Sunday, June 8, 2014


Lesson 2
A series of Family Home Evening lessons based on the <st1 Church's</st1 Addiction Recovery Program.
Help family members understand when we truly repent and partake of the gift of the Atonement, we grow closer to God.

Obtain a heavy object, such as a tire chain, to use as a “burden.”
Provide each family member with a pencil and a small notebook they can use as a journal.

:  “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

 “How Great Thou Art,” all versus (Hymn # 86)

Object Lesson

Ask a volunteer to walk back and forth across the room. Ask: Was it difficult for you to accomplish this task?

Now have the same volunteer hold the chain or other heavy object you’ve provided and again walk back and forth across the room. Ask: Was it any more difficult to accomplish this task?

In the story, “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens, Scrooge’s deceased friend, Jacob Marley, appears to Scrooge as a ghost carrying a long and heavy chain which represents the injustices and sins he committed in his life.

How are our sins and weaknesses like carrying a heavy chain through life?

At the conclusion of Lesson 1, we completed an assignment which helped us recognize our weaknesses, chose one to overcome, and considered our actions related to that weakness. Very likely, those actions have hurt others. What must we now do to be cleansed of those transgressions or sins? (Repent)

In order to fully repent, we must first confess our sins and weaknesses.

Spencer W. Kimball said: “Repentance can never come until one has bared his soul and admitted his actions without excuses or rationalizations. . . . Those persons who choose to meet the issue and transform their lives may find repentance the harder road at first, but they will find it the infinitely more desirable path as they taste of its fruits” (“The Gospel of Repentance,” Ensign, Oct. 1982, 4).
Discussion Questions:

Who must we confess our sins to?

Note: If the sin is serious, we must confess them to the proper priesthood authorities. Otherwise, this quote by President Brigham Young may be helpful in your discussion.

“When we ask the brethren, as we frequently do, to speak in sacrament meetings, we wish them, if they have injured their neighbors, to confess their wrongs; but do not tell about your nonsensical conduct that nobody knows of but yourselves. Tell to the public that which belongs to the public. If you have sinned against the people, confess to them. If you have sinned against a family or a neighborhood, go to them and confess. If you have sinned against your Ward, confess to your Ward. If you have sinned against one individual, take that person by yourselves and make your confession to him. And if you have sinned against your God, or against yourselves, confess to God, and keep the matter to yourselves, for I do not want to know anything about it” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], 158).

How can confessing your sins to God give you courage and strength to confess to another person?

How would your behavior change if you were only concerned about looking good to God?

Journal Entry
Consider how holding back part of your confession undermines the sincerity of your efforts. What part of your inventory, if any, are you tempted to hide?

Forsaking Sin Leads to a Change in Heart

After the rigorous emotional and spiritual cleansing of recognizing and confessing our sins and weaknesses, we may be amazed at the transformation in ourselves as we begin to abstain from our weaknesses. We likely pray and study our scriptures more diligently and keep other commandments more readily. As time passes, however, we may notice that avoiding our weaknesses and sins is not enough. We want to lose even the desire for that sin.

“By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them” (D&C 58:43).

What can we do to rid ourselves of our desires return to our weaknesses and sins? (See Alma 22: 15, 17-18 and Ether 12:27)

President Ezra Taft Benson said: “The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature. . . May we be convinced that Jesus is the Christ, choose to follow Him, be changed for Him, captained by Him, consumed in Him, and born again” (in Conference Re
port, Oct. 1985, 5–6; or Ensign, Nov. 1985, 6–7).

Journal Entry:
What obstacles—including attitudes and feelings—keep you from giving away “all [your] sins” and more fully receiving the Spirit of the Lord?

List your chosen character weakness and next to it write the strength it may become as you come unto Christ.

"No matter what the source of difficulty and no matter how you begin to obtain relief . . .The final healing comes through faith in Jesus Christ and His teachings, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and obedience to His commandments” (Richard G. Scott, in Conference Report, Apr. 1994, 9; or Ensign, May 1994, 9).

What have you learned about the Savior that has helped or influenced your desire or ability to change your behavior?

Press Forward

Just as the people of Alma submitted cheerfully and with patience when the Lord lightened their burdens but did not remove them (Mosiah 24:15), our path to a changed heart will require work, patience, and trust in Christ’s Atonement.

What can we do to make the atonement more meaningful in our lives? (Ponder the words of the sacrament prayer, pray for God to help us do what we can not do for ourselves, keep the commandments and thereby show our love for God.)

Mosiah 4:9–12

"When the Atonement and our repentance satisfy the laws of justice and mercy, we are, in effect, free from sin. But just as the sinless Christ was “made perfect” through interaction with his Father’s grace, so his atoning grace can move us beyond the remission of sins to the perfection of a divine nature. Those who inherit the celestial kingdom are 
“just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood” (D&C 76:69; emphasis added). As Moroni put it, “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him. … by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ” (Moro. 10:32–33). . . (Bruce C. Hafen, “Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Jesus Christ,” Liahona, Apr 1997, 39).

“Whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ” (Mosiah 5:9).

Most of us think of taking Christ’s name upon us in context of baptism and the sacrament, and rightly so. What might it mean to be called by the name of Christ and to have His reputation as your own?

Journal Entry
Write about the feelings you experience when you think of His willingness to give you His name or reputation in exchange for all your shortcomings.

Ask family members to apply the principles you’ve discussed in this lesson by confessing their sin/weakness to the proper persons, avoiding the weakness, and seeking help from Christ to overcome the desire to participate in that weakness or sin.

 Bear your testimony of your love for and trust in our Savior.

“Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God … giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. … They that wait upon the Lord shall … mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isa 40:28-31).

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