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How can I strengthen my family?

“Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful … families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129). As we assist our parents in accomplishing these goals, we can help our families attain the happiness Heavenly Father wants for us.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What principles found in the scriptures and words of the prophets will inspire the young women to strengthen their families?

1 Nephi 8:12 (Lehi wanted his family to partake of the fruit of the tree of life)

1 Nephi 16:14–32 (Nephi strengthens his family)

D&C 88:119 (Pattern for a righteous home)

The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129 (see also True to the Faith [2004], 59–61)

David A. Bednar, “More Diligent and Concerned at Home,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 17–20

Mary N. Cook, “Strengthen Home and Family,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 11–13

Family,” For the Strength of Youth (2011), 14–15

Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth,” Hymns, no. 298

Love Is Spoken Here,” Children’s Songbook, 190

Video: “Through Small Things”

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Ask the young women to think of things a family might do to protect their home from physical harm (such as a fire or burglary). What spiritual dangers threaten families? What can the young women do to help protect their family from these dangers?
  • Ask the young women to write on the board as many words as they can think of in one or two minutes that describe things that bring happiness to their families.

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the young women learn how to strengthen their families. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best in your class:

  • As a class, read the seventh paragraph of the “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” looking for principles that can help the young women achieve happiness in family life. Ask each young woman to read 1 Nephi 16:14–32 and share ways Lehi’s family applied these principles. Ask them to share experiences they have had that have taught them the importance of these principles in family life.
  • Ask the young women to listen for ways to increase love in the home as they sing or listen to “Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth” (Hymns, no. 298) or “Love Is Spoken Here” (Children’s Songbook, 190). Ask them to share what they find. Invite them to share an experience in which they have felt happiness because they were shown love or because they helped increase the love in their home.
  • Ask the young women to read “Family” in For the Strength of Youth or watch the video “Through Small Things” and find things they can do to strengthen their families. What examples do the young women know about of families in the scriptures who did or did not follow these principles? Invite the young women to look at the table of contents of For the Strength of Youth and discuss how living the other standards in this book can help invite the Spirit in their homes. Invite them to choose one thing they will do during the coming week to strengthen their families.
  • Divide the class into three groups, and ask each group to read about one of the suggestions Elder David A. Bednar gives in his talk “More Diligent and Concerned at Home.” Ask each group to share with the class what they learn, explaining specific things they can do to apply Elder Bednar’s suggestions in their families. Encourage them to share examples they have seen of family members doing what Elder Bednar suggests.
  • Give sections of Sister Mary N. Cook’s talk “Strengthen Home and Family” to the young women, and invite them to look for ways they can strengthen their homes now. Invite them to set some goals based on what they read. Follow up over the next few weeks to see how following their plans has made a difference.

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to strengthen their families? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Look for ways to strengthen their families through giving service. This could be as simple as preparing a meal, helping a sibling with homework, or just listening. Ask them to share their experiences next week.
  • Record in their journals ways they can be supportive of their families.
  • Complete an activity from Personal Progress that helps strengthen their families, such as Divine Nature value experience 3 or 5, Individual Worth value project, or Virtue value experience 2