“Chapter 34: The Power of Forgiving,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith
Give every member of the class a piece of paper. Have them write on the paper 5 things that they have done that week that they wish they had not done. All of us are imperfect, so there ought to be something. These will not be shared, and you really don’t want to get into having people share their sins! Just something that if you had to do it over again, you wouldn’t do. Now have them write down what they have specifically done to make up for these mistakes. (This is not intended to be a downer. Everyone has sins, this is just to prove a point.)
Now go to the first two paragraphs under the “Teachings of Joseph Smith” heading. What are the two expectations that are taught in these paragraphs. (That we need to ask for forgiveness and also forgive others.) Now read the second to last paragraph in this section, “Suppose that Jesus Christ…” At this point, I would simply ask, “How do these three paragraphs apply to your list and your life?” You may have to wait for a while for answers to come, but they will come. These are some really powerful paragraphs that you could spend some real time on.
There are some real great principles about forgiveness in these paragraphs. On page 394 end of the top paragraph, “Nothing is so much calculated…” How would that change how our homes feel?
Last paragraph on page 394: How would things change if we did not listen to any false reports (gossip) without talking to the person first.
You can also share the story about the prophet and his brother. Ending with the final paragraph in the section on page 396. What did they do to get to that point of a, “spirit of confession and forgiveness.” How could we “build each other up” in our families? What did their actions have to do with the “jubilee and time of rejoicing?” How do we get that into our homes?
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