our day. In other words, ‘Grace will be given as your day requires.’ … Somehow we must learn to recognize the tender mercies of the Lord in our lives every single day. Storing them up will not work.
Have each family member give an example of a time when the Lord showed you tender mercies. Commit to keeping a “tender mercies journal” to take note of blessings you see on a daily basis. After a week or so, have each family member report their findings.
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If you ever feel like people only talk about their trials after they've made it through them, you're not alone. Here's one honest look at how to actually get through the hard times when you're in the middle of a trial. Find Making It Through the Middle: Hope and Help When the Journey Seems Long at any Deseret Book store or at deseretbook.com.