Lesson 5: Creating a Spiritual Environment in the Home

Young Women Manual 3, (1994), 17–19


Objective

Each young woman will strive to create a spiritual environment in her home.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Provide paper and pencil for each young woman.

  2. 2.

    Assign several young women to bring something from home that represents the good feelings in their homes. Ask them to explain the items to the class.

  3. 3.

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

Suggested Lesson Development

Introduction

Writing

Pass out paper and pencils. Have each young woman number from one to eight down the left side of her paper. Tell the young women to write their first response in one or two words for each word you read. Then read the following list of words.

  1. 1.

    Home

  2. 2.

    Smile

  3. 3.

    Messy

  4. 4.

    Temple

  5. 5.

    Bedroom

  6. 6.

    Dark

  7. 7.

    Music

  8. 8.

    Parents

Discussion

Have the young women compare answers; then discuss the following:

  • Which of these words create a good feeling for you? Why?

  • Which of these words create a bad feeling for you? Why?

  • How do our surroundings, like these words, create feelings and moods?

A Young Woman Creates a Mood in Her Home

Chalkboard

Explain that there are many things that help to create a mood or atmosphere in a home. This lesson will discuss two of them: (1) the physical environment and (2) the attitudes of the occupants. Write these two items on the chalkboard.

The Physical Environment

Writing

Ask the young women to picture in their minds their rooms (or the part of their homes they are responsible for) exactly as they left them. Have them list on the right side of their papers four words that describe that room or area right now.

Story

Tell the following story, which was told by a stake president’s wife:

“Elder LeGrand Richards stayed with us during stake conference. As I took him to the room in which he would stay, I thought about others who had occupied this room.

“At times, troubled teenagers had stayed with us and decorated the room according to their spirit and temperament. Sometimes it had been frightening to open the door and find fierce-looking animals, wild men on motorcycles, or shaggy rock stars peering from posters. It had not been a comfortable room to enter.

“Recently our two daughters had moved into the room and had decorated it according to their personalities. As I opened the door this time, I knew it was a room fit for use by an Apostle of the Lord.”

Scripture discussion

Ask the young women to read the thirteenth article of faith and Doctrine and Covenants 90:18.

  • Why is it important to keep slothfulness and uncleanness far from you?

Have the young women look at the words they used to describe their rooms.

  • Do these words reflect spirituality?

Attitudes

Explain that one person’s attitudes can greatly affect the entire family.

  • How do your attitudes affect other people in your household?

Story

Relate the following story:

Heather’s mother came home one afternoon after a long planning meeting with the ward Young Women presidency. She was tired and looked forward to the peace of her own home. Heather’s greeting was sharp and biting.

“Where have you been, Mother? You’re usually home when we get here. Brad’s been teasing the little girls. I’m hungry, and I can’t find that dress you promised to mend for me. I have to leave in just a few minutes to go over to Sally’s.”

Heather’s mother sighed and asked, “How did your game go this afternoon?”

“Terrible,” was Heather’s reply. “We lost, but it wasn’t our fault. The referee made some bad calls!”

Discussion

  • What effect did Heather have on the mood in her home?

  • How could she have had a positive effect?

Ask the young women to think of experiences with their families that either increased or decreased the spirituality in their homes. Invite them to share these with the class.

Teacher presentation

Explain to the young women that the attitudes and habits they are now developing toward the care of their homes and the way they act there will affect the atmosphere of their homes throughout their lives. They can either increase or decrease the spirituality in their homes.

Class members

Ask the assigned young women to show the things they have brought from home and explain them.

Creating a Spiritual Home Environment Requires Preparation and Work

Quotation and discussion

Read the following statement by President David O. McKay: “Spirituality is the consciousness of victory over self, and of communion with the Infinite” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1949, p. 17).

Explain that we must learn to be victorious over our bad attitudes and habits if we are to improve the spirituality in our homes.

Story and discussion

Tell the following story:

“At school I had a friend who was so cheerful that she was like a ray of sunshine. Especially in the morning, she was encouraging and happy with each of us. I was not known for my good humor when I first got up, nor did I understand hers.

“One day, I asked her why she was so happy in the mornings. Her reply made a lasting impression on me. She said that when she was younger, she was such a grouch in the mornings that it was unpleasant to be around her. One day, her mother took her aside and told her that her future husband and children would be very miserable unless she changed her behavior. She was really shocked by that.

“Not wanting to inflict her bad humor on her future family, she decided to change. Every morning for months, she forced herself to get up and pretend to be cheerful. It was hard at first. It took all the discipline she had. But after a while, she no longer had to pretend.

“I decided that I too would try. It was hard, but after a few months I found that I could wake up happy and cheerful. Now I am a young married woman, and I can see the difference my attitude makes in the spiritual atmosphere in our home.”

  • How could this young woman’s initial attitude have decreased spirituality in a home?

  • How did she change?

Teacher presentation

Explain that developing habits and attitudes that improve spirituality is not easy, but it is worth the effort. Increased spirituality brings love and joy into our homes. Explain that achieving anything worthwhile in life takes planning, preparation, and work.

Discussion

  • Why is it important to change negative attitudes?

  • How do you change attitudes?

As this is discussed, you may wish to summarize the answers on the chalkboard. The list might include the following:

  1. 1.

    Decide you are going to change.

  2. 2.

    Seek the Lord’s help through prayer.

  3. 3.

    Work hard to change.

Teacher presentation

Ask the young women to write on their papers a habit or attitude they have that does not help the spirituality of their homes.

Challenge them to increase the spirituality in their homes by working hard to change this habit or attitude. Explain that this will be easier if they maintain a neat and clean physical environment that will invite the presence of the Spirit of the Lord. By starting now and seeking the Lord’s help, they will increase their spirituality, regardless of what the other members of the household do.

Ask them to write down other specific things they can do now to increase the spirituality in their own homes.

Conclusion

Teacher testimony

Testify to the young women that as they make their homes more spiritual places, they will be happier now and throughout eternity.

Lesson Application

Encourage the young women to record in their journals the progress they make in overcoming the things in their lives that decrease the spirituality in their homes.