Our Stake (Arlington Texas) studies one scripture per month. To help families to integrate the scripture into their homes in meaningful ways, for each scripture we share the following:
- the accompanying challenge
- free printables of the scripture or related challenge for display in the home
- family home evening lessons for all types of families
- ideas for using the scripture in a talk or lesson
You can find all of the resources at A Year in the Scriptures.
The scripture for June 2017 is Doctrine & Covenants 2:2.
And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.
Begin working on the challenge to take 4 generations to the temple before the end of the year.
Ideas for accomplishing the challenge:
Four generations is you, your parents, your grandparents, and your great-grandparents. It’s a total of fifteen people, and since you probably know your own information, there are only fourteen to go!
We’ve got this one covered! We’ve got an entire page devoted to helping you with this!
Visit LDSteach.org/family and select the area that best fits your needs. Are you new to family history totally? We’ve got information for you. An expert? We’ve got some suggestions for you as well.
Since the challenge is to begin, here are some possible steps:
- Get a FamilySearch account (make sure you know your member number – you can get it from your ward clerk or in your LDS tools app).
- Fill in yourself, your immediate family (spouse, children, parents) with birth, marriage, and death dates (as applicable).
- This month, add at least one person’s information to your tree in each of the generations. That is, one parent, one grandparent, and one great-grandparent.
- Go generation by generation, adding them one at a time.
- Work on only one side of your family (only your mother’s line, for example).
- Gather documents and pictures for the people you already have the names and dates for.
- Youth can accept Elder Anderson’s challenge to them.
If you’re advanced, look at our page for ideas.
Family Home Evening Ideas
This Family History Kit from Sugardoodle and Rootstech is fantastic. It’s got a great lesson (love the chocolate cake object lesson!). There are three parts, so be sure to download all of these great, free resources. They’re a lot, so make some time to look through them. They’d also work for a youth activity or Activity Days.
This is a sweet story of the A Year of FHE’s author’s own grandmother. The story alone is very much worth hearing, and it would be a wonderful activity to do something like it for any ancestors of yours. Sharing and writing down their story would make a wonderful FHE.
Order the Family History Coloring Book from the Church and use it as a discussion point for a series of informal FHE lessons.
Create an account with FindaGrave and create a memorial for a deceased ancestor. Link to other family members and add any pictures you have.
Looking for something quick and easy? We’ve got it! Simply download and print this Family Tree and write in the names. OR Watch this short video from Elder Richard G. Scott about how doing family history work is the greatest protection against the adversary.
Watch the moving clip from President Eyring, Invitation to Bind Hearts.
If time, watch or read the entire talk, Hearts Bound Together.
Below are four quotes from the talk. Read over them and discuss or think about the questions that accompany them.
- He held the greatest power God gives to His children: he held the sealing power, the power to bind on earth and have it bound in heaven. God gave it to the Apostle Peter. And the Lord kept His promise to send Elijah. QUESTION: Why is the sealing power the greatest power God gives? In what ways is this true?
- You are not just gathering names. Those you never met in life will become friends you love. Your heart will be bound to theirs forever. QUESTION: Can you love someone you’ve never met? What does that love look like?
- When you were baptized, your ancestors looked down on you with hope. Perhaps after centuries, they rejoiced to see one of their descendants make a covenant to find them and to offer them freedom. In your reunion, you will see in their eyes either gratitude or terrible disappointment. Their hearts are bound to you. Their hope is in your hands. QUESTION: For yourself, what do you think your ancestors feel towards you? What is one small but specific thing you could do now to earn their gratitude rather than their disappointment?
- You will have more than your own strength as you choose to labor on to find them. QUESTION: What does President Eyring mean by this, and what kind of strength do we need when we search to find our kindred dead?
If you would like to gain an increased understanding of the principles of the doctrine of family history and temple work, Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s article, The Promises of the Fathers. It’s not the shortest read in the history of the world, but it gives an excellent understanding and framing of the doctrine behind the verse.
For Lessons and Talks
- Joseph Field Smith said, “The turning of the hearts of the children to the fathers is placing or planting in the hearts of the children that feeling and desire which will inspire them to search out the records of the dead. Moreover the planting of the desire and inspiration in their hearts is necessary. This they must have in order that they might go into the house of the Lord and perform the necessary labor for their fathers, who died without a knowledge of the gospel, or without the privilege of receiving the fulness of the gospel.” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:127–28.) Why is this feeling necessary? Why isn’t it enough to just say, “It’s a commandment; do it.” Why does a prophet say that the feeling and desire are essential?
Under the direction of Brigham Young, Elder Orson Pratt included Verses 1-3 of Section 2 in the Doctrine and Covenants in 1876. They are the words Moroni spoke to Joseph Smith over fifty years earlier. Elder John A. Widtsoe said this about Section 2:
“‘The beginning and the end of the gospel is written in section two of the Doctrine and Covenants. It is the keystone of the wonderful gospel arch; and if that center stone should weaken and fall out, the whole gospel structure would topple down in unorganized doctrinal blocks.’” (ElRay L. Christiansen, in Conference Report, Apr. 1960, p. 48.) In what way is this true? How is this both the beginning and the end of the gospel? Why would the entire gospel collapse without it?
- What are the promises of the fathers? Is this strictly Abraham’s promise of descendancy or does it go beyond that? Read Elder McConkie’s talk The Promises of the Fathers in preparation if you would like a solid background on this principle. In the talk, he says that our distinction of work for the living and work for the dead is not the way God looks at it. To him, the living and the dead are without distinction from each other. Interesting concept!
The message of Malachi is so important that it has been repeated in each of the standard works:
- Elder Widtsoe also said this: “In our preexistent state, in the day of the great council, we made a certain agreement with the Almighty. The Lord proposed a plan, conceived by him. We accepted it. Since the plan is intended for all men, we become parties to the salvation of every person under that plan. We agreed, right then and there, to be not only saviors for ourselves but measurably, saviors for the whole human family. We went into a partnership with the Lord. The working out of the plan became then not merely the Father’s work, and the Savior’s work, but also our work. The least of us, the humblest, is in partnership with the Almighty in achieving the purpose of the eternal plan of salvation.” (Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, Oct. 1934, p. 189; see also History of the Church, 6:59–61.) We know from Moses 1:39 that God’s work and glory is to bring to pass the eternal life of man. If we are partners with God in that work, what is our role? How can we best fulfill that role? What stands in the way? How can we conquer the challenges that distract us from this work?