Monday, November 11, 2013

Moral Force of Women FHE

This FHE lesson was featured on Jocelyn's great blog:being lds. I'm sharing it here so I can remember it.
I loved Elder Christofferson's talk in October conference. It felt timely. In addition, as a mother of three girls, I wanted my daughters to recognize that they can have a great impact on the world for good AND that my most important role is as their mom. (I work full time as a second grade teacher, and I am currently serving as Relief Society President in my ward. These two responsibilities keep me pretty busy, and they are important, but I want my children to know and be reassured regularly that my greatest joy comes from being their mom.)

We began by singing "I am Trying to Be Like Jesus." After our opening prayer, we read Proverbs 31:10, "Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price is far above rubies." Then I explained that Elder Christofferson spoke about how good women are needed in the world. (One of my daughters piped up and said good men are needed too. I agreed.) read a quote from Elder Christofferson's talk: "A woman's moral influence is nowhere more powerfully felt or more beneficially employed than in the home." I told them that of all the things I do, being their mom is the most important. I said that good women have an impact on others' lives. I told them of three women that helped shape my life...my mom, my grandma and a Young Women's leader and what I learned from them. Then I asked them to write down the names of or draw pictures of 2-4 women that have helped them and set good examples for them. They worked for a little while, talking as they worked, and then they shared who they put down and why. Their aunts, Primary teachers, Activity Day leaders, piano and violin teachers. They shared what each of these women had done to set an example or to teach them.


Then I pointed out that the world often teaches things about women that aren't true...and that Elder Christofferson pointed out 3.

1. Motherhood is not valued by society as it ought to be. He said, "We do not diminish the value of what women or men achieve in any worthy endeavor or career--and we all benefit from those achievements--but we still recognize there is not a higher good than motherhood and fatherhood in marriage."
2. Morality and sexual purity are not taught or practiced by society.
3. "A third area of concern comes from those who, in the name of equality, want to erase all differences between the masuculine and feminine." This often means women are encouraged to be tough and coarse.

Perhaps my favorite part of Elder Christofferson's talk was the quote from Sister Nadauld. I am sure I heard it when she said it, but it didn't strike me powerfully as it did this time. I'd like to get it in vinyl or something to put on my wall. This is what she said, “The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.”

My original plan had been to learn some sign language signs to compare what the world had and what the world needs. But I ran out of time. So Plan B was to create a chart...One one side we wrote what the world has and on the other side, we wrote what the world needs. The girls loved reading this quote and taking turns writing down the ideas. We talked about what they mean and shared some examples. I am thinking (now) that another idea might have been to create a handout with two pictures of the world where each girl could write what the world has on one side and what type of women the world needs on the other. Because my youngest is five and just learning to write words, the big chart worked well for her since we took turns writing.

Finally I closed with these words from Elder Christofferson, "My plea to women and girls today is to protect and cultivate the moral force that is within you. Preserve that innate virtue and the unique gifts you bring with you into the world. Your intuition is to do good and to be good, and as you follow the Holy Spirit, your moral authority and influence will grow." Then this final quote, "Sisters, of all your associations, it is your relationship with God, your Heavenly Father, who is the source of your moral power, that you must always put first in your life."

Then I bore my testimony of my love for the gospel, my love for them, and my knowledge that as we keep the commandments and love and serve God, we can each have a wonderful, positive impact on the people around us. I am thankful for the privilege of being a mother to three daughters and teaching them to serve the Lord. I am sure if I had sons, I would focus a bit more on the quotes he shared about the importance of men and women working together...or I might combine this talk with the talk from Elder Andersen "Power in the Priesthood". Or perhaps, I would teach this lesson one week and a lesson based on Elder Andersen's talk the following week.

You can watch or read the talk here.