Lesson 6: Sharing Work in the Home

Young Women Manual 2, (1993), 22–24


Each young woman will seek to do her share of the work in the home.


  1. 1.

    With the approval of your priesthood leader, ask an older girl or young married woman to talk for about five minutes on the subject, “The Rewards and Benefits of Learning to Work in the Home.”

  2. 2.

    If it is available in your area, prepare to show selected portions of “Self-reliance and Service,” from the Family Home Evening Video Supplement (53276).

  3. 3.

    Assign young women to present any scriptures, stories, or quotations you wish.

Note to the teacher

The young women in your class will learn more about sharing work if each one actively shares in the lesson presentation.

Suggested Lesson Development

Each Young Woman Has a Responsibility to Share in the Work of the Home


Relate the following experience, as told by some parents about their daugh:

“It was Carolyn’s turn to do the dishes, and expecting her to fulfill her responsibility, we left together for an evening out. When we returned, the dishes were still in the sink and Carolyn was sound asleep.”


  • What thoughts and feelings do you suppose Carolyn’s parents had as they discovered the dishes hadn’t been washed?


Continue the story:

“It was 11:00 p.m. After some discussion, we decided to get Carolyn up and ask her to do the dishes. …

“Carolyn couldn’t believe her dad would actually get her out of bed to do dishes in the middle of the night. But ignoring her groggy resistance and talking quietly and gently, her father informed her the dishes must be done before she went back to bed. …”


  • How would you feel if you were awakened late at night to perform a responsibility that you had neglected?


Continue the story:

“Tears sprang to Carolyn’s eyes, and she started to cry. As she plunged her hands into the dishwater, she murmured angry words under her breath that grew angrier with each dish. Her dad stayed up the whole time with her—humming, reading the paper, sweeping up a little—and helping with a dish or two toward the end.

“Late into the night when the kitchen was clean, he put his arm around her and drew her to the table. Tenderly, he looked at her and thanked her for the beautiful job she had done. Then he said, ‘Carolyn, I know how angry I made you tonight. Well, your mother and I left you with your word that you would wash those dishes. They were your responsibility, and yet you took no thought of how your mother would feel when she had to face your dirty dishes before she could begin breakfast in the morning. She would have had not only her jobs in the morning—but yours too.’”


  • How might this story have been different if Carolyn had chosen to go the second mile in her responsibilities rather than neglect them?


Continue the story:

Carolyn’s father continued: “‘Carolyn, you are too precious and too special for me to allow you to behave in such a way. I want more for you than that. I want you to know the feeling of accomplishment when you have carried your load, done your share, and understood what others will feel about you when you don’t.’

“Carolyn crumpled into her father’s arms. She said of the occasion later, ‘I never loved my father more than I did that night!’” (Ron and Sherri Zirker, “Teaching Teens Self-Discipline,” Ensign, Apr. 1982, p. 18).


  • Why does work we put off seem to get harder to do?

Teacher presentation

Explain that there is work to be done in every home. Each family member has helped create the need for this work just by living in the home. The dishes are not ready for the next meal if they have not been washed. There is not a garden unless it is planted and cared for. Clothes cannot wash and maintain themselves. Dust and dirt may appear as if by magic, but it takes work to make them disappear.


  • What is your responsibility for the work in the home?

  • Why should you help in the home each day?


One of our Church leaders has counseled us: “It is the duty of children to obey their parents, to learn, and to help with household chores” (Joseph B. Wirthlin, in Conference Report, Oct. 1980, pp. 101–2; or Ensign, Nov. 1980, p. 70).

Helping with the Work of the Home Brings Personal Growth


President Spencer W. Kimball shared many of the responsibilities of his home during his youth. He expressed gratitude for his work opportunities this way: “I’ve been grateful for the experience I had under the tutelage of my own father to wash with Castile soap the harnesses and grease them to preserve them. I learned to paint the picket fence, the water tank, the carriage shed, the granary, the buggy and the wagon, and finally the house. And since the days when I wore the occasional blister on my hands, I have not been sorry for those experiences” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1976, p. 172; or Ensign, May 1976, p. 126).


  • Why do you think President Kimball was grateful he had been given these responsibilities?

  • How do you think learning to work at an early age helped him manage his Church responsibilities?

  • How might your current work responsibilities benefit you in your future home?


After hearing the counsel of President Kimball to clean and fix up homes and properties, one family shared work responsibilities to accomplish a difficult task.

“Just north of Detroit, Michigan, the Gearig family lives on a fairly large plot of ground, with trees, lots of lawn, and a shed in the back yard. That shed means a lot to them; they call it their ‘President Kimball shed.’

“‘… When President Kimball told us we should fix our homesteads up and either repair or tear down our old sheds,’ Brother Gearig recalls, ‘we couldn’t decide whether to tear down our shed or not.’ They postponed the decision by painting the entire house, fixing up the porch, and painting the garage. …

“And then they decided that the shed would stay—but fixed up. ‘We used to joke that once we had the shed finished, President Kimball could come and look at it and know that we had done the things he asked us to do—but we really couldn’t expect him to come before then.’

“The shed was a mess—but they fixed it up in record time. Everyone in the family worked on renovation, repair, and painting. ‘It was kind of hard work painting the garage because it was cinderblock, a rough surface that really soaks up the paint. I remember the little ones wanted to help, so we let them paint around the bottom, where they could reach. I was really surprised—they kept on working through that whole day, and it was a hot day!’

“Now the family talks with delight and accomplishment of what they did to make their beautiful old home look as good as it did when it was built” (Orson Scott Card, “The Elbow-Grease Factor: How to Teach Your Children to Love Work,” Ensign, Aug. 1978, p. 61).


  • What did the family gain besides a more beautiful home?

Ask the young women to think of some family work projects they have had that have brought them joy and feelings of accomplishment.

  • In what ways do family members grow personally when they learn to work together?

  • How would you feel if one family member always shirked his responsibility?


Point out that perhaps it may be a long time before the young women realize they have gained something from work responsibilities.


Tell the following experience of a young woman:

“A young woman returned from her first year at college. ‘Mother,’ she said, ‘I want to tell you how happy I am that you loved me enough to teach me how to work. Even though you have given me responsibilities around the home since I was a child, I have never really appreciated it until this year. Five of the six of us in the apartment had learned how to clean and cook, so that taking care of our duties was easy. But I felt sorry for Jane. It took her so long to do the most ordinary tasks, and she didn’t know the first thing about cooking.’

“‘I had a long talk with her one evening; she was upset about a poor meal she had prepared. It had failed even though she had taken two hours to prepare it. She told me she had spent much time this year trying to learn how to do things she should have learned at home years ago, and she was becoming resentful toward her mother. Jane’s grades weren’t what they should have been, and she felt it was because she had to spend so much time doing simple jobs that were difficult for her.’

“‘I am sure her mother thought she was doing Jane a favor by waiting on her, but I can see what a mistake it was. This is why I appreciate you for the time and patience you took to teach me’” (Family Home Evening: Heaven in Our Home [1980–81], pp. 56–57).

  • How could a change in attitude help you feel happier with the work responsibilities you have at home right now?

Guest speaker

Introduce the young woman who will speak to the class.


Teacher presentation

If you have had the young women help in the lesson presentation, point out that doing so has provided opportunities for everyone to learn and grow. Explain that in our families, those who accept and share work responsibilities also learn and grow.


Have someone read this statement:

“I do not believe people can be happy unless they have work to do. One can really be more of a slave to idleness than to work. Work also keeps us humble and reminds us of how all our blessings come to us from our Heavenly Father. …

“The gospel of work is a very important teaching of the Church. If we learn to work early in life we will be better individuals, better members of families, better neighbors, and better disciples of Jesus Christ, who Himself learned to work as a carpenter” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Gospel of Work,” Friend, June 1975, p. 7).

Lesson Application

Encourage each young woman to find and do some job around her home that needs to be done, in addition to her regular assigned jobs. Ask each to report on how she and others felt when she did this extra job without being required to.