YW Lesson: How Can I Strengthen My Family? / Leçon JF : Comment puis-je fortifier ma famille?

Posted by on July 16, 2014 in Family, women, Young Women Lessons | 5 comments

family

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We obviously talk a lot about families in the church. Personally, I think that is wonderful. However, the focus on traditional two parent family structure can be difficult for young women who don’t come from that background. I think it is important to emphasize to the young women that any family type can be a happy, strong family.

The lesson plan on LDS.org (found here: https://www.lds.org/youth/learn/yw/marriage-and-family/strengthen?lang=eng) suggests using the video, By Small Things. This would be a good jumping off point to help the class think of principles of strong families. It sounds cliché, but for me personally it really has been the ‘small things’ that mean the most to me; when I was in junior high my older brother would drive me to school and he actually talked to me. Now that we are all adults, and spread across the country, both my older and younger brothers call me at least once a week just to chat. Those little signs that they want to be involved in my life mean a lot. Other things that you might talk about are family scripture study and prayer, service to each other, and doing fun activities together. Ask the class to share times when someone in their family did something that made them feel loved and safe.

There are also some great examples in the scriptures of people who strengthened their families. Normally I am all about focusing female role models from scripture because they are so scarce, but I think for this lesson it would be useful to highlight both men and women. In my experience the bulk of the ‘strengthening the family’ work is put on the woman’s shoulders. By showing both genders taking that role, maybe we can help correct that imbalance. Some examples that I came up with are Joseph; Sariah, Nephi, and Sam; and Mary, mother of Jesus. Though she is not in the scripters per se, Lucy Mack Smith would also be a good person to talk about.

One of my favorite examples, though, is Ruth. She married in to a family, and had to leave her family of origin behind. Her in-laws then fell on hard times. But she stayed with them. Even after her husband died and her obligation to her widowed mother-in-law was technically over she chose to make Naomi her family. Ruth and Naomi continued to take care of each other, and built their own new family out of the tragedy of their loss. Often it is the ‘family’ that comes in to our circles later in life that means the most to us. And just because we are not related by blood, that does not mean we should not be family.

Here I would move from talking about immediate family to ‘family’ in the broader sense that we are all children of the same Heavenly Parents, and therefore everyone is our brother or sister. I would ask the class to come up with ways they can strengthen their world family. In her talk, Strengthen Home and Family, Mary N. Cook says:

“On several occasions, President Hinckley has admonished us to “get all of the education you can” (Liahona and Ensign, May 2007, 116). Your education will benefit your family now and will surely bless your future family. What can you do now to plan and prepare for a good education?”

Although this talk is focused on immediate families, I would remind the young women that if they develop their minds and talents, they can use those skills to bless all their brothers and sisters, whether through their careers or volunteer work. (As a side note, Sister Cook’s talk also provides some thoughts that might be helpful if you know you have class members who come from families that do not fit the ‘ideal’ mold.) Other things you might talk about are befriending the ‘outcasts’, volunteering and serving others, and being kind.

I would close by reminding the young women that everyone has their own agency. They are one person in families made of many people, all with different personalities, goals, etc. All that they can do, and all Heavenly Father asks, is that they do their best. There may be problems that arise in their families that they cannot fix alone. But they can chose to continue to do what they feel is right. As a child of divorce myself, I know from personal experience how easy it is to feel responsible for the fighting and heartbreak. I would ask teachers to please be sensitive to class members who may be in that type of situation.

 

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Leçon JF : Comment puis-je fortifier ma famille?

 

Nous parlons beaucoup des familles à l’Eglise. Personnellement, je pense que cela est magnifique. Mais mettre l’accent sur la famille traditionnelle à deux parents peut être difficile pour les jeunes filles qui ne vient pas d’une telle famille. Je pense que c’est important d’insister sur le fait que toute famille peut être une famille heureuse et forte.

Le plan de leçon sur lds.org (qui se trouve ici : https://www.lds.org/youth/learn/yw/marriage-and-family/strengthen?lang=fra) suggère de montrer la vidéo “Par de petites choses.” Ce serait effectivement un bon point de départ pour aider la classe à penser aux principes des familles fortes. C’est peut-être un cliché, mais pour moi personnellement, ce sont toujours les “petites choses” qui ont le plus de signification pour moi. Quand j’étais au collège mon frère ainé m’amenait en voiture à l’école et il me parlait. Maintenant que nous sommes adultes et éparpillés partout dans le pays, mes frère cadets et mes frères ainés m’appellent au moins une fois par semaine simplement pour causer. Ces indices qu’ils ont envie d’être impliqués dans ma vie me touchent énormément. D’autres choses dont vous pourriez parler serait la lecture des Ecritures et la prière en famille, le service et les activités familiales. Demandez aux jeunes filles de partager des moments où quelqu’un de leur famille a fait quelque chose qui leur a fait se sentir aimées et en sécurité.

Il y a aussi de bons exemple dans les Ecritures des personnes qui ont fortifié leurs familles. D’habitude j’aime bien mettre l’accent sur les femmes car leurs histoires sont rares, mais pour cette leçon, je pense que ce serait utile de parler des hommes également. Dans mon expérience, la majorité du travail de « fortifier la famille » repose sur les épaules des femmes. En montrant les deux sexes dans ce rôle, nous pourrons peut-être rééquilibrer notre discours. Certains exemples que j’ai trouvés sont : Joseph, Sariah, Néphi, et Sam et Marie la mère de Jésus. Même si elle n’est pas dans les Ecritures, Lucy Mack Smith serait un bon exemple à mentionner.

L’un de mes exemple préférés est Ruth. Elle se marie et doit quitter sa famille. Sa belle-famille s’est retrouvée en difficulté, mais Ruth est restée avec elle. Même après la mort de son mari et la fin de son obligation auprès de sa belle-mère, elle a choisi de faire de Naomi sa famille. Ruth et Naomi ont continué à prendre soin l’une de l’autre et ont construit une nouvelle famille suite à la tragédie de la mort. Souvent c’est la « famille » que l’on crée plus tard dans notre vie qui a le plus de valeur pour nous. Et même si ce ne sont pas de liens de sang ne veut pas dire que nous ne pouvons pas être une famille.

Ensuite j’élargirai le discours pour parler de la famille plus large dans le sens que nous sommes tous enfants des même Parents Célestes, aussi nous sommes tous frères et sœurs. Je demanderais aux jeunes filles de penser à comment nous pouvons fortifier cette famille humaine. Dans son discours « Fortifier le foyer et la famille, » Mary N. Cook dit :

“Président Hinckley nous a exhorté à plusieurs reprises à “recevoir toute l’éducation possible.” Votre éducation bénéficiera votre famille maintenant et bénira surement votre future famille. Que pouvez-vous faire maintenant pour aspirer à et préparer une bonne éducation ? »

Même si ce discours focalise sur la famille proche, je rappellerais aux jeune filles que si elles développent leurs esprits et leurs talents, elle pourront employer leurs capacités pour bénir leurs frères et leurs sœurs, que ce soit par le biais de leurs carriers ou du bénévolat. (Le discours de Sœur Cook donne également quelques pensées qui pourrait être utiles si vous avez des jeunes filles qui viennent des familles dites “non-idéales.” D’autres choses dont vous pourriez parler sont : être un bon ami, servir les autres et être gentil.

Je finirais par rappeler aux jeunes filles que chacun a son libre arbitre. Elles font partie des familles composées de plusieurs personnes, chacun avec sa personnalité et ses objectifs. Tout ce qu’elle peuvent faire, et tout ce que demande Père Céleste, est de faire son mieux. Il pourrait y avoir des problèmes dans leurs familles qu’elles ne peuvent pas résoudre seule. Mais elles peuvent choisir de continuer à faire ce qu’elle pensent est bien. En tant qu’enfant de divorce moi-même, je sais de mon expérience personnelle combien il est facile de se sentir responsable pour les disputes et le chagrin. Je demanderais aux instructrices d’être sensible à celles qui pourraient être dans ce genre de situation.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Great lesson! I love your emphasis on families that are formed through love rather than blood, and helping the young women to become good members of the world family. This is a powerful and important thing for our young women to learn.

  2. Awesome! I think I taught this lesson last year. One thing I remember talking about is asking them when they feel closest to their families — a specific activity. It was really different for different people. We also asked what they wished their family did together – I was surprised by that too and I think their parents probably would have been as well. Their challenge for the week was to take the lead on making sure that that important activity happened.

    • I love those questions, Em. They are so simple, but so revealing. A good woman at this blog recently shared that she asked her daughters how she could be a better mom to them. My daughter is too young to answer that question, but I’m not sure I would have ever thought to ask. Maybe the young women could also ask their family members how they could be a better daughter, sister, friend.

  3. I read this and loved this. Thank you.

    I have been taking a seminar with Claudia and Richard Bushman this summer, all about Mormon families, and one of the things that we have read again and again is that families are in peril, but maybe not for the reasons sometimes suggested. Income inequality and abuse are two of the biggest real imperils. Those things are hard to address, but there are things that we can to build our families in real ways. My own goal for my family is to eat real food together and to read (children’s books) together.

  4. I love those questions, Em. They are so simple, but so revealing. A good woman at this blog recently shared that she asked her daughters how she could be a better mom to them. My daughter is too young to answer that question, but I’m not sure I would have ever thought to ask. Maybe the young women could also ask their family members how they could be a better daughter, sister, friend.

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  1. YW Lesson: How Can I Strengthen My Family? | Well-Behaved Mormon Woman - […] The lesson plan on LDS.org (found here: https://www.lds.org/youth/learn/yw/marriage-and-family/strengthen?lang=eng) suggests using the video, By Small Things. This would be a …

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