April 4, 2013 by FHElessons
This is a Family Home Evening lesson about wise use of our Free Agency. Use it to teach your family how to get where they want to go spiritually!
Show your family a GPS unit or a picture of one.
Ask: How do I use this? Let your family practice putting in destinations and letting the GPS unit give you directions.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a GPS unit to tell us how to get to the Celestial Kingdom?
Guess what? We do! Heavenly Father has given us a spiritual GPS! Shall we practice using it?
Pull out your scriptures and a few copies of the Conference Edition of the Ensign or some pictures of the Apostles.
Here is the GPS that Heavenly Father has given us! Instead of Global Positioning System, we’ll call ours “God’s Plan of Salvation”.
Now, how do we input information in order to get directions? Draw the following chart on a chalkboard or whiteboard or large paper:
Let’s try some! Allow your family to think up destinations to input. Write them in the first box. Then ask them to think of the scriptures and words of the prophets to write in what the directions should be. Some possible combinations are:
|Celestial Kingdom||Choose the Right, Receive Ordinances, Follow Jesus|
|College||Get Straight A’s in High School, Participate in extracurricular activities, Study hard for tests|
|Eternal Marriage||Wait to date until age 16, Choose righteous people to date, Obey the law of chastity|
|Have Good Friends||Be a good friend, Speak well of others, Do service|
Wouldn’t it be great if we could always begin with the end in mind? If we always knew what we wanted and planned a way to get there? That would certainly be ideal, but, in everyday life, sometimes it seems like we are just swimming along (or stumbling or shuffling) and doing the best we can one day at a time. Fortunately for us, the Spiritual GPS that Heavenly Father has given us is multi-functioning! It also allows us to put in the directions and see where we will end up if we take that road!
Write this sentence on the board:
To every choice, there is a _________________.
Ask your family to fill in the blank (correct answer = consequence).
Change your chart to look like this:
Now I would like to share a very important secret with you –
Every commandment that Heavenly Father gives us, He does so because obeying it will bring us happiness and disobeying it will bring us unhappiness. The commandments are not just random rules that our Heavenly Father set up to make our lives more difficult or to add obstacles to the Test of our Earthly Life. They are the directions that He has given us to guide us to happiness! They are our spiritual GPS. They are tools to help us know the way to be happy, both now and throughout our Earth lives and in eternity. Let’s test it out with our chart.
Write in some choices and let your family figure out what the consequence of each choice will be. Write the consequence in the box. Then ask them to think about whether that consequence will make them happy, both now and in their future Earth life and in Eternity. Your chart might look something like this:
|Choice||Consequence||Happy or Not?|
|Eating junk food||Unhealthy body||Feel bad physically|
|Watching TV instead of finishing homework||Bad grades in School||Unhappy (if not now then certainly later when can’t get into college)|
|Skipping prayers at night or in morning||Decreased access to Heavenly Father||Unhappy|
|Choosing friends who use drugs||End up getting addicted to drugs yourself||Unhappy (now, later, and eternally)|
|Treating family members with kindness||Good relationship with family, Good Spirit in your home||Happy (now and eternally)|
|Reading scriptures daily without fail||Power to overcome temptation, Increased knowledge||Happy|
|Having a steady boyfriend/girlfriend before old enough to marry||Difficult to obey law of chastity||Unhappy|
|Pre-marital sex or sexual intimacy||Judgment impaired so that unable to make a good decision on who to marry, Possibility of pregnancy or STDs||Unhappy (may feel good now but will bring unhappiness later and eternally)|
|Gossiping about others||Lose friends||Unhappy|
|Practice piano daily||Get good at piano, Develop self-discipline||Happy in future|
|Drinking alcohol||Impaired judgment, Possibility of addiction, If addicted, loss of job/family/friends||Unhappy in future and eternity|
These are just some examples. You can use whatever big or small issues you feel your family will respond to. The list can be much longer or even shorter than mine above. With your chart up as a visual aid, here are some more questions for discussion:
Who is responsible for these consequences? (The person making the choices)
Does Heavenly Father force us to make certain choices? Read:
Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. (2 Nephi 2:27)
He tells us we are free to choose whichever choice we want! But when we choose the choice, we also choose the consequence! The consequences cannot be changed. Only the choices can.
Can we always measure results (consequences) right away? No, sometimes the consequences of our actions come in the future. Sometimes something that seems to bring us happiness in the present will bring us greater unhappiness in the future.
When is the best time to make choices? Ahead of time or right in the moment? (In the moment we can be swayed by peer pressure or our own desires. It’s easier to make the choices if we think them out and choose ahead of time).
What can make it difficult for us to choose the right?
- When the wrong way seems easier.
- When the wrong way appears to be more pleasurable.
- When we feel rebellious and just want to do things our own way.
- Each time we choose something wrong, it makes it that much easier to choose the wrong next time (of course, the same thing happens when choosing the right).
Show the GPS unit again. If we make a wrong turn while following directions on our GPS, what does it say to us? (Recalculating!)
What can we do if we make a mistake in the choices in our life? Recalculate! To get back on course, we must repent of what we did wrong, make amends for our wrong actions, and commit to choosing the right in the future.
I testify to you that Heavenly Father wants us to succeed in returning Home to live with Him again. He has given us a GPS system (God’s Plan of Salvation) to help us get there. He gives us commandments to help us find our way. He wants us to be happy! Let us always try to follow God’s directions and to make the choices that will bring us true happiness! Let us continue to “recalculate” as needed so that we can stay on course. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.