Tag Archives: Joseph Smith

Lectures on Faith Review

It took me a long time to read Lectures on Faith by Joseph Smith, mostly because I was reading it to supplement my scripture study. The information was so deep that I could only concentrate in a quiet house while the kiddos were at school.

Did you know that the Lectures on Faith were published in the forepart of the Doctrine and Covenants in all editions from 1835 until 1921? Although the lectures are not currently published as part of the standard works, it is evident that they were held in high esteem by the Prophet Joseph Smith and those that followed him. President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “These lectures are of great value and should be studied. . . I consider them to be of extreme value in the study of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Bruce R. McConkie has classified the lectures as “some of the best lesson material ever prepared on the Godhead; on the character, perfections, and attributes of God; on faith, miracles, and sacrifice. They can be studied with great profit by all scholars.” {Amazon}

I was given the collector’s edition as a gift. Not only is it a beautiful book, it also has additional essays about the lectures and their history. The point that stuck out most is the power of faith. I always thought of faith being something you had (or didn’t have), but why do we want to have it? Not only to bring us comfort, but to bring the Lord’s power into our lives.

Like the scriptures, this is a book I’ll need to read repeatedly to continue increasing my knowledge. Even though this isn’t a quick and easy read, I recommend every LDS member read the Lectures on Faith at least once. I give it five slices of pie!

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Family Home Evening: Integrity

Now that the holidays are over, we’re getting back into our Family Home Evening groove.  Although, celebrating Christmas is the best Family Home Evening ever!  This week’s lesson comes from a very thoughtful lady in my Ward who hands out these cool little home evening packets twice a month in Relief Society that tie into our lessons from the manual.  Last week’s was on integrity.  Since it was my turn to teach the lesson and I hadn’t figured out what I was going to teach, I decided this was the perfect lesson.

I shared a couple of stories, one called Integrity from a talk by President Tanner and one called Andy’s Choice by Darlene Young.  Then I read a paragraph about each of the prophets from Joseph Smith to Gordon B. Hinckley that showed an aspect of integrity and challenged the family to relate it to their lives.  We learned that integrity is more than being honest under every condition; it is also fulfilling your duty regardless of the challenges, it is working hard, following the spirit, listening to church leaders, and having faith.

Our activity was playing Jenga and we enjoyed homemade Peanut Brittle for our treat.

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Family Home Evening: Joseph Smith’s First Vision Revisited

Have you ever wondered where I get my fantastic Family Home Evening topics every week?  We have a simple chart that divides the responsibilities.  Every family member rotates from lesson to treat / conducting to scripture and so on.  I like this method for two reasons. One, it’s a lot less work for me.  Two, and more important, it gives my children ownership in FHE and the experience of planning, preparing and executing their responsibility.  When they were little, I’d help them plan their lesson (sometimes even help them find a topic).  Now they usually do it on their own.  I’m still making or helping with the treat half the time, and that’s OK because it’s good quality time with my children.

One downside is sometimes the lessons, activities or songs get a little repetitive (sometimes even the treats)!  I pulled the bad mom card and banished a certain lesson because it felt like we were having the same lesson every week.  I do like the “Hold to the Rod” activity as much as the next person, but after four or five times in a row I was in desperate need for a change. 

One of my children chose the First Vision as a lesson.  Although we had the lesson several months ago, it was a good review.  And thanks to some awesome youth leaders, the lesson was well prepared; he even had cute little visual aides on a stick.  I was again impressed how different parts of the same lesson stand out.  This time we focused on scripture study, prayer and faith.

Our activity was one of our favorite games – What If?

I introduced our gratitude garland.  

One of the kiddos volunteered to bear their testimony for double treats.  You bribe your kids one time … but it was nice to hear their testimonies again.  The double treat thing worked out because I made brownies and we had vanilla ice cream in the freezer!

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