“The leper’s expression of gratitude was recognized by the Savior as an expression of his faith. As we pray and express gratitude to a loving but unseen Heavenly Father, we are also expressing our faith in Him. Gratitude is our sweet acknowledgment of the Lord’s hand in our lives; it is an expression of our faith.”
(Bonnie D. Parkin, “Gratitude: A Path to Happiness,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2007)
“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan” (Luke 17:15-16).
Prior to teaching this lesson, write a short thank-you note to each family member expressing your gratitude for something they have done or what they mean to you. Give the thank-you notes to family members and allow time for them to read them. Ask family members how they feel when people express gratitude to them. Invite your family to share other experiences when someone made a special effort to show their appreciation and how it made them feel.
Read together Luke 17:11–19. Ask your family to describe what leprosy is. (See Bible Dictionary, “Leprosy,” 724) Ask the following questions: What did the lepers do when they saw Jesus? (Verse 13) What do you think they meant by the phrase “have mercy on us”? (Verse 13) What did Jesus tell the lepers to do to be healed? (Verse 14)
Tell your family that just as these lepers went to a priest and were healed physically along the way, we can be healed spiritually as we visit with our priesthood leaders. Ask how that is so. Continue your discussion by asking the following questions:
How many of the lepers returned to thank Jesus? (Verses 15–16) How would you feel if you helped 10 people and only one returned to thank you? What did Jesus say to the one who returned to give thanks? (Verse 19) If you had been one of the lepers, do you think you would have returned to give thanks? Why or why not? What is the difference between being healed and being made whole?
To help answer that last question, share the following explanation from Bishop Merrill J. Bateman: “In becoming a whole person, the grateful leper was healed inside as well as on the outside. That day nine lepers were healed skin deep, but only one had the faith to be made whole” (Ensign, May 1995, 14).
Have a family member read Doctrine and Covenants 59:7. Ask your family to answer the following question silently: How can we better express our gratitude to God?
(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The New Testament, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006])