I am not unlike the many people who have a hard time teaching the lessons. I find that they are antiquated (they were when I was a youth!)…This lesson on Homemaking was no exception.
The objective of the Lesson is Each Young Woman will better appreciate the joys that can come from homemaking.
As I read through the lesson, I felt like I wanted to emphasize what the young women can do now to help with “homemaking.” I, personally, don’t really remember these lessons as a youth. I know that they didn’t really teach me how to be a homemaker. Learning how to be a homemaker came after years of experience. So, as I prepared this lesson, I felt that I needed to help them learn something useful now. If they can learn to help with homemaking now, perhaps they will have good experiences with it, and will implement it later in life.
Online, Sacred Homes, Sacred Temples, by Elder Gary E. Stevenson was suggested as an additional resource. I particularly loved the following:
“Recently, in a stake conference, all present were invited by the visiting authority, Elder Glen Jenson, an Area Seventy, to take a virtual tour of their homes using their spiritual eyes. I would like to invite each of you to do this also. Wherever your home may be and whatever its configuration, the application of eternal gospel principles within its walls is universal. Let’s begin. Imagine that you are opening your front door and walking inside your home. What do you see, and how do you feel? Is it a place of love, peace, and refuge from the world, as is the temple? Is it clean and orderly? As you walk through the rooms of your home, do you see uplifting images which include appropriate pictures of the temple and the Savior? Is your bedroom or sleeping area a place for personal prayer? Is your gathering area or kitchen a place where food is prepared and enjoyed together, allowing uplifting conversation and family time? Are scriptures found in a room where the family can study, pray, and learn together? Can you find your personal gospel study space? Does the music you hear or the entertainment you see, online or otherwise, offend the Spirit? Is the conversation uplifting and without contention? That concludes our tour. Perhaps you, as I, found a few spots that need some ‘home improvement’ — hopefully not an ‘extreme home makeover.'” – Gary E. Stevenson
Based on this, I created a modified lesson that would still teach the objective, and the points that:
- Homemaking is more than housekeeping
- Homemaking is an important and sacred responsibility
- You can help make a home now
To teach this lesson, I decided to to an object lesson. I got a big tool box, and put the several items in. Each item had a post-it note on it with a scripture reference or a quote. Each item represented what we need to make a home. (Hence the tool-box!). Each of the young women found her scripture, presented the tool needed to make a home, and then we discussed why this is important in the home, and how we could do it now. I also let the girls draw a part of a house on the board. Additionally, I gave the girls this handout, so that they could keep any notes that they want to remember from the class.
The Tools and Corresponding Scriptures
- Scrub Brush
“Set in order your houses; keep slothfulness and uncleanness far from you.” – Doctrine and Covenants 90:18
- Prayer Rock
“Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed.” – 3 Nephi 18:21
“Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.” – Doctrine and Covenants 1:37
Another scripture to keep in mind – on the importance of scripture in families and homes:
“I say unto you, my sons, were it not for these things, which have been kept and preserved by the hand of God, that we might read and understand of his mysteries, and have his commandments always before our eyes, that even our fathers would have dwindled in unbelief, and we should have been like unto our brethren, the Lamanites, who know nothing concerning these things, or even do not believe them when they are taught them, because of the traditions of their fathers, which are not correct.” – Mosiah 1:5
- A piece of beautiful artwork
” And the greater house he cieled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains.
And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim.
He overlaid also the house, the beams, the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and graved cherubims on the walls.” – 2 Chronicles 3:5-7
- A piece of music
“For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.” – Doctrine and Covenants 25:12
- Cell Phone
“Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” – James 3:3-5
- A banana or item of food
“Studies show that the more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders, and consider suicide, and the more likely they are to do well in school, delay having sex, eat their vegetables, learn big words, and know which fork to use.” – Time Magazine.
“Make the honoring of family traditions and the development of new ones a priority throughout your lives.” – L. Tom Perry
- A valentine (or heart) – Love at Home – Hymn 294
You could add as much or as little discussion as you would like concerning these items. Some of them are pretty obvious. Of course, follow the Spirit.
Also, many of these subjects have entries in For the Strength of the Youth. You may consider discussing these topics.
I feel like the main point of this lesson and activity is that we want to Have the Spirit of the Lord in our Homes. There are many things that can distract from the Spirit – from housekeeping to music to language. The young women can work hard in each of these areas now. Making a home a place for the Savior is why homemaking is an important and sacred responsibility.
I closed by bearing my testimony of my own desire to make a home a refuge, a place where my children and husband want to be. I told them of two examples of homes I’ve experienced in my life – one home: no Spirit – only contention and unhappiness. Another home: happiness. I told the young women to do what they can to contribute to their home, and to notice the homes of their friends – they will be making a home of their own one day, and it will be good for them to think now of what they want it to be like.