Monday, July 19, 2010

For the Strength of Youth Family Home Evening: Dating and Sexual Purity!

So . . . did you gasp at the topic?
I almost skipped this one, but after a few prayers
I decided to go ahead.
I tried to give some options for younger children as well
as preteens and teenagers and I have to say,
it was a little bit of a challenge.
This is a topic that must be taught with the Spirit.
Here goes . . .
Opening Prayer:
"The Lord has made us attractive one to another
for a great purpose.
But this very attraction becomes as a powder keg
unless it is kept under control . . . It is for this reason
that the Church counsels against early dating"
(President Gordon B. Hinckley)
Opening Song:
"The Lord Gave Me a Temple"
Children's Song Book Page 153
Are bodies were created to house our Spirits.
We are responsible for keeping our bodies
clean and pure.
Following the standards set in the
For the Strength of Youth pamphlet,
will keep us safe and happy.
The Story of the Two Oysters
One day I decided it was time to share an
important message with my boys.
This was a tender subject and I was a little nervous
about how I should approach this topic.
I read the
For the Strength of Youth pamphlet
and said several prayers asking for
help and guidence from the Spirit.
This is the analogy that came to my mind:
There were two oysters sitting at the waters edge. 
As the waves rolled in they were tossed about,
each getting a little bit of sand inside of their hard shells.
The first oyster didn't like being out in the open and
vulnerable to the dangers of the beach so she quickly found a
safe place nestled in the sand and the rocks.
The other oyster was curious and wanted to see what
was on the beach.
She knew of the dangers, but chose to go anyway.
It didn't take long for a passer-by to pick her up and attempt
to open her shell.  Her shell was pretty thick,
so it didn't really bother her.
Or so she thought . . .
After several unsuccessful attempts, the passer-by
gave up and threw the chipped and damaged
oyster back onto the beach.
The oyster noticed that she couldn't close her shell
as tightly as she could before and that it was
harder for her to keep the sand from getting into her shell.
The more time she spent on the shore, the more
damaged and hurt she became.
She had forgotten to follow the rules.
Meanwhile . . .
The other oyster was staying close to the safety of the rocks,
working hard to soften the edges of the rough piece
of sand hidden inside . . .
which proved to be a little bit of a challenge.
Sometimes she thought it would just be easier to go
to the shore and open herself up to get rid of the piece of sand,
after all that's what the other oysters were doing . . .
but then she remembered the rules and guidelines
she had been taught from the time she was little.
She knew that the best way to stay healthy and happy would be
to keep herself as pure as possible. 
She worked very hard to keep her shell clean and pure.
Sadly, the first oyster could no longer keep the dirt and debris
from coming into her shell. 
She became so full of sand, that she dried right up.
The second oyster enjoyed the blessing of following the rules.
She was careful in her choices and made sure to never open
herself up to the heartache of impurity.
She kept the rules and enjoyed the blessings of being obedient.
Because this oyster chose to keep to her standards
and to remain pure
she was blessed with the greatest and most beautiful gift.
A Pearl.
Both of the oysters had gotten a piece of sand in their shell.
Both had the opportunity to be blessed with the gift of a beautiful pearl.
What was the difference?
So how does this story apply to us?
What standards do we need to follow in order to be healthy and happy?
How can we make sure that we end up with a "Pearl" or the blessings that
living a virtuous life can bring?
How do we know what parts of our bodies are off limits to others?
(Use the swimsuit guide.)
Our swimming suits help us to know what areas of our bodies
are off limits to others.  These areas are sacred.
Our Heavenly Father has made our bodies different for a special purpose.
At the right time, after we have been married in the right place . . .
this sacred gift is shared only with our husband or wife.
That's what makes this gift so special!
Make a list of "Rules for Dating" to add to your
Family Home Evening Journal.
End with your Testimony!
Red Light . . . Green Light!
(If you can't tell, it's a favorite of ours.)
Remind them that we can choose to STOP impure thoughts and actions
when we GO with the counsel of the Prophet and choose high standards!
Closing Prayer:
Here's the FHE Lesson PDF:
Here's the Treat!
Here's the Recipe:
1-1/2 cups Quick or Old Fashioned Oats
1-1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) Butter or Margarine, melted
1 cup Fresh or Frozen Blueberries (do not thaw)
1/3 cup Raspberry or Strawberry Preserves
1 teaspoon All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Grated Lemon Peel (optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine oats, 1-1/4 cups flour, sugar and butter;
Mix until crumbly.
Reserve 1 cup oat mixture for topping.
Press remaining oat mixture evenly onto bottom of ungreased
 8 or 9-inch square baking pan.
Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown.
Cool slightly on wire rack.
In medium bowl, combine blueberries, preserves, 1 teaspoon flour
and lemon peel, if using; mix gently.
Spread evenly over crust to within 1/2 inch of edges.
Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture, patting gently.
Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until light golden brown.
Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Cut into bars. Store tightly covered.
Yield: 16 bars.
Have a Great Night! 


Anonymous said...

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I enjoy your blog. Thanks

Grannie K said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful ideas you present to help us teach the principles of the gospel. What a wonderful gift you have been given by the Lord and thank you so much for sharing it.

Tricia Smith said...

Thank You so much for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment. It meant a lot to me.
By the way . . . Granny K
The journal pages can now be typed on.
I will post the PDF in the morning.