Lesson 7: Living in Love and Harmony

Young Women Manual 2, (1993), 25–28


Objective

Each young woman will treat members of her family in a more Christlike manner.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Provide paper and pencils for the class members.

  2. 2.

    Assign a young woman to prepare to play a harmonious and a discordant chord on some musical instrument—a piano, guitar, or violin, for example.

  3. 3.

    If it is available in your area, prepare to show “Family Communication,” from Family Home Evening Video Supplement (53276).

  4. 4.

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

Suggested Lesson Development

Introduction

Object lesson

Have the assigned young woman strike a harmonious chord on the piano, guitar, or other musical instrument. Invite the class to notice the beauty of the notes as they blend together. Have the young woman strike another chord with one or more discordant notes.

Discussion

  • How is family harmony like the two chords just played?

  • What makes musical notes harmonious?

  • What makes families harmonious?

  • Why can’t something or someone have harmony by itself or herself?

Explain that if everyone is working together in love and unity, our families will be as harmonious and pleasing as the first chord. Everyone must do her part to make the notes blend or to have family harmony. If one note or one person is out of tune, the whole chord or the whole family suffers.

The Family Is of Great Importance

Quotation

Read the following quotation from President David O. McKay and discuss its meaning to the young women: “No other success can compensate for failure in the home” (quoted from J. E. McCulloch, Home: The Savior of Civilization [Washington, D.C.: The Southern Co-operative League, 1924], p. 42; in Conference Report, Apr. 1964, p. 5).

Note to the teacher

As you present the following section of the lesson, please consider the background and experiences of those in your class. Be sensitive to those who may not be part of a happy home. Encourage them to continue practicing skills that will make their present home happier and will be a blessing in their future homes.

Discussion

Discuss why home life is so important. Point out that we spend more time at home than any other place; therefore, we have more opportunity to learn basic skills and spiritual qualities in the home. The home is the single most important influence in a Latter-day Saint young woman’s life. The home is the basic unit in the Church.

Chalkboard discussion

Divide the chalkboard in half with a vertical line. At the top of the board on the left side, write “Home,” and on the right side, write “Church, school, and other places.” Name a skill or personal quality that is learned, and ask the young women to tell what place had the most influence in teaching them that specific skill or quality. (Example: Where did you learn to walk? Answer: At home.) Write their answers under the proper heading.

Examples of skills or personal qualities: walking, eating, speaking, cooking, sewing, love, honesty, kindness, courage, thoughtfulness, cleanliness, loyalty, courtesy, helpfulness, charity, friendliness, reverence, respect, faith, prayer.

Help the young women to recognize that most of their important skills and qualities are learned at home.

    Home

  • Walking

  • Talking

  • Love

  • Prayer

    Church, school, and other places

Showing Love to Our Families Promotes Love and Harmony in the Home

Scripture and discussion

Invite a young woman to read Matthew 22:36–39. Ask the young women to explain who our neighbors are, according to the Savior. Discuss why we should also consider our own family members as neighbors. Then consider with the young women how they can show love to their families. Bring out the following points in the discussion:

  1. 1.

    We can express our love in words and acts of cheerfulness, kindness, helpfulness, and thoughtfulness.

  2. 2.

    We can respect our family members and their need for privacy.

  3. 3.

    We can observe common courtesy.

  4. 4.

    We can communicate and listen to what each person has to say.

  5. 5.

    We can give praise and be genuinely happy when a family member achieves or excels at something.

  6. 6.

    We can be willing to share unselfishly.

  7. 7.

    We can be loyal to our family.

  8. 8.

    We can be aware of our family members’ needs and be understanding.

Case studies

Present the following situations to the young women. Have them tell how they would show love in each situation.

  1. 1.

    You have wanted your own copies of the standard works for as long as you can remember. Your sister, who has not shown much interest, receives a set for Christmas. How does this make you feel? How can you show love to your sister and to your parents?

  2. 2.

    Your dad comes home from work tired, discouraged, and grumpy. How can you show love to him?

  3. 3.

    Your brother receives a perfect report card and announces to everyone that yours was not quite as good. How can you show love to him?

  4. 4.

    You find your older sister’s diary open on her bed with your brother busily reading it. How can you show love to your inquisitive brother and to your sister?

  5. 5.

    Your mother has the flu. You have plans to go to the movies with your friends. How can you show love to your mother?

  6. 6.

    Your best friend says to you, “Your little brother is the most annoying boy I know.” How can you show love and loyalty to your little brother and to your friend?

  7. 7.

    Your sister is entertaining her friends and asks you to leave. How do you feel? How can you show your sister that you still love her even after she has hurt your feelings?

  8. 8.

    You have just spent two hours fixing a special dessert for your family as a family night surprise. Your mother comes home and says, “You’ve made a horrible mess of this kitchen. Clean it up!” How does this make you feel? How can you show love to your mother?

One Person Can Make a Difference

Story

Read the following story to the class. As the story is read, ask the young women to notice ways in which Janet first hindered family harmony, then helped to unite and strengthen her family.

“Janet had always been a wonderful child to live with. When she went away to college, we missed her terribly. We had been almost sorry when she was accepted first as a counselor, then as director of a summer camp for girls. For almost four years she’d been home only on weekends and occasional holidays. Now she was coming home to live and teach at a local high school. We were thrilled.

“But somehow things weren’t working out at all as we expected. Janet was under a great deal of pressure with her new responsibilities. She had a very hard time teaching and disciplining students just four or five years younger than she was. She was discouraged and upset, and the constant confusion and clamor in a house filled with many children added greatly to her frustration and irritability. As soon as she came home, she went immediately to her room, coming out only for meals or to scold the children for disturbing her study. I found myself sending the children’s friends, who had always been welcome in our home, somewhere else to play. And I realized I was constantly telling our own family to be quiet, even in their normal activities, so as not to bother Janet.”

Discussion

  • How do you think Janet’s actions made the family feel?

Story

Continue the story:

“Family members, who but a few weeks before had been eager for Janet’s return, were openly wishing she’d go away again. Their resentment was creating an unhappy spirit in our home, and I was at a loss to know what to do. I was sympathetic with Janet’s unhappiness and anxiety, yet equally sensitive to the needs and feelings of the other children.”

Discussion

  • What do you think the mother in the story should do?

Story

Continue the story:

“My gentle efforts to talk over the problem with Janet reduced her to tears of remorse and helplessness. She simply did not know how to cope with the problems in her life. We decided to make it a matter of fasting and prayer.

“Miraculously and almost immediately, a change came over Janet. Instead of closeting herself in her room, she made herself a part of family activity once again. She became our peacemaker. Whenever there was a problem in the house, it was her quiet, calm approach that soon brought peace to our household again. If I left my room in the morning without making my bed, it would be made when I returned. She helped the boys with their math problems and drilled the girls with their spelling words as she helped them do the dishes. Whenever someone was having a hard day or had had a disappointment, we would find her talking to him quietly in a corner and encouraging him until the sad heart was lifted up again. Several times I found notes she had written to different members of the family telling them that she loved them and thought they were wonderful. I could tell in each case that she was helping them in a difficult situation.

“I told Janet often how much I appreciated her influence in the family. One day I asked if she wanted to share what had brought about her sudden transformation and the beautiful attitude she had shown to all of us. I will never forget her answer. She said, ‘You remember, Mother, that day we’d been fasting and praying about my problems and the unhappiness I was causing the family? Well, that night I picked up my Bible and it fell open to 1 John. Two verses seemed to stand out from the page.’ She opened her Bible and read them to me. ‘“He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:10–11).

“‘I realized that I was trying to solve my problems in entirely the wrong way,’ she said, ‘groping around in the darkness with blinded eyes. I’ve been reading the scriptures every day since then, and it seems that there’s hardly a page that doesn’t talk about loving, about being one and living in peace. Mother, the scriptures have changed my whole life.’ Indeed, they had changed her life and in doing so had changed the life and spirit of our entire family.”

Discussion

  • After hearing this story, do you think that you could help to make a change for the better in your own family? How?

Lesson Application

Give each young woman a piece of paper and a pencil, and ask the class to assume that they have only one week left to spend with their families. Have them identify one thing they could do to show their love and improve the harmony in their family. Ask them to write it down and during the next week put it into practice as if it were indeed their last week with their families. Invite them to share their experiences next week if they would like to.