Thought: We are stewards over our bodies, minds, families, and properties. . . . A faithful steward is one who exercises righteous dominion, cares for his own, and looks to the poor and needy.
(Spencer W. Kimball, "Welfare Services: The Gospel in Action," Ensign, Nov. 1977, 78.)
Song: "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man," Children's Songbook, p. 281.
Scripture: And whoso is found a faithful, a just, and a wise steward shall enter into the joy of his Lord, and shall inherit eternal life.
(Doctrine and Covenants 51:19)
Lesson: Ask your family to imagine they were to receive a new pet puppy today. Have them make a list of some required duties to care for a pet. Talk about the responsibilities we have to care for our possessions, including our home, bedrooms, cars, and bodies. Ask your family to define the word "stewardship." ("The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care." [Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, s.v. "stewardship."])
Read D&C 104:11-14 and ask:
- To whom do "all things" actually belong?
- Who do we receive our stewardships from?
- To whom do we report about our stewardships?
- If all that we possess really belongs to the Lord, how should we care for everything we have?
(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Doctrine and Covenants, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2004], p. 228.)
Story and Activity: Alfred Bernhard Nobel was a Swedish chemist and engineer. He invented dynamite. He never married and was said to be very lonely. He also suffered from ill health. Yet he believed in benevolence [kindness] and the future of mankind.
He died on December 10, 1896, in San Remo, Italy, and left most of his fortune to a trust fund. Out of this fund, five prizes were to be awarded yearly in the categories of peace, physics, chemistry, medicine, and literature. The prizes were to be given to those individuals who "during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind."
One of the most important reasons we come to earth is to have the opportunity of serving others. All of us can improve the world in some way. Even when you help just one other individual you are making a positive difference in the world.
Think back over the past year and consider all the individuals you know who have served others in a special way. You might choose a teacher who has helped you or someone else you admire. You might even select a member of your family. Create a certificate for them titled "You've Made a Difference in the World Award."
Now consider yourselves. Think about and make a list of some of the ways you could make this a better world in which to live, then try to do one of the items on the list.
(Candace Smith, The Sunday Activity Book, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 19839], p. 44.)
Story: (Ethelyn Graham)
The sharp ring of the telephone cut through the quiet of our home one night at about 11:30. Somehow calls at unusual hours always bring fears and quickened heartbeats. When I reached the phone. I heard the voice of the father of one of the girls I had taught a few years before. "Sister Graham," he almost sobbed, "you are the only person Jan will talk to. You just have to help us."
Of course, I told him, I would be glad to help. Why, I had been working with and helping this girl for quite some time, and no one was more aware than I that she needed me. So why did I feel so sick inside as I listened to this good father pour out his heart and plead for my help? Why was I searching my soul so intently for the answer? Why was I less concerned for the immediate problem than for the far more alarming realization that was sweeping over me?
With a heartache that brought tears to my eyes I suddenly realized that I had been guilty of a very serious sin -- I had unknowingly been leading a trusting young girl away from her father and mother. How could I have presumed that my love and caring could in any way balance that of a caring mother and father? I somehow forced a composure that allowed me to comfort the father and offer the help necessary. My silent prayers were mixed with pleas for forgiveness and a solemn resolve never again to draw a young person from the divine stewardship of caring mother and father.
That painful night passed. Indeed, for that one night and for a period shortly after, I was the only person who could help my young friend. But no one worked more anxiously than I in the coming weeks to build back the family bridges I had helped to erode by my solicitous "understanding." Leading her back to her parents who cared for her, despite some conflicts in the home, was fortunately far easier than I had imagined.
Painful though the experience was, I learned that one who sets his hand to do the Savior's work must know the core principles of his gospel well in order to keep proper balance and not betray his sacred trust.
(Leon R. Hartshorn, Remarkable Stories from the Lives of Latter-day Saint Women, vol. 2 [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1975].)
Refreshment Butterscotch Bundt Rolls
Also known as sticky buns -- fabulous!
- 18 frozen dinner rolls
- 1 (3-ounce) package butterscotch pudding (not instant)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup melted butter
(Julie Badger Jensen, The Essential Mormon Cookbook, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2004], p. 5.)