August Young Women Lesson: Why is Family Important?
Suggestion on classroom setting:
Organize the YW in a circle. The family is an intimate topic and everyone has experienced it or lack of it.
Suggested materials to study beforehand:
- Romans 8:16–17; Hebrews 12:9 (We are children of Heavenly Father)
- Genesis 2:18–24; D&C 131:1–4; 138:48 (Gospel truths about the family)
- Mosiah 4:14–15; D&C 93:40, 43, 48–50; 68:25, 27–29(Children learn the gospel from their parents)
- “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign or Liahona,Nov. 2010, 129
- Carole M. Stephens, “The Family Is of God,” Ensign or Liahona,May 2015, 11–13
- Todd Christofferson, “Why Marriage, Why Family,”EnsignorLiahona, May 2015, 50–53
- Tom Perry, “Becoming Goodly Parents,”Ensignor Liahona,Nov. 2012, 26–28
- “Family,” For the Strength of Youth (2011), 14–15
- Videos: “Families Can Be Together Forever”; “The Home Is a Divine Institution”
Section 1: The Importance of families
Ask the class the questions:
- Question: What is a family?
- Possible answer: a social and economic group of people who often but not always are biologically connected to each other and take care for the physical and emotional wellbeing and development of each other; the most basic social intuitions on which all institutions of the society are based upon
- It is advisable that the teacher also notes that there are many different types of families out there – grandparents who take care of children, foster families, adoptive families, families that struggle with infertility, families that have lost a child/children, single parent families and same sex partnerships. Even though the LDS Church does not encourage divorce and is against same sex partnerships, it is important to emphasize that in a free society where people come together in the social unit of family according to their believes and circumstances, all families should be respected. All these types of family units provide important care to its members and that is a social commodity that should not go un-noticed. All families are important in our society.
- Question: What does a family look like?
- In North America and Northern Europe, often the family is portrait as a small unit of a two generational family – parents and children. However, in the majority of the countries, grandparents, uncles and cousins are part of the close knit family. In many parts of the world, entire villages are organized around the wider definition of the family and each branch of the family has a role to play. For example, in many cultures around the world, uncles and aunts are more involved in the wellbeing and the future planning of nephews and nieces than in the Western cultures; grand-parents are the senior leaders of the family and keep peace and provide a vision of what the family should strive to achieve on important matters.
- For the purpose of this lesson, because the LDS church believes that through temple ordinances it will return the hearts of the children to the fathers and mothers and vice versa, the wider definition of the family should be kept in mind as we discuss this topic.
- Question: What are the functions of the family?
- Possible answers: provides protection, ensures the physical and emotional development of its members, a social unit that shapes our language, communication, trust, provides us with history and traditions, etc.
- Question: What are some of the benefits you have experienced in your life by simply being a member of your family?
- Answers may vary
Section II: Families can be eternal
Some points of discussion for this section:
- All families are important in our society because they provide an enormous service and care to its members for which no government and no money/program can make up.
- The LDS church believes that families are very important. The summary of our beliefs in the family are highlighted in the “The Family: A proclamation to the World”.Question: What are some of the ideas highlighted in this proclamation?
- Highlight that the image of the family in the proclamation is an ideal one and not always reflects what happens in our society and in the world. All families, even the ones organized around the marriage between a man and a woman, vary in how they organize their lives and functions. For example, some fathers are stay at home dads while the mother is the bread winner. Each family is different and they all do what works best for them.The LDS doctrine teaches that families can be recognized eternally as a family by participating in the sealing ordinance.
- Note to the teacher: here you can highlight some themes from the talk “Family is of God” by C. Stephans:
- We were all organize in a family unit in our pre-mortal lives
- Our Heavenly Parents sent us to earth to experience mortality and to be raised by parents.
- We continue to develop and improve our relationships in the family in the next life as well.Families are a crucial mechanism for ensuring the happiness of people on this life and the next. As a result, Lucifer uses many methods to destroy it.
Question: What are some evil practices and traditions that jeopardize the happiness of families?
- Answers may vary but they should be around domestic abuse, neglect, addiction, adultery, poverty etc.Question: How can the gospel and the temple ordinances be used by the members as shields from such practices?
- Answers may vary. It should be mentions that these are practices that unfortunately are prevalent around the world and in our LDS community. Therefore, it is important to understand the Plan of Salvation very well in order to have a clear image of oneself and others in order to stand up against such abuses.Temple sealing doesn’t guarantee that the families will be perfect by through self-reflection, repentance and applying the atonement of Christ in our lives, we can become better people, better parents, better daughters and nieces and treat others with love, respect and understanding. That is what the gospel stands for – to remind us of this simple truth – that we matter, that the people that love us matter and that we can help each other to become better members of our families. Everyone is worth it of love and respect according to the gospel.
Question: How can we become better members of our families?
- Answers may very:
- Paying attention to what happens in every ones lives
- Asking often the question “Does mom/dad/brother/sister/grandparent/uncle/aunt/cousin feel loved in our family?” and finding a way to make that person feel loved and understood continuously.
- Being less selfish and understanding that everyone needs investment in the family and a balance for all should be found. Every member of the family deserves the resources that are available to the family such as time, money, education, rest, etc.
- Contributing to our families with time, money, responsibilities etc.
Activity – Give a piece of paper to each girl and give them 5 minutes to write down ways that they can contribute in strengthening their families. Suggest to them to organize a family home evening in the near future where they can discuss ways of how each member of their families can contribute to the happiness and wellbeing of all family members.
Emphasize that through the temple sealing, our Heavenly Parents ensure that we will have a chance to have a good family in our eternities despite of our individual situations here on earth. Close the lesson by reading the quote below:
“Even so, everyone has gifts; everyone has talents; everyone can contribute to the unfolding of the divine plan in each generation. Much that is good, much that is essential—even sometimes all that is necessary for now—can be achieved in less than ideal circumstances. So many of you are doing your very best. And when you who bear the heaviest burdens of mortality stand up in defense of God’s plan to exalt His children, we are all ready to march. With confidence we testify that the Atonement of Jesus Christ has anticipated and, in the end, will compensate all deprivation and loss for those who turn to Him. No one is predestined to receive less than all that the Father has for His children.” T. Christofferson
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