Mar 26, 2014

Freedom to Choose (FHE)

Monday night was family night.  Continuing on in the Gospel Principles manual, I used chapter 4: Freedom to Choose as my lesson plan.  I've already taught June a couple lessons on free agency and the importance of choice, but it is always a good subject to return to.  After all, making good choices is the premise of a happy and successful life.

Song: We sang the Children's Songbook Song #160 , Choose the Right Way.  It goes as follows:

There's a right way to live and be happy.  
It is choosing the right every day.
I am learning the teachings of Jesus.  
They will help me and show me the way.
Choose the right way.  And be happy.  
I  must always choose the right.
Through the gospel I learn to be prayerful, 
to have faith, to repent, to obey,
And I know if I live by His teachings, 
I will truly be happy each day.
Choose the right way.  And be happy.
I  must always choose the right.

Lesson:  Agency is an eternal principle.  We had moral agency before we came to earth.  We are free to choose between evil, good, better, and best.  We are free to choose liberty and eternal happiness by Jesus Christ, or captivity and death by following Satan (2 Nephi 2:27).  Agency was one of the biggest issues in the premortal life.  We are here on earth because we chose to keep our freedom to choose.

Agency is a necessary part of the plan of salvation.  Agency is what makes our life on earth a period of testing (Abraham 3:25).  Without free agency, a gift from God, we would be unable to show Heavenly Father whether we would do all He has commanded us to do.  Because we can choose, we are responsible for our actions (Helaman 14:30-31)  When we choose to follow God's commandments and make right choices, our agency is strengthened, our power to make good decisions increases, and we grow in wisdom and faith.  If we continue to keep His commandments and make right choices, we will learn and understand more things and become more like our Heavenly Father (D&C 93:28).

Agency requires that there be a choice.  We cannot choose righteousness unless the opposites good and evil are placed before us.  There must me "an opposition in all things.  If not so...righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad" (2 Nephi 2:11).  God allows Satan to oppose the good (Moses 4:3-4).  Satan does all he can to destroy God's work, for he seeks our misery.  He doesn't love us and he doesn't want us to be happy (Moroni 7:17).  He desires our enslavement.  When we give into Satan's temptations, we limit our future choices.  Even though we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of those actions, good or bad.  Consequences follow as a natural result of any choice we make (Galatians 6:7, Revelation 22:12).  To escape captivity through Satan, we must watch and pray always, asking Heavenly Father to help us withstand Satan's temptations (3 Nephi 18:15).  Heavenly Father will not allow us to be tempted beyond our power to resist (1 Corinthians 10:13).  God's commandments keep us from danger and lead us to eternal happiness.

Activity:  I was initially quite ambitious in planning for this activity.  I was going to make a large maze throughout my home using pieces of paper.  I planned on eight "choice" points, on way leading to a room and the other way down the path.  However, since we spent most of the day training and helping a friend prepare for her move, I instead decided to simplify the activity and have June do a paper puzzle.  I kept the eight "choice points".  At each choice point she would have to answer a question.  The right choice kept her on the clear path and the wrong choice brought her to a stopping point which was designated by a pile of rocks blocking her way.  The end of the maze led to the temple, which is exactly where we will be led as long as we make the best choices and follow the path the Lord has laid out for us.


Here are the questions I used:

1. Jesus Christ and Satan present plans in the premortal life.  Do you choose to follow Jesus or Satan?
2. There is a new boy in your church class.  Do you choose to say hello and befriend him, or do you choose to ignore him?
3. The kids at school are making fun of a new girl.  Do you choose  join in, or do you choose stand up for her?
4. You are turning 8 years old!  Do you choose to be baptized, or not?
5. Your dad asks you to clean your room.  Do you choose keep playing or clean up?
6. Your mom is making spaghetti for dinner, but you want pizza.  Do you choose to thank her for making the meal and eat it, or do you choose to throw a fit because you didn’t get your way?
7. You colored on the walls and  your parents find out.  Do you choose to blame your brother, or do you choose to take responsibility?
8. You’ve been watching your TV show all day.  Mommy and Daddy now want to pick a show.  Do you choose to kindly watch with them, or do you choose to throw a temper tantrum?

June like the maze quite a bit, but she is still a little too young to understand the directions.  She just wanted to color the entire paper.  Yet, she did enjoy answering the questions, and got all but two right. I also told her that choosing to help our friends when we need them, like she did today in cleaning, was a very right choice, so she got some early Easter candy as a happy consequence.

Such a sweet girl, helping to clean

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