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 May 2017 is John 14:15.
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Work on ways to better keep the commandment to keep the Sabbath Day holy.
Ideas for accomplishing the challenge:
Consider the following areas of Sabbath observance and select the ones you think would have the most impact on deepening your relationship with the Lord.
What could you do to show your love for the Savior through your Sabbath Day observance? Decide to make changes in those areas, write them down, and then make those changes.
You may wish to read through or watch Elder Nelson’s talk The Sabbath is a Delight before you look through this list in order to invite the Spirit to guide you to the things that will work best for you.
- Is my church attendance drawing me closer to the Lord?
- Am I attending as often as I should?
- Am I fully participating in my lessons, classes, and meetings?
- Am I reading the lessons ahead of time?
- Is my Sacrament Meeting worship drawing me closer to the Lord?
- Am I focusing on the Savior and avoiding distractions of the world, like phones and devices?
- Am I using the hymns to help me feel the Spirit?
- Am I arriving on time?
- Am I making sure I am not distracting others from the focus of the meeting?
- Am I using the blessing and passing of the Sacrament as a time for reflection and prayer?
- If I have small children, am I preparing ahead of time for their experience by making sure I have appropriate, quiet activities for them to do? Am I feeding them ahead of time?
- Am I leaving the chapel as clean or cleaner as I found it?
- Am I focusing on the talks and how they apply to me?
- Am I using the Sabbath to accomplish the things of the Lord?
- Do I focus on the Lord during the Sabbath Day?
- Am I using the Sabbath to draw further away from the world and closer to the Lord?
- Are there things I should be doing on the Sabbath that I am not doing?
- Am I studying lessons and scriptures?
- Am I writing in my journal?
- Am I writing to missionaries?
- Am I serving?
- Am I participating in family history?
- Are there things I am doing on the Sabbath that I should stop doing?
- Am I doing anything that is keeping me tied to the world?
- Is my social media use on the Sabbath helping me draw closer to the Lord?
- Is the music I listen to, the television/movies/media I watch, or the things I read distinctly different from the rest of the week in a way that develops my spirituality?
- For ward leaders:
- Are we planning Sacrament Meetings that strengthen testimonies and focus on the Savior?
- Are we planning those meetings as a Ward Council well in advance?
- Are we helping members learn how to give talks?
- Are there things that need adjusting in our Sunday meetings to help members better worship the Lord and feel spiritually fed?
The challenge from February of 2016 was to find one way you can improve Sabbath observance and worship, either personally or in your family. All of the resources and ideas for that challenge will work equally well for this one, so visit the February 2016 page to find:
- Conference talks
- FHE lessons
Family Home Evening Ideas
This simple FHE from LDS Living is based on the conference talk by President Monson about when he set a fire as a boy. It’s a great story, and quite memorable, so this is a great FHE to use if your child(ren) hasn’t heard it.
A fun obedience activity with teens is to look at the list of 613 commandments in the Old Testament. Do a scavenger hunt looking for the following:
- Can you find five commandments that don’t make sense in the modern world?
- Find a commandment you think we should bring back.
- What food commandment surprises you?
- Find a commandment that seems particularly nitpicky.
- Find a commandment that most people still follow.
Discuss the role of commandments in obedience. Why do some people need so many? Do we?
For a fun addition, memorize the 10 Commandments simply using hand motions. You can find directions here.
Read through the talk The Blessings of Righteous Obedience by Elder Delbert L. Stapley. It’s an oldie – from 1977 – and it’s got some very straight talk about obedience.
You may wish to use the following questions to discuss it or reflect on it:
- Compare the reasons he gives for why people don’t obey (paragraph 2). He lists three. Do you see evidence of these in yourself or people you know? Which do you think is most common? Which is hardest to change? What other reasons do you see?
- How do we “learn” obedience? Can it be unlearned?
- He quotes Joseph Smith as saying, regarding the scriptures, “He who reads it oftenest will like it best.” Is that same thing true of obedience? Do we grow to like the commandments we keep better than those we don’t?
- He says we are able to become obedient by:
- Studying and applying the scriptures
- Following living prophets and leaders
- Disciplining our lives in all things
- The things we suffer
- Why do you think these four things are the way? How does suffering connect to obedience?
- Considering the third one, disciplining our lives in all things, think about this saying: “How you do something is how you do everything.” How does this saying support Elder Stapley’s assertion?
- Elder Stapley lists a series of questions. Carefully consider the questions and decide if you need to make any changes in your life to be able to answer the questions as you would like to answer them.
- Note: Elder Stapley, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, died a year after giving this talk. He is somewhat infamous for writing a letter to fellow member of the Church and governor of Michigan, George Romney, strongly admonishing Romney for his pro civil rights stance. You can read the full text of the letter here. The letter itself allows for discussion about the value of a living prophet and continuing revelation. While uncomfortable for us to read, it is important to be transparent about past events.
For Lessons and Talks
- The verse before this states, “If ye will ask anything in my name, I will do it.” Consider the connection between a Lord who does as His servants ask and servants who do as the Lord commands.
- The verse after promises that if we do this, He will send the Comforter to them. Explore the connection of these three verses. First, in verse 14, we exercise faith that the Lord will give us what we need. Second, in verse 15, we obey. Third, in verse 16, He rewards that obedience with the Spirit. What patterns do we see here?
- Is there any other reasonable response to to love for the Lord other than obedience?
- The Golden Rule is to do unto others as you would have done to you. The Platinum Rule is to do unto others as they would have done to them. Here, Christ tells us how he wants us to be loved. He tells us that nothing else is as meaningful to him as obedience. See 1 Samuel 15:22.
- The context here is that Christ is telling His disciples, “If you really love me, instead of just showing how sad you are that I’m leaving, do what I say. That means more.”
- Good translations of this verse read, “ye will keep.” So it would read, “If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments.” The meaning of “keep” here is to “lay up in your hearts and preserve by careful watching.” Does this add to your understanding of the scripture?
- Compare this verse to John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Do “follow” and “obey” mean the same thing?