To help the family understand the role of the mother and the father in the home, and furthermore focus on the role the father plays and the priesthood he brings to the home.
Share with your family the following from the proclamation: “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.”
Share with the family that our Heavenly Father has great power, which is called the priesthood. By this power the heavens and the earth were created. Through this power, delegated to men, all the children of Heavenly Father can be blessed (see Abraham 2:1).
Husbands and fathers also can have this priesthood power.
Turn to Facsimile No. 1 in the book of Abraham.
• What do you see? (Abraham is lying down on an altar. A wicked priest with a knife is trying to kill Abraham.)
• Why did this wicked priest want to kill Abraham? (Because Abraham worshiped Heavenly Father and would not bow down to worship false gods made of stone or wood.)
Read Abraham 1:1–19 with your family; or, if your children are young, tell the story in your own words:
Abraham was a good man who tried to serve Heavenly Father all his life. He wanted one great blessing that he did not have. He wanted to have the priesthood because he knew it would help him to be a better servant of the Lord and would help him bless his family.
Abraham’s father could not give him the priesthood as righteous fathers do because he had forgotten Heavenly Father and turned to worshiping idols. Abraham’s father even let wicked men take Abraham and tie him to an altar like the one in the picture. There they were going to kill him. But Abraham cried out to Heavenly Father, who heard Abraham and saved his life.
Heavenly Father told Abraham to leave his father’s house and go away into another country. He promised Abraham the great blessing that Abraham most wanted, the priesthood of God. He also promised Abraham that through this priesthood all the families of the earth would be blessed. (See Abraham 2:6–13.)
Explain to your family that this priesthood or power of God that Abraham was given is the same priesthood that the fathers or sons in your family have. One of the reasons the Lord has given men the priesthood is so that they can bless their families. Every member of your family who is a member of the Church has had some blessings from the priesthood.
Let each person tell about a blessing he has received through the power of the priesthood. For example—
1. Talk about the blessings the children received as babies. Tell about the event, who attended the meeting, who assisted the father or gave the blessing, how the baby was dressed, and how the name was chosen. Any details you can remember will be fascinating to the child about whom you are talking as well as to other family members. Be sure to include an expression of how you felt on these occasions.
2. A family member who has been baptized and confirmed could tell about that experience and how he felt.
3. A family member could tell about receiving an anointing and blessing when he was ill.
4. Someone in your family could share his feelings about receiving a father’s blessing.
5. Share your feelings about going to the temple to be sealed if you have had a temple marriage, being careful not to discuss what goes on in the temple. You could tell how you are looking forward to this great blessing if you have not yet been through the temple.
You may want to tell the following story:
Tommy’s First Day at School
Tommy was getting ready to go to school for the first time. He had been excited about beginning school, but now that the first day had finally come, he was frightened.
Tommy was quiet all morning. His mother had made his favorite breakfast, but Tommy did not smile when he saw it. He picked up the spoon and tried to eat, but could not.
His mother asked, “Do you feel sick, Tommy?”
Tommy answered, “I think so. At least I don’t feel like going to school.”
Tommy’s mother felt his head to see if he had a fever. She looked in his throat, but it was not red. She said, “I can’t see anything wrong, Tommy. Show me where it is that you don’t feel well.”
Tommy said, “I just feel funny inside.”
Tommy’s father looked at him and said, “I think I know what might be wrong with you, Tommy. This is your first day of school. Maybe you feel funny inside because you will be away from home all day and you don’t know what to expect. Are you a little frightened? I know that feeling, too, Tommy. I had the same feeling when I started my new job last week.
“I can do something to help you if you would like. I can give you a special blessing before you go to school today. This blessing can help take away that frightened, funny feeling you have inside.”
“I’d like that, dad,” said Tommy.
Tommy’s father placed his hands on Tommy’s head and gave him a special blessing.
That afternoon Tommy came bounding in the door calling, “Mom, mom, I’m home.”
“How did you like school, Tommy?” asked his mother.
“Well, it was better than I thought it would be. My teacher is nice,” said Tommy.
“Dad said you would feel better after he gave you a special blessing, didn’t he? I’m glad your father knew just what to do to help you.”
Sharing these experiences should remind each family member what a great blessing the priesthood can be. The Lord has given us the priesthood because we are his children and he loves us. It is our Heavenly Father’s way of blessing his children, and he wants us to receive every blessing we are worthy to have.
I have a testimony of the divine role of mother and father in the home. I support the role of the father as a provider and a protector of the family. I also cherish the role of a mother as the nurturer. I know at this time in my life that I have to take on the role of both the provider and nurturer with my children. So for those of you who are divorced or are widowed can focus on how you can still have the priesthood in your home by calling upon home teachers, dads, brothers, etc. I call upon my home teachers and brother to help bring the priesthood into my home, and they are more then willing to do so. I am grateful for them in doing so. I have a strong testimony of the priesthood and have seen it bless my life and my children’s life and my home.
“Lesson Nineteen: The Priesthood in Our Home,” Family Home Evening Resource Book, (1997),84