Each young woman will seek to be a peacemaker in her home.
For the object lesson, bring any two objects that produce heat when rubbed together, such as flint and steel, two sticks, or sandpaper and wood.
Assign several young women to express specific ideas or personal examples relating to the five statements that begin “I can be a peacemaker by …” Limit the time to one or two minutes each.
Assign young women to present any scriptures, stories, or quotations you wish.
Suggested Lesson Development
Rub the two objects together until they feel warm to the touch. Explain that the heat is a natural result of the two objects being rubbed together and is called friction. When people live close together in families, they often have many small conflicts each day. Sometimes these produce a kind of friction. This friction is not heat, but it is often anger, quarreling, and lack of harmony among family members.
Quotation and discussion
Ask the young women to briefly describe the feelings they have when they begin to get angry.
Elder Theodore M. Burton described what happens when we become angry: “Whenever you get red in the face, whenever you raise your voice, whenever you get ‘hot under the collar,’ or angry, rebellious, or negative in spirit, then know that the Spirit of God is leaving you and the spirit of Satan is beginning to take over” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1974, p. 77; or Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 56).
What is the spiritual result of anger? (Loss of the Holy Ghost, falling under Satan’s power.)
Point out that an angry person brings a spirit of disharmony to a family, but a peacemaker can bring a spirit of peace.
The Gospel Teaches Us to Be Peacemakers
Scripture discussion and chalkboard activity
Write on the chalkboard: “Blessed are ________ ________: for they shall be called the ________ ________ ________.” Ask the young women to try to find this scripture. Ask the first one who finds the scripture (Matthew 5:9) to fill in the blanks on the chalkboard.
Why would peacemakers be called the children of God?
Explain that a person who brings peace into the lives of others is becoming like God and so can truly be called a child of God.
Ask the young women to read Matthew 5:44.
Have you ever felt that a member of your family was your enemy?
Explain that an enemy is someone who opposes us or wants to hurt us. In the conflicts that sometimes occur in the home, even family members who actually love each other may treat each other like enemies.
List on the chalkboard the ways of making peace described in Matthew 5:44.
Point out that the gospel tells us that peacemaking means learning to love unconditionally, returning good for evil, and praying for our enemies. When we forgive, understand, and show respect, our relationships with others are improved.
A Young Woman Can Be a Peacemaker in Her Home
Have you wondered how you can be a peacemaker in your home? Allow the young women to respond; then tell the following story:
“A very wise bishop called several young people into his office and said to them, ‘I would like you to help me in an experiment. I would like to prove the impact and influence of one member on the spirit of the family. For one month I would like each one of you to be the peacemaker in your home. Now don’t say anything about this to your family, but be thoughtful, kind, and considerate. Be an example. Where there is quarreling or bickering among members of your family, do whatever you can to overcome these faults by creating an atmosphere of love, harmony, and happiness.’
“The bishop continued, ‘When you are irritated, and irritations arise in most every family, control yourself and help the others to control themselves. I would like to see every home in our ward be as President McKay counseled, “a warm nest or a bit of heaven on earth.” At the end of the month I would like you to meet with me again and report.’
“It was a challenge for these young people, and they met the challenge in a wonderful way. When they reported back to the bishop, remarks such as these were made:
“One young fellow said, ‘I had no idea I would have so much influence in my home. It’s really been different this last month. I’ve been wondering if much of the turmoil and strife we used to have was caused by me and my attitudes.’
“A young lady said, ‘I guess we were just the normal family, with our selfishness causing little daily conflicts, but as I have worked with my brothers and sisters, a lot of this has been eliminated and there has been a much sweeter spirit in our home. I believe you really have to work at it to have the spirit of peace in your home.’
“Another young lady reported, ‘Yes, there has been a much sweeter, cooperative, and unselfish spirit in our home since I began this experiment, but the biggest difference of all has been in me. I’ve tried hard to be a good example and a peacemaker, and I feel better about myself than I have ever felt. A wonderful feeling of peace has come over me’” (Franklin D. Richards, in Conference Report, Oct. 1974, p. 153; or Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 106; italics added).
Have the young women recall the bishop’s recommendations. Add the italicized words from the story to the scriptural list on the chalkboard.
Point out that a young woman’s influence as a peacemaker can help ease tensions in any family relationship—between parent and child, between children, and even between parents.
Presentation by young women
Have each assigned young woman present her ideas on how she can be a peacemaker in one of the ways listed below. You may use the scriptural references and quotations to emphasize some ideas.
I can be a peacemaker by showing love and understanding.
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).
I can be a peacemaker by avoiding unnecessary criticism and having self-control.
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
I can be a peacemaker by returning good for evil and practicing forgiveness.
“Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:39).
“How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
“Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21–22).
I can be a peacemaker by being considerate and unselfish.
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another” (Romans 12:10).
I can be a peacemaker by praying and being receptive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
“You can recognize the Spirit of Christ within you when you speak to one another or speak of another person with a warm smile instead of with a frown or scowl” (Theodore M. Burton, in Conference Report, Oct. 1974, p. 77; or Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 56).
Read the following description of some of the blessings that peacemakers enjoy:
“The blessed part of being a peacemaker is that those who are peacemakers and who live the gospel principles receive a testimony borne of the Holy Ghost. They enjoy the peace that surpasseth all understanding, relief from inner tensions, joy and happiness, contentment, growth, and development” (Franklin D. Richards, in Conference Report, Oct. 1974, p. 154; or Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 107).
Present to the young women the same challenge that the bishop in the story did to the young people in his ward. Ask them to try for one week to be peacemakers in their homes. Tell them you will let them share some of their experiences next week if they wish.