It's hard to believe that it has been four years since we did our in-depth 30-day study of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. (You can find the Family Proclamation Lessons and other FP ideas here.)
A lot has changed since then, and we've grown quite a lot as a family too. Now instead of teaching 4, 2, and 1 year olds, I am teaching 8, 6, 5, and 1 year olds.
For our first lesson, the thing that stood out to me about the Family Proclamation was the ever-present reminder that each person decides whether or not to follow the Family Proclamation by virtue of our free agency.
This document is full of eternal principles that will bring happiness to families, but our benevolent Father in Heaven does not force us to accept his plan for families. He teaches us, he invites us, then he allows us to choose for ourselves how we will live our lives.
And the document, in this read for me, seemed peppered with language that reminded me of this fact.
So, for our first lesson, we gave each family member their own copy of the Family Proclamation and as we read together, we asked the kids to identify words that suggest "agency" in action within the Family Proclamation.
We circled words such as:
make it possible
most likely to be achieved
Then we tried to define them, as these are fairly large words for kids of these ages to understand. This was a stretch mentally, but I think they got it.
I then informed the children that each of us decides whether or not we will live the doctrine of the Family. Not everyone will. In fact, they will encounter many friends in this life who won't, and that is their choice.
We don't have to follow it. And we don't follow the doctrine of the family because something inside of us is "making us" live the way that we do. (In fact, there are lots of inborn traits that often cause us to not want to do all we can to follow the advice contained herein.)
Instead, a person strives to live the principles in the Family Proclamation, because they CHOOSE to, because they have faith that it is true, and because they want to follow God's plan above all else.
Having established the role of agency in The Family Proclamation, we decided as a family, that together, we would commit to follow this plan for our family to the very best of our abilities. (While acknowledging that each one of our children would have to decide this for their own lives and future families as well.)
To signify our commitment to the doctrine of the Family...and our commitment to one another, we each signed the bottom of our copy of the Family Proclamation, and it's hanging in our kitchen as a reminder of our pact!
We also did a couple of other things to help us remember our commitment, but that's classified family information!! :)
I will try to pop back in here as often as I can over the next two weeks to share with you all 14 easy lessons about The Family Proclamation! So stay tuned...
PS - If you aren't already, you might want to sign up to follow by email or bloglovin' so you'll get updates as each lesson is posted. Wouldn't want you to miss out!~
There are ways to follow on the upper right hand corner of this blog.
I will also do a post with ALL of the lessons at the end of the series,
so you can have them all in one place. Thanks!
Be sure to check out other lessons in this series:
Five-minute Lessons on The Family Proclamation
Agency & The Family Proclamation
In the Image of God
The Pedigree of Your Spirit
Temples: The Forever Family Place
To Multiply & Replenish the Earth
The Responsibility of Parents
The Dad Book