This lesson was designed as a family night lesson, but can be adjusted for another purpose.
A good attitude produces good results, a fair attitude fair results, a poor attitude poor results. Teach your family to shape their own lives through their daily choices.
Remember, a good attitude produces good results, a fair attitude fair results, a poor attitude poor results. We each shape our own life, and the shape of it is determined largely by our attitude. (M. Russell Ballard, “Providing for Our Needs,” Ensign, May 1981, 85)
“If You’re Happy” Children’s Songbook, p. 266.
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (Romans 15:13)
Ask family members which of the following would be the most difficult for them to deal with:
1. Moving from your home because your parents lost their jobs.
2. Spending many weeks in a hospital because of illness.
3. Temporarily living in a shelter and relying on food storage because of a natural disaster.
Together, read 1 Nephi 16:13–21 and find out what challenges Lehi’s family faced. Ask why this would be a difficult challenge. How does it compare to the three examples above?
Ask your family to look again at verse 20 and tell how most of the group, including Lehi, reacted to the lack of food. Murmuring may be a common reaction to hardship and hunger, but did complaining help solve their problem? Compare the complaining of this group with what Nephi did in verses 22–30. How could Nephi’s non-complaining and productive example help us in our difficult situations?
(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Book of Mormon, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003], p. 37.)
Story: Daddy, I Sure Do Love You (Elder Paul H. Dunn)
Have you ever noticed that whenever a person seems out of sorts or somewhat cantankerous, we often say, “He got up on the wrong side of the bed”? Were you ever accused of having such an attitude? A few months ago I was close to having “one of those days.” It came about in this way: About midnight I received a telephone call from one of the teachers in our institute of religion program, which I was coordinating at the time, and he reported that he couldn’t possibly teach his early morning class the next day because of ill health. He wondered if I would teach it for him. I assured him I would and told him not to worry, though I wondered how adequately the material could be prepared in the time left that night to meet the challenge of the group.
After hanging up, I immediately started to prepare my lesson and finally at two a.m., not being able to see the words on the page, I went to bed. Needless to say I was tired and in need of a good night’s sleep. I didn’t stand much chance of getting it, however, since the class next morning met at seven a.m. and was thirty miles from home, all of which required that I get up at five o’clock. This meant only three hours of sleep at the most.
Shortly after going to bed, and not having quite fallen asleep, I was brought back to reality by my four-year-old youngster, who insisted that she have a drink of water—she simply could not get along without it until morning. So, after a hard struggle, I pulled myself together, secured the drink of water, and went back to bed only to be awakened a few moments later by another daughter who had just experienced a horrible nightmare. Her anxious summons brought me to my feet in a hurry, and in my excitement to answer her call, I failed to turn on the hall light. As I made my way in the dark, I was suddenly stopped in my journey by a door that had been left ajar. After a few seconds and with a newly acquired bump, I hastened to her side and gave the comfort that was needed.
Once again I crawled back between the warm covers with a hope that the remaining hours would give peace and rest, only to be brought slyly and slowly back to life by my wife, who had been awakened by the previous interruptions. She had just remembered that she needed the car the next morning for her church assignment and was wondering what arrangements could be made in order that we both might meet our appointments.
When the problem was finally solved, it was three o’clock, and when, shortly after, the alarm rang at five, you can imagine how I felt. After such a night I was getting up on the wrong side of the bed, and my attitude was not the kind that should be taken into a class of religion.
And then it happened—the little thing that changed the gloom of the night into the brightness of a beautiful day. As I was leaving the house, the four-year-old, who had started the series of events the night before, appeared at the door, pulled on my coattail, and then, with my help, climbed into my arms, took hold of both of my ears with her little hands, and without any warning kissed me as hard as she could right on the nose and said, “Daddy, I sure do love you. You are sure a good sport.” “A good sport, eh!” and I tried to smile away the frown that had settled throughout my whole system. “Yep! You’re the best daddy in the whole world,” and planting another kiss on my neck, she slid to the floor and ran back to her bed.
What was about to be a bad morning for me turned out to be one of my best. As I drove to my assignment with a song in my heart, I thought of my many blessings.
(Leon R. Hartshorn, Outstanding Stories by General Authorities, vol. 3, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book,1974].)
1. Seat everyone in the room.
2. Pick someone to be the “poor kitty.”
3. The object is for the person who is kitty to get someone to laugh. Kitty goes up to people one at a time on his hands and knees and meows. That person must stroke kitty’s head and say, “Poor Kitty,” three times without laughing or even smiling. If that person smiles, the two trade places with each other and the game continues.
(George and Jeane Chipman, Games! Games! Games!, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 1983], p. 36.)
We played this silly game and it was fun for the family and trust me that we all ended up laughing. And that is a wonderful sound to have laughter in a family!