Each young woman will strive to create a home environment where the Spirit of the Lord can dwell.
Picture 5, Salt Lake Temple (62433), located at the back of the manual, or a picture of the temple nearest you.
Provide paper or index cards and pencils for the class members.
Make your classroom as attractive as possible for this lesson. Cover the table with a cloth and place a centerpiece on it.
Assign young women to present any scriptures, stories, or quotations you wish.
Suggested Lesson Development
Read the following statement by President Spencer W. Kimball:
“No matter what you read or hear, no matter what the differences of circumstances you observe in the lives of women about you, it is important for you Latter-day Saint women to understand that the Lord holds motherhood and mothers sacred and in the highest esteem. He has entrusted to his daughters the great responsibility of bearing and nurturing children.
“This is the great, irreplaceable work of women. Life cannot go on if women cease to bear children. Mortal life is a privilege and a necessary step in eternal progression. Mother Eve understood that. You must also understand it. …
“Much is said about the drudgery and the confinement of the woman’s role in the home. In the perspective of the gospel it is not so. There is divinity in each new life. There is challenge in creating the environment in which a child can grow and develop. There is partnership between the man and woman in building a family which can last throughout the eternities” (“Privileges and Responsibilities of Sisters,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, pp. 105–6).
How did President Kimball feel about the role of a woman in the home?
How can a young woman prepare now to create a home environment in which the Spirit of the Lord can dwell?
A Clean and Orderly House Invites the Spirit of the Lord
Quotation and discussion
Read the following quotation:
“One striking observation we made while in Holland is that the homes in that tiny land have choice personalities. The window sills in those red brick homes with the red tiled roofs are always filled with rows of flower pots—usually containing geraniums. The windows are large—with never a blind or a screen to cover them. These glistening windows add to the sparkle of the home’s personality. Many of the homes are named. Above the door you might see names such as: Sunny Corner, Sunbeam, Sun Cottage, Peace Haven, Tranquility, or Peaceful Nook. … Warmth and sunshine and pleasantness, together with peace and tranquility and contentment! These are the things which make a house a home” (Daryl V. Hoole, The Art of Homemaking [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1967], pp. 117–18).
Ask the class to explain how they feel when they see clean and tidy homes. Some of the young women may recall a specific home that gave them feelings like those Sister Hoole described. Have them share these experiences with the class.
Picture and discussion
Display the picture of a temple. Ask the young women to describe what impresses them most about the temple’s appearance. Some class members may have visited the temple. If so, have them share their impressions of the temple and the temple grounds. Have the class members discuss why our temples are kept so clean and beautiful.
Ask the young women to locate and read Doctrine and Covenants 132:8. Then discuss the following questions:
Why does the Lord require his house to be one of order?
How can beauty and cleanliness add to order in the Lord’s house?
How do you think the Lord’s instructions on order could apply to our homes as well as to temples?
Discuss what these scriptures teach us about order and cleanliness in and around a person’s home.
Explain that order is essential in the heavens; otherwise, chaos would rule. Order is just as essential in our homes.
Hand out slips of paper or index cards and pencils. Suggest that most of us have problems keeping things clean, repaired, orderly, and uncluttered. Have the young women identify something in their own areas of responsibility that needs to be more clean and orderly and write it on the card. Suggest that they also write down several ideas that will help them improve in this area of their lives.
Emphasize the importance of putting resolves into action by reading the following quotation by Elder Delbert L. Stapley on forming good habits.
“Good habits are not acquired simply by making good resolves, though the thought must precede the action. Good habits are developed in the workshop of our daily lives. It is not in the great moments of test and trial that character is built. That is only when it is displayed. The habits that direct our lives and form our character are fashioned in the often uneventful, commonplace routine of life. They are acquired by practice” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1974, p. 25; or Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 20).
Explain that if we make our dwellings clean and orderly, the Spirit of the Lord and our family members will want to be there. Each young woman can feel great satisfaction and accomplishment if she practices good homemaking habits now. She should develop skills and habits that will enable her to maintain an orderly home throughout her life.
A Young Woman Blesses Others As She Cheerfully Practices Her Homemaking Role
Explain that to make a home a pleasant place to dwell, one must be concerned not only about the things that go into it, but also about the atmosphere within the home. As President Kimball pointed out, many women today see their homemaking responsibilities as a drudgery. But if young women learn to take care of their homes and families willingly and cheerfully, they will be a great blessing to their families and will make their homes pleasant places to be.
Case studies and discussion
Select from the following case studies those most appropriate for the young women in your class, or create others of your own.
Case Study 1
Jane has two younger brothers and a sister, all under four years of age. Meals are frequently late, and the house seems always in disarray. Jane is embarrassed when her friends drop in, and she speaks and acts unkindly toward her mother.
How does Jane’s attitude affect family relationships?
What could Jane do to alter the situation?
Case Study 2
Susan loves new clothes but has a small allowance, and the household operates on a tight budget. Her limited wardrobe makes her cross and unhappy.
How could Susan work within her means to improve her wardrobe and her home environment?
Case Study 3
Anna often leaves the bathroom untidy and unclean. Her sister complains daily of having to clean the dirty bathtub, of picking up Anna’s dirty clothes, and of not being able to find what she needs.
How does the spiritual atmosphere in the home suffer because of Anna’s neglect of basic homemaking responsibilities?
Case Study 4
Sarah is a music student and plays the piano for family home evening. Each week, she willingly coordinates the musical selections with the lesson and practices all the songs in order to play them well.
How do Sarah’s skill and attitude affect the spirituality in her home?
Case Study 5
Colleen has shown great artistic and creative ability. She spends hours developing her abilities but refuses to keep her room neat. Because she is so interested in her artistic talents, she has no desire to do housekeeping. There is much discord and controversy over this subject.
How could Colleen use her artistic talents and creative abilities in her home? In her own room?
What effect could Colleen have on her family by keeping her room more orderly?
Point out that a spiritual atmosphere is a key ingredient in a happy home. Each young woman can positively influence the spirituality in her present home. As a young woman develops and enjoys her homemaking opportunities, she invites the Spirit of the Lord to dwell within the home.
Provide midweek activities and instruction in—
Cooking or bread making.
Meal planning, budgeting, and shopping.
Framing of art or poetry.
Mending and alterations.
Household hints, recipe files, and time-saving ideas.
Canning, preserving, and freezing foods.