For more information on this topic read "Returning Home," by Eduardo Gavarret, Ensign, November 2008, 98-100.
What a tremendous impact we can make in the lives of so many less-active families and of those who are not members of the Church when we accept the Savior's invitation to feed His sheep and help everyone to come unto Christ!
(Eduardo Gavarret, "Returning Home," Ensign, November 2008, 98-100.)
"We'll Bring the World His Truth," Children's Songbook, p. 172.
Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee (Alma 31:35).
Hide the following items in the room before family home evening:
- A stuffed sheep (Any stuffed animal that could be a pet will work.)
- A coin
- A toy action figure
Ask your family if they have ever lost something that they loved. Invite them to share what it was and what they did to find it. Explain to your family that Jesus taught parables about three things that had been lost (a sheep, a coin, and a son).
Tell your family that you have hidden three objects representing these three items somewhere in the room. Invite them to search for these three items and to bring them to you as they find them. Ask:
- If one of these objects was a favorite of yours, how would you feel when you finally found it?
- What would you have done if it hadn't been found?
- Can you think of a time when a child was either missing or lost? What effort was made to find and recover that child?
Have your family think of individuals who might be considered "lost" or "prodigal sons" at this time in their lives. What can we do to help those people?
Challenge family members to pray for those individuals and continue to love them.
(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The New Testament, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006], p. 98-100.)
Steven R. Covey
After a zone leaders' meeting in the mission field, one of the missionary leaders approached his mission president and expressed appreciation for the meeting and then made a rather strange remark. "For the first time since I have been in the mission field, I can believe and accept your expression of appreciation and affection for me."
"Why would you say that, elder? You have been out here 18 months. What is it that made you feel this way now?"
"Remember in the meeting when we were talking about that elder in that far-off city, and how his zone leaders gave such a critical report of his rebelliousness and slothfulness?"
"Yes, I remember that."
"Well, I sensed as the report was being given, and as the other elders chipped in their two-bits on this elder, that you sincerely cared for him as a person."
"I do sincerely care for him. I am concerned."
"But it was more than that. As you questioned the zone leaders back and forth, I felt you were really looking for a way to help him, and that you really cared for him, if you know what I mean."
"I'm not sure I do know what you mean. Besides, why would this make such a particular impression upon you?"
"Well, that's the very point. You sincerely do care about us as individuals and want to help us. You see, I am rebellious too—only you don't know it. Whenever I am around you I am always on my guard and trying to make the best impression. But many times I get very rebellious inside myself, and so critical about my companion, about mission rules and about a lot of things. But I just never let on as that elder does.
"So all through these months when you have expressed your affection for me, and when you have congratulated me on my work, inside I kept saying to myself, he doesn't really know me. If he really knew what I was like, he wouldn't say that. But this afternoon when you didn't join in on some of the sarcasm and laughter over this elder's antics, I felt that even if you did know what I was really like, you would still have sincere regard and care for me too. I am so glad I had that experience in the meeting. Otherwise, I wouldn't even have the courage to tell you what I've just told you. I would have been too afraid of disappointing you and of opening up too much of myself. But now I feel you would accept me and try to understand and to help."
To the mission president, this sobering experience taught him an invaluable principle of human influence—that the way to inspire and preserve the many (the 99) is in the treatment given to the one. Going after the one "lost sheep" results not in neglecting the 99, but in effectively reaching them.
(Leon R. Hartshorn, Powerful Stories from the Lives of Latter-day Saint Men, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974].)
Have your family divide into pairs and sit closely, facing each other. Explain that you want them to play a game called Mirror. Pick one person to be the leader and the other to be the mirror. Tell the leader to slowly move his hands, body, and face. The person acting as a mirror will try to do the exact same thing as the leader. As the two move slowly enough and in unison, it will become difficult for an observer to tell the difference between the leader and the mirror. After a time have them switch roles.
Challenge your family to try to "mirror" Jesus by serving others.
(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The New Testament, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006], p. 193.)
- 4 cups cold milk
- 2 (3 oz.) packages chocolate-flavored instant pudding
- 28 chocolate sandwich cookies, finely crushed, about 3 cups
- 4 cups Cool Whip, thawed
Pour milk into a 1-quart container with a tight-fitting lid. Add pudding mix, cover tightly, and shake vigorously at least 45 seconds; pour evenly into 6 glasses. Gently stir 2 cups of the cookie crumbs into whipped topping until blended. Spoon evenly over pudding in glasses; sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 6.
*You can also chill the pudding in glasses that have been set at a 45-degree angle in the refrigerator for a true mudslide effect.
(Jill McKenzie, 52 Weeks of Proven Recipes for Picky Kids, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2008], p. 6.)
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