February 5, 2013 by FHElessons
Last week I was asked to substitute in my daughter’s Sunday School class. The topic for the month of February is the Plan of Salvation, and the lesson for that week was about how part of God’s plan is for us to come to Earth to learn. I thought I would post the lesson I gave, since it could also make for a great Family Home Evening lesson.
Note: I have included some pictures in this lesson. You can use these pictures, or you can use pictures of your own family going off to school, being born, etc. This lesson will work best when used with a chalkboard or whiteboard.
To begin, ask your family the following questions:
- What was it like when you were little and stayed at home with Mom all day?
- Can you remember what it felt like the first day you went off by yourself to school?
- Why did Mom & Dad send you away from home to go to school?
- What were you supposed to learn there?
Label one side of your chalkboard or whiteboard “School”, and list the things that we go to school to learn as your family calls them out to you. Some possible answers might be:
- Social Skills
Now, let’s compare the experience of leaving home to go off to school with leaving your Heavenly Home to come to Earth. Label the other side of your chalkboard “Earth”. Ask your family the following questions:
- Can you remember what it was like to live with Heavenly Father? (be open to whatever answer they give). Have someone read the following quote:
“At one time we were in the presence of our Eternal Father. There is not a soul in this room, not one, that has not seen him. You do not remember it, I do not remember it, but nevertheless there was a time before we ever came into this world when we dwelt in his presence. We knew what kind of a being he is. One thing we saw was how glorious he is. Another thing, how great was his wisdom, his understanding, how wonderful was his power and his inspiration. And we wanted to be like him. And because we wanted to be like him, we are here.” –Joseph Fielding Smith
- Why did your Heavenly Parents send you away from home, to Earth?
- What were you supposed to learn while you were here?
Some possible answers (list them on the chalkboard under “Earth”):
- How to be like God
- Knowledge (how to create worlds)
- How to learn
- How to endure suffering
Have someone read the following quote: “Each one of you has it within the realm of his possibility to develop a kingdom over which you will preside as its king and god. You will need to develop yourself and grow in ability and power and worthiness, to govern such a world with all of its people. You are sent to this earth not merely to have a good time or to satisfy urges or passions or desires. You are sent to this earth, not to ride merry-go-rounds, airplanes, automobiles, and have what the world calls ‘fun.’ You are sent to this world with a very serious purpose. You are sent to school, for that matter, to begin as a human infant and grow to unbelievable proportions in wisdom, judgment, knowledge, and power.” -Spencer W. Kimball
Here are a couple of scriptures that will help you list things the Lord wants us to learn:
- D&C 90:15 (become acquainted with good books, languages, tongues, people)
- D&C 130:18-19 (the more we learn here, the farther ahead we’ll be in the next life)
Now, let’s go back to our school analogy. Ask: How do we learn while we’re at school? Do they start off teaching us Calculus and Microbiology in Kindergarten? Discuss how we first learn addition, then multiplication, then Algebra, and so on. We first learn our letter names and sounds, then we string them together to make words, then we read books, until finally we can read classic novels and write essays about them.
What about our “school” here on Earth? How do we learn?
- D&C 50:40 (ye cannot bear all things now)
- 2 Nephi 28:30 (line upon line)
What kinds of processes are used to teach us in school? (list on board)
- Listening to our teacher
- Reading textbooks
- Doing experiments
- Taking tests
By what kinds of processes to we learn here on earth? To help your family think of things for this list read the following quotes and scriptures:
“Is there not wisdom in his [God’s] giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls? Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?” Spencer W. Kimball
“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.” -Orson F. Whitney
D&C 88:118 – seek learning by study and by faith
Alma 12:10-11 – be willing to learn, humble, teachable
D&C 6:7 – seek not for riches but for wisdom
D&C 89:19 – obey Word of Wisdom & receive knowledge
Some possible answers for your list might be:
- Be willing to learn, humble
- Seek for wisdom
- Obey the Word of Wisdom
- Experiment on the Word
- Attend church & seminary
- Pray diligently
- Make mistakes and repent
What are we expected to do with the knowledge that we learn in school?
- Get a job/profession/career
- Raise our families
- Be good spouses
- Help out in the community
What does the Lord expect us to do with the knowledge that we gain through our Earthly experiences?
Mosiah 5:13 – If we want to become like Heavenly Father, we must serve Him.
Mosiah 2:17 – When we serve others, we serve God
D&C 88:77-80 – Teach each other
President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, taught: “The Lord knows both what He will need you to do and what you will need to know. He is kind and He is all-knowing. So you can with confidence expect that He has prepared opportunities for you to learn in preparation for the service you will give. You will not recognize those opportunities perfectly. … But when you put the spiritual things first in your life, you will be blessed to feel directed toward certain learning, and you will be motivated to work harder.”
- Serve God
- Serve each other
- Teach each other what we have learned
- The Lord will prepare us for whatever job He wants to give us
- Be willing to obey
- Ultimately, we want to become like God, to become Gods and Goddesses ourselves and to do the job that God does (create worlds, raise our own spirit children)
The last concept was apparently a brand new idea for my class of 13-14 year olds. I was surprised because I thought this was something everyone in the Church knew that we were striving towards, but my class was absolutely floored by the idea that we could actually become Gods and Goddesses ourselves. We ended up spending quite a bit of time talking about it.
Finish with your testimony that we came to Earth to learn to become like our Heavenly Father and then return to Him. Jesus Christ makes this possible for us. Challenge your family to do their best to learn all there is to learn in this life and progress as quickly as possible so that they can Return With Honor from their missions here on Earth.