To gain an understanding that successful familes are established and maintained on principles of work.
Work, our primary means of both growth and happiness, is ordained of God. A family will be strengthened by working together, and individual members will gain self-esteem by realizing they can make a worthwhile contribution to the family.
- Ask what it would be like if no one worked?
- What if no one in the family did any work, what would it be like?
- Or, what would it be like if only mom, did all of the work? How would it be like for her?
· How does the work of each family member help the individual and the whole family?
In your discussion, share the following quotation:
“Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do that day which must be done, whether you like it or not. Being forced to work, and forced to do your best will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know.” (Charles Kingsley, quoted in Liahona: The Elders’ Journal, 12 May 1914, p. 761.)
How was Adam’s curse—to eat “by the sweat of his brow” (Moses 5:1)—a blessing?
Draw attention to skills and talents each individual in the family has worked to develop in the past few months, or year. (Mention skills such as tying shoes, making the bed, reading, playing an instrument, or cooking.) Ask each person how he felt when he accomplished that skill or developed that talent. Discuss how these new skills improve the individual, the family, and the community.
Discuss as a family the good feeling that can come while working to accomplish a chore or a job and the satisfaction that comes when that job is completed. Point out that this satisfaction is part of the reward.
• Would there be growth if we were rewarded first?
Read the following from Ether 12:6: “Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” Discuss how this relates to work.
Share the following story, Larry W. Gibbons, of the Second Quorum of the Seventy.
Two Secrets to Happiness
When I was younger, I never liked fish much. Then I moved to Boston, Massachusetts. People said, “You’ll love the fish in Boston. You have to try Boston scrod.” It doesn’t sound good, does it? Scrod is a young cod. I tried it—and I loved it. It’s the best thing I’ve ever eaten!
It’s the same way with work. I think one of the most important things to learn is how to work hard. Ask your parents for a hard chore you can do. If you try it, I promise you’ll like it.
My mother taught me to work hard. She asked me to get the work done first and then go play. One day a few of us helped my mom move a piano from upstairs to downstairs. It was a big, old piano. It wasn’t easy to move. We moved it around corners and finally down the stairs. When we set it down, my mother was glowing with happiness—just because we’d moved a piano! I said, “Mom, I think you would rather move a piano than listen to a piano.” She nodded. She loved to work.
Learn to enjoy work. When you get an assignment, do your very best. Ask your parents, “What can I do to help?” If you try it, you’ll like it. A man once told me, “You never work for anyone else.” He meant that we are the ones who benefit from working because it gives us a good feeling. You will be happier as you learn to work.
Another way to be happy is to learn self-control. When I was younger, I loved to play basketball. But I did not have good sportsmanship. Winning was everything to me. Whenever someone fouled me, I would get angry.
Then I learned that basketball is only a game. I decided to change. One day, someone elbowed me in the chest on purpose. He pushed me hard. In the past, I would have gotten angry, but this time I walked away without saying anything. I had the best feeling. I knew that I had learned to control myself. It felt better than winning!
Work hard, be a good sport, and learn self-control. As you do, you will be happier.
I believe that work is an important principle of the gospel. I believe that families can be strengthened and draw closer together as they work together. It is something that I am trying to incorporate into my family. I have the faith that it will help strengthen the relationships of my children.
“Work,” Family Home Evening Resource Book, (1997), 231.
Feb 2009 Ensign