Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday's Matter: Forgiveness is for Everybody

At our house and millions of other's around the globe Monday nights are reserved for family.  A Family Home Evening (FHE)!!

When we were first married we had FHE with our other, newly married friends.  We had such fun times planning lessons, making treats and forming friendships that have lasted a lifetime!  We even started a tradition of having an FHE camp-out once a year. We haven't done it in a while since everyone has had growing families or has moved around the country but those memories will last forever.  Like the camp-out at Pinecrest when everyone's babies were young and Erica was pregnant and it thundered and rained all night long, and Mikey got food poisoning. Or Bass Lake when we got so sunburned we could barely move but still could laugh.  Or that time at the beach when this happened...



We had some pretty amazing gospel centered discussions and lots of good old fashioned fun and games.

We strive to make our FHE reach those amazing heights each Monday but we often fall short.  But that is okay.  We forgive ourselves ;)

I'll admit it.  This lesson idea is a reboot of my Sunday lesson about the importance of forgiveness.  But hey, it was an excellent topic.  Worthy of a repeat, if you ask me!

Read:

Book of Mormon Examples: Forgiving Others by Keith J Wilson, Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU

Elder Neal A. Maxwell pointed to this when he stated, "Jesus partook of history's bitterest cup without becoming bitter!"  

Make a list of reasons why Laman and Lemuel might have been angry with their brother Nephi (Play Devil's advocate as best you can).  Some examples might be: 


  • Nephi was younger but was always telling them what to do.  
  • Lehi made them leave their wealth in Jerusalem and camp-out in the desert.
  • Laman and Lemuel had to travel BACK to Jerusalem to get the plates and they had to try and trade their families riches for them.
Make a list of reasons why Nephi might have had cause to be angry with Laman and Lemuel.  Reasons like:

  • They beat him up
  • They tied him up
  • They were always complaining about doing as the Lord commanded
Discuss: effects of not forgiving others can do to a person, a people, a generation.

How do you feel when you are angry with someone?  
How do you feel when you forgive them?


"After a history of abuses, how hard would it have been for Nephi to grant them forgiveness? Nephi had endured one painful moment after another with these calloused brothers.
To this mountain of offense, Nephi responded with forthright forgiveness. "And it came to pass that I did frankly forgive them all that they had done, and I did exhort them that they would pray unto the Lord their God for forgiveness. And it came to pass that they did so" (1 Nephi 7:21).
Nephi cared nothing for revenge. He looked beyond their malice and concerned himself with his need to forgive..."

"...the Lamanites still harbored such animus toward the Nephites.
Note the generational hatred that persisted in Lamanite memory: "They (the Lamanites) were a . . . blood-thirsty people, believing in the tradition of their fathers, which is this — Believing that they were driven out of the land of Jerusalem because of the iniquities of their fathers, and that they were wronged in the wilderness by their brethren." (Mosiah 10:12—13).
What a truly tragic aftermath of two brothers with an enlarged disposition for revenge! But even four hundred years did not circumscribe the damage of these two unforgiving brothers. Approximately one thousand years after Laman and Lemuel contended with Nephi, the prophet Mormon watched hundreds of thousands perish as those who called themselves Lamanites annihilated the entire Nephite nation. The pattern for this genocide can be traced to a contempt for those who followed God or were the children of Nephi (see 4 Nephi 1:39)."

"He who is offended when no offense was intended is a fool; he who is offended when offense was intended is a greater fool."

Forgiveness is as much for you as it is for the person you are forgiving.  Don't carry around the weight of anger and hate.  Unburden yourselves of this load and continue on.

Activity:



Stick pulling!  Sounds lame but it is super fun and easy.  And it is just what it says it is...pulling on a stick.  Sit on the ground, put your feet against your opponents feet.  Hold onto a shared stick (broomsticks work well) with both hands.  And PULL! See who can pull the other person over first.

Remember to be a good loser and forgive the winner for being so AwEsoMe!  ;)




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