Monday, January 09, 2012

Our Plan of Study For The Year

This year we are doing a study of the Book of Mormon throughout the church for Sunday School. I always love studying the Book of Mormon. The first Sunday of the year I was sitting in Sunday School, flipping through the Study guide. I ran across this quote which I absolutely love on the promises given for reading the Book of Mormon regularly with our families.

“I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1980, 90; or Ensign, May 1980, 67).

I don't know a home or family that DOES NOT need these types of blessings on a regular basis. This quote always gives me a renewed purpose in making sure we are reading it in our family. 

As I continued glancing through the study guide though I had a thought as I noticed the little section after each lesson for a family discussion. I've seen this my whole life, but it hit me a bit differently that moment. I started reading through a few of them and thought these would be great FHE lessons. Why not actually do what they suggest and discuss this as a family. Why not make life easier on us and have the FHE lesson, be the same as what we've been studying as a family in scripture study as well as what we are studying in church. 

Most of the time Beau and I end up picking a topic that we feel our family needs at the time, and do a  Family Home Evening lesson on that topic. But my thoughts were different that day. The thoughts I kept having were: The Book of Mormon has the power to change lives. Teaching Doctrine will improve behavior faster than teaching behavior will improve behavior. The promises made in the quote, and how we are need of them.  I knew that if we did this our family would better in so many ways.

So I shared my thoughts with Beau and we decided to simplify things for the year. We're going to read the Book of Mormon as a family, and follow along with the Sunday School lessons, the following week, we'll use the family discussion suggestions in the Study guide to use as a basis for our family home-evening on the chapters we had studied the week before.  Basically it's all about the Book of Mormon.

We are continuing to do our scripture stories with our kids as we read. Our goal is to illustrate as close as we can every chapter of the Book of Mormon, and then I'll bind them at the end of their year for their own scripture story book. We are really wanting them to learn the people, stories and events of the Book of Mormon. We've also be been able to have some great discussions with them while they are coloring about various things we're reading. One being the attitude of Laman and Lemuel. We discussed how they were still obedient to everything they were asked to do, the difference was they complained and murmured about it every time. We discussed our attitudes when asked to do something. 

I try and print up all the chapters we'll need for the week, then all I have to do is put them on the table with the bucket of crayons when I set it for breakfast. When we're finished eating, Beau will pull out the scriptures and read while the kids grab their paper and start to draw about what we are reading for the day. Here is Savannah's for the week.


Tonight was our first Family Home Evening lesson, discussing the importance of the Book of Mormon. We also discussed how the Book of Mormon came about. 

I assigned everyone a prophet from the Book of Mormon and then handed them each their own plate of gold (created from a Styrofoam meat tray I cut up).  I gave them an opened paper clip to have them try writing some scripture on their own plates. The styrofoam works great to press into, but it's still a lot tougher than writing on paper. They did great and loved the hands on part of the activity. I was impressed with what Mirian and Savannah chose to write on theirs. 

We then had Mormon (Isaac) abridge the plates. (combine all the pages together with some book rings.) We talked about how he had to take all these records from so many prophets, and through prayer and revelation know which parts to include in the final gold plates, which would come forth in the last days. We then had him give them to Moroni who buried them.  Joseph Smith was then visited in a dream by Moroni (thousands of years later) and acted out the whole story of how the Book of Mormon came to be translated, published and now prints over a million copies a year.

We then ended with the testimony of Elder Holland on the Book of Mormon. His testimony affects me so powerfully every single time I hear it. It affected my kids too when they heard it this time. It resignates deep inside my soul, with my own testimony and knowledge that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet and he did translate the golden plates and brought forth the Book of Mormon. It is the most correct book on earth. The prophets and people that wrote it did live, I feel that every time I read it, and it hit home even more so tonight in our little acting lesson. 

This book is the word of God.  It is so powerful and as I've been re-reading it again, I am always amazed at how much more I learn from it. I encourage you to watch Elder Holland's testimony. I would encourage you to re-read it this year and study it with your families. If you have never read it before. I encourage you to read it from start to finish all the way through for yourself. If you need a copy let me know and I will give you one, (in your preferred language.) See what it's about, find out for yourself why Elder Holland's testimony is so powerful. It is a true book. I know that with all my heart. I have no doubt. It will change your life if you let it. I'm excited for it to change my family's this year.


Robert and Heather in Hawaii said...

Once again, Shalae, you amaze me. I love the styrophoam plates idea. You truly are an amazing mom making a difference in not only your own children's lives, but the lives of many other children whose mothers you influence. Keep up the good work!
Also, I have been wanting to ask you a question. A while ago you posted about a book that is about teaching healthy eating habits for kids. I can't remember the name of it now. Would you mind reminding me? Thanks!

The Mrs. said...

I love this idea and I'm totally copying you! We have recently decided to homeschool as well!

(Sanz Veigel...I'm a friend of Tiffany's from SV. You probably know Azurdee and Errica.)

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