Making Lessons Work

Trying to make family home evening—especially the lesson—more meaningful to our three teenage children, we held a family council to analyze the positive and negative aspects of our present procedure. Our children complained that they had already learned and relearned most of the material in Primary, Sunday School, and seminary classes. So we took a new approach.

When lesson time came, my husband presented the subject, expressed his feelings on its importance, and then had the children tell us everything they knew about it, agreeing to count it as a completed lesson if they could cover all the points in the manual. It was amazing what happened! The challenge of trying to remember everything put new sparkle into our discussions. It was enlightening for us to realize how much they did know, and enlightening for them to find out how much they didn’t know. They took pride in sharing their knowledge with us and listened with fresh interest as we covered vague areas. Lesson time soon became our family’s favorite part of the evening.Sara Brown Neilson, Sierra Madre, California

Keep in Touch

I have three children, ages two, four, and seven. I have found that I feel the most love for them and they respond best to me when I literally keep in touch with them. When I seem less able to communicate with them and have less success in disciplining them, I invariably realize that for one reason or another it’s been a while since I’ve kissed or touched them in a loving way. Almost as soon as I make the effort to show more love to them, they respond by becoming more open, more affectionate, and more self-disciplined. It’s an action that speaks as loudly as words.Ruth Gollihur, Alamogordo, New Mexico

An Ordinary Truck

Caught on a little-traveled country road in the plains of West Texas during a flash flood, our little foreign car quickly flooded out, leaving us stranded. Water was rushing over both edges of the road, rising fast, and pastures on both sides of the road were already awash with the ominous sound of fast water.

My husband and I immediately offered silent prayer. Before we had completely finished, a pickup truck pulled in front of us and stopped. We hadn’t seen any traffic to that point, and we didn’t see the truck approach. The driver, his weatherbeaten face and crooked teeth flashing us a smile, pulled a chain from his truck, then towed us through the high water to a hilltop where we waited out the storm’s fury.

As I looked at that man, I realized the Lord needs our hands to do his work on earth, and I wondered if I am always ready to respond. There is work to do in visiting teaching, his work, and I hope I can be as ready as the man in the rain was.LaVonda Johnson, Wichita Falls, Texas

Greek Hors d’Oeuvres

In our day-to-day quest for perfection, we sometimes forget to appreciate the beautiful qualities of people outside of our religion. But living on an Army post brought us into close contact with people from all areas of the United States with many different backgrounds. Our new friends were good people from various religions; and despite the differences, they had several common characteristics. They were thoughtful, kind, and loving.

This was made especially clear to me as four of us gathered at one friend’s home to make hors d’oeuvres for my Cultural Refinement lesson on Greece. These women took time to help me prepare something special for the sisters in my ward—and I, in turn, was able to tell them about Relief Society. We have now gone our separate ways; but this particular morning was a testimony that we are all God’s children, to be loved by him and to love one another.Veronica Taylor Wolthius, Stansbury Park, Utah

She Applied My Lessons

I have a heritage of foremothers devoted to Relief Society, and that habit became mine when I was married. It became especially rich for me when serving one time as a teacher. Month after month a certain sister would report to me the benefits of practicing the challenges I had given the sisters the previous month. Her reports made me more conscious of the challenges I gave—and also those I received in the various meetings I attended. Her example motivated “lesson application” in my life as never before. I’m grateful for a Church organization that enables us to teach one another the gospel. The blessing of Relief Society is multiplied many times when I try to “practice what is preached.”Loraine Tolman Pace, Logan, Utah

[photo] Photography by Eldon K. Linschoten