so…This week, my assigned topic was Grace.
It seems kind of abstract to teach to a 9 year-old, 7 year-old, and an 18 month-old (okay…she just kind of hangs out during FHE…). When I thought about teaching grace, I was excited about it – in a way – Grace is one of my favorite gospel subjects.
But then, the prospect of teaching it to my kids made me kind of baffled; however, I think that the final lesson really worked. Here it is:
Grace: is divine strength or help. – This means it is help that we receive from Jesus Christ.
Do we really need help from Jesus? (yes!) – Talk about it for a second…
The Parable of the Vine (See John 15:1-8.)
In discussing the parable of the vine, you may want to use this picture…
When discussing the parable of the vine, you may consider asking the following questions:
- Who is the vine?
- What happens to the branches that do not bear good fruit?
- What happens to the branches that do bear good fruit.
- Make sure to teach that the reason the branches that bear good fruit are “purged” is because they bring forth more fruit when pruned. The entire branch is not cut off, only the fruit is purged (stored by the husbandman), and then the branch can grow to be more prolific.
- Can the branch live on its own? How does the branch stay alive?
- Christ is the vine – we are the branches.
- We need Christ in order to stay alive – physically and spiritually. (Immortality and Eternal Life) without Christ’s grace, we don’t receive the spiritual nourishment we need to live. Just as without the nourishment of the vine, the branches will die.
- Can we bear fruit if we are not connected to the vine?
- Can we do good things and then obtain eternal life without Christ?
- Christ is the true vine. We need to do two things:
- Abide in Him
- Bear good fruit.
- If you have been baptized a member of the church, and you have faith, but you never do any good works, and never bear any good fruit, what will happen (we will be cut off – as it will take away nourishment from the rest of the vine). It is not enough to abide in Christ. We must both abide and bring forth good fruit.
“23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” – 2 Nephi 25:23
Discuss this scripture. You may want to bring up the following points:
- all of us (children and brethren) need to believe in Christ.
- We need to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. How does this happen? (Baptism). This could be like saying, we need to “Abide in Christ.”
- We need to do all we can do.
- What are some of the good things we can do?
- Through faith, baptism, and good works, we then qualify for Grace – or for Jesus’s Help to return to our Heavenly Father.
Sometimes grace is hard to understand – as none of us are dead. We aren’t very obviously faced with the problem of being cut off from God – as in, we aren’t at the judgment right now. Yet, we still need Grace every day. Grace manifests itself in the many blessings we get when we pray to overcome our trials and make it through this life.
“… But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.” – 1 Nephi 1:20
We can experiences the Lord’s Tender mercies, or grace, any time we express our faith.
Watch the following Mormon message (the kids really liked this. There is so much power in the testimony of the apostles).
How can we experience the Lord’s tender mercies and grace in our lives?
I handed out 3×5 cards, with the following written on them (with space in between each question so each person can answer):
- Challenge: (Have each family member write a challenge they are currently facing. The children can think of one that they are personally facing. You may need to help them with this.)
- Ways to have faith and bear good fruit: (You may want to give them some ideas like pray specifically about this challenge, do a few things that will help you to prevail against this challenge.)
- Tender Mercies and Grace (When you have experienced a blessing – a tender mercy – or Christ’s grace, record it. Make sure to express your gratitude to Heavenly Father.)
Close by bearing your testimony of Christ’s grace. You may want to bear your testimony of His tender mercies – and that you can feel it even now.