Families come in all shapes and sizes. Just like buttons, each family is unique, dynamic, and versatile. We are unique parts of a family tree, whose eternal purpose is to learn what LOVE is! We come from a Heavenly Family that helped shape and strengthen our spirits in the pre-mortal life. Then we are all born into a family and grow up to create our own families. Being part of a family helps us to learn love, patience, joy, endurance, but also how to overcome disappointment, sorrow, and how to resolve conflicts (all get along).
For the 1st week’s Sharing Time, you could add the guessing game of writing the word Family in different languages: Rodina (Czech), Perhe (Finnish), Fjolskylda (Icelandic), Csalad (Hungarian), Aiga (Samoan), Banay (Persian), and put Familia (Italian and Spanish) last for the best hint to what the other words mean. We all say the word Family differently from whatever part of the world we are from, but we are all part of God’s family. Focus on how each family teaches LOVE.
Have the children share examples of how they can share love in their families. You may want to print out some ideas ahead of time to get them started; i.e. help younger brother or sister, help cook, clean without being asked, help with homework or projects, teach a skill, play games, share, hug & kiss, tell your family how much you love them, do someone’s chore, give a present, thank each other, pray together, serve others together in different ways… rake neighbor’s leaves, make another family a treat, clean the house of family in need, watch other’s children etc..
For the 2nd week of Sharing Time you many want to focus on how mothers and fathers share responsibilities. Both parents share in chores around the house. Mothers’ and fathers’ responsibilities include nurturing and raising their children to be studious, productive, hard-working, virtuous, caring, and obedient righteous children of God. Some families have parents that share producing income to provide for their families.
An apostle Elder Oaks shared a story about his family. His father died when he was only 7 years old. His mom had to direct his family of who was to say the prayer each morning. She was a strong woman who raised him and his siblings in righteousness. Men and women both have important callings in the church. Elder Oaks said, “When children see their parents faithfully perform these callings, it strengthens their family relationships.” (Oct 2005 General Conference)
Church programs/activities have to be balanced with family time. You could have the children act out playing a game together. Then Mom and Dad end the game so the family can go to the church to clean for their turn of ward clean up.
Friends, callings, jobs, school, sports, and different activities will always come and go, BUT families are forever. Our family is the center of God’s plan for us to learn and grow while here on earth, so that we can return and live with HIM again.