Saturday, January 7, 2012

How to Set Goals: New Years FHE

Purpose: To teach the importance of setting and reaching goals.

Reminder: Do not use all of the materials presented in this lesson. Pick which stories and activities work best for your family and your ages.

Possible scriptures: Matt 5:16Matt 5:48Galatians 6:10James 2:17-22; Jacob 2:18-19; 3 Nephi 13:24; 3 Nephi 13:33 (see also Matt 6:33); 3 Nephi 27: 27Doctrine & Covenants 67:13

Possible Songs: "The Iron Rod," Hymns 274; "As Zion's Youth in Latter-days," Hymns 256; "I Hope They Call Me on a Mission," Children's Songbook 169; "The Things I Do," Children's Songbook 170; "I Love to See the Temple," Children's Songbook 95; "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus," Children's Songbook 78.

Possible Materials: Heber J Grant 3 pictures (below). Heber J Grant 3 stories (1, 2, 3). Tree of Life story. Graham Cracker Story. Bach picture. Wordart for last line of Kimball quote. ( If not linked, I made my own. I havent shared them yet, because I don't know if anyone wants them. Solution: let me know you'd be interested.)

Introduction: Distribute random game pieces from a variety of games (Lara, from whom I borrowed this idea, has a picture you can use if you don't have any. Page 3). Give random pieces to everyone, then tell them to go ahead and start to play. Don't give them any instructions, the idea is to get the blank stares. When they ask how they're supposed to play a game they don't know, talk about how it's the same with goals. It's hard to make it where we want to be if we don't know what goals we have in mind or what the point is. Goals are like instructions, they tell us where we want to be and how to win the game.

From Church History: Picture of Heber J Grant (The link to download the picture can be found on this page). There are 2 different ways to talk about Heber J. Grant. The first is to read this story, this story, and this story, from the Friend Magazine, asking after each one the following questions:

  1. What goal did Heber make?
  2. What did he do to reach his goal?
  3. What happened because he made the goal?
Or you can print out the church's discussion on Heber J. Grant found here, but I can't find the pictures on the Church's site. I've uploaded them at the bottom of this post for your convenience.

From the Arts: Portrait of Bach. Play a piece of music by Bach. Talk about what it takes to write a piece of music, that it takes a lot of work and knowledge. Ask your family if they think they can write like Bach. How do you think he got to be so good? Bach does have musical talent, but that is not the reason he was as good as he was. He said, "I Had to work hard. Anyone who works as hard will get just as far."  


... My dear young friends, the positive things you will want to accomplish need only be decided upon once—like going on a mission and living worthily in order to get married in the temple—and then all other decisions related to these goals can easily be made. Otherwise, each consideration is risky, and each equivocation may result in error. There are some things Latter-day Saints do, and other things we just don’t do. The sooner you decide to do what is right, the better it will be for you!  ---Spencer W Kimball, "President Kimball Speaks Out On Planning Your Life," June 1982

From the Scriptures: Read or summarize Lehi's Dream as found in 1 Nephi 8. It was hard for me to read the right verses to get to the meat of the story, and I didn’t want to mark in my scriptures just to make the story easier, so I wrote it out. I've summarized the scripture below:

2 ...Behold, I have dreamed a dream; or, in other words, I have seen a vision.9  ...I beheld a large and spacious field.10 And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.19 ...And I beheld a rod of iron, and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree by which I stood.20 And I also beheld a strait and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron, even to the tree by which I stood; and it also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field...21 And I saw numberless concourses of people, many of whom were pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led unto the tree by which I stood.22 And it came to pass that they did come forth, and commence in the path which led to the tree.23 And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost.24 And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.25 And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed.26 And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.27 And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.28 And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.30 …[I] saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree.31 And [I] also saw other multitudes feeling their way towards that great and spacious building.32 And it came to pass that many were drowned in the depths of the fountain; and many were lost from [my] view, wandering in strange roads.33 And great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building. And after they did enter into that building they did point the finger of scorn at me and those that were partaking of the fruit also; but we heeded them not.34 ...For as many as heeded them, had fallen away.Discuss how the Tree of Life represents Eternal life, our ultimate goal. The Iron rod represents what we have to do to reach this goal.

From The Friend:  Terina Atkinson Darcey, “Graham Crackers, Grapes, and Goals”, Friend, Jan. 2005, 20. This story talks about how each step is important for us to reach our goal. I think it ties in with the strait and narrow path perfectly.

From a Conference Talk: Elder Ballard, Keeping Life's Demands in Balance. Discuss the steps listed below.

  1. Think out your life and your priorities. What is most important?
  2. Set short-term goals that you can reach quickly.
  3. Balance needs and wants.
  4. Stay close to family and study the scriptures
  5. Study the scriptures
  6. Plan time for sufficient rest, exercise and relaxation.
  7. Family Home Evening
  8. Pray often as individuals and as a family.
Further discussion: Discuss the importance of prayer in setting goals. By taking the time to prepare, pray, and ponder about our goals, we are able to focus on what will be most beneficial for our family.

Further discussion: Set SMART Goals

  • S – Specific (or Significant).
  • M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
  • A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
  • R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
  • T – Time-bound (or Trackable)
Closing Application: Remind your family about how we need to keep goals in our mind AND we need to work to achieve them. We need to cling tightly to the rod and to the things we know will bring us to our goals. Now help each child think of a challenging, but attainable goal. Write down their goals and help them to put it in a visible place. Help them to stick with their goals. Make sure to follow up with their goals next Family Home Evening. Possible goals include: learning to write their name, learning address and phone number, learning a skill, memorize a scripture or Article of Faith, reading the Book of Mormon (or at least a book of it), Earning a certain amount of money, etc.

Resources:  I got inspiration for this lesson from this site and from this site. I also used this from the church website. I looked for better clipart, but the best I could find was here, here, and here. I will  be making my own, so let me know if you're interested.

Double click to open in a new window. 

Link to print.

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