“Come, Follow Me: Teaching the Basics at Home, Part 1,” Ensign, January 2016, 56–59
Sitting down to family home evening, a mother begins by asking her two children, “When have you felt guided by the Spirit?”
Her 17-year-old daughter complains, “I’ve already had three lessons on the Spirit this month.”
“Good, then you’ll have a lot to contribute,” her dad responds. It’s silent as Mom and Dad wait patiently while their children think about the question.
Eventually, their 14-year-old son shares an experience from school that day.
“Yeah,” replies his mother, “that reminds me of Nephi following the Spirit when he didn’t know how to get the plates from Laban.”
Her daughter speaks up, sharing how she followed a prompting to talk to a lonely girl on the bus. Her dad praises her decision and relates an experience he had at work.
They end the discussion by singing “Let the Holy Spirit Guide” (Hymns, no. 143).
A simple teaching method—sharing experiences about this doctrine—made this family home evening successful.
This article gives real-life examples of how people learned the principles in the Sunday youth curriculum, organized by month. Of course, these examples are not the only ways to learn about these doctrines. You can seek inspiration for the needs of your family.
The members of the Godhead—Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost—are three distinct personages but are unified in purpose and glory.
One young woman tells of learning about the Godhead: “It is important to me that my Heavenly Father, my Savior, and the Holy Ghost are separate Beings I can come to know individually but follow in unity. I’ve come to recognize with gratitude that I can become like God because the Godhead is not an undefined and incomprehensible substance but rather divine Beings who love, bless, guide, and know me.”
To teach this doctrine, you might try discussing questions such as, “What can we learn from the Godhead about working together in unity?” or “How can we strengthen our relationship with the members of the Godhead?”
The plan of salvation answers the most basic of human questions, like, “Who am I?” and “What is the purpose of life?” Asking our own questions and searching for answers can be a powerful way to learn about the Father’s plan of happiness.
For example, one young man began his scripture study by asking, “How do God’s attributes compare to the characteristics that I possessed in the premortal life? that I possess now? that I hope to possess in the next life?” He wrote down the answers to these questions as he found them in the scriptures and used them to teach others about the plan of salvation.
What questions do your children have about the plan of salvation?
How do we learn not only of the Atonement of Jesus Christ but also of our Savior’s sincere hope that we will use His Atonement in our lives?
Because we have all been lonely, made mistakes, and required strength, all of us have needed to better understand and use the Atonement. A Young Women adviser used a video to help her class better understand the Savior’s Atonement.
Here is one young woman’s experience:
“We were watching ‘None Were with Him’ (video, LDS.org). As a single flute played a mournful tune, the voice of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, ‘One of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so.’
“I had felt ashamed at requiring the Savior’s Atonement, but immersed in the Spirit, I felt the hope of His Atonement sweep away my feelings of guilt. The Lord gave His life for me; He did not regret it, and neither would I.”
Because the Atonement is the crowning event of our salvation, we must teach and learn about it with the direction of the Holy Ghost. Perhaps you will be led to discuss scriptures or apostolic testimonies such as “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” (Ensign, Apr. 2000, 2). Consider discussing a question such as, “When have you felt the healing, strengthening, or redeeming power of the Atonement?”
Understanding apostasy—a falling away from the true gospel—helps us understand the need for a restoration of the gospel, the priesthood, and the Church of Jesus Christ.
The following object lesson helped some missionaries teach an investigator about the Apostasy and the Restoration.
“My companion and I used plastic cups labeled with parts of the true Church, building a pyramid with them while explaining how Jesus Christ established His Church.
“Then we explained the Apostasy as we removed cups representing the Apostles and watched the whole structure topple over. As we explained the Restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith, we rebuilt the tower, showing that the Church today is organized in the same way that Christ originally organized it.
“For the first time, this man understood. The Restoration finally gained meaning for him when he understood why it was needed.”
There are many other ways to represent the cycle of dispensation, apostasy, and restoration. You might read scripture passages about these topics and follow the promptings of the Spirit to create your own representation of what you learn (see, for example, Amos 8:11–12; 1 Nephi 13; D&C 136:36–38; Moses 5:55–59).
The Lord cares deeply about communicating with us. We receive His guidance in our lives through revelation that He gives to His prophets and to us personally.
We can often better understand gospel principles if we compare them to objects and experiences in everyday life. A young woman relates how a comparison helped her recognize revelation:
“I learned about revelation through a modern-day prophet. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke on the spirit of revelation and explained it through a metaphor of light. Occasionally, revelation is sudden and clear like turning on a light in a dark room. More commonly, it comes gradually like the rising sun getting steadily brighter. Most often, Elder Bednar says, revelation is like light on a foggy day. ‘There is enough light that you … can see just enough to take a few steps ahead into the cloudiness’ (in “Patterns of Light: Spirit of Revelation” [video], LDS.org). This metaphor, while simple, deeply impacted me because I realized that revelation was available if I took time to perceive it.”
As we take time to study metaphors, parables, and symbols, our understanding of doctrines can continue to grow. These teaching methods help us learn even more when we allow the Spirit to reveal new perspectives to us.
The priesthood is an important topic for everyone. It is the power of God and can bless all of us. We each have an important role to play in priesthood work.
Some people are unfamiliar with the duties, offices, and history of the priesthood. A quiz can be a fun way to learn these ideas.
Depending on what you want to learn, you can use some of the following questions and invite your children to search for answers in the scriptures and teachings of modern prophets.
What are the offices and duties of the Aaronic Priesthood? of the Melchizedek Priesthood?
What are priesthood keys? Who holds them? Why are keys necessary?
What is the difference between priesthood office, authority, and power?
How does the priesthood bless both men and women?
The answer to the last question, “How does the priesthood bless both men and women?” can be found in the scriptures but most importantly in reflecting on how this doctrine affects us personally.